Do You Know All of These Words a Genius Might Use?


By: Annette

5 Min Quiz

Image: BraunS/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Are you a word genius? Prove it!

Words are defined as the smallest unit of speech that can be uttered that imparts meaning. While you can certainly choose to act out everything you'd like to communicate as though the world were one big game of charades, words make the whole communication thing significantly easier. 

Because language is constantly growing and evolving, the number of words in the dictionary changes from year to year. Some words last for thousands of years, others (often having to do with technology) have brief stints that are merely decades-long. 

Language may be alive, but the majority of words you'll use in your life are long-standing parts of the English language. Do you want to start sounding like a Smarty McSmarty Pants? Then you should peruse the dictionary for some ostentatious vocables. 

In lieu of that, you could take this quiz! Just make sure you have some compunction about looking the words up in a dictionary and cheating! Are you ready to find out if you know these genius-certified words? Let's go!

What does "callous" mean?

When someone is callous, they're emotionally hardened. For example: The events of his life had left him callous and unkind.


What does "requisition" mean?

A requisition is an authoritative demand or request for property or materials. For example: The requisition came from upper management for five dozen cardboard boxes.


What does "bane" mean?

A bane is something that causes misery or even death. For example: This messy divorce is the bane of my existence right now.


To "impinge" means to do what?

To impinge is to infringe upon something. For example: I don't mean to impinge upon your plans for marriage, but I must say that I do not care for the groom.


What is a "maverick?"

A maverick is someone who is independent in thought and action. For example: The maverick of the group looked outside the box and never took things for granted.


If something is "defunct," what is it?

Something that is defunct is inactive and no longer functioning. For example: The now-defunct cupcake shop stood vacant and dark on the busy street.


"Candor" is synonymous with:

Candor is the quality of being straightforward and honest. For example: The jury was impressed by the witness' candor.


What's the definition of "vitriolic?"

To be vitriolic is to be harsh, bitter and malicious. For example: His vitriolic tirade about office politics was not tolerated by management.


What is a "dirge?"

A dirge is a song or hymn of mourning used at a memorial. For example: The funeral procession was accompanied by a sad dirge, sung by the church choir.


When you "consign" something, you do what?

When you consign something, you give it to someone, usually to be sold. For example: The woman took her designer jacket to the store to be sold on consignment.


What's the definition of "debunk?"

To debunk something is to expose it, often while indirectly ridiculing it. For exampled: His theory on the evolution of plants through magic was debunked by scientists.


When someone is "sanctimonious," they are:

To be sanctimonious is to be hypocritically pious. For example: The corrupt priest was horribly sanctimonious, while on the side he was gambling with the church's money.


What is the definition of "abnegation?"

Abnegation is to reject or renounce something. For example: Many monks partake in abnegation of worldly pleasures.


What's a synonym for "rife?"

When something is widespread, especially something negative, it's rife. For example: The local government was rife with hypocrisy.


If something is "abstruse," it's:

When something is abstruse, it's difficult to penetrate or obscure. For example: Because her comment was so abstruse, Mike had to pick it apart for about twenty minutes, searching for the meaning.


What is the definition of "veracity?"

Veracity refers to the unwillingness to tell lies. For example: The town council couldn't deny the young girl's veracity, as she described the true dangers of the local park.


How would you define "bereft?"

To be bereft is to be sorrowful from the loss of something. For example: After the death of her husband, Susan was utterly bereft.


The definition of "accretion" is:

Accretion is the natural, gradual growth or addition of something. For example: The coastal cliffs were built by the long accretion of sedimentary matter.


When someone is an "iconoclast," they are:

An iconoclast is someone who challenges, or attacks, cherished ideas and institutions. For example: Harriet challenged the rules of art to such a degree that she became an iconoclast in many peoples' eyes.


To "vituperate" means to do what?

To vituperate is to blame or verbally attack someone. For example: Whenever her husband got drunk, he would vituperate her all night long.


What's the definition of "capitulate?"

To capitulate is to surrender under agreed circumstances. For example: The warring tribe's capitulation led to an eventual peace treaty.


What's the definition of "aberration?"

An aberration is something that is different from the norm. For example: Someone with a genetic aberration may have a rare disability or talent.


If you're "dour," you are:

When someone is dour, they have a brooding ill humor. For example: The dour receptionist treated me like I didn't exist.


Define "panacea."

A panacea is a perceived remedy for all ills. For example: Hank felt better after eating the M&M's, and that's why he assumed that chocolate was a panacea for everything that ailed him.


What does "stolid" mean?

To be stolid is to show little emotion. For example: The judge was stolid and unforgiving, even while the witness wept and pleaded with him.


If you "cleave" something, you do what?

To cleave is to separate or cut with a sharp instrument. For example: The mountain man was able to cleave the wood with one swipe of his ax.


What does "abrogate" mean?

To abrogate is to formally revoke something. For example: The president knew the law was wrong, and therefore he chose to abrogate it right then and there.


How would you define "empirical?"

Empirical evidence is derived from science and experimentation. For example: Rather than relying on theory, Jenny gathered empirical evidence that supported her ideas.


To be "didactic" is to be:

When something is didactic, it is instructive, generally in a morally unambiguous way. For example: Her didactic lecturing on proper child-rearing was meant for the ears of the other mothers.


What does "compunction" mean?

Compunction is the feeling of guilt, often for a misdeed. For example: Although she was responsible for killing the butterfly, the little girl showed no compunction.


When you "aggrandize" something, what are you doing?

When you aggrandize something, you expand it's power, reputation or wealth. For example: She hope to aggrandize herself by saving thousands of orphans.


What does "calumny" mean?

Calumny is a false accusation or slander. For example: The poor girl did not commit the crime, but rather, she was a victim of vicious calumny.


What is "blandishment?"

Blandishment is flattery that is intended to persuade someone. For example: His startling blandishment of the governor was a strategy to win funding for his organization.


What is a "travesty?"

A travesty is something that misrepresents or distorts the representation of something. For example: The artist said that he was an impressionist, but his painting of roses was an utter travesty in the eyes of those in the know.


If something is "pithy," it's:

Something that is pithy is not only concise, but it's also full of meaning. For example: Her pithy haiku expressed so much in so few words.


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