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TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 35 - Negative Emotions

Target Words

1. antipathy

2. arrogantly

3. berate

4. contemptuous

5. despise

6. humiliation

7. obnoxious

8. shame

9. stigmatize

10. vitriolic

Definitions and Samples

1. antipathy n. A strong, long-lasting negative feeling

My antipathy toward telemarketers is so strong that I am often rude to them.

Usage tips Antipathy is often followed by a toward phrase.

2. arrogantly adv. In a way that shows a high opinion of oneself and a low opinion of others Jenny told us about her party only one day in advance, arrogantly thinking we had nothing else to do.

Parts of speech arrogance n, arrogant adj

3. berate v. To say insulting and disrespectful things

The teacher lost his job because he cruelly berated students who made mistakes.

Usage tips You can only berate someone directly—only when he or she can hear you.

4. contemptuous n. Having no respect

Most scientists are contemptuous of reports that aliens from outer space have landed on the Earth.

Usage tips A very common structure is be contemptuous of.

Parts of speech contempt n, contemptible adj, contemptuously adv

5. despise v. Hate very much

Tom grew to despise his greedy and unfriendly boss.

6. humiliation n. An event that causes someone to feel that she or he has lost the respect of others

Losing the chess tournament was a great humiliation for Marie, and she never played chess again.

Parts of speech humiliate v

7. obnoxious adj. Bothersome; doing small things that others don’t like

My obnoxious neighbor keeps talking to me while I’m trying to read in my backyard.

Parts of speech obnoxiously adv

8. shame n. Dishonor because one has done something wrong

Feeling deep shame because of their son’s crimes, the Ford family moved to a different town. Usage tips Shame is often followed by an of or about phrase.

Parts of speech shame v, shameful adj, ashamed adj, shamefully adv

9. stigmatize v. To mark with a visible feature that makes other people think, perhaps incorrectly, that someone or something is wrong

Cadbury’s beard and tattoos stigmatized him as a bad match for Wall Street, so he couldn’t find work as a financial analyst.

Parts of speech stigma n

10. vitriolic adj. Showing an extreme, hateful anger

The mayor’s vitriolic attacks against the city council only made him sound unreasonable. Usage tips The origin of vitriolic is “vitriol,” a strong chemical that could cause painful burns.


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

1. arrogantly (a) very bitter and hurtful

2. berate (b) to criticize and insult

3. humiliation (c) annoying

4. obnoxious (d) too proudly

5. vitriolic (e) embarrassment


Choose the word that best completes each sentence. Be careful: Many words in this chapter are very close in meaning to each other.

Pay attention to small details in order to choose the best.

1. As a teenager, Dean did a lot of stupid things that he now feels (humiliation / shame) about.

2. Many foreigners feel that their appearance (stigmatizes / despises) them in this country.

3. Because the president was (obnoxious / contemptuous) of France’s opinion long ago, the French are not eager to help him now.

4. Mark (despises / berates) Henry and refuses to see him at all.

5. Turkey’s historic (antipathy / shame) toward Greece may be softening with the new generation.

TOEFL Success

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

Some radio talk show hosts are masters of obnoxious insults. Callers to such shows should be prepared for humiliation if they dare to disagree with the host’s views. The host controls whether the caller can speak, so he can arrogantly berate the caller without allowing the caller to respond. Some shows, especially on AM radio, have hosts who are contemptuous of nearly everyone. They regularly use vitriolic language to stigmatize whole groups of people, such as foreigners, liberals, gays, or women. Some hosts don’t actually despise the groups they insult. They simply use antipathy as a form of entertainment, and they seem to feel no shame about the damage they do.

1. Which phrase best describes the author’s point of view?

a. The author enjoys listening to radio talk shows.

b. The author believes talk shows can cause damage.

c. The author thinks talk show hosts are disturbing but honest.

d. The author argues that hosts are ordinary people just doing their jobs.

2. Which people are often berated on radio talk shows, according to the author?

a. hosts

b. callers

c. listeners

d. advertisers

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