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English Language > Vocabulary > Synonyms and Antonyms
Vocabulary

Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms and Synonyms are asked very frequently in the IBPS exam. They may appear as part of some other section or maybe in ways that are not straightforward like we will see here. An antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning as that of a given word. On the other hand, a synonym is a word that has a completely similar meaning as that of a given word. Here we will state some examples and try and develop some vocabulary.

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Synonyms

The Synonyms and antonyms are an important concept to learn while you are working on your vocabulary. Synonyms are often used to flavour the text and make it diverse and colourful. Synonyms and Antonyms are featured in many competitive exams and thus we have this section dedicated to the concepts of Synonyms and Antonyms.

Your objective here is to be able to develop a strong vocabulary. We will state some words and their synonyms that may appear in a graduate level examination. However, to qualify this section, you will have to develop a very strong vocabulary by memorizing at least a few words and their synonyms and antonyms every day till the day of your exam. Let us see some examples of synonym words here.

 A  B
Abandon:  Leave Forsake Bright: Quick-witted Vivid
Abridge:  Shorten Curtail Baffle: Deceive Confuse
Abundant: Plentiful Copious Brazen: Blatant Barefaced
Acceptable: Satisfactory Appropriate Bizarre: Aberrant Ludicrous
 C  D
Callous: Hard-bitten Case-hardened Diabolic: Fiendish Demonic
Congenial: Comradely Companionable Describe: Portray Recount
Confluence: Conflux convergence Definite: Obvious Distinct
 E  F
Ersatz: Adulterated Spurious Friendly: Comradely Companionable
Espionage: Reconnaissance Tailing Foreboding: Apprehension Consternation
Eccentric: Aberrant Peculiar Fast: Lickety-split Expeditiously
 G  H
Guilt: Culpability Delinquency Hypocrisy: Falseness Duplicity
Genial: Affable Amiable Horrible: Harrowing Gruesome
Gloomy: Sad Wretched Hate: Abominate Despise
 I  J
Illiterate: Ignorant Unlearned Jovial: Jolly Merry
Imperious:  Authoritative Dictatorial Judicious: Discreet Prudent
 K  L
Knavery: Prank Roguery Lethargy: Sluggishness Torpor

We encourage you to build on similar vocabulary through memorizing exercises. Now let us see some examples.

Synonyms

Example 1: The food that was served was rather unpleasant, but her company made up for everything.

In the above sentence, the word(s) in bold can be replaced by which of these words.

A) Vexatious             B) Torpor                      C) Jolly                D) Aberrant

Answer: A lot of books and online articles that you read while preparing for bank exams will tell you that there are rules and shortcuts that will allow you to guess the synonyms or antonyms of the words that you come across in a sentence. However, this is not true. The only strategy that works with vocabulary is to start learning new words. A few words each day should do the trick. As far as this example goes, you will see that the words do sound similar.

We are looking for a word whose meaning is somewhat similar to unpleasant. Vexatious means something that is very frustrating or something that annoys. We reject this an consider this as a viable option. Jolly means something that is pleasant and jocular, so jolly is rejected. Let us first see the other two. Torpor, although sounds bad but it actually means lethargy or laziness. So this is also not the correct option. Finally, aberrant means something that is diverging, it may be unpleasant but that is not what the word means. Hence the correct option is Vexatious.

Antonyms

Synonyms

Let us consider the following questions:

Q 1: “In a politically enlightened community, neither the Kings nor the gods have anything to say!”

The word in the bold is exactly opposite in meaning to?

A) Civilised                  B) Stupid             C) Uncivilised                 D) Uneducated

Answer: At first you may think that you want to find the words that have the opposite meaning to enlighten. But wait, three of the options have a meaning exactly opposite to enlighten. So which one to choose. The context matters here and if you have been asked to pick a word from a given paragraph, you will have to guess its meaning in the context.

For example, in the given sentence, the word enlightened has been used as informed or educated, so the opposite word from the options would be uneducated. The answer thus is  Uneducated.

Remember the more you work on your vocabulary, the better you will get. Also, when you are asked to find the synonym or the antonym of a word, take the context into consideration. If you don’t know the meaning of the word, you may be able to guess it from the context sometimes.

Practice Questions

Q 1: Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follows,

Most of the human history has been the Paleolithic period or the old stone age. There is also a mesolithic period that comes about 20000 years ago. The exponential change in the development of the human civilization, however, came in the recent few centuries.

The word in the bold can be replaced by the following word without changing the meaning of the sentence.

A) Tremendous              B) Fast                  C) Great              D) Increasing

Ans: A) Tremendous.

Q 2: Read the following paragraph and answer the following question

“These bottles are harrowing. How could you spend so much money on something that is so drab? You should have called me and confirmed at least. This is what you always do!”

Which of the following words represents the antonym for the word in bold?

A) Gruesome              B) Horrible            C) Attractive             D) Adorable

Ans: C) Attractive.

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