ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #13 : Synonyms: Prefixes

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

INUNDATE

Possible Answers:

hoard

vocalize

stack

fund

overwhelm

Correct answer:

overwhelm

Explanation:

The word “inundate” actually comes from the Latin for a wave. The word “undulate” means to have a wave-like motion. For this reason, the word “inundate” can have the specific meaning of to flood. Most normally, however, it is used to mean to overwhelm, as though to imply that someone is “flooded” by some concern or care. For example, one could say, “With all of the applications for the position, the secretary was inundated with paperwork for months, trying to give fair review to each resume.”

Example Question #14 : Synonyms: Prefixes

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

PROSCRIBE

Possible Answers:

support

medicate

forbid

indicate

recommend

Correct answer:

forbid

Explanation:

The word “proscribe” is frequently confused with “prescribe,” which means to recommend or authorize (something); however, while the word “prescribe” literally means to to write ahead of time, the word “proscribe” literally means to write in front of. The sense is that one writes something as a law that thus acts to forbid certain actions. This is the best meaning for the term.

Example Question #11 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

REGRESS

Possible Answers:

revert

formulate

populate

floral

lament

Correct answer:

revert

Explanation:

The word “regress” is related to words like “digress” and “progress.” It is comprised of two roots, both of which are likely familiar. The prefix “re-” here means backward, back, or (in a sense) behind. Think of words like “return” or “reply.” The “-gress” comes from the Latin word for to step. The words “grade” and “gradual” both come from this same base, as do the aforementioned words. For example, “progression” is the process of going forward (pro-). The word “regress” means returning (going back) to former stage of development. One can speak of emotional regression, as in, “At age fifty, he seemed to regress to a teenage mentality, buying a number of frivolous things like cars and baseball trophies.” Likewise, one can use the term to talk about cultural regression, as in, “The state of society has been regressing for a generation; not only is the intellectual culture far less developed, but likewise manners have all but died, being replaced with barbaric rudeness.”

Example Question #21 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

UNEQUIVOCAL

Possible Answers:

unilateral

explicit

unclear

operational

frenzied

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 #61 : Synonyms

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

IMMANENT

Possible Answers:

Impending

Soon

Threatening

Frightening

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 #23 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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:

morbid

sedulous

tawdry

clumsy

opulent

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:

Ephemeral

Ostentatious

Unreal

Fictitious

Illusory

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 #24 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

CONCURRENT

Possible Answers:

scheduled

mistreating

transmitting

simultaneous

electrified

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

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:

exquisite

covert

agreeable

covetous

grotesque

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 #62 : Synonyms

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

BINARY

Possible Answers:

twofold

computational

numeric

technological

calculated

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.”

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