American flag scarf yolanda foster 2018

american flag scarf yolanda foster 2018 for TOEFL® iBT
®
®

N E W YO R K

Copyright © 2007 LearningExpress, LLC. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Vocabulary for TOEFL iBT. p. cm. ISBN: 978-1-57685-632-1 1. Test of English as a Foreign Language—Study guides. 2. English language— Examinations—Study guides. 3. Vocabulary—Examinations—Study guides. 4. English language—Ability testing. I. LearningExpress (Organization) PE1128.V63 2007 428.0076—dc22 2007026015 Printed in the United States of America 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN: 978-1-57685-632-1 For information on LearningExpress, other LearningExpress products, or bulk sales, please write to us at: LearningExpress 2 Rector Street 26th Floor New York, NY 10006 Or visit us at: www.learnatest.com

CONTENTS
Introduction v 1 12 31 45 61 74 81 99 117 174

1 2 3 4 5 6

About TOEFL iBT Vocabulary in Context Using Prefixes and Suffixes Word Roots Commonly Confused Words—Homonyms Idioms and Vocabulary Variations Practice Test 1 Practice Test 2 Appendix A: Word List Appendix B: Prefixes, Suffixes, and Word Roots

iii

Introduction E

veryone has three vocabularies in every language he or she speaks: a reading vocabulary, a listening vocabulary, and a speaking vocabulary. You’ve read words you have never heard, and heard words you’ve never read. Your speaking vocabulary may ignore many words you have either read or heard but do not use. As you explore the vocabulary in this book, think about bringing these three large sets of words together into a rich and useful database that will serve you well. Discovering words you don’t know may send your anxiety level soaring, and nobody does their best work when they’re anxious. With practice, though, you can learn to take unknown words in stride. Here’s how to start. 1. Start small. Don’t tackle the whole sentence at once. There are several techniques for breaking sentences into smaller units. One way you can do this is to find a verb (an action word that tells you what’s happening) and gradually incorporate the words around it into an increasingly longer phrase as you decipher its meaning. The verb provides an anchor for the meaning because it tells you what is being done. You can also use trial and error to find islands of meaning in a sentence. Find a word or a phrase you understand and start adding a word or two on either side. As you discover several such islands and gradually enlarge each one, you will eventually see how they fit together; and then you will understand the dynamics of the whole sentence. 2. If the vocabulary in a sentence is a problem, look at the words around it. Usually you can figure out what function a word is serving in the sentence. Ask yourself if it’s an action word. If so, it’s a verb. Is it describing something? Then it’s an adjective or adverb. Is it the subject—the person, place or thing performing the action in the sentence? It’s a noun or pronoun. Use the surrounding context to help you guess the meaning or at least the part of speech of an unfamiliar word. 3. As you are reading a sentence with blanks or with words you don’t know, it can ease your anxiety to substitute words or sounds of your choosing in place of the unknown words. The words something and whatever work well
v

vi

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

in many situations. You may find you prefer nonsense words instead. As the meaning of the sentence gradually becomes clear, you can start substituting words that might work in the sentence. Obtaining a better vocabulary doesn’t have to be hard work. It mostly takes curiosity. Remember those unfamiliar words you encounter in conversations or while reading. Take them apart. Welcome them to your world. Share them with your coworkers, friends, or family. You’ll be greatly rewarded for your efforts— because long after you have finished this book and taken the TOEFL iBT, you’ll still possess a wealthy vocabulary of English words!

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

If you are trying to gain admission into universities where instruction is in English and this is not your native language, you will have to pass the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based test). The reason for this is simple: Academic institutions want to be sure that you can read, write, and comprehend spoken English so that you can succeed in the college classroom. Sometimes, this test will also be used to evaluate you by many government, licensing, and certification agencies, or exchange and scholarship programs. Vocabulary for TOEFL iBT will help nonnative speakers build or renew vital vocabulary skills. Vocabulary is a broad topic, and it forms the foundation for reading comprehension, grammar, and spelling. For the TOEFL iBT, you will not be allowed to use a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool to help you with unfamiliar words. In general, the better your basic vocabulary skills are, the better you will do on the entire TOEFL iBT. Whether your exam is months away or coming up in a few weeks, this book will help you prepare. Begin getting ready for the TOEFL iBT by creating a study plan for yourself. Determine how much time you have until the test day, and then decide how much time you can devote to studying each week. With Vocabulary for TOEFL iBT, we suggest that you choose a time each day to improve your vocabulary. Think about when would be the best time for you. It may be first thing in the morning, during your commute to work, or before you go to bed at night. Whenever the time is right, just make sure you do it regularly—at least five days a week for a month. Once you establish a study plan for yourself, you should stick as closely as you can to your plan. Always keep your end goal in mind. If you study hard the first time, chances are you will not have to take this exam again—ever!

I NTR O D U CTI O N

vii

Now, once you have set a study plan for yourself, look at the table of contents to see the types of vocabulary topics covered in this book. You may want to tackle the chapters in sequence, or you may decide to study the sections that give you the most difficulty early on in your test preparation. Each chapter is filled with practice questions to test the new skill you just read about. As you work through the practice questions, you may want to have a dictionary or thesaurus handy. This can help expand your bank of vocabulary words. After you answer the practice questions, you will undoubtedly want to check your answers against the answer explanation section at the end of each chapter. Vocabulary for TOEFL iBT contains two practice tests at the end of the book. These tests will give you the chance to measure what you have learned and review any problem areas that you find. If after answering all the questions you feel like you need more practice, reread the questions and try responding one more time. Repetition is often the key to success and studies show that most repetitive tasks become part of a person’s inventory of skills over time. The book finishes with a helpful word list of more than 650 commonly tested vocabulary words (Appendix A). It will be very beneficial for you to add these words to your current vocabulary. We advise tackling the words on the list as you move through Vocabulary for TOEFL iBT, not waiting until the end of the book. Another helpful list—entitled Prefixes, Suffixes, and Word Roots—is included in Appendix B. Understanding the parts that make up a word can give you a clue about a word’s definition, and this can help you make educated guesses when taking the TOEFL iBT.

About TOEFL iBT

1

T

he Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is used to measure your ability to use English in an academic setting. The TOEFL is designed to indicate your ability to communicate by measuring the impact of reading, listening, speaking, and writing on effective communication. Strong ability in each of these four areas will be necessary as you continue learning in English.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THE TEST

Proficiency in English is essential if you are to follow class discussions and complete the reading and writing assignments in most college classes. In many courses, you may also be required to deliver oral presentations. And if you are applying to a graduate program, you may be given a position as a teaching assistant, which means you will be expected to help undergraduate students with their schoolwork, instruct them, and grade their assignments. In order to ensure that you can succeed even though you are not studying in your native language, and that you will be a competent teaching assistant if you are applying to graduate school, colleges and other institutions may require you to take the TOEFL. To determine if you need to take the TOEFL, you should contact each institution to which you are applying for admission.

1

2 OVERVIEW OF THE TEST

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

The entire TOEFL iBT will take approximately four hours to complete and all test sections will be completed in one day. The test is not computer-adaptive. In other words, each test taker receives the same range of questions. The test is worth a total of 120 points. The first test section is Reading, followed by Listening, Speaking, and Writing. There will be a ten-minute break after the Listening section. After completing a section of the test, you will not be able to return to that section to finish or change your answers.
READING SECTION (approximately 60–100 minutes) 30 total points This section contains 3–5 reading passages, each followed by 12–14 questions. Language Skills Used Reading Source for Response Reading passage

Question Types Factual information • 3–6 per set • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Negative factual information • 2 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Inference • 2 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Rhetorical purpose • 2 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Vocabulary • 3–5 per set • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each

Topics Identify information from text

Reading

Identify information in the text that is not true

Reading passage

Reading

Identify information that is strongly suggested but not stated

Reading passage

Reading

Identify why author makes a statement

Reading passage

Reading

Identify the meaning of a word in the text

Reading passage

AB O UT TO E F L iBT

3
Language Skills Used Reading Source for Response Reading passage

Question Types Reference • 2 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Sentence simplification • 1 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Insert text • 1 per set at most • 4 answer choices each • worth 1 point each Prose summary • 1 per set at most • 6 answer choices each • worth 2 points each Fill in a table • 1 per set at most • multiple answer choices • worth 3–4 points each

Topics Identify the grammatical relationship between two words in the text

Reading

Identify the choice that restates the sentence indicated

Reading passage

Reading

Insert a sentence in the most appropriate place in a passage

Reading passage

Reading

Choose the three most important ideas in the passage

Reading passage

Reading

Complete a table organizing the main ideas

Reading passage

As you begin the Reading section of the TOEFL iBT, a passage will appear on the computer screen. A scrollbar on the right side of the screen will allow you to move to the end of a passage. At the top of the computer screen is a navigational toolbar. (You should note that your time does not stop when you are using the toolbar feature.) The heading on the left of the toolbar will state the section of the test on which you are working: Reading. The center of the toolbar will state the question you are working on as well as the number of questions in the section. On the right will be a clock, indicating your remaining time. You may choose to hide the clock by clicking the Hide Time button located next to the clock. Above the clock function are six navigation buttons. Clicking on the View Text button will let you view the entire passage when answering questions. The Review button will allow you to review the questions that you have answered and make changes. You can adjust the volume by clicking the Volume button. A Help button will provide some additional assistance for you.

4

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Finally, there are Back and Next buttons, which allow you to move back and forth between questions.
LISTENING SECTION (approximately 60–90 minutes) 30 total points Stimulus 4–6 lectures, each followed by 6 questions Language Skills Used Listening Topics Arts, life sciences, physical sciences, and social science 2–3 conversations, each followed by 5 questions Listening Nonacademic situation on campus Details from conversation Source for Response Details from lecture

For the Listening section of the TOEFL iBT, you will listen to the lectures and conversations through a headset. An image depicting the lecture or conversation will appear on the screen. This picture is designed to help you imagine the situation. Difficult words or phrases in the passage may be defined for you. When the listening passage is complete, a question will appear on the screen. A toolbar will appear at the top of the screen. The heading on the left of the toolbar will state the section of the test on which you are working: Listening. Like the toolbar for the Reading section, the Listening section toolbar will state which question you are working on, the number of questions in the section, and your remaining time. You may choose to use the Hide Time button located to the left of the clock. Above the clock are four navigation buttons. There is a Volume button that allows you to adjust the volume, a Help button that will provide some additional assistance, and a Next button that allows you to move to the next question. After selecting Next, you are asked to click the OK button to confirm that you want to move to the next question. In the Listening section, you may not go back and review questions.
SPEAKING SECTION (approximately 20 minutes) 30 total points Tasks Task 1 (independent) Task 2 (independent) Speaking Language Skills Used Speaking Topics Familiar things Choose a side Opinion 15 seconds 45 seconds Source for Response Opinion Preparation Time 15 seconds Response Time 45 seconds

AB O UT TO E F L iBT

5
Source for Response Details from materials given Details from materials given School-related problem with two possible solutions Opinion about materials given 20 seconds 60 seconds 30 seconds 60 seconds Preparation Time 30 seconds Response Time 60 seconds

Tasks Task 3 (integrated)

Language Skills Used Reading, Listening, and Speaking

Topics Nonacademic situation on campus Academic topic

Task 4 (integrated)

Reading, Listening, and Speaking

Task 5 (integrated)

Listening and Speaking

Task 6 (integrated)

Listening and Speaking

Academic topic

Details from materials given

20 seconds

60 seconds

To take the Speaking section of the TOEFL iBT, you will be required to wear a headset with a microphone. For four of the speaking tasks, you will listen to the spoken materials through a headset. An image depicting the lecture or conversation will appear on the screen. For all of the speaking tasks, you will speak into the microphone to record your responses, which will be digitally recorded and sent to the ETS Online Scoring Network.
WRITING SECTION (approximately 50 minutes) 30 total points Tasks Task 1 (integrated) Task 2 (independent) Language Skills Used Reading, Listening, and Writing Writing Choose a side Topics Academic topic Source for Response Details from materials given Opinion 30 minutes Response Time 20 minutes

For the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT, you will type your response to two tasks. For the integrated writing task, you will listen to the spoken materials through a headset. Human raters rate writing responses through the ETS Online Scoring Network.

6 REGISTRATION

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Because test centers fill up quickly, you should begin the TOEFL registration process right away.

J

HERE’S A HINT THE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION BULLETIN
Before you register for the TOEFL, you should obtain the Information and Registration Bulletin. The ETS created this document to provide you with all the important information you will need to know before you take the TOEFL iBT. It includes a list of test sites in all countries; institution codes, which you will need to report your scores to the colleges and universities you would like to attend; and other information you will find useful, such as sample questions, test instructions, and a list of writing topics. Request a bulletin as soon as possible if you have not already done so. You can pick up or request a bulletin: • from admissions or international student offices at most colleges and universities • from ETS representative offices • from the TOEFL website, www.toefl.org • by calling the ETS at 1-609-771-7100

You can register online at the TOEFL website, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After completing the registration form, you will receive an instant e-mail confirmation. Payment methods include a valid credit card or an electronic check (if you have a bank account in the United States or its territories). To register by phone, you must call at least seven days before the test date and pay using a valid credit card. You will be given a test date, reporting time, test center address, and a registration number, which you must bring to the test center on test day. To schedule a test date in the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories, call 1-800-GO-TOEFL (1-800-468-6335). If you live outside the United States and want to test in the United States, call 1-443-751-4862. To schedule a test date elsewhere, call the Regional Registration Center (RRC) for your area or country. A list of RRCs is printed in the Information and Registration Bulletin. To register by mail, fill out the registration form in the Information and Registration Bulletin. You should receive a registration confirmation. If you do not, you must call the location where you mailed your registration at least three full business days before the registration deadline for your earliest test choice. To schedule a test date in the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories, mail your completed registration form and payment to the ETS at the following address:

AB O UT TO E F L iBT

7

ETS-TOEFL iBT Registration Office P.O. Box 6152 Princeton, NJ 08541–6152, USA To schedule a test date elsewhere, call the RRC for your area or country. Although the ETS makes it possible to register by mail, online and phone registrations are quicker processes. Online and phone registrations must be completed one week before the test, while mailed registrations must be received at least four weeks before the test.

OFFICIAL SCORE REPORTS

At no cost, you can get one examinee score report and up to four official score reports sent to the institutions of your choice. You may choose those institutions up until 10 P.M. (local test center time) on the day prior to your test date. Fifteen days after you take the test, the examinee score report will be sent to you and official score reports will be sent to your selected institutions. The printed score report that is mailed to you will contain all of the final section scores as well as your total score. You can have official score reports sent to institutions other than those you indicate when you register. Requests must be made online, by mail, or by fax. Reports requested online are mailed about four working days after your request. Reports requested by mail or fax are mailed about two weeks after receipt of your request. The cost is for each report ordered. Fifteen business days after completing your TOEFL iBT, you may view your scores online. TOEFL test scores are kept on file for two years after the test date. Scores more than two years old can’t be reported.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TOEFL IBT COST?

The fee for the TOEFL iBT is 0. This includes an examinee score report and four score reports sent to institutions that you designate when you register for the test.

CANCELING OR RESCHEDULING YOUR EXAM

If your schedule changes and you can’t make it to the test you have registered for, you can either reschedule or cancel your test date. If you reschedule, you will be

8

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

charged a rescheduling fee. If you call to cancel at least three business days before your appointment, you will receive a refund of. In the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories, call 1-800-468-6335 to cancel or reschedule. For testing elsewhere, contact your RRC.

HOW THE TOEFL IBT IS SCORED

You will earn between 0 and 30 points for each of the four test areas. Your total score is calculated by adding the four skill area scores together. So, the total score will range from 0 to 120. The Reading and Listening sections of the test consist of objective test items, meaning each question has a correct answer(s). The Speaking and Writing sections are subjective. This means that there is not one correct answer to these questions. Each of the six speaking tasks is awarded between 0 and 4 points based on a rubric. Each of the two writing tasks is awarded between 0 and 5 points based on a rubric. For each test section, the points are converted to a 0- to 30-point scale. All tasks are graded by trained human raters.

PASSING THE TOEFL

There is no single passing score on the TOEFL iBT. The institutions to which you are applying determine the minimum acceptable score. However, some colleges provide ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) classes. If you score below what is required by the institution of your choice, you may be able to register for ESOL classes your first semester and continue on to other classes when you successfully complete the ESOL course. Alternatively, you can take the TOEFL iBT again. But one of the goals of this book is to prepare you to do your best and succeed the first time around.

CANCELING AND REINSTATING YOUR SCORES

If, after taking the exam, you feel that you didn’t perform to the best of your ability and that your score is not high enough to get you into the program of your choice, you can cancel your score at the test center. If you do cancel your scores, they will not be reported to you or any institutions, and you will not receive a refund. After canceling your scores, you will be able to reinstate them provided that your request is received within ten days of your test date.

AB O UT TO E F L iBT

9

You may reinstate your scores by: Phone 1-877-863-3546 (United States, Canada, and U.S. Territories) 1-609-771-7100 (all other locations) Fax 1-609-771-7500 Mail TOEFL Services Educational Testing Service P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA Your request should include your name, date of birth, daytime phone number, registration number, and payment of the reinstatement fee. The reinstatement will take approximately two weeks to be reported online, and the score report will be mailed shortly thereafter.

WRITING AND SPEAKING RESCORING

If you disagree with your score on the Writing and Speaking sections, you can request that your answers be rescored up to three months after your test date. You will be charged for a Writing or a Speaking section rescore by scoring specialists. Complete the TOEFL iBT Rescoring Request Form, which is found on the TOEFL website. Rescoring results will be available about three weeks after the receipt of your rescoring request. If the rescoring confirms your original score, you will be notified via mail. If there is a change in your score, you will receive a revised examinee score report. The institutions that you selected as score recipients will receive new official score reports. These revised scores will become your official scores.

10 ON TEST DAY

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

The ETS is very strict about identification for TOEFL test takers. If you fail to provide proper registration and identification documents on the day of the test, you will most likely not be admitted to the test center. To make sure your hard work and studying don’t go to waste because you forgot a piece of paper, collect all the items you are taking to the test in advance and put them in a safe place. Read the identification requirements in the Information and Registration Bulletin. In most cases, a passport that has your photograph and signature will do. Your identification will be checked before you are admitted. You will also need your registration number.

TOEFL TEST CENTER PROCEDURES AND REGULATIONS

On the day of your exam, arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes early to allow time for registration and identification. Before the test session, you will be required to write your signature and sign a confidentiality statement. Your picture will be taken and reproduced on your score report and the computer monitor you are using. If, for some reason, you have to leave your seat at any time other than the break, raise your hand. Timing of the section will not stop during an unscheduled break. To receive an official score report, you must answer at least one question in each section. If, at any time during the test, you believe you have a problem with your computer or need the administrator for any reason, raise your hand. All testing sessions are subject to videotaping.

AGAINST THE RULES

Here is a list of things you are not allowed to do during the exam or exam breaks. Failure to comply with these rules may result in your dismissal from the test center and canceling of your scores without a refund. DON’T: • bring cellular phones, beepers, pagers, watch alarms, or electronic or photographic devices of any kind to the test session. • eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum, except as permitted in designated areas of the testing center during breaks.

AB O UT TO E F L iBT

11

• refer to or use any testing materials or aids at any time during the testing session or break. The following are considered testing aids: pencils or pens, dictionaries, calculators, watch calculators, books, pamphlets, rulers, highlighter pens, translators, notes, or any other electronic or photographic devices or keyboards. • leave the test center during the test session and break. • exceed the time permitted for the break. • attempt to take the test for someone else or fail to provide acceptable identification. • create a disturbance or behave inappropriately. • give or receive unauthorized help. • attempt to tamper with the computer. • attempt to remove test questions (in any format) from the testing room. Follow these guidelines, and be sure to comply with the test administrator’s directions at all times.

2 Vocabulary in Context
O
ne of the most fundamental vocabulary skills is how to use context to determine meaning. Using a dictionary is, of course, the best way to define a word. But if you’re in a testing situation and you are not allowed to use one, you must rely on the context clues in the sentence.

O DEFINITION
context: the words and sentences that surround a word or phrase and help convey its meaning

12

Ever since you learned your first English words, you have been determining meaning from context. Context refers to the words and sentences that surround a particular word and help convey its meaning. You can use the context of a sentence—or context clues—to help you detect the meaning of a word. Simply put, this means that you can look for clues in and around the vocabulary word. The term context clues means that other words in the sentence “give away” or “give clues” to the definition. For example, sometimes you’ll find synonyms (words that mean flag the same thing) or antonyms (words that mean the opposite), or details that lead you to identify the vocabulary word in question. Once in a while, you’ll find a group of words set off by commas (called an appositive), which gives you a very clear definition of the word.

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

13

J

HERE’S A HINT USE IT OR LOSE IT
There’s really only one rule for building your vocabulary: Use it or lose it. When you are learning a new word, if you don’t use it, you will soon forget what it means. Write new words down on a vocabulary list. Use them in e-mails or letters to friends. Introduce them to members of your family. Use the words you learn in your everyday communications as much as possible so they become a permanent part of your vocabulary.

Now, notice how the context of the sentence below helps give the word candor its meaning:

I admire Arun’s candor, but sometimes, he can be a bit too honest. Candor means a. irritability. b. frank, sincere speech. c. readiness to judge or criticize others. d. comfort with speaking in front of people.

Based on the context of the sentence, only b can be the correct answer. The speaker tells you that Arun is sometimes too honest, thus signifying that candor means frank, sincere speech—Arun tells people exactly what he thinks. Even if you can’t figure out exactly what candor means, you can tell from the context whether it is something positive or negative, and this can help you narrow down your answer choices on an exam. In this case, because the speaker admires Arun’s candor, you can assume that candor is a positive thing. You can therefore eliminate choices a and c. There a four types of context clues that can help you: 1. 2. 3. 4. Restatement Positive/Negative Contrast Specific Detail

This sentence uses two types of context clues: restatement and positive/negative. The first part of the sentence tells you that candor is a good thing (positive/negative),

14

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

while the second part essentially restates the meaning of the word. Here’s another example of a sentence that uses these two types of context clues:

Hani suddenly found himself destitute, so poor that he could barely afford to eat.

The context clearly reveals that destitute is not a positive word; it is not a good thing to be so poor one can barely afford to eat. The context also restates the meaning of destitute, essentially defining the word within the sentence, so that you can tell exactly what destitute means—extremely poor. There are two other types of context clues to watch for. Read the following paragraph as an example (but don’t look up the italicized words!): Sarah had worked so hard for the past few weeks that she decided she owed herself a day of complete indolence. Saturday, she slept until noon, ordered take-out so she wouldn’t have to cook, and left the dishes in the sink. She left her chores for another day and spent the afternoon lying on the couch, reading and watching television. But on Sunday, she was back to her old assiduous self, and by noon, she had already cleaned her whole apartment, done her grocery shopping, and paid her bills. How do you know what indolence means? From two more types of context clues: contrast and specific detail. The first sentence suggests that indolence is in contrast to working hard, while the second and third sentences confirm this with specific details. Thus you can determine what indolence means. Let’s say you were given the choices below: a. luxurious b. hard labor c. deep sleep d. laziness The correct answer is d, laziness. The specific details tell you that Sarah did her best to laze around the house all day. Besides, you know the other answers are incorrect because Sarah didn’t do anything luxurious (choice a) and she didn’t do any work or chores (choice b). There’s no mention of sleep in the paragraph, so choice c is also incorrect. Now let’s look at the context in which assiduous is used. Again, you have two kinds of context clues: contrast and specific detail. You know that the assiduous Sarah of

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

15

Sunday was very different from the indolent Sarah of Saturday (contrast). You also know what the assiduous Sarah does: She is very, very busy on Sunday, cleaning and working around the house (specific detail). Assiduous means diligent, hardworking; or persevering, unremitting.

DENOTATION AND CONNOTATION

The denotation of a word is simply its dictionary definition. For instance, look at the dictionary definitions of the following words.

➥ ➥ ➥

procrastination: to postpone or delay needlessly lazy: to be resistant to work or exertion; slow moving or sluggish inactive: not active or not tending to be active; not functioning or operating

Some English words, however, have more than one meaning. A quack, for example, is the sound a duck makes, but a quack is also an untrained or unqualified person who pretends to be a doctor. Words also have another meaning beyond their denotation. Each word also has a connotation—an implied meaning or emotional impact. Sometimes, the connotation can be favorable or positive. Other times the connotation can be unfavorable or negative. Then again, some words do not arouse any emotion at all and have a neutral connotation. For example, if you were to look up the word playful in the dictionary, you might get a definition similar to that of two of its synonyms, spirited and mischievous. But all three of these words have different connotations and bring to mind different feelings. Spirited has a positive connotation and mischievous a negative connotation, while playful is neutral in tone.

O DEFINITIONS
denotation: a word’s exact meaning or dictionary definition connotation: a word’s implied meaning or emotional impact

When you come across an unfamiliar word, the context will often reveal a great deal about the connotation of that word, even if it does not provide enough information for you to determine its denotation. At a minimum, the connotations of the surrounding words will usually tell you whether the vocabulary word is positive or negative. Therefore, when you are looking for context clues, make sure you look at the surrounding words carefully and consider their denotations and connotations.

16

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

J

HERE’S A HINT ALL SYNONYMS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Synonyms are words that share the same meaning or nearly the same meaning as other words. It is important to know that there are often many synonyms for one word. While some synonyms can be similar, they are rarely identical. For instance, the words bountiful, ample, plentiful, and glut suggest abundance. However, one of these words suggests an overabundance. While you can have a bountiful, ample, or plentiful supply of food on the table for a dinner party, a glut of food is an excessive amount of food that suggests there will be waste involved. It is important to choose your words carefully and to be as clear as possible when choosing synonyms. Although some synonyms are interchangeable, most words have their own unique connotation. So while test questions will often ask you to identify synonyms such as laconic, terse, and succinct, when it comes to your own communications, you should choose your words carefully. Terse, for example, has the most positive connotation of these three words, suggesting brevity with a sense of polish or elegance. Succinct is more neutral, conveying a sense of compactness or tightness in how an idea has been expressed. Laconic, on the other hand, conveys the same basic idea but with the suggestion of brusqueness or abruptness. Thus, although these words are effectively synonymous, each word carries its own specific connotation and leaves a slightly different impression.

HOW MUCH CONTEXT DO YOU NEED?

In the passage about Sarah, you would still be able to understand the main idea of the passage even if you did not know—or could not figure out—the meanings of indolence and assiduous. In some cases, though, your understanding of a sentence or paragraph depends on your understanding of a particular word or phrase. For example, you can’t understand what inept means from the following example sentence—it simply does not provide sufficient context. In fact, you can’t even figure out if it is something positive or negative, because the sentence provides almost no context at all:

Sabina is an utterly inept dancer.

Is Sabina a graceful dancer? An awkward dancer? Or an accomplished dancer? You simply cannot tell from the context. But you could figure out what inept means by

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

17

breaking down the word into its prefix (in-) and word root (ept). That’s the subject of Chapters 2 and 3. Meanwhile, however, here’s a sentence that does give you the context you need to determine the meaning of the word:

Despite years of lessons, Sabina remains an utterly inept dancer who simply stumbles across the dance floor.

Now we can tell through context that inept means awkward or clumsy. Being able to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words from their context is an essential vocabulary skill. Sometimes you will find unfamiliar words whose meanings are indecipherable without a dictionary. More often than not, though, a careful look at the context will give you enough clues to interpret the definition. By looking for the way the words are used in the paragraph, you can figure out what these words mean. Even if you have no idea what a word means, you can still tell something about the word by how it is used—by examining the words and ideas surrounding it. Like detectives looking for clues at a crime scene, you must look at the passage for clues that will uncover the definition of the word.

SENTENCE DETECTIVE

Deciphering some sentences can seem like an impossible mission, but like everything else worth doing, it’s hard at first and gets easier as you practice. There are some basic skills you need to acquire, though. Think of yourself as a detective trying to decode a secret message. Once you have the key to the code, it’s easy to decipher the message. The following sections will give you the keys you need to unlock the meanings of even the most complex sentences. The great thing is that these are master keys that can unlock any and all sentences, including the many complex sentences you will encounter in your college reading.

◗ Sentence Structure
The single most important key to the meaning of a sentence is its structure. The best and easiest way to determine sentence structure is to look at its punctuation. Sentence completion questions always have one or more commas or semicolons. The basic strategy is to separate the sentence into units divided by punctuation. Often, one of the units will express a complete thought, then at least one unit will have one or two blanks. The unit that expresses a complete thought will

18

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

tell you what the unit(s) with blank(s) need to say. For example, consider this sample question: Select the word that best fills in the blank.

After finding sacred objects inside numerous Mayan caves, archaeologists have begun to revise their opinion that the Maya used the caves solely for ________ functions. a. reverent b. theological c. religious d. secular

When you divide this sentence into punctuation-defined units, you have: After finding sacred objects inside numerous Mayan caves, and archaeologists have begun to revise their opinion that the Maya used the caves solely for ________ functions. The first unit, the unit without the blank, tells you that the second unit has something to do with what happened 1) after finding sacred objects and 2) in Mayan caves. The second unit, the one with the blank, tells you that 1) archaeologists have begun to revise their opinion and 2) their opinion (before being revised) was that Mayan caves were used only (solely) for some kind of function. Your mission is to figure out what goes in the blank, namely what kind of function archaeologists used to think the caves were exclusively used for. Now you’re ready to use the first unit to illuminate the second. If scientists used to think one thing until they found sacred objects, it means they used to think the caves were not used for sacred purposes. Now you know you need to fill in the blank with a word that means “not sacred,” a word such as civic, or secular. Your final step is to look at the answer choices to find the one that matches the idea you have formed about what needs to be in the blank(s). Choice d, secular, is the best answer choice. Here’s an example of a sample question that doesn’t divide neatly into a complete unit and an incomplete unit. This question has a blank in each of its two units.

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

19

Select the words that best fill in the blanks:

The famous daredevil was actually quite _______ by temperament, as illustrated by the fact that he did not _______ until he was two years old. a. reckless... amble b. careful.. perambulate c. adventurous... rest d. daring... scuttle

The first unit is The famous daredevil was actually quite _______ by temperament. The word actually tells us that there is something unexpected going on. If actually were to be removed from the sentence, there’d be no way you could know what kind of words go in the blanks. Actually is a clue word, one that points you toward the meaning of the sentence. The famous daredevil actually had an unexpected kind of temperament. What kind of temperament would you expect a famous daredevil to have? Adventurous, bold, daring, right? So the word that goes in the first blank will be one that has a contrasting relationship to that expected temperament. The second unit of the sentence, as illustrated by the fact that he did not _______ until he was two years old, uses a phrase of comparison, as illustrated by, to let us know that the word that goes in the blank should complete the idea of the daredevil’s having a temperament that is not bold. Think of a synonym for “not bold.” Put it in the first blank. Now read the sentence using your word in the first blank. Think of something that, if not done before age two, would indicate that kind of temperament. The next thing you do is look at the answer choices for words that are similar to the ones you chose. The best answer to this question is choice b, careful... perambulate. Even if you didn’t know that to perambulate is to walk, or move about on one’s own, you could be fairly confident that you had the right answer because careful is such a good choice.

◗ A Clue for You
The second important skill you must master for sentence completion questions is the ability to identify key words and phrases. These are the words that most help you decode the sentence. Think of them as clues to a mystery. Among the most useful of these are the words that enable you to identify the logical relationship between the complete unit(s) of the sentence and the incomplete unit(s). As in the preceding example, sometimes you have to complete one portion of a two-blank sentence before you can work on the logical relationship of another unit. There are three types of logical relationships commonly expressed in sentence completion questions: contrast, comparison, and cause and effect. Mastering these three relationships will help you succeed on sentence completion questions.

20 CONTRAST

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Some words that logically signal a relationship of contrast are: though, although, however, despite, but, and yet. Can you think of others? There are also phrases that signal a contrast between the units of the sentence, such as on the other hand, but, however, despite, or on the contrary. Try making a sentence using these words and phrases. See how the two parts of your sentence oppose each other. This is the logical relationship of contrast, or opposition. No matter how complex a sentence completion question seems at first glance, when you see one of these words or phrases, you will know you’re looking at a sentence that expresses one thought in its complete unit and a contrasting thought in the incomplete unit. First you decipher the thought in the complete unit, then fill in the blank in the incomplete unit with a word that expresses a contrasting thought. For example:

Although the tiger is primarily a solitary beast, its cousin the lion is a ________ animal.

First divide the sentence into two units, using the punctuation to guide you. Now you have as the first unit, Although the tiger is primarily a solitary beast, and, its cousin the lion is a ________ animal, as the second unit. The first unit tells you by the use of the word although that the second unit will express a relationship of opposition or contrast. You can see that tigers and lions are being contrasted. The word that goes in the blank has to be an adjective that describes animal in the way that solitary describes beast. Therefore the word that will contrast with the idea in the first unit is in opposition to solitary. What is an antonym of solitary? Solitary means alone. You might choose the word social. Friendly, gregarious, or sociable are other options, all meaning “not solitary.” Then you look for the word in the answer choices that is a synonym of the word you chose.

COMPARISON

There are two kinds of comparison relationships: comparison by similarity and comparison by restatement. Words that signal comparison include likewise, similarly, and and. Phrases that introduce comparisons are just as, as well as, for example, as shown, and as illustrated by. Words and phrases that precede restatement are namely, in other words, in fact, and that is. Relationships of logical comparison are straightforward. The idea expressed in the complete unit of the sentence is similar to or the same as

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

21

the idea that needs to be expressed in the incomplete unit. When you know what the complete unit says, you know what the incomplete unit needs to say—the same thing, or very nearly so. Here’s an example of a comparison sentence:

Until he went to military school, Foster never stood up straight; as illustrated by his ________ in this photograph.

This sentence has three units, two complete and one incomplete. The first two units tell you that before military school, Foster slouched. The blank in the third unit, therefore, needs to be filled by a word that will illustrate his slouching. The correct answer will be posture, or its synonym.

U

ON YOUR OWN PRACTICE REALLY LISTENING
Some of the best resources for nonnative English speakers trying to increase their vocabularies are CDs or audiotapes. English is a difficult language because it is so visually confusing. One of the ways you most often encounter vocabulary is by listening. Vocabulary CDs and tapes are available in libraries and bookstores. You may also find it helpful to use a nonfiction or fiction book and the same book in audio form (CD or audiotape). Play the audio version of the book as you read along in the book. This will help you match the word to its written form.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

A third kind of logical relationship often expressed in sentence completion questions is the cause and effect relationship. In other words, the sentence states that one thing is a result of something else. Again, you can rely on key words to point you in the right direction. Words such as thus, therefore, consequently, and because, and phrases such as due to, as a result, and leads to signal a cause and effect relationship. Try making some cause and effect sentences to see how they work. Here’s an example of a cause and effect sample question. Select the word that best fills in the blank.

Scientific knowledge is usually _______, often resulting from years of hard work by numerous investigators. a. cumulative b. illogical c. decreasing d. irrelevant

22

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

The complete unit of the sentence, often resulting from years of hard work by numerous investigators, tells you that the other unit results from numerous investigators working hard for years. The incomplete unit, the one with the blank, tells you that you are looking for a word to describe scientific knowledge as a result of those years of hard work. You know that whatever word the test makers are looking for, it must have something to do with lots of stuff, because years of hard work by numerous investigators would produce a lot of something. The best answer choice for this question is choice a, cumulative, which, of course, applies to lots of stuff.

J

HERE’S A HINT MIX AND MATCH SENTENCES
To help you remember some important verbs and adjectives, match verbs and adjectives together in pairs that will help you recall their meaning. Here are several examples: • You abhor what is odious. • You might disdain something that is banal. • You won’t be daunted if you are intrepid; you will be daunted if you are timid. • You might tout something about which you are fervent. • You might vacillate if you are timid or diffident. • You might grovel if you are servile. You can also mix and match words to create synonym and antonym pairs. Abate and ebb, for example, have nearly the same meaning, while disdain and revere are opposites.

Once you learn how to identify the complete and incomplete units of a sentence using punctuation to guide you, you’ve made a good start. Next you determine the logical relationship of the units, using key words and phrases; and then you understand what the sentence is saying, even if there’s some vocabulary you don’t understand. But if you keep working on building your vocabulary, chances are you will understand the crucial words.

ACTIVE READING

As you might expect, vocabulary in context questions ask you to determine the meanings of particular words. To prepare for these types of questions on the

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

23

TOEFL iBT, it is a good idea to become an active reader. This is a skill you can practice every day. As you read an English-language newspaper or magazine, have a dictionary handy. Look up as many unfamiliar words as you can so that your bank of vocabulary words becomes as large as possible. This may sound like a contradiction, but if you make a habit of taking the time to read carefully and actively, you will actually spend less time learning the meaning of new vocabulary words. By reading carefully, you will often be able to determine meaning from context. By reading actively, you will continually expand your bank of vocabulary words—and the bigger your word base, the more you will comprehend, and the less time you will spend looking up words.

TIPS AND STRATEGIES

Vocabulary-in-context questions are common on standardized tests, like the TOEFL iBT. Here are some specific tips and strategies to use while preparing for and taking the exam:

● ●

On any vocabulary-in-context question on an exam, there will be some kind of context clue to help you determine meaning. Remember the four types: restatement, positive/negative, contrast, and specific detail. Remember that you have a very powerful tool on a multiple-choice exam: the process of elimination. From the start, you can usually eliminate one or two answers that you know are incorrect. For example, you can eliminate negative choices if the context suggests the word is positive. To help you eliminate answers, read the sentence with each answer choice substituted for the vocabulary word. Often, putting the word in the context of the sentence can help you determine whether an answer is right or wrong. Consider the tone and connotation of the other words in the sentence. At a minimum, this can often help you determine whether the vocabulary word is positive or negative. Look for introductory words and phrases such as unfortunately, however, surprisingly. These words often tell you whether the word is positive or negative and/or set up contrast clues. Read carefully. Look for specific details that provide clues to meaning. If you have heard the vocabulary word before but aren’t sure what it means, try to remember the context in which you heard it used before. This may help you better use the context as it is presented on the exam.

24 PRACTICE QUESTIONS

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Choose the best vocabulary word to fill the blank. Circle your choices or write your answers on a separate piece of paper. Then compare your selections to the correct answers at the end of the chapter. 1. The _____________ president differs from the past president on healthcare reform issues. a. talkative b. accomplished c. artificial d. incumbent 2. The _____________ data supports the belief that there has been an increase in population in the county. a. nominal b. demographic c. practical d. nocturnal 3. The _____________ collected from real estate taxes helped to balance the town budget. a. domain b. remainder c. revenue d. assessment 4. She pretended to be _____________ about the new job opportunity, but secretly she was very excited. a. dedicated b. receptive c. candid d. blasé

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

25

5. We were tired when we reached the _____________, but the spectacular view of the valley below was worth the hike. a. circumference b. summit c. fulcrum d. nadir 6. The suit had a(n) _____________ odor, as if it had been stored in a trunk for a long time. a. aged b. scented c. musty d. decrepit 7. Because his workplace was so busy and noisy, he longed most of all for _____________. a. solitude b. association c. loneliness d. irrelevancy 8. The teacher put the crayons on the bottom shelf to make them _____________ to the young children. a. accessible b. receptive c. eloquent d. ambiguous 9. My computer was state-of-the-art when I bought it three years ago, but now it is _____________. a. current b. dedicated c. unnecessary d. outmoded

26

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

10. Visiting all the tea shops in the city, they were on a _____________ to find the perfect cup of tea. a. surge b. quest c. discovery d. cadence 11. Make sure the directions are very explicit so that no one makes a mistake. Explicit means a. intricate, complex. b. clearly and fully stated. c. chronologically ordered. d. ambiguous or implied. 12. The hotel is teeming with security personnel because the leaders of several countries are here for a summit meeting. Teem means a. to close down temporarily. b. to lose business due to circumstances beyond one’s control. c. to be full of, nearly overflowing. d. to be under close scrutiny. 13. Karen was relieved to learn that the chemicals in her well water were all benign. Benign means a. natural. b. dangerous. c. of local origin. d. harmless. 14. Although it was futile because he didn’t meet half of the requirements, Jensen applied for the job anyway because it was his dream position. Futile means a. useless. b. fruitful. c. radical. d. insane.

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

27

15. The editor, preferring a more terse writing style, cut 500 words from the 2,000-word article. Terse means a. elegant. b. factual. c. descriptive. d. concise. 16. Victor Frankenstein spent the last years of his life chasing his elusive monster, who was always one step of his creator. Elusive means a. difficult to compare. b. difficult to capture. c. difficult to forget. d. difficult to avoid. 17. Xiu’s timely joke served to diffuse the tension in the room, and the rest of the meeting was highly productive. Diffuse means a. to refuse. b. to intensify. c. to create. d. to soften. 18. I completely lost track of Tula’s point because she kept digressing to unrelated topics. Digress means a. to deviate, stray. b. to regress, revert. c. to change the tone. d. to express concisely. 19. The senator evaded the question by changing the subject and accusing his opponent of misconduct. Evade means a. to escape or elude. b. to answer indirectly. c. to refuse to answer directly. d. to deceive.

28

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

20. Samantha hasn’t said why she’s been so withdrawn lately, but I would surmise that it is because she is still upset about not being able to go to camp. Surmise means a. to confirm. b. to surprise. c. to believe. d. to guess. 21. Their conversation was considered playful _______ between two old friends. a. antics b. banter c. behavior d. activities 22. He tried to ______________ the sinking morale of his friend in the hospital. a. sustain b. foster c. bolster d. nourish

ANSWERS

How did you do on identifying context clues? Check your answers here, and then analyze the results to figure out your plan of attack for mastering this topic. 1. d. Incumbent means holding any post or position. 2. b. Demographic data is the branch of research that deals with human populations. 3. c. Revenue is the income of a government. 4. d. Blasé means bored or unimpressed by things after having seen or experienced them too often. 5. b. The summit means the highest point, where the hikers would have a good view. 6. c. A musty odor is one that is stale or moldy. 7. a. Solitude, unlike loneliness, can be a desirable thing, and it would be something a person who works in a busy office would crave. 8. a. Accessible means capable of being reached or being within easy reach.

