800 terms

Barron's 800 essential words for the GRE

All words come from Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's GRE)
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abate
to reduce in amount, degree, or severity
abdicate
to give up a position, right, or power
aberrant
deviating from what is normal or expected
abeyance
temporary suppression or suspension
abject
miserable; pitiful
abjure
to renounce, repudiate under oath; to avoid, shun
abscission
cutting off; sudden termination; the separation of leaves, petals, or other parts from a plant or animal
abscond
to depart secretly
abstemious
moderate in appetite
abstinence
the giving up of certain pleasures
abysmal
very bad
accretion
growth in size or increase in amount
accrue
to accumulate; grow by additions
adamant
uncompromising; unyielding
adjunct
a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part
admonish
to caution or reprimand
adulterate
to corrupt or make impure
aesthetic
relating to beauty or the arts
affected
pretentious; phony
affinity
fondness; liking; similarity
aggrandize
to make larger or greater
aggregate
amounting to a whole; total
alacrity
brisk and cheerful readiness
alchemy
medieval chemical philosophy based on changing metal into gold; a seemingly magical power or process of transmutation
allay
to lessen; ease; soothe
alleviate
to relieve, make more bearable
alloy
a combination of two or more things, usually metals
allure
to entice, tempt; to be attractive to
amalgamate
to combine into a unified whole
ambiguous
unclear or doubtful in meaning
ambivalence
the state of having conflicting emotional attitudes
ambrosia
something delicious; the food of the gods
ameliorate
to make better; to improve
amenable
agreeable; cooperative; suited
amenity
pleasantness; something increasing comfort
amulet
ornament worn as a charm against evil
anachronism
something out of place in time
analgesic
medication that reduces or eliminates pain
analogous
similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
anarchy
absence of government; state of disorder
anodyne
something that calms or soothes pain
anomalous
abnormal, irregular, departing from the usual
antecedent
a preceding event; a forerunner; a precursor; the noun to which a later pronoun refers.
antediluvian
outdated; prehistoric; very old-fashioned
antipathy
dislike; hostility
apathy
a lack of feeling, emotion, or interest
apex
the highest point
apogee
the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited; the highest point
apothegm
a short, instructive saying
appease
to calm, pacify, placate
appellation
a name or title
apposite
highly appropriate, suitable, or relevant
apprise
to give notice to; to inform
approbation
the expression of approval or favorable opinion, praise; official approval
appropriate
set aside or authorize (such as money) for a particular purpose; take for one's own use
apropos
relevant; appropriate; fitting
arabesque
a gracefully elaborate design with interwoven lines; such a form in ballet or music
archeology
the study of material evidence of past human life
ardor
great emotion or passion
arduous
extremely difficult; laborious
argot
a specialized vocabulary used by a group
arrest
to stop; to seize
artifact
item made by human craft
artless
free of deceit or craftiness, natural, genuine; lacking skill or knowledge, crude, uncultured
ascetic
one who leads a life of self-denial and contemplation; absent of luxury
asperity
rigor, severity; harshness or sharpness of tone; roughness of surface
aspersion
a damaging or derogatory statement; the act of slandering or defaming
assiduous
diligent; hard-working
assuage
to make less severe
astringent
harsh; severe
asylum
place of refuge or shelter
atavism
in biology, the reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence; reversion to an earlier type
attenuate
to reduce in force or degree; weaken
audacious
bold; daring
austere
severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
autonomous
self-governing; independent
avarice
a greedy desire, particularly for wealth
aver
to affirm, declare confidently
avocation
secondary occupation; a hobby
avuncular
like an uncle, benevolent and tolerant
axiomatic
self-evident, expressing a universally accepted principle or rule
bacchanalian
pertaining to riotous or drunken festivity; pertaining to revelry
banal
commonplace; trite
banter
playful conversation
bard
a poet, often a singer as well
bawdy
indecent; humorously obscene
beatify
to make supremely happy; to sanctify; to bless; to ascribe a virtue to
bedizen
to dress in a vulgar, showy manner
behemoth
huge creature; anything very large and powerful
belie
to contradict; misrepresent; give a false impression
beneficent
performing acts of kindness or charity; conferring benefits, doing good
bifurcate
to divide into two parts
blandishment
anything designed to flatter or coax; sweet talk, apple-polishing
blase
indifferent, bored as a result of having enjoyed many pleasures; apathetic
bolster
to support, give a boost to
bombastic
pompous or overblown in language; full of high-sounding words intended to conceal a lack of ideas
boorish
rude, unrefined; clumsy
bovine
resembling a cow or ox; sluggish, unresponsive
brazen
shameless, impudent; made of brass
broach
to bring up or begin to talk about (a subject); to announce, introduce; to break the surface of the water; to pierce
bucolic
characteristic of the countryside, rural; relating to shepherds and cowherds, pastoral
burgeon
grow or flourish rapidly; put forth buds or shoots (of a plant)
burnish
to make smooth or glossy by rubbing, polish
buttress
to support, prop up, strengthen; a supporting structure
cacaphonous
unpleasant or harsh-sounding
cadge
to beg; to borrow without repaying
callous
emotionally hardened, unfeeling
calumny
a false and malicious accusation; misrepresentation
canard
a false rumor, fabricated story
canon
an established set of principles; a basis or standard for judgment; a group of literary works
cant
hypocritical and sanctimonious talk; denoting a phrase or catchword temporarily current or in fashion
cantankerous
irritable; ill-humored; stubborn; cranky
capricous
very impulsive; fickle
captious
excessively ready to find fault; given to petty criticism; intended to trap, confuse, or show up
cardinal
of foremost importance
carnal
of the flesh or body; related to physical appetities
carping
tending to find fault, especially in a petty, nasty, or hairsplitting way; petty, nagging criticism
cartography
science of making maps
caste
any of the hereditary social classes in Hindu society; social stratification
castigation
punishment; chastisement; criticism
cataclysm
a violent upheaval that causes great destruction and change
catalyst
a substance that causes or hastens a chemical reaction; any agent that causes change
categorical
absolute; without exception
caucus
a meeting of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates or decide policy; a group of people with shared concerns within a political party or larger organization
causal
indicating or expressing a cause.
caustic
able to burn or eat away by chemical action; biting, sarcastic
celestial
concerned with sky or heavens; sublime
centrifugal
moving away from a center
centripetal
moving or directed toward a center
champion
to defend or support
chasten
to punish (in order to bring about improvement in behavior, attitude, etc.); to restrain, moderate
chicanery
trickery, deceptive practices or tactices, double-dealing
chivalry
the qualities idealized by knighthood such as bravery and gallantry toward women
churlish
lacking politeness or good manners; lacking sensitivity; difficult to work with or deal with; rude
circuitous
roundabout, not direct
clamor
noisy uproar or protest, as from a crowd; a loud, continuous noise
clique
a small, exclusive group of people
cloister
a covered walk in a convent; seclude or shut up in or as if in a convent or monastery
coagulate
to thicken, clot
coalesce
come together, unite; fuse together
coda
concluding part of a literary or musical composition; something that summarizes or concludes
codify
to organize something (such as laws or rules) into a system
cognizant
aware, mindful
collage
artistic composition of materials pasted over a surface; an assemblage of diverse elements
commensurate
corresponding in size or amount
compendium
brief, comprehensive summary
complacent
self-satisfied; overly content
complaisant
overly polite; willingness to comply with the wishes of others
complement
to complete, make perfect
compliant
yielding; ready to adapt oneself to another's wishes
compunction
distress caused by feeling guilty
concave
curving inward
conciliatory
reconciling, appeasing, attempting to make the peace
concoct
to prepare by combining ingredients, make up (as a dish); to devise, invent, fabricate
concomitant
existing concurrently; accompanying in a subordinate fashion
condone
to pardon or overlook
confound
to frustrate, confuse
congenial
getting on well with others; agreeable, pleasant
conjugal
pertaining to marriage
connoisseur
an expert; one who is well qualified to pass critical judgments, especially in one of the fine arts
conscript
a person compulsorily enrolled for military service
consecrate
to make sacred, hallow; to set apart for a special purpose
contend
struggle to surmount; assert something as a position in an argument
contentious
quarrelsome, inclined to argue
contiguous
side by side, touching; near; adjacent in time
continence
self-control; abstention from sexual activity
contrite
very sorrowful for a wrong; seeking forgiveness
contumacious
stubborn and disobedient; resisting authority
conundrum
a confusing and difficult problem or question; a question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle
convention
practice widely observed in a group; custom; accepted technique or device
converge
to approach; come together; tend to meet
convex
curved outward
convivial
sociable
convoluted
twisted; complicated
copious
abundant; plentiful
coquette
flirt; flirtatious woman; woman who tries to attract the admiration of men without sincere feelings
cornucopia
horn overflowing with fruit and grain; symbol of abundance; horn of plenty
cosmology
study of the universe as a totality; theory of the origin and structure of the universe
covert
hidden, disguised, purposefully kept secret; sheltered, secluded
covetous
avaricious; desirous of (someone else's possessions)
cozen
to mislead by trick or fraud; decieve
craven
very cowardly, lacking courage
credence
acceptance as truth or valid; trustworthiness
credo
a statement of the beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions
daunt
to overcome with fear, intimidate; to dishearten, discourage
dearth
a lack, scarcity, inadequate supply; a famine
debauchery
wild living; excessive intemperance
decorum
proper behavior, good taste; orderliness
defame
to malign; harm someone's reputation
default
failure to act, neglect; fail to fulfill an obligation, esp. a financial one
deference
courteous yielding to the wishes and ideas of another person; great respect marked by submission, as to a superior
defunct
no longer in existence or functioning, dead
delineate
to portray, sketch, or describe in accurate and vivid detail; to represent pictorially
demographic
relating to the structure of populations
demotic
denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; popular or colloquial
demur
raise doubts or objections or show reluctance.
denigrate
to belittle, diminish the opinion of
denizen
an inhabitant, resident; one who frequents a place
denouement
outcome; unraveling of the plot of a play or work of literature
clairvoyant
supernaturally perceptive; one who possesses extrasensory powers, seer
deride
to ridicule, laugh at with contempt
derivative
typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for that reason
desiccate
remove the moisture from; lacking interest, passion, or energy
desuetude
a state of disuse
desultory
lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
deterrent
something that restrains or discourages
detraction
a lessening of reputation or esteem especially by envious, malicious, or petty criticism; a taking away
diaphanous
characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through; characterized by extreme delicacy of form; insubstantial, vague
diatribe
a bitter and prolonged verbal attack
dichotomy
a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different
diffidence
shyness; lack of confidence
diffuse
spread widely, disseminate; dispersed, widely spread out, or wordy and going off-topic
digression
act of straying from the main point
dirge
a mournful song, especially for a funeral
disabuse
persuade (someone) that an idea or belief is mistaken
discerning
able to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently
discomfit
make (someone) feel uneasy or embarrassed
discordant
disagreeable in sound, jarring; lacking in harmony, conflicting
discredit
injure the reputation of, destroy credibility of or confidence in
discrepancy
difference, failure of things to correspond
discrete
constituing a separate thing; distinct
discretion
the quality of being reserved in speech or action; good judgment
disingenuous
not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does
disinterested
free from selfish motive or interest
disjointed
lacking a coherent sequence or connection
dismiss
allow to disperse or leave; fire from a job; put aside or reject, esp. after only a brief consideration
disparage
to belittle, speak slightingly of; to undervalue
disparate
sharply differing, containing sharply contrasting elements
dissemble
to disguise or conceal, deliberately give a false impression
disseminate
to scatter or spread widely
dissolution
the closing down or dismissal of an assembly, partnership, or official body; debauched living; dissipation
dissonance
lack of harmony among musical notes; a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements
distend
to expand; swell out
distill
purify; extract the essential elements of
distrait
distracted or absentminded
diverge
going in different directions; different from each other; departing from convention, deviant
divest
deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions
divulge
make known (private or sensitive information)
document
to provide with written evidence to support
doggerel
comic verse composed in irregular rhythm; verse or words that are badly written or expressed
dogmatic
inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true
dormant
inactive; in a state of suspension; sleeping
dross
refuse, waste products
dupe
to deceive; trick; a victim of deception
ebullient
overflowing with enthusiasm and excitement; boiling, bubbling
eclectic
deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources
effervescence
state of high spirits or liveliness; process of bubbling as gas escapes
effete
having lost character, vitality, or strength; no longer fertile; effeminate
dissident
a person opposed to established ideas or beliefs, especially in politics or religion
doctrinaire
seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations
efficacy
the quality of being able to produce the intended effect
effrontery
shameless boldness, impudence
egoism
excessive interest in one's self; belief that one should be interested in one's self rather than in others
egotistical
excessively self-centered; conceited
elegy
a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation especially for one who is dead
elicit
to provoke; draw out
elixir
a substance held capable of changing base metals into gold; a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely
Elysian
of, relating to, or characteristic of heaven or paradise
emaciated
very thin, enfeebled looking
embellish
decorate, add ornamentation; enhance (a story) with fictional or fanciful details
emollient
softening and soothing, especially to the skin; making less harsh or abrasive
empirical
derived from observation or experiment
emulate
to strive to equal or excel; imitate
encomium
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly
endemic
native or confined to a particular region or people; characteristic of or prevalent in a field
enervate
