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.)
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."