Confused Words Exercise (488)
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.)
Answers and Explanations
1. Her aberrant behavior included wearing a toilet seat around her neck and singing instead of speaking.
aberrant: atypical or abnormal. "The aberrant weather was unsettling."
abhorrent: repulsive. "Joe’s abhorrent comments were roundly condemned."
2. He made discreet inquiries as to Smith’s whereabouts on the night in question.
discreet: subtle. "Jones made a discreet gesture, but she failed to notice, so he cleared his throat to get her attention."
discrete: separate. "I instructed her to make discrete entries on each chart."
3. The predominant theory of the time seems absurd in retrospect.
predominate (verb): prevail or have advantage over: "Earth tones tend to predominate in his paintings from this period."
predominant (adjective): more important or frequent. "The predominant factor in the decision was the financial risk."
4. I must say that he has an impressively voracious appetite.
veracious: honest, accurate. "His veracious account of the incident was at odds with her attempt to cover up her role."
voracious: extreme in appetite or eagerness. "She voraciously sought out the latest fashions, desperate to stay ahead of mainstream trends."
5. She seems to have a flair for garnering the wrong kind of attention.
flair (noun): aptitude, appeal. "A colorful scarf adds a bit of flair to an otherwise understated outfit."
flare: a brief, bright light (noun), or sudden anger (verb). "I was concerned that her resentment would flare up again."