Quiz: Can You Complete These Sentences With the Right Words?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Complete These Sentences With the Right Words?
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By: Jacqueline Samaroo
6 Min Quiz
Image: Jenny Dettrick / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
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!
Once she walked through the door, Sally began ______ loudly about how she had been unfairly fired from her job.
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.
The security guard ______ the thief over and over again with the baton until he surrendered.
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.
Carl was willing to pay extra to ______ the delivery of his new television so that he could have it in time to watch the Super Bowl.
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.
Elsa's ______ sense of smell picked up on the faint scent of alcohol on her son's jacket when he came home that night.
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.
Deborah was always ______ and well behaved during school, so the principal had nothing about which to complain.
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.
His ______ included two Grammy Awards and one Academy Award.
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.
The new teller the bank had just ______ was twice as slow as her more experienced colleagues.
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."
Kendrick had worked sleeplessly after the party to make sure the house was ______ when his parents came back home the next day.
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.
Wanda ______ in fear away from the television once the horror movie reached its climax.
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.
The forest was freezing cold at night, so Charlie attempted to use sticks and dry grass to ______ a fire.
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.
Since the superhero was ______, the bullets just bounced off her body.
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.
The commander ______ the archers within the tower so they could safely fire arrows from above.
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.
While her father was in the hospital, Christina tried to remain ______ about his recovery.
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.
Every day at school, the bully would ______ Esteban to try to start a fight.
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.
The psychiatrist discovered that Clark had ______ the memories of his abuse at a young age.
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."
Her husband showered her with gifts every day in an attempt to try to ______ the fact he had been unfaithful.
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.
Bruce knew the caves under his mansion were a natural ______ that would help keep his enemies away from his secrets.
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.
The king of the country was a warmongering ______ that had absolutely no affection for his subjects.
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.
The U.S. Army approached Steve in an effort to ______ him into a secret military program.
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."
Selina's ______ violations of the law constantly put her at odds with the city's police officers.
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.
The interior of the warm cottage proved to be far more ______ than the dank and gloomy forest outside.
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.).
Most mothers seem to have trouble ______ their children off of breast milk.
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."
With the introduction of smartphones, older devices, like pagers, quickly became ______.
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.
The vultures happily picked at the ______ flesh of the boar that had lay dead in the sun for days.
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.
At the end of the story, the ______ had defeated the evil wizard and saved the princess from the dragon.
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.
After he was murdered for his religious beliefs, the monk eventually became a ______ in the eyes of his followers.
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.
After three long decades of hard work, Rebecca had finally reached the ______ of her career.
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.
Skyler ______ at her husband as he made excuses about where he had been the previous night.
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.
The skeletons performed a ______ dance around the young girl as she cried.
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."
The police officers fired their guns and ______ the side of the car with countless bullets.
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."
Pamela loved nature and animals so much, she became a strong ______ for animal rights as she grew older.
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."
Priya ______ gave her son the keys to her car since he had crashed it just a few months earlier.
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.
The disease was more ______ in the western part of the country, since that was where more mosquitoes could be found.
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.
Vanessa hurt her leg halfway through the match and was forced to ______ the championship to her rival.
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.
If you continuously ______ your children, they may eventually resent you.
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.
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