Chapter 24

Report
ADVANCED
WORD POWER
Second Edition
BETH JOHNSON
JANET M. GOLDSTEIN
© 2011 Townsend Press
Unit Five: Chapter 24
• altercation
• malevolent
• circumspect
• placate
• deference
• pugnacious
• guile
• tirade
• impassive
• volatile
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 altercation
– noun
• The altercation between the store clerk and customer began when the
customer accused the clerk of shortchanging him.
• The party guests were embarrassed when they heard their host and hostess
having a bitter altercation in the kitchen.
Altercation means
A. an embrace.
B. a task.
C. a quarrel.
Photo: Stephane Delbecque
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 altercation
– noun
• The altercation between the store clerk and customer began when the
customer accused the clerk of shortchanging him.
• The party guests were embarrassed when they heard their host and hostess
having a bitter altercation in the kitchen.
Altercation means
A. an embrace.
B. a task.
C. a quarrel.
Photo: Stephane Delbecque
A quarrel often begins with an
accusation of cheating. The word
bitter suggests that the host and
hostess were having a quarrel in
the kitchen.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 circumspect
– adjective
• Tory’s two brothers are feuding. Tory has wisely decided to be circumspect
and consider every aspect of the situation before becoming involved.
• Someone was stealing money from the cash register, but the boss chose to be
circumspect and not make an accusation without weighing the
consequences.
Circumspect means
A. careful.
B. honest.
C. aggressive.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 circumspect
– adjective
• Tory’s two brothers are feuding. Tory has wisely decided to be circumspect
and consider every aspect of the situation before becoming involved.
• Someone was stealing money from the cash register, but the boss chose to be
circumspect and not make an accusation without weighing the consequences.
Circumspect means
A. careful.
B. honest.
C. aggressive.
Someone who considers every aspect of a situation is very careful.
By first weighing all the consequences, the boss was being careful
before making an accusation.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 deference
– noun
• A few generations ago, a young person was expected to stand up when an
older person entered the room. That kind of deference is rare nowadays.
• In deference to his parents’ wishes, Alan agreed not to get his eyebrow
pierced until he was over twenty-one.
Deference means
Photo: U.S. Navy - Keith W. DeVinney
A. defiance.
B. courteous respect.
C. a difference of opinion.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 deference
– noun
• A few generations ago, a young person was expected to stand up when an
older person entered the room. That kind of deference is rare nowadays.
• In deference to his parents’ wishes, Alan agreed not to get his eyebrow
pierced until he was over twenty-one.
Deference means
Photo: U.S. Navy - Keith W. DeVinney
A. defiance.
B. courteous respect.
C. a difference of opinion.
Standing up when someone enters
a room is a way to show courteous
respect. Alan showed courteous
respect by yielding to his parents’
wishes—at least for a few years.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 guile
– noun
• The older boy used guile to decide who would get the last piece of pie. He
told his little brother, “We’ll flip a coin for it. Heads, I win; tails, you lose.”
• Psalm 24 in the Bible says: “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from
speaking guile.”
Guile means
A. deceit.
B. nonsense.
C. truthfulness.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 guile
– noun
• The older boy used guile to decide who would get the last piece of pie. He
told his little brother, “We’ll flip a coin for it. Heads, I win; tails, you lose.”
• Psalm 24 in the Bible says: “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from
speaking guile.”
Guile means
A. deceit.
B. nonsense.
C. truthfulness.
The older boy used deceit to make sure that he would get the last
piece of pie, no matter how the coin landed. One way to keep from
saying anything evil is to not let any deceit come out of one’s mouth.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 impassive
– adjective
• No one could tell what the judges were thinking during the competition—
they had trained themselves to remain impassive.
• How could you remain impassive during that heartbreaking movie? I cried
so much I used up a box of tissues.
Impassive means
Painting (left) : John Vanderlyn; Photo (right): Crosa
A. expressing honor.
B. expressing love.
C. expressing no feelings.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 impassive
– adjective
• No one could tell what the judges were thinking during the competition—
they had trained themselves to remain impassive.
