Vocab Review (Groups 1–3)

Review these words from groups 1–3, then take the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Group 1


intricate; complex

The directions were so convoluted that we drove all around the city and got lost.


difficult to comprehend

The writing on the walls of the crypt was cryptic; none of the scientists understood it.


having no useful purpose; pointless

It is futile to try to explain the difference between right and wrong to your pet.


to slow the progress of

The retreating army constructed barbed-wire fences and destroyed bridges to impede the advance of the enemy.


(adj.) relatively unknown

Scott constantly makes references to obscure cult films, and no one ever gets his jokes.


(v.) to conceal or make indistinct

The man in front of me was so tall that his head obscured my view of the movie.


a state of uncertainty or perplexity

Ann was in a quandary because she had no soap with which to do her laundry.



Mr. Lan said his students were indolent because they had not done their homework.


Group 2


uninteresting; unchallenging

That insipid movie was so boring and predictable.


lacking energy

Since he is accustomed to an active lifestyle, Mark feels listless when he has nothing to do.


laziness; inactivity; dullness

The hot and humid day filled everyone with an activity-halting torpor.


removed or disassociated from (friends, family, or homeland)

Rudolf felt alienated from the other reindeer because they never let him join in their reindeer games.


a union of two or more groups

The two countries formed an alliance to stand against their common enemy.


inequality in age, rank, or degree; difference

There is a great disparity between rich and poor in many nations.


submissive; like a servant

Cameron’s servile behavior finally ended when he decided to stand up to his older brother.


subdued; kept from being circulated

The author’s book was suppressed because the dictator thought it was too critical of the regime.


Group 3


to make beautiful by ornamenting; to decorate

We embellished the account of our vacation by including descriptions of many colorful people and places we visited.


describing flowery or elaborate speech

The candidate’s speech was so florid that although no one could understand what he was talking about, they all agreed that he sounded good saying it.


exhibiting a display of great wealth

Dances at the king’s palace are always very opulent affairs because no expense is spared.


elaborately decorated

The carved wood was so ornate that you could examine it several times and still notice things you had not seen before.


describing a showy or pretentious display

Whenever the millionaire gave a party, the elaborate decorations and enormous amounts of food were always part of his ostentatious display of wealth.


profoundly moving; touching

The most poignant part of the movie was when the father finally made peace with his son.


intense enthusiasm

A sense of ebullience swept over the crowd when the matador defeated the bull.


emotionally unrestrained; gushy

Gwyneth Paltrow was effusive in her thanks after winning the Oscar; she even burst into tears.


Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.