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English Grammar

One Word Substitution

In this blog we will be discussing about the one-word substitutions.

Root Words

The best way is to learn with root words. Root Words are the word having certain meaning from which various words have been derived. Also, we will keep it Alphabetical to make it easier to learn.

1) Ager = a field

  1. Agriculture- Farming, cultivation, tillage etc.
  2. Agrarian- Agricultural, rural, countryside etc.

2) Ago, actus = do

  1. Agent- Representative, negotiator, medium etc.
  2. Agile- Nimble, lithe, spry etc.
  3. Active- Mobile, energetic, agile etc.
  4. Actor- Performer, player, artist etc.

3) Alius = another

  1. Alien-Foreign, extra-terrestrial, unknown etc.
  2. Aliquot- A portion of a larger whole, especially a sample taken for chemical analysis or other treatment.
  3. Alias- Used to indicate that a named person is also known or more familiar under another specified name.
  4. Alibi- A claim or piece of evidence.

4) Amo = love

  1. Amiable- Friendly, affable, amicable etc.
  2. Amateur- Non-professional, layman, dilettante etc.
  3. Amorous- Ardent, passionate, romantic etc.
  4. Inimical- Harmful, injurious, detrimental etc.

5) Annus = a year

  1. Annual- Occurring once every year.
  2. Biennial- Taking place every other year.
  3. Perennial- Everlasting, perpetual, eternal etc.

6) Appello = call

  1. Appeal- Call, plead, beg etc.
  2. Repeal- Revoke, rescind, cancel etc.

7) Bellum=war

  1. Belligerent- Hostile, aggressive, bellicose etc.
  2. Rebel- Revolutionary, insurgent, agitator etc.
  3. Rebellious- Defiant, disobedient, rebel etc.

8) Bene = well

  1. Benefit- Good, sake, interest etc.
  2. Benevolent- Kind, kindly, gracious etc.
  3. Benefactor- Patron, supporter, sponsor etc.

9) Brevis = short

  1. Brevity- Shortness, compactness, compression etc.
  2. Abbreviate- Shorten, reduce, cut etc.
  3. Abridge- Shorten, cut, curtail etc.

10) Candeo = shine

  1. Candle- Wax-light
  2. Candid- Frank, outspoken, blunt etc.
  3. Candour- Frankness, openness, honesty etc.
  4. Incandescent- White-hot, burning, blazing etc.

11) Caput, capitis = the head

  1. Capital- Metropolis, money, funds etc.
  2. Decapitate- Having had the head cut off.
  3. Captain- Commander, master, skipper etc.ssc cgl offer

12) Cedo, cessum = go, yield

  1. Concede- Admit, acknowledge, accept etc.
  2. Proceed- Begin, move, act etc.
  3. Accede-Agree to a demand, request, or treaty.

13) Centum = a hundred

  1. Cent- A monetary unit.
  2. Century- A period of hundred years.
  3. Centipede- A predatory myriapod invertebrate.

14) Cerno, cretus = distinguish

  1. Discern- Perceive, detect, recognise etc.
  2. Discreet- Careful, circumspect, cautious etc.

15) Clamo = shout

  1. Clamour- Din, racket, uproar etc.
  2. Claim- Assert, declare, profess etc.
  3. Exclaim-Cry, declare, shout etc.

16) Cor, cordis = the heart

  1. Core- Central, key, basic etc.
  2. Cordial- Friendly, warm, genial etc.
  3. Concord- Agreement, harmony, accord etc.
  4. Discord- Strife, conflict, friction etc.
  5. Accord- Give, grant, tender etc.
  6. Courage- Bravery, valour, audacity etc.

17) Corpus = the body

  1. Corpse- A dead body, cadaver, carcass etc.
  2. Corps- Unit, division, section etc.
  3. Corporation- Company, firm, business etc.
  4. Corpulent- Fat, obese, plump etc.

18) Culpa = a fault

  1. Culprit- Offender, criminal, malefactor etc.
  2. Culpable- Guilty, blameworthy, answerable etc.

19) Cura = care

  1. Curator- Custodian, keeper, caretaker etc.
  2. Sincere- Heartfelt, profound, deep etc.
  3. Accurate- Correct, precise, exact etc.
  4. Secure- Certain, assured, reliable etc.
  5. Incurable- Untreatable, inoperable, fatal etc.

