Chapter 15

Report
ADVANCED
WORD POWER
Second Edition
BETH JOHNSON
JANET M. GOLDSTEIN
© 2011 Townsend Press
Unit Three: Chapter 15
• callous
• paragon
• desecrate
• provincial
• evanescent
• steadfast
• heed
• supercilious
• indigent
• usurp
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 callous
– adjective
• Only the most callous person is not touched by pictures of starving
children in refugee camps.
• Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms may seem callous, but if they
let themselves become upset by the suffering they see, they could not do
their jobs.
Callous means
A. unfamiliar.
B. unfeeling.
C. unqualified.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 callous
– adjective
• Only the most callous person is not touched by pictures of starving
children in refugee camps.
• Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms may seem callous, but if they
let themselves become upset by the suffering they see, they could not do
their jobs.
Callous means
A. unfamiliar.
B. unfeeling.
C. unqualified.
Only unfeeling people would remain unmoved by such disturbing
images. Healthcare professionals’ need to remain calm on the job
explains why they sometimes appear unfeeling.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 desecrate
– verb
• Food vendors, postcard stands, and the like are not allowed at the war
memorial. Such commercial ventures would desecrate this shrine to the
war dead.
• New Englanders feel that clam chowder is desecrated by the addition of
tomatoes. There’s not a speck of tomato in pure New England chowder.
Desecrate means
A. to adorn.
B. to dishonor.
C. to finish.
Photo: Armenia-Wales
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 desecrate
– verb
• Food vendors, postcard stands, and the like are not allowed at the war
memorial. Such commercial ventures would desecrate this shrine to the
war dead.
• New Englanders feel that clam chowder is desecrated by the addition of
tomatoes. There’s not a speck of tomato in pure New England chowder.
Desecrate means
A. to adorn.
B. to dishonor.
C. to finish.
Photo: Armenia-Wales
Using the memorial site to make
money would dishonor those who
died. New Englanders who view
their original recipe as sacred think
tomatoes dishonor ”their” chowder.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 evanescent
– adjective
• My grandmother seemed to have an evanescent scent of vanilla about
her. When I hugged her, I would sometimes catch a sweet whiff of it.
• It is a wonderful, rare thing to get a glimpse of the northern lights, which
appear as evanescent flickers of color on the horizon.
Evanescent means
A. briefly present.
B. long-lasting.
C. imaginary.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 evanescent
– adjective
• My grandmother seemed to have an evanescent scent of vanilla about
her. When I hugged her, I would sometimes catch a sweet whiff of it.
• It is a wonderful, rare thing to get a glimpse of the northern lights, which
appear as evanescent flickers of color on the horizon.
Evanescent means
A. briefly present.
B. long-lasting.
C. imaginary.
If the speaker could catch a whiff of vanilla only during the hug,
then the scent must have been only briefly present. The words
rare, glimpse, and flickers suggest that the northern lights are
only briefly present.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 heed
– verb
• Parents often wish that children were more willing to heed their advice.
• The senator was voted out of office after just one term because he
refused to heed the voters’ wishes.
Heed means
Photo: Arlo K. Abrahamson, U.S. Navy
A. to listen to.
B. to misunderstand.
C. to ignore.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 heed
– verb
• Parents often wish that children were more willing to heed their advice.
• The senator was voted out of office after just one term because he
refused to heed the voters’ wishes.
Heed means
Photo: Arlo K. Abrahamson, U.S. Navy
A. to listen to.
B. to misunderstand.
C. to ignore.
When people give advice, they
usually want others to listen to it.
To be reelected, it is important for
politicians to listen to the wishes
of those who vote for them.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 indigent
– adjective
• The nun Mother Teresa was famous for her work among the indigent
people of India, the people she called “the poorest of the poor.”
• A soup kitchen and free clothing outlet has opened on West Avenue to
help the city’s indigent population.
Indigent means
A. important.
B. well-behaved.
C. needy.
Photo: Matthew Woitunski
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 indigent
– adjective
• The nun Mother Teresa was famous for her work among the indigent
people of India, the people she called “the poorest of the poor.”
• A soup kitchen and free clothing outlet has opened on West Avenue to
help the city’s indigent population.
Indigent means
A. important.
B. well-behaved.
C. needy.
Photo: Matthew Woitunski
The phrase “poorest of the poor”
suggests that Mother Teresa tried to
help needy people. Soup kitchens
and clothing outlets offer free food
and clothes to needy people.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 paragon
– noun
• The Acme Company presented itself as a paragon of business ethics.
Therefore, the public was surprised at reports that Acme was dumping
toxic wastes into streams and that its executives had fled the country with
the stockholders’ money.
• The New England town meeting is frequently described as a paragon of
democracy. All citizens can participate and make their voices heard.
