Share on Facebook

Word Power: Test Your Knowledge of These Evocative Adjectives

Whether we seek precision, beauty or both, much of the subtlety of language comes from its adjectives. Here are some 10-dollar examples to add polish to your proclamations.

1 / 30
Word power: StygianPhoto: /


A: Stingy
B: Timeless
C: Dark and gloomy

2 / 30
Word power: Dark and gloomyPhoto: /

Answer: C—Dark and gloomy

As in, “Ms. Mariner shuddered as she entered the stygian cave.”

Too easy? Try your hand at these Jeopardy! questions even champions got wrong.

3 / 30
Word power: InsidiousPhoto: /


A: Indoors
B: Gradual but harmful
C: Strongly felt yet unexpressed

4 / 30
Word power: Gradual but harmfulPhoto: /

Answer: B—Gradual but harmful

As in, “The insidious effects of eating too much sugar began to show themselves in Arjun’s weight gain and lack of energy.”

5 / 30
WhimsicalPhoto: /


A: Unpredictable
B: Elegant and inexpensive
C: Fragile

6 / 30
Answer: UnpredictablePhoto: /

Answer: A—Unpredictable

As in, “Greer’s whimsical personality meant she couldn’t necessarily be counted upon to remain at a job for long.”

Can you pass this quiz of 4th grade science questions?

7 / 30
VulpinePhoto: /


A: Murderous
B: Cunning
C: Hungry

8 / 30
Answer: CunningPhoto: /

Answer: B—Cunning

As in, “Well aware of the suspected drug lord’s vulpine intelligence, the police kept a close eye on all of his activities.”

Know your way around a kitchen? Test your knowledge of cooking terms.

9 / 30
Adjectives: BrumousPhoto: /


A: Foggy and wintry
B: Rough in texture
C: Obnoxiously loud

10 / 30
Answer: Foggy and wintryPhoto: /

Answer: A—Foggy and wintry

As in, “Knowing night would bring even colder and darker conditions, Ezekiel set out immediately to cross the brumous valley.”

Take to the skies with this aviation terms quiz.

11 / 30
Adjectives: FrugalPhoto: /


A: Silly
B: Cold
C: Thrifty

12 / 30
Answer: ThriftyPhoto: /

Answer: C—Thrifty

As in, “Having seen that Carita was organized and frugal, Hélène gave her budgeting responsibilities for the entire conference.”

These printable crossword puzzles will give your brain a good workout.

13 / 30
Adjectives: InveteratePhoto: /


A: Habitual and unlikely to change
B: Soft and malleable
C: Untested

14 / 30
Answer: Habitual and unlikely to changePhoto: /

Answer: A—Habitual and unlikely to change

As in, “An inveterate worrier, Roone had learned how to get by on very little rest.”

How many of these baby terms can you define?

15 / 30
ThreadbarePhoto: /


A: Self-evident
B: Shabby and barely adequate
C: Scantily clothed

16 / 30
Answer: Shabby and barely adequatePhoto: /

Answer: B—Shabby and barely adequate

As in, “Despite their threadbare uniforms, the tiny school’s track team dominated the meet.”

You’ll never look at these palindrome words the same way again!

17 / 30
SalutaryPhoto: /


A: Beneficial
B: Welcoming
C: Verbal

18 / 30
Answer: BeneficialPhoto: /

Answer: A—Bene­ficial

As in, “The difficult but salutary two-week training session turned Adham into a first-rate salesman.”

Think you’ve got an extensive vocabulary? Put it to the test with this quiz of ocean terms.

19 / 30
ContumaciousPhoto: /


A: Rounded
B: Stubbornly disobedient
C: Poisonous but not lethal

20 / 30
Answer: Stubbornly disobedientPhoto: /

Answer: B—Stubbornly disobedient

As in, “Portia’s contumacious behaviour left her daycare workers little choice but to call her parents.”

Test your health IQ with this medical trivia quiz.

21 / 30
FecklessPhoto: Photo: /


A: Lacking poise
B: Ineffectual and irresponsible
C: Without skin blemishes

22 / 30
Ineffectual and irresponsiblePhoto: /

Answer: B—Ineffectual and irresponsible

As in, “Boonsri complained about her feckless brother who never seemed to get anything done.”

If you can get 80% of these tricky trivia questions right, you’re a certified genius.

23 / 30
DilatoryPhoto: /


A: Rundown
B: Chatty
C: Tending to cause delay

24 / 30
Tending to cause delayPhoto: /

Answer: C—Tending to cause delay

As in, “It appeared to Henry that the airport’s customs had been set up in the most dilatory way possible.”

Can you answer these real Jeopardy! questions about words?

25 / 30
FastidiousPhoto: /


A: Attentive to detail
B: Dietary
C: Recklessly rapid

26 / 30
Attentive to detailPhoto: /

Answer: A—Attentive to detail

As in, “Raoul’s fastidious reporting won high praise from his demanding editor.”

Find out why the plural of moose isn’t meese.

27 / 30
BelligerentPhoto: /


A: Relating to the sea
B: Exhibiting hostility
C: In a state of disrepair

28 / 30
Answer: Exhibiting hostilityPhoto: /

Answer: B—Exhibiting hostility

As in, “The school principal’s belligerent behaviour toward parents led to her removal.”

Put your emergency response skills to the test with our quiz of first aid terms.

29 / 30
EarnestPhoto: /


A: serious and sincere
B: wealthy
C: overly generous

30 / 30
Answer: Serious and sincerePhoto: /

Answer: A—Serious and sincere

As in, “Wei took an earnest approach to each and every issue raised by workers.”

Next, find out how well-versed you are in Canadian slang terms.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada