The sentence states that the muscles were not used and so we would expect them to waste away. Atrophied means wasted away, or withered.
Note that dwindled means grew less but could not be used for muscles.
(invigorated = energized)
Difficult Sentence Completion Question - 2
The subtle shades of meaning, and still subtler echoes of association, make language an instrument which scarcely anything short of genius can wield with ____ and ____ .
The sentence suggests that language is something very difficult to handle; it almost requires genius to handle it with skill. Therefore we choose two words that indicate ‘skill’ in effective use of language. Also the use of the word ‘subtle’ indicates that language is not obvious, and it is therefore hard to be precise - hence definiteness and certainty.
(aloofness = keeping apart, arrogant; alacrity= speed and eagerness; eloquence = ability to speak well)
Difficult Sentence Completion Question - 3
I was feeling rather _______ when I ______ a yellow envelope on the table.
The first word of all four choices is possible but the word 'spotted' is the only appropriate choice in the second blank because the reference is merely to see (the envelope). The words discern (see or hear with great difficulty), perceived (become aware of) are comparatively inappropriate in the second blank.
Difficult Sentence Completion Question - 4
We have in America a ______ speech that is neither American, Oxford English, nor colloquial English, but ______ of all three.
Speech that is hybrid (made up of several elements) by definitions combines these elements. The technical term hybrid best suits this context because it is neutral term devoid of negative connotations (which motley and mangled possess).
Difficult Sentence Completion Question - 5
In keeping with his own ____ in international diplomacy, Churchill proposed a personal meeting of heads of government, but the effort was doomed to failure, as the temper of the times was ____ .
Read the sentence and see whether you can suggest a word of your own for one of the blanks. It sounds as though the meeting was doomed because the temper of the times was unsuitable. This would suggest that either hostile or inimical would be best for the second blank. Then it is unlikely that he would arrange a meeting in keeping with his own aversions; he would do so in keeping with his own inclinations
(pluralistic = including many aspects or cultures; predilections = tendencies, inclinations; inimical = hostile; amicable = friendly; maxims = short expressions of guiding principles; salacious = scandalous)