MOST IMPORTANT PAIR OF WORDS MOSTLY ASKED IN CSS/PPSC EXAMS (1988-1998)

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English (Précis and Composition) 1988




Custom:
Meaning: a way of behaving or a belief which has been established for a long time
Use in sentence: An ancient custom was for the oldest son to have a double portion of the inheritance.

Habit:
Meaning: something which you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it
Use in sentence: I always buy the same brand of toothpaste just out of habit. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Deface:
Meaning: to damage and spoil the appearance of something by writing or drawing on it
Use in sentence: He was fined for defacing library books.

Efface:
Meaning: to remove something intentionally
Use in sentence: The whole country had tried to efface the memory of the old dictatorship.

Differ:
Meaning: to be not like something or someone else, either physically or in another way
Use in sentence: The twins look alike, but they differ in temperament.

Defer:
Meaning: to delay something until a later time; to postpone
Use in sentence: My bank has agreed to defer the repayments on my loan while I’m still a student.

Conduct:
Meaning: to behave in a particular way, especially in a public or a formal situation, or to organize the way in which you live in a particular way
Use in sentence: How should I conduct myself at these dinners? I know nothing about etiquette.

Character:
Meaning: the particular combination of qualities in a person or place that makes them different from others
Use in sentence: Politeness is traditionally part of the British character.

Considerable:
Meaning: large or of noticeable importance
Use in sentence: The fire caused considerable damage to the church.

Considerate:
Meaning: kind and helpful
Use in sentence: She promises to be quieter and more considerate in future. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Compliment:
Meaning: remark that expresses approval, admiration or respect
Use in sentence: I take it as a compliment when people say I look like my mother.

Complement:
Meaning: to make something else seem better or more attractive when combining with it
Use in sentence: The music complements her voice perfectly. (Pair Repeated: 3)

Feet:
Meaning: plural of foot
Use in sentence: Your feet look horrible.

Feat:
Meaning: something difficult needing a lot of skill, strength, bravery, etc. to achieve it
Use in sentence: The Eiffel Tower is a remarkable feat of engineering.

Fair:
Meaning: just and honest; impartial
Use in sentence: It’s not fair that she’s allowed to go and I’m not!

Fare:
Meaning: the money that you pay for a journey on a vehicle such as a bus or train
Use in sentence: Train fares are going up again.

Enviable:
Meaning: good enough to be envied or desired
Use in sentence: She’s in the enviable position of being able to choose who she works for.

Envious:
Meaning: wishing you had what another person has
Use in sentence: I’m very envious of your new coat – it’s lovely.



English (Précis and Composition) 1989




Collision:
Meaning: an accident that happens when two vehicles hit each other with force
Use in sentence: There has been a collision on the southbound stretch of the motorway.

Collusion:
Meaning: agreement between people to act together secretly or illegally in order to deceive or cheat someone
Use in sentence: It is thought that they worked in collusion with the terrorist network. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Verbal:
Meaning: spoken rather than written
Use in sentence: Airport officials received a stream of verbal abuse from angry passengers whose flights had been delayed.

Verbose:
Meaning: using or containing more words than are necessary
Use in sentence: He was a notoriously verbose after-dinner speaker.

Facilitate:
Meaning: to make possible or easier
Use in sentence: The current structure does not facilitate efficient work flow.

Felicitate:
Meaning:
 to wish happiness to; congratulate
Use in sentence: Asian medal winners to be felicitated next Sunday. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Consciousness:
Meaning: the state of understanding and realizing something.
Use in sentence: Her consciousness that she’s different makes her feel uneasy.

Conscientiousness:
Meaning: putting a lot of effort into your work/ controlled by or done according to conscience
Use in sentence: She has always been a very conscientious worker. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Wave:
Meaning: to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone
Use in sentence: I waved to him from the window but he didn’t see me.

Waive:
Meaning: to give up or forgo (a right, claim, privilege, etc.)
Use in sentence: The bank manager waived the charge as we were old and valued customers.

Wreck:
Meaning: to destroy or badly damage something
Use in sentence: Our greenhouse was wrecked in last night’s storm.

Wreak:
Meaning: to cause something to happen in a violent and often uncontrolled way
Use in sentence: The recent storms have wreaked havoc on crops.

Virtuous:
Meaning: having good moral qualities and behavior
Use in sentence: He described them as a virtuous and hard-working people.

Virtual:
Meaning: describes something that can be done or seen using a computer and therefore without going anywhere or talking to anyone
Use in sentence: In tests, we have found the virtual machine runs at a reasonable speed. (Pair Repeated: 2)

Flatter:
Meaning: to praise someone in order to make them feel attractive or important, sometimes in a way that is not sincere
Use in sentence: I knew he was only flattering me because he wanted to borrow some money.

Flutter:
Meaning: to make a series of quick delicate movements up and down or from side to side, or to cause something to do this
Use in sentence: Brightly coloured flags were fluttering in the breeze.

Deference:
Meaning: respect and politeness
Use in sentence: He treats her with such deference.

Difference:
Meaning: the way in which two or more things which you are comparing are not the same
Use in sentence: What’s the difference between an ape and a monkey? (Pair Repeated: 1)

Humiliation:
Meaning: to make someone feel ashamed or lose their respect for themselves
Use in sentence: How could you humiliate me by questioning my judgment in front of everyone like that?

Humility:
Meaning: the quality of not being proud because you are conscious of your bad qualities
Use in sentence: He doesn’t have the humility to admit when he’s wrong. (Pair Repeated: 1)



English (Précis and Composition) 1990




Adept:
Meaning: having a natural ability to do something that needs skill
Use in sentence: She’s very adept at dealing with the media.

Adapt:
Meaning: to change something to suit different conditions or uses
Use in sentence: Many software companies have adapted popular programs to the new operating system.

Adopt:
Meaning: to choose or take as your own
Use in sentence: Dr Kennedy has been adopted as the party’s candidate for South Cambridge.

Alleged:
Meaning: said or thought by some people to be the stated bad or illegal thing
Use in sentence: It took 15 years for the alleged criminals to prove their innocence.

Accused:
Meaning: the person who is on trial in a court or the people on trial in a court
Use in sentence: The accused protested her innocence.

Suspected:
Meaning: to think or believe something to be true or probable
Use in sentence: So far, the police do not suspect foul play.

Bear:
Meaning: to accept, tolerate or endure especially something unpleasant
Use in sentence: It’s your decision – you must bear the responsibility if things go wrong.

Borne:
Meaning: past participle of bear
Use in sentence: The weight was more than could be borne by a lone man

Born:
Meaning: brought into life by birth
Use in sentence: She was born in 1950.

Raise:
Meaning: to lift something to a higher position
Use in sentence: Would all those in favor please raise their hands?

Rise:
Meaning: to move upwards
Use in sentence: New buildings are rising throughout the city.

Raze:
Meaning: to completely destroy a city, building, etc
Use in sentence: The town was razed to the ground in the bombing raid – not a building was left standing.

Smell:
Meaning: to have a particular quality that others can notice with their noses
Use in sentence: That cake smells good.

Stink:
Meaning: to smell very unpleasant
Use in sentence: The woman next to me sprayed on some perfume and stank up the whole shop

Scent:
Meaning: a pleasant natural smell
Use in sentence: The scent of roses

Least:
Meaning: less than anything or anyone else; the smallest amount or number
Use in sentence: This group is the least likely of the four to win.

Less:
Meaning: a smaller amount (of); not so much, or to a smaller degree
Use in sentence: We must try to spend less money.

Lest:
Meaning: in order to prevent any possibility that something will happen
Use in sentence: They were afraid to complain about the noise lest they annoyed the neighbors.

Quiet:
Meaning: making very little noise
Use in sentence: It’s so quiet without the kids here.

Quite:
Meaning: a little or a lot but not completely
Use in sentence: I’m quite tired but I can certainly walk a little further.

Their:
Meaning: of or belonging to them
Use in sentence: He gave them their coats.

There:
Meaning: that place
Use in sentence: Put the chair there.

They’re:
Meaning: they are
Use in sentence: They’re so annoying.



English (Précis and Composition) 1991




Access:
Meaning: the method or possibility of getting near to a place or person, or the right to use or look at something
Use in sentence: The only access to the village is by boat.

Excess:
Meaning: an amount which is more than acceptable, expected or reasonable
Use in sentence: An excess of enthusiasm is not always a good thing.

Ascent:
Meaning: when someone or something climbs or moves upwards
Use in sentence: As the plane made its ascent, we saw thick smoke coming from one engine.

Accent:
Meaning: the way in which people in a particular area, country or social group pronounce words
Use in sentence: He’s got a strong Scottish accent.

Resources:

Meaning: a useful or valuable possession or quality of a country, organization or person
Use in sentence: The country’s greatest resource is the dedication of its workers.

Recourse:
Meaning: using something or someone as a way of getting help, especially in a difficult or dangerous situation
Use in sentence: It is hoped that the dispute will be settled without recourse to litigation.

