Test Your Vocabulary With These Old Fashioned Words!

About this Quiz

We use our words to explain how we feel and what we need. But there are some words that have fallen by the wayside, whether it’s because it’s no longer cool to use them or whether there’s just an easier way to say it now. But it doesn’t mean that those words no longer exist. In fact, we’d like to test how much of a wordsmith you are by testing your knowledge of these old-fashioned words! How many do you know?

Start Quiz!
Resume Quiz

1. What’s the word you would use if you wanted to describe something that was incredibly beautiful?

triocea / Shutterstock.com
  1. Plethora
  2. Exquisite
  3. Insurgent
  4. Malleable
In addition to beauty, things that are elegant also seem to have an element of delicateness. Synonyms for this word include lovely, elegant, graceful and magnificent.
scroll to continue

2. What’s the word for “a loud and/or confused noise”?

Asier Romero / Shutterstock.com
  1. Evoke
  2. Obsolete
  3. Instigate
  4. Clamor
The word clamor is all about loud sounds. It can be done by an individual or group of people, using voices or objects.
scroll to continue

3. Of the options below, which description best fits the word “grotesque”?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. Extremely ugly or deformed
  2. Very clean and free of disease
  3. To scold or reprimand
  4. To be against
Grotesque is an adjective that can mean many things, none of which are attractive. Synonyms include malformed, distorted, deformed and twisted.
scroll to continue

4. Which of the following words deals with movement, particularly in a smooth, up and down or wave-like motion?

Perfect Lazybones / Shutterstock.com
  1. Anathema
  2. Lament
  3. Undulate
  4. Reprieve
When not specifically dealing with motion, the word undulate describes something that has a wavy surface.
scroll to continue

5. Which word below means “to travel across”?

Inu / Shutterstock.com
  1. Foment
  2. Bombastic
  3. Traverse
  4. Novel
The word “traverse” means to travel through or across, but it also means to move sideways, or back and forth.
scroll to continue

6. What’s the word used for a deviation from what is normal or expected?

AnnaNel / Shutterstock.com
  1. Avid
  2. Aberration
  3. Rescind
  4. Dour
The word aberration describes a deviation or departure from what is expected or what is normal. Synonyms include irregularity, anomaly and abnormality.
scroll to continue

7. What does the word “venerate” mean?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. To revere or look at with respect
  2. To dance wildly
  3. To run away
  4. To reject a belief
The word venerate means to look at something or someone with great respect. One could substitute this word with worship and idolize.
scroll to continue

8. What do you think the word “visage” means?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. A beautiful cloud
  2. Underwater
  3. Of or relating to trees
  4. A person’s face or facial expression
The word visage is often used when referring to the proportions of one’s face, or a person’s facial expressions.
scroll to continue

9. Which of the options is a synonym for the words “solemn,” “gloomy” and “sober”?

Petukhov Anton / Shutterstock.com
  1. Requisition
  2. Somber
  3. Potent
  4. Incite
The word “somber” is usually used to describe either the weather or a person’s mood/personality.
scroll to continue

10. If you wanted to describe someone who was bad-tempered, which word would you use?

fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  1. Quirk
  2. Grumpish
  3. Partisan
  4. Gratuitous
The word grumpish is a British word that is a variant of the word “grumpy.” It can also mean bad-tempered, peevish or sulky.
scroll to continue

11. Which word describes a feeling of longing?

nakaridore / Shutterstock.com
  1. Reproach
  2. Wistful
  3. Dire
  4. Gourmand
Wistful is the word that describes a sense of longing. This longing can be regretful, dreamy, thoughtful and a range of other emotions.
scroll to continue

12. When someone says the word “pallor,” what are they referring to?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. Something that causes misery
  2. A pale or unhealthy appearance
  3. An abnormal birthmark on the foot
  4. An organ that has grown small
When people use the word pallor, it usually means that a person’s skin/face has a lack of color. It’s a word that is often associated with death and sickness.
scroll to continue

13. Which word refers to a deep or seemingly bottomless hole?

Photobank gallery / Shutterstock.com
  1. Reform
  2. Abyss
  3. Flagrant
  4. Despot
An abyss is a seemingly never-ending hole or chasm. It can also describe a huge difference between people.
scroll to continue

14. Of the words below, which is related to kissing?

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
  1. Dribble
  2. Deosculate
  3. Rife
  4. Ghosteen
The word “deosculate” has nothing to do with eyesight. The word means to kiss someone affectionately.
scroll to continue

