How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

180 terms

Kaplan's Top GRE Words in Context

STUDY
PLAY
abated
As the hurricane's force ________, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
absconded
The patron ________ from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
abstain
During Lent, practicing Catholics ________ from eating meat.
abyss
The submarine dove into the ________ to chart the previously unseen depths.
adulterating
The restaurateur made his ketchup last longer by ________ it with water.
advocated
The vegetarian ________ a diet containing no meat.
aesthetic
Followers of the ________ Movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
aggrandize
The supervisor sought to ________ himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
alleviate
Taking aspirin helps to ________ a headache.
amalgamated
Giant industries ________ with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products incorporated.
ambiguous
The directions he gave were so ________ that we disagreed on which way to turn.
ameliorate
The doctor was able to ________ the patient's suffering using painkillers.
anachronistic
The aged hippie used ________ phrases like "groovy" and "far out" that had not been popular for years.
analogous
In a famous argument for the existence of God, the universe is ________ to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent "clockmaker".
anomaly
Albino animals may display too great an ________ in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
antagonize
The child discovered that he could ________ the cat by pulling its tail.
antipathy
The ________ between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare.
apathy
The ________ of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so,
arbitrate
Since the couple could not come to agreement, a judge was forced to ________ their divorce proceedings.
archaic
Her ________ Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
ardor
Bishop's ________ for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
articulate
She is such an ________ defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters.
assuage
Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to ________ his sense of meaninglessness and despair.
attenuated
The Bill of Rights ________ the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
audacious
"And you, your majesty, may kiss my bum!" replied the ________ peasant.
austere
The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem ________ to the untrained eye.
banal
He used ________ phrases like "Have a nice day," or "Another day, another dollar."
bolstered
The presence of giant footprints ________ the argument that Sasquatch was in the area.
bombastic
Mussolini's speeches were mostly ________; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
cacophony
The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable ________ as they tried to tune their instruments.
candid
The observations of a child can be charming since they are ________ and unpretentious.
capricious
Queen Elizabeth I was quite ________; her courtiers could never be sure which of their number would catch her fancy.
castigate
Americans are amazed at how harshly the authorities in Singapore ________ perpetrators of what would be considered minor crimes in the United States.
catalyst
The imposition of harsh taxes was the ________ that finally brought on the revolution
caustic
Dorothy Parker gained her reputation for ________ wit from her cutting, yet clever, insults.
chaos
In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from ________.
chauvinists
The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male ________.
chicanery
Dishonest used car salespeople often use ________ to sell their beat-up old cars.
cogent
Swayed by the ________ argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
condoning
Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as ________ an air of lawlessness.
convoluted
Although many people bought "A Brief History of Time", few could follow its ________ ideas and theories.
corroborated
Fingerprints ________ the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment.
credulous
Although some 4-year-olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most ________ 9-year-olds also believe in him.
crescendo
The ________ of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
decorum
The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the ________ appropriate for a visit to the palace.
deference
The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost ________.
derided
The awkward child was often ________ by his "cooler" peers.
desiccated
After a few weeks of lying on the desert's baking sands, the cow's carcass became completely ________.
desultory
Diane had a ________ academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in three years.
diatribe
The trucker bellowed a ________ at the driver who had cut him off.
diffident
Steve's ________ manner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.
dilate
When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes ________ to let in more light
dilatory
The congressman used ________ measures to delay the passage of the bill.
dilettantes
Jerry's friends were such ________ that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
dirge
Melvill wrote the pom "A ________ for James McPherson" for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864.
disabused
Galileo's observations ________ scholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the Earth.
discern
It is easy to ________ the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
disparate
Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are ________.
dissemble
The villain could ________ to the police no longer--he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the body of the old man.
dissonance
Cognitive ________ is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
dogma
Linus's central ________ was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded.
dogmatic
The dictator was ________--he, and only he, was right.
dupe
Bugs Bunny was able to ________ Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit.
eclectic
Budapest's architecture is an ________ mix of eastern and western styles.
