Word Knowledge

The word knowledge portion of the AFOQT measures verbal comprehension by testing your ability to understand written language. You are given 5 minutes to answer 25 questions. For each question you are to choose the answer that means the same as the capitalized word, e.g.:


(A) silent

(B) sour

(C) ornament

(D) talkative

(E) pleasing

Rather than spending your time memorizing hundreds or thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of words that may appear in this section of the test, familiarizing yourself with English prefixes, roots, and suffixes makes better use of your time – and ensures you’ll be prepared come test day!

Ohh, and the answer to the question is: (A), silent.


English Prefixes

ab-,a-,abs-away, without, fromabsent - away, not present
apathy - without interest
abstain - keep from doing, refrain
ad-to, towardadjacent - next to
address - to direct toward
ante-beforeantecedent - going before in time
anterior - occurring before
anti-againstantidote - remedy to act against an evil
antibiotic - substance that fights against bacteria
be-over, thoroughlybemoan - to mourn over
belabor - to exert much labor upon
bi-twobisect - to divide
biennial - happening every two years
cata-, cat-, cath-down, against, back, according tocatacombs - underground passageways
catalog - descriptive list
catheter - tubular medical device
circum-aroundcircumscribe - to draw a circle around
circumspect - watchful on all sides
com- withcombine - to join together
communication - to have dealings with
contra- againstcontrary - opposed
contrast - to stand in opposition
de- down, fromdecline - to bend downward
decontrol - to release from government control
di-twodichotomy - cutting in two
diarchy - system of government with two authorities
dis-, diapart, awaydiscern - to distinguish as separate
dismiss - to send away
digress - to turn aside
epi-, ep-, eph-upon, amongepidemic - happening among many people
epicycle - circle whose center moves round in the circumference of a greater circle
epaulet - decoration worn to ornament or protect the shoulder
ephedra - any large genus of desert shrubs
ex-, e-from, outexceed - go beyond the limit
emit - to send forth
extra-outside, beyondextraordinary - beyond or out of the common method
extrasensory - beyond the senses
hyper- beyond, overhyperactive - over the normal activity level
hypercritic - one who is critical beyond measure
hypo-beneath, lowerhypodermic - pertaining to parts beneath the skin
hypocrisy - to be under pretense of goodness
in-, il-, im-, ir-in, on, intoinstill - to put in slowly
illation - action of bringing in
impose - to lay on
irrupt - to break in
in-, il-, im-, ir-notinactive - not active
illogical - not logical
imperfect - not perfect
irreversible - not reversible
inter-, intra-among/between, withinintercom - to exchange conversations between people
interlude - performance given between parts in a play
intravenous - within a vein
intramural - within the walls, as of a town or university
meta-beyond, over, along withmetamorphosis- to change over in form or nature
metatarsus - part of the foot beyond the flat of the foot
mis-badly, wronglymisconstrue - to interpret wrongly
misappropriate - to use wrongly
mono-onemonogamy - to be married to one person at a time
monotone - a single, unvaried tone
multi-manymultiple - of many parts
multitude - a great number
non-no, notnonsense - lack of sense
nonentity - not existing
ob- againstobscene - offensive to modesty
obstruct - to hinder the passage of
para-, par-besideparallel - continuously at equal distance apart
parentheses - sentence or phrase inserted within a passage
per-throughpersevere - to maintain an effort
permeate - to pass through
poly-manypolygon - a plane figure with many sides or angles
polytheism - belief in the existence of many gods
post-afterposterior - coming after
postpone - to put off until a future time
pre-in favor of, forwardprolific - bringing forth offspring
project - throw or cast forward
re-back, againstreimburse - to pay back
retract - to draw back
semi-halfsemicircle - half circle
semiannual - half-yearly
sub-undersubdue - to bring under one's power
submarine - to travel under the surface of the sea
super-abovesupersonic - above the speed of sound
superior - higher in place or position
tele-, tel-acrosstelecast - to transmit across a distance
telepathy - communication between mind and mind at a distance
trans-acrosstranspose - to change the position of two things
transmit - to send from one person to another
ultra-beyondultraviolet - beyond the limit of visibility
ultramarine - beyond the sea
un-notundeclared - not declared
unbelievable - not believable
uni-oneunity - state of oneness
unison - sounding together
with-away, againstwithhold - to hold back
withdraw - to take away


