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ADVANCED
WORD POWER
Second Edition
BETH JOHNSON
JANET M. GOLDSTEIN
© 2011 Townsend Press
Unit Two: Chapter 6
• appall
• kindle
• cognizant
• lavish
• commiserate
• ludicrous
• expedient
• negligent
• hindrance
• scrutinize
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 appall
– verb
• At the end of World War II, the facts that emerged about the Nazi
concentration camps and death camps appalled the entire world.
• “When the facts about this awful crime are disclosed,” said the
prosecutor, “they will appall you and show clearly that the defendant
is a monster.”
Appall means
A. to appeal to.
B. to shock.
C. to bore.
Appalling damage caused by a forest fire
FEMA news photo
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
1 appall
– verb
• At the end of World War II, the facts that emerged about the Nazi
concentration camps and death camps appalled the entire world.
• “When the facts about this awful crime are disclosed,” said the
prosecutor, “they will appall you and show clearly that the defendant
is a monster.”
Appall means
A. to appeal to.
B. to shock.
C. to bore.
Hearing for the first time about horrors of
the concentration and death camps would
shock anyone. Hearing about an awful
crime committed by a “monster” would
shock a jury.
FEMA news photo
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 cognizant
– adjective
• After a picnic in the woods, Shawn found a tick on his ankle and then
developed a rash. Cognizant of the risk of Lyme disease, he saw his
doctor right away.
• Many Americans have diabetes without being cognizant of their
condition.
Cognizant means
A. confused by.
B. conscious of.
C. careless about.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
2 cognizant
– adjective
• After a picnic in the woods, Shawn found a tick on his ankle and then
developed a rash. Cognizant of the risk of Lyme disease, he saw his
doctor right away.
• Many Americans have diabetes without being cognizant of their
condition.
Cognizant means
A. confused by.
B. conscious of.
C. careless about.
Shawn must have been conscious of the possibility that he had Lyme
disease since he sought medical care right away. Many Americans may
not realize they have diabetes if they aren’t conscious of the
symptoms and risk factors associated with the disease.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 commiserate
– verb
• Mom was disappointed with the widows’ support group. The members
just wanted to commiserate with each other, but she wanted to learn
about positive steps to take, not just get sympathy.
• When my dog died, my friends tried to commiserate with me, but they
didn’t really understand how I was feeling.
Commiserate means
A. to express sorrow.
B. to draw a comparison.
C. to complain.
Photo: Matt Glaman
A sculpture of friends
commiserating
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
3 commiserate
– verb
• Mom was disappointed with the widows’ support group. The members
just wanted to commiserate with each other, but she wanted to learn
about positive steps to take, not just get sympathy.
• When my dog died, my friends tried to commiserate with me, but they
didn’t really understand how I was feeling.
Commiserate means
A. to express sorrow.
B. to draw a comparison.
C. to complain.
Photo: Matt Glaman
If she got sympathy from the other
widows, then they must have
expressed sorrow for her loss. People
would be likely to express sorrow for
their friend’s loss.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 expedient
– adjective
• Marty’s interest in Elaine seems entirely expedient; he knows she has
money, and he wants to marry someone wealthy who will support him.
• In order to sell his old car for the highest possible price, Jim did the
expedient thing: he slapped a new coat of paint on it and didn’t mention
that it needed new brakes and a new exhaust system.
Expedient means
A. unbelievable.
B. admirable.
C. self-interested.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
4 expedient
– adjective
• Marty’s interest in Elaine seems entirely expedient; he knows she has
money, and he wants to marry someone wealthy who will support him.
• In order to sell his old car for the highest possible price, Jim did the
expedient thing: he slapped a new coat of paint on it and didn’t mention
that it needed new brakes and a new exhaust system.
Expedient means
A. unbelievable.
B. admirable.
C. self-interested.
Marty is acting out of pure self-interest: his only reason for marrying
Elaine is her money. Jim was so self-interested that he used deception
to sell his car, rather than mention its defective brakes and exhaust
system.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 hindrance
– noun
• Some people seem perfectly willing to lie if the truth would be a
hindrance to getting what they want.
• Her tendency to faint at the sight of blood will be a hindrance to
Tonya’s plan to become a nurse.
Hindrance means
An athlete
who’s overcome
A. a cause.
a hindrance
B. an effect.
C. a barrier.
Photo: Dept. of Veterans Affairs
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
5 hindrance
– noun
• Some people seem perfectly willing to lie if the truth would be a
hindrance to getting what they want.
• Her tendency to faint at the sight of blood will be a hindrance to
Tonya’s plan to become a nurse.