VO CAB U LARY I N C O NTE XT

29

9. d. Outmoded means no longer in style or no longer usable. 10. b. A quest is a search or pursuit of something, in this case for the perfect cup of tea. 11. b. Explicit means clearly and fully stated; straightforward, exact. The context tells you that the directions need to be clear to prevent an error. If the directions are clearly and fully stated, it will help ensure that no one makes a mistake. 12. c. To teem means to be full of, to be present in large numbers. Numerous security personnel typically surround the leader of a country. If there is a meeting of several foreign leaders, there is likely to be a great number of security officers in the hotel. 13. d. Benign means not harmful or malignant; gentle, mild, having a beneficial effect. Choice d is the only answer that makes sense in the context of the sentence; Karen would logically be worried about chemicals in her water and relieved if she learned those chemicals were harmless. 14. a. Futile means useless, producing no result, hopeless, vain. Jensen’s application is useless because he does not meet the minimum requirements for the job. 15. d. Terse means concise, using no unnecessary words. The main clue is that the editor cut the article by 25%, dramatically reducing its wordiness. 16. b. Elusive means evasive, eluding the grasp; difficult to capture. The sentence tells you that Dr. Frankenstein was never able to catch the creature, who constantly escaped his grasp. 17. d. To diffuse means to spread throughout, disperse; to soften or make less brilliant. Xiu’s joke softened the tension so that the meeting could be more productive. 18. a. To digress means to turn aside, deviate; to stray from the main subject in writing or speaking. The speaker loses track of the point because Tula keeps shifting from the main topic to unrelated subjects. 19. a. To evade means to elude or avoid by cleverness or deceit; to avoid fulfilling, answering, or doing. The senator avoids answering the question by changing the subject. 20. d. To surmise means to form a notion from scanty evidence. The narrator is guessing that Samantha has been withdrawn because she is upset about not being able to go to camp. 21. b. Banter is defined as remarks or talk that is playful and teasing. Choice a is incorrect because antics are unpredictable behavior or actions. Choices c and d are incorrect because their definitions are too broad and do not focus on conversation.

30

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

22. c. If the friend has a “sinking morale,” this means that the friend’s feelings or attitude are overwhelmed or defeated. The speaker would, thus, want to raise or bolster this morale. Choice a, b, and d are all incorrect. The speaker would not want his friend’s morale to continue to sink.

3 Using Prefixes and Suffixes
W
hen you come across unfamiliar words without context, breaking those words into their parts can help you determine their meaning. This chapter reviews prefixes and suffixes and how you can use them to add new words to your vocabulary—and better understand words you already know. A good knowledge of prefixes and suffixes is essential to building an effective vocabulary. The more familiar you are with these fundamental word parts, the easier it will be to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. There are dozens of prefixes and suffixes in the English language. Learning prefixes and suffixes in another language may seem like a daunting task, but the job may be easier than you think. Though prefixes and suffixes often appear in books like this with sophisticated vocabulary words, you are already using the same prefixes and suffixes with simple words that you already know well.

PREFIXES

Prefixes are syllables attached to the beginning of words to change or add to the meaning of the root word in some way. For example, the word prefix itself uses the prefix pre-, meaning before. Thus the meaning of the root word, fix, changes:
31

32

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

fix: to place securely or firmly prefix: something placed at the beginning of a word Several of the vocabulary words you studied in Chapter 2 used prefixes, including inept, which uses the prefix in-, meaning not—not suitable or competent.

U

ON YOUR OWN IMMERSE YOURSELF IN WORDS
Get in the habit of noticing words all the time. Carry a small notebook with you and write down interesting words as you encounter them in your daily life. Don’t know how to spell a word you hear? It doesn’t matter—write it down just as it sounds to you and look it up later.

Knowledge of prefixes can help you in many ways as you build your vocabulary and as you prepare for the TOEFL iBT. Although you can’t determine meaning based on a prefix alone—you also need to know the root of the word—you can often use a prefix to determine whether a word is positive or negative, to eliminate incorrect answers, and to provide partial context for the meaning of the word. For example, take the word polyglot. If you know that the prefix poly- means many, you can eliminate all but the correct answer in the following question:

A polyglot is someone who a. is an expert in global issues. b. administers lie detector tests. c. is easily frightened. d. speaks many languages.

Choice d is the only answer that includes the idea of many or multiple. Thus, it is the only possible correct answer.

O DEFINITIONS
root: the main part of a word; the base upon which prefixes and suffixes are added prefix: syllable(s) attached to the beginning of a word to change or add to its meaning suffix: syllable(s) attached to the end of a word to change or add to its meaning

You will not always be so lucky as to eliminate all of the incorrect answers, but even eliminating two or three will be a great help. For example, knowing that the

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

33

prefix mal- means bad, evil, or wrong can help you significantly narrow down your choices in the following question:

To malign means a. to arrange. b. to speak badly about. c. to charm, enchant. d. to cast an evil spell.

With your knowledge of prefixes, you can eliminate choices a and c, leaving you with a 50–50 chance of choosing the correct answer. If you recall any context in which you have heard the word malign before, you may be able to choose the correct answer, b. To malign is to say evil, harmful, and often untrue things about someone; to speak ill of.

J

HERE’S A HINT NUMERICAL PREFIXES
Probably among the most easily recognized of the prefixes are the numerical prefixes; that is, those that can tell something about the number represented by the word. Take a look at some words that contain numerical prefixes: bipartisan (two parties), triage (responding to the needs in order of priority, traditionally in three orders of priority), and trilogy (a series of three plays). Among the most common number related prefixes are: un-, mono-: one (unique, unity, monotonous, monopoly) bi-: two (bigamy, bilateral, bicameral, bicycle) tri-: three (trivial, trident, trinity, triple) quad-, quar-: four (quadrant, quarter, quart, quartet) deci-: ten (decade, decathlon, decimal, decibel) cent-: hundred (century, centipede, centennial) mil-: thousand (millipede, millennium, millimeter)

Following is a list of the prefixes. For each prefix, we have provided two examples of words that use that prefix. With a few exceptions, these examples are not test-prep words; rather, they are basic words that are probably already a part of your vocabulary. This will help you remember the meaning of each prefix—and show you just how well you already know them.

34

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

◗ Common Prefixes
a-, an-: not, without amoral (not moral), atypical (not typical) ab-, abs-: from, away, off abduct (to take by force), abnormal (away from or apart from the standard) ante-: prior to, in front of, before anterior (placed before), antedate (to proceed in time, come before) anti-, ant-: opposite, opposing, against antibiotic (substance that kills microorganisms), antidote (remedy for counteracting the effects of a poison) circ-, circum-: around, about, on all sides circumference (the outer boundary of a circle), circumstance (the conditions or state of affairs surrounding or affecting an event, a particular incident, or an occurrence) co-, com-, con-: with, together, jointly cooperate (to work together, comply), connect (to bind or fasten together) dis-: away from, apart, reversal, not dismiss (to send away from, eject), disobedient (not obedient) ex-: out, out of, away from exit (go out), expel (to drive out or away) in-: not inaccurate (not accurate), informal (not formal) inter-: between, among, within intercept (to stop someone or something between its starting point and destination), intervene (to come, occur, appear, or lie between two points of time or things)

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

35

mal-: bad, abnormal, evil, wrong malfunction (to fail to function properly), malpractice (wrongdoing, especially improper or negligent treatment of a patient by a physician) mis-: bad, wrong, ill; opposite or lack of misbehave (to behave badly), misspell (to spell incorrectly) multi-: many, multiple multimedia (the combined use of several media), multiple (having several or many parts or elements) neo-: new, recent, a new form of neonatal (of or relating to a newborn child), neologism (a new word or phrase) non-: not nonfiction (the genre of literature that includes all types of books other than fiction), nonsmoker (someone who does not smoke) poly-: many, much polygamy (the system of having more than one wife at a time), polysyllabic (having three or more syllables) pre-: before precaution (something done in advance to avoid risk), predict (to forecast, make known in advance) re-: back, again rebuild (to build again after destruction), replace (to put back in its former position; to take the place of) sub-: under, beneath, below subdue (to overcome, bring under control), submarine (a ship that can operate under water) super-: above, over, exceeding superb (grand, magnificent, of unusually high quality, excellent), superman (a man with powers exceeding ordinary human capacity)

36

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

A more comprehensive list of the most common English prefixes is located in Appendix B. After you have completed this chapter, make sure you review the list carefully and study any prefixes that are unfamiliar to you.

J

HERE’S A HINT SOUNDS LIKE...
As you use your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to determine meaning, see if you can recall hearing or using any words with similar roots or sounds. For example, you may realize that agrarian sounds like it shares a root word with agriculture—and it does. Even if you don’t know exactly what agriculture means, you might know that it has something to do with land and its cultivation. You may also realize that the suffix -ian calls for an adjective, not a verb.

The point of learning about prefixes is to be able to notice how they can change word meanings in recognizable ways. Some prefixes immediately change the entire meaning of a word. For example, the prefixes un-, in-, dis-, and il- immediately signal that the word is the opposite of its root, as in unhappy, inconsiderate, displeasing, and illegible. Other prefixes only remotely affect word meaning. For example, there is only a distant hint of the prefix deci-, which means “ten,” in the word decimate, which means “to completely destroy.” Historically, the word decimate meant to destroy a tenth of someone’s property. Now we hardly recognize that meaning in the present definition. The important point to remember is that in learning prefixes, you are not looking to memorize a long list of disconnected word parts, but to recognize familiar examples that you can apply to new words when you encounter them.

U

ON YOUR OWN GO TO PLACES WHERE ENGLISH IS SPOKEN
The more you listen to English being spoken, the more you will understand. Visit a local park or museum where you will hear English around you. Go to the movie theater to see a film in English, or rent a film in your native language and watch it with English subtitles. Try watching the evening news. Listening well will improve your English vocabulary.

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

37

SUFFIXES

Suffixes are syllables added to the end of words to change or add to their meaning. They often change a word’s part of speech, thereby also changing how the word functions in a sentence. Suffixes tell you whether a word is a person, place, or thing (a noun); an action or state of being (a verb); or a modifier, which is a word that describes (an adjective or adverb).

J

HERE’S A HINT PARTS OF SPEECH
The following table offers a quick reference guide for the main parts of speech. Part of Speech noun Function names a person, place, thing, or concept verb shows an action, occurrence, or state of being adjective describes nouns and pronouns; can also identify or quantify; tells what kind, which one, how many, how much adverb describes verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or entire clauses; tells where, when, how and to what extent white, oblong, ancient, exhilarating that (e.g., that dog) several (e.g., several dogs) slowly, clumsily, never, very, here, soon Examples cloud, Helen, car, Elm Court, brush, valor go, jump, feel, imagine, interrupt

For example, look how the suffixes in the following table change the word antagonist from a noun to an adjective to a verb (and don’t forget to notice the prefix, ant-).
Part of Word antagonist antagonistic antagonize Speech noun adjective verb Definition one who opposes or contends with another; an adversary, opponent opposing, combating, adversarial to oppose actively, contend; to provoke the hostility of

38

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Likewise, the word venerate changes from a verb to an adjective to a noun, depending upon its suffix.
Part of Word venerate venerable venerator Speech verb adjective noun Definition to regard with deep respect or reverence; to honor with a sense of awe, revere worthy of deep respect or reverence; deserving of honor and respect; one who shows deep respect or reverence

Again, just knowing suffixes won’t enable you to determine the full meaning of an unfamiliar word, but it can help you determine the function of the word, zero in on its meaning, and eliminate incorrect answers on an exam. For example, if you know that the suffix -ity means state of being, you know that a word with this ending is probably a noun describing a state of being, such as equality (state of being equal). Similarly, if you know that -ish is a common suffix for adjectives, you can eliminate answer choices that do not match that part of speech. Select the best answer to the question.

Squeamish means a. to scream or squeal. b. recurring illness. c. extremely shy. d. easily disgusted.

Choices a and b are definitions for other parts of speech—a verb and a noun, respectively. Only choices c and d define adjectives, and only choice d is correct. Squeamish means easily sickened, disgusted, nauseated, or shocked.

J

HERE’S A HINT MOST OF THE TIME, BUT NOT ALWAYS
While prefixes and suffixes are fundamental components of your vocabulary, it’s important to remember that they are tools to use in conjunction with other vocabulary skills. For example, most words that end in -ish are adjectives describing a characteristic. However, vanquish and varnish both end in -ish, but they are both verbs, not adjectives. Thus, as you come across vocabulary words with common prefixes and suffixes, use your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes, but look for other clues to meaning as well, including context (see Chapter 2) and word roots (see Chapter 4 and Appendix B) to be sure you are on the right track.

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

39

The following is a list of the suffixes you need to know for the practice questions at the end of the chapter. For each suffix, we have again provided two examples of words that use that suffix, and again, these examples are basic words that are part of your everyday vocabulary.

◗ Noun Suffixes
-ance, -ence: action, process, or state of adolescence (the state of growing up from childhood to adulthood; the transitional period between youth and maturity), dependence (the state of being dependent) -ian: one who is or does comedian (one who creates comedy), politician (one who seeks or holds a political office) -ion: act or process; state or condition detection (the act of detecting), election (the act or power of electing) -ism: act, practice, or process; state or doctrine of feminism (belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes), materialism (the belief that the acquisition of material possessions is the highest good) -ist: one who performs, makes, produces, believes, etc. dentist (one who is trained and licensed to practice dentistry), pianist (one who plays the piano) -ity: quality, state, or degree equality (the state or quality of being equal), fidelity (the quality of being faithful) -sis: process or action diagnosis (the process of identifying the nature or cause of a disease or injury), paralysis (loss of sensation or ability to move or function) -ure: act, process, function enclosure (an area or thing that is enclosed), failure (something that has failed to perform as expected or requested).

40

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

J

HERE’S A HINT MEMORIZING PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES
You may try to save time by memorizing a difficult vocabulary word for each prefix or suffix. However, you can quickly and accurately learn the most common prefixes and suffixes by remembering examples of words you already know, such as cooperate and dismiss. Because the words are already so familiar to you, you don’t have to worry about forgetting their meaning and you will be able to recall them easily even while under the pressure of an exam.

◗ Adjective Suffixes
-able, -ible: capable or worthy of; tending or liable to dependable (worthy of being depended on, trustworthy), incredible (not credible; unable to be believed, improbable) -al, -ial, -ical: having the quality of, relating to, or characterized by practical (of or relating to practice or action; useful), ethical (of or relating to ethics or morals) -an, -ian: related to, characteristic of humanitarian (relating to, or characteristic of a humanitarian), vegetarian (relating to vegetarianism) -ic: pertaining or relating to, having the quality of dramatic (of or relating to drama, theatrical), realistic (of or relating to the representation of things as they really are) -ile: having the qualities of fragile (easily broken, damaged, or destroyed; frail), servile (pertaining to or befitting a slave; abjectly submissive, slavish) -ish: having the character of childish (characteristic of, pertaining to, or resembling a child), foolish (devoid of good sense or judgment; exhibiting folly, in the manner of a fool)

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

41

-ive: performing or tending towards (an action); having the nature of cooperative (marked by a willingness to cooperate; done with or working with others for a common purpose), defensive (serving to defend or protect) -ous, -ose: full of, having the quality of, relating to glorious (having or deserving glory, famous), nauseous (causing nausea, sickening)

◗ Verb Suffixes
-ate: to make, cause to be or become deteriorate (to make worse, impair; to make inferior in quality or character), irritate (to cause annoyance or disturbance in; to make impatient, angry, annoyed) -ify, -fy: to make, form into beautify (to make beautiful), specify (to state explicitly or in detail) -ize: to cause to be or become, to bring about colonize (to establish a colony), democratize (to make or become democratic)

TIPS AND STRATEGIES

A good knowledge of prefixes and suffixes is an invaluable asset when you are building your vocabulary and studying for the TOEFL iBT. Here are some specific tips and strategies to use as you develop this skill and prepare for your test.

Take the time to memorize the most common prefixes and suffixes. By memorizing these essential word parts, you will be able to learn new words more quickly and better determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. Use words that you are very familiar with as examples when you study prefixes and suffixes. The more familiar the word is to you (e.g., cooperate), the easier it will be for you to remember the meaning of the prefix or suffix. Remember that you use prefixes and suffixes every day, all the time. Do not feel intimidated by the long lists in this chapter or in Appendix B. You already know much of this material. Remember that prefixes and suffixes alone do not create meaning; rather, they change or add to the meaning of the root word. Use as many

42

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

vocabulary skills as you can to determine meaning, including prefixes and suffixes, word roots (covered in the next chapter), and context. Allow for exceptions. Although most words ending in -ist are nouns defining a kind of person (one who does), not every -ist word is only a noun. Elitist is an example of an adjective with this ending. Check prefixes, word roots, and context if possible to confirm meaning. Use your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to eliminate incorrect answers. The more you narrow down your choices, the better your chances of choosing the correct answer. Once you have narrowed down your answer choices, determine the part of speech of each remaining choice. Does it match the part of speech of the definition according to the suffix? If you know the prefix or suffix but still aren’t sure of a word’s meaning, try to recall another word with a similar root. Plug in that meaning with the prefix or suffix and see if it makes sense.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

Directions: Choose the best answer to each question using your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes. Circle your choices or write your answers on a separate piece of paper. Then compare your selections to the correct answers at the end of the chapter. 1. Antecedent means a. fighting against. b. looking after. c. coming before. d. under the authority of. 2. Multifaceted means a. two-faced. b. many sided. c. uniform. d. cut into parts. 3. Circumspect means a. relating to the circus. b. to examine thoroughly. c. put forth in writing. d. looking around carefully.

U S I N G P R E F I X E S AN D S U F F I X E S

43

4. Consensus means a. general agreement by a group. b. an individual opinion. c. a counting of individuals. d. to issue a warning. 5. Supercilious means a. less than the norm, disappointing. b. exactly as expected. c. speaking in a measured, exact tone. d. haughty, with an air of superiority. 6. To presage means a. to warn in advance. b. to send a message. c. to pressure. d. to age gracefully. 7. Dubious means a. one who doubts, a nonbeliever. b. to doubt or question. c. doubtful, questionable. d. to be uncertain. 8. Agrarian means a. incapable of making a decision. b. to cultivate. c. to be out of date. d. relating to land or land ownership. 9. Parity means a. to make equal in status, amount, or degree. b. the state of being equal in status, amount, or degree. c. one who is equal in status, amount, or degree. d. the act of making someone or something equal in status, amount, or degree.

44

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

10. Galvanize means a. to be active or aware. b. the state of becoming active or aware. c. one who becomes active or aware. d. to cause to become active or aware. 11. Nonchalant means a. challenging. b. done with the intent of harming another. c. not showing anxiety or excitement; indifferent. d. reversing a previous opinion or decision.

ANSWERS

How did you do on remembering prefixes and suffixes? Check your answers here, and then analyze the results to figure out your plan of attack for mastering these topics. 1. c. The prefix ante- means before. Antecedent means that which precedes; the thing, circumstance, or event that came before. 2. b. The prefix multi- means many. Multifaceted means having many facets or aspects; complex. 3. d. The prefix circum- means around, on all sides. Circumspect means cautious, wary, watchful. 4. a. The prefix con- means with, together. Consensus means general agreement or accord; an opinion or position reached by a group. 5. d. The prefix super- means above, over, or exceeding. Supercilious means with an air of superiority (as if one is above or better than another); haughty, scornful, disdainful. 6. a. The prefix pre- means before. To presage means to indicate or warn of in advance; to predict, foretell. 7. c. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of, relating to. Dubious means doubtful, questionable; fraught with uncertainty, wavering. 8. d. The adjective suffix -ian means related to. Agrarian means relating to or concerning land and its ownership or cultivation. 9. b. The noun suffix -ity means state of being. Parity means having equality in status, amount, value or degree; equivalence. 10. d. The verb suffix -ize means to cause, to bring about. To galvanize means to stimulate or rouse into awareness or action. 11. c. The prefix non- means not. Nonchalant means indifferent or cool, not showing anxiety or excitement.

Word Roots

4

P

refixes and suffixes attach to word roots—the base parts of words that typically convey the bulk of their meaning. The more word roots you know, the more you will be able to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and the better you will understand words you already know. This chapter examines some common Latin and Greek word roots. Just as many Americans have their roots in other countries, so, too, do many of the words in the English language. In fact, most English words have been borrowed from other languages throughout the centuries, and English is composed largely of words built upon root words from other cultures. The two most important categories of roots to learn are Latin and Greek roots because so many English words are built upon Latin and Greek word bases. For example, manual and manufacture share the Latin root man, meaning hand; anonymous and synonym share the Greek root nom/nym, meaning name. Needless to say, the more roots you know, the stronger your vocabulary will be. As you break down unfamiliar words into their parts, you will be more likely to recognize the roots and therefore more accurately determine meaning. You will also have a better understanding of the words you already know. Just as you can better understand a person by learning about that person’s past, you can also better understand words and more effectively build your vocabulary by learning about the history of words. The study of word origins and development

45

46

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

is called etymology. When you break down a word and identify a root word from another language, you are tracing the etymology or history of that word.

O DEFINITION
etymology: the history of a word, the study of its origin and development

Many words have a rich history, and a detailed etymological study will show you not only where a word comes from but also how its meaning has changed over time. For now, however, the focus of this chapter remains on learning some of the most common roots so that you can better determine meaning and succeed on the TOEFL iBT.

J

HERE’S A HINT MNEMONICS
Don’t let the spelling of this word scare you! Mnemonics is a simple concept. Meaning “memory aid,” mnemonics can be handy for helping you remember a word’s root word, meaning, or spelling. The idea behind mnemonics is that people remember best when more than one function of the brain is used to process information. Simple mnemonics can be created from rhymes, tunes, or acronyms (words that are made up of the first letters of a group of words or phrases. For example, the acronym Roy G. Biv is a mnemonic used when learning the colors of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Mental pictures and stories are also useful mnemonics. Use mnemonic devices to remember the meaning of word roots. For example, you can use the following sentences to remember these roots: Root nomen herb graph pan phil Meaning name plants write all love Sentence My name is Nom. My mother plants herbs in her garden. He will write the information on a graph. All the eggs are in the pan. Phil loves to help others.

Here’s a trick to remember the difference between hetero (different) and homo (same): homo has the same number of letters as same.

