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Context Clues Types and Examples

Grade 10
May 7, 2023

Word Wizard – Context Clues Words

Context clues are hints that are present in a text to help the reader understand the meaning of a difficult or unusual word within the text. There are five ways in which you can identify the meaning of a word based on the context:

1. Synonym

Another word meaning the same or similar to the unfamiliar word is present.


I was astonished and amazed when I won the lottery.

2. Antonym

A word meaning the opposite of what the unfamiliar word means is present.



While Sarah is usually very compassionate, she can be really mean when she gets angry.

3. Explanation

The definition or an explanation of the unfamiliar word is present.


George finished his homework hastily. He was quick and careless with it.


4. Examples:

Examples of unfamiliar words are present.


The children were able to observe several crustaceans, including crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.

5. Inference

Clues present before and after the unfamiliar word from which the meaning can be inferred.


The haberdashery was Lou’s favorite place. He loved shopping for nice suits. The people who worked there were so kind and helpful.

Here are a few things to remember when trying to identify the meanings of words using context clues:

  1. The context clues are not always present in the same sentence as the unfamiliar word.
  2. Sometimes, the context clues are not very obvious, and you will have to infer the meaning by reading a few sentences before and after the unfamiliar word.
  3. Context clues do not always lead you to the exact meaning of the word. Sometimes, you will get an approximate meaning of the word.
Context Clues


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