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Understand Words with Multiple Meanings

In this worksheet, students will identify synonyms for a word and will choose the best synonym to complete a sentence.

'Understand Words with Multiple Meanings' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Synonyms

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

You may have already looked at antonyms (words meaning the opposite to each other) but now here’s a challenge about synonyms.

Can you help us out with these, word detective?

 

What do you notice about the words below?

joyful        cheerful        jolly

 

They all mean the same thing...happy!

child throwing leaves in air

 

These words are called synonyms.

Synonyms are words that mean the same or have a very similar meaning to other words.


 

Which of the following are synonyms for ugly?

gruesome        unattractive        pleasing        tempting        hideous

 

Gruesome, unattractive and hideous are all synonyms as they mean the same or a similar thing.

ugly duckling

 

thesaurus is a great resource to use to look up synonyms for words.


 

Let’s try another:

The boy sprinted past.

 

Which of the following words is a synonym for sprinted and could replace it in the sentence?

dashed        wandered        hopped

 

cartoon of boy running

The answer is dashed as it has the closest meaning to sprinted.

 

 

Pssstt!! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status:

 The first letter of the word synonym is the same as the first letter for similar.

 It’s a clever trick to remember what synonym means.

 

 

If you come across any new words in this activity, make a note of them so that you can use them in your writing.

notepad and pen

 

It’s now your turn to identify synonyms.  

Good luck!

Ready to start work, word detective?

 

Choose the word below that is a synonym for puddle.

Pool

Sea

Lake

River

Underline the word which is a synonym for foam.

Soap, Froth, Boil, Gurgle

Match the words which have the same meaning. 

Column A

Column B

Smile
Beam
Chuckle
Laugh
Joke
Entertain
Amuse
Jest

Now, don't let these words confuse your detective mind.

 

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as neat.

 

Smart        Intelligent        Clever        Brainy

Select the word which means the same as moist.

Dry

Mix

Soaked

Mist

Damp

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as sure.

 

Certain        Beach        Shy        Uncertain   

Match the words which have the same meaning. 

Column A

Column B

Perhaps
Maybe
Certainly
Most likely
Unlikely
Definitely
Probably
Doubtful

Underline the word which is a synonym for enter.

Depart, Quit, Arrive, Remain

Nearly finished detecting!

 

Underline the word which is a synonym for recent.

Oldest, Past, Earliest, Latest

Phew! The last question, but are you up for the challenge?

 

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as dangerous.

 

Risky        Safe        Harmless        Unharmed

  • Question 1

Ready to start work, word detective?

 

Choose the word below that is a synonym for puddle.

CORRECT ANSWER
Pool
EDDIE SAYS
These all relate to water so we need to think carefully about which ones are definitely not a puddle - the sea and a river are definitely too big!
If you think about a swimming pool, it might also seem too big! But a small amount of water, that collects at the bottom of a slide or on the seat of a swing after it has rained for example, can be called a pool of water - or a puddle!
  • Question 2

Underline the word which is a synonym for foam.

CORRECT ANSWER
Soap, Froth, Boil, Gurgle
EDDIE SAYS
These words are all quite close in meaning, so let's think carefully about what foam really is!
If you are lucky enough to have had foam on top of a hot chocolate, your drink is actually called a frothy hot chocolate - this is because the collection of tiny bubbles on top is called froth, another word for foam!
  • Question 3

Match the words which have the same meaning. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Smile
Beam
Chuckle
Laugh
Joke
Jest
Amuse
Entertain
EDDIE SAYS
These are all words to put you in a good mood! Has anyone ever described you as beaming when you're really happy? This describes the big smile on your face. A chuckle is another word for laugh - look it up if you've not heard of it before.
Jest might have been a tricky one, but if you've ever heard of a jester, it is someone who entertains people with their jokes - so to jest means to joke.
Finally, if you are amused by something, it entertains you. You might think that joke should have matched with entertain, but think carefully - do people always have to be telling jokes for you to be entertained, or can other things entertain you too?
  • Question 4

Now, don't let these words confuse your detective mind.

 

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as neat.

 

Smart        Intelligent        Clever        Brainy

CORRECT ANSWER
Smart
EDDIE SAYS
Make sure you spell this word correctly to receive the mark for this one - don't let spelling trip you up! The answers in this question are trying to lead you into linking smart with being clever. Don't let yourself be tricked! Remember, smart has two meanings - you might look smart in your new outfit or have smart new shoes. In this case, smart means neat.
  • Question 5

Select the word which means the same as moist.

CORRECT ANSWER
Damp
EDDIE SAYS
There are a couple of words that are listed here just because they look a bit like moist (mix and mist), so don't just guess at one of them. Take you time to think about the different meanings of the words.
If you eat a moist cake, or touch the moist grass after light rain, this means that it is damp.
Dry is an opposite here, so that just leaves us with soaked. Really, soaked is a bit too strong here - it is when something or someone is dripping wet. So our synonym here is damp.
  • Question 6

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as sure.

 

Certain        Beach        Shy        Uncertain   

CORRECT ANSWER
Certain
EDDIE SAYS
Make sure you spell this word correctly to receive the mark for this one - don't let spelling trip you up! When you are sure of something, you are certain and confident about it. For example: I am sure July is in the summer. means you are certain that it is a summer month.
Beach is in here to test your awareness of sure as a homophone - shore sounds the same but has a different meaning - it means beach.
Shy is the opposite of confident so is shown here as an antonym, along with uncertain.
  • Question 7

Match the words which have the same meaning. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Perhaps
Maybe
Certainly
Definitely
Unlikely
Doubtful
Probably
Most likely
EDDIE SAYS
These are all showing how likely, or not, something is to happen. Try to put them into a sentence, or think of them as an answer to a question to see which mean the same!
  • Question 8

Underline the word which is a synonym for enter.

CORRECT ANSWER
Depart, Quit, Arrive, Remain
EDDIE SAYS
There are a couple of antonyms here. Have you ever heard of a train or bus departing? Or seen a departures sign at an airport? This means to leave. Quit is also an antonym, because if you were to quit a club, you would leave it.
Remain suggests that you have already entered and are still there, so the synonym you would use to show that you are actually entering a place would be to say that you are arriving there.
  • Question 9

Nearly finished detecting!

 

Underline the word which is a synonym for recent.

CORRECT ANSWER
Oldest, Past, Earliest, Latest
EDDIE SAYS
These words are all to do with a place in time. What is the most recent film, book or TV show that you have watched or read? We would say that this is the latest film, book or TV show that you have enjoyed.
The oldest or the earliest would have been the very first one, and a past one could be any one in the past, whether it was the first, second or tenth! The latest one is the last one - the most recent one.
  • Question 10

Phew! The last question, but are you up for the challenge?

 

Choose the word from the following list which means the same as dangerous.

 

Risky        Safe        Harmless        Unharmed

CORRECT ANSWER
Risky
EDDIE SAYS
Make sure you spell this word correctly to receive the mark for this one - don't let spelling trip you up! You need to be careful here. You might relate danger to harm, so look at harmless or unharmed as possible answers. But these are opposites to harm - because of the suffix -less and the prefix -un. So these both mean safe.
This leaves the word risky as the only possible answer which could mean the same as dangerous. You are warned against taking risks by your teachers or your family in order to keep you safe.
Did you fall into any traps in this activity or did you steer your way around the danger areas?
---- OR ----

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