English Words in Action, Group I

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

iconoclasm (igh KAHN uh claz" uhm) (s) (noun), iconoclasms (pl)
1. A challenge to or overturning of traditional beliefs, customs, and values: The iconoclasm of Adam's views made him unpopular.
2. The destruction of religious images used in worship, or opposition to their use in religious services: It is obvious that the person who broke into the church was bent on iconoclasm, destroying the symbols of the religion which he or she was convinced were spiritually wrong.
iconoclast (igh KAHN uh clast") (s) (noun), iconoclasts (pl)
1. Someone who challenges or dissents from traditional views and organizations: Trudy is an iconoclast who will have nothing to do with organized religions.
2. Etymology: "an image-breaker" which comes from Greek eikon, "image" + klastes, "breaker".

Iconoclasm, "image-breaking", was originally a policy of the Byzantine emperor Leo the Isaurian, who in A.D. 726, would not allow religious statues, icons, and other pictures, as well as candles, crosses, and holy medals to exist; on the theory that these "images" were the main hindrance to the conversion of Jews and Muslims.

icy (IGH see) (adjective), more icy, most icy
1. Covered or frozen over and slick: Joan commented to her husband, "Jim, drive with caution because the roads are icy."
2. Reserved or hostile in behavior: An icy reception greeted the late arrivals at the meeting.
3. Unfriendly, frigid, cold: Janine gave Benjamin an icy stare when he spilled the soup on the table during dinner.
idea (igh DEE uh) (s) (noun), ideas (pl)
1. A thought or the concept of what someone may be thinking about: The idea of success as a monetary gain is changing for many unemployed people.
2. An inkling, suggestion, or hint of something: Marvin needs some idea of what the cost will be for the new vacuum cleaner.
3. A proposal, a plan, or a recommendation: The council approved of the commissioner's idea for improving the roads.
4. Intention, purpose, private view, or thought: It's Haley's idea that a vacation means having a good time with sun, sand, and the ocean.
5. Etymology: from Greek ideein, "to see".
idyllic (adjective), more idyllic, most idyllic
1. A simple, unspoiled, and especially rural charm: The shimmering lakes out in the country are as idyllic as ever.
2. Very peaceful, happy, and enjoyable: Joyce and her children were having an idyllic summer day at the local swimming pool.
ilk (ILK) (s) (noun), ilks (pl)
1. The same type or same kind: This club attracts classical musicians and others of that ilk.
2. A kind or sort of person, family, group, or thing, often with negative or unsavory reputations: Because of their past behavior, Acey Smith and his ilk are no longer welcome in this family vacation resort.
3. Etymology: When a person uses ilk, as in the phrase "people of his ilk", then he or she is using a word with an ancient application even though the sense of ilk, "kind or sort", is actually quite recent, having been first recorded at the end of the 18th century.

This meaning grew out of an older use of ilk in the phrase "of that ilk", meaning "of the same place, territorial designation, or name".

This phrase was used primarily in names of landed families, Smith of that ilk meaning "Smith of Smith".

imp (s) (noun), imps (pl)
1. Mischievous, imaginary creatures often depicted as children, who are tricksters, frequently bringing confusion to a situation: The imps appear in children's stories as little creatures who play tricks on humans.
2. An individual typically thought of as a child, who plays tricks and who is generally harmless and somewhat naughty: The little imp has hidden the TV schedule from his father again.

Many school teachers have to deal with imps in their classes.

impish (adjective), more impish, most impish
Showing a playful desire to cause trouble: Michael had an impish grin when he told his brother that he couldn't watch TV because it was broken even though it wasn't.

Janine, the impish girl, was constantly teasing her younger brother.

inclement (in KLEM uhnt) (adjective), more inclement, most inclement
1. Harsh or severe; stormy; rigorous; foul, not mild: The inclement weather spoiled Eugene's entire vacation on the island.
2. Etymology: from Latin inclemens, from in, "not" and clemens, "mild".
inextricable (adjective), more inextricable, most inextricable
A reference to something that is impossible or extremely difficult to separate because it is so closely joined or related to something else: Professor Charles argues that there is an inextricable connection between poverty and poor health.

Sharon has an inextricable problem with her bank as she tries to untangle her financial debts.

After Bonita slipped on the banana peel and hit her head on the sidewalk, she had an inextricable problem with her memory of past events.

inextricably (adverb), more inextricably, most inextricably
1. Descriptive of something that can't be disentangled or separated: The results of the global economic conditions are more inextricably linked to each other than it has been in the past.
2. A reference to anything that is extremely intricate or involved: The lives of people on a global scale are inextricably influenced by the weather conditions of excessive rain or droughts that are taking place now.
inimical (i NIM i kuhl) (adjective), more inimical, most inimical
1. Injurious or likely to cause a bad effect or damage: Some people have inimical habits that can cause an illness.

The drought has been inimical to crops this summer.

2. A reference to being unfriendly or hostile: The inimical glare of the judge disturbed the witness and his defense attorney.
intercamp (adjective), more intercamp, most intercamp
Activities done with other temporary overnight lodgers who are outdoors, typically in tents in various localities: Most intercamp sports and social activities have been canceled or postponed and hand sanitizer is everywhere because of the epidemic of the virus.
intexticated (adjective), more intexticated, most intexticated
Describes people who drive while they are busy reading or sending text messages on their cell phones: Studies have revealed that the dangers of driving and being distracted while intexticated can be as disastrous as, or worse than, being intoxicated.

Laura's young daughter had a car accident because she was intexticated and not paying attention to the traffic while she was driving home from work.

irk (URK) (verb), irks; irked; irking
1. To annoy; to irritate; to exasperate; to bore; to be irritating, wearisome, or annoying: When anyone asks about so many details, he or she obviously irks Willie because it disturbs him very much.

Tom's father said, "Please, don't irk your mother by complaining so much."

2. Etymology: from Middle English irken, "to tire" or "to make weary".


Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.