ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms: Prefixes from Latin

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

UNEQUIVOCAL

Possible Answers:

frenzied

operational

explicit

unilateral

unclear

Correct answer:

explicit

Explanation:

"Unequivocal" is an adjective that means unambiguous. So, we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "unambiguous." While "unclear" may look like a potentially correct answer choice because both "unequivocal" and "unclear" begin with the negative prefix "un-," "unclear" means ambiguous, making it an antonym of "unequivocal," not a synonym. "Explicit," however, is an adjective that means expressed clearly and without ambiguity, and because "explicit" is the answer choice closest in meaning to "unequivocal," "explicit" is the correct answer.

Example Question #63 : Synonyms

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

IMMANENT

Possible Answers:

Frightening

Impending

Threatening

Soon

Innate

Correct answer:

Innate

Explanation:

Do not confuse the word “immanent” with “imminent.” The latter means “soon to occur,” such as “imminent danger.”   The word “immanent” comes from the prefix “in-” (here becoming “im-”) affixed to a base that means “to remain.” The words “remain,” “mansion,” and “permanent” all have this same latter base, which is derived from the Latin “manere,” meaning “to stay or remain.” Something immanent “remains within” another thing. For instance, one can say that a thought is an “immanent action” in that it remains “within the one knowing.” Sometimes, the word “immanent” is used in contrast to “transcendent,” the latter meaning “standing over and above something else.” For instance, one might speak of a “transcendent God,” that is, a deity that is neither the same as the world nor contained therein.

Example Question #21 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

MALADROIT

Possible Answers:

sedulous

morbid

opulent

clumsy

tawdry

Correct answer:

clumsy

Explanation:

"Maladroit" means clumsy or awkward. "Morbid" means gloomy or sickly. "Opulent" means rich or luxurious. "Sedulous" means determined or hard-working. "Tawdry" means cheap or tasteless.

Example Question #1 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

PRETENTIOUS

Possible Answers:

Illusory

Unreal

Ostentatious

Fictitious

Ephemeral

Correct answer:

Ostentatious

Explanation:

Although the word “pretentious” is related to the word “pretend,” do not be fooled. “Pretend” literally means to stretch forward in the sense of taking or claiming something. The “-tend” means stretch, as is found in “extend.” The “pre-” does not mean before in a temporal sense but instead in the physical sense—e.g. “he stood before the magistrate.” When someone is pretentious, he or she claims to be something that he or she is not, often doing so with much fanfare to draw attention. The word “ostentatious” means much the same, itself being derived from Latin roots meaning to stretch out to show.

Example Question #21 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

CONCURRENT

Possible Answers:

mistreating

simultaneous

electrified

scheduled

transmitting

Correct answer:

simultaneous

Explanation:

The word “concurrent” is comprised of two root words that you should know. The prefix “con-” means with, as is used in words like “concord” and found in similar forms in the “com-” in “community” and the “cum-” in “cumulative.” The “-current” portion of the word comes from the Latin for to run. When we speak of a river’s “current,” we mean to indicate its flow (running) of water. When multiple things are “concurrent,” they "run together” in the sense of occurring at the same time, as though they were parallel. For example, at a meeting, there may be several “concurrent sessions,” meaning that several smaller meetings occur at the same time, perhaps with each being devoted to a separate topic. The word “simultaneous” means at the same time, as is indicated by the “simul” in the word.

Example Question #23 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

UNPREPOSSESSING

Possible Answers:

covetous

grotesque

exquisite

covert

agreeable

Correct answer:

grotesque

Explanation:

"Unprepossessing" and "grotesque" both mean ugly or hideous. "Agreeable" means pleasing or delightful. "Exquisite" means beautiful or excellent. "Covert" means clandestine or underhanded. "Covetous" means greedy or very desirous.

Example Question #23 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

BINARY

Possible Answers:

computational

calculated

numeric

twofold

technological

Correct answer:

twofold

Explanation:

You might associate the word “binary” with the world of computers. Often, you will see things written in “binary code” like “101011011.” While this might seem to be a strange string of numbers, notice that the only digits in the “code” are “1” and “0.” There are only two choices. When someone is “bipolar,” he or she is said to have two personalities. Each of these are like different poles (like those found on a magnet) between which the person swings. Likewise, the word “combine,” means to bring two things together. The “two things" are expressed by the “-bi-” found in all of these words. A “binary choice” is one that has only two options. For this reason, the best option among the potential answers is “twofold.”

Example Question #1782 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

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

DEGRADING

Possible Answers:

Humiliating

Demolishing

Reducing

Removing

Demoting

Correct answer:

Humiliating

Explanation:

Do not be tempted to thinking “degrade” means the same thing as “downgrade.” Both words contain the “-grade” base, which means step or stage. Likewise, “de-” means down from. This might lead you to think that they both merely mean to force someone "down a step." Nevertheless, “degrading” actions are ones that are contemptuous or disrespectful. They are meant to humiliate those who receive them. For this reason, “humiliating” is the best answer among the others.

Example Question #22 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

CONCATENATION

Possible Answers:

Series

Fawn

Feline

Agree

Parallel

Correct answer:

Series

Explanation:

The word “concatenation” comes from the prefix “con-”, meaning “with” and a base that is derived from the Latin “catena,” meaning, “chain.” When one “concatenates” things together, he or she is said to “chain them together.” For this reason, a “concatenation” is a “series.” For instance, one can say that “abc” is a concatenation of the letters “a”, “b”, and “c.”

Example Question #25 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

CONGEAL

Possible Answers:

Thicken

Darken

Rot

Mold

Harden

Correct answer:

Thicken

Explanation:

The word “gel” and “gelatin” both are derived from a similar base as “congeal.” They all share the general sense of “freezing” or (more broadly) “hardening” from a liquid state. When something “congeals” it “gels together.” (The “con-” prefix means “with,” as you likely know.) In general it means to “to solidify” or “to coagulate” (like blood that thickens and clots). The word “congeal” can be used to describe a group coming together as well, as in, “The parts of the project congealed into a working whole.”

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