Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Definitions and Samples
1. adapt v. To adjust to the circumstances; to make suitable
Dinosaurs could not adapt to the warmer temperatures.
The teacher adapted the exercises for his more advanced students.
Usage tips Adapt is often followed by to.
Parts of speech adaptation n, adapter n, adaptable adj
2. diverse n. Various; showing a lot of differences within a group
India is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.
Usage tips An -ly adverb (e.g., linguistically) often comes before diverse.
Parts of speech diversify v, diversity n, diversification n
3. evolve v. To develop; to come forth
Modern-day sharks evolved from their ancestor Eryops, which lived more than 200 million years ago.
Usage tips Evolve is often followed by into or from.
Parts of speech evolution n, evolutionist n
4. feature n. Part, characteristic
The best feature of this car is its heated seats.
Usage tips Feature is often followed by of.
Parts of speech feature v
5. generation n. A group of people born at about the same time
As older managers retired, a new generation of leaders took control of the company.
Usage tips Before generation, an adjective like new, next, earlier, or older is common. Generation is often followed by of.
Parts of speech generational adj
6. inherent adj. Naturally characteristic; always found within something, because it’s a basic part of that thing
No job can be interesting all the time. Boredom is inherent in any kind of work.
Usage tips Inherent is often followed by in.
Parts of speech inherently adv
7. migration n. Movement from one place to another by a group of people or animals
The migration of farm workers from one state to the next depends primarily on the harvest.
Usage tips Migration is often followed by to or from.
Parts of speech migrate v, migrant n, migratory adj
8. physical adj. Related to the body; related to materials that can be seen or felt
Because of the shape of its throat, an ape does not have the physical ability to speak.
The mountains form a physical barrier between the west and the east.
Usage tips Physical usually comes before the noun it describes.
Parts of speech physically adv
9. process n. A series of steps leading to a result
To get a good job, most people go through a long process of letter writing and interviews.
Usage tips Process is often followed by of plus the -ing form of a verb.
Parts of speech proceed v, process v
10. survive v. To continue living (despite some danger or illness)
After getting lost in the mountains, Gordon survived by eating wild plants and catching fish.
Usage tips Survive is often followed by a phrase with by.
Parts of speech survivor n, survival n
TOEFL Prep I
Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.
physical (a) not an integral part
migration (b) stay the same
adapt (c) die
inherent (d) staying in one place
survive (e) mental
TOEFL Prep II
Choose the word from the list that is closest in meaning to the underlined part of each sentence. Write it in the blank.
diverse evolved generation process survive
1. Various languages are spoken on the Indian subcontinent.
2. Making bread involves a sequence of steps that takes about three hours.
3. Few sea turtles manage to live through their first year of life.
4. This age group tends to support current educational policies.
5. Her thinking about economics has changed slowly in the last several months.
Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.
The migration from Asia to North America across the Bering Strait (perhaps by land bridge) was a monumental event in human history. The process of overspreading the Americas took more than 1,000 years, or 30 generations. This might seem to confirm common sense—that slow travel was inherent in any great migration without wheeled vehicles across unknown terrain. Further thought shows that this process was remarkably fast—about 10 north-south miles per year, on average. The Americas were populated at an astounding pace, when one considers the physical limits of the human body and the physical features of the American continents. The legs of humans can move only so fast under the best of circumstances, and they work even slower over mountain passes or deserts. Populations spread through the diverse regions of the Americas (grasslands, eastern forests, coastal swamps) and needed to adapt to their new environments. The migrants’ lifestyle had evolved over the years to that of professional nomads ensuring that they would find the resources needed to survive.
Further thought means “looking deeper; thinking more.”
1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information in this passage?
a. Human migration across the Bering Strait was remarkably slow.
b. Physical limitations made migration across the Bering Strait almost impossible.
c. Humans readily adapted to life in the Bering Strait.
d. The migration through the Americas was surprisingly fast.
2. In this passage, the word monumental is closest in meaning to