WO R D R O OTS

47

Here are some tips on creating mnemonics that will be easy to remember and, therefore, useful: • Use rhymes, rhythmic patterns, or tunes. • Try humorous or odd sayings that will stick in your mind. • Exaggerate features or images to make them vivid. • Make your mnemonics personally meaningful.

On occasion, Latin and Greek roots are themselves words. The Latin roots err and pug, for example, mean to make a mistake and a boxer, respectively. But most of the time, roots are the base to which prefixes and suffixes (and sometimes other roots) are attached to create a rich variety of meaning. Look at the etymology of the word homogeneous: homo: Greek root meaning same gen: Latin root meaning birth, kind ous: suffix meaning having the quality of, related to Thus, homogeneous (also spelled homogenous) means of the same or similar nature or kind; having a uniform structure or composition throughout. Now, take the Latin root ced/ceed/cess, meaning to go, yield, stop. Notice how many different words can be created by adding different prefixes and suffixes to this root and how the different prefixes and suffixes change meaning. antecedent: that which precedes or comes before cessation: a stopping, a bringing to an end concede: to acknowledge or admit as true, proper, etc. (often with reluctance); to yield, surrender concession: the act of conceding or yielding; a thing yielded, an acknowledgement or admission exceed: to extend beyond or outside of; surpass precede: to come or go before in time, place, rank, or importance predecessor: one who precedes or comes before another in time (as in holding an office or position) proceed: to go forward or onward, especially after an interruption; move on, advance procedure: the act or manner of proceeding; a course of action or conduct; process

48

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Now, try determining what the word recede means: a. to go forward blindly b. to stop or abandon before completion c. to move or go back, retreat d. to go together with others Remember your prefixes from Chapter 3. Re- means back, again; ced means to go, yield, stop. Recede means c, to move back, withdraw, retreat. Now add the noun suffix -sion, meaning the act or state of, and you get:

recession: the act of withdrawing or going back

With your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes, you can also answer the following question.

Incessant means a. yielding readily under pressure. b. not stopping, continuing without interruption. c. to move or go below the surface, subliminal. d. going between, through, or among; not direct.

The correct answer is b. The prefix in- means not; cess means to go, stop, or yield; and the suffix -ant means being in a state or condition of; performing or causing an action. Thus, incessant means continuing without interruption; ceaseless, continuous. Here are several words formed from another Latin root, plac, meaning to please. Again, notice the rich variety of meaning created by adding different prefixes and suffixes to the root word. placate: to appease, pacify; to allay the anger of, especially by making concessions implacable: incapable of being placated or appeased; inexorable placid: calm and peaceful; free from disturbance or tumult complacent: contented to a fault; self-satisfied, unconcerned placebo: an inactive, harmless substance of no medicinal value given to patients to reassure them or to members of a control group in experiments testing the efficacy of a drug

WO R D R O OTS

49

J

HERE’S A HINT MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LEARNING STYLE
For many people, especially visual learners, the best way to memorize words is to create a picture in the mind associated with that word. For example, to remember the root pug, you might picture a pug dog in a boxing ring, or a boxer with a pug nose. Similarly, you might picture a stop sign with the root ced written on it instead of stop, or a yield sign with cess instead of yield. You could also picture a traffic light for the root ced/ceed/cess, because the colors of the traffic light correspond with the three meanings of this root: go, stop, yield. If you are a visual learner, again, use pictures to help you remember words. To remember that eu means good or well, you can picture the letters EU on a well. If you are an auditory learner, you can come up with rhymes or short sentences to help you remember root meanings. For example, you could try one of these sentences for the root am, meaning love: I am love. I love Amy. I love ham.

Many different words can be built from a single root. For example, look at the number of words and the rich variety of meaning that comes from the Greek root chron, meaning time. chronic: continuing for a long time; on-going, habitual; long-lasting or recurrent chronology: the arrangement of events in time; the sequence in which events occurred chronicle: a detailed record or narrative description of past events; to record in chronological order, make a historical record chronological: relating to chronology; arranged in order of time of occurrence chronometer: an exceptionally accurate clock; a precise instrument for measuring time synchronize: to cause to occur at the same time or agree in time; to occur at the same time, be simultaneous By changing the suffix of synchronize, we can create even more words. For example, we can turn it into the noun synchronicity, which is the state or fact of being synchronous, an adjective that means occurring or existing at the same time.

50

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

What follows is a list of some of the most common Latin and Greek word roots. Review the list carefully, taking note of the examples, which once again are mostly everyday words. A more comprehensive list of the most common Latin and Greek word roots is located in Appendix B. After you have completed this lesson, make sure you review the list carefully and study any roots that are unfamiliar to you.

COMMON LATIN WORD ROOTS

ac, acr: sharp, bitter acid (something that is sharp, sour, or ill natured), acute (extremely sharp or severe; keenly perceptive) am: love amorous (inclined to love; romantic, affectionate), enamored (inflamed or inspired by love; captivated) bel: war antebellum (before the war, especially the American Civil War), rebel (to resist or defy authority) cast, chast: cut caste (a social class separated from others by hereditary rank, profession, etc.), chastise (to punish severely, as with a beating; to rebuke) ced, ceed, cess: to go, yield, stop antecedent (that which precedes), exceed (to extend beyond or outside of; surpass) culp: blame culprit (person accused or guilty of a crime), mea culpa (Latin, “my fault”) dic, dict, dit: to say, tell, use words dictate (to say or read aloud; to issue orders or commands), predict (to foretell, make known in advance) equ: equal, even equate (to make or consider two things as equal), equidistant (equally distant)

WO R D R O OTS

51

err: to wander err (to make a mistake), error (a mistake; an incorrect or wrong action) ferv: to boil, bubble, burn fervid (very hot, burning; ardent, vehement), effervescent (bubbling up, as a carbonated liquid; high spirited, animated) loc, log, loqu: word, speech dialogue (a conversation between two or more people), neologism (a new word or phrase) luc, lum, lus: light illuminate (to brighten with light; enlighten), translucent (almost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely) lug, lut, luv: to wash dilute (to make thinner or weaker by adding a liquid such as water; to lessen the force or purity of), pollute (to make impure or unclean; to make unfit or harmful to living things) mag, maj, max: big magnify (to increase in size, volume or significance; to amplify), maximum (the greatest possible quantity or degree) man: hand manual (operated by hand), manufacture (to make by hand or machinery) min: to project, hang over prominent (standing out, conspicuous; projecting or jutting beyond the line or surface), eminent (towering above or more prominent that others; lofty, distinguished) nas, nat, nai: to be born native (a person born in a particular country), innate (possessed at birth; inborn, inherent) nec, nic, noc, nox: harm, death innocent (uncorrupted by evil; free from guilt; not dangerous or harmful), obnoxious (offensive, hateful)

52

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

omni: all omnipresent (everywhere at once), omnipotent (all powerful) plac: to please placid (calm and peaceful), placate (to appease or pacify) pon, pos, pound: to put, place deposit (to put or set down; place), transpose (to reverse or transfer the order or place of; interchange) pug: to fight pug (a boxer), repugnant (highly offensive or distasteful; hostile, disposed to fight) qui: quiet quiet (making little or no noise; calm, still), tranquil (free from disturbance, anxiety, or tension) rog: to ask interrogate (to examine by asking a series of questions), prerogative (an exclusive privilege or right belonging to a person or group) sci: to know conscious (knowing and perceiving, aware), science (knowledge, especially that gained through systematic study) tac, tic: to be silent tacit (not spoken; implied), taciturn (habitually untalkative, reserved) ver: truth verdict (the findings of a jury in a trial; decision or judgment), verify (to confirm the truth of) vi: life vivid (evoking lifelike images in the mind; true to life; bright, brilliant, distinct), vigorous (energetic, forceful, active, strong) voc, vok: to call vocal (of or pertaining to the voice; tending to express oneself often and freely, outspoken), revoke (to cancel, call back, reverse, withdraw)

WO R D R O OTS

53

J

HERE’S A HINT SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS
Some TOEFL test questions ask you to find the synonym or antonym of a word. If you are lucky, the word will be surrounded by a sentence that helps you guess what the word means (this is vocabulary in context), but the test question could list just a synonym or antonym and four answer choices. In this case, you have to figure out what the word means without any help from context clues. Questions that ask for synonyms and antonyms can be difficult because they require you to have a relatively large vocabulary. Not only do you need to know the word in question, but you may be faced with four choices that are unfamiliar to you, too. Usually the best strategy is to look at the structure of the word. See if a part of the word—the root—looks familiar. Often you will be able to determine the meaning of a word within the root. For instance, the root of credible is cred, which means to trust or believe. Knowing this, you will be able to understand the meaning of incredible, sacred, and credit. Looking for related words that have the same root as the word in question can help you choose the correct answer—even if it is by process of elimination. Another way to dissect meaning is to look for prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes come before the word root, and suffixes are found at the end of a word. Either of these elements can carry meaning or change the use of a word in a sentence. For instance, the prefix can change the meaning of a root word to its opposite: necessary, unnecessary. A suffix like -less can change the meaning of a noun: pain to painless. To identify most word parts—word root, prefix, or suffix—the best strategy is to think of words you already know that carry the same root, suffix, or prefix. Let what you know about those words help you find the meaning of words that are less familiar. Antonym questions can be problematic because you can easily forget that you are looking for opposites and mistakenly choose the synonym. Very often, synonyms will be included as answer choices for antonym questions. The secret is to keep your mind on the fact that you are looking for the opposite of the word given in the question. If you are completing practice exercises like those in this book, circle the word antonym or opposite in the directions to help you remember. Otherwise, the same tactics that work for synonym questions work for antonyms as well. Try to determine the meaning of part of the word, or try to remember a context where you have seen the word before.

54 COMMON GREEK WORD ROOTS

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

anthro, andro: man, human android (a very humanlike machine or robot, especially one made of biological materials), anthropology (the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of human beings) arch, archi, archy: chief, principal, ruler architect (one who plans or devises; one who creates plans for buildings), monarchy (a state ruled by a monarch—a sole and absolute ruler, such as a king) auto: self automatic (operating without external influence or control; having inherent power of action or motion), autopsy (examination of a dead body to determine cause of death; seeing with one’s own eyes) card, cord, cour: heart cardiac (of or relating to the heart), encourage (to inspire with hope, courage, or confidence; to give support, hearten) chron: time chronic (continuing for a long time; ongoing, habitual; long-lasting or recurrent), chronology (the arrangement of events in time; the sequence in which events occurred) cli, clin: to lean toward, bend incline (to lean, slant, slope, or cause to do so; to have a tendency or disposition toward something), recline (to lie back or down) cryp: hidden crypt (an underground vault or chamber, especially one used as a burial place), cryptography (secret writing; the process or skill of communicating in or deciphering coded messages) dem: people democracy (government by the people through elected representatives), epidemic (a widespread outbreak of a disease affecting many people at the same time)

WO R D R O OTS

55

di, dia: apart, through diameter (a straight line passing through the center of a circle; thickness, width), digress (to turn aside, deviate, or swerve; to stray from the main subject in writing or speaking) dog, dox: opinion dogged (stubbornly unyielding, obstinate), dogma (a system of principles or beliefs, a prescribed doctrine) dys: faulty, abnormal dysfunctional (impaired or abnormal in function), dyslexia (an impaired ability to read) eu: good, well eulogy (a verbal or written tribute, especially one praising someone who has died), euthanasia (the act of painlessly ending the life of someone suffering from a terminal illness) (h)etero: different, other heterosexual (a person sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex), heterodox (disagreeing with or departing from accepted beliefs) (h)omo: same homogeneous (of the same or similar nature or kind; having a uniform structure or composition throughout), homophone (a word that sounds the same as another but has a different meaning) hyper: over, excessive hyperactive (highly or excessively active), hyperventilate (to breathe excessively and abnormally fast) morph: shape metamorphosis (a transformation, a marked change of form, character, or function), polymorphous (having or assuming a variety of forms) nom, nym: name nominate (to name as a candidate), synonym (a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another)

56

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

pan: all, everyone panorama (a complete view in every direction), pantheon (a temple dedicated to all the gods; all the gods of a people or region) pas, pat, path: feeling, suffering, disease compassion (deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering), sympathy (sharing another person’s feelings; feeling pity or tenderness toward another’s pain or suffering; harmony, agreement between two people) ped: education, child encyclopedia (a comprehensive reference work on a wide range of subjects), pediatrician (a physician specializing in the care of infants and children) peri: around perimeter (the outer limits or boundary of an area), periscope (an optical instrument that provides a view of an otherwise obstructed field) phil: love bibliophile (a lover of books), philosophy (love and pursuit of wisdom; a systematic investigation of questions about knowledge, existence, and ethics) phone: sound phonics (a method of teaching reading by training beginners to associate letters with their sound values), symphony (a long and complex sonata for an orchestra; a large orchestra) theo: god, religion atheist (one who denies the existence of a god or supreme being), theology (the study of god(s) and religion) When working on your vocabulary, remember to focus first on roots, prefixes, and suffixes. You will be surprised to see how quickly learning these will increase the size of your vocabulary.

J

HERE’S A HINT TRY DIFFERENT APPROACHES
Not everyone “sees” words in the same way. You might, for example, respond to a visual clue in a word, or you might instead hear a familiar sound in that word. Another person reading that same word might recognize a structural clue in the

WO R D R O OTS

57

word; for instance, she might grasp its meaning by associating the word’s prefix with that same prefix on another word she knows. The bottom line is that because you can’t be sure which strategy will work for you or when, try them all!

THE POWER OF ASSOCIATION

Need more help memorizing word roots? Use the power of association. A rebel, for example, fights in a war; the meaning of the root bel is war. The acute pain you felt in your ankle when you sprained it was very sharp; the root ac means sharp, bitter. Similarly, as you are learning roots and trying to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, especially on an exam like the TOEFL iBT, think of other words that sound like they might share a root word. For example, if you don’t know the meaning of amiable but you do know what enamored means, you can at least determine that amiable is probably a positive thing and that it probably has something to do with love or friendship. Now you have the tools to really break down words and work out their meanings. By memorizing common prefixes, suffixes, and word roots, you will be able to accurately guess the meaning of many unfamiliar words, and this will both dramatically expand your vocabulary and significantly improve your score on the TOEFL iBT.

J

HERE’S A HINT USE WORD PARTS
Remember to use word parts to help you determine and remember meaning. For example, fervent has the root ferv, which means to boil, bubble, burn. The prefix im- in impervious means not, and this tells you that impervious means not pervious.

TIPS AND STRATEGIES

Many words in the English language come from Latin or Greek word roots. Here again are some specific strategies for using your knowledge of word roots to build your vocabulary and improve your vocabulary skills. When you are faced with an unfamiliar word in your reading or on an exam, your best strategy is to break it down into its parts and look for a familiar word root. Here are some specific strategies for sharpening this skill and using it in a test situation.

58

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Take the time to memorize as many Latin and Greek roots as you can. By memorizing these word bases, you will be able to learn new words more quickly and better determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. Use words that you are very familiar with as examples when you study word roots. The more familiar the word is to you (e.g., predict, equate), the easier it will be for you to remember the meaning of the root word. Or use words that create a vivid picture in your imagination. Remember that you use common word roots every day, often without realizing it. Do not feel intimidated by the long lists in this chapter or in Appendix B. You already know much of this material. Remember that word roots work with prefixes and suffixes—and sometimes other root words—to create meaning. Look at all parts of the word and the context, if possible, to determine meaning. Remember the power of elimination on an exam. Use your knowledge of word roots to eliminate incorrect answers. The more you narrow down your choices, the better your chances of choosing the correct answer. Use the power of association. If you don’t know or can’t remember the root word, try to recall the meaning of another word with a similar root.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

For each question, use the word root to determine the meaning of the italicized word. Circle your choices or write your answers on a separate piece of paper. Then compare your selections to the correct answers at the end or the chapter. 1. An amiable person is a. talkative, loud. b. truthful, honest. c. highly educated. d. friendly, good natured. 2. A lucid argument a. is very clear and intelligible. b. is loosely held together, tenuous. c. frequently digresses. d. errs repeatedly in its logic.

WO R D R O OTS

59

3. A complacent person a. frequently makes mistakes, but does not accept responsibility. b. likes to pick fights. c. is contented to a fault, self-satisfied. d. is known to tell lies, embellish the truth. 4. To exacerbate a problem means a. to solve it. b. to analyze it. c. to lessen it. d. to worsen it. 5. To measure the veracity of something is to measure its a. value or worth. b. truthfulness. c. weight. d. circumference. 6. Something that is eloquent is a. dull, trite, hackneyed. b. expressed in a powerful and effective manner. c. very old, antiquated. d. not fit for consumption, inedible. 7. To indict someone is to a. pick a fight with that person. b. stop or block that person from doing something. c. harm that person. d. charge that person with a crime. 8. A quiescent place is a. very isolated. b. tumultuous, chaotic. c. harmful, dangerous. d. still, at rest.

60

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

9. A noxious odor is a. harmful. b. unscented. c. tantalizing. d. refreshing. 10. A person with equanimity a. has a violent temper. b. is very stubborn. c. enjoys the company of others. d. is even-tempered and composed.

ANSWERS

How did you do on identifying word roots? Check your answers here, and then analyze the results to figure out your plan of attack for mastering this topic. 1. d. The root am means love. Amiable means friendly and agreeable; good natured, likeable, pleasing. 2. a. The root luc/lum/lus means light. Lucid means very clear, easy to understand, intelligible. 3. c. The root plac means to please. Complacent means contented to a fault; self-satisfied (pleased with oneself). 4. d. The root ac means sharp, bitter. To exacerbate means to make worse; to increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of. 5. b. The root ver means truth. Veracity means truth, truthfulness. 6. b. The root loc/log/loqu means word, speech. Eloquent means expressed in a powerful, fluent, and persuasive manner. 7. d. The root dic/dict/dit means to say, tell, use words. To indict means to formally accuse of or charge with a crime. 8. d. The root qui means quiet. Quiescent means inactive, quiet, at rest. 9. a. The root nec/nic/noc/nox means harm, death. Noxious means unpleasant and harmful, unwholesome. 10. d. The root equ means equal, even. Equanimity means calmness of temperament, even-temperedness; patience and composure, especially under stress.

5 Commonly Confused
Words—Homonyms

D
➥ ➥ ➥

o you know when nail means something used with a hammer and when it means a part of your finger? When to use ensure instead of assure? Incredulous instead of incredible? Using the right word can make the difference between confusion and clarity—and have a huge impact on your TOEFL iBT score. This chapter reviews commonly confused words that you might encounter on your TOEFL iBT. One thing to watch for are words that sound the same and may look alike but mean different things. They are called homonyms. For example, the word season has several meanings: a part of the year (n): spring, summer, fall, or winter to flavor food (v): I will season the sauce with some curry. to make experienced (v): Several months touring with a jazz band will season a young trumpet player because every night, he will learn something new about his craft.

The term homonym comes from Greek roots meaning: homo (same) nym (name)

61

62

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

A specific type of homonyms are called homographs—words that look alike but that sound different and mean different things. Notice that the different sound in these words can come from the accent, or stress, on one part of the word. For example, conduct has two distinct meanings and pronunciations:

➥ ➥

kun-DUKT (v) means to lead or direct. I will conduct the orchestra for the last song. KON-dukt (n) means behavior. His conduct in school was terrible.

Another type of homonyms are pronounced the same way, but have different spellings and meanings. The term for these words, homophone, is exactly what its two Greek roots suggest: homo (same) phone (sound) It is a word that sounds the same as another but has a different meaning. Night and knight, for example, are homophones, as are slay and sleigh, great and grate, and bear and bare. There are dozens of homophones, many of which you may already know, while others that you may still find confusing. If so, this chapter will help you get them straight.

O DEFINITION
homonyms: a group of words that share the same spelling or pronunciation (or both) but have different meanings

Standardized tests, like TOEFL iBT, will often test you on the correct homonym for a given context—whether you should use whether or weather in a sentence, for example, or piece or peace. It is very important to know your homonyms and use them correctly. Otherwise, you may confuse your readers with sentences that are at best incorrect and at worst unintelligible. So take some time to review the following list of frequently confused words carefully.

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

63

FREQUENTLY CONFUSED WORDS

The following table lists some of the most frequently confused word pairs along with a brief definition of each word.