15. What word is used for an object where the speaker has forgotten its name?

Bas van der Pluijm / Shutterstock.com
  1. Scorn
  2. Decree
  3. Callous
  4. Doohickey
When a speaker is unable to remember the name of a gadget or item they’re talking about, it’s more than appropriate to use the word “doohickey.”
scroll to continue

16. What is a “motif”?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. A decorative pattern or design
  2. A direct way of expressing one’s self
  3. A false accusation
  4. A freshwater fish
A motif can be one of many things. For one, it can be a dominant idea or features of something. It can be a recurring idea or subject, particularly in music or art. And it can be a decorative pattern or design.
scroll to continue

17. Which of the following words means “unable to grasp clearly”?

Golubovy / Shutterstock.com
  1. Perplex
  2. Duress
  3. Omnipotent
  4. Extraneous
To perplex someone means to confuse them, or to make something extremely unclear to them.
scroll to continue

18. What does it mean to be “languid”?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. Having a pleasant smell
  2. To have mixed feelings about
  3. Slow or relaxed
  4. Sudden or curt
The word languid refers to not having an inclination to partake in anything physical. It means slow and relaxed.
scroll to continue

19. Of the words below, which one is a difficult or confusing question or problem?

Radachynskyi Serhii / Shutterstock.com
  1. Paramount
  2. Panacea
  3. Conundrum
  4. Sanguine
A conundrum is a difficult or challenging problem. Sometimes, it can be a riddle or even a question that has no clear answer.
scroll to continue

20. Which of these words is related to a thoughtful kind of sadness?

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
  1. Foil
  2. Melancholy
  3. Nuance
  4. Secrete
The word melancholy is a feeling of sadness that is followed by deep thinking. It is something that usually happens with no provocation or obvious cause.
scroll to continue

21. What word do you think means “to become diffused through every part”?

Vladyslav Lehir / Shutterstock.com
  1. Pervade
  2. Defunct
  3. Obscure
  4. Hapless
Pervade is a word that is often associated with smells. It describes the smells that have become widespread or those that have permeated the air.
scroll to continue

22. Which word describes a stale smell?

Nutlegal Photographer
  1. Pariah
  2. Fusty
  3. Contend
  4. Denigrate
Not only does fusty describe something that smells stale or stuffy, but it can also describe an old-fashioned sense of style.
scroll to continue

23. If something is “superfluous,” what is it?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. Unnecessary
  2. To stir up
  3. To reverse
  4. To change or alter
The definition of superfluous is exceeding what is necessary. It also means not necessary or obsolete.
scroll to continue

24. What’s the word that means “to call attention to” or “to hint at”?

Just dance / Shutterstock.com
  1. Allude
  2. Cleave
  3. Wily
  4. Ostracize
To allude to something means to hint at it. It can also mean mentioning something without going in depth.
scroll to continue

25. Which word means to shake just slightly?

Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz / Shutterstock.com
  1. Impetuous
  2. Sobriety
  3. Scrutinize
  4. Tremulous
Tremulous is the word that means to shake or quiver slightly. It also means someone who is timid, shy or nervous.
scroll to continue

26. Which of the options means to/describes an argument?

VGstockstudi / Shutterstock.com
  1. Brabble
  2. Tome
  3. Lucrative
  4. Savvy
Brabble is a word that means to have an argument. Synonyms include bicker, squabble, debate, niggle and quibble.
scroll to continue

27. What word describes laying on the ground, face down?

Black Kings / Shutterstock.com
  1. Prostrate
  2. Complacent
  3. Cover
  4. Surreptitious
To prostrate yourself, you must lay stretched out on the ground, with your face in a downward position. This action is usually done in adoration or submission of something or another person.
scroll to continue

28. Which of these words is heavily connected to a blue color?

KsushaFineArt / Shutterstock.com
  1. Tirade
  2. Cerulean
  3. Brevity
  4. Stark
The word cerulean describes a blue color. It is most often used to describe the sky or the sea (or other body of water).
scroll to continue

29. Which of these words describes a confused mixture?

Sophies-visuals / Shutterstock.com
  1. Construe
  2. Hodgepodge
  3. Adamant
  4. Sinister
The word hodgepodge is used to describe a variety of different things, all of which are mixtures. It can be anything from toys to writing utensils and tools to miscellaneous items.
scroll to continue