• How could you remain impassive during that heartbreaking movie? I cried
so much I used up a box of tissues.
Impassive means
Painting (left) : John Vanderlyn; Photo (right): Crosa
A. expressing honor.
B. expressing love.
C. expressing no feelings.
If no one could tell how the judges felt,
then they must have been expressing
no feelings. Crying abundantly is
contrasted with expressing no feelings.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 malevolent
– adjective
• The ancient Egyptian tomb of Tutankhamen was said to be haunted by a
malevolent spirit—a curse would fall on anyone who entered it.
• Early religions typically believed in many gods. Some gods were good and
kind, but others were malevolent and would cause harm if they were
displeased.
Malevolent means
A. friendly.
B. visible.
C. evil.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 malevolent
– adjective
• The ancient Egyptian tomb of Tutankhamen was said to be haunted by a
malevolent spirit—a curse would fall on anyone who entered it.
• Early religions typically believed in many gods. Some gods were good and
kind, but others were malevolent and would cause harm if they were
displeased.
Malevolent means
A. friendly.
B. visible.
C. evil.
The spirit must be evil if it causes a harmful curse to fall on people
who enter the tomb. Gods that are good and kind are contrasted
with those that are evil and cause harm.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 placate
– verb
• José had not finished his homework, but he was able to placate his
teacher by offering to do it at lunchtime.
• In ancient times, people tried to keep volcanoes from erupting by
offering food and gifts to placate the “volcano god.”
Placate means
A. to anger.
B. to calm.
C. to fight.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 placate
– verb
• José had not finished his homework, but he was able to placate his
teacher by offering to do it at lunchtime.
• In ancient times, people tried to keep volcanoes from erupting by
offering food and gifts to placate the “volcano god.”
Placate means
A. to anger.
B. to calm.
C. to fight.
Offering to finish homework during lunchtime is one way to calm a
teacher who is upset about a late assignment. Since people wanted
to keep volcanoes from erupting, they tried to calm the god they
believed caused the eruptions.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 pugnacious
– adjective
• There are two pugnacious children in the class who constantly start
fights on the playground.
• Although Max is a professional boxer, he is not pugnacious in his
private life. In fact, he is gentle and considerate.
Pugnacious means
A. quarrelsome.
B. curious.
C. funny.
Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 pugnacious
– adjective
• There are two pugnacious children in the class who constantly start
fights on the playground.
• Although Max is a professional boxer, he is not pugnacious in his
private life. In fact, he is gentle and considerate.
Pugnacious means
A. quarrelsome.
B. curious.
C. funny.
Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto
If the children constantly start fights,
then they must be quarrelsome. Max’s
gentle, considerate manner in private
life is contrasted with his quarrelsome
professional image in public.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 tirade
– noun
• The meeting of the school board was interrupted by a long tirade from a
parent who wanted to express his fury about the amount of homework his
son had to do.
• The history instructor, whose lectures were usually scholarly and calm,
startled the class one day with a heated tirade about the Vietnam war.
Tirade means
A. a dialog.
B. an angry speech.
C. a theory.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 tirade
– noun
• The meeting of the school board was interrupted by a long tirade from a
parent who wanted to express his fury about the amount of homework his
son had to do.
• The history instructor, whose lectures were usually scholarly and calm,
startled the class one day with a heated tirade about the Vietnam war.
Tirade means
A. a dialog.
B. an angry speech.
C. a theory.
One way to express fury at a meeting would be to give a long, angry
speech. The professor’s scholarly, calm lectures are contrasted with his
heated, angry speech about the Vietnam war.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 volatile
– adjective
• Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that makes people extremely
volatile. They have periods of excitement and giddy cheerfulness but then
fall into a deep depression.
• Jean is difficult to get along with because her moods are so volatile. One
day she’s on top of the world; the next day she’s in the depths of despair.
Volatile means
A. insensitive.
B. indirect.
C. changeable.
Photo: Gaschroeder
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 volatile
– adjective
• Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that makes people extremely
volatile. They have periods of excitement and giddy cheerfulness but then
fall into a deep depression.
