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Advanced ESL: Vocabulary Words

Study these advanced vocabulary words. Then practice with vocabulary questions.

Ascertain (a-sir-TAIN)
: verb -- to figure out, to deduce from some information

We need to ascertain the origin of the disease before we can create a cure.
She is trying to ascertain the political damage that was caused by the scandal.

Enigma (e-NIG-muh)
: noun - a mystery, adj: enigmatic

Many people have ideas about how the world began. The truth remains an enigma.
I could tell from her enigmatic expression that she would not give me a direct answer.

Contiguous (cun-TIG-yoo-us)
: adj - touching on at least one border, being in contact with something, 2. next to or near in sequence or time.

Townhouses are two or more residences that are contiguous.
There were several meteor showers in that area. They were contiguous events.

Vindicate (VIN-di-kate)
: verb - to prove that a person was falsely charged, to prove that something is true, though it was previously thought to be false

I felt vindicated. She admitted that I had been right all along.
A good lawyer can vindicate a falsely accused person during a trial.

Obsequious (ob-SEE-quee-us)
: adj - servile, deferential, adv. obsequiously

Her behavior was so obsequious, I knew she just wanted the manager to like her.
Dogs are well known for being obsequious; that's how they encourage human beings to take care of them.

Practice: Complete the sentences with the correct word (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. The architect had to redesign the building's blueprint. It was necessary to remove one hallway and make two of the walls _______________________.

A. ascertainable
B. an enigma
C. contiguous
D. obsequious
E. vindicated

2. The woman suffered from some serious respiratory problems. Her doctor tried many tests, but the main reason for her problems remained ____________________.

A. ascertainable
B. an enigma
C. contiguous
D. obsequious
E. vindicated

Now study more words and practice them. After that, there are more practice problems using all 10 words on this page.

Abase (uh-BASE): verb, abased, abasing used with object-- to put down, to make drop to a lower rank literally or in esteem
She felt miserable after hearing the judge's abasing remarks.
He was abased by his third loss of the championship.
Raze (RAZE): verb - to tear down, to thoroughly destroy
The city razed the old building. Then they began new construction.
When the mayor was elected, he razed the city square and built an entirely new one.
Ebullience (EE-byoo-lens): noun - excitement, overflowing energy
When she saw her sister after three years of separation, strangers noticed her ebullience.
The actor was ebullient after his first stage performance.
Multifarious (mul-ti-FARE-ee-us): adj - having many qualities or aspects
The university has multifarious programs in the arts and humanities.
The teachers planned multifarious activities for the summer camp.
Palliative (PĀ-lee-uh-tiv): adj - easing the violence of something, as in the pain of disease, though not healing the problem
I was in a lot of pain when I went to the ER. The doctor gave me some palliative medicine.
His palliative words calmed me down, and I was able to think clearly.

More Practice. Complete the sentence with the missing word or words.

3. Many houses were ______________ during the violent hurricane.

A. abased
B. razed
C. ebullient
D. multifarious
E. palliative

4. As soon as we saw that she was _______________, we knew my sister had won first place in the summer camp competition.

A. abased
B. razed
C. ebullient
D. multifarious
E. palliative

5. Scientists are trying to __________________ the origin of this _______________ disease. As of yet, they know little about it.

A. vindicate ... multifarious
B. raze ... ebullient
C. acertain ... palliative
D. vindicate ... contiguous
E. ascertain ... enigmatic

6. In his soft tone of voice and bowed shoulders he was very ___________________, but he was attempting to __________________ his wrongly accused brother.

A. ebullient ... abase
B. abased ... ascertain
C. razed ... vindicate
D. obsequious ... vindicate
E. enigmatic ... raze

7. Because the trees were __________________, the fire _____________ that entire part of the forest.

A. contiguous ... razed
B. ebullient ... abased
C. palliative ... vindicated
D. multifarious ... abased
E. obsequious ... ascertained

8. Because he was no longer strong, he felt _____________ by the disease that made him tired and gave him pain. After several months of taking _____________ medicines and resting, he began to get better.

A. razed ... multifarious
B. obsequious ... palliative
C. abased ... palliative
D. enigmatic ... contiguous
E. vindicated ... enigmatic

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Copyright: I.E. Tutoring/Speakmethod.com: English Pronunciation Practice

Answers: 1. c, 2. b, 3. b, 4. c, 5. e, 6. d, 7. a, 8. c