English Roots

act, agdo, act, driveactivate - to make active
agile - having quick motion
althighaltitude - height
alto - highest male singing voice
alter, altrother, changealternative - choice between two things
altruism - living for the good of others
am. amilove, friendamiable - worthy of affection
amity - friendship
animmind, spiritanimated - spirited
animosity - violent hatred
annu, enniyearannual - every year
centennial - every hundred years
aquawateraquarium - tank for water animals and plants
aquamarine - semiprecious stone of sea-green color
archfirst, rulerarchenemy - chief enemy
archetype - original pattern from which things are copied
audhearaudible - capable of being heard
audition - the power or act of hearing
autoselfautomatic - self-acting
autobiography - history of a person's life written/told by that person
bellwarbelligerent - a party taking part in war
bellicose - war-like
ben, benegoodbenign - kindly disposition
beneficial - advantageous
biolifebiotic - relating to life
biology - science of life
brewshortabbreviate - make shorter
brevity - shortness
cad, casfallcadence - fall in voice
casualty - loss caused by death
cap, capitheadcaptain - the head or chief
decapitate - to cut off the head
cede, ceed, cessto go, to yieldrecede - to move or fall back
proceed - to move onward
recessive - tending to go back
centhundredcentury - hundred years
centipede - insect with a hundred legs
chrontimechronology - science dealing with historical dates
chronicle - register of events in order of time
cide, cisto kill, to cuthomicide - act of killing
incision - a cut
claim, clamto shoutacclaim - to receive with applause
proclamation - to announce publicly
cognto knowrecognize - to know again
cognition - awareness
corpbodyincorporate - to combine into one body
corpse - dead body
credto trust, believe incredible - unbelievable
credulous - too prone to believe
cur, curr, cursto runcurrent - flowing body of air or water
excursion - short trip
dempeopledemocracy - government formed for the people
epidemic - affecting all people
dic, dictto saydictate - to read aloud for another to transcribe
verdict - decision of jury
doc, doctto teachdocile - easily instructed
indoctrinate - to instruct
dominto ruledominate - to rule
dominion - territory of rule
duc, ductto leadconduct - act of guiding
induce - to overcome by persuasion
euwell, goodeulogy - speech or writing in praise
euphony - pleasantness or smoothness of sound
fac, fact, fect, ficto do, to makefacilitate - to make easier
factory - location of production
confect - to put together
fiction - something invented or imagined
ferto bear, to carrytransfer - to move from one place to another
refer - to direct to
finend, limitinfinity - unlimited
finite - limited in quantity
flex, flectto bendflexible - easily bent
reflect - to throw back
fortluckfortunate - lucky
fortuitous - happening by chance
fortstrongfortify - strengthen
fortress - stronghold
frag, fractbreakfragile - easily broken
fracture - break
fugfleefugitive - fleeing
refugee - one who flees to a place of safety
genclass, raceengender - to breed
generic - of a general nature in regard to all members
grad, gressto go, to stepregress - to go back
graduate - to divide into regular steps
graph writingtelegraph - message sent by telegraph machine
autograph - person's own handwriting or signiture
ject to throwprojectile - capable of being thrown
reject - to throw away
leglawlegitimate - lawful
legal - defined by law
leg, lig, lectto choose, gather, readillegible - incapable of being read
ligature - something that binds
election - the act of choosing
liberfree liberal - favoring freedom of ideals
liberty - freedom from restraint
logstudy, speecharchaeology - study of human antiques
prologue - address spoken before performance
luc, lumlighttranslucent - slightly transparent
illuminate - to light up
magnlarge, greatmagnify - to make larger
magnificent - great
mal, malebad, wrongmalfunction - to operate incorrectly
malevolent - evil
marseamarine - pertaining to the sea
submarine - below the surface of the sea
mater, matrmothermaternal - motherly
matriarch - government exercised by a mother
mit, missto sendtransmit - to send from one person or place to another
mission - the act of sending
morphshapemetamorphosis - a changing in shape
anthropomorphic - having a human shape
mutchangemutable - subject to change
mutate - to change or alter
natborninnate - inborn
native - a person born in a particular place
