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Word Power: Can You Match These Tricky Terms With Their Definitions?

Centuries of trade between Middle Eastern and European merchants brought more than silks and spices to the West. Find out how many of these words are in your vocabulary.

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Question Mark 3Photo: daizuoxin /

Lapis Lazuli

A: Breed of soft-haired rabbit
B: Gem-carving technique
C: Bright blue mineral

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Lapis lazuli rock on black backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Bright blue mineral

As in, “Yvonne’s necklace caught the eye with its lapis lazuli stones.”

Test your knowledge of these evocative adjectives.

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Question Mark 4Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Wild boar
B: Hard mass in a stomach
C: Navigational star chart

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word power test - Depressed dogPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Hard mass in a stomach

As in, “The veterinarian found the bezoar that had been causing José’s dog such pain.”

Find out the real reason there’s an “r” in Mrs.

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Question Mark 5Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Flour-based glue
B: Sun-dried bricks
C: Political advisor

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word power test - Adobe bricks drying in the sunPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Sun-dried bricks

As in, “Some of the streets in Timimoun, Algeria, are lined with adobe houses.”

Too easy? Try your hand at these Jeopardy! questions even champions got wrong.

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Question Mark 6Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Place that attracts people
B: Clay cooking pot
C: Magnetic north

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word power test - Mecca at nightPhoto: Shutterstock

Correct answer: A—Place that attracts people

As in, “Some Muslims take an annual trip to Mecca, the city where Muhammad was born, and some culture lovers take an annual trip to New York City, a mecca for the arts.”

Ready for another Word Power quiz? Take to the skies without leaving your chair by exploring these aviation terms.

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Question Mark 7Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Woven satchel
B: Vivid red
C: Youthful prince

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word power test - Carmine Photo: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Vivid red

As in, “In spring, Jasmine’s garden is full of carmine tulips.”

Can you pass this quiz of 4th grade science questions?

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Question Mark 8Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Oceanic bird of the family Diomedeidae
B: Saltwater fish species
C: Song lamenting the fall of a city

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word power test - Albatross on rock colonyPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Oceanic bird of the family Diomedeidae

As in, “‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ tells of a curse brought about when a sailor kills an albatross.”

Know your way around a kitchen? Test your knowledge of cooking terms.

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Question Mark 10Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Incense holder
B: Dried fruit used as a bath sponge
C: Cinnamon toothpaste

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word power test - Loofah on health matPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Dried fruit used as a bath sponge

As in, “Harry’s bathroom was stocked with fresh towels, a silk dressing gown and a loofah.”

You’ll never look at these palindrome words the same way again.

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Question Mark 11Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Footstool
B: Fragrant spice
C: Recessed area

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Reader's Digest Word Power - busts in alcovesPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Recessed area

As in, “A marble bust of Beethoven sat in an alcove in the living room.”

These printable crossword puzzles will give your brain a good workout.

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Question Mark 12Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Military officer who leads a death squad
B: Political deadlock
C: Direction of a celestial body from the observer

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Compass on mapPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Direction of a celestial body from the observer

As in, “To receive the most sunlight, a solar panel should take the sun’s azimuth into account.”

Can you pass this quiz of fourth grade spelling words?

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Question Mark 13Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Coded messaging
B: Gambling strategy
C: Freshwater dolphin

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Enigma machinePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Coded messaging

As in, “Many ciphers were created for the U.S. military during the Second World War, but the Navajo language proved one of the best methods of secret communication.”

How many of these baby terms can you define?

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Question Mark 14Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Citrus drink
B: Syrupy drink
C: Yogourt drink

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Mint julepPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Syrupy drink

As in, “The mint julep is the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.”

Think you’ve got an extensive vocabulary? Put it to the test with this quiz of ocean terms.

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Question Mark 15Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Instrument with two legs that measures dimensions
B: Hereditary religious leaders in Syria
C: Proportion of precious meals in an alloy

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CaliperPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Instrument with two legs that measures dimensions

As in, “While renovating the kitchen, Jillian used calipers to determine the size of her tiles.”

If you can get 80% of these tricky trivia questions right, you’re a certified genius.

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Question Mark 1Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Dark eyeliner made from wax
B: Substance containing a low concentration of hydrogen ions
C: Pointed nose

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Word power test - Worker use hands holding test tube with pH indicator comparing color to scale from water in shrimp pondPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Substance containing a low concentration of hydrogen ions

As in, “A solution with a pH higher than seven is said to be alkaline, or basic.”

Test your health IQ with this medical trivia quiz.

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Question Mark 2Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Person who sets fires
B: Deadly poison
C: Store of weapons

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Word power: Arsenal Photo: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Store of weapons

As in, “Nine countries in the world possess known nuclear arsenals.”

Can you answer these real Jeopardy! questions about words?

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Question Mark 9Photo: daizuoxin /


A: Twilight hour
B: Woven fabric with a reversible pattern
C: Persian Gulf sailing vessel

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Damask fabricPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Woven fabric with a reversible pattern

As in, “For the French doors, the decorator chose damask curtains that would photograph well from either side.”

If you aced this Reader’s Digest Word Power test, you’re ready to tackle our Canadian trivia quiz.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada