400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 36 - Social Rebels

Word List
  • adolescent [ˌædəʊˈlesnt] adj.
    Characteristic of a teenager; not fully grown up
    In policy meetings, George refuses to reason with anyone and just scowls in an adolescent way.
    Parts of speech     adolescent n., adolescence n.
  • cause [kɔːz] n.
    A political or social goal that one believes is right and works to achieve
    Our river cleanup effort would be more effective if someone famous spoke out for the cause.
  • conflict [kənˈflɪkt] v.
    To fit so poorly together that the differences cause a problem
    A teenager’s need for security can conflict with his desire for independence from his family.
    Parts of speech     conflict n.
  • delinquency [dɪˈlɪŋkwənsɪ] n.
    Serious misbehavior; not doing what one should do
    Because of his laziness and delinquency, Lefty was an unreliable friend.
    Usage tips     A common combination is juvenile delinquency, meaning “criminal behavior by a teenager.”
    Parts of speech     delinquent n., delinquent adj.
  • fringe [frɪndʒ] n.
    Edge; in social contexts, parts of society that look or act very different from most people
    Punk music got its start at the fringe of London’s rock music culture.
    Usage tips     Fringe implies an edge that is uneven and not very solid.
    Parts of speech     fringy adj.
  • hedonistic [ˌhiːdəˈnɪstɪk] adj.
    Excessively interested in seeking pleasure
    Suddenly wealthy, Allen fell into a hedonistic life of parties, expensive dinners, and heavy drinking.
    Usage tips     Hedonistic usually implies that the pleasures are wrong.
    Parts of speech     hedonist n., hedonism n., hedonistically adv.
  • hypocritically [ˌhɪpəˈkrɪtɪkəlɪ] adv.
    In a way that accuses other people of weaknesses that the speaker also possesses
    Henry spent $2,500 on a new suit and then hypocritically accused me of spending too much on clothes.
    Parts of speech     hypocrite n., hypocrisy n., hypocritical adj.
  • manipulation [məˌnɪpjʊˈleɪʃən] n.
    Quietly moving or influencing people or things in order to get what you want
    Bob’s manipulation of the boss’s feelings led to his promotion.
    Parts of speech     manipulate v., manipulator n., manipulative adj.
  • rebel [ˈrebl] v.
    To go against an established system or authority
    The people of Ghurdia rebelled against the dictator and set up a new government.
    Usage tips     Rebel works well in political contexts and in contexts of personal relationships.
    Parts of speech     rebel n., rebellion n.
  • status quo n.
    The systems and conditions that exist now
    Let’s just maintain the status quo until we can think of a better way.

TOEFL Prep I Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.

______ 1. adolescent(a) not doing what you’re supposed to
______ 2. conflict(b) clash; not fit together
______ 3. delinquency(c) edge
______ 4. fringe(d) like a teenager
______ 5. status quo(e) current conditions

TOEFL Prep II Complete each sentence by filling in the blank with the best word from the list. Change the form of the word if necessary. Use each word only once.

  • cause
  • hedonistic
  • hypocritically
  • manipulation
  • rebel
  1. Senator Bond,who often lied to Congress, __________ called the president a liar.
  2. Some monks criticized the well-fed, art-loving people of fifteenth century Florence for being __________.
  3. During the 1970s, college students fought for one __________ after another, from saving the whales to changing the government.
  4. Even though it’s illegal, __________ of lawmakers by rich companies is common.
  5. It’s natural for young people to __________ against society, but not with violence.
Answer Key
  1. d
  2. b
  3. a
  4. c
  5. e
  1. hypocritically
  2. hedonistic
  3. cause
  4. manipulation
  5. rebel
Answer Key

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

Many adolescents and young adults go through a period when they rebel against what they perceive as an insincere world. Teens may take up causes such as radical environmentalism, protesting against the status quo. They may choose clothes that annoy their parents and associate with people from the fringes of society. This is a delicate period in a person’s life, full of chances to make bad decisions that could lead to juvenile delinquency and even jail. Conversely, it can be a time of personal discovery that strengthens teens in a moral rejection of hedonistic lifestyles. At this age they may fearlessly speak up against hypocritically self-righteous authorities and against manipulation by the news media. These adolescent protests can lead to conflicts within families and communities, but stirring things up can also lead to serious reflection and positive change.

Bonus StructureConversely means “on the other hand.”

  1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?
    • a. Teens are hedonistic and self-serving.
    • b. Many teenagers are radical environmentalists.
    • c. Adolescents often create conflicts in their communities.
    • d. Teenage rebellion can cause problems, but it can be positive too.
  2. According to the reading, what is one possible positive effect of teen rebellion?
    • a. Adults might try to make positive changes.
    • b. Teens may get in trouble with the police.
    • c. Teens may become responsible adults later in life.
    • d. Adults might imitate teens and also rebel.
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. d
  2. a
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