30. Which of the following words means to make someone upset, frustrated, annoyed or angry?

n_defender / Shutterstock.com
  1. Zephyr
  2. Vex
  3. Incumbent
  4. Validate
Vex was a word used quite frequently in the past; its basic meaning was to cause distress to someone or something.
scroll to continue

31. Which word is associated with being in low spirits or feeling very disappointed?

Cat Box / Shutterstock.com
  1. Despondent
  2. Travesty
  3. Utilitarian
  4. Brawl
Being despondent is more than just being sad. There’s a sense of hopelessness that comes with being despondent. Synonyms include dejected and downhearted.
scroll to continue

32. In medicine, which word is used to describe treatment of the entire person?

Albina Glisic / Shutterstock.com
  1. Turpitude
  2. Holistic
  3. Noxious
  4. Cavort
When people refer to holistic medicine, it means treatment that focuses on the entire body and not just the area with the sickness.
scroll to continue

33. What does it mean to be “austere”?

Sharaf Maksumov / Shutterstock.com
  1. To be in agreement of
  2. Severe or strict
  3. To count clouds
  4. The final act
The word austere has many definitions, all of which are related. The first is an adjective which describes an attitude or appearance as being strict or severe. The second is a way or life that has no comforts. The third describes one’s style or appearance as being plain.
scroll to continue

34. Which of the following words is often associated with being in deep thought?

fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  1. Tactful
  2. Aberration
  3. Underscore
  4. Pensive
All definitions of the word pensive deal with being in thought. One is a dreamy or wistful kind of thought and the other is marked by some sadness.
scroll to continue

35. Which definition below best fits the word “remonstrate”?

Sharaf Maksumov / Shutterstock.com
  1. To be an example of
  2. Something that is doubtful or questionable
  3. To plead or protest with reason
  4. To scream in horror
Remonstrate means to plead or urge someone to think another way. The goal is to get that person to change their mind or way of thinking.
scroll to continue

36. If you’re asked to “procure” something, what are you being asked to do?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. To be direct or blunt
  2. To imagine a situation
  3. To obtain or get something
  4. To go to jail
If you’re being asked to procure something, someone is asking you to obtain possession of it.
scroll to continue

37. Which word implies that one’s identity is concealed?

Eugene Partyzan / Shutterstock.com
  1. Bolster
  2. Incognito
  3. Taut
  4. Yoke
The word “incognito” is defined as hiding someone’s identity. It can include changing one’s appearance, changing one’s name or simply lying low to avoid detection.
scroll to continue

38. “To surprise or confuse” is the meaning of which of the following words?

Master1305 / Shutterstock.com
  1. Negligent
  2. Advocate
  3. Instigate
  4. Confound
To confound someone is to amaze or bewilder someone. It usually happens suddenly by a disturbance or a surprise.
scroll to continue

39. Which word is a synonym for “ill-tempered” or “sulky”?

Vikafoto33 / Shutterstock.com
  1. Debauch
  2. Morose
  3. Vestige
  4. Consign
Morose is a word associated with being in a bad mood or having a not so cheerful disposition. Synonyms include cranky, dour, grouchy and testy.
scroll to continue

40. What does it mean to be “livid”?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. An intense fight
  2. Kind and generous
  3. Extremely angry
  4. To make something grow
The word livid is often associated with anger, but it also has another meaning. Livid can also mean something that is discolored by bruising.
scroll to continue

41. Which of these words means “using trickery to achieve a purpose”?

Pcess609 / Shutterstock.com
  1. Chicanery
  2. Vilify
  3. Abject
  4. Linchpin
The purpose being referred to when talking about chicanery is usually a political, legal or financial one.
scroll to continue

42. Which of the following definitions best applies to “facetious”?

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com
  1. Making light of something that is serious
  2. A strong feeling of dislike
  3. Being similar but not identical
  4. Extremely plain
Being facetious is when someone is making inappropriate jokes, but not because of the quality of the jokes. These funny comments are usually made in serious situations.
scroll to continue

43. What’s the definition of the word “hubris”?

Alex_Po / Shutterstock.com
  1. A noisy confrontation
  2. Unclear in its meaning
  3. Exaggerated self-confidence
  4. Refined taste or beauty
Hubris is an excessive sense of self-confidence or pride. It can be used as a synonym for arrogance, haughtiness and conceitedness.
scroll to continue

44. What’s another word for “a fuss” or “a commotion”?

Creativa Images / Shutterstock.com
  1. Kerfuffle
  2. Misery
  3. Wanton
  4. Abysmal
A kerfuffle is any kind of disturbance or commotion, usually caused by some conflict or disagreement.
scroll to continue

