TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 34 - Passion

Target Words

1. complex

2. despondent

3. devotion

4. dilemma

5. engender

6. loyal

7. passion

8. proliferation

9. reciprocity

10. vanish

Definitions and Samples

1. complex adj. Not simple; involving many parts that work together

A modern car engine is too complex for most car owners to repair by themselves.

Parts of speech complexity n


2. despondent adj. Extremely sad and without hope for the future

After his girlfriend left him, Johnson was despondent and wouldn’t talk to anyone.


3. devotion n. A willingness to keep supporting someone you admire

Grant showed great devotion to his wife, supporting her during her long illness.

Usage tips: Devotion is often followed by a to phrase.

Parts of speech devote v, devotee n


4. dilemma n. A difficult choice between two things

I was caught in a dilemma between traveling by airplane and taking a train, which is slower but more comfortable.


5. engender v. To bring into being; to cause to exist

The government’s warnings about terrorism engendered fear throughout the nation.

Usage tips: Engender is often followed by a noun for an emotion.


6. loyal adj. Faithful

Carter was loyal to his girlfriend and would not date anyone else.

Usage tips: Loyal is often followed by a to phrase.

Parts of speech loyalty n, loyally adv


7. passion n. An extremely strong emotion, like love or anger

Debbie complained that there was no passion in her marriage.

Parts of speech passionate adj, passionately adv


8. proliferation n. An increase in the number of something and in the number of places it can be found

The proliferation of fast-food restaurants has made it harder for Americans to eat healthy lunches.

Usage tips: Proliferation is very often followed by an of phrase.

Parts of speech proliferate v


9. reciprocity n. Doing as much for another as he or she has done for you

Dan was giving a lot of attention to Kelly, but he felt no reciprocity in their relationship.

Parts of speech reciprocate v, reciprocal adj


10. vanish v. To disappear suddenly When the sun came out, last night’s light snowfall vanished.


TOEFL Prep I

Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column.

1. complex (a) an easy choice

2. dilemma (b) simple

3. loyal (c) a decrease

4. proliferation (d) appear

5. vanish (e) unfaithful



TOEFL Prep II

Choose the word from the list that is closest in meaning to the underlined part of each sentence.


despondent devotion to engender passion reciprocity


1. In a good relationship, there is a lot of give and take.

2. Mr. Foster’s strong love for teaching makes him successful.

3. Rhonda was extremely sad after the death of her cat.

4. Sometimes, a small characteristic, like a nice smile, can cause love.

5. My continuing support for the candidate is based on my admiration for her.



TOEFL Success

Read the passage to review the new vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.


Perhaps no emotion is more complex than passion. Passion can show itself in a negative way as a burst of anger, or in a more pleasant way, as love. Passion can engender blind devotion for a lover or plunge a person into despondent misery if he or she feels a lack of reciprocity in the relationship. Passion and love cause innumerable dilemmas, and people constantly seek out ways to understand these emotions, as evidenced by 168 Relationships the proliferation of articles, books, talk shows, and Web pages devoted to relationships. Many of these forums have loyal followings and have become cultural fixtures. The endless flow of information and opinions about the complex situations aroused by passion will probably not vanish anytime soon.


1. According to this article, which statement about passion is true?

a. It can have good or bad effects.

b. It can be easily explained.

c. It helps people decide what to do.

d. It is irrational.


2. According to the reading, why are there so many books and other works about passion?

a. because people want a lot of advice about love

b. because many people want to write about their own passion

c. because reading about passion is relaxing

d. because passion can also show itself as a burst of anger

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