to weaken or lessen the mental, moral, or physical vigor of; enfeeble, hamstring
engender
to bring about, create, generate
enhance
to raise to a higher degree; to increase the value or desirability of
entomology
the scientific study of insects
enunciate
to state clearly and distinctly; to pronounce
ephemeral
lasting only a short time, fleeting
epistemology
the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity
equable
tending to remain calm; free from sudden or harsh changes
equanimity
composure, evenness of mind; mental or emotional stability, esp. under stress
equivocate
to speak or act in a way that allows for more than one interpretation; to be deliberately vague or ambiguous
errant
erring or straying from the proper course or standards
erudite
scholarly, knowledgeable; possessing a deep, often systematic, knowledge
esoteric
intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest
essay
an attempt or effort; a short piece of writing on a particular subject
estimable
worthy of esteem, admirable; able to be estimated
ethnocentric
the belief in the superiority of one's race or ethnic group
etiology
the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition; the investigation or attribution of the cause or reason for something
etymology
the study of word origins
eugenics
a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed
eulogy
speech of praise or written work of praise, esp. a speech given at a funeral
euphemism
use of agreeable or inoffensive language in place of offensive language
euphoria
feeling of extreme happiness
euthanasia
the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering
evince
to show plainly; be an indication of
evocative
bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind
exacerbate
make worse (more violent, severe, etc.), inflame; irritate or embitter (a person)
exact
to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain; to call for as necessary or desirable
exculpate
to free from guilt or blame, exonerate
execrable
loathsome, detestable
exhort
strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something
exigency
an urgent need or demand
existential
relating to existence
exorcise
drive out or attempt to drive out (an evil spirit) from a person or place
expatiate
to expand on, write or talk at length or in detail; to move about freely
expatriate
exile; to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one's native country
expiate
to make amends for, atone
explicate
to make plain or clear, explain; to interpret
expository
intended to explain or describe something
extant
still existing; not exterminated, destroyed, or lost
extemporaneous
made or delivered on the spur of the moment
extirpate
to tear up by the roots; to destroy totally
extraneous
irrelevant or unrelated to the subject being dealt with; of external origin; separate from the object to which it is attached
extrapolation
to form an opinion or to make an estimate about something from known facts; to predict by projecting past experience or known data
extrinsic
not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside
facetious
humorous, not meant seriously
facilitate
to make easier; to assist
factotum
a person who does all sorts of work; a handyman
fallacious
incorrect, misleading; containing a fallacy, or mistake in logic; logically unsound; deceptive
fallow
plowed but not sowed; uncultivated; inactive
fatuous
stupid or foolish in a self-satisfied way
fauna
animals as a group, esp. of a specified region or time
fawning
displaying exaggerated flattery or affection; obsequious
felicitous
appropriate, apt, well chosen; marked by well-being or good fortune, happy
feral
of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast; not domesticated or cultivated; having escaped from domestication and become wild
fervor
intensity of feeling or expression; intense heat
fetid
having a foul odor
fetter
a chain or shackle for the feet; something that confines
fiat
an arbitrary order or decree; a command or act of will or consciousness
fidelity
faithful, loyalty; strict observance of duty; accuracy in reproducing a sound or image
filibuster
an effort to prevent action in a legislature by making a long speech or series of speeches
finesse
refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture; skillful handling of a situation, adroit maneuvering
fissure
a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting
flag
mark (an item) for attention or treatment in a specified way; (of a person) become tired, weaker, or less enthusiastic
fledging
an inexperienced person, beginner; a young bird about to leave the nest; inexperenced, budding
flora
plants as a group, esp. of a specified region or time
flourish
to grow luxuriantly; to achieve success; to make bold and sweeping gestures
flout
