ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms: Determining Part of Speech

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

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

2 Next →

Example Question #11 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

QUARTER

Possible Answers:

Select

Money

Finances

Destroy

Region

Correct answer:

Region

Explanation:

The word “quarter” has many uses, many related to the sense of being “one-fourth” of a larger whole.   Among these options, do not be tempted by words like “money” or “finances,” which are merely superficial ploys to try to get you to choose something related to the American coin. Sometimes, the word “quarter” is used to describe a district or area in a larger geographical region. For instance, one sometimes speaks of the “Slovak quarter” of a city perhaps because many Slavs moved there, thus giving that section a certain character.

Example Question #12 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

QUARTER

Possible Answers:

Money

Inexpensive

Cheap

Housing

Select

Correct answer:

Housing

Explanation:

The word “quarter” has many uses, many related to the sense of being “one-fourth” of a larger whole. Among these options, the only matching word is “house.” At first, this might seem strange, but “house” can be used as a verb meaning “to provide living / storage space.” In the American Constitution, the third amendment places restrictions on the government’s ability to force citizens to house soldiers, whether in peace or in war. Observe how it uses ‘quarter’ in this sense: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Example Question #13 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

Temper most closely means __________.

Possible Answers:

exultation

despot

strengthen

overbearing

exhilaration

Correct answer:

strengthen

Explanation:

Although we think of “temper” as having to do with someone’s disposition (or the state of being angry in particular), the word does have the additional use of to harden. The word is related to Latin roots meaning to mix. When one makes “tempered steel,” it is heated and cooled in order to change its hardness. While it is heated, other materials might be added to the steel to alter its condition. Among the options, the only one that matches this sense is “strengthen.” The other options appear to deal with “temperament,” but none of them are general enough even to fit that usage.

Example Question #14 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

Answer the following question by selecting the word that is most nearly the same in meaning as the word in capital letters.

FATHOM

Possible Answers:

invocation

depth

fallow

fidelity

mettle

Correct answer:

depth

Explanation:

"Fathom" and "depth" are synonyms. "Fallow" means a cultivated area left unplanted. "Fidelity" means loyalty or trustworthiness. "Invocation" means a prayer or appeal. "Mettle" means boldness or strength of character.

Example Question #31 : Synonyms

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

GOSSAMER

Possible Answers:

Contrite

Exuberant

Inferior

Incessant

Delicate

Correct answer:

Delicate

Explanation:

“Gossamer," when used as a noun, means a very fine spiderweb. When used as an adjective, this word means fine, lightweight, fragile, and gauzy, so "delicate" is the correct answer. "Incessant" means non-stop; "inferior" means worse in quality than something else; "contrite" means feeling guilty; and "exuberant" means enthusiastic and energetic.

Example Question #11 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

SWAMP

Possible Answers:

Irritate

Amphibious

Overwhelm

Sticky

Outback

Correct answer:

Overwhelm

Explanation:

The word "swamp" can be either a noun or a verb. As a noun, it indicates a boggy, marshy area of wet land. As a verb, it means to overwhelm or to drench. Thus, it could indicate being "swamped" with water, but it also can be used to describe someone who is overwhelmed with work. Thus, we could say, "After a week of vacation, Kimberly was swamped with work left in her office during her time away." None of the noun options are adequate synonyms. Only "overwhelm" works to match the verb meaning of the word "swamp."

Example Question #17 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

OFFENSIVE

Possible Answers:

Brandish

Surprising

Assault

Astonishing

Fault

Correct answer:

Assault

Explanation:

The word "offensive" is most often used as an adjective to describe something that is unpleasant or hurtful—e.g. "offensive remarks" or "an offensive smell." None of the options provided really indicate this sort of meaning. There is another option, though. The word "offensive" can also be used as a noun to describe a kind of military activity.  An army can undertake and "offensive" against a foe, meaning that they attack or assault their enemy. Thus, the best option among those provided here is "assault", which matches this last meaning for "offensive."

Example Question #18 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

DELEGATE

Possible Answers:

Represent

Assign

Vote

Relegate

Election

Correct answer:

Assign

Explanation:

The word "delegate" actually can be a noun or a verb. Here, it is being used as a verb, but you can only tell this by looking at your options. When we "delegate" a task, we turn it over to someone else. (Hence, the word "assign" is the best option.) The person to whom certain tasks are delegated is himself or herself called a "delegate." This is why a delegate to a convention is called a "delegate." We give that person the authority to stand in our place at the convention, but the act of delegating is not the act of representing. The act of delegating is the actual giving over of the task. Delegation makes someone to become a representative. The difference is important! Likewise, delegates may vote or be involved in elections; however neither of these are synonymous meanings for the term.

Example Question #19 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

PRUNE

Possible Answers:

Enjoy

Cut

Eat

Grow

Follow

Correct answer:

Cut

Explanation:

"Prune" as a verb means to cut back a part of a plant so the plant will grow healthily. It is a close synonym with the less specific word, "cut." The incorrect answer choices "grow," "follow," "enjoy," and "eat" have little or nothing to do with the act of trimming foliage.

Example Question #20 : Synonyms: Determining Part Of Speech

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

MERIT

Possible Answers:

emblem

badge

deserve

patch

symbol

Correct answer:

deserve

Explanation:

The word “merit” is often used as a verb, and it is in this sense that it is implied here. All of the wrong options are tempting because one might think of receiving a “merit badge” or at least a “merit symbol.” These are all unacceptable, because even if the word can be thus applied as an adjective to the given noun, it does not mean the same thing as the noun does. The word “merit,” when used as a verb, means to deserve praise. For instance, it can be used in a sentence like, “After John saved the girl from the freezing water, nobody doubted that he merited the praise of the whole community for his act of bravery.” Given this usage of “merit,” the best option is “deserve.”

2 Next →
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors