Can you spell victory with this quiz?
Language is intrinsically important to our status as the dominant species on the planet. As humans, we have the ability to communicate complex ideas and emotions effortlessly through the countless words that make up the thousands of languages in the world. While English may not be the most popular language in terms of native speakers, its importance in the global community cannot be denied. In fact, this importance is blatantly showcased by the fact that English currently ranks as the most frequently adopted second language in the world.
Like all languages from all corners of the world, the English language is constantly evolving and changing as the years go by - turning slang into formal words and taking key words from other prominent languages. All of the definitions that are used in this quiz are sourced from the online version of the highly reputable Merriam-Webster dictionary. So, are you ready to put your knowledge of the English language to the ultimate test? Then, let's jump right into this sea of words and find out!
Merriam-Webster defines the verb rant as to "talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner." While this question uses rant in the context of anger, this does not always have to be the case. For example, someone could simply be enthusiastically ranting to their friend about their favorite TV show.
Pummel is a verb that simply means to beat or pound. It is usually used to convey heavy or repeated strikes, such as when a boxer pummels his opponent with punches.
Merriam-Webster defines expedite as "to accelerate the process or progress of." Examples of this would be the act of expediting your recovery from an illness by taking medication or paying an additional fee to expedite the delivery of goods.
Keen is an adjective used to describe something that is exceptionally responsive or sensitive. Examples of this would be animals that have powerful senses, like eagles that have a keen sense of sight or dogs that have a keen sense of smell.
Punctual is an adjective that describes the act of being on time. Examples of this would be a punctual employee who always arrives on time for work or a punctual student who is never late for school.
Merriam-Webster defines an accolade as "a mark of acknowledgment" or "an expression of praise." A physical accolade could take the form of an award, while a more intangible example would be a positive five-star review.
Hiring someone refers to the act of providing them payment in exchange for personal services or labor. In British English, the word can sometimes be attributed to inanimate objects, such as to "hire a car." In this case, the meaning is directly interchangeable with "renting."
Merriam-Webster defines pristine as "not spoiled, corrupted, or polluted" or "fresh and clean, as if new." Examples of this would be a pristine white shirt that has no stains or a pristine room that is free of trash and grime.
In this example, "recoil" is defined as the action of instinctively moving back as a result of some stimulus. However, people can also recoil from situations emotionally as well. One of the most common uses of the recoil is to describe the kickback of a gun when it has been fired.
In a traditional sense, the verb kindle is used to describe the act of starting a fire. However, Merriam-Webster also defines kindle as "to stir up or arouse." An example of this would parents kindling their child's interest in music.
Invulnerable is an adjective used to describe something or someone that cannot be harmed or injured. An example of this would be Superman, who is invulnerable to conventional weapons, like guns.
Garrison is both a noun and a verb. The noun can refer to any military post or the troops that are at that post. On the other hand, the verb defines the act of stationing those troops at a military post or other defensible location.
Merriam-Webster defines optimism as "feeling or showing hope for the future." Someone can have a generally optimistic outlook on life, or their optimism can be targeted toward a specific event or occurrence.
If you are trying to provoke another person, the aim is usually to incite some level of anger or resentment. However, on a more general level, "provoke" can simply be defined as trying to call forth an action or feeling.
Repress is a verb that has several meanings. From a somewhat physical stance, it can be defined as the act of "putting down by force." However, when it comes to memories, it is defined as the act if "excluding from consciousness."
Merriam-Webster defines negate as "to deny the existence or truth of" or "to cause to be ineffective or invalid." For example, the man in the question above is using gifts to invalidate the effects of his infidelity.
A labyrinth is defined as an intentional maze or a place that consists of complex and intricate passageways. Examples of labyrinths could be an interconnected array of caves and passages or a congested city with narrow roads and winding alleyways.
Despot is used to describe a person (usually a ruler) who has absolute authority and power over a region. In a historical context, in the Byzantine empire, despot was a title given to a ruler and members of his family.
Merriam-Webster defines the verb recruit as "to secure the services of" or to enlist as a member of an armed service." People who are recruited (or just general newcomers to an activity or field) are referred to as "recruits."
Flagrant is an adjective that defines anything that is blatantly inconsistent with established norms. When it comes to law, it is usually used to describe crimes that are glaringly wrong and egregious.
Hospitable is an adjective that can be used to describe an area or structure that is pleasant. The word can also be used to describe people who receive guests in a pleasant manner (cordial, generous, kind, etc.).
Merriam-Webster gives the general definition of weaning as "to detach from a source of dependence." When the topic of breastfeeding is being discussed, weaning refers to the act of accustoming a child "to take food otherwise than by nursing."
Obsolete is an adjective that describes anything (tangible or intangible) that is no longer useful or being used in any significant manner. Examples of this include electronic devices that have been replaced by more advanced models and archaic words that are no longer used in modern languages.
Merriam-Webster defines rancid as "having an unpleasant smell or taste, usually from chemical change or decomposition." The word can also be used to describe any situation or outcome that is extremely distasteful or unpleasant.
Protagonist is a noun used to describe the primary character in any story. This is not only limited to literary works but can also be used when discussing films, plays, television shows, etc.
Merriam-Webster defines martyr as "a person who sacrifices something of great value, especially life itself, for the sake of principle." The most prominent examples of martyrs throughout history are people who have died for refusing to renounce their religion.
Pinnacle is a noun that refers to the highest attainable achievement in a field or development. Examples of this would be a society that has reached the theoretical pinnacle of technological advancement or a worker who has reached the pinnacle of his career path.
Merriam-Webster defines glower as "to look or stare with sullen annoyance or anger." It is a facial expression that could be view as the direct opposite of a smile.
Merriam-Webster primarily defines macabre as "having death as a subject: comprising or including a personalized representation of death." However, the definition of the word can also be expanded to simply refer to any person or thing that "dwells on the gruesome."
As a verb or a noun, the word riddle has several definitions, the most prominent one being a puzzling question or enigma. The definition in the question above is a verb that simply means to "pierce with many holes."
Advocate is both a verb and a noun. The verb is defined as the act of arguing for or supporting a cause (action, policy, etc.). The noun is defined as a person "who defends or maintains a cause or proposal."
Reluctantly is an adverb that used to describe any action that is carried out with hesitation or aversion. An example of this is an energetic child who reluctantly goes to bed because of his parents' insistence.
Merriam-Webster defines prevalent as "generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored." An example of this would be the fact that in recent years, smartphones have become prevalent across the United States.
Forfeit is a verb that is used to describe the act of giving up something (usually convenient or valuable). An example of this is a sports team that is forced to forfeit its title because of evidence that the team was cheating.
As a verb, neglect is defined as the act of giving little or no attention or respect to a person or thing. Legally, as it relates to people (usually children), neglect is considered to be a form of abuse, whether it be intentional or unintentional.