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The Collected Word Definition Quizes

Grow Your Word Grasp

risible

The usual group of five words to test your vocabulary powers. Are they in reverse alphabetical order for a reason? Is that a hint or a red herring? How about the illo, clue or misdirection? What about these questions, trick or treat? Take the quiz, then decide for yourself.

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Stentorian

  1. As dishonest as a senator
  2. High handed and arbitrary
  3. Snooty and disrespectful in manner
  4. Vocally loud and powerful
  5. Full of hot air

Sesquipedalian

  1. Given to ponderous circumlocution employing polysyllabic terminology
  2. Quick with ad libs and retorts
  3. Grouped in sixty equal divisions
  4. Six-legged
  5. (Of a person) eighteen inches tall

Risible

  1. Easily awakened
  2. Stretchy and flexible
  3. Highly excitable; easily aroused; prone to panic at the drop of a hat
  4. Obviously inferior
  5. Laughable

Dogsbody

  1. Fawning follower
  2. Detective
  3. Drudge, menial
  4. Woodworking bench clamp
  5. Part between the head and tail that legs are attached to

Autodidact

  1. Car regulation
  2. Egomaniac
  3. Driveway with a grass strip down the middle
  4. Self-taught person
  5. The leader of a cult of personality

Click for answers

(d) Stentorian (stĕn tōr′ ē-ən) Vocally loud and powerful

(a) Sesquipedalian
(səs′-kwĭ-pə dā lē-ən) 1. Long and ponderous; polysyllabic. 2. Given to using long words. [From Latin sesquipedalis, of a foot and a half in length.]

(e) Risible (rĭz′ ə-bəl) Eliciting laughter; ludicrous

(c) Dogsbody (dôgs′ bŏdē) Person who performs unpleasant, menial tasks

(d) Autodidact (ô-tō dī′ dăkt) Self-taught person

Scoring
5 – Good as gold
4 – Graduate level
3 – Good enough
2 – Gray area
1 – Grim news
0 – Gawdawful

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Amplify Your Word Aptitude

Mnemonic

A packet of words the avid reader will probably have stumbled upon. Or stumbled over if they didn’t know them. Do you?

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Mnemonic

  1. Barely audible
  2. Possessed by a mnemon
  3. Of the secret order of mumblers
  4. Memory aid
  5. Word with a silent letter

Ukase

  1. Ukelele luggage
  2. Self storage unit
  3. Smells bad, tastes good
  4. All capital letters
  5. Dictator’s dictate

Abattoir

  1. Seminary leader’s home-office
  2. Ladies private chamber
  3. Slaughterhouse
  4. Cesspool
  5. Place where bats hang out

Callipygian

  1. Measured with precision
  2. Bodacious booty
  3. Like circus music
  4. West coast bird species
  5. Itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny

Bucolic

  1. Unruly lock of hair
  2. Crying like a baby
  3. Pastoral
  4. Naïve
  5. Vaping addict

Click for answers

(d) Mnemonic (nĭ-mŏn′ ĭk) Memory aid, trick, or device

(e) Ukase (yōō kās′) Any authoritative edict or decree

(c) Abattoir (ăb′ ə-twär) Slaughterhouse [French]

(b) Callipygian (kăl ə-pĭj′ ē-ən) Having a shapely buttocks

(c) Bucolic (byōō-kŏl′ ĭk) Pastoral

Scoring
5 – Total recall
4 – Unforgettable
3 – Memorable
2 – Notable
1 – Forget it
0 – Never happened

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Which Starts with P and That Stands for Phrase

P-phrases
dog legsB legsF tail

This time around, instead of word definitions, phrase meanings. Or even phrases more or less meaning other phrases. In which case, “Close is a cigar.” You’ll see. Take the test.

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Parthian shot

  1. Half a jigger
  2. Lucky guess
  3. Way off the mark
  4. Parting shot

Pavlovian response

  1. “Like a moth to a flame”
  2. “I was only following orders”
  3. “Say the first word that comes into your head”
  4. “That rings a bell”

Penny dreadful

  1. Nerd’s girlfriend
  2. World’s worst dollar store
  3. Pulp fiction
  4. Garage sale

Procrustean bed

  1. “No matter how I cut it down, it’s still too short”
  2. “I’ll make it work”
  3. “One size fits all”
  4. “All fit one size”

Pyrrhic victory

  1. “The operation was a success, but the patient died”
  2. “We have met the enemy and he is us”
  3. “Fighting fire with fire”
  4. “We was robbed”

Click for answers

Parthian shot (d) Final remark, usually cutting or derogatory, made upon exiting

Pavlovian response (b) Conditioned response

Penny dreadful (c) Cheap book, usually low-brow melodramas

Procrustean bed (d) Plan or scheme to produce uniformity or conformity by arbitrary or violent methods

Pyrrhic victory (a) Victory or goal achieved at too great a cost

Scoring
5 – Perfect
4 – Phirst rate
3 – Phairly good
2 – Phair to middling
1 – Phailing
0 – Pfft

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Wise up to Words of Whimsey

wimsey

Here’s a quintet of mystery words we ran across reading some Dorothy L. Sayers classic Whodunnits featuring her famous sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey. Who, from her description, we always imagined looked a lot like Mr. Peanut. But maybe that’s our whimsey. Anyway, we didn’t know the following five words, do you?

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Confute

  1. Turn the tables
  2. Cross dress
  3. Compound an error
  4. Prove wrong
  5. Add up the numbers wrong

Seriatim

  1. Like fleas on a dog
  2. Like ducks in a row
  3. Like moths to a flame
  4. Like birds of a feather
  5. Like sardines in a can

Epicene

  1. Of a gourmand
  2. Overindulgent
  3. Having hairy ears
  4. Throwaway bit at the end of a movie or play
  5. Androgynous

Perspicuity

  1. Sweating like a pig
  2. Having good taste in handbags
  3. Lucidity
  4. Misty rain
  5. Adherence to the letter of the law

Ultramontane

  1. At high elevation
  2. East of Eden
  3. North by Northwest
  4. West of Java
  5. South of the Alps

Click for answers

(d) Confute (kən fyōōt′) Prove wrong

(b) Seriatim (sîr ē-ā′ təm) One after another in a series

(e) Epicene (ĕp′ ə-sēn) Having both male and female characteristics (Effeminate, of a man)

(c) Perspicuity (pûr spĭ-kyōō′ ə-tē) Quality of being clear, easily understood; Lucidity

(e) Ultramontane (ŭl trə-mŏn′ tān) South of the Alps

Scoring
5 – A plus
4 – A
3 – A minus
2 – Better than us
1 – Still better than us
0 – So, it’s not just us

Click to close

Perfect Your Word Prowess

otiose

We dutifully bring you another chance to know your nouns, verify your verbs, define your determiners, and generally impress yourself with how many words you know the meaning of. Or will know after you take the pop quiz. Need we explain more? Surely you know how a multiple choice test works by now.

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Otiose

  1. Shaped like tubular rings
  2. Reluctant to speak
  3. Flat as a pancake
  4. Good for nothing; lazy
  5. Fit to feed to pigs

Ennui

  1. Needle case
  2. Immaturity; callowness
  3. Yes and no
  4. The blues
  5. The blahs

Dawdle

  1. Walk like a bulldog
  2. Drag your feet
  3. Hit your head
  4. Doodle in a book margin
  5. Meander awkwardly

Catatonic

  1. Like a bump on a log
  2. Elixir from eastern Spain
  3. Flea spray for cats
  4. Disastrous
  5. Giddy

Faineancy

  1. Sham fortune telling
  2. Engaged bachelor
  3. Really bad stage acting
  4. Incredibly fine detail
  5. Laziness; indolence

Click for answers

(d) Otiose (ō′ shē-ōs) Serving no practical purpose or result; indolent

(e) Ennui (än wē) istlessness from disinterest; boredom

(b) Dawdle (dôd′-l) Waste time by trifling; procrastinate

(a) Catatonic (kăt ə-tŏn′ ĭk) Exhibiting immobility of the limbs

(e) Faineancy (fā′ nē-ən sē) Laziness; indolence; the state of being idle

Scoring
5 – Perfect
4 – Near perfect
3 – Less than perfect
2 – Far from perfect
1 – Perfectly awful
0 – Nobody’s perfect

Spot the theme? Or are you too lazy to bother?

Click to close

Our Ultimate Word Quizzzzz

zax

Ultimate, as in the last, as in the letter Z. Not that this is the last word quiz. Just the first and last one featuring the letter Z.

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Zax

  1. Bass kazoo
  2. Roofing tool
  3. Pleated shorts
  4. Cheese grater
  5. Flooring made of crushed seashells

Zeugma

  1. Dark green, sticky snot
  2. Shed skin of a lizard
  3. Dark beer that tastes like molasses and aftershave
  4. Circular earthen dwelling with a thatched roof
  5. Word modifying two nouns in different senses

Zaftig

  1. Wacky and sarcastic
  2. Indifferent to other’s suffering
  3. Slovenian circus
  4. Built like a brick ----house
  5. Dazed and confused

Zori

  1. Japanese flip-flop
  2. Masked Mexican swordswoman
  3. Person from Zor
  4. Corkscrew staircase in a minaret
  5. Native dog of Indonesia

Zyzzyva

  1. Sound of sleep apnea
  2. Ancient Sumerian god of the undead
  3. Type of weevil
  4. Anatomical passageway to vent your spleen
  5. Wizard’s conical hat

Click for answers

(b) Zax (zăks) Roofing tool (similar to a hatchet, used for cutting and dressing roofing slates)

(e) Zeugma (zōōg′ mə) A figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses (John and his license expired last week) or to two others of which it semantically suits only one (With weeping eyes and hearts)

(d) Zaftig (zäf′ tĭg) (of a woman) Having a full, rounded figure; voluptuous

(a) Zori (zō-rē) Flat thonged sandal

(c) Zyzzyva (zĭz′ ə-və) Type of weevil (and the very last word in our dictionary, so the ultimate word in words)

Scoring
5 – At the Zenith
4 – In the Zone
3 – Zing!
2 – Zap
1 – Z-z-z-z-z-z
0 – Zip

Click to close

Weigh Your Word Wonkiness

sub

We haven’t done one of these bits in awhile, so here you go. It’s an open question whether these words ever come in handy or you can use them in a sentence. Well, five different sentences. We can’t imagine the sentence that would use all five.

