English Language: Middle School: Grades 6, 7 and 8 Quiz - The Thesaurus (Questions)

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A thesaurus is a reference book of words. The words are generally grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and antonyms). It differs from a dictionary in that a dictionary provides a word’s meaning or definition and lists words in alphabetical order. The thesaurus is a tool to help a writer find other words to use to express a similar meaning or message without having to overuse the same word or words over and over again. It also provides a listing of words with an opposite meaning.

1. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

If he doesn’t get at least eight hours of sleep every night he gets very cranky.
[ ] sleepy
[ ] obnoxious
[ ] cantankerous
[ ] sluggish
2. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Sometimes I find that people can be so hypocritical.
[ ] political
[ ] pretenders
[ ] agreeable
[ ] confused
3. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Johnny forcefully rubbed at the scratch on the side of his truck.
[ ] vigorously
[ ] angrily
[ ] roughly
[ ] calculatingly
4. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Mr. Rogers has a lot of wisdom even though he is only in his forties.
[ ] hair
[ ] questions
[ ] experience
[ ] whiskers
5. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Mother was not happy at all with the quality of the meat.
[ ] amount
[ ] smell
[ ] location
[ ] condition
6. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Have you ever been petrified to be alone in the dark?
[ ] frightened
[ ] frozen
[ ] excited
[ ] curious
7. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

My cat is always so curious about everything.
[ ] scared
[ ] nosy
[ ] jumpy
[ ] reluctant
8. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Howard Hughes was a recluse for many years.
[ ] trash collector
[ ] widower
[ ] hermit
[ ] researcher
9. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

The children ran down the stairs to eagerly see what Santa had delivered!
[ ] secretly
[ ] hopefully
[ ] grudgingly
[ ] enthusiastically
10. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

I really don’t believe in ghosts, do you?
[ ] poltergeists
[ ] floating sheets
[ ] Halloween
[ ] the unknown
English Language: Middle School: Grades 6, 7 and 8 Quiz - The Thesaurus (Answers)
1. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

If he doesn’t get at least eight hours of sleep every night he gets very cranky.
[ ] sleepy
[ ] obnoxious
[x] cantankerous
[ ] sluggish
We are looking for a synonym of cranky. To be cranky means to be difficult or irritable. Clearly Answer (a) sleepy and Answer (d) sluggish are not synonyms to the word “cranky” so they are not the correct Thesaurus word. “Obnoxious” means to be offensive so it too is not the word. However, “cantankerous” means to be ill-tempered or difficult and it is the perfect synonym and Thesaurus word we are looking for. Answer (c) is correct.
2. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Sometimes I find that people can be so hypocritical.
[ ] political
[x] pretenders
[ ] agreeable
[ ] confused
We are looking for a synonym of hypocritical. To be hypocritical means to say one thing and then do another so you act like a fake or pretender. Answer (a) political, Answer (c) agreeable and Answer (d) confused do not give a synonym or Thesaurus word that matches the meaning of hypocritical. However, Answer (b) pretenders is a perfect match and is, therefore, the correct Thesaurus word.
3. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Johnny forcefully rubbed at the scratch on the side of his truck.
[x] vigorously
[ ] angrily
[ ] roughly
[ ] calculatingly
We are looking for a synonym of forcefully. To rub forcefully is to rub with a great deal of effort or with a great deal of vigor. Answer (b) angrily, Answer (c) roughly and Answer (d) calculatingly do not give a synonym or Thesaurus word that closely matches the meaning of forcefully. However, Answer (a) vigorously is a perfect match and is, therefore, the correct Thesaurus word.
4. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Mr. Rogers has a lot of wisdom even though he is only in his forties.
[ ] hair
[ ] questions
[x] experience
[ ] whiskers
We are looking for a synonym of wisdom. The meaning of wisdom is have good sense, good judgment and experience. Clearly Answers (a), (b) and (d) have nothing to do with wisdom. Answer (c) experience, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.
5. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Mother was not happy at all with the quality of the meat.
[ ] amount
[ ] smell
[ ] location
[x] condition
We are looking for a synonym of quality. The meaning of quality has to do with the grade or condition of something either being good or bad. Knowing this tells us that Answers (a), (b) and (c) have nothing to do with quality. Answer (d) condition, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.
6. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Have you ever been petrified to be alone in the dark?
[x] frightened
[ ] frozen
[ ] excited
[ ] curious
We are looking for a synonym of petrified. The meaning of petrified in the context of this sentence is it to be filled with terror or fear. This quickly lets us know that Answers (c) and (d) are not correct. When someone is filled with fear they can be “frozen” in place but for this sentence, Answer (b) is not the best fit here. Answer (a) frightened, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.
7. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

My cat is always so curious about everything.
[ ] scared
[x] nosy
[ ] jumpy
[ ] reluctant
We are looking for a synonym of curious. The meaning of curious is to be inquisitive, prying and nosy. Answer (a) scared and Answer (c) jumpy are clearly not the Thesaurus word we are looking for to replace “curious.” Answer (d) reluctant is also not a synonym of curious. Answer (b) nosy, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.
8. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

Howard Hughes was a recluse for many years.
[ ] trash collector
[ ] widower
[x] hermit
[ ] researcher
We are looking for a synonym of recluse. The meaning of recluse is to live alone or apart from others, to live like a hermit, to avoid social interaction. It is very clear that Answer (a) trash collector, Answer (b) widower and Answer (d) researcher are not synonyms to the word “recluse” so none of them are the correct Thesaurus word. However, “hermit” means to be withdrawn from society and to live alone and it is the perfect synonym and Thesaurus word we are looking for. Answer (c) is correct.
9. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

The children ran down the stairs to eagerly see what Santa had delivered!
[ ] secretly
[ ] hopefully
[ ] grudgingly
[x] enthusiastically
We are looking for a synonym of eagerly. The meaning of eagerly is to show excitement or enthusiasm. This quickly lets us know that Answers (a), (b) and (c) are not correct. Answer (d) enthusiastically, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.
10. Determine which thesaurus word could be used in place of the word that is underlined below.

I really don’t believe in ghosts, do you?
[x] poltergeists
[ ] floating sheets
[ ] Halloween
[ ] the unknown
We are looking for a synonym of ghosts. The meaning of ghost is a spirit, an apparition, a poltergeist, a demon or a dead person. Clearly Answer (b) floating sheets, Answer (c) Halloween and Answer (d) the unknown are not the correct Thesaurus words. Answer (a) poltergeists, however, is a perfect match and is the correct Thesaurus word.