Weather:
Meaning: the conditions in the air above the Earth such as wind, rain or temperature, especially at a particular time over a particular area
Use in sentence: The weather in the hills can change very quickly, so take suitable clothing.

Whether:

Meaning: if, or not
Use in sentence: I wasn’t sure whether you’d like it. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Premier:
Meaning: best or most important
Use in sentence: He’s one of the nation’s premier scientists.

Premiere:
Meaning: the first public performance of a play or any other type of entertainment
Use in sentence: The world premiere of the opera will be at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

Ingenious:
Meaning: very clever and skillful
Use in sentence: She was ingenious at finding ways to work more quickly.

Ingenuous:
Meaning: honest, sincere and trusting/ showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness
Use in sentence: It has to be said it was rather ingenuous of him to ask a complete stranger to look after his luggage. (Pair Repeated: 5)

Facilitate:
Meaning: to make possible or easier
Use in sentence: The current structure does not facilitate efficient work flow.

Felicitate:
Meaning: to wish happiness to; congratulate
Use in sentence: Asian medal winners to be felicitated next Sunday. (Pair Repeated: 2)

Conscious:
Meaning: to notice that a particular thing or person exists or is present
Use in sentence: I think she’s very conscious of being the only person in the office who didn’t have a university education.

Conscientious:
Meaning: putting a lot of effort into your work/ controlled by or done according to conscience
Use in sentence: She has always been a very conscientious worker.

Disease:
Meaning: illness of people, animals, plants, etc.
Use in sentence: Starvation and diseases have killed thousands of refugees.

Decease:
Meaning: a person’s death
Use in sentence: The house will not be yours till after your mother’s decease. (Pair Repeated: 1)



English (Précis and Composition) 1992




Ascent:
Meaning: when someone or something climbs or moves upwards
Use in sentence: As the plane made its ascent, we saw thick smoke coming from one engine.

Assent:
Meaning: official agreement to or approval of an idea, plan or request
Use in sentence: Once the directors have given their assent to the proposal we can begin. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Ballot:
Meaning: a system or occasion of secret voting
Use in sentence: They decided to hold a ballot.

Ballet:
Meaning: a type of dancing where carefully organized movements tell a story or express an idea
Use in sentence: By the age of fifteen he had already composed his first ballet.

Corps:
Meaning: a military unit trained to perform particular duties
Use in sentence: The EU could set up the “external action service,” a kind of EU diplomatic corps.

Corpse:
Meaning: a dead body, usually of a person
Use in sentence: In the morning they found his corpse on the ground.

Due:
Meaning: expected to happen, arrive, etc. at a particular time
Use in sentence: The next meeting is due to be held in three months’ time.

Dew:
Meaning: drops of water that form on the ground and other surfaces outside during the night
Use in sentence: There was moderate dew on the grass.

Diary:
Meaning: a book with a separate space or page for each day, in which you write down your future arrangements, meetings, etc., or one used to record your thoughts and feelings or what has happened on that day
Use in sentence: Don’t forget to write the date of the meeting in your diary.

Dairy:
Meaning: A commercial establishment for processing or selling milk and milk products.
Use in sentence: Dairy farm may be supplied by water from a nearby spring.

Momentary:
Meaning: lasting for a very short time
Use in sentence: Be careful not to make even momentary short circuits with metal tools.

Momentous:
Meaning: very important because of effects on future events
Use in sentence: Whether or not to move overseas was a momentous decision for the family. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Route:
Meaning: a particular way or direction between places
Use in sentence: The route we had planned took us right across Greece.

Rout:
Meaning: to defeat an enemy completely and force them to run away
Use in sentence: The Russian chess team has routed all the rest.

Veil:
Meaning: a piece of thin material worn by women to cover the face or head
Use in sentence: The women wore black veils which covered all but their eyes.

Vale:
Meaning: used in the name of some valleys
Use in sentence: The Vale of Evesham


English (Précis and Composition) 1993



Queue:
Meaning: a line of people, usually standing or in cars, waiting for something
Use in sentence: There was a long queue of traffic stretching down the road.

Cue:
Meaning: a signal for someone to do something
Use in sentence: They started washing up, so that was our cue to leave the party.

Differ:
Meaning: to be not like something or someone else, either physically or in another way
Use in sentence: The twins look alike, but they differ in temperament.

Defer:
Meaning: to delay something until a later time; to postpone
Use in sentence: My bank has agreed to defer the repayments on my loan while I’m still a student. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Conscious:
Meaning: to notice that a particular thing or person exists or is present
Use in sentence: I think she’s very conscious of being the only person in the office who didn’t have a university education.

