Confused Words Exercise (554)
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. She performed admirably under adverse conditions.
adverse: unfavorable. "The adverse criticism affected him deeply."
averse: feeling distaste or repugnance. "I am averse to spicy foods."
2. He had the same chances to succeed that I had, so I have no sympathy for his invidious remarks.
insidious: subtly invasive, seductive, or treacherous. "He had been warned about her insidious behavior, but he wasn’t prepared for the depth of her treachery."
invidious: harmful, obnoxious, or resentful. "Their invidious attitude struck him as stemming from their discontent."
3. The road to the cabin is narrow and tortuous.
torturous: painfully difficult, or causing suffering. "After enduring the torturous conversation, she resolved never to speak to them again."
tortuous: long and complicated or twisting. "The tortuous, meticulously plotted scheme would have unfolded without a hitch if not for a fortuitous discovery."
4. I can’t help but infer from the evidence that you are an accomplice.
imply: suggest without stating explicitly. "I wasn’t trying to imply that I agree with her."
infer: form an opinion or reach a conclusion, or hint. "Am I to infer that you are responsible for this controversy?"
5. Many readers found the allusion obscure.
allusion: an indirect reference. "Allusions to current events appear throughout the book."
illusion: something that is not what it appears or seems real but is not. "The gated community’s illusion of security was shattered that day."