Interpret the Meaning of Words and Phrases Using Context Quiz (20)
Welcome to the Interpret the Meaning of Words and Phrases Using Context Quiz. This Quiz includes 20 realistic practice questions. Detailed answer explanations are given after each question submission so you can check your understanding and learn along the way.
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Question 1 of 20
Because she paid attention, took notes, and looked up unfamiliar words, she was able to discern the speaker’s meaning.CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 20
Hopefully we’ll get some rain soon; we need a respite from this hot and dry weather.
Which of the following is the closest meaning to “respite” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 20
At the meeting, the committee plans to laud the supervisor for his exemplary leadership.
Which of the following is the closest meaning to “laud” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 20
After listening to the instructor’s convoluted answer, she was even more confused.
Which of the following is the closest meaning to “convoluted” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 20
Considering that the road was already quite narrow, the sign stating that the road would continue to narrow gave her a strong feeling of trepidation.
Which of the following defines “trepidation” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 6 of 20
Since the claim is based on spurious sources, we cannot accept it as legitimate.
Which of the following defines “spurious” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 7 of 20
The company’s fees were exorbitant, more than twice what their competitors charged.
Which of the following defines “exorbitant” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 8 of 20
When giving feedback on someone’s performance, do not enumerate all of their shortcomings, which can be discouraging; instead, identify just one or two things to focus on.
Which of the following defines “enumerate” in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 9 of 20
The unscrupulous manager tried to coerce the employees to skip their lunch breaks by threatening to reduce their hours.
A synonym for “coerce” as it is used in the sentence above would be __________.CorrectIncorrect
Question 10 of 20
After her diatribe against the manager, she was called in for a discussion on more productive methods of conflict resolution.
A synonym for “diatribe” as it is used in this sentence is ___________.CorrectIncorrect
Question 11 of 20
The aspiring author decided to write her book in imitation of the trends; her story, therefore, was banal.
Which of the following is an antonym for the word “banal” as used in the sentence above?CorrectIncorrect
Question 12 of 20
It was imprudent to attempt such a difficult stunt without the proper safety precautions.
Which of the following is an antonym for the word “imprudent” as used in the sentence?CorrectIncorrect
Question 13 of 20
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago devotes himself to obtaining revenge on Othello for wounding his sense of pride. Iago has two complaints: one involves a rumor that Othello has had an affair with Iago’s wife Emilia; the other is a promotion that Iago believes he should have received. Iago admits that he doesn’t know if the rumor is even true; however, that his ambition was thwarted is true. Cassio was promoted to lieutenant while Iago was made to settle with the position of ensign. Although he is bitterly angry at Othello for promoting Cassio ahead of him, a key part of his plan for vengeance involves keeping his emotions from reaching the surface, at least in front of others. Accordingly, he plays the conscientious soldier, always ready when needed, always trustworthy, and always honorable. His deception is effective. Nearly everyone in the play believes him to be what he seems, right up until it is too late to stop the horrible events he has set into motion.
What is the meaning of the word “conscientious” as used in the paragraph?CorrectIncorrect
Question 14 of 20
Othello’s Tragic Fall
Othello, by William Shakespeare, is a tragedy. A tragedy is meant to affect a cathartic release of emotions. A catharsis is a sort of purging, an opportunity to experience an extreme emotion without a real-life cause. In a tragedy, the main character falls from a lofty height. It is this great fall that is meant to inspire sadness and pity. It also serves as a cautionary tale that no one is immune from destruction brought on by bad decisions or harmful personality traits allowed to run unchecked. In the case of Othello, the titular character is the general of the Venetian army, a position of great power. It is clear that the Venetians count on him to handle their military exploits and protect their interests. Othello is a successful soldier and also wins the love of Desdemona, the daughter of a Senator and a woman who is sought after and praised by all. However, his fall is caused by jealousy. Although Iago is the instrument of his fall, Othello would not have been susceptible to Iago’s machinations had his own jealousy and insecurity not made him weak. By the end of the play, Othello has betrayed all those most dear to him and lost everything, even his life. In a short span of time, he has fallen from a dramatic height. As everything unfolds at the end, the onlookers are stunned (those still alive, at any rate). Like the audience, they cannot help an emotional reaction to this devastating and bloody tragedy.