20) Doceo, doctus = teach

  1. Docile- Compliant, obedient, pliant etc.
  2. Doctrine- Creed, belief, dogma etc.

21) Dominus = a lord

  1. Dominion- Supremacy, dominance, authority etc.
  2. Dominant-Presiding, ruling, governing etc.

22) Duco, ductus = lead

  1. Adduce- Cite, quote, name etc.
  2. Conduit- Channel, duct, pipe etc.
  3. Product- Result, consequence, outcome etc.
  4. Education- Teaching, schooling, pedagogy etc.

23) Facio = make

  1. Fabric- Cloth, material, textile etc.
  2. Counterfeit- Fake, feigned, bogus etc.
  3. Manufacture-Make, produce, build etc.

24) Fido = trust

  1. Confide- Reveal, disclose, divulge etc.
  2. Infidel-Unbeliever, heretic, agnostic etc.
  3. Defy- Disobey, flout, disregard etc.

25) Finis = an end

  1. Finite-Limited, restricted, definable etc.
  2. Infinite-Boundless, limitless, unfathomed etc.
  3. Confine- Enclose, incarcerate, imprison etc.

26) Fortis = strong

  1. Fort- Fortress, castle, citadel etc.
  2. Fortress- Fort, castle, citadel etc.
  3. Fortify- Secure, protect, surround etc.
  4. Fortitude- Courage, bravery, resilience etc.
  5. Reinforce-Strenghthen, fortify, toughen etc.

27) Frango, fractus = break

  1. Fragment- Piece, bit, particle etc.
  2. Fragile- Breakable, brittle, weak etc.
  3. Fraction- Fragment, snippet, modicum etc.
  4. Infringe- Contravene, violate, transgress etc.

28) Frons, frontis = forehead

  1. Front-Forepart, fore, anterior etc.
  2. Affront-Insult, offence, indignity etc.
  3. Frontier- Border, boundary, partition etc.
  4. Confront-Challenge, oppose, resist etc.

29) Fugio = flee

  1. Fugitive-Escapee, runaway, refugee etc.
  2. Refugee- Displaced person, escapee, fugitive etc.
  3. Refuge-Shelter, protection, safety etc.
  4. Subterfuge- Trickery, intrigue, deceit etc.

30) Fundus = the bottom

  1. Found- Establish, initiate, set up etc.
  2. Foundation- Base, foot, substructure etc.
  3. Profound- Intense, heartfelt, deep, acute etc.
  4. Fundamental-Basic, primary, rudimentary etc.
  5. Founder-A person who manufactures articles of cast metal..

1.  Root word ‘mania’: The word mania means a very strong interest in something that fills a person’s mind or uses up all their time. Let us look at some of the words with mania:

A.    Kleptomania: A recurrent urge to steal, typically without regard for need or profit.
B.    Hypomania: A state of increased energy, exhilaration, and irritability commonly associated with bipolar disorder.
C.    Theomania: A delusion that one has become God.
D.    Graphomania: Extreme obsession with writing.

2.  Root word ‘phobia’ (Meaning- fear): Let us look at some of the one-word substitutions from this. Some of the words with Phobia:

A. Acrophobia: extreme or irrational fear of heights
B. Claustrophobia: an irrational and intense fear of tight or crowded spaces
C. Hydrophobia: fear of water
D. Ophidiophobia: fear of snake    

3.  Root word ‘cracy’: denoting a particular form of government. Some of the words with cracy:

A.    Democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
B.    Monocracy: a system of government by one person only.
C.    Autocracy: a system of government by one person with absolute power.
D.    Plutocracy: government by the wealthy.

4.  Root word ‘Cide’: Meaning kill/murder. Some of the words with ‘cide’ are:

A.    Fratricide: the killing of one’s brother or sister.
B.    Patricide: the killing of one’s father.
C.    Infanticide: killing of a child/infant.
D.    Regicide: the action of killing a king.

