Define Words from Their Context on the ASVAB AFQT - dummies

By Rod Powers

The Word Knowledge subtest of the ASVAB AFQT will contain some questions that ask you to define an underlined word in a sentence. Even if you don’t know the word’s meaning, you should be able to figure it out based on its context within the sentence. If you’re unsure about your context skills, try the following practice exercise to test them.

Practice exercise

The following chart contains five sentences, each of which contains an underlined word. Copy the chart onto a sheet of paper. Then, based on each sentence, write your definition in the “Your Definition” column. Then look up the word in the dictionary (or check the definitions under “Answers and explanations”) to find out how close you were. In the “Dictionary Definition” column, write the official definition; this will help you to remember it.


Answers and explanations

  1. Deleterious is an adjective that means causing harm or damage.
  2. Facetious is an adjective that means treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor.
  3. Lexicon is a noun that means the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.
  4. Plagiarize is a verb that means to take someone else’s work or idea and pass it off as one’s own.
  5. Capitulate is a verb that means to cease to resist or to surrender.