Confused Words Exercise (617)

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 spectators rose to ______ the victor as he rode into the stadium at the head of the parade.

  • Don’t _______ to the crowd; do what you think is right.

  • If you doubt my ________, why don’t you ask her to confirm or deny what I’ve said?

  • I noticed a _________ in the account the two boys gave about the incident.

  • I tried to ________ the severity of the punishment, but I was overruled.

Answers and Explanations

1. The spectators rose to hail the victor as he rode into the stadium at the head of the parade.

hail: greet or signal with a wave. "I’ll hail a taxi for us."
hale: healthy and strong. "The young man was sturdy and hale, with bulging muscles and broad shoulders."

2. Don’t pander to the crowd; do what you think is right.

pamper: coddle, spoil. "I’ve never been one to pamper children, and I won’t start now."
pander: provide what is wanted when what is wanted is not the best choice. "As usual, the candidates will pander to short-term interests instead of carrying out a vision for the future."

3. If you doubt my veracity, why don’t you ask her to confirm or deny what I’ve said?

veracity: honesty. "Based on what I had found out since then, I began to question her veracity."
voracity: extreme appetite or hunger. "His voracity for attention is annoying."

4. I noticed a discrepancy in the account the two boys gave about the incident.

discrepancy: a difference between things one expects to be the same. "There was a discrepancy between the number on the inventory and the number of boxes on the shelf."
disparity: the quality of being different. "Income disparity has become only more dramatic."

5. I tried to attenuate the severity of the punishment, but I was overruled.

attenuate: reduce or taper. "Noise-canceling headphones will attenuate distracting sounds."
extenuate: lessen the strength or seriousness of something. "She annoyed me by trying to extenuate her role in the incident."

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