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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?

intelligent        smart        brainy

 

They all mean the same thing...clever!

little girl thinking

 

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 dirty?

polished        mucky        sparkling        grubby        filthy

 

Mucky, grubby and filthy are all synonyms as they mean the same or a similar thing.

 

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


 

Let’s try another:

The animal tunnelled out of its burrow.

 

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

dug        leaped        sneaked

 

The answer is dug as it has the closest meaning to tunnelled.

 

 

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!

Here are some synonym challenges for you, word detective!

 

Choose the word below that is a synonym for difficult.

Easy

Complicated

Boring

Repetitive

Underline the word which is a synonym for surprise.

Shock, Party, Celebration, Present

Match the words which have the same meaning.

Column A

Column B

Shock
Dull
Bore
Enthuse
Excite
Stun
Exaggerate
Over The Top

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

 

Stain        Clean        Scrub        Destroy

Select the word which means the same as railing.

Barrier

Gate

Trap

Cage

Match the words which have the same meaning.

Column A

Column B

Superb
Average
Valuable
Displeasing
OK
Magnificent
Unwanted
Expensive

Right, here it is - the final question!

 

Underline the word which is a synonym for gash.

Scrape, Scratch, Cut, Graze

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

 

Hard-working        Clever        Thoughtful        Cunning

Select the word which means the same as dribble from the list below. 

 LickPantSalivaDrool
Dribble

How are you getting on so far, word detective?

 

Select the word which means the same as stand from the list below. 

 StillRiseLiftPick Up
Stand
  • Question 1

Here are some synonym challenges for you, word detective!

 

Choose the word below that is a synonym for difficult.

CORRECT ANSWER
Complicated
EDDIE SAYS
You could use these words to describe how you feel about your homework. If it is boring and repetitive, it feels like you're doing the same thing over and over again. If it is easy, then that would be the opposite of difficult, so our synonym here is complicated - this is when we find something hard.
  • Question 2

Underline the word which is a synonym for surprise.

CORRECT ANSWER
Shock, Party, Celebration, Present
EDDIE SAYS
We could add the adjective surprise to most of these words to describe a party, present or celebration that you didn't know about - but on their own, they don't mean surprise. So, even though it might sound more like a bad surprise, a shock is another word for when you're not expecting something to happen!
  • Question 3

Match the words which have the same meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Shock
Stun
Bore
Dull
Excite
Enthuse
Exaggerate
Over The Top
EDDIE SAYS
These are all things that a person might do, or make you feel, when they tell a story. If they bore you, they are dull. If they excite you, you feel enthusiastic about it, but if they exaggerate, you might feel they have gone over the top. This leaves us with a feeling of being stunned if we are shocked by what they tell us!
  • Question 4

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

 

Stain        Clean        Scrub        Destroy

CORRECT ANSWER
Stain
EDDIE SAYS
Make sure you spell this word correctly to receive the mark for this one - don't let spelling trip you up! Think of what happens if you get a grass stain when you have been playing outside, or if you get a stain on your clothes if you drop some food down yourself - in both cases you have made a mark on yourself. You would clean or scrub it to try to get rid of it, but it's not so bad that you would say you have destroyed your clothes!
  • Question 5

Select the word which means the same as railing.

CORRECT ANSWER
Barrier
EDDIE SAYS
Quite a hard one this - how did you get on? A railing is used to create a fence, so we need to think which of these is most like a fence - we wouldn't think of a fence as creating a trap or cage, and a gate is a slightly different object, which leaves us with barrier. A barrier, or railing, stops something from passing from one area to another, like a fence stops animals from leaving their field.
  • Question 6

Match the words which have the same meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Superb
Magnificent
Valuable
Expensive
OK
Average
Unwanted
Displeasing
EDDIE SAYS
These words could be used to show how much you like (or dislike!) something or how much it is worth to you. Most are positive words, although the prefixes un- and dis- show opposites, so these match together as being synonyms for things you don't like! If you think something is just OK, then you would feel it is average - neither good nor bad!
  • Question 7

Right, here it is - the final question!

 

Underline the word which is a synonym for gash.

CORRECT ANSWER
Scrape, Scratch, Cut, Graze
EDDIE SAYS
Have you ever fallen over and started bleeding somewhere, like on your knee or elbow? If it is a deep cut, we would call it a gash. A scrape, scratch or graze isn't quite as bad as a cut - they normally wouldn't bleed so much, although they do still hurt! Hopefully, you have not been too badly injured by this activity! Well done for completing it.
  • Question 8

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

 

Hard-working        Clever        Thoughtful        Cunning

CORRECT ANSWER
Cunning
EDDIE SAYS
Make sure you spell this word correctly to receive the mark for this one - don't let spelling trip you up! Someone who is sly can be hard-working, clever and thoughtful but these words on their own don't tell us what being sly is. There is something a little negative about the word sly, as if someone is coming up with an evil plan, which we could also describe as being cunning.
  • Question 9

Select the word which means the same as dribble from the list below. 

CORRECT ANSWER
 LickPantSalivaDrool
Dribble
EDDIE SAYS
A dog immediately comes to my mind to help give an example for this question. While dribble is made of saliva, we wouldn't normally use it if we were describing someone or something dribbling - we would call it drool!
  • Question 10

How are you getting on so far, word detective?

 

Select the word which means the same as stand from the list below. 

CORRECT ANSWER
 StillRiseLiftPick Up
Stand
EDDIE SAYS
You might be asked to stand still sometimes, but we can't use still as a synonym. The rest are all quite similar, but think about when you have been asked to stand up - would anyone tell you to lift yourself or pick up yourself? Hopefully not! They would ask you to rise.
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