If you enjoy word challenges or learning new words, in context, then take a minute to complete this word challenge. The vocabulary words have all been chosen from a contemporary book, in this case the words are selected from Early Warning, by Michael Walsh.
The novel is a political thriller and hard to put down if you are looking for a good read, but if you just want to polish up some of your politically savvy vocabulary this is the word list for you.
Each word will be presented with three alternative definitions. Try to choose the best definition. To make it easier a quoted passage from the book Early Warning, by Michael Walsh will be found below the vocabulary word. Answers are the end of the vocabulary quiz.
Some of these words are challenging, but some of them you may find familiar. We’ll keep the definitions very basic and simple. Good luck.
1. Ardor – A) enthusiastic passion, B) laborious work, C) cynical denial
” Jennifer Gailliard was the daughter of one of the biggest investors in the country, an investor Sinclair had been wooing with even greater ardor than he would later woo the man’s daughter.” p 55.
2. Alacrity – A) steady nerves under pressure, B) courage, C) speed and readiness
“The romance of the movies was that men fired at each other from great distances with pistols, but Byrne knew from bitter personal experience that in urban confrontations your opponent was usually standing right in front of you, so it was not a matter of marksmanship but alacrity.” p 163
3. Hegemony – A) harmony among a coalition, B) strict isolationism, C) total power and authority
“People forgot that the Tudeh Party, Iran’s communists, had allied themselves with the Ayatollah against the Shah as the Soviets sought hegemony both in the Iranian oil fields and in the Caspian Sea – only to see the whole thing fall apart in the wake of mass executions as Khomeini turned on his erstwhile allies and liquidated them.” p 178
4. Acolytes – A) sychophant, B) a devoted attendant, C) subjects of lower rank
“At the beginning of his presidency, Tyler would have been in the Oval Office, jacket off, sleeves rolled in his faux-populist style, hands on hips, barking orders to a room full of acolytes and subalterns, trying as hard [as] he could to look presidential.” p 143
5. Caviling – A) making covert deals, B) splitting hairs, C) pondering every action
“How many times did this have to happen, he wondered, before the United States was ready to go on offense? To hit back, hard, to lay waste to its enemies without te albatross of the lawyers and the JAGs perched on its shoulder warning, hedging, caviling?’ p 211
6. Ummah – A) community of Islamic believers, B) lands of Arabia, C) worldwide Islamic leadership
“When the towers fell – something not even the sheikh had predicted – there was much joy across the ummah. ” p 121
7. Simulacrum – A) likeness or similarity, B) antithesis, C) a piece of the whole
“He smiled a reptilian smile that, at some point, someone must have told him was as close to a simulacrum of pleasure as he was ever likely to display.” p 106
8. Mellifluously – A) charmingly, B) smoothly and effortlessly, C) with grandeur and pomp
“In her they had the perfect front woman: a Harvard-educated lawyer (were there any other kind?) with a thousand-watt smile, impeccable but understated taste in clothes, a way of mellifluously stringing an endless series of platitudes together, and absolute ruthless political instincts.” p 85
9. Oleaginous – A) broad and toothy , B) winsome, C) slick and smug
“He smiled the oleaginous smile that had made him a favorite of most of the media, for Jake Sinclair had long ago learned the first and most important lesson of Hollywood, which had since translated to journalism: f you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.” p 116
10. Phylogenic – A) point of origin, B) ever developing and expanding system, C) revolutionary
[speaking of IEDs] “They rip through flesh and bones effortlessly, hurtling outward like some ontological recapitulation of the phylogenic Big Bang.” p 125
Vocabulary Answers: 1 – A, 2 – C, 3 – C, 4 – B, 5 – B, 6 – A, 7 – A, 8 – B, 9 – C, 10 – B
Your vocabulary quiz score:
If you got 8 – 10 correct you are a word-wise savant.
5 – 7 correct answers means you are likely an egghead with an astute understanding of vocabulary.
If you got 3 – 5 answers correct, take heart, you are resourceful and learning well.
If you got 1 or 2 correct, why not study the words and give yourself a do-over.