Confused Words Exercise (645)

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.)

  • He signed the document after a quick scan through it showed it to be a standard _______ form.

  • This board may allow commutation or diminution of sentence for good behavior, __________ services, or exemplary conduct.

  • Long ago, he had learned that many people didn’t ________ to his morals.

  • In _________ with the ruling, he granted them amnesty.

  • The game consisted almost entirely of __________, and it was dark outside before he realized how long they had been at it.

Answers and Explanations

1. He signed the document after a quick scan through it showed it to be a standard waiver form.

waiver: the act of giving up a claim or making an exception, or documentation of the act. "It is not true that individuals with a single criminal conviction are automatically inadmissible to the United States and require a waiver."
waver: move unsteadily or tremble, or fluctuate or be indecisive. "They wavered over buying a house."

2. This board may allow commutation or diminution of sentence for good behavior, meritorious services, or exemplary conduct.

meretricious: cheap, flashy. "Her mother’s meretricious home decor was an embarrassment to him."
meritorious: deserving of praise. "The medal is awarded to soldiers who have distinguished themselves or who have rendered long and meritorious services."

3. Long ago, he had learned that many people didn’t subscribe to his morals.

ascribe: attach an idea to a source. "The chroniclers ascribe the first war, which broke out three years later, to a personal insult against the duke."
subscribe: hold belief in an idea. "When they refused to subscribe to the condemnation, many of them were banished."

4. In accordance with the ruling, he granted them amnesty.

accord: Harmony, or treaty, or a spontaneous or voluntary impulse to act. "The tears stopped of their own accord after a while, and the calm of her mind brought back her focus."
accordance: agreement or conformity, or the act of granting. "He communicates to the tribesmen the shaman’s interpretation, which must be framed in accordance with their customs and institutions."

5. The game consisted almost entirely of strategy, and it was dark outside before he realized how long they had been at it.

stratagem: deception or trick. "By means of a stratagem, however, they penetrated into the city during the night."
strategy: careful long-term method or plan, or skill in producing such ideas. "To draw him after them, while avoiding a conflict, was sound strategy for the Persian generals."

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