to treat with contemptuous disregard, scorn; to break or ignore (a law, rule, etc.) without hiding what you are doing or showing fear or shame
flux
flowing; a continuous moving
foment
to cause or try to cause the growth or development of (something bad or harmful); to promote the growth or development of, incite
forbearance
patience, restraint, toleration
forestall
to prevent by acting first
formidable
inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable
forswear
to make a liar of (oneself) under or as if under oath; to renounce earnestly
founder
to become disabled; to give way; to become submerged; to come to grief; to disable (an animal) especially by excessive feeding
fracas
a noisy quarrel
fractious
tending to be troublesome; quarrelsome; unruly
fresco
the art of painting on wet plaster
frieze
a band or stripe (as around a building) used as a decoration; a heavy durable coarse wool and shoddy fabric with a rough surface
froward
habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
frugality
characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources
fulminate
to complain loudly or angrily; to utter or send out with denunciation
fulsome
characterized by abundance; aesthetically, morally, or generally offensive; exceeding the bounds of good taste; excessively complimentary or flattering
fusion
a union by or as if by melting; the union of atomic nuclei to form heavier nuclei
futile
serving no useful purpose, completely ineffective; occupied with trifles, frivolous
florid
ruddy; reddish; flowery
gainsay
to deny; dispute; oppose
gambol
to frolic; leap playfully
garrulous
very talkative; wordy
gauche
coarse and uncouth; clumsy
geniality
cheerfulness; kindliness; sociability
gerrymander
to divide an area into voting districts in a way that favors a political party
glib
fluent in an insincere way; offhand
goad
to prod; urge on
gossamer
sheer; light and delicate; like cobwebs
gouge
to tear out; scoop out; overcharge
grandiloquent
pompous; bombastic
gregarious
outgoing; sociable
grouse
to complain
guileless
free of cunning or deceit; artless
guise
outward appearance; false appearance
gullible
easily deceived
gustatory
affecting the sense of taste
halcyon
calm and peaceful; happy; golden; prosperous
hallowed
holy; sacred
harangue
long, pompous speech; tirade
harrowing
extremely distressing; terrifying
herbivorous
feeding on plants
hermetic
tighly sealed; magical
heterodox
not widely accepted
hieroglyphics
a system of writing in which pictorial symbols represent meanings or sounds; wirting or symbols that are difficult to decipher
hirsute
covered with hair
histrionic
relating to exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect; theatrical acts or performances
homeostasis
automatic maintenance by an organism in balance with itself
homily
sermon; tedious moralizing lecture
homogeneous
composed of identical parts; uniform in composition
hyperbole
purposeful exaggeration for effect
iconoclastic
attacking cherished traditions
idolatry
idol worship; blind or excessive devotion
igneous
produced by fire; volcanic
imbroglio
complicated situation; an entanglement
immutable
inchangeable
impair
to damage; injure
impassive
showing no emotion
impecunious
poor; having no money
impede
to hinder; block
impermeable
impossible to permeate
imperturbable
not easily disturbed
impervious
incapable of being affected; impossible to penetrate
impinge
to strike; encroach
implacable
inflexible; incable of being pleased or calmed down
implausible
unlikely; unbelievable
implicit
implied; understood but not stated
implode
collapse inward violently
imprecation
curse; damnation
impute
to attribute the fault to; relate to a particular cause or source
inadvertenly
carelessly; unintentionally
incarnate
having bodily form
inchoate
imperfectely formed or formulated
incongruity
state of not fitting
inconsequential
insignificant; unimportant
incorporate
introduce something into another thing already in existence
incursion
sudden invasion
indeterminate
uncertain; indefinite
indigence
poverty
indolent
habitually lazy; idle
ineluctable
not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable
inert
unable to move; sluggish
ingenous
naive and trusting; lacking sophistication
inherent
firmly established by nature or habit
innocuous
harmless
insensible
unconscious; unresponsive
insinuate
to suggest; say indirectly; imply
insipid
lacking in flavor; dull
insouciant
indifferent; lacking concern or care
insularity
narrow-mindedness; isolation
insuperable
insurmountable; unconquerable
intangible
not material
interdict
to forbid; prohibit
internecine
deadly to both sides
interpolate
to insert; change by adding new words or material
interregnum
interval between reigns; gap in continuity
intimate
marked by close acquaintance
