Confused Words Exercise (674)

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.)

  • Her comments will only _________ the situation.

  • The two old friends engaged in well-worn __________.

  • Residents on the wildfire’s northern ________ were ordered to evacuate Sunday night.

  • She’s now in a popular ________ at school.

  • Remember to _______ the fire before you leave.

Answers and Explanations

1. Her comments will only exacerbate the situation.

exasperate: make angry or annoyed. "It will only exasperate him to be reassigned to a dysfunctional department."
exacerbate: make something worse. "The revelation about the secret treaty can only exacerbate the strained relations between the two countries."

2. The two old friends engaged in well-worn banter.

banter: teasing or witty conversation. "This light banter was one of the things she had missed most about him."
barter: exchange of goods for other goods rather than money. "Commerce was largely carried on by barter."

3. Residents on the wildfire’s northern border were ordered to evacuate Sunday night.

boarder: one who lodges and has meals somewhere, or one who rides a snowboard. "You’re not just a boarder here—you’re part of our family."
border: a boundary or edge. "The state house occupies a commanding site along the south border of the city."

4. She’s now in a popular clique at school.

click: a short, sharp sound, or selecting a feature on an electronic devise by pressing a button. "The soft click of the door closing announced their arrival."
clique: An small, exclusive group. "The king replaced them with a new clique of servile favorites."

5. Remember to douse the fire before you leave.

douse: extinguish. "He was just about to douse the light when he heard a shuffling sound."
dowse: search for something underground with a divining rod. "I watched him dowse the property for several minutes before he stopped and gave me a nod."

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