• Jean is difficult to get along with because her moods are so volatile. One
day she’s on top of the world; the next day she’s in the depths of despair.
Volatile means
A. insensitive.
B. indirect.
C. changeable.
Photo: Gaschroeder
Both items show changeable moods—
from “giddy cheerfulness” to “deep
depression,” and from being “on top of
the world” to “the depths of despair.”
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
1. Steve was __________ about the fact that he was looking for a
new job. He went about the process quietly, not wanting his current
employer to notice.
2. The newspaper story warned of a band of thieves who used
_________ to charm and befriend elderly people, get into their
homes, and then rob them.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
1. Steve was __________
circumspect about the fact that he was looking for a
new job. He went about the process quietly, not wanting his current
employer to notice.
He was cautious and prudent to act quietly, so his boss wouldn’t notice.
2. The newspaper story warned of a band of thieves who used
_________
to charm and befriend elderly people, get into their
guile
homes, and then rob them.
To rob people by first winning their trust requires slyness and cunning.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
3. Lamar will never be a good poker player, because he can’t keep
his face _________. If he gets a good hand, he looks delighted;
if the hand is bad, he frowns, looks somber°, and shakes his
head.
4. The two children were friendly with each other until they both wanted
to play with the toy truck. Then there was a fierce _________ over
who would get it.
5. I never speak to my neighbor if I can avoid it. He is so __________
that he can take offense and start a fight over the most innocent
remark.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
3. Lamar will never be a good poker player, because he can’t keep
his face _________.
impassive If he gets a good hand, he looks delighted;
if the hand is bad, he frowns, looks somber°, and shakes his
head.and head shaking are the opposite of showing no emotion.
Frowning
4. The two children were friendly with each other until they both wanted
to play with the toy truck. Then there was a fierce _________
altercation over
who would get it.
Friendly play is contrasted with a fierce, heated argument over the truck.
5. I never speak to my neighbor if I can avoid it. He is so __________
pugnacious
that he can take offense and start a fight over the most innocent
remark.
If the neighbor starts fights over innocent remarks, he must be
eager and ready to fight.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
6. Alana and Len postponed their wedding in _________ to his
parents, who were about to leave on a world cruise they’d
been planning for years.
7. The French have a saying about their _________ climate: “If
you don’t like our weather, wait ten minutes.” That’s because
the weather in France often does seem to change that quickly.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
6. Alana and Len postponed their wedding in _________
deference to his
parents, who were about to leave on a world cruise they’d
been planning for years.
By postponing the date, they yielded courteously to their parents’ plans.
7. The French have a saying about their _________
volatile climate: “If
you don’t like our weather, wait ten minutes.” That’s because
the weather in France often does seem to change that quickly.
If the weather changes quickly, then the climate must tend to change
suddenly.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
8. Invited to give a talk about the work his drug rehabilitation center
was doing, the director instead presented a harsh, virulent°
_________ about cuts in state funding.
9. After Kim was served a main dish that had bits of glass in it, the
restaurant manager tried to _________ her by giving her a gift
certificate for a free meal.
10. Ferocious animals are not __________. They act out of instinct, not
from any spiteful desire to hurt.
SENTENCE CHECK 1
Complete each item with the correct word from the box.
A. altercation
B. circumspect
C. deference
D. guile
E. impassive
F. malevolent
G. placate
H. pugnacious
I. tirade
J. volatile
8. Invited to give a talk about the work his drug rehabilitation center
was doing, the director instead presented a harsh, virulent°
_________
about cuts in state funding.
tirade
Harsh and virulent suggest his talk was a passionate, critical speech.
9. After Kim was served a main dish that had bits of glass in it, the
restaurant manager tried to _________
placate her by giving her a gift
certificate for a free meal.
The manager offered a free meal to soothe or pacify the upset customer.
10. Ferocious animals are not __________.
malevolent They act out of instinct, not
from any spiteful desire to hurt.
The phrase spiteful desire to hurt suggests that malevolent means
“malicious” or “having ill will.”

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