intractable
not easily managed
intransigence
stubbornness; refusal to compromise
introspective
contemplating one's own thoughts and feelings
inundate
to cover with water, overwhelm
inured
hardened; accustomed; used to
invective
verbal abuse
inveigh
to disapprove; protest vehemently
inveigle
to win over by flattering or coaxing
inveterate
confirmed; long standing
invidious
likely to provoke ill will
irascible
easily angered
irresolute
unsure of how to act; weak
itinerant
wandering from place to place; unsettled
itinerary
route of a traveler's journey
jaundiced
havind a yellowish discoloration of the skin; affected by envy
jibe
to be in agreement
jocose
fond of joking; jocular
juggernaut
huge froce destrying everything in its path
junta
group of people united in political intrigue
juxtapose
place side by side
kudos
fame; glory; honor
labile
likely to change
laconic
using few words
lambaste
to trash verbally or physically
lascivious
lustful
lassitude
lethargy; sluggishness
latent
dormant; potential not apparent
laud
praise
lethargic
inactive
levee
en embankment that prevents a river from overflowing
levity
light manner or attitude
liberal
tolerant; broad-minded
libertine
one without moral restraint
libido
sexual desire
lilliputian
extremely small
limn
to draw, describe
limpid
clear; transparent
linguistic
pertaining to language
litany
lengthy recitation; repetitive chant
literati
scholarly of learned persons
litigation
legal proceedings
log
record of a voyage; record of daily activities
loquacious
talkative
lucid
bright; clear; intelligible
lucre
money or profits
luminous
bright; brilliant; glowing
lustrous
shining
machiavellian
crafty; double-dealing
machinations
plots or schemes
maelstrom
whirpool; turmoil
magnaminity
generosity; nobility
malign
to speak evil of
malinger
to feign illness to escape duty
malleable
capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionate
maverick
dissenter
megalomania
delusions of power or importance
menagerie
a variety of animals kept together
mendacious
dishonest
mendicant
beggar
meretricious
gaudy; specious; flasely attractive
mesmerize
to hypnotize
metamorphosis
change; transformation
metaphysics
a branch of philosophy tha tinvestigates the ultimate nature of reality
metereological
concerned with the weather
meticulous
very careful; picky; fastidious
mettle
courage; endurance
mettlesome
full of courage and fortitude
microcosm
a small system having analogies to a larger system
militate
to work against
minatory
threatening; menacing
minuscule
very small
minutia
petty details
misanthrope
one who hates humanity; one who dislikes others
miscellany
mixture of writtings on various subjects
miscreant
villain; criminal
misogynist
one who hates women
mitigate
alleviate; to become less severe
mnemonic
realated to memory; assisting memory
modicum
limited quantity
mollify
to soothe
monolithic
solid and uniform; constituing a single, unified whole
morose
ill-humored; sullen
motley
many colored; made up of many parts
multifarious
diverse
mundane
worldy as opposed to spiritual; concerned with the ordinary
necromancy
black magic
negate
to cancel out; nullify
neologism
new word or expression
neophyte
novice; beginner
nexus
a means of connection; a center
nonplussed
bewildered
nostalgia
sentimental longing for a past time
nostrum
medicine or remedy of doubtful effectiveness
nugatory
trifling; invalid
obdurate
stubborn
obsequious
overly submissive
obsequy
funeral ceremony
obviate
to make unnecessary; to anticipate and prevent
occlude
to shut; block
occult
relating to practices connected with supernatural phenomena
odyssey
a long, adventurous voyage; a quest
officious
too helful; meddlesome
olfactory
concerning the sense of smell
oligarchy
form of government in which power belongs to only a few leaders
onerous
burdensome
onomatopeia
formation or use of words that imitate sounds of the actions they refer to
opprobium
public disgrace; contempt
ornithologist
scientist who studies birds
oscillate
to move back and forth
ostentatious
showy; pretentious
overweening
presumptuous; arrogant
paean
song of joy or triumph; a fervent expression of joy
paleonthology
study of past geological eras through fossil remains
pallid
lacking color or liveliness
panegyric
elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise
paragon
model of perfection or excellence
partisan
one-sided; committed to a party, group or cause
pathological
departing from normal condition
patois
jargon; a regional dialect
paucity
scarcity
pedantic
showing off learning
pellucid
transparent; easily understood
penchant
inclination
penury
extreme poverty
peregrination
wandering from place to place
peremptory
imperative; leaving no choice
perennial
present throughout the years; persistent