efficacy
The ________ of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug completely eliminated almost all bacterial infections for which it was administered.
elegy
Although Thomas Gray's "________ written in a Country Churchyard" is about death and loss, it urges its readers to endure this life and to trust in spirituality.
eloquent
The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments but also because of its ________ words.
emulate
The graduate student sought to ________ his professor in every way, copying not only how she taught, but also how she conducted herself outside of class.
enervate
The guerrillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would ________ the regular army.
engendered
His fear and hatred of clowns was ________ when he witnessed the death of his father at the hands of a clown.
enigma
Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputations as something of an ________.
enumerated
Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commandments were ________.
ephemeral
The lives of mayflies seem ________ to us, since the flies' average life span is a matter of hours.
equivocated
When faced with criticism of his policies, the politician ________ and left all parties thinking he agreed with them.
erratic
The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of ________ turns that surprised the audience.
erudite
The annual meeting of philosophy professors was a gathering of the most ________, well-published individuals in the field.
esoteric
Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the ________ world of particle physics.
estimable
Most people consider it ________ that Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India.
eulogy
His best friend gave the ________, outlining his many achievements and talents.
euphemism
The funeral director preferred to use the ________ "sleeping" instead of he word "dead".
exacerbate
It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; instead of providing relief, the drug will only ________ the problem.
exculpate
The adversarial legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and to ________ those who are innocent.
exigent
The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was ________ to stop the source of the bleeding.
exonerated
The fugitive was ________ when another criminal confessed to committing the crime.
explicit
The owners of the house left a list of ________ instructions detailing their house sitter's duties, including a schedule for watering the house plants.
fanatical
The stormtroopers were ________ in their devotion to the Emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him.
fawned
The understudy ________ over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis.
fervid
The fans of Maria Callas were particularly ________, doing anything to catch a glimpse of the great opera singer.
florid
The palace had been decorated in a ________ style; every surface had been carved and gilded.
foment
The protesters tried to ________ feeling against the war through their speeches and demonstrations.
frugality
Scrooge McDuck's ________ was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with his money
garrulous
The ________ parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
gregarious
She was so ________ that when she found herself alone she felt quite sad.
guile
Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to ________ in an effort to trap his enemy.
gullible
The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool ________ bank customers into giving him their account information.
homogenous
The lass was fairly ________, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors.
iconoclast
His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an ________.
imperturbable
The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she seemed ________, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
impervious
A good raincoat is ________ to moisture.
impetuous
It is not good for an investment broker to be ________, because much thought should be given to all the possible options.
implacable
His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained ________ for weeks.
inchoate
The ideas expressed in Nietzsche's mature work also appear in an ________ form in his earliest writing.
ingenuous
She was so ________ that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploited when she visited the big city.
inimical
Even though a cease-fire had been in place for months, the two sides were still ________ to each other.
innocuous
Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are ________ and pose no danger to humans.
insipid
The critic claimed that the painting was ________, containing no interesting qualities at all.
intransigent
The professor was ________ on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time.
inundated
The tidal wave ________ Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
irascible
Attila the Hun's ________ and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives.
laconic
She was a ________ poet who built her reputation on using words as sparingly as possible.
lament
The children continued to ________ the death of the goldfish weeks after its demise.
laud
Parades and fireworks were staged to ________ the success of the rebels.
lavished
She ________ the puppy with so many treats that it soon became overweight and spoiled.
lethargic
The clerk was so ________ that, even when the store was slow, he always had a long line in front of him.
loquacious
She was naturally ________, which was a problem in situations in which listening was more important than talking.
lucid
The explanations were written in a simple and ________ manner so that students were immediately able to apply what they learned.
luminous
The park was bathed in ________ sunshine, which warmed the bodies and the souls of the visitors.
malingering
A common way to avoid the draft was by ________--pretending to be mentally or physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the Army.
malleable
Gold is the most ________ of precious metals; it can easily be formed into almost any shape.
metaphor
The ________ "a sea of troubles" suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
meticulously
To find all the clues at the crime scene, the investigators ________ examined every inch of the area.
misanthrope
The character Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is such a ________ that even the sight of children makes him angry.
mitigate
A judge may ________ a sentence if she decides that a person committed a crime out of need.
mollify
Their argument was so intense that it was difficult to believe any compromise would ________ them.
monotony
The ________ of the sound of the dripping faucet almost drove the research assistant crazy.
naive
Having never traveled before, the hillbillies were more ________ than the people they met in Beverly Hills.
obdurate
The president was completely ________ on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.
obsequious
The ________ new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue.
obstinate
The ________ child could not be made to eat any food that he disliked.
obviated
The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which ________ the need for a bridge.
occluded
A shadow is thrown across the Earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is ________ by the moon.
onerous
The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved ________ to the team in charge of it.
opaque
The heavy buildup of dirt and grime on the windows almost made them ________.
opprobrium
After the scheme to embezzle from the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter ________.
ostentation
The ________ of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles.
paradox
It is a ________ that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
paragon
She is the ________ of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking, and just.
pedant
The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a ________.
perfidious
The actress's ________ companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist.
perfunctory
The machine-like bank teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a ________ smile.
permeate
This miraculous new cleaning fluid is able to ________ stains and dissolve them in minutes!
philanthropy
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the ________ of private collectors who willed their estates to the museum.
placate
The burglar tried to ________ he snarling dog by saying, "Nice doggy," and offering it a treat.
plastic
The new material was very ________ and could be formed into products of vastly different shapes.
plethora
Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a ________ of excuses
pragmatic
While daydreaming gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, ________ gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
precipitate
Upon learning that the couple married after knowing each other only two months, friends and family members expected such a ________ marriage to end in divorce.
prevaricated
Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee ________ and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
pristine
Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archaeological site was still ________ when researchers arrived.
prodigal
The ________ son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
proliferated
Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they ________ to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
propitiated
The management ________ the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members.
propriety
The aristocracy maintained a high level of ________, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
prudence
The college student exhibited ________ by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her resume.
pungent
The smoke from the burning tires was extremely ________.
quiescent
Many animals are ________ over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
rarefies
Since the atmosphere ________ as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
repudiated
The old woman's claim that she was Russian royalty was ________ when DNA tests showed she was of no relation to them.
reticent
Physically small and ________ in her speech, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those upon whom she was reporting.
rhetoric
Lincoln's talent for ________ was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address.
satiate
His desire for power was so great that nothing less than complete control of the country could ________ it.
soporific
The movie proved to be so ________ that soon loud snores were heard throughout the theater.
specious
The student's ________ excuse for being late sounded legitimate, but was proved otherwise when his teacher called his home.
stigma
In "the Scarlet Letter", Hester Prynne was required to wear the letter "A" on her clothes as a public ________ for her adultery.
stolid
The prisoner appeared ________ and unaffected by the judge's harsh sentence.
sublime
The music was so ________ that it transformed the rude surroundings into a special place.
tacit
Although not a word had been said, everyone in the room knew that a ________ agreement had been made about which course of action to take.
taciturn
The clerk's ________ nature earned him the nickname "Silent Bob".
tirade
Observers were shocked at the managers ________ over such a minor mistake.
torpor
After surgery, the patient experienced ________ until the anesthesia wore off.
transitory
The reporter lived a ________ life, staying in one place only long enough to cover the current story.
vacillated
The customer held up the line as he ________ between ordering chocolate chip or rocky road ice cream.
venerate
In a traditional Confucian society, the young ________ their elders, deferring to the elders' wisdom and experience.
veracity
She had a reputation for ________, so everyone trusted her description of events.
verbose
The professor's answer was so ________ that his student forgot what the original question had been.
vexed
The old man who loved his peace and quiet was ________ by his neighbor's loud music.
volatile
His ________ personality made it difficult to predict his reaction to anything.
waver
If you ________ too long before making a decision about which testing site to register for, you may not get your first choice.
whimsical
The ballet was ________, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpredictable sets.
zeal
She brought her typical ________ to the project, sparking enthusiasm in the other team members.