Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Test your high-level English vocabulary ----> 1 (adjectives)

*ambiguous – not certain, vague, unclear 
*avant garde – (pronounced: ah vant GUARD) in the forefront, experimental, in the lead, innovative
*bygone – a time past, in the past 
*conscientious – very sincere, concerned
*despondent – feeling hopeless 
*dispassionate – not passionate, impartial, objective
*egocentric – only concerned about oneself  (opposite = altruistic)
*exemplary – excellent, the best, the example to be followed
*fastidious –concerned with details, have a demanding attitude, critical over little things
*freelance – working for oneself 
*humane – possessing the best human qualities of kindness, mercy, forgiveness
*immutable – unchanageable 
*indigenous - original inhabitants, natives to a region
*intangible – untouchable, non-physical, can’t be physically touched
*integrated – a meaningful part of something, equally mixed in with something else
*lethargic – feeling weak and lacking energy, not capable of doing work through lack of energy
*marginalized – pushed off to the side, not central
*mercenary – doing something solely for the sake of money (like a hired soldier)
*nonchalant – carefree, unconcerned, easy-going
*obsequious – subservient, submissive, willingly doing what an authority wants you to do
*parsimonious – cheap, very frugal, miserly
*pragmatic – practical, non-idealistic
*provisional – temporary, until something better comes along
*quixotic – overly idealistic, so idealistic as to be impractical (like Don Quixote)
*relentless – not giving up, continually pursuing s/t  
*robust – strong, healthy
*sedentary – characterized by sitting 
*ubiquitous – everywhere 
*virulent – especially destructive, very strong (from the word for virus)

1. Although the Impressionist painters of the early 20th century are now looked on as being somewhat conservative in their approach to painting, the first Impressionists were truly _________________ artists who defied current standards and broke with traditions.

2. It’s true that Manhattan has not preserved a lot of it’s history, but the cemetery at Trinity Church, in lower Manhattan, helps a person see a little bit of a ____________ era in that the tombs and gravestones are from the 17th through 19th centuries.

3. There are benefits and detriments to doing ___________ work.  On the one hand you have your freedom but on the other hand you don’t have as much financial security as you would have if you received a regular paycheck.

4. I would like to think that many people in the medical profession are driven by a sense of concern for their fellow men and women, but I have seen many doctors whose motives seemed entirely _____________and who seemed to live to make money.

5. The number of health clubs has increased as our jobs have become more _____________. Some people literally sit at their desks for 6 to 8 hours a day.

6. “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”, a poem by Robert Frost, seems to have a highly ______________ meaning; but maybe great art should not provide easy and clear answers.

7. Yellow taxi cabs are _____________ in Manhattan – you can see them all over the place - yet it is still hard to find one that is unoccupied.

8. Members of the ____________ tribes of North America have been forced to determine whether they will choose to become integrated into the dominant American culture or whether they will try to retain their own culture on marginalized reservations (areas set aside by the US Government for Native Americans).

9. Recently a best-selling book claimed that deep down inside we are all, basically, ______________, but that, coincidentally, by pursuing our own needs and desires we accidentally help others and seem altruistic.

10. Scientific laws are ______________, they never change – Newton’s Law of Gravity is the same everywhere on earth.

11. It was April 14th and completed tax forms were due the next day, yet Bob seemed quite _______________ even though he had not even begun his taxes; one would think that he would have been frantic!

12. When a young person goes to college he/she is faced with a difficult choice: should one be, perhaps, quixotic in one’s studies and major in philosophy or ancient languages, or should one be more ____________ and study something that will lead to an unambiguously prosperous or secure financial future?

13. Bob was usually quite energetic, but his recent flu had made him feel quite _____________ and he just did not feel like doing much of anything anymore.

14. Although it is true that Barack Obama, a person of color, has been elected president of the United States, it is debatable that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has come true since it does not seem that African Americans have yet to become ______________into American society on a level of equality.

15. The most violent and authoritarian dictators tend to surround themselves with the most _______________ assistants; such “leaders” require “yes-men” more than individuals who will challenge important decisions or policies.

16. In Hugo’s Les Miserables, Jean Valjean is pursued by a _____________police investigator named Javert, who simply refuses to give up.

17. A _____________ teacher will often be so sincere and concerned about his/her work that he/she will work with students beyond the regular school hours and will do various types of volunteer work around the school.

18. In a high-profile or very emotional court case, the defendant will hope for a _____________ judge who will not be swayed by public opinion or approach the case with his/her own prejudices.

19. The American goal in Iraq was to depose Saddam Hussein and then establish a _______________ government which would be replaced by a government elected by the Iraqi people.

20. The fashion designer had acquired a reputation as a micro-manager, but she felt that she needed to be _________________ if her clothing was going to be scrutinized closely by the press and public.

21. Although the Civil Rights Movement in America made remarkable achievements, it is still a sad fact that racial minorities are still _______________ in American society; they do not seem to receive equal amounts of funding or fair treatment in general.

22. Although Bob had lost his job due to the financial crisis, he had not become _____________: indeed, he was quite hopeful that a new opportunity would come along soon.

23. Were the ideals of the French revolution – liberty, equality, fraternity – too __________ to be established in human society, or were the leaders of the revolution not humane enough to establish these ideals?

24. Racism in the American south was so ____________ in the early 20th century that black people lived in fear of continual violence and had no hope for equality.

25. Although the Japanese economy went through a difficult period of time and became relatively weak in the 90s, the economy became more ____________ as the new century loomed and production rates increased.

26. Bob was highly praised by his boss for having done an _____________ job on the recent presentation; his boss wished everyone would do as well as Bob did on that presentation.

27. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be someone who exhibits the most ______________ qualities in regard to addressing difficult world problems . Such values should include: tolerance, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, empathy etc.

28. It’s true that the world has been changed by science and its emphasis on the measurable and concrete; but most people in the world still value the more _____________ pursuits involved in spiritual activities.

29. It’s good to be frugal but Bob had become quite ________________: he only shopped at dollar stores and counted every penny that he earned and spent.

Answers are below:


1. avant garde
2. bygone
3. freelance
4. mercenary
5. sedentary
6. ambiguous
7. ubiquitous
8. indigenous
9. egocentric
10. immutable
11. nonchalant
12. pragmatic
13. lethargic
14. integrated
15. obsequious
16. relentless
17. conscientious
18, dispassionate
19. provisional
20. fastidious
21. marginalized
22. despondent
23. quixotic
24. virulent
25. robust
26. exemplary
27. humane
28. intangible
29. parsimonious

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