perfidious
faithless; disloyal; untrustworthy
perfunctory
superficial; performed really as a duty
perigee
point in an orbit that is closest to the earth
permeable
penetrable
perturb
to disturb greatly; make uneasy or anxious
pervasive
spread throughout every part
petulant
rude; peevish
phlegmatic
unemotional; calm in temperament
phoenix
anything that is restored after suffering great destruction
physiognomy
facial features
piety
devoutness
piquant
pleasantly pungent; attractive
pique
fleeting feeling or hurt pride
placate
soothe; pacify
placid
calm
plaintive
melancholy; mournful
plasticity
pliability; condition of being able to be shaped or formed
platitude
stale; overused expression
platonic
spiritual; theoretical
plethora
excess; overabundance
plumb
to examine deeply; determine the depth
plummet
to fall; plunge
plutocracy
society ruled by the wealthy
porous
full of holes; permeable to liquids
poseur
poerson who affects an attitude to impress others
pragmatic
practical
prate
to talk idly; chatter
prattle
meaningless, foolish talk
preamble
preliminary statement
precarious
uncertain
precept
principle; law
precipitate
to cause to happen; throw down from a height
precipitate
rash; hasty; sudden; done without deliberation
precursor
forerunner; predecessor
preempt
to supersede; appropiate for oneself
prehensile
capable of grasping
premonition
forewarning; presentiment
presage
to foretell; indicate in advance
presumptuous
rude; improperly bold
preternatural
supernatural; beyond the normal use of nature
prevaricate
to quibble; evade the truth
primordial
original; existing from the beginning
pristine
untouched; uncorrupted
probity
honesty; high-mindness
problematic
posing a problem; doubtful
prodigal
wasteful; extravagant; lavish
profound
deep, not superficial
prohibitive
so high as to prevent the purchase or use of, forbidding
proliferate
to increase rapidly
propensity
inclination, tendency
propitiate
to win over, appease
propriety
correct conduct, fitness
proscribe
to condemn, forbid, outlaw
provident
providing for future need, frugal
puissant
powerful
punctilious
careful in observing rules fo behavior
pungent
penetrating, caustic, to the point
pusillanimous
cowerdly
purport
to profess, suppose, claim
quagmire
marsh, difficult situation
quail
to cower, lose heart
qualified
limited, restricted
qualm
sudden feeling of faintness or nausea
query
question
quibble
to argue over insignificant and irrelevant details
quiescent
inactive, still
quorum
number of memeber necessary to conduct a meeting
raconteur
witty, skillful storyteller
rail
to scold with bitter or abusive language
raiment
clothing
ramification
implication, consequence
rarefied
refined
rationale
fundamental reason
rebu
puzzle in whic pictures or symbols represent words
recalcitrant
resisting authority or control
recant
retract a statement of opinion
recluse
person who lives in seclusion and often in solitude
recondite
abstruse, profound
redoubtable
formidable, arousing fear
refractory
stubborn, resisting ordinary methods of treatment
refulgent
brightly shining, resplendent
refute
to contradict, disprove
regale
to entertain
relegate
to consign to an inferior position
remonstrate
to object or protest
renege
to go back on one's word
reparation
amends, compensation
repine
fret, complain
reprise
repetition, especially of a piece of music
reproach
to find fault with, blame
reprobate
morally unprincipled person
repudiate
to reject as having no authority
rescind
to cancel
resolution
determination, resolve
resolve
determination, firmness of purpose
reticent
nor speaking freely, reserved, reluctant
reverent
expressing deep respect, worshipful
riposte
retaliatory action or retort
rococo
excessively ornate
rubric
protocol, title or heading
rue
regret
ruse
trick, crafty stratagem
sage
wise
salacious
lascivious, lustful
salubrious
healthful
salutary
expecting an improvement, favorable to health
sanction
to approve, ratify, permit
sardonic
cynical, scornfully mocking
sartorial
pertaining to tailors
satiate
to satisfy
saturate
imbue througout, soak thoroughly
saturnine
gloomy
satyr
a creature that is half-man, half beast, with the horns and legs of a goat
savor
to enjoy, have a distinctive flavor or smell
schematic
relating to or in the form of an outline or diagram
secrete
produce and release substance into organism
sedition
behaviour prompting rebellion
sedulous
diligent, assiduous
seismic
relating to earthquakes
sensual
relating to the senses, gratifying the physical (sexual) senses
sensuous
relating to the senses
sentient
aware, concious, able to preceive
servile
submissive, obedient
sextant
navigation tool that determines latitude and longitude
shard
a piece of broken glass or pottery
sidereal
relating to the stars
simian
apelike, relating to apes
