Confused Words Exercise (769)

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.)

  • This is an unacceptable _________ of our responsibility to keep our riders safe.

  • She considers the 1960 edition the __________ version of his treatise.

  • She will __________ if she is asked to complete a challenging task.

  • Allow the juice and skins of the grapes to __________ overnight before pressing.

  • The irrigated plants naturally create a weak acid that will ________ more and more uranium.

Answers and Explanations

1. This is an unacceptable breach of our responsibility to keep our riders safe.

breach: failure or gap. "Through the breach, they heard the waters pour, as mountain torrents down a flume."
breech: hind or rear. "The earliest form of a breech sight on cannon was fixed and could not be adjusted."

2. She considers the 1960 edition the definitive version of his treatise.

definite: clear, confident, or decided. "Not long before his departure, she formed a definite plan of action.
definitive: complete or best. "The controversy led to a definitive tension between the two great nations that many saw as a prelude to war."

3. She will flounder if she is asked to complete a challenging task.

flounder: move awkwardly or struggle. "They watched the horse flounder in the muddy pond."
founder: fail, or fill with water and sink. "He did not at all fear that his ship would founder in a moderate storm such as this."

4. Allow the juice and skins of the grapes to macerate overnight before pressing.

macerate: separate or soften by soaking. "During digestion, the food is passed through the first three stomachs, which will macerate and grind the food down."
masticate: chew. "The camel will use its powerful front teeth to tear leaves from trees and bushes and masticate them."

5. The irrigated plants naturally create a weak acid that will leach more and more uranium.

leach: pass liquid through a substance to release or dissolve another substance. "Leach the sulfates out with boiling water."
leech: drain or exhaust. "The foolish investment will continue to leech their savings."

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