45. Which of the following words, combined with "to go," means "to fall apart'?

claudiofichera / Shutterstock.com
  1. Asunder
  2. Brimstone
  3. Fishwife
  4. Goodly
If something goes asunder, you know its gone horribly, terribly, irreversably wrong. Remember you're favorite childhood toy? It went asunder. So did, undoubtedly, your first relationship.
scroll to continue

46. Fill in the blank. To _________ Mt. Everest, is to understand the glory of the universe.

Jantanee Runpranomkorn / Shutterstock.com
  1. Degrade
  2. Behold
  3. Slipshod
  4. Howbeit
"To behold" means to see or to observe, although the modern equivalent might be closer to "to gaze in admiration or astonishment."
scroll to continue

47. If you're looking for a fancy word for "before" or "formerly," go for:

Bystrov / Shutterstock.com
  1. Fudge
  2. Communicant
  3. Erstwhile
  4. Burgeoning
We'll use it in a sentence for you. Mark wanted to eat a gallon of ice cream. Erstwhile, he ran 10 km and did 100 pull-ups to make sure that he maintained his figure.
scroll to continue

48. A cutpurse is:

Inspiring / Shutterstock.com
  1. A Politician
  2. A Pickpocket
  3. A Teacher
  4. A Firefighter
Aptly named, a "cutpurse" is a common thief. Some medieval punishments for cutpurses included being branded on the cheek or thumbs.
scroll to continue

49. If you punish someone by making fun of them or mocking them, then you have __________ that person.

tale / Shutterstock.com
  1. Delighted
  2. Magnified
  3. Degraded
  4. Fudged
Synonyms of degrade include: to cheapen, to disgrace, to demean, to discredit, and to dismantle. Ouch.
scroll to continue

50. _"Hereupon" I shall make apple pie every day_ translates into:

Sharaf Maksumov / shutterstock
  1. I wish I could make apple pie every day.
  2. Before, I will make apple pie every day.
  3. After this, I will make apple pie every day.
  4. I will definitely not make apple pie every day.
"Hereupon" either means "after" or "as a result of." It was once commonly used in royal proclamations announcing changes to laws.
scroll to continue

51. "Perhaps," "possibly," and "maybe" are all synonyms of:

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com
  1. Bespoke
  2. Pismire
  3. Mayhap
  4. Alas
"Maybe, I'll sleep in today, darling," says Steve. "And perhaps you'll do the dishes for once," says Glenda.
scroll to continue

52. A happy "espousal" means:

Nopparat Nambunyen / Shutterstock.com
  1. A Happy Divorce
  2. A Happy Funeral
  3. A Happy Marriage
  4. A Happy Birthday
"Espousal," a word that originated between 1275–1325 CE, means a marriage or engagement. It's also where we get the word "spouse" from. Sound familiar?
scroll to continue

53. You might ask a "tapster" for:

Master1305 / Shutterstock.com
  1. Beer
  2. A Top Hat
  3. Flowers
  4. Directions
That's right. We used to call barmen 'tapsters.' People who work in bars have also been called: mixologists, barmaids, alewives, taverners, and soda jerks.
scroll to continue

54. What does "loathly" mean?

olgers / Shutterstock.com
  1. Repulsive
  2. Excited
  3. Short of change
  4. Beautiful
Here are some examples of "loathly" (repulsive) things: maggots in chocolate, hair lice, and vomit.
scroll to continue

55. If a doctor tells you that something is immedicable:

gpointstudio / Shutterstock.com
  1. Your doctor doesn't speak English.
  2. You have chickenpox.
  3. You'll be taking antibiotics.
  4. You might have days left to live.
Immedicable, unfortunately, means that something is untreatable. Currently, Alzheimer's, HIV/AIDS, Lupus, and Schizophrenia are all immedicable illnesses.
scroll to continue

56. Who of the following is most likely to 'dispraise' Tommy:

WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock.com
  1. Tommy's cat, because cat's just do things like that.
  2. Tommy's little sister, for sharing candy.
  3. Tommy's doctor, after prescribing cold medicine.
  4. Tommy's teacher, for failing to study for his math test.
Teachers are especially good at dispraising (criticizing) their students. Hopefully, they do it constructively, although some do it in ways that are permanently traumatizing.
scroll to continue

