Vocabulary Practice Questions


Vocabulary questions appear on many standardized exams,  Below are practice questions.

More help with Vocabulary

Games to Improve your vocabulary

Improving your Vocabulary steadily

Standardized test that have a Vocabulary Section:

Nursing:  HOAE
High School:  TACHS,  Nelson Denny,  ISEE and SSAT


1. Choose the best definition of headstrong.

        a. Doesn’t listen
        b. Stubborn
        c. Willing
        d. To disbelieve

2. Choose the best definition of oblique.

        a. Direct
        b. Indirect
        c. Sharp
        d. Straight

3. Choose the best definition of temper.

        a. To make worse
        b. To aggravate
        c. To soften
        d. None of the Above

4. Choose the best definition of cryptic.

        a. Building in a graveyard
        b. Difficult to understand
        c. Printed in code
        d. None of the above

5. Choose the best definition of curtail.

        a. To cut short
        b. To arrive early
        c. To lengthen
        d. To give back

6. Choose the best definition of heed.

        a. To ignore
        b. To listen
        c. To advise
        d. To pay

7. Choose the best definition of oblivious.

        a. Far Away
        b. Believable
        c. Unbelievable
        d. Totally unaware

8. Choose the best definition of podium.

        a. Speaker
        b. Raised platform
        c. Brief lecture
        d. None of the above

9. Choose the best definition of boorish.

        a. Bad tempered
        b. Bad mannered
        c. Bad looking
        d. Bad smelling

10. Choose the best definition of heresy.

        a. Against the orthodox opinion
        b. Same as the orthodox opinion
        c. An unusual opinion
        d. To have no opinion

11. Choose the best definition of respite.

        a. A drink
        b. Intermission
        c. A rest stop on highways
        d. A device



 Answer Key

1. B
Determined to do as one pleases, and not as others want.

2. B
Not straightforward; indirect; obscure; hence, disingenuous; underhand; perverse; sinister.

3. C
To moderate or control.

4. B
Mystified or of an obscure nature.

5. A
To shorten or abridge the duration of something; to truncate.

6. B
To mind; to regard with care; to take notice of; to attend to; to observe.

7. D
Lacking awareness; unmindful.

8. B
A platform on which to stand, as when conducting an orchestra or preaching at a pulpit.

9. B
Behaving as a boor; rough in manners; rude; uncultured.

10. A
A controversial or unorthodox opinion held by a member of a group, as in politics, philosophy or science.

11. B
A brief interval of rest or relief.




Preparing for a Vocabulary test 

Vocabulary.com  (Huge selection of word lists)

Academic Word List (Over 3000 Academic words)

More about improving your vocabulary

Hurdle the Big Words

Most Vocabulary tests are Multiple Choice – Help with Multiple Choice

More information about Vocabulary from Wikipedia.

Written by:
Modified: September 21st, 2017
Published: August 10th, 2012

7 thoughts on “Vocabulary Practice Questions”

    1. To moderate is to soften. Temperate is showing moderation or self-restraint, which could also mean soften.

      Point taken though – perhaps the question could be clearer. thanks!

    1. Hi – here are the 2 definitions of temper:

      1. improve the hardness and elasticity of (steel or other metal) by reheating and then cooling it.
      2. serve as a neutralizing or counterbalancing force to (something).

  1. Question three would benefit from some changes.

    The answer given, C, states “to soften” while the justification for this in the answer key is “to moderate or control”. These two answers do not carry the same connotation, nor are they good definitions of “temper”. If we are arguing the Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temper) definitions of the word “temper”, they are as follows:
    1. a: heat of mind or emotion : proneness to anger
    b: calmness of mind : composure
    c: state of feeling or frame of mind at a particular time usually dominated by a single strong emotion
    d : a characteristic cast of mind or state of feeling
    There are 3 other definitions of the word stated, but none that could arguably be “to soften” or “to moderate or control” with the exception of the archaic definition of the word: “a suitable proportion or balance of qualities : a middle state between extremes”.

    1. thank you. Not sure about the Merriam-Webster, the definition is valid where temper is used as a verb:

      serve as a neutralizing or counterbalancing force to (something).
      “their idealism is tempered with realism”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *