400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 11 - Illness

Word List
  • aggravate [ˈæɡrəˌveɪt] v.
    To make worse; to anger or intensify
    Running will aggravate your sore knees.
    Parts of speech     aggravation n.
  • decrepit [dɪˈkrepɪt] adj.
    Weakened or worn out because of age, illness, or excessive use
    The once-beautiful building was now dirty, decrepit, and roofless.
  • disease [dɪˈziːz] n.
    An unhealthful condition caused by an infection or a longterm physical problem
    Thanks to developments in medicine,many once-fatal diseases can now be cured.
  • fatally [ˈfeɪdəli] adv.
    Causing death or disaster
    The soldier was fatally wounded in the battle.
    Parts of speech     fatality n., fatal adj.
  • forensics [fəˈrɛnsɪks] n.
    The use of science and technology to investigate facts in criminal cases
    Advances in the study of forensics have made it much easier to identify criminals from very small traces of evidence.
    Parts of speech     forensic adj.
  • persist [pərˈsɪst] v.
    To continue to exist; to hold to a purpose, despite any obstacle
    If your symptoms persist, you should go see a doctor.
    Parts of speech     persistence n., persistent adj.
  • prognosis [prɒgˈnəʊsɪs] n.
    An educated guess of how something will develop, especially a disease
    The room fell silent when the doctor gave Senator Grebe a grim prognosis of months of treatment.
  • terminal [ˈtɜːmɪnl] adj.
    Located at an end; approaching death
    The cancer ward at the hospital held both terminal and recovering patients.
    Parts of speech     terminate v., terminally adv.
  • vein [veɪn] n.
    Any of the tubes that form a branching system, especially those that carry blood to the heart
    She became fascinated with human anatomy, especially when she learned how veins transport oxygen.
  • wound [wuːnd] v.
    To inflict an injury on
    Sometimes he didn’t realize his sharp humor could wound as well as entertain.
    Parts of speech     wound n.

TOEFL Prep I Choose the word from the list that is closest in meaning to the underlined part of each sentence. Write it in the blank.

  • disease
  • fatal
  • persist
  • prognosis
  • wound
______ 1.He sustained a serious injury in the war,so he was sent home immediately.
______ 2.Her sickness was so rare,doctors weren’t certain how to treat it.
______ 3.His motto was to keep trying, no matter what happened.
______ 4.The medical staff could not know for sure whether the treatment would work, but they made a confident prediction that the patient would recover.
______ 5.The airplane crash was tragic, killing many people immediately and inflicting injuries on others that would eventually prove deadly.

TOEFL Prep II Next to each definition, write the word that most closely fits it.

  • aggravate
  • decrepit
  • forensics
  • terminal
  • vein
______ 1.the science involved in solving crimes
______ 2.a vessel for carrying blood
______ 3.to make worse
______ 4.unable to be cured
______ 5.in very bad condition

Answer Key
TOEFL Prep I
  1. wound
  2. disease
  3. persist
  4. prognosis
  5. fatal
TOEFL Prep II
  1. forensics
  2. vein
  3. aggravate
  4. terminal
  5. decrepit
Answer Key

TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

The man was decrepit. With high blood pressure, cancer, and liver disease, he aggravated his situation by smoking. His prognosis was death. His advanced lung cancer was terminal, and his family members knew that he would pass away soon. So no one was surprised to find him dead on that sharp winter Thursday, no one, that is, except one sharp-eyed detective, 54 Mind and Body who noticed the bedroom window ajar on the morning of the old man’s death. Would a fatally ill person be likely to sleep with the window open on a freezing cold night?

This question occupied forensic specialists from the medical examiner’s office. There, an autopsy revealed an unlikely woundon the victim’s thigh. Such a wound could easily have been inflicted by someone administering medicine . . . or poison. From there, the poison could travel through the veins, shutting down vital organs and causing death within seconds.

Indeed, the death turned out to be murder in the first degree. Criminal investigators persisted in their questioning of friends and family, only later finding the motive:money. Two distant relatives who stood to inherit large sums from the old man’s estate plotted the death, believing that the old man’s death would not be questioned.

Bonus StructureIndeed indicates that an idea in an earlier paragraph was actually true.

  1. Why does the author mention a wound?
    • a. The wound caused the death.
    • b. It was evidence of a struggle.
    • c. It was suspicious.
    • d. It was predictable, considering the man’s disease.
  2. In the passage, the word inherit is closest in meaning to
    • a. lose
    • b. gain
    • c. earn
    • d. want
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. c
  2. b
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