Conscience:
Meaning: the part of you that judges how moral your own actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done
Use in sentence: You didn’t do anything wrong – you should have a clear conscience.

Confidant:
Meaning: a person you trust and share your feelings and secrets with
Use in sentence: Within a few short years he was a trusted confidant.

Confidante:
Meaning: a woman or girl confidant
Use in sentence: Within a few short years he was a trusted confidant.

Atheist:
Meaning: someone who believes that God or gods do not exist
Use in sentence: I know an atheist who says ‘ Oh god!

Agnostic:
Meaning: someone who does not know, or believes that it is impossible to know, whether a god exists
Use in sentence: Although he was raised a Catholic, he was an agnostic for most of his adult life.

Loose:
Meaning: not firmly fixed in place
Use in sentence: There were some loose wires hanging out of the wall.

Lose:
Meaning: to no longer have something because you do not know where it is, or because it has been taken away from you
Use in sentence: I’ve lost my ticket.

Briefing:
Meaning: information that is given to someone just before they do something or a meeting where this happens
Use in sentence: They received thorough briefing before they left the country.

Debriefing:
Meaning: to question someone in detail about work they have done for you
Use in sentence: The pilots were thoroughly debriefed after every mission.

Dual:
Meaning: with two parts, or combining two things
Use in sentence: This room has a dual purpose, serving as both a study and a dining room.

Duel:
Meaning: a formal fight in the past, using guns or swords, arranged between two people as a way of deciding an argument
Use in sentence: The composer Strauss was once challenged to a duel.

Compliment:
Meaning: remark that expresses approval, admiration or respect
Use in sentence: I take it as a compliment when people say I look like my mother.

Complement:
Meaning: to make something else seem better or more attractive when combining with it
Use in sentence: The music complements her voice perfectly. (Pair Repeated: 4)


English (Précis and Composition) 1994

All:
Meaning: every one (of), or the complete amount or number (of), or the whole (of)
Use in sentence: All animals have to eat in order to live.

Awl:
Meaning: a small, pointed tool for making holes in wood, leather, etc.
Use in sentence: That awl causes loud noise.

Boy:
Meaning: a male child
Use in sentence: As a young boy, my father used to walk three miles to school.

Buoy:
Meaning: a floating object on the top of the sea, which is used for directing ships and warning them of possible danger
Use in sentence: The zones for swimming and the zones for water sports are clearly marked by buoys.

Fallow:
Meaning: describes land that is not planted with crops, in order to improve the quality of the soil
Use in sentence: Farmers are eligible for government support if they let a certain amount of land lie fallow.

Fellow:
Meaning: describes someone who has the same job or interests as you, or is in the same situation as you
Use in sentence: She introduced me to some of her fellow students.

Jewry:
Meaning: all the Jews
Use in sentence: Dr. Lisa is an expert of Latin American Jewry.

Jury:
Meaning: a group of people who have been chosen to listen to all the facts in a trial in a law court and to decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty
Use in sentence: Police officers aren’t usually allowed to be on a jury.

Functional:
Meaning: designed to be practical and useful rather than attractive
Use in sentence: Project work is used to integrate material and make knowledge functional.

Dysfunctional:
Meaning: not behaving or working normally
Use in sentence: The craftsman is likely to seem dysfunctional in a culture of innovation and change.

Yew:
Meaning: an evergreen tree with flat leaves like needles and small red cones, or the wood from this tree
Use in sentence: There is little sound except for the breeze stirring in the churchyard yew trees.

Eue:
Meaning: Unable to find this word in dictionaries
Use in sentence: An eue passed in his life which made him dull for an year.

Allusive:
Meaning: containing a lot of allusions
Use in sentence: Her music is allusive.

Elusive:
Meaning: difficult to describe, find, achieve or remember
Use in sentence: The answers to these questions remain as elusive as ever.

Ladylike:
Meaning: graceful, controlled and behaving in a way that is socially acceptable for a woman
Use in sentence: Laura is very ladylike and elegant.

Ladyship:
Meaning: a respectful way of referring to or talking to a woman or girl who has the rank of a peer or knight without using her title
Use in sentence: We are honored to welcome your ladyship here tonight.



English (Précis and Composition) 1996




Altogether:
Meaning: completely or in total
Use in sentence: The government ought to abolish the tax altogether.

All together:
Meaning: all at the same time
Use in sentence: The last time we were all together was in 1999.

Ambiguous:
Meaning: having or expressing more than one possible meaning, sometimes intentionally
Use in sentence: His reply to my question was somewhat ambiguous.

Ambivalent:
Meaning: having two opposing feelings at the same time, or being uncertain about how you feel
Use in sentence: I felt very ambivalent about leaving home.

Appraise:
Meaning: to examine someone or something in order to judge their qualities, success or needs
Use in sentence: At the end of each teaching practice, trainee teachers are asked to appraise their own performance.

Apprise:
Meaning: to tell someone about something
Use in sentence: The President has been apprised of the situation. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Bad:
Meaning: unpleasant; causing difficulties or harm
Use in sentence: Our holiday was spoiled by bad weather.

Badly:
Meaning:
 in a severe and harmful way
Use in sentence: She was badly affected by the events in her childhood.

Compare:
Meaning: to examine or look for the difference between two or more things
Use in sentence: If you compare house prices in the two areas, it’s quite amazing how different they are.

Contrast:
Meaning: an obvious difference between two or more things
Use in sentence: The antique furnishing provides an unusual contrast to the modernity of the building.

Deduce:

Meaning: to reach an answer or a decision by thinking carefully about the known facts
Use in sentence: We cannot deduce very much from these figures.

Imply:
Meaning: to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly
Use in sentence: I detected an implied criticism of the way he was treated.

Differ from:
Meaning: to be not like something or someone else, either physically or in another way
Use in sentence: His views differ considerably from those of his parents.

Differ with:
Meaning: to disagree
Use in sentence: I beg to differ with you on that point.

Farther:
Meaning: to a greater distance
Use in sentence: The fog’s so thick, I can’t see farther than about ten meters.

Further:
Meaning: to a greater distance or degree; at a more advanced level
Use in sentence: We discussed the problem but we didn’t get much further in actually solving it.



English (Précis and Composition) 1998




Occlude:
Meaning: to close, shut, or block
Use in sentence: I try to set the end distance (at which the fog totally occludes everything) no lower than 4000.

Occult:
Meaning: relating to magical powers and activities, such as those of witchcraft and astrology
Use in sentence: She claims to have occult powers, given to her by some mysterious spirit.

Practical:
Meaning: relating to experience, real situations or actions rather than ideas or imagination
Use in sentence: Qualifications are important but practical experience is always an advantage.

Practicable:
Meaning: able to be done or put into action
Use in sentence: The troops will be brought home as soon as practicable.

Raze:
Meaning: to completely destroy a city, building, etc
Use in sentence: The town was razed to the ground in the bombing raid – not a building was left standing.

Raise:
Meaning: to lift something to a higher position
Use in sentence: Would all those in favor please raise their hands? (Pair Repeated: 1)

Canon:
Meaning: a Christian priest with special duties in a cathedral
Use in sentence: He was first appointed as a residentiary canon and only became Chancellor after several years with us.

Cannon:
Meaning: a large, mounted piece of artillery; sometimes, specif., a large gun with a relatively short barrel, as a howitzer
Use in sentence: Instead of eight machine guns, it now had twelve, or four 20mm cannon. (Pair Repeated: 1)

Avenge:

Meaning: to do harm to or punish the person responsible for something bad done to you
Use in sentence: He swore he would avenge his brother’s death.

Revenge:
Meaning: harm done to someone as a punishment for harm that they have done to someone else
Use in sentence: He is believed to have been shot by a rival gang in revenge for the shootings last week.

Caret:
Meaning: a mark (‸) used in writing or in correcting proof, to show where something is to be inserted
Use in sentence: Some screen readers use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify.

Carat:
Meaning: a unit for measuring the weight of jewels
Use in sentence: 24-carat gold is the purest.

Revel:
Meaning: to separate the parts, esp. threads
Use in sentence: The road raveled rapidly and became merely a pile of loose stones.

Reveal:
Meaning: to make known or show something that is surprising or that was previously secret
Use in sentence: He was jailed for revealing secrets to the Russians.

Aviary:
Meaning: a large cage or closed space in which birds are kept as pets
Use in sentence: I have an aviary with 17 birds.

Apiary:
Meaning: a place where people keep bees, especially a collection of hives kept to provide honey
Use in sentence: I once visited an apiary where there were numerous cardboard boxes scattered around.

Demesne:
Meaning: possession of real property in one’s own right.
Use in sentence: The manor of Melbourne was part of the ancient demesne of the crown.

Demean:
Meaning: to cause someone to become less respected
Use in sentence: The entire family was demeaned by his behavior.

 

Vocabulary

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