You are looking for the best answer, which may not be an ideal answer - simply the best of the
A warmonger is one who advocates war or seeks to bring war about. The ideal
answer or opposite would be peacemaker, but that is not one of the choices. The
best answer is choice D negotiator, one who tries to settle things or bring about a
You should be able to immediately eliminate two or three of the choices because
they are not even close or could not possibly relate to the original word.
The word alter means to change. The closest opposite is choice E maintain.
Notice that choice A remember and choice D enjoy do not relate to alter so are
not possible answers. Choice B disrupt and choice C reorganize would be more in
the synonym category.
Use the word in a short, clear sentence; try to think of how you’ve heard the
word used before. You may discover a context for it that will help you make a choice.
Sentence: “One of my friends is a pathological liar.” Because pathological here
refers to a negative characteristic, the correct choice is positive, B cured.
and (sometimes) suffix
of the original word may help you understand
the meaning of the word and thus locate its opposite.
The prefix de- usually means away from. You may be familiar with the word attach,
which means to fasten or unite. So detach means to separate or unfasten.
The best opposite is choice B fasten.
- out of sorts
- out of step
- brought into accord
The prefix syn- means with or together. The root chron refers to time. So synchronized
means occurring at the same time or occurring together. The best opposite
would be choice C out of step.
Sometimes the prefix
of the original word may tip off a positive or negative
connotation, which can help lead you to the correct answer.
The prefix pro- has several meanings, and all of them have “positive” connotations;
here, it means forward. Of the five choices, the prefix most opposite to the
meaning of pro- is de-. The connotations of de- are usually “negative”; most often,
it means away from, off, or down. Profusion means abundance, and deficiency
refers to an inadequacy or incompleteness. The correct answer is A deficiency. Given these
definitions, you can see that these two terms are the most nearly opposite of those
given. However — even without your knowing the definitions — the prefixes, in
this case, provide strong clues.
You may be able to detect whether a word is positive or negative in meaning
without taking it apart. If the original word is positive, your choice must be
negative, and vice versa.
Chaotic is a negative word that means in a state of utter confusion or disorder.
You are now looking for a positive word. Choices B and D are the only positive
words, so you have now narrowed your choices to two possibilities. Choice B orderly
is the positive word that is the best opposite of utter confusion and disorder.
Pay special attention to the “strength” of a word. Is the word mild, moderate,
or extreme? Do you get a “feeling” for the word when you read it?
Bombastic is a very strong word that means boastful. Notice that it simply sounds
like a strong word. The best opposite here is choice A humble. The opposite of a
loud boastful person is a quiet humble person.
The word mellifluous seems to have a pleasant sound and does in fact mean pleasant,
melodious, or sweet. The best opposite would be choice B unpleasant.
Ghastly is a strongly negative word. Although choice D acceptable is a positive
word, and therefore opposite to ghastly, choice C lovely is a better choice. Lovely
is a stronger positive word than acceptable and therefore opposes the strongly
negative meaning of ghastly.
Don’t choose an antonym that is too broad or too limited to be an
- not talkative
Garrulous means talking too much. Although choices A, C, D, and E are all partial
opposites because they contain the idea of restricting language, only B not
talkative specifically refers to speech.
Working from the answer choices, eliminating similar choices, and looking for
the choice that “stands out” can be useful.
Assessing the choices, you could have eliminated choices A ruined and D destroyed
because they are really identical answers. Also notice that only choice C
renovated is clearly not a negative word; thus it “stands out” among the other
choices. In this case, renovated (made good as new) is the opposite of dilapidated,
which means falling apart.
For better understanding, fully explained exercises are included, which you
can use as perfect guideline to tackle Antonym question type.
What may be the best strategy to be fluent in antonym question type? As vocabulary is lifeblood in antonyms questions, in my opinion, you must memorize the
vocabulary first and then try to attempt the exercises.