ISEE Middle Level Verbal : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Middle Level Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "eloquent" is __________.

Possible Answers:

passive

argumentative

limber

articulate

glib

Correct answer:

articulate

Explanation:

"Eloquent" is an adjective that means "fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing" or "clearly expressing or indicating something," so we need to pick out another adjective that means something like "fluent in speech or writing." "Glib" might look like a close synonym of "eloquent," as "glib" means "fluent and voluble but insincere and shallow," and is used to describe words or the person speaking them; however, "articulate" is the better answer, because "articulate" also describes a person or their words and means "having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently." Because articulate does not include any negative connotations like "glib" does (in meaning "insincere and shallow"), "articulate" is the closer synonym to "eloquent" and the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "pompous" is __________.

Possible Answers:

ashamed

important

recycled

sententious

wobbly

Correct answer:

sententious

Explanation:

"Pompous" is an adjective meaning "affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important." While "important" may look like a good answer because someone who is pompous merely thinks they are important, "important" and "pompous" are not synonyms, so "important" cannot be the correct answer. "Sententious," however, is an adjective that means "given to moralizing in a pompous or affected manner," and the correct answer because it is the answer choice closest in meaning to "pompous."

Example Question #3 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "brash" is __________.

Possible Answers:

insolent

gregarious

lenient

refined

demanding

Correct answer:

insolent

Explanation:

"Brash" is an adjective that can mean "self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way," "strong, energetic, or irreverent," or when describing a place or a thing, "having an ostentatious or tasteless appearance." "Gregarious" means "fond of company; sociable," so it can't be the correct answer, and while "interruptive" and "demanding" are both nearer in meaning to "brash" than "gregarious" is, neither of them are synonymous with "brash." "Insolent," an adjective that means "showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect," is the closest synonym to "brash" amongst the listed answer choices, so it is the correct answer.

Example Question #4 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "benign" is __________.

Possible Answers:

warmhearted

plausible

hurried

bewildered

beneficial

Correct answer:

warmhearted

Explanation:

"Benign" is an adjective that can take on several meanings: "gentle; kindly," "mild and favorable" when used to describe a climate or environment, "not harmful to the environment" or, when used of a disease, "not harmful in effect: in particular, not malignant (when describing a tumor)." While "bewildered" and "beneficial" might each start with "be-" like "benign" does, neither word is synonymous with any of the meanings of "benign," so neither "bewildered" nor "beneficial" can be the correct answer. "Warmhearted," however, is an adjective that means "sympathetic and kind" and is used of a person or their actions, and because it is the answer choice closest in meaning to "benign," it is the correct answer.

Example Question #5 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "blunt" is __________.

Possible Answers:

frank

subtle

derogatory

warning

demonstrated

Correct answer:

frank

Explanation:

"Blunt," when used as an adjective, can mean either "having a worn-down edge or point; not sharp" when referring to knives, pencils, or other typically sharp objects, "uncompromisingly forthright" when referring to a person, or "saying or expressing something in a very direct way that may upset some people." So, we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "dull," "forthright," or "saying something in a very direct manner." "Subtle," then, cannot be the correct answer, because because "subtle" can mean "making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something," making "subtle" an antonym of "blunt." "Frank," however, is an adjective that means "open, honest, and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters," and because "frank" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "blunt," "frank" is the correct answer.

Example Question #6 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "curt" is __________.

Possible Answers:

narrow-minded

fortunate

agreeable

gruff

calm

Correct answer:

gruff

Explanation:

"Curt" is an adjective that means "rudely brief," so we need to pick out an answer that means something like "rudely brief." So, "agreeable" cannot be the correct answer because "agreeable" is an antonym, not a synonym, of "curt." "Gruff," however, is an adjective that can mean "abrupt or taciturn in manner," and because "gruff" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "curt," "gruff" is the correct answer.

Example Question #7 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "callow" is __________.

Possible Answers:

unfortunate

accomplished

inexperienced

resolute

meddling

Correct answer:

inexperienced

Explanation:

"Callow" is an adjective that means "inexperienced and immature," especially when referring to a young person, so we need to pick out an answer that means something like "immature." So, "accomplished" cannot be the correct answer because "accomplished" is an adjective that means "highly trained or skilled," making it an antonym, not a synonym, of "callow." "Inexperienced," however, is a verb that can mean "having little knowledge or experience of a particular thing," and because "inexperienced" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "callow," "inexperienced" is the correct answer.

Example Question #8 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "persistent" is __________.

Possible Answers:

inopportune

wriggly

halfhearted

fatigued

resolute

Correct answer:

resolute

Explanation:

"Persistent" is an adjective that means "continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." So, we need to pick out an adjective that means something like "continuing obstinately." So, "halfhearted" cannot be the correct answer, because "halfhearted" means "without enthusiasm or energy," making it an antonym of "persistent," not a synonym. "Resolute," however, is an adjective that means "admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering," and because "resolute" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "persistent," "resolute" is the correct answer.

Example Question #9 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

A synonym of "flighty" is __________.

Possible Answers:

dependable

inconstant

promised

languorous

quiet

Correct answer:

inconstant

Explanation:

"Flighty" is an adjective that means "fickle and irresponsible," so we need to pick out a word that means something like "fickle" or "irresponsible." "Dependable," then, cannot be the correct answer, because "dependable" means "trustworthy and reliable," making it an antonym, not a synonym, of "flighty." "Inconstant," however, is an adjective that means either "frequently changing; variable or irregular," or when referring to a person or their behavior, "not faithful and dependable." Because "inconstant" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "flighty," "inconstant" is the correct answer.

Example Question #10 : Synonyms: Adjectives Describing Personality Traits

Synonyms: Select the one word or phrase whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.

HAUGHTY

Possible Answers:

Absent

Arrogant

Substantial

Insistent

Correct answer:

Arrogant

Explanation:

Though pronounced "HOT-ee," the word "haughty" has nothing to do with heat. Rather, it describes one who is arrogant or snobby. It has traveled through variations in several languages from a Latin word that means "high."

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