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What does “squalor” mean? (With a quiz question!)

2010-12-29 in Vocab

squalor

What does “squalor” mean?

Capsule Hotel Capsule in Akihabara, Japan

Part of Speech: noun

Pronunciations: IPA: /’skwa.lər/ Glossary-style: [SKWAH-lur]

Definition: filth; extreme dirtiness.

Example: Life in the shantytown was not all bad; yes, there was the poverty and squalor that usually accompanies it, but there was also great life and character, and always something fun to do.

Practice vocab quiz for “squalor”

1. Of the following, which would best be most likely to be referred to as squalor?
(A) A five-star hotel in Monaco
(B) An abandoned building that is inhabited by squatters in New York City and is not tended to by the city or the people who sleep there
(C) A capsule hotel in Tokyo, in which guests have only enough space to sleep, but not to walk around
(D) A “dude ranch” in Texas, where paying guests work as ranchers (or “cowboys”) as a vacation
(E) A youth hostel in Europe, which provides inexpensive accommodations to travelers

2. squalor most nearly means
(A) squeals, especially cacophonous ones
(B) squid ink
(C) squalidity or really, really bad dirtiness
(D) squeaky cleanliness
(E) squinting

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What does “ursine” mean? (With a quiz question!)

2010-12-29 in Vocab

Ursa Major, the famed constellation that some think resembles the shape of a bear.


ursine

What does “ursine” mean?

Part of Speech: adj
noun

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈər.saɪn/ Glossary-style: [UR-syn]

Definition: adj: relating to bears or like a bear. noun: a bear.

Example: A big ursine man, Harry was often chosen to kick out obnoxious or unruly party guests.

Practice vocab question for “ursine”

Of the following, which is most ursine?
(A) Lions with fiery manes
(B) Sheepish people who walk ploddingly
(C) A big, strong, hairy person
(D) A person with a pointy nose
(E) A tall, slender man

Answer:

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What does “pundit” mean? (With a quiz question!)

2010-12-26 in Vocab

pundit

What does “pundit” mean?

Part of Speech: noun

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈpən.dɪt/ Glossary-style: [PUN-dit]

Definition: a highly educated person; an expert. an expert who gives her opinion to the media (Ex: a talk show with several pundits debating current political issues). a highly educated person in India.

Example: The political candidate had great popular appeal, but the pundits roundly criticized his proposed tax breaks.

Practice vocab question for “pundit”

Which of the following would a pundit be most likely to do?
(A) Trick people into giving up their life savings
(B) Invest his fortunes in inventing a cure for the common cold
(C) Look down on people
(D) Give out his opinions on politics on national television, week after week
(E) Make a show of his knowledge

Answer:

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What does “wither” mean? (With a quiz question!)

2010-12-25 in Vocab

wither

What does “wither” mean?

Part of Speech: verb

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈwɪ.ðər/ Glossary-style: [WIH-ther]

Definition: dry up; become wrinkled from a lack of moisture (Ex: withered leaves). decay, die, or lose vitality. abash, cause to be speechless, or stun (Ex: to wither with an icy glance).

Example: My father cast me a withering glance from across the table when he saw that I was about to tell everybody the story of how he got a speeding ticket.

Practice vocab question for “wither”

Cruella ’s icy glance withered Jeeves, causing him to lose all of his ——-.

(A) knowledge
(B) appeal
(C) emotion
(D) resolve
(E) invigoration

Answer:

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