5.  Root word ‘Logy’: denoting the study of something specific. Some of the words formed are:

A.    Apology: An acknowledgment for a failure or mistake.
B.    Biotechnology: The use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products.
C.    Cardiology: Study of the heart.
D.    Paleontology: the branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.

Likewise, there are hundreds and hundreds of root words forming one-word substitutions. Let us look at some of the words without any prefix or suffix as such:  

Sl. No One-word substitution Meaning of the one word
1. Honorary One who holds a post without any salary
2. Gullible One who is easily deceived
3. Patriarchy: A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
4. Thermometer An instrument to measure temperature
5. Chauffeur A person employed to drive a private or hired car
6. Pedestrian A person who travels on foot
7. Abbatoir A building where animals are killed for meat

Let us now answer some of the previous year questions from one-word substitutions to have clarity on the level of difficulty:

Direction: Select the most appropriate word which means the same as the group of words given. 

1. That cannot be approached easily

A. inevitable
B. invincible
C. inaccessible
D. inaudible

Explanation: Read the sentence and search for the hints that could match with the one-word. In this sentence, our hint is ‘approached’. We approach at something to use it or access it. So, the most suitable option is C i.e. inaccessible. Hence, option C is the correct answer.

Direction: (same as above):

2. Life history of a person written by the person himself.

A. Topography
B. Biography
C. Autobiography
D. Flexography

Explanation: When a person’s life history is written by another person, it is called a biography. When the person writes his/her life history by himself, it is called as an autobiography. So, the correct answer is option C.

3. A person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.

A.    Misanthrope
B.    Malicious
C.    Libertine
D.    Egocentric

Explanation: Anthropology is the study of humankind. ‘Anthrope’ is related to interests in humankind. So, the one who dislikes humankind must be a misanthrope. Hence, option A is correct.

Direction: In the following question, a sentence is given in bold followed by five alternatives. Choose the option which best describes the one-word alternative for emboldened sentence.

“A representative of one country in another commonwealth country”

A.    Ambassador
B.    High commissioner
C.    Diplomat
D.    Charge de’affairs
E.    None of these

•    Ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country. 
•    Diplomat is an official representing a country abroad. 
•    Charge de affairs is the one who heads an embassy. 
•    High commissioner an embassy of one Commonwealth country in another.
Hence, option B is correct.

Some example of One Word Substitution for “Individual Character/ Person/ People”

A critical judge of any art and craft ==> Connoisseur

Persons living at the same time==> Contemporaries

One who is recovering health after illness==> Convalescent

A girl/woman who flirts with man==> Coquette

A person who regards the whole world as his country==> Cosmopolitan

One who is a centre of attraction==> Cynosure

One who sneers at the beliefs of others==>  Cynic

A leader or orator who espoused the cause of the common people==> Demagogue

A person having a sophisticated charm==> Debonair

A leader who sways his followers by his oratory       => Demagogue

One who shows sustained enthusiastic action with unflagging vitality==> Indefatigable

Someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions==> Iconoclast

One who does not express himself freely==> Introvert

Who behaves without moral principles==> Immoral

A person who is incapable of being tampered with==> Impregnable

One who is unable to pay his debts==> Insolvent

A person who is mentally ill==> Lunatic

A person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society==> Misanthrope

Some example of One Word Substitution List for “Collection/ Group”

A group of things that have been hidden in a secret place   ==> Cache

A group of people, typically with vehicles or animals travelling together    ==> Caravan

A closed political meeting      ==> Caucus

An exclusive circle of people with a common purpose         ==> Clique

A group of followers hired to applaud at a performance      ==> Claque

A series of stars          ==> Constellation

A funeral procession  ==> Cortege

A group of worshippers         ==> Congregation

A herd or flock of animals being driven in a body     ==> Drove

A small fleet of ships or boats ==> Flotilla

A small growth of trees without underbrush ==> Grove

A community of people smaller than a village          ==> Hamlet

A group of cattle or sheep or other domestic mammals       ==> Herd

A large group of people         ==> Horde

Some example of One Word Substitutes List for “Research/ Profession”

The scientific study of the physiology, structure, genetics, ecology, distribution, classification, and economic importance of plants   ==> Botany

A person who draws or produces maps        ==> Cartographer

A person who writes beautiful writing          ==> Calligrapher

A person who composes the sequence of steps and moves for a performance of dance==> Choreographer