simile
comparison of one thing with another using "like" or "as"
sinecure
well-paying job that requieres little or no work
singular
unique, extraordinary, odd
sinuous
intricate, complex
skeptic
one who doubts
sobriety
seriousness
sodden
thoroughly soaked, saturated
solicitous
concerned, attentive, eager
soliloquy
literary or dramatic speech by one character, not adressed to others
solvent
able to meet financial obligations
somatic
relating to or affecting the body, corporeal
soporific
sleep producing
sordid
filthy, contemptible and corrupt
specious
seeming to be logical and sound, but not really so
spectrum
band of color, broad range of related ideas or objects
spendthrift
person who spends money recklessly
sporadic
irregular
squalor
filthy, wretched condition
staccato
marked by abrupt, clear-cut sounds
stanch
to stop or check the flow of
stentorian
extremely loud
stigma
mark of disgrace or inferiority
stint
to be sparing
stipulate
to specify as an essential condition
stolid
having or showing little emotion
stratified
arranged in layers
striated
marked with thin, narrow grooves or channels
stricture
something that restrains, negative criticism
strident
loud, harsh, unpleasantly noisy
strut
to swagger, display to impress others
stultify
to impair or reduce to uselessness
stupefy
to dull the senses of, stun, atonish
stygian
dark and gloomy, hellish
subpoena
notice ordering someone to appear in court
subside
to settle down, grow quiet
substantiate
to support with proof or evidence
substantive
essential
subsume
to include, incorporate
subversive
intended to undermine or underthrow, especially an established government
succor
relief, help in time of distress or want
suffrage
the right to vote
sundry
various
supersede
to relace, especially to displace as inferior or antiquated
supine
lying in the back, marked by lethargy
supplant
to replace, substitute
suppliant
beseeching
supplicant
one who asks humbly and earnestly
supposition
the act of assuming to be true or real
syllogism
a form of deductive reasoning with a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
sylvan
related to the woods or forest
tacit
silently understood, implied
talisman
charm to bring good luck and avert misfortune
tangential
peripheral, irrelevant, digressing
tautology
unnecessary repetition
taxonomy
science of classification
tenet
belief, doctrine
tenuous
weak, insubstantial
terrestrial
earthly, commonplace
theocracy
government by priests representing a god
thespian
an actor or actress
timbre
voice tone color
tirade
long, violent speech, verbal assault
toady
flatterer, yes-man
tome
book, usually large and academic
torpor
lethargy, dormancy, sluggishness
torque
a turning or twisting force
tortuous
having many twists and turns, highly complex
tout
to promote or praise energetically
tractable
obedient, yielding
transgression
act of trespassing or violating a law or rule
transient
temporary, fleeting
translucent
partially transparent
travail
work, especially arduous work
travesty
parody, exaggerated imitation, caricature
treatise
article treating a subject systematically and thoroughly
tremulous
trembling, frugal, timid
trepidation
fear and anxiety
truculence
aggressiveness, ferocity
tryst
agreement between lovest to meet, rendez-vous
tumid
swollen, distended
turbid
muddy, opaque, in a state of great confusion
turgid
swollen, pompous
tutelary
serving as a guardian or protector
uncanny
myterious, strange
undulating
moving in waves
unfeigned
not false, genuine
untenable
indefensible
untoward
not favorable, troublesome, unruly
usury
a practice of lending money at exorbitant rates
vacillate
to waver, oscillate
vacuous
empty, void, lacking intelligence
valedictory
pertaining to a farewell
vapid
tasteless, dull
variegated
varied, marked with different colors
vaunt
to boast, drag
venal
mercenary, corruptible
vendetta
prolonged feud marked by bitter hostility
venerate
to adore, honor, respect
veracious
truthful, accurate
verbose
wordy
vertigo
dizziness
vexation
irritation, annoyance
viable
practicable, capable of developing
vindictive
vengeful, unforgiving
virtuoso
someone with master skills, expert musician
visage
appearance, aspect
viscous
thick, syrupy
vitiate
to impair the quality of, corrupt morally
vituperative
using or containing harsh, abusive censure
vivisection
dissection, surgery, or painful experiments performed on a living animal for the purpose of scientific research
vogue
prevailing fashion or practice
volatile
tending to vary frequently, fickle
vortex
whirpool, center of turbulence
warranted
justified
wary
careful, cautious
welter
wallow or roll, toss about, be in turmoil
whimsical
fanciful, unpredictable
wistful
vaguely longing, sadly thoughtful
zealot
one who is fanatically devoted to a cause