Quiz: You'd Need A PhD To Know The Meaning Of These 22 Words

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No dictionaries allowed!

See how wide your vocabulary really is by taking this quiz and choosing the correct meaning of several challenging words.

 May 15, 2018

1 of 22What does this word mean?

Tirade
To increase by natural growth
A speech of violent denunciation
A person who pleads for another person

2 of 22What does this word mean?

Vilify
To dispose of
To spread negative information about
To embellish

3 of 22What does this word mean?

Quaint
Huge
Attractively old-fashioned
Expensive

4 of 22What does this word mean?

Parallel
Side by side
Large
Original type

5 of 22What does this word mean?

Negligent
Lack of attention or concern
Being of questionable authenticity
Showing little emotion

6 of 22What does this word mean?

Sobriety
A disparaging remark
The state of being sober
Something causing misery or death

7 of 22What does this word mean?

Maxim
A saying that is widely accepted
A type of bird
An insult

8 of 22What does this word mean?

litigant
An indirect way of expressing something
Someone involved in litigation
A person who repairs shoes

9 of 22What does this word mean?

Foil
Hinder or prevent
Play boisterously
Separate or cut with a tool

10 of 22What does this word mean?

Debacle
A feeling of deep regret
A sudden and violent collapse
A passage through which water can pass

11 of 22What does this word mean?

Construe
Feeling or expressing pain
Give over to another for care
Make sense of

12 of 22What does this word mean?

Alias
An insufficient quantity
A name that has been assumed temporarily
Extreme greed for material wealth

13 of 22What does this word mean?

Candor
Charge falsely
Being honest and straightforward
Expose while ridiculing

14 of 22What does this word mean?

Ambivalent
No longer in force or use
Extremely thin
Uncertain

15 of 22What does this word mean?

Cleave
The act of deceiving
Separate or cut with a tool
Showing ill humor

16 of 22What does this word mean?

Rife
Written in the form of letters
Anything short-lived
Abundant

17 of 22What does this word mean?

Bashful
Open to interpretation
Self-consciously timid
Steadiness of mind under stress

18 of 22What does this word mean?

Preclude
Give expression to
Make impossible
Make worse

19 of 22What does this word mean?

Complement
Something that makes amends for something else
Something added to embellish
Demanding immediate attention

20 of 22What does this word mean?

Gratuitous
Based on incorrect reasoning
Unnecessary
Still in existence

21 of 22What does this word mean?

Instigate
Provoke
Infringe upon
Credit to

22 of 22What does this word mean?

Trite
Only partly in existence
Impossible to deny
Repeated too often
WOMEN.COM | Quiz Facts

Even those who pride themselves on their English skills and believe that they know the meaning of just about all the words in the English language can struggle with knowing true definitions. Some words are so complicated that you just have no idea what they could possibly mean. Others sound too similar to a word that you do know, and you get confused between their meanings. Then there are those false friends, who sound like they pertain to one thing but they actually have nothing to do with it and mean something totally different. Basically, even English professors have trouble with certain words! The only problem is that some of these words are extremely common, and not knowing what they mean when they come up in conversation is, well, embarrassing. So how many of these notoriously tricky words do you know? Do you know what it means when someone goes on a tirade? How about what it means to vilify someone? Do you know when to really describe something as being quaint, or when a person is really being negligent and when they’re not? Do you know what sobriety means, or what a maxim actually is? How about what exactly constitutes a litigant, and when you can be classified as really foiling someone’s plans? Take this quiz to find out if you really know the difference between debacle and rife, and what it means to instigate something. Find out how much you really know about some of the hardest words in the English language now!