What is the meaning of the word “susceptible” as used in the paragraph?CorrectIncorrect
Question 15 of 20
Have you ever been in a debate or argument with someone who blasted off a series of points which may have been loosely related, false, half-truths, or weakly developed? Even if you knew these points were weak, you may have felt overwhelmed by the realization of how much time and emotional energy it would take to refute each one individually. If you’ve experienced this, you’ve been the victim of a Gish gallop, an argumentative technique that attempts to substitute a veneer of substance for actual substance by overwhelming an opponent with a series of dubious arguments. The goal is to make it seem like the Gish galloper’s position is supported by overwhelming evidence, and this might be convincing to people who do not have enough familiarity with the issue to recognize poorly developed or fallacious arguments. However, the Gish gallop is an intellectually dishonest tactic. It takes time to research and debate any argument in depth. The Gish gallop is the opposite of depth. It is pure superficiality and it attempts to evade meaningful debate.
What is the meaning of the word “dubious” as used in the paragraph?CorrectIncorrect
Question 16 of 20
The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is one of the best places for spectacular views, both celestial and terrestrial. From the grounds outside the observatory, you can easily see the Hollywood sign overlooking Los Angeles, and Los Angeles itself, with all its skyscrapers and thickly intersecting streets. The smog may somewhat obfuscate your view on a bad day, but the prominent position of the observatory should still make for an excellent look over the city. If you’re looking upwards, the observatory offers the public use of powerful telescopes from which you’ll be able to see far above even the thickest smog. Observers can note such features of our solar system as comets, our moon, and the planets. The observatory offers educational features to help you locate and understand the wonders beyond our planet. Whatever the level of your interest in astronomy, Griffith Observatory should be high on your to-do list when you’re in Los Angeles.
What is the meaning of the word “obfuscate” as used in the paragraph?CorrectIncorrect
Question 17 of 20
A word’s denotation is its dictionary definition. It is the objective definition of what a word means. However, words can have multiple denotations and even different parts of speech. The word “spring”, for example, despite being a word most people would consider simple, has over forty denotations and exists as both a noun and a verb. That being the case, if you are working with an unfamiliar word, how can you know if you have the right denotation? It’s important to keep in mind that the context for which you need the word should filter out illogical denotations. Therefore, when you look up a new word, read not only the definitions, but the sample sentences. You’ll see the word in action, as it were; you’ll be able to see an example of the word in context. For a word with multiple denotations, this will help you choose the write denotation to use in your own writing. Choosing the wrong denotation and using the word improperly will create confusion for your readers.
However, sometimes a writer may want multiple denotations. In this case, a word would be chosen because more than one denotation is appropriate, essentially allowing the writer to pack more meaning into fewer words. We can see this in the poem “Cross” by Langston Hughes. The speaker regrets his anger against his deceased parents, a wealthy white man and a poor black woman. He wonders where he himself will die, “Being neither white nor black?” (12). Instead of considering himself both black and white, he considers himself neither. The poem reveals his struggles to establish his identity in a society in which he feels unrecognized and unmoored. Considering this, the poem’s title “Cross” can be seen to have at least three relevant denotations: “cross” as in angry, “cross” as in a mix or mixture, and “cross” as in a burden (an allusion to Jesus’s cross in the Bible). The title and the poem itself are brief, but effective use of denotation allows Hughes to fold significant meaning into one word; this meaning then infuses the poem itself with greater significance and emotion.
Which of the following is the best definition of “allusion” as used in the passage?CorrectIncorrect
Question 18 of 20
We often define poetry by rhyme and meter, but poetry is more than that. In fact, poetry does not even have to have rhyme or meter. Of course, many poems do have these features, but there are variations that do not. One of them is blank verse, which has meter but does not have rhyme. Another is free verse, which, as the name suggests, is not bound by any formulaic constraints of rhyme, meter, or any other type of pattern. This more open form of poetry is more likely to be found in modern poetry that often eschews the well-established forms more common in previous decades and centuries.
