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1. A

2. C

3. C

4. C

5. B

6. A

7. E

8. D

9. E

10. B

11. D

12. A

13. C

14. B

15. A

Answers Explained

You can often figure out what a new word means by seeing it in context, the surrounding words and phrases. That way, you can still get the gist (jist) of the conversation or reading, even if you have never seen the word before. Sentence completion questions build on this skill by requiring you to fill in one or two words that have been removed from a sentence.

1. The correct answer is (A). I had a linguistics professor who said that it’s man’s ability to use language that makes him the dominant species on the planet. Linguistics is the study of language.

(B) crepuscular means “pertaining to twilight”

(C) gruesome means “gory”

(D) commodious means “large, spacious, holding a great deal”

(E) sentimental means “romantic”

 

2. The correct answer is (C). The girl’s expression was elusive, so the painter had a difficult time capturing it on canvas. Elusive means “intangible, hard to grasp.”

(A) affable means “friendly”

(C) cordial means “friendly”

(D) truncated means “shortened”

(E) facetious means “sarcastic”

 

3. The correct answer is (C). As a museum archivist who restores ancient documents, Matt Hijing protested an art council policy that resulted in the wholesale destruction of clearly salvageable records. Destruction means “having destroyed or ruined”; salvageable means “can be saved.”

(A) leveling means “making flat; knocking down”; derelict means “neglected”

(B) extermination means “destruction”; inconsequential means “minor, not important”

(D) indemnity means “compensation, payment”; grimy means “dirty”

(E) protection means “support of one that is smaller or weaker”; venerable means “esteemed”

 

4. The correct answer is (C). The goldsmith seemed to work by artifice, constructing jewelry with gems that almost seemed to float in the air. Artifice means “cunning or craftiness.” It can also mean “a clever and deceptive trick.”

(A) verisimilitude means “the appearance of truth”

(B) cupidity means “greed; avarice”

(D) serendipity means “accidental good fortune or luck”

(E) machinations means “a plot or scheme, especially a wily or deceptive one; ploy; ruse; sham; chicanery”

 

5. The correct answer is (B). The child’s wound was superficial and barely bled; as a result, his mother knew it was an inconsequential injury. Superficial means “surface”; inconsequential means “not important or significant.”

(A) quixotic means “idealistic but impractical”; obstinate means “stubborn”

(C) symbiotic means “characterized by a mutually beneficial relationship; interdependent”; indifferent means “not caring one way or the other”

(D) intrepid means “fearless”; incumbent means “required”

(E) spontaneous means “unplanned”; apathetic means “feeling or showing little emotion”

 

6. The correct answer is (A). By working a great deal of overtime, Hector gave the boss a compelling reason to give him a raise. Compelling means “forceful; urgently demanding attention.”

(B) autocratic means “tyrannical”

(C) despotic means “dictatorial, oppressive”

(D) intrepid means “courageous, fearless”

(E) dogged means “stubbornly persevering”

 

7. The correct answer is (E). The teacher had an unfortunate habit of belaboring a point over and over to make sure her students understood it. Belaboring means “to repeat, reiterate, or go over again and again, to the point of being tiresome.”

(A) castigating means “to punish, chastise, or criticize severely”

(B) devouring means “consuming”

(C) assimilating means “to make part of the whole”

(D) proliferating means “to grow or increase rapidly”

 

8. The correct answer is (D). It would be senseless for any aspiring office seeker to irritate such a powerful group of voters. Senseless means “foolish, stupid”; irritate means “to provoke impatience, anger, or displeasure in.”

(A) astute means “wise”; infuriate means “make very angry”

(B) discerning means “having good judgment”; provoke means “annoy”

(C) intelligent means “revealing good thought or judgment”; aggravate means “to make worse.” It is only used in relation to conditions, as in “Wet weather aggravates my bad back.” It is not used as a synonym for annoy, as in “He annoys me.” (Not “He aggravates me.”)

(E) preposterous means “absurd”; abet means “aid, help”

 

9. The correct answer is (E). The referee’s capricious behavior angered the players because he was inconsistent in his calls. Capricious means “fickle, inconstant.”

(A) inconsequential means “not important”

(B) superficial means “shallow”

(C) apathetic means “impassive”

(D) trivial means “unimportant”

 

10. The correct answer is (B). Tragically, so many marshes and wetlands are threatened by agricultural overdevelopment and technological encroachment that they may vanish by the next century. Threatened means “having an uncertain chance of continued survival”; vanish means “to pass quickly from sight; to disappear.”

(A) sequestered means “isolating jurors”; separate means “to set or keep apart”

(C) consumed means “used up, ate”; augment means “to add to; to enlarge”

(D) embellished means “decorated”; dwindle means “decline, diminish”

(E) rejuvenated means “restored to youth”; dissolve means “to cause to disappear”

 

11. The correct answer is (D). The drunken revelers made such a loud fracas that police had to be called. Fracas is “a loud disturbance, a melee.”

(A) functionary means “an official; a person holding an office or position of authority”

(B) obsequies means “funeral rites”

(C) machination means “a plot or scheme, especially a wily or deceptive one; ploy; ruse; sham; chicanery”

(E) imbroglio means “a perplexing situation; entanglement; dilemma.”

 

12. The correct answer is (A). The critic neither lauded nor derided the director’s latest film: she evaluated the film’s strengths and weaknesses carefully and fairly. Lauded means “praised”; derided means “ridiculed.”

(B) aggrandized means “increase; expand”; favored means “prefer”

(C) celebrated means “honored”; adapted means “fashioned to one’s own needs”

(D) maligned means “disparaged; defamed”; criticized means “condemned; denounced”

(E) disregarded means “ignored”; showcased means “set off for display”

 

13. The correct answer is (C). Sad because of the inclement weather, the dog cast a baleful glance at his master. Baleful means “sorrowful.” It can also mean “evil; destructive.”

(A) nefarious means “wicked; iniquitous; abominable”

(B) vivacious means “lively, animated, spirited”

(D) indefatigable means “tireless; inexhaustible; unflagging”

(E) inchoate means “just begun; incipient; elementary; rudimentary”

 

14. The correct answer is (B). Records were made obsolete by CDs, but now they are making a comeback among collectors. Obsolete means “out-of-date, antiquated.”

(A) sought means “desired”

(C) popular means “sought after”

(D) recommend means “endorsed”

(E) standard means “regular”

 

15. The correct answer is (A). Professor Herman was a brusque teacher who rarely took time to listen to his students. Brusque means “abrupt, harsh.”

(B) caustic means “bitter, cutting, sardonic”

(C) pugnacious means “belligerent, combative”

(D) notorious means “infamous”

(E) feral means “wild, savage”