57. Which of the following phrases can you put 'glaciate' into and retain its original meaning?

katarinag / Shutterstock.com
  1. "Once In A Blue Glaciate"
  2. "When Pigs Glaciate"
  3. "When Hell Glaciates"
  4. "Not In Your Wildest Glaciates"
"When hell glaciates" is almost the exact equivalent of "when hell freezes over." Glaciate means to freeze, to harden, to congeal, or to ice over.
scroll to continue

58. A synonym for "feminal" is:

Svetography / Shutterstock.com
  1. Exhausted
  2. Damaged
  3. Exuberant
  4. Womanly
Feminal means: of or pertaining to women, femininity, or feminism. That's a lot of concepts for a comparatively small word.
scroll to continue

59. Which unlikely word is a term that means “a huge fuss” or to “extravagantly publicize”?

BrAt82/ Shutterstock.com
  1. Endow
  2. Ballyhoo
  3. Penchant
  4. Ornate
All the definitions for the word “ballyhoo” are related to noise or some sort of commotion. As long as the action is loud and attracts lots of publicity, the word “ballyhoo” can be used.
scroll to continue

60. An "imminent" storm:

Lightspring / Shutterstock.com
  1. Is About To Hit
  2. Happened Yesterday
  3. Is A Figment Of Your Imagination
  4. Has A Lot Of Pollen
Synonyms for "imminent" include: impending, at hand, close, near, and approaching. For example, the end of this quiz is imminent.
scroll to continue

61. Of the words below, which is used to describe a person’s face or expression?

bokan / Shutterstock.com
  1. Anointment
  2. Quaint
  3. Countenance
  4. Remiss
When countenance isn’t being used to refer to someone’s face, the word can mean support, or to admit that something is indeed possible or accepted.
scroll to continue

62. Out of the following, which pretty possession is a "fandangle"?

Upl / Shutterstock.com
  1. A Highway
  2. A Book About Math
  3. A Small Golden Rocking Horse
  4. An Apple
A "fandangle" is not only fun to say, but it has a fun meaning too! If something is a fandangle, it is useless or purely ornamental.
scroll to continue

63. Which word would one use to describe making something less intense or smaller?

Stuart Miles / Shutterstock.com
  1. Abate
  2. Beguile
  3. Impart
  4. Increment
To abate something means to lessen, to reduce or to make something smaller or less intense than it is.
scroll to continue

64. "To contemn" means:

YoloStock / Shutterstock.com
  1. To Go Swimming
  2. To Finalize
  3. To Make Friends
  4. To Treat With Contempt
If you spit in someone's face, then you "contemn" them. Synonyms for this archaic word include: to disdain and to scorn.
scroll to continue

65. Which of these words is an antiquated way to say “a fat person”?

andrekoehn / Shutterstock.com
  1. Jollux
  2. Austere
  3. Lenovo
  4. Moonog
The word jollus was used in the 18th century. It was a slang term that was used to describe a fat or overweight person.
scroll to continue

66. A "crapulous" person is:

stickerama / Shutterstock.com
  1. Beautiful
  2. Intelligent
  3. Complicated
  4. Very Drunk
We wish the word "crapulous" were around today! It is an adjective coming from an old Latin word meaning "excessive drinking or intoxication.
scroll to continue

67. To look at someone who is eating in hopes that they will give you food is:

Supawat Eurthanaboon / Shutterstock.com
  1. To Indite
  2. To Gallant
  3. To Remit
  4. To Groke
There aren't a lot of synonyms for this word, which has old Scottish roots. We wish there were! It sure would be a useful word to have in our everyday lexicons.
scroll to continue

68. What is the official name of the bin where animal (including fish) skins are salted?

Aditya Nugroho0 / Shutterstock.com
  1. Perish
  2. Candor
  3. Accost
  4. Kench
Not only are animals skins salted using the kench, but they are also preserved using the same device.
scroll to continue

69. Don't drink arsenic! It's a type of _____ and could ruin your existence.

Ondrej Prosicky / Shutterstock.com
  1. Element
  2. Word
  3. Bane
  4. Affection
"Bane" means poison. Knowing this gives new meaning to the phrase: You're the bane of my existence!
scroll to continue

70. Cheerful readiness/willingness/promptness can be summed up in one word:

Golubovy / Shutterstock.com
  1. Alacrity
  2. Presumptuous
  3. Preclude
  4. Elucidate
Alacrity is defined as being prompt in response to something or being cheerfully ready to do something.
scroll to continue

Just a sec, we're calculating your result!