negdenynegative - expressing denial
renege - to deny
nomnamenominate - to put forward a name
nomenclature - process of naming
novnewnovel - new
renovate - to make as good as new
omni allomnipotent - all powerful
omnipresent - all present
oper to workoperate - to work on something
cooperate - to work with others
pass, pathto feelpassionate - moved by strong emotion
pathetic - affecting or moving the feelings
pater, patrfatherpaternal - fatherly
patriarch - government exercised by a father
ped, podfootpedestrian - one who travels on foot
podiatrist - foot doctor
pel, pulsto drive, to pushimpel - to drive forward
compulsion - irresistible force
phillovephilharmonic - loving harmony or music
philanthropist - one who loves and seeks to do good for others
port carryexport - to carry out of the country
portable - able to be carried
psychmindpsychology - study of the mind
psychiatrist - specialist in mental disorders
quer, ques, quir, quisto askquerist - one who inquires
question - that which is asked
inquire - to ask about
inquisitive - inclined to ask questions
rid, risto laughridiculous - laughable
derision - mockery
ruptto breakinterrupt - to break in upon
erupt - to break through
scito knowscience - systematic knowledge of physical or natural phenomena
conscious - having inward knowledge
scribe, scriptto writetranscribe - to write over again
script - text of words
sent, sensto feel, to thinksentimental - to feel great emotion
sensitive - easily affected by changes
sequ, secutto followsequence - connected series
consecutive - following one another in unbroken order
solv, solu, solutto loosendissolve - to break up
absolute - without restraint
spect to look atspectator - one who watches
inspect - to look at closely
spirto breatheinspire - to breath in
respiration - process of breathing
string, strictto bindstringent - binding strongly
restrict - to restrain within bounds
stru, structto buildstrut - structural piece designed to resist pressure
construct - to build
tang, ting, tact, tigto touchtangent - touching, but not intersecting
contact - touching
contiguous - to touch along a boundary
ten, tent, tainto holdtenure - holding of office
contain - to hold
termto endterminate - to end
terminal - having an end
terrearthterrain - tract of land
terrestrial - existing on earth
thermheatthermal - pertaining to heat
thermometer - instrument for measuring temperature
tort, torsto twistcontortionist - one who twists violently
torsion - act of turning or twisting
tractto pull. to drawattract - to draw toward
distract - to draw away
vacemptyvacant - empty
evacuate - to empty out
ven, ventto comeintervene - to come between
prevent - to stop from coming
vertrueverify - prove to be true
veracious - truthful
verb wordverbose - use of excess words
verbatim - word for word
vid, visto seevideo - picture phase of television
vision - act of seeing external objects
vinc, vict, vangto conquerinvincible - unconquerable
victory - defeat of enemy
vanguard - troops moving at the head of army
vit, vivlifevital - necessary to life
vivacious - lively
vocto callvocation - summons to a course of action
vocal - uttered by voice
volto wish, to willinvoluntary - outside the control of will
volition - the act of willing or choosing


English Suffixes

-able, -blecapable ofbelievable - capable of being believed
legible - capable of being read
-acious, -icious, -ousfull ofvivacious - full of life
delicious - full of pleasurable smell or taste
wondrous - full of wonder
-ant, -entfull ofexpectant - full of expectance
eloquent - full of eloquence
-aryconnected withdisciplinary - relating to a field of study
honorary - for the sake of honor
-ateto makeventilate - to make public
consecrate - to dedicate
-fyto makemagnify - to make larger
testify - to make witness
-ilepertaining to, capable ofdocile - capable of being managed easily
infantile - pertaining to infancy
-ismbelief, conditionMormonism - belief in teachings of the Book of Mormon
idiotism - utterly foolish conduct
-istone whoartist - one who creates art
pianist - one who plays the piano
-osefull ofverbose - full of words
grandiose - striking, imposing
-osisconditionneurosis - nervous condition
psychosis - psychological condition
-sionstate or qualityconfusion - state of bewilderment; disorder
tension - state of being stretched, strained
state or qualityattention - capacity to maintain concentration (state of concentration)
magnitude - state of greatness
multitude - state of quantity