Confused Words Exercise (477)

In each sentence, choose the correct word from the pair of similar terms. (If both words possibly can be correct, choose the more plausible one.)

  • The contest was a classic case of brain ______ brawn.

  • His efforts to _______ capture were futile.

  • He renounced all his worldly goods to follow an ________ lifestyle.

  • The tacticians argued about whether the reserve should try to ________ the enemy’s flank.

  • She took every opportunity to ______ authority.

Answers and Explanations

1. The contest was a classic case of brain versus brawn.

verses: lines of poetry or lyrics. "The verses came easily to him, and he finished the poem at last."
versus: against, or as opposed to. "The question of art versus commerce was always on their minds."

2. His efforts to elude capture were futile.

allude: refer to indirectly. "She tried to allude to the incident without mentioning it outright."
elude: avoid. "With that attitude, success will continue to elude him."

3. He renounced all his worldly goods to follow an ascetic lifestyle.

aesthetic: pertaining to art or beauty. "She has a finely developed aesthetic sense."
ascetic: simple and strict. "The denial of physical pleasure is the basis of the ascetic philosophy."

4. The tacticians argued about whether the reserve should try to envelop the enemy’s flank.

envelop: enclose or surround. "She reached to envelop him in her arms."
envelope: a paper container. "I noticed an envelope on the desk that had not been there before."

5. She took every opportunity to flout authority.

flaunt: display ostentatiously. "They flaunt their new wealth with aggressive vulgarity."
flout: disregard. "Because we were already in trouble, we resolved to flout the rules fearlessly."

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