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What does “pitfall” mean? (+ a short quiz!)

2011-01-12 in Vocab

Watch out for pitfalls!

pitfall

What does “pitfall” mean?

Part of Speech: noun

Pronunciations: IPA: /’pɪt.fal/ Glossary-style: [PIT-fahl]

Definition: a danger, difficulty, or problem that can arise unexpectedly (Ex: the pitfalls of applying for a job). a covered hole in the ground used as a trap.

Example: One of the pitfalls of excelling in a particular subject is becoming labeled an expert in that subject, often causing others to overlook your other qualities and talents.

Practice vocab question for “pitfall”

1. Of the following, which describes a possible pitfall of applying to college?
(A) Many of your friends, who have excellent GPAs and SAT scores, are applying to the same colleges and universities that you are.
(B) You need to fill out a common application as well as write several supplementary essays.
(C) When you submit your application, you submit your rough draft instead of the final version of your personal statement.
(D) When your acceptance letters arrive, you discover that you are offered a four-year, full scholarship at your second choice, before you hear the result from your first-choice.
(E) You have important insights into your character while writing your admissions essays.

2. pitfall most nearly means
(A) comprehension or understanding
(B) area of land devoid of vegetation, especially in a jungle
(C) sudden realization
(D) unexpected difficulty
(E) prevention

Answer:

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What does “fetid” mean? (+ a short quiz!)

2011-01-11 in Vocab

We can only hope that Oscar enjoys the fetid smells of the town dump

fetid

What does “fetid” mean?

Part of Speech: adj

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈfɛ.tɪd/ Glossary-style: [FEH-tid]

Definition: having an extremely bad smell.

Example: The fetid smells of the rotting food were so strong that no one could enter the kitchen.

Practice vocab question for “fetid”

fetid most nearly means
(A) humorous
(B) offensive
(C) florid
(D) stinky
(E) rueful

Answer:

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What does “bohemian” mean? (+ a short quiz!)

2011-01-07 in Vocab

Many would consider Bob Dylan (left) and Allen Ginsberg (right) bohemians (even though they were both quite financially successful).

bohemian

What does “bohemian” mean?

Part of Speech: noun
adj

Pronunciations: IPA: /boʊ.ˈhi.mi.ən/ Glossary-style: [bo-HEE-mee-un]

Definition: noun: someone who is from or lives in Bohemia (a historical region located in the present-day Czech Republic in central Europe). someone who is unconventional, especially in lifestyle or appearance (Ex: young bohemians struggling to make a living).
adj: unconventional, especially in lifestyle or appearance (Ex: bohemian artists).

Example: When I think of “bohemians,” I think less of the Czech Republic than I do of young people who live in such cities as Paris or New York City and have dreams of living in an ideal world in which people value art and creativity and don’t stereotype others.

Practice vocab question for “bohemian”

A bohemian (note the lower-case b), would be most likely to
(A) imbibe copious amounts of malt beverages
(B) seek physical pleasure above all else
(C) make an ostentatious show of his knowledge
(D) eschew monetary success so that he could pursue his passion for writing poetry
(E) avoid contact with people

Answer:

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What does “sally” mean? (+ a short quiz!)

2011-01-05 in Vocab

A sally port. People exit through it. (And enter, for that matter.)

sally

What does “sally” mean?

Part of Speech: noun
verb

Pronunciations: IPA: /’sæl.i/ Glossary-style: [SAL-ee]

Definition: noun: a rush forward; an attack, as by a group of soldiers against an enemy. a trip or excursion. a sudden witty remark. verb: rush or leap out suddenly. rush out to attack an enemy. start a trip or excursion (Ex: to sally forth into the world).

Example: The soldiers emboldened by betel nuts sallied forth in crazed excitement to meet the enemy and their destiny.

Practice vocab questions for “sally”

1. To sally is to
(A) rush out quickly, as to attack
(B) flee or evade
(C) make dirty
(D) waste time
(E) meet a hirsute male named Harry

2. Sallying forth into the world, Candide ——- his idyllic hometown to ——- a journey of discovery that would forever change him.
(A) romanticizes . . revere
(B) envisions . . refine
(C) embraces . . negotiate
(D) leaves . . commence
(E) rejects . . eschew
Answer:

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