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Word Power: How Do Others See You?

The confidence you project hugely affects how others perceive you. Test yourself on these words about proof, opinion, and even doubt.

1. What does “waffle” mean?

A: flip-flop in opinion
B: press a point firmly
C: invent a wild story

1. Waffle

[A] a flip-flop in opinion. Quit waffling: Goobers or Raisinets?!

Next: Conjecture

2. What does “conjecture” mean?

A: group agreement
B: guess
C: optimistic outlook

2. Conjecture

[B]: guess. Whether this ladder can reach that roof’s gutter is anyone’s conjecture.

Next: Equivocal

3. What does “equivocal” mean?

A: open to interpretations
B: firmly settled
C: in the form of a question

3. Equivocal

[A]: open to interpretations. The umpire gestured, but his meaning was equivocal.

Next: Corroborate

4. What does “corroborate” mean?

A: support with evidence
B: steal another’s ideas
C: pretend to be sure

4. Corroborate

[A]: Support with evidence. “I can corroborate Amy’s excuse,” her mom said. “here’s what’s left of her homework after Rufus got to it.”

Next: Allegation

5. What does “allegation” mean?

A: proof
B: suspicion
C: claim

5. Allegation

[C]: claim. Please don’t believe the wild allegations that Adrienne is making about me.

Next: Precarious

6. What does “precarious” mean?

A: false
B: depending on uncertain circumstances
C: having foreknowledge

6. Precarious

[B]: depending on uncertain circumstances. Everyone’s job is precarious.

Next: Expound

7. What does “expound” mean?

A: take back
B: carefully state
C: contradict

7. Expound

[B]: carefully state. On the first day of school, Alex’s teacher expounded on the basics of physics to a befuddled classroom.

Next: Intuition

8. What does “intuition” mean?

A: instinctive knowledge
B: formal teaching
C: logical paradox

8. Intuition

[A]: instinctive knowledge. A good private eye trusts her intuition on a case.

Next: Indubitably

9. What does “indubitably” mean?

A: certainly
B: doubtfully
C: deceitfully

9. Indubitably

[A]: certainly. “These footprints, Watson,” said Sherlock Holmes, “indubitably belong to the butler!”

Next: Bona fide

10. What does “bona fide” mean?

A: with high hopes
B: genuine
C: in contention

10. Bona fide

[B]: genuine. Yet again, our AA baseball team is starting the season without a bona fide shortstop.

Next: Nebulous

11. What does “nebulous” mean?

A: vague
B: all-knowing
C: making a breakthrough

11. Nebulous

[A]: vague. The point of practicing seemed nebulous to Jill until the recital started.

Next: Surmise

12. What does “surmise” mean?

A: sum up
B: suppose on limited evidence
C: apply logic

12. Surmise

[B]: suppose on limited evidence. From your white mustache, I surmise that you’ve been drinking my milk.

Next: Spurious

13. What does “spurious” mean?

A: sharply worded
B: false or deceitful
C: impossible to refute

13. Spurious

[B]: false or deceitful. Tom Sawyer played hooky using a spurious note from the doctor.

Next: Tentative

14. What does “tentative” mean?

A: forceful
B: all-inclusive
C: hesitant

14. Tentative

[C]: hesitant. An infant’s first steps are always tentative and awkward.

Next: Apocryphal

15. What does “apocryphal” mean?

A: mathematical or scientific
B: not fully developed
C: of doubtful authenticity

15. Apocryphal

[C]: doubtful authenticity. Jake gave an apocryphal story about having to tough it out at summer camp.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest