ADVANCING
VOCABULARY SKILLS
Fourth Edition
Sherrie L. Nist
© 2010 Townsend Press
Unit Three: Chapter 17
• exhort
• masochist
• flamboyant
• meticulous
• foible
• rancor
• innocuous
• recrimination
• magnanimous
• repugnant
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 exhort
– verb
• The school counselor gave an impassioned speech to the parents,
in which she exhorted them to make every effort to keep their
children off drugs.
• On the eve of the invasion, the general exhorted the troops to
fight bravely for their homeland.
Exhort means
A. to accuse.
B. to praise.
C. to urge.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 exhort
– verb
• The school counselor gave an impassioned speech to the parents,
in which she exhorted them to make every effort to keep their
children off drugs.
• On the eve of the invasion, the general exhorted the troops to
fight bravely for their homeland.
Exhort means
A. to accuse.
B. to praise.
C. to urge.
The school counselor would give an impassioned speech urging
parents to keep their children off drugs. A general would urge
the troops to fight bravely for their homeland.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 flamboyant
– adjective
• Lily can’t resist flamboyant clothes. She’d wear a hot-pink dress
with gold satin trim to a funeral.
• The flamboyant pianist always wore sequined suits and
glittering jewelry when he sat down at his silver piano.
Flamboyant means
A. flashy.
B. self-centered.
C. concerned with details.
A flamboyant house
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 flamboyant
– adjective
• Lily can’t resist flamboyant clothes. She’d wear a hot-pink dress
with gold satin trim to a funeral.
• The flamboyant pianist always wore sequined suits and
glittering jewelry when he sat down at his silver piano.
Flamboyant means
A. flashy.
B. self-centered.
C. concerned with details.
A flamboyant house
A hot-pink dress with gold satin trim
is an example of flashy clothes.
Sequined suits, glittering jewelry,
and a silver piano suggest that the
pianist is flashy.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 foible
– noun
• Serious character flaws, such as abusiveness, are hard to overlook,
but foibles—such as drinking soup through a straw—can often be
easily tolerated.
• “I accept my husband’s foible of leaving clothes lying around,” Kia
remarked, “because it lets me be messy without feeling guilty.”
Foible means
A. a serious problem.
B. a minor fault.
C. a complaint.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 foible
– noun
• Serious character flaws, such as abusiveness, are hard to overlook,
but foibles—such as drinking soup through a straw—can often be
easily tolerated.
• “I accept my husband’s foible of leaving clothes lying around,” Kia
remarked, “because it lets me be messy without feeling guilty.”
Foible means
A. a serious problem.
B. a minor fault.
C. a complaint.
In contrast with serious character flaws, drinking soup through
a straw is a minor fault. Leaving clothes lying around is also a
minor fault.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 innocuous
– adjective
• Although most children engage in innocuous pranks on Halloween,
some get out of control and do serious damage.
• Experts at the Poison Information Center can tell you if a
household substance is harmful or innocuous.
Innocuous means
A. without bad effects.
B. expensive.
C. satisfying.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 innocuous
– adjective
• Although most children engage in innocuous pranks on Halloween,
some get out of control and do serious damage.
• Experts at the Poison Information Center can tell you if a
household substance is harmful or innocuous.
Innocuous means
A. without bad effects.
B. expensive.
C. satisfying.
In contrast with pranks that get out of control and do serious
damage, most children’s Halloween pranks do not have bad effects.
In the second item, a substance that is without bad effects is the
opposite of a harmful substance.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 magnanimous
– adjective
• At age 5, Jonathan is already learning to be magnanimous. He
hugs his baby sister, even when she hits him on the head with a
wooden block.
• Last Thanksgiving, someone at work drew a funny picture of our
boss as an enormous turkey. When the boss saw it, he was
magnanimous—he laughed, said it was terrific, and even hung it
up over his desk.
Magnanimous means
A. forgiving.
B. consistent.
C. resentful.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 magnanimous
– adjective
• At age 5, Jonathan is already learning to be magnanimous. He
hugs his baby sister, even when she hits him on the head with a
wooden block.
