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 reference to simple, unspoiled, and especially rural charm: The shimmering lakes out in the country are as idyllic as ever.
2. Descriptive of a very peaceful, happy, and enjoyable situation: Joyce and her children were having an idyllic summer day at the local swimming pool.
Pleasing in a normal condition.
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A simple and pleasant existence.
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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".

ill-disposed (adjective), more ill-disposed, most ill-disposed
A reference to someone who is unfriendly or has a bad attitude: Judy evidently was in a disagreeable mood that morning and was completely ill-disposed and uncooperative with the others in her study group at school.
A bad or unfriendly behavior.
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imbroglio (s) (noun), imbroglios (pl)
An embarrassing misunderstanding or a confusion about what is going on or what was supposed to take place: Evidently there was a complete muddle and imbroglio when Jim asked Susan to marry him, because all he intended was to practice this important question with a friend, but not with Cindy, his chosen love!
A complicated situation.
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An error about what was expected to happen.
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imminent (adjective), more imminent, most imminent
Descriptive of something that is about to happen, to occur, or to take place very soon; especially, of anything which won't last very long: Doris and Jacob are expecting the imminent arrival of friends for their wedding anniversary.
Something is said to happen immediately.
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A reference to that which will occur without delay.
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Relating to an occurrence that will take place very soon.
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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.

impavid (adjective), more impavid, most impavid
A reference to fearlessness, including courage and a resolution to achieve an objective: Little Finn was quite impavid and undaunted in his attempts to climb up the vertical ladder by himself to get to the top, where his brother's bed was!
Descriptive of someone who has an objective to succeed in accomplishing.
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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.

impropriety (s) (noun), improprieties (pl)
Something that is irregular and contrary to accepted standards: When Wayne went to his university graduation ceremonies wearing blue jeans, he was told that his impropriety would not be permitted and so he had to sit with the other people in the audience.
Something that is not suitable or is inappropriate.
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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".
incondite (adjective), more incondite, most incondite
A reference to something which is badly constructed or put together: James said the artist had incondite or badly-arranged and ill-composed artistic works.
Some of the vehicles in the car lot were incondite.
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The homemade boat was an incondite structure.
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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.