Words with Multiple Meanings Illustration | Walrus
Can you think of a word related to walrus which means the same as 'close'?

Words with Multiple Meanings 1

In this series of 11+ Verbal Reasoning quizzes, we look at homonyms and homographs. What are these exactly? Well, they are words with multiple meanings. They are spelt exactly the same, but mean two or more entirely different things.

Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and pronunciation, like ‘utter’ (which means to speak or make a sound) and ‘utter’ (which means complete or absolute).

Homographs are words that are spelled the same, but have different pronunciations as well as different meanings, like ‘lead’ (rhymes with ‘bed’ and is a type of metal) and ‘lead’ (rhymes with 'seed’ and means to guide someone or something).

Have a go at this first quiz and see how well you know your homonyms and homographs.

Example:
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(NOTICE, SEE) __________ (BLEMISH, MOLE)

Answer:
If we notice or see something, we are said to ‘spot’ it. A blemish or a mole can also be referred to as a ‘spot’. The answer is ‘spot’.
1.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(CRUEL, NASTY) __________ (INTEND, PLAN)
VICIOUS
PLOT
MEAN
PROPOSE
If someone is cruel or nasty, you might call them ‘mean’. If you intend or plan to do something, then you ‘mean’ to do it. The answer is ‘mean’.
2.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(SMOOTH, LEVEL) __________ (APARTMENT, MAISONETTE)
EVEN
PLANE
FLAT
MANSION
If something is ‘flat’ it will be smooth and level. Apartments and maisonettes are two other names for ‘flats’. The answer is ‘flat’.
3.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(DENY, REJECT) __________ (RUBBISH, WASTE)
DISALLOW
FORBID
REFUSE
DESERT
To deny or reject something is to ‘refuse’ it (rhymes with ‘news’). Rubbish or waste is also called ‘refuse’ (rhymes with ‘loose’). The answer is ‘refuse’.
4.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND is related to the words in brackets on the right?
(CLOSE, COVER) __________ (WALRUS, SEALION)
NEAR
HIDE
TUSK
SEAL
If we close or cover something, we are said to ‘seal’ it. Walruses and sealions are related to ‘seals’. The answer is ‘seal’.
5.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(TOLERATE, ALLOW) __________ (CARRY, SUPPORT)
BEAR
STAND
LUG
EAR
To tolerate or allow something is to ‘bear’ it. To carry or support something is also to ‘bear’ it. The answer is ‘bear’.
6.
Which word is related to the words in brackets on the left AND has a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(IRIS, LENS) __________ (APPRENTICE, STUDENT)
FLOWER
PUPIL
UNIVERSITY
GLASS
The iris and lens are both parts of the eye, as is the ‘pupil’. An apprentice or student can also be called a ‘pupil’. The answer is ‘pupil’.
7.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(HAMMER, HIT) __________ (THROB, PULSATE)
MALLET
NAIL
SMACK
POUND
To hammer or smack something is to ‘pound’ it. Something which is throbbing or pulsating might be described as ‘pounding’. The answer is ‘pound’.
8.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(BREEZE, GUST) __________ (COIL, TWIST)
GALE
SPIRAL
TURN
WIND
A breeze or a gust are two forms of ‘wind’ (rhymes with ‘tinned’). To coil or twist something is to ‘wind’ it (rhymes with ‘find’). The answer is ‘wind’.
9.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(DELICATE, FEATHERY) __________ (BRIGHT, SUNLIT)
LIGHT
FLIMSY
DOWNY
CLEVER
If something is delicate or feathery it is ‘light’. Places which are bright or sunlit are also ‘light’. The answer is ‘light’.
10.
Which word can have a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the left AND a similar meaning to the words in brackets on the right?
(LETTER, MESSAGE) __________ (OBSERVE, SEE)
COMMUNICATION
NOTE
MORAL
SPOT
A letter or a message can be a ‘note’. If we observe or see something, we might be said to ‘note’ it. The answer is ‘note’
Author:  Stephen O'Hara and Ian Miles

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