Monday, June 30, 2014

Test your higher-level English vocabulary

parochial - narrow minded, having a limited perspective, not open-minded

heedless - not taking enough care while doing something, careless, reckless

libidinous - being motivated by one's sex drive, slang: being 'horny'

duplicity - dishonesty

to parry - to defend oneself from an attack (this word comes from the sport of fencing - to parry a thrust is to stop one's opponent from hitting you with his sword tip by using your sword to deflect his thrust away)

overweening - too confident, too filled with pride, smug, arrogant

conciliatory - trying to make another happy or satisfied instead of making the person angrier; pacifying

to disabuse - to show someone that what he/she believed was inaccurate or false

a martinet - someone who values discipline excessively; someone who is super strict when it comes to leadership

prudish - someone who is too easily offended or embarrassed by sexual discussions or topics

Answers are below the exercise:

1. After the Civil War President Lincoln's policy toward the South was quite _________________. He indicated that he did not want to seek revenge but, instead, he wanted to welcome the South back into the Union and to help develop the South economically.

2. It was Icarus and not Daedalus who had been ________________; Daedalus knew that flying too high or too quickly would bring disaster, but Icarus failed to show this type of humble self-restraint.

3. Some parents have been complaining that the Diary of Anne Frank contains references to an adolescent's curiosity concerning the development of one's own sexual organs. They feel this book should not be read by young students. Other parents feel these parents are being ____________ and that there is no harm in reading the Diary of Anne Frank.

4. Do you think that a person who does not travel much will have a _______________ outlook on the world? Or, can a person be open-minded and intelligent without visiting other countries?

5. When she saw the child fall into the lake, Mary was ______________ of all risk and jumped in to save him. 

6. During the Middle Ages there was much corruption in the Catholic Church and you see this in the tales of _________________ priests in Boccaccio's book Il Decameron.

7. A young officers in the military should try to avoid excessive discipline in regard to his squad lest he acquire the reputation for being a _________________.

8. Bob was able to ____________ Mary's criticism that he was not a strong disciplinarian by saying that he felt positive reinforcement was more effective in regard to raising a child than punishment.

9. You seem to believe that the Persian Empire was run by a series of inhuman dictators, but I would like to _____________ you of that misconception by pointing out that Cyrus was loved by his people and admired around the Mediterranean area.

10. Bob was a straight-forward and honest guy and any form of ________________ bothered him deeply.

Answers are below:


1. conciliatory
2. overweening
3. prudish
4. parochial
5. heedless
6. libidinous
7. martinet
8. parry
9. disabuse
10. duplicity

Daniel Gauss ---->

My ESL book:

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