Synonyms are the words that are similar or nearly similar in meaning. A synonym, thus, has a literal meaning while its implied meaning may be different. Defining a synonym, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English mentions – A synonym is a “word or phrase identical and coextensive in sense and usage with another of the same language”. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English writes – A synonym is a “word denoting the same thing as another but suitable to different emphasis”.
As such, a synonym is a word or expression accepted as a figurative or symbolic substitute for another word or expression. In other words, we can say that a synonym is a word which has the same or almost the same meaning as that of another word in the same language.
It may, however, be noted that, except in rare cases, no two words are exact synonyms that are interchangeable in all the contexts in which either might appear. However, within a given context, there are often close synonyms. For example: teach, educate and instruct convey more or less same meanings and can be called synonyms though they slightly differ from one another, principally in degrees of abstraction.
Hence words which are synonymous in one of their meanings may differ considerably in their other meanings.
COMMIT TO MEMORY
There are certain points which we should remember while choosing a synonym. They are:
* A synonym should be in the same Part of Speech in which the given word is.
* A synonym, as mentioned above, may have a literal meaning and another an implied meaning. So, we should not choose a synonym blindly but be careful whether we have chosen the right word on the basis of the information given in the context.
* Sometimes, the examiners include an antonym in the alternative choices given for the answer of that synonym. Hence, we must be very cautious in choosing a synonym.
MIND MAP OF CHOOSING A SYNONYM
We come to know the brain storming scene of choosing a synonym if we observe the following mind map. The word ‘question’ is the entry for choosing a synonym in the context. The detailed explanation in regard to the selection of the right synonym in the context is offered there under the mind map.
Main Entry: question
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: issue, point at issue
Synonyms: discussion, motion, point, problem, proposal, proposition, subject, theme, topic
Main Entry: question
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: ask for answer
Synonyms: ask about, catechize, challenge, cross-examine, enquire, examine, give the third degree, go over, grill, hit up, hit*, hold out for, inquire, interrogate, interview, investigate, knock*, make inquiry, petition, pick one's brains, probe, pry, pump, put through the wringer, put to the question, query, quest, quiz, raise question, roast, search, seek, show curiosity, solicit, sound out, sweat it out of, work over
Antonyms: answer, reply Note: * = informal/non-formal usage
Main Entry: question
Part of Speech: verb
Synonyms: call into question, cast doubt upon, challenge, controvert, disbelieve, dispute, distrust, hesitate, impeach, impugn, mistrust, oppose, puzzle over, query, suspect, suspicion, wonder about
Antonyms: certainty, doubtlessness, sureness, surety
FORMATS OF QUESTIONS ON SYNONYMS
Note: The number of answer options is discretionary in accordance with the recruitment exam.
FORMAT 1 (meant for IBPS: Bank POs)
* Choose the word/group of words which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word/group of words given in bold as used in the passage. (In this case, a word for choosing the synonym is taken from the passage meant for Reading Comprehension.)
e.g. tore out
1. came out gently
2. pushed out
3. walked out
4. rushed out forcefully
5. destroyed angrily
Ans. tore out : (4) rushed out forcefully
* In each of the following questions, out of the given alternatives, choose the one which best expresses the meaning of the given word.
Ans. ABNEGATION: (a) self-denial
* In each of the following questions, there are three words which are meanings of a certain
word. Select that word from the answer choices provided in each question.
e.g. everlasting, endless, unending
Ans. everlasting, endless, unending: (b) eternal
* In each of the following questions, there are four words marked a-d. While three of them are synonymous or have more or less same meaning, one is altogether different from the rest. Select from the answer choices the word which is different from the rest.
e.g. (a) witty (b) pleasant (c) comical (d) humorous Ans. (b) pleasant
* In each of the following questions, four pairs of words are given, marked a-d. Each pair consists of two words which have more or less similar meaning. However, one pair consists of two words which are different in meaning, which you have to select as your answer.
