Do You Know the Definition of These 3-Letter Words?


By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: Catherine Ledner / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Are you an English language lover who kills at a game of Scrabble? The English Language is notoriously tricky to tackle, with a lot of rules, but almost as many exceptions. While other languages are phonetic, meaning that the words in it sound the way they are spelled most of the time, or use accent marks to clue you into how they are pronounced, there is nothing like that in English! You just have to remember it all!  

From pronunciation to spelling to definitions, all of this can be incredibly tricky in English, so keep your wits about you! 

While some English words are massive, there are many unique smaller words that don't get enough love. After all, as any good Scrabble player knows, a word doesn't have to be 15 letters long to get those big points! English has a lot of quirky little 3-letter words that pack a big punch!   

If you know the English language like the back of your hand, see if you can get it right. Do you know the meaning of the English language's 3-letter words? Find out if you are a good egg or a definition dud with this 3-letter word quiz! 

If someone is "sly," what are they like?

Sly is an adjective. It means clever, cunning, stealthy, deceitful or playfully mischievous.


What does it mean to "mar" something?

Mar is both a noun and a verb. It means to damage, spoil or ruin something. A mar is also an obvious disfiguring mark.


If something is up to "par," it is:

Par is both a noun and verb. It is either a standard level of acceptability or to meet that average standard.


To "woo" a person is to:

Woo is a verb. It can be used to mean to seek the affection of another person as part of the steps of beginning a relationship with them. It can also mean to influence someone to like you or do something through kind acts or words.


If you "nab" something, you _______ it.

Nab is a verb. It means to grab, snatch or seize something. Informally, it is also used to mean to get something in general.


The "rim" of an object is which part of it?

Rim is a noun. It is the upper or outer edge of an object. This is especially used for objects which are curved or circular at their edges.


A "sin" is a:

Sin is both a noun and a verb. A sin is a violation of religious or moral law. To sin is the act of violating a religious or moral law.


What is a "mew"?

Mew is both a noun and verb. It is the cry that cat makes, to cry in that fashion, or any sound that resembles it.


Something that is "lax" is:

Lax is an adjective. It describes something that is lacking in strictness, is not firm or is not easily retained or controlled.


If something is "apt," it is:

Apt is an adjective. It means that something is suitable or appropriate. It can also mean that a person is naturally inclined to something and can learn or understand it with ease.


What does it mean to "vie"?

Vie is a verb. It means to strive for victory over another. Vie used to be used to mean "to wager" but it is no longer used in this way.


An "arc" is something that is:

Arc is both a noun and a verb, and has numerous uses across common language, math, physics and astronomy. In general usage, an arc is something curved in shape. When something arcs, it forms a curved shape.


To "sow" means to:

Sow is a verb. It traditionally relates to farming and the act of scattering seeds over land so they grow. You can also sow rumors, however.


"Dal" is something that you:

Dal is a noun which can also be spelled daal or dhal. It is a split grain that is common in Indian cuisines.


Someone who has "lammed" has:

Lam is both a noun and a verb. It can mean to beat, strike or escape. Those who are on the run from law enforcement are also described as "on the lam."


If something is "beyond your ken" it's:

Ken is a noun that means perception, understanding or sight. It is also a verb that means to know or recognize.


Someone who is "coy" is:

Coy is an adjective with a few meanings. It can mean someone is flirtatiously shy or modest, unwilling to make a commitment or give up information, or that they are just reserved.


The British "Raj" was the British rule over:

Raj is a noun. It is most often used to refer to the British rule over India, which lasted from 1757-1947. It comes from the Hindi word meaning "king."


What is a "fay"?

Fay is a noun. It refers to an elf or fairy.


What does it mean to "igg" someone?

Igg is both a noun and a verb. It can be to ignore or snub someone. It can also be a snub or rebuff.


The word "kin" relates to:

Kin is both an adjective and a noun. It refers to those who are related to you and in your family.


Where can you find a "lea"?

Lea is a noun. It refers to a grassland or meadow. The word comes from the Middle English word Leie.


An "orb" has which shape?

Orb is a noun. It can describe an eye, celestial body or sphere. Centuries ago, the earth itself was referred to in this way.


Where can you find a "pew?"

Pew is a noun. Pews are the long-backed benches that members of a church congregation sit on.


"Pup" is the word for an animal's:

Pup is a noun. It refers to young dogs, wolves, seals, sharks and other animals. It can also refer to a young person who is very inexperienced.


If you are eating "sal," what are you eating?

Sal is a noun. It is a less commonly used word for salt.


The word "cad" is used to describe:

Cad is an adjective and informal old-fashioned British word. It was used to describe men who did not behave in a gentlemanly way.


What does the word "ago" mean?

Ago is both an adverb and an adjective. It can mean that something is in the past or that it has already gone by.


If someone looks "wan," how do they look?

Wan is an adjective. Someone who looks wan appears pale and sickly from either physical or emotional distress.


"Chi" refers to:

Chi refers to the vital life force that is a part of Chinese medicinal practice. They believe that when your chi is balanced and flows harmoniously in your body, your health is good.


"Din" involves which of these?

Din is both a noun and a verb. It can refer to a chaotic jumble of noise. It can also mean to stun someone with intense noise.


When does the "eve" occur?

Eve is a noun with many meanings. As well as being the first woman in the Bible, it also refers to the period of time right before events or holidays. It can also just refer to the evening in general.


A "fir" is a kind of________.

All evergreen trees of the genus Abies are firs. There are about 50 species of fir trees, including the Syrian Fir, Silver Fir, Korean Fir and Douglas Fir.


What does "sic" mean?

Thus is an adverb. It means thus. It is used in writing to indicate a quoted passage that has errors in it was used, and those errors were left on purpose to maintain the integrity of the original source.


A "mot" is a remark that is:

Mot is a noun. It is a witty or incisive remark. It comes from the French phrase "bon mot," although the two-word form is far more widely used.


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