CONFUSING WORDS

QUICK DEFINITION

accept except access (verb) access (noun) excess adapt adopt affect effect (noun) effect (verb) all ready already all ways always among between assure ensure insure beside besides bibliography biography

to recognize excluding to gain entry to means of approaching extra to adjust to take as one’s own to influence result to bring about totally prepared by this time every method forever in the middle of several in an interval separating (two) to make certain (assure someone) to make certain (to check for yourself) to make certain (financial value) next to in addition to list of writings a life story

64
CONFUSING WORDS

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

QUICK DEFINITION

breath (noun) breathe (verb) breadth capital (noun) capital (adjective) capitol complement (noun, verb) compliment (noun, verb) disinterested uninterested envelop envelope farther further immigrate emigrate imply infer its it’s loose lose may be maybe overdo overdue

respiration to inhale and exhale width money most important government building match praise no strong opinion either way unengaged; having no interest in to surround paper wrapping for a letter beyond additional to enter a new country to leave a country to hint, suggest to assume, deduce belonging to it it is not tight unable to find something may possibly be perhaps to do too much late

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

65

CONFUSING WORDS

QUICK DEFINITION

personal personnel precede proceed proceeds principal (adjective) principal (noun) principle stationary stationery than then their there they’re weather whether who whom whose who’s your you’re

individual employees to go before to continue profits main person in charge; sum of interest-earning money standard still, not moving writing material in contrast to next in time belonging to them in a place they are climate if substitute for he, she, or they substitute for him, her, or them belonging to whom who is belonging to you you are

66

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Another important reason to review homonyms like team/teem and waive/wave is to avoid a “trap” sometimes set by the test developers. That is, you might encounter questions that use the definition of a familiar homonym as a distracter. Here’s an example: To waive means a. to signal with an up and down or back and forth movement. b. to return to the original starting point. c. to relinquish a right or claim. d. to swell up or rise to the surface. The correct answer is c. Waive means to give up (a right or claim) voluntarily, relinquish; to refrain from enforcing or insisting upon (a rule, penalty, standard procedure, etc.). If you don’t know the meaning of waive, however, you might be tempted to choose a, which is the definition of its homophone wave, or d, which is related to the definition of a wave. These answer choices are tempting because they sound familiar. You need to be able to recognize the familiar homophone and recall its definition. Not all commonly confused words are homonyms. Take disinterested and uninterested as an example. They don’t sound the same because they have very distinct prefixes. But the prefixes are attached to the same root, and the prefixes seem to have essentially the same meaning: dis- means away from, apart, reversal, not; unmeans not, against. Thus many people assume that both words mean the same thing: not interested. However, only uninterested has this meaning. Disinterested means impartial or unbiased, free of selfish motives or interests—a different word entirely. Some commonly confused words are particularly puzzling because the words not only sound similar, but they also have similar meanings. Take the homophones cue and queue, for example. Both mean a line of waiting people or vehicles, although queue is used far more often than cue for this meaning. However, cue also means a signal, such as a word or action, given to prompt or remind someone of something—and this is its most common usage. And queue can also mean an ordered list of tasks to be performed or sequence of programs awaiting processing on a computer.

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

67

J

HERE’S A HINT TRICKY VERBS
These verbs confuse even native speakers of English. To keep them straight, think about which verb in a pair needs an object (a noun or pronoun that’s acted on by a verb). Practice using these verbs in context and you will become more comfortable with them. Lie Lie means to rest, to recline. (subject) past tense: lay, had lain Don’t just lie there, do something! Sit Sit means to rest. (subject) She always sits in the third row. Rise Rise means to go up. (subject) After it is filled with helium, the balloon rises. Set Set means to put or place. (needs an object) He set the newspaper on the desk. Raise Raise means to move something up. (needs an object) The state is raising taxes this year. Lay Lay means to place, to set down. (needs an object) I always lay my purse on the table.

You already know many homophones and commonly confused words inside and out. The ones you don’t know, you simply need to memorize. The question is, how do you remember these differences in meaning, especially when the words seem so much alike? The key is to capitalize on the differences in the words. And when it comes to frequently confused words, mnemonic devices come in especially handy. Take the commonly confused pair ingenious and ingenuous, for example:

➥ ➥

ingenious: marked by inventive skill or creativity; showing inventiveness and skill, remarkably clever ingenuous: 1. not cunning or deceitful, unable to mask feelings; artless, frank, sincere. 2. lacking sophistication or worldliness

The only difference in the spelling of these words is the i/u. You can use this difference to remember key words in the definition of each word.

68

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

➥ ➥

ingenious: inventive ingenuous: unable to mask feelings

Similarly, the difference between disinterested and uninterested is the prefix. Use this to help you remember the meaning: a disinterested person is distanced from the situation and is therefore impartial. Here is a list of more commonly confused word sets that include important vocabulary words for your TOEFL iBT test preparation.
a allude (˘·'lood) v. to make an indirect reference to elude (i·'lood) v. 1. to escape from or evade, especially by cleverness, daring, or skill. 2. to be incomprehensible to, escape the understanding of a appraise (˘·'prayz) v. 1. to evaluate. 2. to establish value or estimate the worth of ˘ apprise (a·'pr¯z) v. to give notice or information to; to make aware of, inform

ascent (a·'sent) n. 1. an upward slope. 2. a movement upward, advancement ˘ ˘ assent (a·'sent) n. agreement; concurrence; consent censor ('sen·sor) v. to forbid the publication, distribution, or other public dis˘ semination of something because it is considered obscene or otherwise politically or morally unacceptable. n. an official who reviews books, films, etc. to remove what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable ˘ censure ('sen·shur) n. expression of strong criticism or disapproval; a rebuke or condemnation. v. to criticize strongly, rebuke, condemn ˘ sensor ('sen·sor) n. a device that receives and responds to a stimulus such as light, smoke, etc. cue (kyoo) n. 1. a signal, such as a word or action, given to prompt or remind someone of something; a hint or suggestion. 2. a line of waiting people or vehicles; a queue queue (kyoo) n. 1. a line of waiting people or vehicles. 2. (in information processing) an ordered list of tasks to be performed or sequence of programs awaiting processing

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

69

decent ('dee·sent) adj. 1. conforming to what is socially or morally suitable or ˘ correct. 2. meeting acceptable standards; sufficient, adequate descent (di·'sent) n. 1. the act of descending or moving downward; a downward slope or movement. 2. hereditary derivation; lineage dissent (di·'sent) v. 1. to differ in opinion, disagree. 2. to withhold approval or assent. n. 1. a difference of opinion. 2. nonconformity
˘ deprecate ('dep·re·kayt) v. to express disapproval of; to belittle, depreciate depreciate (di·'pree·shi·ayt) v. 1. to diminish in price or value; to lessen the worth of. 2. to think or speak of as being of little worth; to belittle

disburse (dis·'burs) v. to pay out disperse (dis·'spurs) v. 1. to separate and scatter in different directions; to cause to do so. 2. to distribute widely, disseminate elicit (i·'lis·it) v. 1. to call forth or draw out; to provoke. 2. to deduce or derive by reasoning illicit (i·'lis·it) adj. illegal, forbidden by law; contrary to accepted morality or convention
e eminent ('em·˘·n˘nt) adj. towering above or more prominent than others, lofty; standing above others in quality, character, reputation, etc.; distinguished ˘ imminent ('im·˘·nent) adj. about to occur; impending ˘ emanate ('em·a·nayt) v. to come or issue forth, as from a source

extant ('ek·stant) adj. still in existence; not extinct, destroyed or lost ˘ extent (ik·'stent) n. the range, distance, or degree to which something reaches or extends. 2. a wide and open space or area fain (fayn) adv. with joy; gladly feign (fayn) v. to pretend, to give the false appearance of faux (foh) adj. artificial, fake; not genuine or real foe (foh) n. an enemy, adversary, or opponent hoard (hohrd) n. a hidden store or stock, cache. v. to collect and lay up; to amass and store in secret horde (hohrd) n. a large group or crowd; a vast multitude

70

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

incredible (in·'kred·˘·bel) adj. 1. implausible, beyond belief. 2. astonishing ˘ ˘ ˘ incredulous (in·'krej·u·lus) adj. skeptical, unwilling to believe ingenious (in·'jeen·yus) adj. marked by inventive skill or creativity; showing ˘ inventiveness and skill, remarkably clever ˘ ingenuous (in·'jen·yoo·us) adj. 1. not cunning or deceitful, unable to mask feelings; artless, frank, sincere. 2. lacking sophistication or worldliness
˘ meddle ('med·el) v. to intrude in other people’s affairs; interfere ˘ mettle ('met·el) n. courage, fortitude, spirit

peak (peek) v. to reach its highest point or maximum development, activity, or intensity. n. 1. the sharp end of something tapering to a point. 2. the pointed top of a mountain, summit. 3. the highest possible point of development, activity, or intensity peek (peek) v. to glance quickly or peer at furtively. n. a brief or furtive look. pique (peek) v. 1. to cause annoyance or irritation; to vex or create resentment. 2. to provoke or arouse
˘ persecute ('pur·se·kyoot) v. to oppress, harass, or mistreat, especially because of race, religious or political beliefs, or sexual orientation ˘ prosecute ('pros·e·kyoot) v. 1. to bring a criminal action against. 2. to carry on, continue, practice

prescribe (pri·'skr¯b) v. 1. to issue commands, order something to be done; dictate. 2. to order a medicine or other treatment proscribe (proh·'skr¯b) v. to prohibit, forbid by law raise (rayz) v. 1. to lift, make higher; put in an upright position 2. to increase in size, quantity, intensity, degree, or strength. n. 1. the act of raising or increasing. 2. an increase in salary raze (rayz) v. 1. to level to the ground, demolish completely. 2. to erase, obliterate team (teem) v. to join together so as to form a team. n. a group organized to work together; a cooperative unit teem (teem) v. to be full of; to be present in large numbers

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

71

waive (wayv) v. 1. to give up (a right or claim) voluntarily, relinquish. 2. to refrain from enforcing or insisting upon (a rule, penalty, standard procedure, etc.); dispense with wave (wayv) v. 1. to move up and down or back and forth; undulate. 2. to signal with an up and down or back and forth movement of the hand. n. 1. a ridge or swell on the surface of a body of water. 2. a back-and-forth or upand-down movement, especially of the hand. 3. a surge, rush, or sudden great rise

TIPS AND STRATEGIES

Homonyms and other frequently confused words can be particularly challenging, especially when you have a limited amount of time to prepare for an exam. Here are some specific tips and strategies to help you make the most of your study time.

Spelling is often the key to distinguishing between commonly confused words. Meddle, for example, differs from mettle only because it contains the letter d instead of t. Use this key difference to help you remember the difference in meaning as well. For example, you might remember that meddle with a d is something you don’t want to do unless you want to annoy others. Review, review, review. Use flash cards or other study strategies to review these commonly confused words until you have them memorized. And then review them again. Use these words. If you use these words in your everyday writing and conversations, you will remember which word has which meaning. Or teach them to someone else. Teaching something to another person is one of the most effective ways to master that material. Remember to make the most of your learning style. Use whatever study or memorization techniques work best for you. For example, if you are a visual learner, create pictures that will help you remember word meanings. If you are an auditory learner, rhymes will be more effective. Pay attention to details, and use them to help you remember the words and their meanings. The more carefully you read each definition and the closer you look at the spelling of each word, the more likely you are to find a “key” for you to remember the differences between them. For example, appraise has the word praise in it. You can associate praise with a good evaluation, and appraise means to evaluate.

72

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Use your ears for the commonly confused words that aren’t homophones, and use the difference in pronunciation to help you further differentiate between the words. Don’t forget to use word parts to remember meaning. Both prescribe and proscribe, for example, have the root scrib/script, meaning to write. Then you can remember that proscribe is a (written) law that prohibits something.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

Choose the correct word in the parenthesis to complete each sentence. Circle your choices or write your answers on a separate piece of paper. Then compare your selections to the correct answers at the end of the chapter. 1. Lilin (alluded/eluded) to problems with her boss, but she didn’t say anything directly. 2. Xiu is coming this afternoon to determine the (extant/extent) of the problem. 3. The checks were (disbursed/dispersed) this morning. 4. Once again, Luna has come up with an (ingenious/ingenuous) solution to the problem. 5. We will (waive/wave) the late fee because of your extenuating circumstances. 6. Please (precede/proceed) with caution through the construction zone. 7. Reina is in (eminent/imminent/emanate) danger and needs our help right away. 8. Jillian met with a lawyer to see if her landlord could be (persecuted/prosecuted) for his negligence of her building. 9. It was a grueling six-hour (ascent/assent) from our camp to the top of the mountain. 10. Here is a list of the books the school librarian would like to (censor/censure/sensor) because she feels they are inappropriate for children.

C O M M O N LY C O N F U S E D WO R D S—H O M O NYM S

73

ANSWERS

How did you do on identifying the correct word? Check your answers here, and then analyze the results to figure out your plan of attack for mastering this topic. 1. alluded. To allude means to make an indirect reference to. 2. extent. Extent means the range, distance, or degree to which something reaches or extends. 3. disbursed. To disburse means to pay out. 4. ingenious. Ingenious means marked by inventive skill or creativity; showing inventiveness and skill, remarkably clever. 5. waive. To waive is to give up (a right or claim) voluntarily, relinquish; to refrain from enforcing or insisting upon (a rule, penalty, standard procedure, etc.). 6. proceed. To proceed means to go forward or onward, especially after an interruption; move on, advance. 7. imminent. Imminent means about to occur, impending. 8. prosecuted. To prosecute is to bring a criminal action against someone. 9. ascent. An ascent is an upward slope; a movement upward, advancement. 10. censor. To censor is to forbid the publication, distribution, or other public dissemination of something because it is considered obscene or otherwise politically or morally unacceptable.

6 Idioms and Vocabulary
Variations

S
➥ ➥ ➥

ometimes you will hear English expressions that sound familiar but are hard to define outside of the context in which they are used. They’re called idioms. Although they don’t always follow the general rules of word usage, they are an integral part of any language and are important for you to know. An idiom can sometimes mean one of a number of things, depending on how it’s used within a sentence. In its simplest form, an idiom is an everyday term or expression whose meaning evolved over time as it was used in conversation and informal writing. You will get a better idea of what idioms are by looking at these examples: I was tied up at the office until late last night. He was on the phone when I got to his house. The candidate’s spin doctors were on hand to offer comment on the campaign.

74

Taken literally, these sentences bring to mind peculiar pictures of people roped to their office chairs, perched on top of telephones, or whirling through hospitals! When you look at them in context, however, you know that the first means that someone was delayed at work, the second, that a man was talking on the phone, and the third, that there were people able to interpret a political office seeker’s actions in a favorable light. All of these expressions are idioms.

I D I O M S AN D VO CAB U LARY VAR IATI O N S

75

U

ON YOUR OWN CAMPUS-SPEAK
You are likely to encounter certain words on a college campus or in any post-highschool program. Some of the words you’ll find in the world of academia, or the world of education, might also appear on the TOEFL iBT. These include: • tenure: protected employment for professors who have reached a certain level of rank or experience. A related term is tenure track, which means that the position carries with it the possibility of tenure. • prerequisite: requirements needed before a promotion or the granting of a job. In college, the word (sometimes shortened to prereq) refers to the course or courses that you must take in order to qualify for an advanced course. • semester: one of two terms in an academic year • bursar: the financial officer of a college • tuition: the cost of attending courses On your own, try and locate the definitions of the following words, which are frequently heard around campus. syllabus practicum alumni registrar transcript core curriculum liberal arts elective master’s degree credit sabbatical dormitory

You might want to use the Internet to locate these definitions, or even ask a university representative.

The word idiom is from the Latin word idio, referring to the self. An idiosyncrasy, for example, is a habit or custom peculiar to one’s self. An idiom is seen as any kind of language use that has gained wide usage in that particular language. An idiom is peculiar not to an individual person but to an individual culture’s use of language. Here are some things to keep in mind about idioms:

Idioms can be confused with clichés, colloquialisms, and slang. • Clichés are overused phrases that have remained in the language for a long time. “Pretty as a picture,” “right as rain,” and “selling like hotcakes” are examples of clichés. They are too well known to English speakers. Through overuse, their impact is lessened.

76

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

• Colloquialisms are expressions that may be appropriate in informal speech but are incorrect in formal writing. The use of “should of” for “should have” and “plan on going” instead of “planning to go” are examples of colloquialisms. • Slang is informal language that is often peculiar to a particular age or occupational group. Examples of slang are “tellin’ it like it is” or “What’s up?” Idiomatic phrases in English include hundreds of verbs paired with smaller words (prepositions) that change the meaning of the verb. Watching out for (being alert to) something is different than watching over (attending to) something. You might get up early one morning so you can get away on a vacation to France, where you hope to get by with your high school French so you can get along with the locals. All languages have their own idioms, which can make translation from one language to another a bit difficult. Even different cultures that speak the same language can have trouble understanding each other’s idioms. For instance, people in the United Kingdom use idioms that are different from those used in the United States. What people in the United States call an “apartment building,” the British call a “block of flats.”

O DEFINITION
cliché: an overused word or phrase that has lost its impact in the language; it is a French word used in English

Some idioms are derived from images rooted in experience; it makes sense that cool heels would refer to excessive waiting because, presumably, hot heels result from running hard. You could see that laughing off something would have to do with not taking it very seriously. Then there are idioms that have evolved over a long period of time and have no particular logic or origin: for example, up to the job. Somewhere in between are idioms whose meanings made sense once upon a time but are now lost. Spitting image has nothing to do with saliva. It’s a corruption of “spit and image,” and spit simply meant “exact likeness.” Here are some idioms with their definitions. give it a shot: try for the first time watch out: be careful take a stab at: attempt laugh off: ignore with good humor

I D I O M S AN D VO CAB U LARY VAR IATI O N S

77

hold off: delay burnout: a point of physical or emotional exhaustion fly off the handle: to get angry life of the party: a person who makes things enjoyable for a group of people cool his heels: wait a long time be a wash: even out spitting image: exact likeness up to the job: capable of doing the work by and large: as a general rule give the slip to: escape once in a blue moon: very seldom keep your ears open: to stay attuned all of a sudden: suddenly boil down: summarize; amount catch up: to complete something belatedly drop off: deposit or deliver find out: discover, learn have on: wear keep + -ing verb: continue without interruption jump in: begin or enter eagerly make up your mind: settle, decide put off: to hold back to a later time show up: arrive, appear sleep on it: delay making a decision until the next day take place: happen, occur used to + verb: something accomplished in the past, but not in the present

J

HERE’S A HINT NEW AND EMERGING VOCABULARY
All words have some point of origin. Words that gain sudden popularity in the language often do so because they’ve grown out of a common new experience or observation. Some of the ways new words are made include: • shortening longer words—for example, from gymnasium to gym • making up acronyms—such as snafu, which means “an error” and derives from the phrase “situation normal, all fouled up.” • blending two words together—as in camcorder from camera and recorder • adapting people’s names to ideas that are associated with them—for example, Reaganomics, from Reagan and economics.

78 TIPS AND STRATEGIES

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

Idioms and vocabulary variations are likely to appear on standardized tests like TOEFL iBT and occur regularly in newspaper articles, textbooks, and other dayto-day communications. Here are some specific tips and strategies to use as you add these words to your vocabulary and prepare for your exam.

Use the context of the sentences provided with the definitions to help you understand these words and memorize their meanings. Solidify these words and phrases in your memory by teaching them to someone else. Pronounce these words each time you go over their meaning. The more you hear how they sound, the more familiar they will feel to you, and the easier it will be to remember them. Once again, use the power of mnemonic devices and associations to help you remember meaning.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

On the lines provided or on a separate piece of paper, indicate whether each of the following expressions represents slang, a colloquialism, or a cliché. Then compare your selection to the correct answers at the end of the chapter. 1. “She may of gone to the movies” is an example of __________. 2. “The car battery was dead as a doornail” is an example of __________. 3. Hang a right at the next corner” is an example of __________. Answer yes or no to the following sentences, on the basis of your knowledge of the idioms. Then compare your selection to the correct answers at the end of the chapter. 4. If you burn out at something, it means that you need the services of an electrician. _____ 5. If it happens once in a blue moon, it happens rarely. _____

I D I O M S AN D VO CAB U LARY VAR IATI O N S

79

6. If you give the slip to someone, you hand over your undergarment. _____ 7. You have to stand near a window if you are going to watch out for something. _____ 8. If you give something a shot, you are willing to try. _____

ANSWERS

How did you do on identifying idioms and word variations? Check your answers here, and then analyze the results to figure out your plan of attack for mastering this topic. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. colloquialism cliché slang no yes no no yes

Practice Test 1 T

he 80 questions in this practice test will help you assess your vocabulary skills and the topics reviewed throughout this book. Take your time when answering each question. (We suggest not timing yourself.) Attempt to answer the questions without using a reference tool like a dictionary; however, if you come across words that you are unsure of, make a list of these words. After you complete the test, look up the definitions for the words on your list. It might be a good idea to write down the definition beside the word. When you are finished, check the answer key carefully to assess your results. Then, you can determine how much time you need to spend to increase your vocabulary power. Directions: For questions 1 through 20, choose the word that best fills in the blank. 1. George developed an _____________ plan to earn the extra money he needed to start his own business. a. elitist b. irrational c. aloof d. ingenious 2. We knew everything about the newest member of our group; she was very _____________. a. expressive b. secretive c. reserved d. artistic 3. I have always liked your positive attitude; it has _____________ affected our working relationship. a. adversely b. shamelessly c. candidly d. favorably

81

82

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

4. Dog-sitting for Buddy is easy to do; he is a _____________ and obedient pet. a. delectable b. commonplace c. meddlesome d. docile 5. The directions to the new office were _____________, and I had no trouble finding it in time for work. a. priceless b. arduous c. explicit d. embodied 6. If your drinking water is not _____________, it could cause serious health problems. a. valid b. quenchable c. impure d. potable 7. The new board member said she would vote in favor of the proposed city ordinance because it _____________ many of the points discussed earlier this year. a. encompassed b. released c. reminisced d. dispersed 8. Rachel _____________ a plan to become a millionaire by age 30. a. conformed b. devised c. decreased d. condoned

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

83

9. Wanting to make a good impression, he found himself in a _____________ about the right tie to wear to the business meeting. a. prestige b. redundancy c. quandary d. deficit 10. Because Mark needed to pass the exam, he made studying a _____________ over watching his favorite television show. a. priority b. conformity c. perplexity d. concept 11. Hoping to win a prize for the best costume, Tim dressed _____________ with bright red suspenders and a purple tie. a. eminently b. virtuously c. conspicuously d. obscurely 12. Muhammad fell asleep during the movie because it had a very _____________ plot. a. monotonous b. torrid c. ample d. vital 13. To get the promotion she wanted, she _____________ that it was best to go back to school to get her master’s degree as soon as she could. a. supposed b. surmised c. presumed d. resolved

84

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

14. The narrator’s description was an accurate _____________ of a true southern family. a. portrayal b. council c. disguise d. reunion 15. Due to slippery road conditions and the slope of the narrow, winding highway, the car _____________ down the steep mountainous road. a. dissented b. ventilated c. careened d. agitated 16. The fire alarm _____________ beckoned the volunteer firefighters of the small community to come to action. a. approvingly b. significantly c. symbolically d. audibly 17. After running an early 5K race, Simone _____________ devoured a hearty breakfast. a. dynamically b. voraciously c. generously d. beneficially 18. The car rental company considered the scratches on the driver’s door to be caused by a minor _____________. a. mishap b. attraction c. reflex d. duplicate

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

85

19. The participants in the road rally agreed to _____________ near the village commons at 5:00. a. rendezvous b. scatter c. filibuster d. disperse 20. Understanding the world economic conditions, the recent graduates spoke _____________ about job prospects for the future. a. warily b. luxuriously c. measurably d. narrowly Directions: For questions 21 through 45, choose the best definition for the word in italics. 21. Aswad has such a caustic sense of humor that most people find his jokes upsetting rather than humorous. Caustic means a. bitingly sarcastic. b. relentlessly funny. c. refreshingly honest. d. original, cutting edge. 22. Sandra is truly an enigma; although she’s lived here for years and everyone knows her, no one seems to know anything about who she is or where she came from. Enigma means a. stranger. b. enemy. c. newcomer. d. mystery. 23. Exorbitant means a. belonging to a group. b. to orbit. c. in a new location. d. far beyond what is normal or reasonable; very high.

