Confused Words Exercise (536)

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.)

  • She was __________ by the lukewarm applause that followed her performance.

  • Unfortunately, my so-called ________ couldn’t resist sharing my secret.

  • She has a ________ fascination with diseases.

  • The ________ read, "Beloved father of Jane Smith."

  • The species is ________ to that island.

Answers and Explanations

1. She was discomfited by the lukewarm applause that followed her performance.

discomfited: confused, embarrassed, or upset. "His unexpectedly angry reaction discomfited her."
discomforted: made uncomfortable, uneasy, or worried. "I was discomforted by the thought that the plan would fail as a result of some overlooked flaw."

2. Unfortunately, my so-called confidant couldn’t resist sharing my secret.

confidant (noun): a friend trusted keep a secret. "She has been my confidant through several personal crises." (The feminine form is confidante, though the masculine form is often used for either gender.)
confident (adj.): certain or optimistic that something will happen or is true. "I’m confident that we have prepared for all eventualities."

3. She has a morbid fascination with diseases.

morbid: gloomy, unhealthy. "Please spare me the morbid details about the murder."
moribund: close to death or failure. "The organization, with quickly declining funding and membership, is moribund."

4. The epitaph read, "Beloved father of Jane Smith."

epitaph: something said or written, especially on a gravestone, about a dead person. "The epitaph, and most of the other information on the headstone, had been worn away by time."
epithet: a nickname or description. "Because of his hygienic habits, he was given the epithet Mr. Clean."

5. The species is endemic to that island.

endemic: specific to or common in a given area. "That kind of behavior seems to be endemic to that age group."
epidemic: extremely prevalent or affecting many, or a widespread disease. "The nervous tension was epidemic, spreading through the crowd like a wave."

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