The five types of context clues are synonyms, definitions, examples, contrasts and inferences. These clues occur individually or in combination, and they provide writers of a text the necessary means to indicate the meaning for newly introduced or obscure terms.
A synonym provides a word with a similar meaning along with the newly introduced term. A definition simply places the definition of the word in the text. The use of examples provides the reader with a sense of what a word means without resorting to an explicit definition. Contrasting language creates context by stating what the new word does not mean, while inference leads the reader to figure out the meaning without the use of direct examples or definitions.