86

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

24. Denunciation means a. to denounce or openly condemn. b. critical, of or like a condemnation. c. one who denounces or openly condemns another. d. the act of denouncing or openly condemning. 25. Metamorphosis means a. to transform. b. one who has changed. c. a transformation. d. tending to change frequently. 26. To reconcile means a. to reestablish a close relationship between. b. to move away from. c. to undermine. d. to surpass, outdo. 27. Didactic means a. a teacher or instructor. b. intended to instruct, moralizing. c. to preach, moralize. d. the process of instructing. 28. Unilateral means a. to multiply. b. understated. c. literal. d. one-sided. 29. Subordinate means a. under someone else’s authority or control. b. organized according to rank, hierarchical. c. something ordinary or average, without distinction. d. repeated frequently to aid memorization.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

87

30. Incisive means a. insight. b. worthy of consideration. c. penetrating, biting in nature. d. to act forcefully. 31. Intermittent means a. badly handled. b. occurring at intervals between two times or points. c. greatly varied. d. a number between one and ten. 32. Miscreant means a. someone who is unconventional. b. someone who lacks creativity. c. a very naïve person. d. an evil person, villain. 33. Perennial means a. lasting a very long time, constant. b. one who plants a garden. c. to establish contact. d. the process of encoding a message. 34. Imperialism means a. one who acquires items from other empires. b. an empire built by acquiring other territories. c. relating to the acquisition of territories. d. the policy of extending an empire by acquiring other territories. 35. To abrogate is to a. abolish, revoke. b. fight, quarrel. c. rest quietly. d. know intimately.

88

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

36. An acrimonious relationship is one that a. has existed for a long time. b. is extremely friendly. c. exists only in the imagination. d. is bitter or resentful. 37. A vicarious action is one that a. is experienced through the life or action of another. b. enables a guilty person to be set free. c. surrenders the rights of others. d. has a pleasing and lasting effect on others. 38. If there is amity between two nations, there is a. war. b. equality. c. bitterness. d. peace. 39. An edict is a. a place to rest. b. a place to stop. c. the act of seeing or shining. d. a formal proclamation or command. 40. A magnanimous person is a. highly noble, generous. b. extremely talkative. c. given to wordy, rambling speech. d. a wanderer, hobo. 41. To acquiesce is to a. call attention to. b. speak in a whisper. c. mask the truth. d. give in to, comply with another’s wishes.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

89

42. A pugnacious person is best described as a. nosy. b. combative. c. talented. d. ruthless. 43. Something that is erratic a. moves at a constant, steady pace. b. is properly ordered; appropriate, in its proper place. c. seems to be harmless but is actually very dangerous. d. is unpredictable, meandering, straying from the norm. 44. To feel fervor is to feel a. carefree, light-hearted. b. burdened, as with guilt. c. intense, fiery emotion. d. calmness, peace. 45. A loquacious person a. has good intentions, but often ends up doing things that end up hurting others. b. tends to talk a great deal. c. often has difficulty finding things. d. tends to like everyone; is not discerning. Directions: For questions 46 through 59, choose the correct word in the parentheses to complete the sentence.

46. The pond was (teaming/teeming) with tadpoles after the frog eggs hatched. 47. Anita’s (faux/foe) mink coat looked so real that a group of teenagers accused her of cruelty to animals. 48. Jackson may act as if he is totally (disinterested/uninterested) in you, but believe me, he is very anxious to learn more about you. 49. I am having the jewelry I inherited from my grandmother (appraised/apprised) to find out how much it is worth.

90

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

50. Helen entered the room right on (cue/queue). 51. You are sure to be (censored/censured/sensored) if you make such wild accusations about your colleagues. 52. I have always admired Don’s (meddle/mettle); he seems to be afraid of no one and nothing. 53. A (hoard/horde) of angry parents attended the school board meeting and demanded that the superintendent step down. 54. The documentary really (peaked/peeked/piqued) my interest in the Civil War. 55. With just a few hours to go before the big ceremony, Adele rushed around (prescribing/proscribing) orders left and right. 56. Huang decided to (raise/raze) the stakes by increasing the reward. 57. Although Oscar’s story sounds (incredible/incredulous), I think he’s telling the truth. 58. Jing-Mae gave her (ascent/assent) to the proposal, even though she did not entirely agree with the plan. 59. This looks like a (decent/descent/dissent) restaurant; let’s eat here. Directions: In questions 60 through 63, identify the correct synonym by looking for word roots, prefixes, or suffixes. Choose the word that means the same or about the same as the italicized word. 60. a partial report a. identifiable b. incomplete c. visible d. enhanced

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

91

61. a substantial report a. inconclusive b. weighty c. proven d. alleged 62. corroborate the statement a. confirm b. negate c. deny d. challenge 63. manufactured goods a. reverted b. transgressed c. regressed d. processed Directions: In questions 64 through 67, choose the word that means the opposite of the italicized word. 64. prompt payment a. punctual b. slack c. tardy d. regular 65. rain delay a. slow b. hasten c. pause d. desist 66. moderate work flow a. original b. average c. final d. excessive

92

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

67. initial impression a. first b. crisis c. final d. right Directions: For questions 68 through 72, choose the word whose definition best matches the description.

68. an innovative play that uses an experimental style a. apropos b. mélange c. avant-garde d. imbroglio 69. the complete works of Shakespeare a. blasé b. milieu c. zeitgeist d. oeuvre 70. a meeting at 7:00 at La Grange restaurant a. par excellence b. rendezvous c. savoir faire d. façade 71. “work like a dog,” “sleep like a baby,” and other such overused sayings a. cliché b. bourgeois c. insouciant d. gauche 72. an avid sports fan a. gestalt b. hiatus c. mélange d. aficionado

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

93

Directions: For questions 73 and 74, choose the word that best describes the section of the word in bold type. 73. proactive a. after b. forward c. toward d. behind 74. inscribe a. confine b. see c. perform d. write 75. A synonym for vast is a. attentive. b. immense. c. steady. d. slight. 76. A synonym for enthusiastic is a. adamant. b. available. c. cheerful. d. eager. 77. A synonym for adequate is a. sufficient. b. mediocre. c. proficient. d. average. 78. A synonym for comply is a. subdue. b. entertain. c. flatter. d. obey.

94

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

79. An antonym for uniform is a. dissembling. b. diverse. c. bizarre. d. slovenly. 80. A synonym for ecstatic is a. inconsistent. b. positive. c. wild. d. thrilled.

ANSWERS

1. d. Ingenious means marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness in conception. 2. a. An expressive person would be one who is open or emphatic when revealing opinions or feelings. 3. d. Favorably means gracious, kindly, or obliging. 4. d. Docile means easily led or managed. 5. c. Explicit means clearly defined. 6. d. Potable means fit for drinking. 7. a. Encompassed in this context means included. 8. b. Devised means to form—in the mind—new combinations or applications of ideas or principles; to plan to obtain or bring about. 9. c. Quandary means a state of perplexity or doubt. 10. a. Priority means the right to receive attention before others. 11. c. Conspicuously means obvious to the eye or mind; attracting attention. 12. a. Monotonous means having a tedious sameness. 13. d. Resolved means having reached a firm decision about something. 14. a. Portrayal means a representation or portrait. 15. c. Careen means to rush headlong or carelessly; to lurch or swerve while in motion. 16. d. Audibly means heard or the manner of being heard. 17. b. Voraciously means having a huge appetite; ravenously. 18. a. A mishap is an unfortunate accident. 19. a. A rendezvous is a meeting or assembly that is by appointment or arrangement.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

95

20. a. Warily is a manner marked by keen caution, cunning, and watchful prudence. 21. a. Caustic means bitingly sarcastic, cutting; able to burn or dissolve by chemical action. The main context clue is that people find Aswad’s jokes upsetting rather than humorous; thus choice a is the only option that makes sense. 22. d. Enigma means something that is puzzling or difficult to understand; a baffling problem or riddle. The context tells you that people know who Sandra is, but no one knows anything about her; thus, she remains a mystery. 23. d. The prefix ex- means out, out of, away from. Exorbitant means greatly exceeding (far away from) the bounds of what is normal or reasonable. 24. d. The noun suffix -tion means the act or state of. Denunciation means the act of denouncing, especially in public; to openly condemn or accuse of evil. 25. c. The noun suffix -sis means the process of. Metamorphosis means a transformation, a marked change of form, character, or function. Choices b and c are both nouns, but for choice b to be correct, it would require the suffix -ist. 26. a. The prefix re- means back, again. To reconcile means to reestablish a close relationship between, to bring back to harmony. 27. b. The adjective suffix -ic means pertaining or relating to, having the quality of. Didactic means intended to instruct; tending to be excessively instructive or moralizing. Only choice b defines a quality. 28. d. The prefix uni- means one. Unilateral means one-sided. Notice also the adjective suffix -al, meaning action or process. 29. a. The prefix sub- means under, beneath, below. The adjective subordinate means (1) of a lower or inferior class or rank; secondary; (2) subject to the authority or control of another. As a noun it means one that is subordinate to another, and as a verb (notice the -ate suffix) it means (1) to put in a lower or inferior rank or class; (2) to make subservient; subdue. 30. c. The adjective suffix -ive means having the nature of. Incisive means penetrating and clear; sharp, acute, biting. 31. b. The prefix inter- means between or among. Intermittent means occurring at intervals, not continuous; periodic, alternate. 32. d. The prefix mis- means bad, evil, wrong. Miscreant means a villain, criminal; an evil person. 33. a. The adjective suffix -ial means having the quality of, related to, suitable for. Perennial means lasting an indefinitely long time, forever; constantly recurring, happening again and again or year after year. Choice a is the only adjective definition.

96

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

34. d. The noun suffix -ism means state or doctrine of. Imperialism means the policy of extending rule of a nation or empire by acquiring other territories. 35. a. The root rog means to ask. The prefix ab- means off, away from, away, down; the suffix -ate means to make, cause to be. To abrogate means to abolish, do away with, formally revoke. 36. d. The root ac/acr means sharp, bitter. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Acrimonious means bitter and sharp in language or tone. 37. a. The root vi means life. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Vicarious means felt through imaging what another has experienced; acting or suffering for another. 38. d. The root am means love. The noun suffix -ity means state of being. Amity means friendship; a state of friendly or peaceful relations. 39. d. The root dic/dict/dit means to say, tell, use words. An edict is an official order or decree; a formal proclamation or command issued by someone in authority. 40. a. The root mag/maj/max means big. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Magnanimous means very noble and generous; understanding and forgiving of others. 41. d. The root qui means quiet. To acquiesce means to comply, give in, consent without protest—thereby “quieting” the other to whom one gives in. 42. b. The root pug means to fight. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Pugnacious means quarrelsome, combative, inclined to fight. 43. d. The root err means to wander. The adjective suffix -ic means pertaining or relating to, having the quality of. Erratic means moving or behaving in an irregular, uneven, or inconsistent manner; deviating (wandering) from the normal or typical course of action, opinion, etc. 44. c. The root ferv means to boil, bubble, burn. The suffix -or means a condition or activity. Fervor means zeal, ardor, intense emotion. 45. b. The root loc/log/loqu means word, speech. The adjective suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Loquacious means very talkative, garrulous. 46. teeming. To teem means to be full of, to be present in large numbers. 47. faux. Faux means artificial, fake; not genuine or real. 48. uninterested. Uninterested means not interested, having no care or interest in knowing. 49. appraised. To appraise means to evaluate, to establish value or estimate the worth of.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 1

97

50. cue. A cue is a signal, such as a word or action, given to prompt or remind someone of something; a hint or suggestion. 51. censured. To censure is to criticize strongly, rebuke, condemn. 52. mettle. Mettle means courage, fortitude, spirit. 53. horde. A horde is a large group or crowd, a vast multitude. 54. piqued. To pique is (1) to cause annoyance or irritation, to vex; (2) to provoke or arouse. This sentence uses the second meaning. 55. prescribing. To prescribe is to issue commands, order something to be done, dictate. It also means to order a medicine or other treatment. 56. raise. To raise is to lift, make higher; to increase in size, quantity, intensity, degree, or strength. 57. incredible. Incredible means implausible, beyond belief; astonishing. 58. assent. Assent means agreement, concurrence, consent. 59. decent. Decent means (1) conforming to what is socially or morally suitable or correct; (2) meeting acceptable standards, sufficient, adequate. This sentence uses the second meaning. 60. b. Partial means incomplete. The root of the word here is part. A partial report is only part of the whole. 61. b. A substantial report is extensive. The key part of the word substantial is substance. Substance means something that has significance. 62. a. To corroborate is confirm. Notice the prefix co-, which means with or together. Some related words are cooperate, coworker, and collide. Corroboration means that one statement fits with another. 63. d. Manufactured goods are those that are made or processed from raw material into a finished product. Facer—the word root—means to make or do. 64. c. The key here is to remember not to choose the synonym. Context clues are important as well. You may have seen this sentence on one of your bills: Prompt payment is appreciated. Prompt means punctual; tardy means late. 65. b. A delay is a postponement in time. If you rely on context clues to help you answer this question, you may be reminded of a rain delay at a sporting event. To delay is to slow; to hasten is to hurry. 66. d. Something that is moderate is not subject to extremes. Moderate means average; excessive means extreme. 67. c. An initial impression is one that comes first. Initial means first; final means last. 68. c. Avant-garde means using or favoring an ultramodern or experimental style; innovative, cutting-edge, especially in the arts or literature. 69. d. Oeuvre means (1) a work of art; (2) the total lifework of a writer, artist, composer, etc.

98

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

70. b. The noun rendezvous means (1) a prearranged meeting at a certain time and place; (2) a place where people meet, especially a popular gathering place. The verb rendezvous means to bring or come together at a certain place, to meet at a rendezvous. 71. a. A cliché is a trite or overused expression or idea. 72. d. An aficionado is a fan or devotee, especially of a sport or pastime. 73. b. The prefix pro means for. If someone is proactive, they are forward thinking and take action or initiative to make things happen. 74. d. The word root scribe means to write; to engrave on a surface. 75. b. Vast means very great in size; immense. 76. d. Enthusiastic means eager. 77. a. If something is adequate, it is sufficient. 78. d. Comply is synonymous with obey. 79. b. To be uniform is be consistent or the same as others; to be diverse is to have variety. 80. d. A person who is ecstatic is thrilled.

Practice Test 2 T

he 80 questions in this practice test will help you assess your vocabulary skills and the topics reviewed throughout this book. Take your time when answering each question. (We suggest not timing yourself.) Attempt to answer the questions without using a reference tool like a dictionary; however, if you come across words that you are unsure of, make a list of these words. After you complete the test, look up the definitions for the words on your list. It might be a good idea to write down the definition beside the word. When you are finished, check the answer key carefully to assess your results. Then, you can determine how much time you need to spend to increase your vocabulary power. Directions: For questions 1 through 18, choose the word that best fills in the blank. 1. Being a direct relative of the deceased, her claim to the estate was _____________. a. optional b. vicious c. prominent d. legitimate 2. The hail _____________ the cornfield until the entire crop was lost. a. belittled b. pummeled c. rebuked d. commended 3. The Earth Day committee leader placed large garbage bins in the park to _____________ Saturday’s cleanup. a. confound b. pacify c. integrate d. facilitate

99

100

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

4. Her rapport with everyone in the office _____________ the kind of interpersonal skills that all of the employees appreciated. a. prevailed b. diverged c. exemplified d. varied 5. The _____________ of the two rivers provided the perfect place to build a new state park. a. assumption b. confluence c. seclusion d. treatise 6. Do you have the _____________ paperwork you need to register for the class? a. punitive b. grandiose c. restorative d. requisite 7. Do not _____________ yourself; you must pass the last exam of the semester to graduate. a. delude b. depreciate c. relinquish d. prohibit 8. When you address the members of the committee, be sure to give a _____________ description of the new office procedures. a. principled b. determined c. comprehensive d. massive

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

101

9. Although Hunter was _____________ about revealing information to us when we first met him, he soon began to talk more than anyone. a. customary b. reticent c. animated d. voluntary 10. The darkening skies in the west were a _____________ to the dangerous thunderstorm that summer afternoon. a. tedium b. precursor c. preference d. momentum 11. The news was no longer secret; Martin Kemp _____________ told the press that he had accepted the nomination as board chairperson. a. repulsively b. reputedly c. perpetually d. principally 12. After an hour of heavy rain, the thunderstorm _____________, and we were able to continue our golf game. a. abated b. germinated c. constricted d. evoked 13. After years of experience, Florin became a _____________ veterinarian who could treat and operate on many different kinds of animals. a. acute b. superficial c. consummate d. ample

102

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

14. Anthony, a meticulous young man, _____________ watered his neighbors’ plants once a week while they were on vacation. a. terminally b. perpendicularly c. diligently d. haphazardly 15. _____________ elephants from the wild not only endangers the species but upsets the balance of nature. a. Irritating b. Poaching c. Provoking d. Smuggling 16. The two cats could be _____________ only by the number of rings on their tails; otherwise, they were exactly alike. a. separated b. divided c. disconnected d. differentiated 17. On each slick curve in the road, I was afraid we would _____________ and have an accident. a. operate b. hydroplane c. submerge d. reconnoiter 18. My cousin claimed to be _____________; evidently she was right because she always seemed to know what would happen in the future. a. dreamlike b. comical c. criminal d. clairvoyant

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

103

Directions: For questions 19 through 45, choose the best definition for the word in italics. 19. Although the plot of the film is admittedly trite, the characters are so endearing that the movie is highly entertaining despite the old storyline. Trite means a. original. b. exciting. c. complex. d. overused. 20. Ilka has always emulated her older brother, so it is no surprise that she is also pursuing a career as a neuroscientist. To emulate means a. to support wholeheartedly. b. to strive to equal, imitate, or outdo. c. to be more successful than. d. to regard as inferior. 21. Everyone loved Ilona’s idea, and she quickly garnered enough support for her proposal to present it to the committee. To garner means a. to create. b. to propose. c. to demonstrate. d. to withhold. 22. Cy’s attempt to finally complete the marathon was thwarted when he twisted his ankle in the 23rd mile. To thwart means a. to injure seriously. b. to prevent from accomplishing. c. to support actively. d. to be excessively competitive. 23. To subjugate means a. to be the subject of a sentence or conversation. b. to conquer, bring under control. c. to be wrongly or unevenly distributed. d. to be surrounded on all sides.

104

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

24. Benevolence means a. kindness, generosity. b. a kind, generous ruler. c. to be generous with one’s time or money. d. kind, giving charitably. 25. To coalesce means a. to dig up, mine. b. to carry out an ill-conceived or poorly planned course of action. c. to combine and form a whole; join together. d. to withdraw silently, especially in shame. 26. Docile means a. one who domesticates animals. b. the management of domestic affairs. c. obedience. d. willing to obey, easily managed or taught. 27. Anomaly means a. regularity, consistency. b. something that is irregular, abnormal, or deviates from the usual form. c. a surprising collaboration, the cooperation of unlikely individuals. d. discontent among a specific group within a larger population. 28. Lamentable means a. regrettable, unfortunate. b. to regret. c. an unfortunate occurrence. d. to do something regrettable. 29. To abscond means a. to create a secret hiding place. b. to do something without telling anyone. c. to go away secretly and hide. d. to do something ahead of deadline.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

105

30. Disparate means a. chosen from within. b. exceeding expectations. c. from the same origin. d. fundamentally different, distinct, or apart from others. 31. Rectify means a. to correct. b. a correction. c. a surprising error. d. an editor. 32. Inscrutable means a. teaching a lesson. b. having little or no impact. c. kept between or within members of a family. d. not fathomable; incapable of being understood. 33. Antipathy means a. that which occurred previously. b. a strong aversion or dislike. c. an examination of all aspects of an issue. d. the act of separating from the source. 34. Neophyte means a. original, unique. b. something that comes from multiple sources. c. a roommate; someone who lives with another. d. a beginner or novice. 35. A belligerent person is a. from another country, foreign. b. kind, eager to help. c. eager to fight, hostile. d. loving, devoted.

