Use this chapter from Defining Twilight — written by Brian Leaf for CliffsNotes — side-by-side with your own copy of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight to build your vocabulary and improve your score on the SAT, ACT, GED, or SSAT exams. The chapter gives you eight words taken from Twilight, with page references for you to read the words in the context of Stephenie Meyer's popular novel. Based on how the word is used in Twilight, guess at its definition; then check your answers, write the exact definitions, and reread the sentence in Twilight where each word appears. Then complete rest of the test prep example questions.
Find each of the following words on the Twilight page number provided. Based on the way each word is used in the book, guess at its definition.
- Pathetic (p. 74) might mean what?
- Petulance (p. 74) might mean what?
- Coherently (p. 74) might mean what?
- Jubilant (p. 78) might mean what?
- Purgatory (p. 79) might mean what?
- Muted (p. 81) might mean what?
- Wheeling (p. 83) might mean what?
- Enunciated (p. 83) might mean what?
Let's see how you did. Check your answers, write the exact definitions, and reread the sentence in Twilight where each word appears. Then complete the drills.
- Pathetic (p.74) means pitiful. You already know that path- refers to feeling; pathetic refers to something that arouses feelings of pity.
- Petulance (p. 74) means sulky bad-temperedness. Petulance even sounds unpleasant. Doesn't your face contort as you say it? Synonym: peevishness (so easy to remember when you think of the grumpy and mischievous poltergeist, Peeves, in the Harry Potter series!).
- Coherently (p. 74) means in a clear, logical, and consistent way. When Bella looks at Edward, she has difficulty thinking clearly and coherently.
- Jubilant (p. 78) means very happy or even triumphant. Synonyms: elated, ecstatic, euphoric, and rapturous. Okay, quick quiz: What made Jessica elated on page 30 of Twilight?
- Purgatory (p. 79) means a place of misery.
- Muted (p. 81) means quiet or softened. That's why the "mute" button turns off the volume on your phone, TV, or computer. Synonym: subdued (like subtle).
- Wheeling (p. 83) in this case means turning quickly. It can, of course, also mean moving something in a vehicle that has wheels. This is a perfect example of a word with several meanings that the SAT, ACT, GED, or SSAT might use in a reading comprehension question. To determine the meaning of a word, read the words and sentences around it. This is also useful on the ACT and GED Science sections — they never test whether you've memorized science terms; they always define terms in the passage!
- Enunciated (p. 83) sounds like "announced" and means pronounced clearly.
Select the word whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.
Select the answer choice that best completes the meaning of the sentence.
5. Jubilant is to dejected as
- wary is to hasty
- coherent is to elucidated
- evasive is to lumbering
- purgatory is to bedlam
- noble is to verbose
6. Petulant is to callous as
- chuckling is to hysterics
- flitting is to ogling
- necrophobic is to death
- apprehensive is to lithe
- mandatory is to compulsory
Choose the word that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.
7. The inhabitants of the remote village were ________ in their dealings with outsiders; the few strangers that they had met had earned this mistrust.
8. The singer was known for her sulky outbursts whenever she did not get her way; because they enjoyed her music, the public tolerated this ________ behavior.
1. E. Pathetic means pitiful. Hysterical means very emotional or very funny.
2. A. Jubilant and elated both mean psyched. Mortified means embarrassed, floundering means struggling, livid means very angry, and demeaned means disrespected.
3. A. Muted means quiet or subdued. Wheeling means turning, chary means cautious, euphoric means very happy, and coherent means clear.
4. C. Petulant and sullen mean irritable. Circumspect means cautious, frigid means cold, and vehement means passionate.
5. A. "Jubilant (happy and triumphant) is the opposite of dejected (sad and defeated)." Great review! Look at all these great words that you now know:
- Wary is the opposite of hasty . . . yes, cautious can be the opposite of rushed.
- Coherent is the opposite of elucidated . . . no, clear is not the opposite of clarified.
- Evasive is the opposite of lumbering . . . no, avoiding is not the opposite of moving slowly and awkwardly.
- Purgatory is the opposite of bedlam . . . no, the words are different, but not opposites. Purgatory is a place of suffering, and bedlam is a chaotic place.
- Noble is the opposite of verbose . . . no, dignified is not the opposite of wordy.
6. A. "Petulant (grumpy) is less extreme than callous (grumpy and cruel)."
- Chuckling is less extreme than hysterics . . . yes, chuckling is less extreme than uncontrollable laughter.
- Flitting is less extreme than ogling . . . no.
- Necrophobic is less extreme than death . . . no, necrophobic is having a fear of death.
- Apprehensive is less extreme than lithe . . . no.
- Mandatory is less extreme than compulsory . . . no.
7. A. "The inhabitants of the remote village were mistrustful in their dealings with outsiders; the few strangers that they had met had earned this mistrust." Circumspect means cautious. They may have been petulant (grumpy), jubilant (psyched), or muted (quiet), but you only have evidence in the sentence for cautious.
8. B. "The singer was known for her sulky outbursts whenever she did not get her way; because they enjoyed her music, the public tolerated this sulky outbursting behavior." Petulant means bad-tempered. Be careful of a choice like enunciated, which is related to singing, but does not work to fill the blank. That's why you think of a word you want before you look at the choices.