1. anticipate 6. flood
2. catastrophic 7. impact
3. collide 8. persevere
4. eruption 9. plunge
5. famine 10. unleash
Definitions and Samples
1. anticipate v. To expect; to sense something before it happens
By placing sensors in earthquake-prone areas, scientists can anticipate
some tremors in time to warn the public.
Parts of speech anticipation n, anticipatory adj
2. catastrophic adj. Extremely harmful; causing financial or physical
The architect died in a catastrophic elevator accident.
Parts of speech catastrophe n, catastrophically adv
3. collide v. To come together with great or violent force
As usual, their holiday was ruined when their in-laws’ views on politics
collided with their own.
Parts of speech collision n
4. eruption n. A sudden, often violent, outburst
The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 caused 57 deaths and
immeasurable change to the face of the mountain.
Usage tips Eruption is often followed by an of phrase.
Parts of speech erupt v
5. famine n. Severe hunger; a drastic food shortage
The potato famine in Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century caused
large numbers of Irish people to emigrate to America.
6. flood n. An overflowing of water; an excessive amount
The constant rain and poor drainage system caused a flood in town.
The political party sent out a flood of letters criticizing their
Parts of speech flood v
7. impact n. A strong influence
The speech about the importance of education made an impact
Usage tips Impact is usually followed by on or of.
Parts of speech impact v
8. persevere v. To keep going, despite obstacles or discouragement; to
maintain a purpose
The hikers persevered despite the bad weather and the icy trail.
Parts of speech persist v, persistent adj
9. plunge v. To go down suddenly; to decrease by a great amount in a
He jumped off the diving board and plunged into the pool.
The value of the company’s stock plunged after its chief executive
Usage tips Plunge is often followed by an into phrase.
Parts of speech plunge n
10. unleash v. To release a thing or an emotion
When they saw the strange man on their property, they unleashed
He is from such an unemotional family, he will never learn to unleash
TOEFL Prep I Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning
to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter
in the blank.
1. persevere (a) to pass by without hitting
2. anticipate (b) to give up
3. famine (c) to not see something coming
4. collide (d) harmless
5. catastrophic (e) excess of food
TOEFL Prep II Circle the word that best completes each sentence.
1. Residents of Hawaii must accept the possibility of a volcanic (eruption /
2. Years after the accident, she was finally able to (anticipate / unleash)
her feelings of anger.
3. Houses along the river often face (famine / flooding) during the rainy
4. Many people think it is cruel to (collide / plunge) live lobsters into boiling
5. A well-written essay should make some kind of (catastrophe / impact)
on its readers.
TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you
have learned. Answer the questions that follow.
Nature challenges humans in many ways, through disease, weather, and
famine. For those living along the coast, one unusual phenomenon capable
of catastrophic destruction is the tsunami (pronounced “tsoo-NAH-mee”).
A tsunami is a series of waves generated in a body of water by an
impulsive disturbance. Earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions,
explosions, and even the impact of meteorites can generate tsunamis.
Starting at sea, a tsunami slowly approaches land, growing in height and
losing energy through bottom friction and turbulence. Still, just like any
other water waves, tsunamis unleash tremendous energy as they plunge
onto the shore.They have great erosion potential, stripping beaches of
sand, undermining trees, and flooding hundreds of meters inland.They
can easily crush cars, homes, vegetation, and anything they collide with.
To minimize the devastation of a tsunami, scientists are constantly trying
to anticipate them more accurately and more quickly. Because
many factors come together to produce a life-threatening
tsunami, foreseeing them is not easy. Despite this, researchers
in meteorology persevere in studying and predicting tsunami
1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?
a. Tsunamis could become a new source of usable energy in the next
b. Tsunamis do more damage to the land than flooding.
c. Tsunamis can have an especially catastrophic impact on coastal
d. Scientists can predict and track tsunamis with a fair degree of accuracy,
reducing their potential impact.
2. In the first sentence, why does the author mention weather?
a. because tsunamis are caused by bad weather
b. because tsunamis are more destructive than weather phenomena
c. as an example of a destructive natural force
d. as an introduction to the topic of coastal storms