e.g. (a) authentic/genuine (b) genius/aptitude (c) ghastly/crime (d) gruesome/grim
Ans. (c) ghastly/crime
* In each of the following questions, a sentence is given in which one word is printed in bold type. Under each sentence four alternatives, marked a-d are given. Your task is to select the word or expression from the alternatives which convey more or less same meaning as the word printed in bold type.
e.g. The U.N. coalition forces immediately went into action. (a) most powerful (b) faithful (c) temporary alliance (d) selective
Ans. (c) temporary alliance
In the field of competitive examinations, learning vocabulary plays a key role in scoring maximum marks in the English section. At least 3-4 questions will be asked from the synonyms and antonyms topic in almost every examination including Banking (SBI, IBPS, RBI etc.) and Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations. Studying synonyms and antonyms can improve the vocabulary of the aspirants. Synonyms and antonyms are not only useful in understanding the meanings and opposites of the words but also useful in solving the ‘Reading Comprehension’ topic, which is a very important topic for both Staff Selection Commission and Banking examinations. Synonyms and antonyms are also useful in answering ‘Fill in the blanks’ and ‘Cloze tests’topics. So, in order to score maximum marks in the English section, every aspirant has to concentrate on the Synonyms and antonyms also. Mugging up the words may not be a smart option to remember the subject. Knowing the meanings and opposites of the words and using them for the formation of sentences is very useful in memorizing the synonyms and antonyms.
Directions (Qs.1-28): In each of the questions given below, a word is given in bold letters and five options were given. Choose the appropriate synonym from the options that suits the word given in bold letters.
1. Ludicrous (Adjective)
a) Absurd b) Logical c) Realistic d) Serious e) Rational
Explanation: Ludicrous means so foolish, unreasonable or amusing.
Ex: It’s so ludicrous that I have gone to hit the traffic constable on my scooter.
2. Fishy (Adjective)
a) Truthful b) Suspicious c) Aboveboard d) Honest e) Correct
Explanation: Fishy is a phrase used to express a doubt or suspicion about something.
Ex: There's something fishy going on here.
3. Knave (Noun)
a) Innocent b) Saint c) Rogue d) Angel e) Hero
Explanation: Knave means a dishonest or a good-for-nothing person.
Ex: A crafty knave needs no broker.
4. Covert (Adjective)
a) Obvious b) Visible c) Exposed d) Secret e) Known
Explanation: Covert means concealed or not openly acknowledged regarding something.
Ex: He glanced covertly at his watch.
5. Defile (Verb)
a) Honour b) Praise c) Purge d) Clear e) Corrupt
Explanation: Defile means to make something dirty or no longer pure.
Ex: The homes of the victims of the earth quake have been defiled completely.
6. Pragmatic (Adjective)
a) Realistic b) impractical c) Fanciful d) Irrational e) theoretical
Explanation: Pragmatic means solving problems in a practical and sensible way rather than by having fixed ideas.
Ex: They are pragmatic about the spending cuts to save money.
7. Adversary (Noun)
a) Hospitable b) Opposition c) Sympathetic d) Friendly e) Empathetic
Explanation: Adversary means one's opponent in a contest, conflict or dispute.
Ex: The British considered Bhagat Singh as a worthy adversary and killed him.
8. Afflict (Verb)
a) Comfort b) Reprieve c) Agonize d) Assist e) Soothe
Explanation: Afflict means to affect somebody/ something in an unpleasant or harmful way.
Ex: She is badly afflicted with a heart problem.
9. Cynicism (Noun)
a) Optimism b) Ecstasy c) Hopefulness d) Despair e) Bliss
Explanation: Cynicism refers to a belief that something good will not happen or that something is not important.
Ex: The response from the minister regarding jobs was a weary cynicism.
10. Hefty (Adjective)
a) Puny b) Fragile c) Petite d) Slight e) Massive
Explanation: Hefty means big, heavy or large.
Ex: He sold his shares and made a hefty profit.
11. Righteous (Adjective)
a) Virtuous b) Corrupt c) Atrocious d) Vicious e) Nefarious
Explanation: Righteous means morally right or good.
