Confused Words Exercise (622)

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 fireworks show was a magnificent display of ________ colors.

  • They were reluctant to ______ to the proposition, but they had no choice.

  • She was found _______ for punitive damages resulting from the defamation.

  • I thought she would _______ at the sight of the carnage, but she kept her cool.

  • I tried to _______ her concerns, but she continued to worry.

Answers and Explanations

1. The fireworks show was a magnificent display of effulgent colors.

effulgent: brilliant, splendid. "The extravagant party featured an excess of effulgent decor."
indulgent: experienced as a pleasure, allowing someone to enjoy something beyond what is proper. "Her parents spoiled her, so now she expects everybody to be indulgent toward her."

2. They were reluctant to accede to the proposition, but they had no choice.

accede: agree to a demand or request, or take a high office or position. "She stubbornly refused to accede to their conditions."
exceed: go beyond or be greater than something. "I took care not to exceed to speed limit."

3. She was found liable for punitive damages resulting from the defamation.

liable: likely to do, or responsible for, something. "If you do that, you’ll be liable to a fine."
libel: a derogatory statement, or the crime of printing or voicing such a statement. "He was found not guilty of libel for the simple reason that he was merely reporting what someone else said."

4. I thought she would blanch at the sight of the carnage, but she kept her cool.

blanch: turn pale. "Sickened by the stench, they started to blanch."
blench: draw back or turn away out of fear. "He watched John blench at the prospect of jumping into the dark water."

5. I tried to dispel her concerns, but she continued to worry.

dispel: drive away or scatter. "He tried everything he could think of to dispel the rumors."
expel: force something away or out. "They discussed whether to suspend or expel the student."

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