Defining a Word in Context

Now that you’ve succeeded at locating context clues, we’re going to raise the bar. Read the following excerpt from “The Lowest Animal,” by Mark Twain, and select the word you think the writer used in a certain context. Look for definitions, examples, synonyms, antonyms, or general clues. Use your own background knowledge as well.

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my ________(1) to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that the theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the ________(2) of Man from the Higher Animals.

In proceeding toward this unpleasant conclusion I have not guessed or speculated or _______(3), but have used what is commonly called the scientific method. That is to say, I have subjected every postulate that presented itself to the crucial test of actual experiment, and have adopted it or _________(4) it according to the result. Thus I verified and established each step of my course in its turn before advancing to the next. These experiments were made in the London Zoological Gardens, and covered many months of _______(5) and fatiguing work.

In the interactive exercise below, choose the best word according to context.