Unraveling the Word Within a Word Mystery Questions: List 9



Welcome to an intriguing exploration of the "Word Within a Word" mystery questions, specifically focusing on List 9. This blog aims to delve deeply into each component of List 9, offering comprehensive explanations and answers to help you navigate this fascinating vocabulary exercise. Whether you're a student preparing for an exam, a teacher looking for resources, or a language enthusiast, this guide will provide valuable insights into the mysteries hidden within words.

What is the "Word Within a Word" Program?

Before we dive into the specifics of List 9, it's important to understand what the "Word Within a Word" program is. This educational tool enhances vocabulary by breaking down complex words into their root components. By understanding the roots, prefixes, and suffixes, learners can decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words and improve their language skills. The program often includes mystery questions that challenge students to apply their knowledge creatively and critically.

Overview of List 9

List 9 in the "Word Within a Word" series includes a variety of stems, each with its unique meaning and application. Here is a brief overview of some of the key stems featured in this list:

  • Path: Meaning "feeling" or "suffering"
  • A: Meaning "not" or "without"
  • Nomy: Meaning "law"
  • Fid: Meaning "faith"
  • Caco: Meaning "bad"
  • Hetero: Meaning "different"
  • Sci: Meaning "know"
  • Graph: Meaning "write"
  • Lat: Meaning "side"
  • Lith: Meaning "rock"
  • Tract: Meaning "pull"
  • In: Meaning "in" or "not"

These stems form the foundation for a wide range of vocabulary words that students are encouraged to learn and use.

Detailed Analysis and Answers to Mystery Questions

Now, let's dive into the mystery questions from List 9. These questions often require students to apply their understanding of the stems to answer yes/no questions, define terms, and solve analogies. Here are the detailed answers and explanations:

Mystery Questions

  1. Is a dejected person down in the dumps?

    • Answer: Yes
    • Explanation: The term "dejected" comes from the Latin root "deicere" meaning "to throw down." A dejected person feels down or dispirited, which aligns with the colloquial expression "down in the dumps."
  2. Does a megalomaniac feel small and insignificant?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: "Megalo" means large and "mania" means madness. A megalomaniac is someone with an obsession for power and grandiosity, feeling quite the opposite of small and insignificant.
  3. Would an amorphous object have a definite shape?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: The prefix "a-" means "not" and "morph" means "shape." An amorphous object lacks a definite form or shape.
  4. Is a heterodox opinion the same as an orthodox one?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: "Hetero" means different, while "orthodox" refers to traditional or accepted beliefs. A heterodox opinion differs from conventional views.
  5. Can an altruist be described as selfish?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: An altruist is someone who is selflessly concerned for the well-being of others, which is the opposite of being selfish.
  6. Would a bibliomaniac have a love for books?

    • Answer: Yes
    • Explanation: "Biblio" means book and "mania" means madness or obsession. A bibliomaniac has an extreme passion for books.
  7. Is an apolitical person heavily involved in politics?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: The prefix "a-" means "not." An apolitical person is not interested or involved in political affairs.
  8. Does an interstellar object exist within a single-star system?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: "Inter" means between, and "stellar" refers to stars. Interstellar objects exist between stars, not confined to one-star system.
  9. Is a cacophony a pleasant sound?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: "Caco" means bad, and "phony" means sound. A cacophony is a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds, which is unpleasant.
  10. Would a neophyte be considered an expert?

    • Answer: No
    • Explanation: "Neo" means new, and "phyte" refers to a plant or growth. A neophyte is a beginner or novice, not an expert.

Additional Vocabulary and Analogies

Understanding stems is not only about recognizing their meanings but also about applying them in various contexts. Here are some examples of words formed from the stems in List 9 and analogies to practice:

  • Confidence (fid): Firm belief or trust
  • Agraphia (graph): Inability to write
  • Telepathy (path): Communication through means other than the known senses


  1. Telepathy : Communication:: Agraphia: Writing

    • Explanation: Telepathy involves a form of communication, while agraphia refers to the inability to write. Both terms are related to their respective processes.
  2. Confidence : Doubt :: Heterodox : Orthodox

    • Explanation: Confidence is the opposite of doubt, just as heterodox is the opposite of orthodox. These pairs illustrate contrasting concepts.
  3. Bibliophile : Books :: Megalomaniac : Power

    • Explanation: A bibliophile loves books, while a megalomaniac craves power. These analogies link a person to their object of obsession.

Tips for Mastering Vocabulary Lists

Mastering vocabulary lists like List 9 requires consistent practice and application. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Create Flashcards: Use flashcards to memorize the stems and their meanings. Write the stem on one side and the definition and examples on the other.

  2. Practice Regularly: Dedicate time each day to review the stems and practice using them in sentences.

  3. Engage with Peers: Form study groups to quiz each other on the stems and mystery questions. Explaining concepts to others can reinforce your understanding.

  4. Use Mnemonics: Develop mnemonic devices to help remember the meanings of stems. For example, think of "a" as a prefix meaning "not" by associating it with words like "atypical" (not typical).

  5. Read Widely: Encountering new words in context can help reinforce your learning. Read books, articles, and other materials that challenge your vocabulary.

  6. Write Creatively: Use the stems in creative writing exercises. This not only helps with retention but also enhances your ability to use the words in varied contexts.


The "Word Within a Word" program is a powerful tool for expanding your vocabulary and understanding the intricacies of the English language. By breaking down complex words into their component stems, you can unlock the meanings of unfamiliar terms and improve your communication skills. List 9 offers a diverse set of stems that form the basis for many words we encounter daily.

By tackling the mystery questions and practicing regularly, you can deepen your comprehension and become more confident in your language abilities. Remember, vocabulary building is a gradual process that requires patience and persistence. Keep exploring, practicing, and applying what you learn, and you'll continue to grow as a proficient and articulate communicator.

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