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Answers to Sample GRE Antonyms Questions


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1. MOROSE:
A. overawed
B. agitated
C. cherubic
D. decisive
E. cheerful
Explanation:
To be “morose” means to be gloomy or sullen. It is used to describe people’s dispositions. A “cheerful” person is not gloomy or sullen. The correct answer is E. to be “overawed” means to be overcome by superior power or authority. To be “agitated” means to be excited or disturbed. It does not necessarily imply good humor. A gloomy person may or may not be “agitated”. “Cherubic” is usually used to describe a person’s appearance as rosy, innocent, or childlike. A cherub is not likely to appear “morose”, but “cherubic” does not necessarily indicate a sunny disposition. A “decisive” person is able to make decisions and stick by them. A decisive person may or may not have a cheerful disposition.

2. OFFHAND:
A. accurate
B. universal
C. appropriate
D. premeditated
E. disputatious
Explanation:
“Offhand” means done without preparation or much prior thought. It refers to a person’s actions or statements. D is the correct answer. “Premeditated” means thought about or prepared for ahead of time. To be “accurate” means to be correct or free from error. An “offhand” statement is not necessary an inaccurate one. To be “universal” means to be applicable everywhere. It does not imply anything about prior thought or preparation. Something “offhand” is not by definition the opposite of “appropriate”. To be “disputatious” means to be likely to argue. This quality does not imply anything about either preparation or lack of preparation.

3. WARMONGER:
A. commentator
B. liaison
C. lobbyist
D. emissary
E. pacifist
Explanation:
A “warmonger” is one who incites other to make war. E is the correct answer. A “pacifist” is one who actively oppose war. A “commentator” is one who reports, usually in an objective manner and without taking sides on issues. A “liaison” is a person who provides a link between people or groups. A “liaison” does not necessarily have particular views about war. A “lobbyist” is one who promotes a particular point of view in order to influence public officials. No single view necessarily characterizes every “lobbyist”. An “emissary” is a messenger or agent. No particular view necessarily characterizes an “emissary”.

4. PERSEVERE:
A. put into
B. send out
C. take away
D. give up
E. bring forward
Explanation:
To “persevere” means to continue in an enterprise in spite of opposition or other difficulties. D is the correct answer. To “give up” can mean to cease to try to accomplish something. To “put into” could mean to invest, as energy, or, more generally, to insert. To “send out” means to emit. To “take away” means to subtract, to relieve someone of something, or to remove. To “bring forward” can mean to move up or to carry over. It does not suggest a lack of perseverance.

5. EXPIRE:
A. evolve
B. stabilize
C. come to life
D. grow to fruition
E. bring to light
Explanation:
To “expire” means to die or to run out of time. C is the correct answer. To “come to life” (to begin living) is the opposite of to die (to end life). To “evolve” means to develop gradually. The process of evolution must involve life, but to “evolve” is not the opposite of to die. to “stabilize” means to make steady or to maintain without change. To remain in a stabilized condition may mean to remain alive, but it is not the opposite of dying (ending life). To “growth to fruition” means to develop to the point of being productive. It is necessary to be alive in order to “grow to fruition,” but the condition of being productive is not the opposite of dying. To “bring to light” means to reveal. It is done to another person or to a thing.

6. METAMORPHOSE:
A. move ahead
B. remain unaltered
C. descend slowly
D. examine in haste
E. prepare in advance
Explanation:
To “metamorphose” means to change or be transformed into something else. B is the correct answer. To “remain unaltered” is the opposite of changing or being transformed into something else. Metamorphosis might be part of a process of moving ahead, but to “metamorphose” is not the opposite of moving ahead. To “descend slowly” means to come down without speed. Coming down is not the opposite of transformation. Examining in haste has no clear relationship to metamorphosis. Preparing in advance is a preliminary step, not the opposite of transforming.

7. PUNGENCY:
A. boredom
B. redundancy
C. unresponsiveness
D. blandness
E. insignificance
Explanation:
In some contexts, “pungency” is a quality that is directly perceived. It implies sharpness, a stinging quality, and frequently applies to smells or tastes. D is the correct answer. “Blandness” means lacking flavor, not irritating, stimulating, sharp, or stinging. It is frequently used to describe tastes. Something that is the opposite of pungent might cause “boredom,” but “boredom” is a feeling rather than a quality. “Redundancy” refers to that which is extra, unnecessary, or repetitive. “Pungency” is a quality that might provoke a response, but “unresponsiveness” is a characteristic of the perceiver, not of the thing perceived. “Insignificance” is a quality, but it does not necessarily imply a lack of sharpness. It is not a common quality of tastes or smells.

8. DIVESTITURE:
A. acquisition
B. promotion
C. subsidization
D. consultation
E. monopolization
Explanation:
“Divestiture” is a taking away of something, presumably desirable, that was formerly possessed or owned. One can divest oneself, or one can be divested of something during “divestiture”. A is the correct answer. “Acquisition” means coming into possession of something desired. “Promotion” means the act of advancing or raising to a new, better position. One could be divested of a new position, but the idea of a position is not included in the definition of “divestiture” as it is in the definition of “promotion”. “Subsidization” means the act of giving money or aid in any of several possible situations. “Subsidization” refers to a continuing process of being granted something rather than to the point at which something is attained. “Consultation” means a conferring among people. It does not have to do with giving or taking. “Monopolization” implies having all of something, whereas “divestiture” does not imply amount or degree of divesting.

9. DISPATCH:
A. serenity
B. leisureliness
C. heedlessness
D. irregularity
E. aversion
Explanation:
“Dispatch” in this question means quick efficiency. Although “dispatch” can also be used as a verb, “serenity” in the first choice is used only as a noun and not as a verb, so “dispatch” must also be used as a noun. “Leisureliness” means unhurried pace. It implies slowness and lack of quick efficiency. “Serenity” means calmness, and may suggest a state of mind or an appearance of calm. Though “dispatch” suggests activity, it is not incompatible with “serenity”. “Heedlessness” means lack of care in performance. It implies a lack of efficiency but implies nothing about the speed of operation. “Irregularity” can suggest dishonesty or a lack of continuity in action. It does not imply lack of either speed or efficiency. An “aversion” is a feeling of dislike or a desire to avoid, rather than a way of behaving.
 


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