Ex: He considered himself as holy and righteous person.
12. Expedient (Adjective)
a) Inadvisable b) Convenient c) Imprudent d) Tactless e) Brash
Explanation: Expedient is an adjective refersto an action that has done for a particular purpose, but it may not always fair.
Ex: The government has decided that a cut in interest rates would be politically expedient.
13. Disparate (Adjective)
a) Analogous b) Akin c) Distinct d) Identical e) Homogeneous
Explanation: Disparate refers to people or things that are very different from each other.
Ex: All my room-mates are a disparate group of individuals.
14. Moratorium (Noun)
a) Renewal b) Resuscitation c) Resumption d) Suspension e) Continuation
Explanation: Moratorium a temporary stoppage of an activity, especially by official agreement.
Ex: The government has called for a moratorium on bank loans due to Covid-19 pandemic.
15. Thrive (Verb)
a) Fail b) Collapse c) Struggle d) Flounder e) Flourish
Explanation: Thrive means to become and continue to be successful at anything.
Ex: New businesses thrive in Ameerpet area.
16. Subversive (Noun)
a) Provocative b) Conservative c) Moderate d) Conventional e) Orthodox
Explanation: Subversive is a trying to destroy or damage a government or political system by attacking it secretly or indirectly.
Ex: He was a very well-known political subversive in my hometown.
17. Captivate (Verb)
a) Disgust b) Allure c) Offend d) Annoy e) Repel
Explanation: Captivate means to keep somebody’s attention by being interesting or attractive.
Ex: The children were captivated by the ghost stories.
18. Buttress (Verb)
a) Weaken b) Prostrate c) Support d) devitalize e) Cripple
Explanation: Buttress is a structure made of stone or brick that supports a wall.
Ex: It was necessary to strengthen the building with large external buttresses.
19. Detention (Noun)
a) Relinquishment b) Discharge c) Freedom d) Custody e) Liberation
Explanation: Detention is the state of being kept in a place, especially a prison, and prevented from leaving.
Ex: They were sentenced to one year detention in a bank robbery case.
20. Pertinent (Adjective)
a) Frivolous b) Negligible c) Inappropriate d) Inapt e) Relevant
Explanation: Pertinent refers appropriate to a particular situation.
Ex: "Please keep your comments pertinent to the topic under discussion", Ronaldo said.
21. Defiance (Noun)
a) Disobedience b) Submission c) Compliance d) Acceptance e) Approval
Explanation: Defiance is the act of openly refusing to obey somebody or something.
Ex: North Korea resumed nuclear testing in defiance of an international ban.
22. Dissemination (Noun)
a) Suppression b) Propagation c) constraint d) Inhibition e) Refrainment
Explanation: Dissemination is the act of spreading information or knowledge so that it reaches many people.
Ex: The internet's role in the dissemination of knowledge is very huge.
23. Jeopardize (Verb)
a) Safeguard b) Protect c) Threaten d) Preserve e) Shield
Explanation: Jeopardize means to threaten something or somebody to harm or destroy.
Ex: This scandal could seriously jeopardize his chances of being re-elected as prime minister.
24. Lucrative (Adjective)
a) Abortive b) Bootless c) Futile d) Profitable e) Barren
Explanation: Lucrative means making huge profits.
Ex: If my plan was worked out, I would have made my company lucrative.
25. Tranquillity (Noun)
a) Turmoil b) Pandemonium c) Bustle d) Commotion e) Peace
Explanation: Tranquillity is the state of being quiet or peaceful.
Ex: I found tranquillity in the Birla temple.
26. Inevitable (Adjective)
a) Unavoidable b) Dubious c) Shaky d) Uncertain e) Improbable
Explanation: Inevitable is an adjective to express something that you cannot avoid or prevent.
Ex: It was inevitable that there would be job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
27. Abrogate (Verb)
a) Institute b) Abolish c) Enact d) Validate e) Endorse
Explanation: Abrogate something means to officially end a law or an agreement.
