Here is a sampling of vocabulary questions from Tuesday's preliminary test at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. For the test, participants are asked to spell 12 words and define 14 words. Of the 285 spellers in the bee, roughly 50 will advance to the semifinals based on their scores on the test and their ability to spell two words correctly on stage Wednesday.

— What does it mean to be comestible?

A. able to be mixed together

B. pleasant in behavior

C. suitable to be eaten

D. likely to start a fire

(Answer: C)

— Lenitive means:

A. punishing

B. soothing

C. farseeing

D. transparent

(Answer: B)

— An otiose person is:

A. overweight

B. angry

C. idle

D. pretentious

(Answer: C)

— Something described as viridigenous:

A. is trustworthy

B. instigates the spread of infectious disease

C. is native to an area

D. produces greenness

(Answer: D)

— Which of the following best describes hypercryalgesia?

A. chronic clamminess of the hands

B. a severe form of colic in infants

C. increase of energetic activity after ingesting sugar

D. excessive pain due to cold

(Answer: D)

— Something in desuetude is:

A. apparently abandoned

B. in pain

C. deeply desired

D. emotionally conflicted

(Answer: A)