Increasing your Vocabulary

The best way to increase your vocabulary is to read widely and to rernember a good deal of what you have read. This may seem like an old-fashioned method, but there are really no shortcuts. There are, however, ways of improving your effieiency in learning the new words that you encounter. Knowing how to find clues to the meaning of a word elsewhere in the sentence and knowing something about the ways words are formed will help.
This chapter is intended to help you develop skills that will be useful in building a better vocabulary. But before you begin, take the following test on the meanings of following words:

Diagnostic Test
Number your paper 1-25. After the proper number, write the letter of the word which is nearest in meaning to the word at the left.

1. absolve a. forget
b. accuse
c. pardon
d. figure out
2. allusion a. reference
b. criticism
c. mistaken idea
d. disappointment
3. anarchy a. dictatorship
b. lawlessness
c. entryway
d. country ruled by a queen
4. benevolence a. laziness
b. mysteriousness
c. rudeness
d. kindliness
5. bizarre a. childish
b. poorly chosen
c. strange
d. common
6. candid a. small
b. straightforward
c. hidden
d. unjust
7. competent a. capable
b. aggressive
c. incapable
d. sane
8. discrepancy a. difference
b. dishonesty
c. dislike
d. noise
9. docile a. stupid
b. easily tired
c. easily misled
d. easily managed
10. exasperated a . irritated
b. undecided
c . puzzled
d. overjoyed
11. flaunt a. betray
b. point out
c. show off
d. give in
12. grueling a. questioning
b. frightening
c. exhausting
d. stubborn
13. haven a. paradise
b. town
c. shelter
d. small river
14. immune a. in bad health
b. alone
c. healthy
d. protected
15. incomprehensible a. startling
b. too expensive
c. not understandable
d. not flammable
16. ingenious a. dishonest
b. clever
c. simpleminded
d. frank
17. jaunty a. light-hearted
b. strolling
c. nervous
d. yellowish
18. lethal a. deadly
b. explosive
c. criminal
d. warlike
19. meander a. walk rapidly
b. untie
c. examine
d. wander
20. mediocre a. ignorant
b. ordinary
c. ill-tempered
d. boring
21. ominous a. altogether
b. disappearing
c. threatening
d. hungry
22. retrieve a. recover
b. hunt
c. make up
d. overlook
23. skeptical a. doubting
b. unfriendly
c. cruel
d. untrustworthy
24. tawdry a. gay and charming
b. showy and tasteless
c. tattered and worn
25. wary a . trusting
b. cowardly
c. tired
d. cautious

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