Ex: The law has been abrogated because of the agitations.
28. Insular (Adjective)
a) Tolerant b) Receptive c) Narrow-minded d) Liberal e) Catholic
Explanation: Insular is an adjective used to express narrow-minded ideology of people, government etc.
Ex: The government often accused of being insular.
Directions (Qs. 1 - 23): Out of the four alternatives choose the one which best expresses the given word:
A) Obvious B) Cruel C) Stubborn D) Bold
A) Minim B) Maxim C) Zealous D) Crook
A) Grudge B) Lament C) Adept D) Bruise
A) Dubious B) Fastidious
C) Conquer D) Sober
A) Mandate B) Blemish
C) Hasty D) Harmonious
A) Freeze B) Gaudy C) Grim D) Nascent
A) Fringe B) Bendy C) Shudder D) Gaudy
A) Bliss B) Furious C) Ascent D) Herald
A) Marvel B) Jib C) Caravan D) Crier
A) Perplex B) Inventory
C) Drowned D) Plunge
A) Malicious B) Critical
C) Pulverize D) Ferocious
A) Innocence B) Refusal
C) Myth D) Confederacy
A) Accumulate B) Isolate
C) Truant D) Disintegrate
A) Unequal B) Harmonize
C) Placid D) Refusal
A) Vehement B) Covalent
C) Sophistry D) Lethargy
A) Metagraph B) Nascent
C) Injury D) Cryptograph
A) Crouch B) Moron C) Glamour D) Bevy
A) Brave B) Teetotaller
C) Skittish D) Coxcomb
A) Wail B) Covet C) Crouch D) Spruce
A) Numb B) Crook C) Dare D) Danger
A) Mitigate B) Disqualify
C) Swollen D) Ascent
A) Esteem B) Error C) Expedition D) Eruption
A) Creating B) Missing
C) Calling D) Offending
1-A 2-B 3-C 4-D 5-A 6-B 7-C 8-D 9-A 10-B 11-C 12-D 13-A 14-B 15-C 16-D 17-A 18-C 19-D 20-A 21-B 22-C 23-D
1. Apparent: clearly visible or understood; obvious. Obvious: clear
2. Adage: A proverb or short statement expressing a general truth. Maxim: A brief statement of a general truth, principle.
3. Adroit: clever or skilful. Adept: very skilled or proficient at something.
4. Abstemious: indulging only very moderately in something, especially food and drink. Sober: not affected by alcohol; not drunk.
5. Behest: a person's orders or command. Mandate: an official order or commission to do something.
6. Bedizen: dress up brightly or decorate gaudily. Gaudy: extravagantly bright or showy.
7. Blench: make a sudden flinching movement out of fear or pain. Shudder: tremble convulsively, typically as a result of fear or revulsion.
8. Bode: be a portent of a particular outcome. Herald: Indicator or portent.
9. Boggle: be astonished or baffled . Marvel: wonder.
10. Enumeration: the action of mentioning a number of things one by one. Inventory: a complete list of items one by one.
11. Levigate: reduce (a substance) to a fine powder or smooth paste. Pulverize: reduce to fine particles.
12. Collusion: secret or illegal cooperation. Confederacy: a league or alliance, especially of confederate states.
13. Collate: collect and combine. Accumulate: gather together.
14. Coordinate: correlate Harmonize: synchronize
15. Chicanery: the use of deception. Sophistry: the use of clever but false arguments.
16. Cipher: code Cryptograph: coded message
17. Cower: shrink Crouch: flinch
18. Coy: making a pretense of shyness Skittish: shy
19. Dapper: neat and trim in dress and appearance Spruce: neat in dress and appearance.
20. Deaden: make (someone) insensitive to something. Numb: cause a sensation to be felt less intensely; deaden.
21. Debar: exclude or prohibit Disqualify: eliminated.
22. Errand: a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something Expedition: a journey undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose.
23. Erring: having done wrong Offending : causing problems by doing wrong or displeasing.