A person employed to drive a private or hired car    ==> Chauffeur

A person who introduces the performers or contestants in a variety show ==> Compere

A keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection       ==> Curator

The branch of biology concerned with cyclical physiological phenomena==> Chronobiology

A secret or disguised way of writing  ==> Cypher

The study of statistics ==> Demography

The use of the fingers and hands to communicate and convey ideas==> Dactylology

A person who sells and arranges cut flowers ==> Florist

Some example of One Word Substitution for “Spot/ Venue”

A collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people           ==> Archives

A large cage, building, or enclosure for keeping birds in       ==> Aviary

A building where animals are butchered       ==> Abattoir

A place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives          ==> Apiary

A building containing tanks of live fish of different species  ==> Aquarium

A place or scene of activity, debate, or conflict         ==> Arena

A collection of weapons and military equipment      ==> Arsenal

An institution for the care of people who are mentally ill    ==> Asylum

A hole or tunnel dug by a small animal, especially a rabbit, as a dwelling    ==> Burrow

A collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place==> Cache

A public room or building where gambling games are played==> Casino

Some example of One Word Substitution PDF for “Government/ Systems”

A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems==> Anarchy

A form of government in which power is held by the nobility          ==> Aristocracy

A system of government by one person with absolute power         ==> Autocracy

A self-governing country or region    ==> Autonomy

A system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives        ==> Bureaucracy

A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives       ==> Democracy

A state, society, or group governed by old people    ==> Gerontocracy

A state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens==> Kakistocracy

Government by new or inexperienced hands==> Neocracy

Government by the populace ==> Ochlocracy

Some example of One Word Substitution for “Fear/ Phobia”

An extreme or irrational fear of heights        ==> Acrophobia

An irrational fear of fresh air or drafts of air ==> Aerophobia

Fear of being egotistical, being alone or isolated      ==> Autophobia

A phobia of pain         ==> Algophobia

An abnormal fear of heights  ==> Altophobia

An emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat==> Anorexia

An extreme or irrational fear of open or public places         ==> Agoraphobia

An abnormal and persistent fear of depths   ==> Bathophobia

Fear or hatred of books          ==> Bibliophobia

Fear of ugliness and things that are ugly       ==> Cacophobia

A dislike of being in the centre           ==> Centrophobia

An extreme fear about beauty           ==> Cellophobia

Some example of One Word Substitution for “Murder/ Death”

A solemn procession, especially for a funeral           ==> Cortege

A poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead          ==> Elegy

A phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died    ==> Epitaph

Killing of one’s son or daughter         ==> Filicide

Destruction or abortion of a fetus     ==> Foeticide

Killing of one’s brother or sister         ==> Fratricide

Killing of a large group of people       ==> Genocide

Killing of one person by another        ==> Homicide

Killing of infants          ==> Infanticide

Burial of a corpse in a grave or tomb ==> Interment

Killing of one’s mother           ==> Matricide

Some example of One Word Substitution for “Sound”

The branch of physics concerned with the properties of sound       ==> Acoustics

The sound of Alligators          ==> Bellow

The sound of Deers     ==> Bell

The sound of Crows    ==> Caw

The sound of Geese    ==> Cackle

The sound of Hens      ==> Cluck

The sound of Dolphins           ==> Click

The sound of Frogs     ==> Croak

The sound of Crickets ==> Creak

The sound of Monkeys           ==> Gibber

Some example of One Word Substitution Related to “Generic Terms”

An act of abdicating or renouncing the throne         ==> Abdication

An annual calendar containing important dates and statistical information such as astronomical data and tide tables     ==> Almanac

A cold-blooded vertebrate animal that is born in water and breathes with gills==> Amphibian

A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one        ==> Allegory

A statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based==> Axiom

A nation or person engaged in war or conflict, as recognized by international law ==> Belligerent

An examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease==> Biopsy

The action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk      ==> Blasphemy

The arrangement of events or dates in the order of their occurrence==> Chronology

A vigorous campaign for political, social, or religious change==> Crusade

Lasting for a very short time  ==> Ephemeral

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