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Transubstantiation

  1. Excuse to be a cross-dresser
  2. Conversion of a PC file to a Mac file and vice-versa
  3. Transformation from one substance to another
  4. Travelling around the world under water

Demesne

  1. Tiny and compact
  2. Really, really big yard
  3. Evil twin
  4. Having a hairy back and shoulders

Amanuensis

  1. Sissy
  2. Baroque stringed instrument played with pedals
  3. Literary assistant
  4. Flaking off of dead skin cells

Votary

  1. Devotee
  2. Person who tabulates election ballots
  3. Traffic circle without an exit
  4. Optional

Palpable

  1. Able to be paid online
  2. Flat as a pancake
  3. Easily turned to mush
  4. Tangible, easily felt, or obvious

Click for answers

(c) Transubstantiation (trăn səb-stăn shē-ā′ shən) Transformation from one substance to another [Biblical, Transformation of wine and bread of the Eucharist]

(b) Demesne (dĭ-mān′) Grounds of a mansion or country house, estate

(c) Amanuensis (ə-măn′ yōō-ĕn sĭs) Literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts

(a) Votary (vō′ tə-rē) Devoted follower, adherent, or advocate of someone or something, devotee

(d) Palpable (păl′ pə-bəl) Tangible, easily felt, or obvious

Scoring
5 – Wowie-Zowie!
4 – Whoo-Hoo!
3 – Wonderful
2 – Well done
1 – Weak
0 – Woeful

Click to close

Verify Your Vocabulary

minatory

Another Wednesday, another multiple choice word definition quiz. Need we say more? Hope not, because we don’t have any more. On to the quiz.

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Minatory

  1. Walk-through maze
  2. Like a bull in a china shop
  3. So tight he’d skin a fart
  4. In the nick of time
  5. Meaner than a junkyard dog

Venal

  1. Of deer meat
  2. Drunk on wine
  3. Willing to sell out
  4. Of dirty sex
  5. Type of plastic

Afflatus

  1. Water borne litter
  2. Birth of a notion
  3. Bluster
  4. Seven year itch
  5. Ghost

Pecuniary

  1. Weird
  2. South American rodent
  3. Borderline legal
  4. Monetary
  5. Peevish

Dilemma

  1. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”
  2. “Between a rock and a hard place”
  3. “Heads I win, tails you lose”
  4. “Can’t win for losing”
  5. “There is no good answer”

Click for answers

(e) Minatory (mĭn′ ə-tr ē) Menacing; threatening

(c) Venal (vē′ nəl) Open to bribery; mercenary

(b) Afflatus (ə-flā′ təs) Divine creative impulse or inspiration

(d) Pecuniary (pĭ kyōō′ nē-ĕr ē) Of or relating to money

(c) Dilemma (dĭ-lĕm′ ə) Predicament with two equally bad options (While c is perhaps closest, any of the choices could be seen as essentially correct. Making this entry something of an antonym of itself, a choice between equally good options.)

Scoring
5 – Aced it
4 – Solid B
3 – Wobbly C
2 – Generous D
1 – Inglorious E
0 – Suspicious F, you couldn’t have gotten the last one wrong

Click to close

Examine Your eWord Expertise

expiate

Test your noun knowledge, verb verve and all around word wisdom with our latest word definition quiz brought to you by the letter E. Though we don’t imagine you’ll hear any of these words on Sesame Street.

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Escheat

  1. Cunning getaway plan
  2. Government land grab
  3. Fee paid on a loan from a pawnbroker
  4. Half-hearted effort
  5. Unauthorized play by unwritten rules

Expiation

  1. Making amends
  2. Loss of excess heat through panting
  3. Revoking of citizenship
  4. Communication with hand gestures
  5. Giving up after a half-hearted effort

Eschew

  1. Overact
  2. Gum that’s lost its flavor
  3. Read the riot act
  4. Particularly wet sneeze
  5. Don’t touch with a ten foot pole

Eleemosynary

  1. Slippery as a greased pig
  2. Oblivious to right and wrong
  3. Charitable
  4. Causing confusion
  5. Of the 8th through 12th deadly sins

Epigone

  1. Missing skin
  2. Summing up after a Greek play
  3. Absolutely the worst example
  4. Wannabe
  5. Snitch

Click for answers

(b) Escheat (ĕs-chēt′) 1. Confiscate 2. [Law] Taking of property by the state where no legal private claimant exists

(a) Expiation (ĕk spē-ā′ shən) Atonement; making amends

(e) Eschew (ĕs-chōō′) Avoid; shun

(c) Eleemosynary (ĕl ə-mŏs′ ə-nĕ rē) Of the giving of alms; charitable

(d) Epigone (ĕp′ ə-gōn) Second-rate imitator

Scoring
5 – Extraordinary
4 – Excellent
3 – Elementary
2 – E for effort
1 – Egad
0 – Even a blind pig, but not you

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