ISEE Middle Level Verbal : Synonyms: Roots from Latin

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #266 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

BELLIGERENT

Possible Answers:

Hostile

Creative

Wanton

Demanding

Whimsical

Correct answer:

Hostile

Explanation:

The "bell-" part of "belligerent" comes from the root word "bellum," the Latin word for war. This word appears in other English words like "antebellum" (before the Civil War) and "bellicose" (antagonistic and wanting to fight). So, it is unsurprising that "belligerent" means warlike, aggressive, or "hostile." As for the other answer choices, someone who is “creative” is imaginative and innovative; “whimsical” means silly, strange, and amusing; “wanton” means random; and “demanding” means arduous or requiring a lot of time, effort, and work.

Example Question #267 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

VOCATION

Possible Answers:

Recreation

Leisure

Articulation

Fulfillment

Calling

Correct answer:

Calling

Explanation:

The word "vocation" comes from the Latin word "vocare," which means to call or speak. This word is often used in the sense of a "calling" to a given career or job. Hence, we sometimes speak of "vocational training." Also, people who become ministers or priests in Christian religions will often speak of their "vocation." Finally, another example can be found when people speak of a "vocation" as a general calling to do some sort of deed. A philanthropist might find helping a given charity to be his or her "vocation."

Example Question #268 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

STELLAR

Possible Answers:

Telescopic

Vivacious

Scientific

Physical

Marvelous

Correct answer:

Marvelous

Explanation:

The word "stellar" comes from the Latin word "stella," meaning star. Thus, something that is called "stellar" is something that is as bright and rare as a star. This is meant to describe something that is marvelous, outstanding, or superlative. The word can also describe things in outer space—like stars. Thus, one would speak of "stellar phenomena," but none of the options pertain to that meaning. Do not be tempted by options like "scientific" and "telescopic."

Example Question #269 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

DESPOT

Possible Answers:

Supply

Store

King

Tyrant

Leader

Correct answer:

Tyrant

Explanation:

First of all, do not confuse "despot" with "depot," which is a place where things are stored. A "despot" is a type of leader that has absolute power and is usually wicked. The "-pot" portion of the word comes from the Latin root for "power" or "ability." We see this same root in "possible," "potential," and "potent." Thus, the best option among those given is "tyrant," which describes a ruler who is powerful and wicked.

Example Question #270 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

COMPACT

Possible Answers:

Prepared

Dense

Thorough

Inexpensive

Cheap

Correct answer:

Dense

Explanation:

The word "compact" comes from two Latin roots. The prefix "com-" means with or together. It can also be "cum-" or "con-" (as well as numerous other forms). The "-pact" portion of the word comes from roots meaning fastened. Thus, something that is "compact" has parts that are tightly fixed together. When something has parts that are related in this way, it is dense. Several of the other options attempt to trick you into choosing based on other thoughts you might have about compact items. For instance, a compact car is a small one. These may be inexpensive or cheap; however, that is not necessarily of the essence of being compact.

Example Question #271 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

UNIVERSAL

Possible Answers:

Spatial

Scientific

Logical

Cosmic

Complete

Correct answer:

Complete

Explanation:

The word "universe" in Latin is a very interesting word. We generally use it to mean all things or even all of outer space, but what it literally means is turned toward one point. The "uni-" prefix comes from the word for one, as we see in words like "unity," "unify," and "unit." The "-verse" portion of the word comes from Latin roots for to turn. We see this root in words like "convert" and "invert." When something is "universal" it is complete, explaining how everything is related. We say that someone has "universal knowledge" when he or she seems to know everything. Thus, the best option provided here is complete.

Example Question #272 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

SOLITARY

Possible Answers:

Brilliant

Isolated

Famous

Important

Bright

Correct answer:

Isolated

Explanation:

The word "solitary" comes from the Latin root for alone—"solus." When someone has a "solo" in a concert, he or she plays or sings a part all by himself or herself. This should not be confused with "solar," which has to do with the sun. Now, when someone is isolated, he or she is also alone. The word "isolated" comes from the Latin for island, which is also found in words like "insular" and "insulation." Thus, the best option provided among those given here is the word "isolated." This is a primary meaning when we have expressions like "solitary confinement," meaning, "isolated imprisonment."

Example Question #273 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

SEQUENCE

Possible Answers:

Order

Entertainment

Dramatic

Intellectual

Written

Correct answer:

Order

Explanation:

The word "sequence" comes from the Latin root for to follow. Thus, we find other words like "subsequent" (coming after), "sequel" (something that comes after another thing), "pursue," and even "second!" Thus, a "sequence" is an orderly arrangement of things. We can call this sequence an "order." Often, we seem to use "order" as a verb; however, we do often use it as a noun too. Think of when you say, "Put those things in order!" You mean to say, "Put them into a sequence!"

Example Question #274 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

REJUVENATE

Possible Answers:

Relate

Cleanse

Revive

Recount

Purify

Correct answer:

Revive

Explanation:

The word "rejuvenate" comes from two Latin roots. The prefix "re-" used here means again. You see it in words like "recant" and "repeat," as well as the options "revive" and "relate" mentioned in this question. The "-juvenate" portion comes from a root meaning young. When someone acts in a "juvenile" manner, he or she acts like he or she is immature or young. Thus, to "rejuvenate" means to make something feel or become young. It thus also means to renew or to revive. The latter is the correct answer, and it means literally to make something have life again.

Example Question #275 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

PATRIARCH

Possible Answers:

Ancestor

Father

Descendent

God

Predecessor

Correct answer:

Father

Explanation:

The word "patriarch" comes from the Latin word "pater," which means father. A "patriarchy" is a kind of society in which fathers (and males in general) have the most power. This is contrasted to a "matriarchy" in which mothers (and women in general) have power. ("Mater" is the Latin word for mother.) Now, "patriarch" could be any male ancestor. Thus, Jewish people refer to Abraham as being one of their patriarchs, for they see him as being a "father" to their people. It is also fine to refer to any father as a "patriarch." Indeed, even the word "father" can often be used to describe an important ancestor or figure who is not an immediate father. In this respect, think of the expression, "Founding fathers" often used to describe those men who played a key role in the founding of the American republic.

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