Paragon means
A. an ancestor.
B. an imitation.
C. an ideal example.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 paragon
– noun
• The Acme Company presented itself as a paragon of business ethics.
Therefore, the public was surprised at reports that Acme was dumping
toxic wastes into streams and that its executives had fled the country with
the stockholders’ money.
• The New England town meeting is frequently described as a paragon of
democracy. All citizens can participate and make their voices heard.
Paragon means
A. an ancestor.
B. an imitation.
C. an ideal example.
The company’s image as an ideal example of high ethical standards
is contrasted with the reality of its unethical and illegal practices. A
meeting where all citizens are welcome to exercise their right to free
speech is an ideal example of a participatory democracy.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 provincial
– adjective
• Just because Ivan lives in the country, do not think he is provincial. On
the contrary, he is a well-educated man who reads a great deal and keeps
up with what’s going on in the world.
• The local paper is too provincial for me. Its stories are written from a
very limited point of view that doesn’t consider other ways of looking at
questions.
Provincial means
A. narrow-minded.
B. broad-minded.
C. calm.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 provincial
– adjective
• Just because Ivan lives in the country, do not think he is provincial. On
the contrary, he is a well-educated man who reads a great deal and keeps
up with what’s going on in the world.
• The local paper is too provincial for me. Its stories are written from a
very limited point of view that doesn’t consider other ways of looking at
questions.
Provincial means
A. narrow-minded.
B. broad-minded.
C. calm.
The assumption that Ivan is narrow-minded because he lives in the
country is contrasted with the reality that he is well-educated and
worldly-wise. The phrase “very limited point of view” suggests that the
local paper is narrow-minded and doesn’t consider other perspectives.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 steadfast
– adjective
• For the last 11 years, my grandmother has been a steadfast volunteer for
the Meals on Wheels program. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, no
matter what the weather, she delivers meals to neighbors who cannot leave
their homes.
• On their golden anniversary, Dad made a touching toast to Mom, saying
that she had been his “steadfast companion for half a century.”
Steadfast means
A. forgetful.
B. faithful.
C. grateful.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 steadfast
– adjective
• For the last 11 years, my grandmother has been a steadfast volunteer for
the Meals on Wheels program. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, no
matter what the weather, she delivers meals to neighbors who cannot leave
their homes.
• On their golden anniversary, Dad made a touching toast to Mom, saying
that she had been his “steadfast companion for half a century.”
Steadfast means
A. forgetful.
B. faithful.
C. grateful.
Since the grandmother consistently delivers meals, regardless of
weather conditions, she is a faithful volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Since the father is celebrating his fiftieth wedding anniversary with
a touching toast to his wife, he probably considers her a faithful
companion.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 supercilious
– adjective
• After a conference with her son’s teacher, Jane was fuming because of the
teacher’s supercilious attitude. “She treated me like dirt under her feet,” Jane
said bitterly.
• The supercilious hotel clerk lost his job when he asked a plainly-dressed
foreign-looking woman in the lobby to leave. She was the hotel owner’s mother.
Supercilious means
Photo: Oscar Gustave Rejlander, 1872
A. snobbish.
B. sensitive.
C. supportive.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 supercilious
– adjective
• After a conference with her son’s teacher, Jane was fuming because of the
teacher’s supercilious attitude. “She treated me like dirt under her feet,” Jane
said bitterly.
• The supercilious hotel clerk lost his job when he asked a plainly-dressed
foreign-looking woman in the lobby to leave. She was the hotel owner’s mother.
Supercilious means
Photo: Oscar Gustave Rejlander, 1872
A. snobbish.
B. sensitive.
C. supportive.
The teacher must have a snobbish
attitude to treat other people like dirt.
Only a snobbish clerk would make
someone leave simply because her
clothing wasn’t very fancy.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 usurp
– verb
• In the novel, the evil prince arranged to have the elderly king kidnapped. He
then usurped the throne, declaring himself king and threatening to hang as a
traitor anyone who objected.
• If you get a puppy, it is important to reassure your old dog that the
newcomer won’t usurp his place in your affections. Give the old dog plenty
of extra love to show him he still comes first—the puppy won’t mind.
Usurp means
A. to share.
B. to take over.
C. to support.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 usurp
– verb
• In the novel, the evil prince arranged to have the elderly king kidnapped. He
then usurped the throne, declaring himself king and threatening to hang as a
traitor anyone who objected.
• If you get a puppy, it is important to reassure your old dog that the
newcomer won’t usurp his place in your affections. Give the old dog plenty
of extra love to show him he still comes first—the puppy won’t mind.
Usurp means
A. to share.
B. to take over.
C. to support.
If the evil prince kidnapped the elderly ruler and declared himself king
in his place, then he was able to take over the throne. The second
item shows how to reassure an old dog that a new puppy will not be
able to take over his place as coming first in the owner’s affections.

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