# ISEE Lower Level Verbal : Identifying Synonyms When Words Have Multiple Meanings

## Example Questions

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### Example Question #41 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

SUSPEND

Possible Answers:

Fasten

Delay

Intrigue

Arrange

Scheme

Correct answer:

Delay

Explanation:

One of the meanings of "suspend" is hang in the air, but none of the answer choices matches that definition, so we need to consider other definitions of "suspend." Another definition of "suspend" is to "delay" or wait. "Arrange" means organize; "fasten" means attach; "scheme" means plan; and "intrigue" means interest greatly.

### Example Question #1 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

AVERAGE

Possible Answers:

Constant

Unusual

Typical

Mathematical

Excellent

Correct answer:

Typical

Explanation:

Average means to be ordinary, not on the polar end of the spectrum. Something that is typical matches this description. Therefore, typical is the correct answer. A tempting wrong answer is mathematical. While averages are used in math, the two words are not synonyms.

### Example Question #3 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

POSITION

Possible Answers:

Region

State

Landmass

Marker

Occupation

Correct answer:

Occupation

Explanation:

The word "position" has many meanings. The general idea involved in many of them is being in a given location. It can also be used in a physical sense as well as a metaphorical sense. Think about your position in one of your classes. This really means how well you have scored so far. We use the word "position" also to locate the "place" someone holds in a company for which they work. Thus, a nurse is one position among many others in a hospital. We might ask, "What position did you apply for?" Hence, the best option for this question is "occupation," meaning job. Do not be tricked by "region" and "landmass". Just because they are physical terms, they are not the same as "position."

### Example Question #4 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

BRILLIANT

Possible Answers:

Memorable

Dazzling

Careful

Alert

Mathematical

Correct answer:

Dazzling

Explanation:

The word "brilliant" has two main sets of meanings. The word originally comes from roots meaning to shine. Thus, we know of usages like, "The light brilliantly shone on the water." This means that it was shining brightly upon the water. Now, it has also been extended to mean intelligent, as when we say that someone is "bright." In this question, the only possible meaning is "dazzling." The other options may tempt you (especially "mathematical"). However, none of them express a possible meaning for "brilliant."

### Example Question #5 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

LIGHT

Possible Answers:

Cloudy

Easy

Interesting

Summer

Known

Correct answer:

Easy

Explanation:

This question is trying to trick you into avoiding the sense of "light" that is implied by the answer choices. Yes, the word "light" has to do with physical light; however, this is not at all the same as being cloudy or, even, with "summer." (Indeed, many summer days could be quite dark and cloudy.) The word "light" can also mean "not heavy," and in this sense, it can also mean, "easy." This is the answer to this question.

### Example Question #6 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CLOUDY

Possible Answers:

Depressing

Showering

Uncertain

Predictable

Rainy

Correct answer:

Uncertain

Explanation:

The word "cloudy" is, of course, used to describe the familiar weather condition; however, do not be fooled by this question. It is trying to get you to answer using anything that you might relate to weather. You might even choose "depressing" because many people get depressed during cloudy weather. Do not be tricked! Whenever the air is cloudy, it is not clear. Therefore, the word "cloudy" is sometimes used in an extended sense to mean "not clear" or "uncertain." For example, you could say, "His explanation was somewhat cloudy, so I asked him to be more specific." Also, you could say, "He was a bit cloudy about the details, so he asked several questions to help clarify his knowledge about the event." In both of these cases, the word "cloudy" has to do with a kind of mental uncertainty. The only option that matches this sort of meaning is "uncertain."

### Example Question #2 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

VILLAIN

Possible Answers:

Ghost

Hero

Monster

Convict

Devil

Correct answer:

Convict

Explanation:

The word "villain" is often used in stories. It indicates the "bad guy" or the "antagonist" in the story. Now, this might tempt you to choose something like "monster" or "devil," but the best option is actually "convict." Unless the question gives you "antagonist" for an option, you have to use the secondary meaning of "villain," which indicates, in general, someone who inflicts harm on others.

### Example Question #8 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CLASS

Possible Answers:

Education

Scholarship

Group

Distance

Flight

Correct answer:

Group

Explanation:

The word "class" is primarily used to describe a group of people or things. Thus, on a plane, "first class" is the group of passengers who have the most expensive tickets. In school, a "class" is a group of students. Note, however, that "class" is not synonymous with "education" or "scholarship."  These options are trying to trick you!

### Example Question #9 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

FINE

Possible Answers:

Cold

Denied

Forgetful

Dusty

Punished

Correct answer:

Dusty

Explanation:

The word "fine" has many meanings. Do not be tempted by "punished". Yes, a "fine" is a punishment; however, that is a noun use, while "punished" is an adjective. The best option, perhaps surprisingly, is "dusty."  If you had powder that you would call "fine," this would be very dusty powder. This is the best option among those given.

### Example Question #10 : Synonyms: Distinguishing Between Multiple Definitions

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EXAMPLE

Possible Answers:

Excitement

Model

Expected

Surprise

Distance

Correct answer:

Model

Explanation:

In general, the word "example" means a particular case or specimen. For example, you can say, "The word 'greet' is an example of a verb, but you can also use the word "example" in the sense of "a model" (to be imitated). For instance, you could say, "Regis' actions were an example for his younger brother to follow." This means that Regis' actions were a model for his younger brother.

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