• Last Thanksgiving, someone at work drew a funny picture of our
boss as an enormous turkey. When the boss saw it, he was
magnanimous—he laughed, said it was terrific, and even hung it
up over his desk.
Magnanimous means
A. forgiving.
B. consistent.
C. resentful.
Hugging someone who hits you on the head with a wooden block
is being forgiving. The boss’s reaction to the picture of him as an
enormous turkey shows that he was forgiving.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 masochist
– noun
• Psychologists are trying to understand why masochists obtain
satisfaction from suffering.
• “A masochist’s idea of a good time,” said the comedian, “is
getting hit by a truck on the way home from having all his teeth
pulled.
Masochist means
A. someone filled with hatred.
B. someone who enjoys being
hurt.
C. someone who enjoys hurting
others.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 masochist
– noun
• Psychologists are trying to understand why masochists obtain
satisfaction from suffering.
• “A masochist’s idea of a good time,” said the comedian, “is
getting hit by a truck on the way home from having all his teeth
pulled.
Masochist means
A. someone filled with hatred.
B. someone who enjoys being
hurt.
C. someone who enjoys hurting
others.
Someone who gets satisfaction from suffering must be someone who
enjoys being hurt. And only someone who enjoys being hurt would think
that having his teeth pulled and being hit by a truck was a good time.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 meticulous
– adjective
• When you proofread your own writing, be meticulous—check
every detail.
• Marcus is meticulous about his appearance. He never has a
wrinkle in his clothing or a hair out of place.
Meticulous means
A. very careful.
B. bold.
C. unconcerned.
A meticulously kept garden
Photo: Daderot
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 meticulous
– adjective
• When you proofread your own writing, be meticulous—check
every detail.
• Marcus is meticulous about his appearance. He never has a
wrinkle in his clothing or a hair out of place.
Meticulous means
A. very careful.
B. bold.
C. unconcerned.
A meticulously kept garden
Photo: Daderot
If you check every detail you are
being very careful. If Marcus never
has a wrinkle in his clothing or a
hair out of place, he is very careful
about his appearance.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 rancor
– noun
• The rancor between my uncles has lasted for twenty years, ever
since Uncle Dmitri married the woman to whom Uncle Sergei
had proposed.
• When there is long-lasting rancor between divorced parents,
their children may also start to share this bitterness.
Rancor means
A. a minor fault.
B. deep hostility.
C. secrecy.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 rancor
– noun
• The rancor between my uncles has lasted for twenty years, ever
since Uncle Dmitri married the woman to whom Uncle Sergei
had proposed.
• When there is long-lasting rancor between divorced parents,
their children may also start to share this bitterness.
Rancor means
A. a minor fault.
B. deep hostility.
C. secrecy.
If Dmitri married the woman Sergei wanted to marry, there would
be deep hostility between the two men. In the second item, the
word bitterness suggests that rancor means “deep hostility.”
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 recrimination
– noun
• The couple’s session with the marriage counselor failed miserably; it
began with the husband and wife hurling accusations at each other,
and it never progressed beyond these recriminations.
• When Lainie’s father and her teacher met to discuss Lainie’s poor
grades, they exchanged recriminations—each accused the other of
not helping her do better.
Recrimination means
A. an urgent plea.
B. a detailed suggestion.
C. an accusation in reply.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 recrimination
– noun
• The couple’s session with the marriage counselor failed miserably; it
began with the husband and wife hurling accusations at each other,
and it never progressed beyond these recriminations.
• When Lainie’s father and her teacher met to discuss Lainie’s poor
grades, they exchanged recriminations—each accused the other of
not helping her do better.
Recrimination means
A. an urgent plea.
B. a detailed suggestion.
C. an accusation in reply.
The description of the husband and wife hurling accusations at each
other tells you that recriminations are accusations in reply. If Lainie’s
father and the teacher accused each other, the exchanged accusations
in reply.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 repugnant
– adjective
• My parents find some of my eating habits repugnant, but I see
nothing offensive about mixing peas and ketchup into mashed
potatoes.
• A snake is repugnant to many people—“Slimy!” they say,
shivering with distaste. However, snakes are not at all slimy, and
most are harmless.
Repugnant means
A. disgusting.
B. amusing.
C. remarkable.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 repugnant
– adjective
• My parents find some of my eating habits repugnant, but I see
nothing offensive about mixing peas and ketchup into mashed
potatoes.
• A snake is repugnant to many people—“Slimy!” they say,
shivering with distaste. However, snakes are not at all slimy, and
most are harmless.
Repugnant means
A. disgusting.
B. amusing.
C. remarkable.
In the first item, the word offensive suggests that repugnant means
“disgusting.” In the second item, people who shiver with distaste must
find snakes disgusting.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
1. Why is it that bats seem so __________? Do we think a flying
mouselike creature is distasteful, or do we associate bats with
vampires?
2. It was ____________ of the Greens to forgive the driver
who ran over their dog.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
1. Why is it that bats seem so __________?
repugnant Do we think a flying
mouselike creature is distasteful, or do we associate bats with
vampires?
The word distasteful suggests a word meaning “repulsive” is needed.
2. It was ____________
magnanimous of the Greens to forgive the driver
who ran over their dog.
If the Greens forgave the drive who ran over their dog, they must
be very generous in forgiving.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
3. Battered women who stay with their abusive partners
aren’t necessarily ________s; they don’t enjoy being
hurt, but often they can’t see any way to escape.
4. Although nail-biting is only a __________, it can become
maddening to a companion who observes it day after day.
5. Before the football game, the coach gave a fiery pep talk. He
_______(e)d the players to fight for the honor of the team
and the school.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
3. Battered women who stay with their abusive partners
aren’t necessarily _________;
masochists they don’t enjoy being
hurt, but often they can’t see any way to escape.
The words enjoy being hurt suggest masochist.
4. Although nail-biting is only a __________,
it can become
foible
maddening to a companion who observes it day after day.
Nail-biting is only a minor fault.
5. Before the football game, the coach gave a fiery pep talk. He
__________
exhorted the players to fight for the honor of the team
and the school.
A fiery pep talk would strongly urge the players to fight.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
6. To an allergic person, foods that are normally __________,
such as milk or wheat, can cause discomfort and even
serious illness.
7. The long-standing __________ between the two women
finally came to an end when one of them fell and the
other rushed over to help her.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
6. To an allergic person, foods that are normally __________,
innocuous
such as milk or wheat, can cause discomfort and even
serious illness.
For people without allergies, milk and wheat are harmless foods.
7. The long-standing __________
between the two women
rancor
finally came to an end when one of them fell and the
other rushed over to help her.
One woman helping the other would end the long-standing intense
hatred.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
8. The angry neighbors traded ___________s: “Your wild kids
trampled all over my flower bed!” “Well, your crazy dog dug
up my lawn!”
9. Some jobs needn’t be done in a(n) ______ way. For instance,
why sweep every speck of dust off a floor that’s only going to
get dirty again in an hour?
10. On New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, string bands called
“Mummers” strut their stuff in __________ costumes
designed to outshine all other bands in the parade.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. exhort
B. flamboyant
C. foible
D. innocuous
E. magnanimous
F. masochist
G. meticulous
H. rancor
I. recrimination J. repugnant
8. The angry neighbors traded ____________:
recriminations “Your wild kids
trampled all over my flower bed!” “Well, your crazy dog dug
up my lawn!”
The sentence gives examples of countercharges.
9. Some jobs needn’t be done in a _________
meticulous way. For instance,
why sweep every speck of dust off a floor that’s only going to
get dirty again in an hour?
Sweeping up every speck of dust is sweeping in an extremely careful way.
10. On New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, string bands called
“Mummers” strut their stuff in __________
flamboyant costumes
designed to outshine all other bands in the parade.
In order to outshine all other bands, the costumes would have to
be very showy.