Lesson: Analogies - 12

Types of Analogies

Most Analogies fall into one of several types, identified here by sample sentences. If you know the various types of Analogy questions, you can make plugging faster to select option choice. In each sentence, the two blanks indicate where you plug in the two words

“________ is a key characteristic of ________.”

“________ is a function or use of ________.”

“________ runs contrary in meaning to ________.”

“________ operates against ________.”

“________ is a type, form, or example of ________.”

“________ is a place or environment for ________.”

“________ is a condition for or indient of ________.”

“________ is a part, element, or aspect of ________.”

“________ is evidence or a result of ________.”

Knowing these types will help make your task easier. But don’t expect to solve every Analogy simply by plugging the word pair into one of these nine sentences. This might work for easier questions, but for tougher ones you’ll need to refine the relationship further to home in on the correct answer.

In the pages ahead, you’ll learn that each category includes at least a few distinct variations or patterns. For each category, you’ll find sentences and illustrative word pairs to help you recognize each pattern when you see it on the exam.

Practice Questions

Analogies Characteristic

In this type of relationship, one word helps explain the meaning of the other word. Look for one of two distinct patterns to help you refine the relationship:

Defining characteristic Ideal (but not necessary) characteristic



“________ is a characteristic that defines what a ________ is.”

“By definition, a ________ is ________.”


NOVEL : INVENTION (novel means “original or new”)

ALTRUISM : PHILANTHROPIST (a philanthropist is a generous humanitarian; altruism means “good will or benevolence”)



“An effective ________ must be ________.”

“An ideal ________ should be ________.”



SURGEON : DEXTEROUS (dexterous means “skillful with one’s hands”)


  1. hope : dread
  2. accusation : guilt
  3. disrespect : dishonesty
  4. arrow : straightness
  5. cloud : haziness

Example Solution

  1. Crosshope : dread
  2. Crossaccusation : guilt
  3. Crossdisrespect : dishonesty
  4. Crossarrow : straightness
  5. Checkcloud : haziness


The correct answer is (E). RISK inherently involves UNCERTAINTY; in other words, uncertainty is part of the definition of risk. Is dread a defining characteristic of hope? No. Dread means “apprehension or fear of a future event.” So the two words are contrary in meaning, and choice (A) is not correct. Is guilt a defining characteristic of an accusation? No. A person who is accused may not be guilty. In other words, guilt is not part of the definition of an accusation, so choice (B) is not a good answer. Is dishonesty a defining characteristic of disrespect? No; so you can eliminate choice (C). Is straightness a defining characteristic of arrow? No, so choice (D) is out. A cloud inherently requires a dee of haziness; in other words, haziness is part of what defines a cloud. Choice (E) is a good analogy.

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Test Prep Lessons With Video Lessons and Explained MCQ

Large number of solved practice MCQ with explanations. Video Lessons and 10 Fully explained Grand/Full Tests.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is an exam administered by the Harcourt Assessment at Pearson testing centers. The MAT is an admissions exam accepted by many graduate programs in the United States. Additionally, it is used by many high-IQ societies across the world as an admission requirement. The MAT is intended to assess logical and analytical reasoning through completion of partial analogies. The test duration is 60 minutes and contains 120 questions. Exam formats include both computer-based tests (CBT) and paper and pencil format.