If not by rhyme and meter, how are we to define poetry? While there may not be a universally agreed-upon answer, poetry can be defined by its compact, emotionally evocative use of language and by its freedom from the conventions that govern prose. Poets aim to use language in a way that condenses more meaning and emotional experience into words than we typically see with prose. This might mean making use of words that embody multiple relevant denotations, carefully choosing words for their connotations, and employing rich, original figurative language. None of this is unique to poetry, but poetry tends to make greater use of these features than prose. Poetry may also experiment in ways not found in prose, which is where we get the idea of “poetic license,” or the idea that writing conventions typically obeyed in prose are not restrictive upon poetry.
Which of the following is the best definition of “eschew” as used in the passage?CorrectIncorrect
Question 19 of 20
Mental Health Care
Once or twice a year, we dutifully make appointments for annual checkups; we visit the optometrist, the dentist, and any other doctor we may need to see. If we’re forty-five or older, our sense of duty to care for our physical health may even extend to a preventive colonoscopy, which is surely one of the most dreaded appointments of all. But what about our mental health? In 2019, 19.2% of American adults had received some form of mental health treatment in the past year, while 64.9% had had a dental visit. Why don’t we care for our mental health as consistently as we care for our physical health?
One reason is a prevailing stigma against obtaining mental health care. While you could tell someone you are going to the optometrist without them thinking anything of it, people often react with more surprise and even negativity to hearing that someone is receiving mental health care. People wonder what is “wrong” with the person attending counseling or taking antidepressants. This fear of judgment is one factor keeping people from seeking mental health care. This might be further exacerbated by the fact that we can’t see mental ailments in the same way we can see physical ailments. For some, visibility functions as evidence. They might assume that if someone’s ailment isn’t visible, it isn’t real, or at least, it isn’t serious. This might lead to more negative judgement of people who are open with their mental health issues. Finally, lack of insurance and financial wherewithal may play a role. If someone is struggling to meet their regular financial needs, they may be unwilling to spend money on mental health care. Ultimately, we need to normalize mental health care. If everyone is receiving regular mental health check-ups in the same way they attend the dentist, issues can be dealt with before they become serious.
Which of the following is the best definition of “exacerbate” as used in the passage?CorrectIncorrect
Question 20 of 20
Shopping as an Experience
While humongous companies like Amazon may offer unparalleled selection and convenience, there are additional factors worth your consideration when you decide where to shop. One significant factor is the shopping experience. If you’re just looking to knock items off your to-do list, such as buying mundane household essentials like floss and toilet bowl cleanser, Amazon is great. You’re not looking for an experience; you’re just looking to quickly and easily obtain necessary items. However, if you’re looking for an enjoyable afternoon out of the house, the experience is more significant. This means more than just finding a desired item. In fact, you might return from such a shopping trip empty-handed. You might have spent your time browsing, chatting with friends, maybe buying a cup of coffee or lunch. These experience-oriented outings, even when alone and even when we do have a practical purpose, give us a chance to get out of the house and vary our scenery a bit. But such trips do require a physical storefront. There’s something to be said for browsing in person, for being able to add a tactile element to the experience, picking up and handling merchandise.
We’re likely to recognize this desire more acutely when on vacation. On vacation, we’re temporarily separating ourselves from the demands of daily life. With a slower pace and more control over our activities, we don’t feel the driving need to rush through the shopping experience. We’re more likely to seek out cute, unique little shops we can stroll through. We delight in unusual, charming wares, perhaps even handcrafted items. If we’d like to maintain physical stores as a place to have experiences and not just purchase items, we need to support them in our daily lives, not just when we’re on vacation. This is good for our local community and also for our own mental state. We all need a break from time to time. We take bigger breaks in the form of vacations, but we need smaller breaks throughout the week, throughout the day. Even if you could obtain an item more conveniently online, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the house, take a little stroll, and see some sights beyond the confines of your home.
Which of the following is the best definition of “mundane” as used in the passage?CorrectIncorrect