106

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

36. Someone who is omniscient a. often speaks without thinking. b. receives the maximum benefit. c. blames others for his or her own faults. d. is eager to please. 37. A renaissance is a. a rebirth. b. a punishment. c. a lie. d. a mistake. 38. To equivocate is to a. burn or sting. b. speak in a way that conceals the truth. c. put something in its proper place. d. calm or quiet. 39. Something that is manifest is a. everywhere. b. newborn. c. obvious. d. deadly. 40. Something that is luminous is a. bright, shining. b. even, equal. c. excessive. d. full of knowledge. 41. A person who is culpable is a. capable. b. vocal. c. energetic, full of life. d. guilty.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

107

42. Something that is innocuous is a. dangerous or deadly. b. irrelevant, wandering from the main path or point. c. harmless, inoffensive. d. clean, thoroughly washed. 43. To juxtapose is to a. place side by side. b. overwhelm, flood. c. be born again. d. speak in a round-about manner. 44. Someone who is reticent is a. fair, judging equally. b. reserved, silent. c. bubbling over with enthusiasm. d. deeply in love. 45. A veritable autograph is a. very valuable. b. an autograph by a famous person. c. genuine. d. a forgery or fake. Directions: For questions 46 through 59, choose the correct word in the parentheses to complete the sentence. 46. I tried everything, but nothing would (elicit/illicit) a response from the child. 47. The Euro has (deprecated/depreciated), but the dollar is up. 48. Stop (persecuting/prosecuting) me just because I often disagree with you. 49. Tomorrow the city is going to (raise/raze) the building that I grew up in. 50. As soon as I get off the phone, I will (appraise/apprise) you of the situation.

108

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

51. The odor quickly (disbursed/dispersed) through the room, and soon it was no longer even noticeable. 52. I don’t like Igor because he is constantly (meddling/mettling) in things that are none of his business. 53. Although you all seem to agree, I must (decent/descent/dissent); I think this is a bad decision. 54. Dixie is so (ingenious/ingenuous) I don’t think she could lie if her life depended on it. 55. I’m just going to (peak/peek/pique) in the baby’s room to make sure she’s okay. 56. The thief managed to (allude/elude) the police for several days, but they finally caught up with him in Reno. 57. The (cue/queue) for the movies was all the way to the end of the block and around the corner. 58. Georgio had to (fain/feign) excitement when he opened his presents so his parents wouldn’t know he’d already searched their room to find out what he was getting. 59. A strange odor is (eminenting/imminenting/emanating) from Professor Van Buren’s laboratory. Directions: In questions 60 through 63, identify the correct synonym by looking for word roots, prefixes, or suffixes. Choose the word that means the same or about the same as the italicized word. 60. an incoherent answer a. not understandable b. not likely c. undeniable d. challenging

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

109

61. covered with debris a. good excuses b. transparent material c. scattered rubble d. protective material 62. inadvertently left a. mistakenly b. purposely c. cautiously d. carefully 63. compatible workers a. gifted b. competitive c. harmonious d. experienced Directions: In questions 64 through 67, choose the word that means the opposite of the italicized word. 64. capable employee a. unskilled b. absurd c. apt d. able 65. zealous pursuit a. envious b. eager c. idle d. comical 66. exorbitant prices a. expensive b. unexpected c. reasonable d. outrageous

110

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

67. belligerent attitude a. hostile b. appeasing c. instinctive d. ungracious Directions: For questions 68 through 72, choose the word whose definition best matches the description. 68. an artist’s first gallery showing a. ennui b. imbroglio c. parvenu d. debut 69. a temporary separation in a relationship a. blasé b. quid pro quo c. hiatus d. malaise 70. wearing a disguise a. incognito b. imbroglio c. milieu d. oeuvre 71. pretending not to be hurt by an insulting remark a. ad hoc b. gauche c. cliché d. façade 72. someone who reports students’ questions and concerns to the dean a. aficionado b. liaison c. parvenu d. vis-à-vis

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

111

Directions: For questions 73 and 74, choose the word or phrase that best describes the section of the word in bold type. 73. congregation a. with b. over c. apart d. time 74. wisdom a. a state of being b. a relationship c. a property d. an action 75. A synonym for affect is a. accomplish. b. cause. c. sicken. d. influence. 76. An antonym for wary is a. alert. b. leery. c. worried. d. careless. 77. An antonym for novel is a. dangerous. b. unsettled. c. suitable d. old. 78. A synonym for continuous is a. intermittent. b. adjacent. c. uninterrupted. d. contiguous.

112

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

79. A synonym for courtesy is a. civility. b. congruity. c. conviviality. d. rudeness. 80. An antonym for fallacy is a. truth. b. blessing. c. weakness. d. fable.

ANSWERS

1. d. Legitimate means in a manner conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules or standards. 2. b. Pummeled means to pound or beat. 3. d. Facilitate means to make easier or help bring about. 4. c. Exemplify means to be an instance of or serve as an example. 5. b. Confluence means a coming or flowing together, a meeting, or a gathering at one point. 6. d. Requisite means essential or necessary. 7. a. Delude means to mislead the mind; to deceive. 8. c. Comprehensive means covering completely or broadly. 9. b. Reticent means inclined to be silent or uncommunicative, reserved. 10. b. Precursor means something that comes before. 11. d. Reputedly means according to general belief. 12. a. Abated means to decrease in force or intensity. 13. c. Consummate means extremely skilled and experienced. 14. c. Diligently means to do something with careful attention and great effort. 15. b. To poach is to trespass on another’s property in order to steal fish or game. 16. d. To differentiate between two things is to establish the distinction between them. 17. b. When a car goes out of control and skims along the surface of a wet road, it is called hydroplaning. 18. d. A clairvoyant is someone who can perceive matters beyond the range of ordinary perception.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

113

19. d. Trite means repeated too often, overly familiar through overuse. The key context clue is the phrase “the old storyline,” which indicates that the plot of the movie is overused. 20. b. To emulate means to try to equal or excel, especially by imitation. The sentence tells you that Ilka is pursuing the same career as her brother, which indicates that she is trying to equal or outdo him through imitation. 21. d. To garner means to gather, amass, or acquire. The sentence tells you that Ilona quickly found the support she needed to present her idea to the committee; also because the sentence states that people loved Ilona’s idea, it is logical to conclude that she would gather their support. 22. b. To thwart means to prevent the accomplishment or realization of something. Cy’s twisted ankle kept him from realizing his attempt to complete the marathon. 23. b. The prefix sub- means under or below. To subjugate means to conquer, subdue, bring under control. Notice also the verb suffix -ate, meaning one that performs, promotes, or causes an action; being in a specified state or condition. 24. a. The noun suffix -ence means state of. Benevolence means the inclination to be kind and generous; a disposition to act charitably. 25. c. The prefix co- means with, together. Coalesce means to combine and form a whole; to join together, fuse. 26. d. The adjective suffix -ile means having the qualities of. Docile means willing to obey, ready and willing to be taught, or easily managed. 27. b. The prefix a- mean not, without. Anomaly means something that deviates from the general rule or usual form; one that is irregular or abnormal. 28. a. The adjective suffix -able means capable or worthy of. Lamentable means regrettable, unfortunate; inspiring grief or mourning. 29. c. The prefix ab- means off, away from, apart, down. To abscond means to go away secretly and hide oneself, especially after wrongdoing. 30. d. The prefix dis- means away from, apart, reversal, not. Disparate means fundamentally different or distinct; dissimilar, varied. 31. a. The verb suffix -ify means to make. To rectify means to make right, correct. 32. d. The prefix in- means not. Inscrutable means baffling, unfathomable, incapable of being understood. Notice also the adjective suffix -able. 33. b. The prefix anti- means against, opposed to. Antipathy means a strong aversion or dislike. 34. d. The prefix neo- means new, recent, a new form of. Neophyte means a beginner or novice.

114

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

35. c. The root bel means war. The ending -ent is an adjective suffix meaning in a state or condition; performing or causing a specified action. Belligerent means hostile and aggressive, showing an eagerness to fight. 36. d. The root omni means all; the root sci means to know. Omniscient means having infinite knowledge, knowing all things. 37. a. The root nas/nat/nai means to be born. The prefix re- means back or again; the suffix -ance means state of. Renaissance means a rebirth or revival. 38. b. The root equ means equal; the root voc/vok means to call; the suffix -ate means to make, cause to be. To equivocate means to use unclear or ambiguous language in order to mislead or conceal the truth. Thus, someone who equivocates is “equally” lying and telling the truth (or rather, not quite doing either). 39. c. The root man means hand. Manifest means clear and unmistakable, obvious; thus, at hand. The correct answer can be achieved here through the process of elimination, as the other answers correspond with different roots. 40. a. The root luc/lum/lus means light; the suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Luminous means shining, emitting light; full of light, brilliant. 41. d. The root culp means blame. The adjective suffix -able means capable or worthy of. Culpable means deserving blame or censure for doing something wrong or harmful; blameworthy, guilty. 42. a. The root nec/nic/noc/nox means harm, death. The prefix in- means not; the suffix -ous means having the quality of or relating to. Thus, innocuous means harmless, having no adverse or ill effects. 43. a. The root pon/pos/pound means to put, place. To juxtapose means to place side by side, especially to compare or contrast. 44. b. The root tac/tic means to be silent. Reticent means tending to keep one’s thoughts and feelings to oneself; reserved, untalkative, silent. 45. c. The root ver means truth. The suffix -able means capable or worthy of. Veritable means real, true, genuine. 46. elicit. To elicit means (1) to call forth or draw out, to provoke; (2) to deduce or derive by reasoning. This sentence uses the first meaning. 47. depreciated. To depreciate means to diminish in price or value, to lessen the worth of. It also means to think or speak of as being of little worth, to belittle. 48. persecuting. To persecute is to oppress, harass, or mistreat, especially because of race, religious or political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

P R ACTI C E T E ST 2

115

49. raze. To raze is (1) to level to the ground, demolish completely; (2) to erase, obliterate. This sentence uses the first meaning. 50. apprise. To apprise means to give notice or information to, to make aware of, inform. 51. dispersed. To disperse is (1) to separate and scatter in different directions, or cause to do so; (2) to distribute widely, disseminate. This sentence uses the first meaning. 52. meddling. To meddle is to intrude in other people’s affairs, interfere. 53. dissent. To dissent is (1) to differ in opinion, disagree; (2) to withhold approval or assent. This sentence uses the first meaning. 54. ingenuous. Ingenuous means (1) not cunning or deceitful, unable to mask feelings; artless, frank sincere; (2) lacking sophistication or worldliness. This sentence uses the first meaning. 55. peek. To peek is to glance quickly or peer at furtively. 56. elude. To elude is (1) to escape from or evade, especially by cleverness, daring, or skill; (2) to be incomprehensible to, escape the understanding of. 57. queue. A queue is (1) a line of waiting people or vehicles; (2) in information processing, an ordered list of tasks to be performed or sequence of programs awaiting processing. This sentence uses the first meaning. 58. feign. To feign is to pretend, to give the false appearance of. 59. emanating. To emanate is to come or issue forth, as from a source. 60. a. Incoherent means not understandable. To cohere means to connect. A coherent answer connects or makes sense. The prefix in- means not. 61. c. Debris is scattered fragments or trash. 62. a. Inadvertently means by mistake. The key element in this word is the prefix in-, which means not. 63. c. Compatible means capable of existing or performing in harmony. 64. a. The suffix -able tells you that a capable employee is one who has ability. Capable means able; unskilled means unable. 65. c. Zealous means eager, so idle is most nearly the opposite. You may have heard the word zeal before, which might give you a clue about the meaning of the word. One other precaution is to be careful and not be misled by the similar sounds of zealous and jealous. The other trick is not to choose the synonym, eager, choice b. 66. c. The best clue in this word is the prefix ex-, which means out of or away from. Exorbitant literally means exceeding the bounds of what is fair or normal; very high. The opposite of an exorbitant or outrageous price would be a reasonable one.

116

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

67. b. The key element in this word is the root belli, which means warlike. The synonym choices—hostile and ungracious—would be incorrect. The antonym would be appeasing. 68. d. A debut is a first appearance in or presentation to the public. 69. c. Hiatus means a gap or opening; an interruption or break. 70. a. Incognito means with one’s identity concealed; in disguise or under an assumed character or identity. 71. d. A façade is (1) the face or front of a building; (2) an artificial or deceptive front, especially one intended to hide something unpleasant. 72. b. Liaison means (1) a channel or means of connection or communication between two groups; one who maintains such communication; (2) a close relationship or link, especially one that is secretive or adulterous. 73. a. The prefix con- means to be together with. A congregation would gather together with each other in a house of worship. 74. a. The suffix -dom is a state of being. Someone who has wisdom is someone who is wise enough to discern or judge what is right, true, or lasting. 75. d. To affect means to influence. 76. d. To be wary is to be on guard or watchful; careless is the opposite of watchful. 77. d. To be novel is to be new; the opposite is old. 78. c. Continuous means marked by uninterrupted extension in space and time. 79. a. A courtesy is a courteous or mannerly act; it is characterized by civility. 80. a. A fallacy is a false or mistaken idea, trickery; a truth is something that conforms to the facts.

APPENDIX A

Word List

B

y now you’ve seen that a good working vocabulary is a very important asset when taking the TOEFL iBT. Remember that the best way to learn vocabulary is also the easiest: make long lists of words you don’t know and then break them down into short lists. Learn a short list every day. You should also try and write sentences using the new words. When you learn a new word, use it in conversation as soon as possible. Repetition is key—use a word three times, and it’s yours! Another alternative is to work with flash cards. Flash cards are pieces of paper or index cards that are used as a learning aid. Write the vocabulary word on one side and the definition on the other. Or, try writing a sentence that uses the word on one side of the flash card and the definition of the word on the other. Flash cards are easy to handle, they’re portable, and they’re friend-friendly, so you can study with a buddy. You and your friends can drill each other. If you can make games out of learning vocabulary, studying will be more fun and you will learn more as well! Now, review the word list. After each vocabulary word, you will find the word’s pronunciation, part of speech, definition, and a sentence using the word. (Note: Some words have different meanings depending on how they are being used.) If the word list looks intimidating, try the following strategy. 1. Figure out how many days there are until you take the TOEFL iBT. 2. Multiply that number by 10.

117

118

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

If you have only 30 days until the test day, you can learn 300 new words, by studying only ten new words each day! And, remember, some of these words may already be familiar to you.

PRONUNCIATION KEY

Before you review the word list, here a list of the pronunciation symbols used in the definitions. Next to each pronunciation symbol are words chosen to illustrate how the symbols are said aloud. You may want to photocopy the next few pages so that you will be able to refer to this list easily.
a a ˘ ah ahr air aw ay b ch d e e ˘ ee eer f h hw i ˘ ¯ j k l m n

hat, carry, fact ago, dependable, pedal palm, father car, chart, farm bare, scare, fair ball, walk, draw stage, blame, day bat, rabbit, crib church, preacher day, puddle, bed egg, head, cherry shaken, trickle eat, treat, tree ear, clear, cheer fan, stuffy, relief go, regular, fog heed, heaven, unhappy whether, nowhere it, live, middle stencil, edible icy, tire, sky jug, tragic, hedge kitten, shaken, track lost, trolley, toll more, summon, slim no, dinner, man

n o o ˘ oh ohr oi oo oor or ow p r s sh t th th u u ˘ ur uu v w y z zh

sing, finger, frank odd, fox, trot salmon, advisor oak, boat, sew aboard, score, coarse oil, coin, coy ooze, noodle, super pour, cure, sure for, scorn, horse out, house, how pan, paper, pop rain, marry, dear sun, listen, rice share, fishing, cash tip, mutter, pot three, strengthen, breath this, father, breathe cup, come, shut delicious, measure her, turn, worry cook, put, pull vail, sliver, live want, aware, quaint you, yarn, yesterday zebra, hazy, please division, treasure

WO R D LI ST

119

WORD LIST

A

abate (a·'bayt) v. to lessen in strength, intensity, or degree; subside. As the violent ˘
storm abated, we began to survey the damage it caused.

aberration (ab·e·'ray·shon) n. deviation from what is normal, distortion. His new ˘ ˘ ˘
scientific theory was deemed an aberration by his very conservative colleagues.

abeyance (a·'bay·ans) n. suspension, being temporarily suspended or set aside. ˘ ˘
Construction of the highway is in abeyance until we get agency approval.

abhor (ab·'hohr) v. to regard with horror or repugnance, detest. I know Carlos
abhors politics, but he should still get out and vote.

abjure (ab·'joor) v. 1. to repudiate, renounce under oath. 2. to give up or reject.
When Joseph became a citizen, he had to abjure his allegiance to his country of origin.

abrogate ('ab·ro· ayt) v. to abolish, do away with, formally revoke. The dictator ˘
abrogated agreements that no longer suited his purposes.

abscond (ab·'skond) v. to go away secretly and hide oneself, especially after
wrongdoing to avoid prosecution. He threw down his gun and absconded from the scene of the crime.

absolution (ab·so·'loo·shon) n. 1. an absolving or clearing from blame or guilt. ˘ ˘
2. a formal declaration of forgiveness, redemption. The jury granted Alan the absolution he deserved.

abstain (ab·'stayn) v. 1. to choose to refrain from an action or practice.
2. to refrain from voting. I have decided to abstain on this issue.

abstemious (ab·'stee·mee·us) adj. 1. using or consuming sparingly; used with ˘
temperance or moderation. 2. eating and drinking in moderation; sparing in the indulgence of appetites or passions. After Vadeem gained 30 pounds, he decided he needed a more abstemious diet.

abstruse (ab·'stroos) adj. difficult to comprehend, obscure. Albert Einstein’s
abstruse calculations can be understood by only a few people.

abysmal (a·'biz·mal) adj. 1. extreme, limitless, profound. 2. extremely bad. It ˘ ˘
was not surprising that the movie was a flop; the reviews were abysmal.

accolade ('ak·o·layd) n. 1. praise or approval. 2. a ceremonial embrace in greet˘
ing. 3. a ceremonious tap on the shoulder with a sword to mark the conferring of knighthood. He received accolades from his superiors for finding ways to cut costs and increase productivity.

120

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

accretion (a·'kree·shon) n. 1. growth or increase by gradual, successive addition; ˘ ˘
building up. 2. (in biology) the growing together of parts that are normally separate. The accretion of sediment in the harbor channel caused boats to run aground.

acquiesce (ak·wee·'es) v. to comply, give in, consent without protest. After the
police officer explained why the street was closed to pedestrian traffic, I acquiesced and walked to the next street.

acrid ('ak·rid) adj. 1. having an unpleasantly bitter, sharp taste or smell. 2. bitter
or caustic in language or manner. The burning tires in the junkyard gave off an acrid odor.

acrimonious (ak·r˘·'moh·nee·us) adj. bitter and sharp in language or tone. Jasleen ˘
did not like her new neighbors; it was obvious in the acrimonious way she spoke to them.

acumen (a·'kyoo·men) n. quickness, keenness, and accuracy of perception, judg˘ ˘
ment, or insight. With Jonelle’s acumen, she would make an excellent trial lawyer.

ad hoc (ad 'hok) adj. for a specific, often temporary, purpose; for this case only.
An ad hoc committee will be formed to investigate Stella’s allegations.

adamant ('ad·a·mant) adj. 1. unyielding to requests, appeals, or reason. 2. firm, ˘ ˘
inflexible. The senator was adamant that no changes would be made to the defense budget.

addle ('ad·el) v. 1. to muddle or confuse. 2. to become rotten, as in an egg. The ˘
prosecuting attorney’s questions addled the defendant.

ado (a·'doo) n. fuss, trouble, bother. Without much ado, she completed her book ˘
report.

adroit (a·'droit) adj. skillful, clever, or adept in action or in thought; dexterous, ˘
deft. Priya is a very adroit seamstress; she should have your trousers fixed in no time.

agrarian (a·' rair·ee·an) adj. relating to or concerning land and its ownership or ˘ ˘
cultivation. Although his family tried to convince him to move to a big city, Greg preferred his agrarian life as a farmer.

aficionado (a·fish·yo·'nah·doh) n. a fan or devotee, especially of a sport or pas˘
time. Sal is such an Rolling Stones aficionado that he bought tickets to all ten Giants Stadium concerts.

alacrity (a·'lak·ri·tee) n. a cheerful willingness; being happily ready and eager. ˘
The alacrity she brought to her job helped her move up the corporate ladder quickly.