Hindrance means
A. a cause.
B. an effect.
C. a barrier.
Photo: Dept. of Veterans Affairs
When truth is a barrier to getting what
they want, some people try to get around
it by lying. Fainting at the sight of blood
would be a barrier to becoming a nurse,
since nurses often have to handle blood.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 kindle
– verb
• Before Tyrone joined the navy, Callie had thought of him as “just a
friend.” But his warm, affectionate letters began to kindle her love for
him.
• The senator’s lifelong devotion to politics was kindled early, when she
was elected president of her high-school senior class.
Kindle means
A. to stop.
B. to inspire.
C. to change.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
6 kindle
– verb
• Before Tyrone joined the navy, Callie had thought of him as “just a
friend.” But his warm, affectionate letters began to kindle her love for
him.
• The senator’s lifelong devotion to politics was kindled early, when she
was elected president of her high-school senior class.
Kindle means
A. to stop.
B. to inspire.
C. to change.
Warm, affectionate letters could inspire a woman to change her
feelings from friendship to love. Holding office in high-school
government could inspire a lifelong devotion to politics.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 lavish
– adjective
• The lavish new offices looked very impressive, but behind all that
splendor, the company was going broke.
• Avery celebrated his promotion by taking his friends out for a lavish
dinner. “The best of everything!” he told the waiter. “And it’s all on me.”
Lavish means
White House Photo: Shealah Craighead
A. overly luxurious.
B. subtle.
C. amusing.
A lavish setting for one of
President Bush’s state dinners
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
7 lavish
– adjective
• The lavish new offices looked very impressive, but behind all that
splendor, the company was going broke.
• Avery celebrated his promotion by taking his friends out for a lavish
dinner. “The best of everything!” he told the waiter. “And it’s all on me.”
Lavish means
White House Photo: Shealah Craighead
A. overly luxurious.
B. subtle.
C. amusing.
The word splendor suggests that the
offices were overly luxurious. Since
Avery insisted on having “the best of
everything,” the dinner was probably
overly luxurious.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 ludicrous
– verb
• Struggling in the wind and rain with my umbrella, which had turned inside
out, while my dog tugged wildly at his leash and my bag of groceries burst
and spilled, I must have been a ludicrous sight.
• “Diet Tips from Space Aliens”; “Five-Year-Old Gives Birth to Basketball
Team”; “Florida Floating Out to Sea”—no idea seems too ludicrous to be
reported in the supermarket tabloids.
Ludicrous means
A. horrifying.
B. ridiculous.
C. inspiring.
A ludicrous outfit for a dog
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
8 ludicrous
– verb
• Struggling in the wind and rain with my umbrella, which had turned inside
out, while my dog tugged wildly at his leash and my bag of groceries burst
and spilled, I must have been a ludicrous sight.
• “Diet Tips from Space Aliens”; “Five-Year-Old Gives Birth to Basketball
Team”; “Florida Floating Out to Sea”—no idea seems too ludicrous to be
reported in the supermarket tabloids.
Ludicrous means
A. horrifying.
B. ridiculous.
C. inspiring.
Losing control of his or her belongings
made the person feel ridiculous looking.
These headlines are ridiculous because
they describe impossible situations.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 negligent
– adjective
• While Hester may be a negligent housekeeper—her apartment is dusty
and untidy—she makes up for it by being a loving, conscientious
mother.
• It’s not surprising that Rich flunked out of college. His attitude toward
studying has always been negligent.
Negligent means
A. anxious.
B. amusing.
C. careless.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
9 negligent
– adjective
• While Hester may be a negligent housekeeper—her apartment is dusty
and untidy—she makes up for it by being a loving, conscientious
mother.
• It’s not surprising that Rich flunked out of college. His attitude toward
studying has always been negligent.
Negligent means
A. anxious.
B. amusing.
C. careless.
Dust and lack of tidiness are signs of careless housekeeping. A
careless attitude toward studying often results in failing grades.
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 scrutinize
– adjective
• The detectives scrutinized the crime scene for fingerprints and other
clues.
• Before handing in his report, Dan was told to scrutinize it for
misspellings and other errors.
Scrutinize means
A. to inspect.
B. to describe.
C. to add to.
Photo: NASA
Scrutinizing a spacecraft before takeoff
TEN WORDS IN CONTEXT
Choose the meaning closest to that of the boldfaced word.
10 scrutinize
– adjective
• The detectives scrutinized the crime scene for fingerprints and other
clues.
• Before handing in his report, Dan was told to scrutinize it for
misspellings and other errors.
Scrutinize means
A. to inspect.
B. to describe.
C. to add to.
Photo: NASA
It is the job of detectives to inspect
crime scenes for clues. It is important
to inspect written work and correct
errors before turning in a final copy.

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