WO R D LI ST

121

allay (a·'lay) v. 1. to reduce the intensity of, alleviate. 2. to calm, put to rest. The ˘
remarks by the CEO did not allay the concerns of the employees.

allude (a·'lood) v. to make an indirect reference to. The presidential candidate ˘
alluded to the recent unemployment problem by saying, “We’ve all made sacrifices.”

altercation (awl·ter·'kay·shon) n. a heated dispute or quarrel. To prevent an alter˘ ˘
cation at social functions, one should avoid discussing politics and religion.

amiable ('ay·mee·a·bel) adj. friendly and agreeable; good natured, likable, pleas˘ ˘
ing. Miguel was usually the first person invited to a party; his amiable personality drew people to him.

amity ('am·˘·tee) n. friendship; a state of friendly or peaceful relations. Amity had
existed between Denise and Suzanne since they decided not to fight about money anymore.

ambivalent (am·'biv·a·lent) adj. having mixed or conflicting feelings about a ˘ ˘
person, thing, or situation; uncertain. She was ambivalent about the proposal for the shopping center because she understood both the arguments for and against its construction.

ameliorate (a·'meel·yo·rayt) v. to make or become better, to improve. The diplo˘ ˘
mat was able to ameliorate the tense situation between the two nations.

amorphous (a·'mor·fus) adj. 1. having no definite form or distinct shape; shape˘ ˘
less. 2. of no particular kind or character, anomalous. Andrea looked up at the sky, looking at the amorphous clouds.

amulet ('am·yu·lit) n. something worn around the neck as a charm against evil. ˘
The princess wore an amulet after being cursed by a wizard.

anachronism (a·'nak·ro·niz·em) n. 1. something that is placed into an incorrect ˘ ˘ ˘
historical period. 2. a person, custom, or idea that is out of date. With the rise in popularity of cell phones, pagers seem like an anachronism.

anarchy ('an·ar·kee) n. 1. the complete absence of government or control result˘
ing in lawlessness. 2. political disorder and confusion. After the king’s assassination, the country fell into a state of anarchy.

anomaly (a·'nom·a·lee) n. something that deviates from the general rule or usual ˘ ˘
form; one that is irregular, peculiar, or abnormal. Everyone in my family enjoys seafood, so my uncle’s distaste for the salmon dish was an anomaly.

antagonist (an·'ta ·o·nist) n. one who opposes or contends with another; an ˘
adversary, opponent. Hillary was Mike’s antagonist as they both competed for the lead role in the play.

122

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

antecedent (an·ti·'see·dent) n. that which precedes; the thing, circumstance, ˘
event that came before. The police are trying to determine the antecedent of the deadly car crash.

anthropomorphic (an·thro·po·'mor·fik) adj. attributing human characteristics, ˘ ˘
motivations, or behavior to animals or inanimate objects. Many mythologies are about anthropomorphic deities, who express human characteristics such as love, envy, and sadness.

antipathy (an·'tip·a·thee) n. 1. a strong aversion or dislike. 2. an object of aver˘
sion. After Inti stole Peter’s wallet, Peter had antipathy for his classmate.

antithesis (an·'tith·e·sis) n. the direct or exact opposite, opposition or contrast. ˘
Martin’s parenting style is the antithesis of mine; he is strict, I am not.

apathetic (ap·a·'thet·ik) adj. feeling or showing a lack of interest, concern, or ˘
emotion; indifferent, unresponsive. Many students were apathetic when the principal resigned after thirty years working at the school.

aperture ('ap·er·chur) n. an opening or gap, especially one that lets in light. The ˘ ˘
aperture setting on a camera has to be set perfectly to ensure that pictures will have enough light.

apex ('ay·peks) n. 1. the highest point. 2. tip, pointed end. Upon reaching the apex
of the mountain, the climbers placed their flag in the snow.

apocalypse (a·'pok·a·lips) n. a cataclysmic event bringing about total devastation ˘ ˘
or the end of the world. Many people feared an apocalypse would immediately follow the development of nuclear weapons.

apostate (a·'pos·tayt) n. one who abandons long-held religious or political con˘
victions. Disillusioned with religious life, Reverend Gift lost his faith and left the ministry, not caring if he’d be seen as an apostate by colleagues who chose to remain.

apotheosis (a·poth·ee·'oh·sis) n. deification, an exalted or glorified ideal. Hanson ˘
was so in love with Marge; in his daydreams, she was an apotheosis.

appease (a·'peez) v. to make calm or quiet, soothe; to still or pacify. The only way ˘
to appease Lawrence is to concede that he is right.

appraise (a·'prayz) v. 1. to evaluate. 2. to establish value or estimate the worth ˘
of. The art dealer appraised the value of the painting.

apprise (a·'pr¯z) v. to give notice or information to; to make aware of, inform. ˘
The teacher apprised the class about when the midterm and final exams would occur.

WO R D LI ST

123

approbation (ap·ro·'bay·shon) n. approval. The local authorities issued an approba˘ ˘
tion to close the street for a festival on St. Patrick’s Day.

appropriate (˘·'pro·pre·˘t) adj. suitable for a particular person, condition, occasion, a ¯ ¯ a or place; fitting. (˘·'proh·pree·ayt) v. to take for one’s own use, often without permission; to set aside for a special purpose. The state legislature will appropriate two million dollars from the annual budget to build a new bridge on the interstate highway.

apropos (ap·ro·'poh) adj. appropriate to the situation; suitable to what is being ˘
said or done. adv. 1. by the way, incidentally. 2. at an appropriate or opportune time. Chancey’s comments may have been disturbing, but they were definitely apropos.

arcane (ahr·'kayn) adj. mysterious, secret, beyond comprehension. A number of
college students in the 1980s became involved in the arcane game known as “Dungeons and Dragons.”

archaic (ahr·'kay·ik) adj. belonging to former or ancient times; characteristic of
the past. The archaic language of Chaucer’s tales makes them difficult for many students to understand.

archetype ('ahr·ki·t¯p) n. an original model from which others are copied; original pattern or prototype. Elvis Presley served as the archetype for rock and roll performers in the 1950s.

ardor ('ahr·dor) n. fiery intensity of feeling; passionate enthusiasm, zeal. The ˘
ardor Larry brought to the campaign made him a natural spokesperson.

arduous ('ahr·joo·us) adj. 1. very difficult, laborious; requiring great effort. ˘
2. difficult to traverse or surmount. Commander Shackleton’s arduous journey through the Arctic has become the subject of many books and movies.

ascent (a·'sent) n. 1. an upward slope. 2. a movement upward, advancement. The ˘
rock climbers made the ascent up the side of the mountain.

ascetic (a·'set·ik) adj. practicing self-denial, not allowing oneself pleasures or ˘
luxuries; austere. Some religions require their leaders to lead an ascetic lifestyle as an example to their followers.

askew (a·'skyoo) adj. & adv. crooked, not straight or level; to one side. Even the ˘
pictures on the wall stood askew after my five-year-old son’s birthday party.

asperity (a·'sper·i·tee) n. harshness, severity; roughness of manner, ill temper, ˘
irritability. The asperity that Marvin, the grumpy accountant, brought to the meetings usually resulted in an early adjournment.

124

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

assay (a·'say) v. 1. to try, put to a test. 2. to examine. 3. to judge critically, evalu˘
ate after an analysis. The chief engineer wanted a laboratory to assay the steel before using it in the construction project.

assent (a·'sent) n. agreement; concurrence; consent. v. to agree to something ˘
especially after thoughtful consideration. In order to pass the new law, the committee must reach an assent.

assiduous (a·'sij·oo·us) adj. diligent, hardworking; persevering, unremitting. ˘ ˘
Omar’s teachers applaud his assiduous study habits.

assuage (a·'swayj) v. to make something less severe, to soothe; to satisfy (as ˘
hunger or thirst). The small cups of water offered to the marathon runners helped to assuage their thirst.

attenuate (a·'ten·yoo·ayt) v. 1. to make thin or slender. 2. to weaken, reduce in ˘
force, value, or degree. The Russian army was able to attenuate the strength and number of the German forces by leading them inland during winter.

audacious (aw·'day·sh us) adj. fearlessly or recklessly daring or bold; unre˘
strained by convention or propriety. Detective Malloy’s methods were considered bold and audacious by his superiors, but they often achieved results.

augment (aw ·'ment) v. to increase in size, strength, or intensity; enlarge. Arty
tried to help Ann and Stan settle their differences, but his interference only augmented the problem.

august (aw·' ust) adj. majestic, venerable; inspiring admiration or reverence.
Jackie Kennedy’s august dignity in the days following her husband’s assassination set a tone for the rest of the nation as it mourned.

auspice ('aw·spis) n. 1. protection or support, patronage. 2. a forecast or omen.
The children’s art museum was able to continue operating through the auspices of an anonymous wealthy benefactor.

austere (aw·'steer) adj. 1. severe or stern in attitude or appearance. 2. simple,
unadorned, very plain. I know my dad seems austere, but he’s really just a great big teddy bear.

authoritarian (a·thor·i·'tair·i·an) adj. favoring complete, unquestioning obedi˘ ˘
ence to authority as opposed to individual freedom. The military maintains an authoritarian environment for its officers and enlisted men alike.

automaton (aw·'tom·a·ton) n. someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or ˘ ˘
robotic way. 2. a self-operating or automatic machine, a robot. Because she fol-

WO R D LI ST

125

lowed the same routine every morning, Natasha made coffee, cooked breakfast, and made her children’s lunch like an automaton.

autonomy (aw·'ton·o·mee) n. personal or political independence; self˘
government, self-determination. The teenager desired fewer rules from her parents and a sense of autonomy.

avant-garde (a·vahnt·' ahrd) adj. using or favoring an ultramodern or experimental style; innovative, cutting-edge, especially in the arts or literature. Yvette prefers the avant-garde style of writers like Donald Barthelme to the traditional narrative technique.

aversion (a·'vur·zhon) n. 1. a strong, intense dislike; repugnance. 2. the object of ˘ ˘
this feeling. Todd has an aversion to arugula and picks it out of his salads. B

baleful ('bayl·ful) adj. harmful, menacing, destructive, sinister. Whether it’s a ˘
man, woman, car, or animal, you can be certain to find at least one baleful character in a Stephen King horror novel.

balk (bawk) v. 1. to stop abruptly and refuse to go on. 2. to obstinately refuse or
oppose. Old man Jones was finally ready to capitulate and sell his land to the timber company, but he balked when he saw that he would be compensated for only half of the value of his property.

banal (ba·'nal) adj. commonplace, trite; obvious and uninteresting. I was expecting ˘
something original and exciting, but the film turned out to have a banal storyline and mediocre acting.

bane (bayn) n. 1. cause of trouble, misery, distress, or harm. 2. poison. The bane
of the oak tree is the Asian beetle.

beguile (bi·' ¯l) v. to deceive or cheat through cunning; to distract the attention
of, divert; to pass time in a pleasant manner, to amuse or charm. Violet was able to beguile the spy, causing him to miss his secret meeting.

belie (bi·'l¯) v. 1. to give a false impression, misrepresent. 2. to show to be false,
to contradict. By wearing an expensive suit and watch, Alan hoped to belie his lack of success to everyone at the reunion.

bellicose ('bel·˘·kohs) adj. belligerent, quarrelsome, eager to make war. There
was little hope for peace following the election of a candidate known for his bellicose nature.

126

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

belligerent (bi·'lij·er·ent) adj. hostile and aggressive, showing an eagerness to ˘ ˘
fight. Because Omar had a reputation for being belligerent, many people refused to associate with him because they feared confrontation.

benevolence (be·'nev·o·lens) n. the inclination to be kind and generous; a dis˘ ˘ ˘
position to act charitably. Regina showed benevolence when she volunteered to help raise money for the local soup kitchen.

benign (bi·'n¯n) adj. 1. gentle, mild, kind; having a beneficial or favorable nature
or influence. 2. not harmful or malignant. Simo’s actions toward his competitors was never mean-spirited; he always acted in a benign manner.

bevy ('bev·ee) n. 1. a large group or assemblage. 2. a flock of animals or birds.
There was a bevy of eager bingo fans waiting outside the hall for the game to begin.

bilk (bilk) v. to deceive or defraud; to swindle, cheat, especially to evade paying
one’s debts. The stockbroker was led away in handcuffs, accused of trying to bilk senior citizens out of their investment dollars.

blasé (blah·'zay) adj. 1. uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence.
2. nonchalant, unconcerned. 3. very sophisticated. Quincy has traveled so much that he speaks of exotic places such as Borneo in a totally blasé manner.

blasphemy ('blas·fe·mee) n. contemptuous or irreverent acts, utterances, atti˘
tudes or writings against God or other things considered sacred; disrespect of something sacrosanct. If you committed blasphemy during the Inquisition, you would be tortured and killed.

blatant ('blay·tant) adj. completely obvious, not attempting to conceal in any
way. Samuel’s blatant disregard of the rules earned him a two-week suspension.

blight (bl¯t) n. 1. a plant disease that causes the affected parts to wilt and die.
2. something that causes this condition, such as air pollution. 3. something that impairs or destroys. 4. an unsightly object or area. They still do not know what caused the blight that destroyed half of the trees in the orchard.

blithe (bl¯th) adj. light-hearted, casual, and carefree. Rachel’s blithe attitude toward
spending money left her broke and in debt.

boisterous ('boi·ste·rus) adj. 1. loud, noisy, and lacking restraint or discipline. ˘ ˘
2. stormy and rough. The boisterous crowd began throwing cups onto the field during the football game.

bolster ('bohl·ster) v. 1. to support or prop up. 2. to buoy or hearten. Coach ˘
Edmond’s speech bolstered the team’s confidence.

WO R D LI ST

127

bombastic (bom·'bas·tik) adj. speaking pompously, with inflated selfimportance. Ahmed was shocked that a renowned and admired humanitarian could give such a bombastic keynote address.

boor (boor) n. a crude, offensive, ill-mannered person. Seeing Chuck wipe his
mouth with his sleeve, Maribel realized she was attending her senior prom with a classic boor.

bourgeois (boor·'zhwah) adj. typical of the middle class; conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class; hence also, commonplace, conservative, or materialistic. Although she won millions in the lottery, Ada still maintains her bourgeois lifestyle.

bowdlerize ('bohd·le·r¯z) v. to edit by omitting or modifying parts that may be ˘
considered offensive; censor. To make their collection of fairy tales suitable for children, the Brothers Grimm had to bowdlerize the folk tales they had collected, for many of the original tales included graphic language.

bravado (bra·'vah·doh) n. false courage, a show of pretended bravery. Kyle’s ˘
bravado often got him in trouble with other kids in the neighborhood.

broach (brohch) v. 1. to bring up, introduce, in order to begin a discussion of.
2. to tap or pierce, as in to draw off liquid. It was hard for Sarah to broach the subject of her mother’s weight gain.

bumptious ('bump·shus) adj. arrogant, conceited. The bumptious man couldn’t stop ˘
talking about himself or looking in the mirror.

buoyant ('boi·ant) adj. 1. able to float. 2. light-hearted, cheerful. In science class, ˘
the children tried to identify which objects on the table would be buoyant.

burgeon ('bur·jon) v. to begin to grow and flourish; to begin to sprout, grow ˘
new buds, blossom. The tulip bulbs beneath the soil would burgeon in early spring providing there was no late frost.

burnish ('bur·nish) v. to polish, rub to a shine. When Kathryn began to burnish the
old metal tea pot, she realized that it was, in fact, solid silver. C

cabal (ka·'bal) n. 1. a scheme or conspiracy. 2. a small group joined in a secret ˘
plot. With Antonio as their leader, the members of the unit readied themselves to begin the cabal.

cacophony (ka·'kof·o·nee) n. loud, jarring, discordant sound; clamor, din. I ˘ ˘
heard a cacophony coming from the garage where the band was practicing.

128

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

cadge (kaj) v. to beg, to obtain by begging. Their dog Cleo would cadge at my feet,
hoping I would throw him some table scraps.

cajole (ka·'johl) v. to urge with gentle and repeated appeals or flattery; to whee˘
dle. Valerie is quite adept at cajoling others to get what she wants, even if it’s something she hasn’t earned.

candor ('kan·dor) n. frank, sincere speech; openness. When I told my boss about my ˘
performance concerns, he welcomed my candor.

capitulate (ka·'pich·u·layt) v. to surrender under specific terms or agreed upon ˘ ˘
conditions; to give in, acquiesce. Old man Jones was finally ready to capitulate and sell his land to the timber company, but he balked when he saw that he would be compensated for only half of the value of his property.

capricious (ka·'prish·us) adj. impulsive, whimsical and unpredictable. Robin ˘ ˘
Williams, the comedian, demonstrates a capricious nature even when he is not performing.

careen (ka·'reen) v. 1. to lurch from side to side while in motion. 2. to rush care˘
lessly or headlong. Watching the car in front of us careen down the road was very frightening.

caste (kast) n. a distinct social class or system. While visiting India, Michael was
fascinated to learn the particulars of each caste and the way they related to each other.

castigate ('kas·t˘· ayt) v. to inflict a severe punishment on; to chastise severely.
When his parents caught Bryan stealing money from his classmates, they castigated him.

catharsis (ka·'thahr·sis) n. the act of ridding or cleansing; relieving emotions via ˘
the experiences of others, especially through art. Survivors of war often experience a catharsis when viewing Picasso’s painting Guernica, which depicts the bombing of a town during the Spanish civil war.

caustic ('kaws·tik) adj. 1. able to burn, corrode, or dissolve by chemical action.
2. bitingly sarcastic, cutting. The mechanic was very careful when working with the caustic fluid around the car because it could damage the car’s paint.

censor ('sen·sor) n. an official who reviews books, films, etc. to remove what is ˘
considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. v. to forbid the publication, distribution, or other public dissemination of something because it is considered obscene or otherwise politically or morally unacceptable. The librarian served as a censor, deciding what books were appropriate for the young readers.

WO R D LI ST

129

censure ('sen·shur) n. expression of strong criticism or disapproval; a rebuke or ˘
condemnation. v. to criticize strongly, rebuke, condemn. After Tyra was found cheating on the exam, her mother censured her behavior.

chastise ('chas·t¯z) v. to punish severely, as with a beating; to criticize harshly,
rebuke. Charles knew that his wife would chastise him after he inadvertently told the room full of guests that she had just had a face lift.

chauvinist ('shoh·v˘n·ist) n. a person who believes in the superiority of his or
her own kind; an extreme nationalist. Though common in the early days of the women’s movement, male chauvinists are pretty rare today.

chimera (ki·'meer·a) n. 1. (in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing she-monster ˘
with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. 2. a vain or incongruous fancy; a (monstrous) product of the imagination, illusion. Seduced by the chimera of immortality, Victor Frankenstein created a monster that ended up destroying him and everyone he loved.

chronic ('kron·ik) adj. 1. continuing for a long time; on-going, habitual.
2. long-lasting or recurrent. Seamus has had a chronic cough for the past six months.

chronicle ('kron·i·kel) n. a detailed record or narrative description of past ˘
events. v. to record in chronological order; make a historical record. Historians have made a chronicle of the war’s events.

chronology (kro·'nol·o·jee) n. the arrangement of events in time; the sequence ˘ ˘
in which events occur. The firefighter determined the chronology of incidents that contributed to the fire.

chronometer (kro·'nom·i·ter) n. an exceptionally accurate clock; a precise ˘ ˘
instrument for measuring time. The track coach used a chronometer to determine the runner’s time for the marathon.

churlish ('chur·l˘sh) adj. ill-mannered, boorish, rude. Angelo’s churlish remarks
made everyone at the table uncomfortable and ill at ease.

circumspect ('sur·kum·spekt) adj. cautious, wary, watchful. The prison guard was ˘
circumspect when he learned that some of the prisoners were planning an escape.

clandestine (klan·'des·tin) adj. conducted in secrecy; kept or done in private,
often in order to conceal an illicit or improper purpose. The private investigator followed Raul to a clandestine rendezvous with a woman in sunglasses and a trench coat.

cliché (klee·'shay) n. a trite or overused expression or idea. Tito has an engaging
writing style, but he uses too many clichés.

130

VO CA B U LA RY F O R TO E F L iBT

coalesce (koh·a·'les) v. to combine and form a whole; to join together, fuse. Jay ˘
and Jael coalesced their money to create one savings account.

coeval (koh·'ee·val) adj. of the same time period, contemporary. The poet Ben ˘
Jonson was coeval to Shakespeare.

cogent ('koh·jent) adj. convincing, persuasive, compelling belief. Ella’s cogent ˘
arguments helped the debate team win the state championship.

collusion (ko·'loo·zhon) n. a secret agreement between two or more people for a ˘ ˘
deceitful or fraudulent purpose; conspiracy. The discovery of the e-mail proved that collusion existed between the CEO and CFO to defraud the shareholders.

complacent (kom·'play·sent) adj. contented to a fault; self-satisfied, uncon˘ ˘
cerned. Renee was complacent even when she learned that her coworkers were trying to get her fired.

concede (kon·'seed) v. 1. to acknowledge or admit as true, proper, etc. (often ˘
with reluctance); to yield, surrender. 2. to grant as a right or privilege. The leader conceded the right to vote to all her country’s inhabitants.

conciliatory (kon·'sil·ee·a·tohr·ee) adj. making or willing to make concessions ˘ ˘
to reconcile, soothe, or comfort; mollifying, appeasing. Abraham Lincoln made conciliatory gestures toward the South at the end of the Civil War.

conclave ('kon·klav) n. a private or secret meeting. The double agent had a conclave
with the spy he was supposed to be observing.

consensus (kon·'sen·sus) n. general agreement or accord; an opinion or position ˘ ˘
reached by a group. The school board reached a consensus about building a new high school.

consternation (kon·ster·'nay·shon) n. a feeling of deep, incapacitating horror or ˘ ˘
dismay. The look of consternation on the faces of the students taking the history exam alarmed the teacher, who thought he had prepared his students for the test.

contentious (kon·'ten·shus) adj. 1. quarrelsome, competitive, quick to fight. ˘ ˘
2. controversial, causing contention. With two contentious candidates on hand, it was sure to be a lively debate.

conundrum (ko·'nun·drum) n. a hard riddle, enigma; a puzzling question or ˘ ˘
problem. Alex’s logic professor gave the class a conundrum to work on over the weekend.

copious ('koh·pi·us) adj. large in number or quantity; abundant, plentiful. The



Похожие новости


Layered haircuts for thick long hair
Ripped t shirt design 2018
How to wear: denim vests for women
Red winter bridesmaid dresses 2018
Haute couture wedding dresses 2018




ШОКИРУЮЩИЕ НОВОСТИ