GRE Advanced

Words to master for a top GRE score
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cacophony
loud confusing disagreeable sounds
chicanery
the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)
opprobrium
a state of extreme dishonor
desiccate
lose water or moisture
inchoate
in an initial stage; not fully formed
anachronistic
chronologically misplaced
iconoclastic
characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
approbation
official recognition or approval
verisimilitude
the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable
laconic
brief and to the point
propitiate
to conciliate; to appease
wheedle
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
quiescence
quiet and inactive restfulness
fatuous
complacently or inanely foolish
virago
a noisy or scolding or domineering woman
vitiate
take away the legal force of or render ineffective
welter
toss, roll, or rise and fall in an uncontrolled way
wend
direct one's course or way
tumid
abnormally distended especially by fluids or gas
turgid
abnormally distended especially by fluids or gas
turpitude
a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice
tyro
someone new to a field or activity
upbraid
express criticism towards
usury
the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest
vaunt
to boast; to brag about
venal
capable of being corrupted
succor
assistance in time of difficulty
supercilious
having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
supine
offering no resistance
suppliant
humbly entreating
supplicant
one praying humbly for something
tamp
press down tightly
tendentious
having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
toady
a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
torrid
emotionally charged and vigorously energetic
simper
to smirk, smile foolishly
sinecure
an office that involves minimal duties
sinuous
curved or curving in and out
slake
(v.) to satisfy, relieve, or bring to an end
sodden
wet through and through
solder
to weld, fuse or join, as with a soldering gun
sophistry
reasoning that seems plausible but is actually unsound; a fallacy
sophomoric
immature and overconfident; conceited
splenetic
very irritable
stanch
stop the flow of a liquid
stentorian
extremely loud and powerful
striated
marked with thin, narrow grooves or channels
stygian
dark and forbidding
runic
mysterious; magical
salacious
suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
sanctimony
self-righteousness, hypocritical with FALSE piety
sanguine
confidently optimistic and cheerful
satiate
fill to satisfaction
saturnine
showing a brooding ill humor
seine
a large fishnet that hangs vertically, with floats at the top and weights at the bottom
sententious
abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing
sidereal
of or relating to the stars or constellations
reconnoiter
explore, often with the goal of finding something or somebody
recreant
an abject coward
recumbent
in a reclining position, lying down, in the posture of one sleeping or resting
repine
to be discontented or unhappy; to long for something
puerile
displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity
pugnacious
ready and able to resort to force or violence
puissance
power to influence or coerce
punctilious
marked by precise accordance with details
pusillanimous
lacking in courage and manly strength and resolution
raffish
cheaply vulgar in appearance or nature; tawdry; disreputable
ramify
grow and send out branches or branch-like structures
rapacious
excessively greedy and grasping
turbid
Cloudy, muddy; in a state of turmoil
umbrage
a feeling of anger caused by being offended
sagacious
acutely insightful and wise
provident
providing carefully for the future, frugal
querulous
habitually complaining
rebus
a puzzle where you decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and words
recidivism
habitual relapse into crime
seminal
Original, Ground-Breaking
undulate
move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion
untoward
not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
recondite
difficult to understand; profound
plangent
loud and resounding
plumb
examine thoroughly and in great depth
poseur
a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not
prate
speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
precept
rule of personal conduct
precis
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
profligate
unrestrained by convention or morality
prolix
tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length
propinquity
the property of being close together
proscribe
prohibit; ostracize; banish; outlaw
peremptory
not allowing contradiction or refusal
perigee
nearest point to the earth in the orbit of a heavenly body
peripatetic
wandering from place to place, especially on foot
peroration
(rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
petrous
like a rock, hard, stony
philistine
smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values
phlegmatic
showing little emotion
picaresque
involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
pillory
criticize harshly or violently
piquant
engagingly stimulating or provocative
pique
cause to feel resentment or indignation
overweening
presumptuously arrogant
palliate
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
panegyric
a formal expression of praise
pariah
a person who is rejected (from society or home)
parry
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
parsimonious
stingy, miserly; meager, poor, small
peccadillo
a petty misdeed
pellucid
(of language) transparently clear
peregrination
travel (especially by foot)
misogynist
a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular
multifarious
having many aspects
nadir
the lowest point
natty
neatly or smartly dressed
nexus
a link, tie, or bond
noisome
offensive or disgusting; foul-smelling; harmful or injurious
nostrum
hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases
nugatory
of no real value
obloquy
verbal abuse
obstreperous
boisterously and noisily aggressive
officious
intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
ossified
set in a rigidly conventional pattern of behavior, habits, or beliefs
ostensible
appearing as such but not necessarily so
lubricious
lewd, wanton, greasy, slippery
luculent
easily understood, lucid, clear
macerate
cause to grow thin or weak
maculate
spot, stain, or pollute
malinger
avoid responsibilities and duties, e.g., by pretending to be ill
maunder
to talk in a rambling way; to move aimlessly
mellifluous
having a rich, smoothly flowing sound
mendicant
a pauper who lives by begging
meretricious
tastelessly showy
mettle
courage or spirit
militate
have force or influence
minatory
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
inveigh
speak against in an impassioned manner
inveterate
firmly established, long-standing; habitual
involute
intricate; complex; convoluted
jejune
displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity
jocose
given to jesting; playfully humorous; jocular
labile
open to change
lachrymose
given to tears or weeping; causing to shed tears; mournful, lugubrious
lambaste
censure severely or angrily
lassitude
a feeling of lack of interest or energy
libertine
unrestrained by convention or morality
limn
trace the shape of
limpid
clear, transparent; readily understood
ineluctable
certain, inevitable
inimical
hostile, unfriendly
inimitable
not capable of being copied or imitated
iniquity
morally objectionable behavior
innervate
stimulate to action
inscrutable
difficult to understand
insensible
unresponsive to stimulation
insouciant
marked by blithe unconcern
interdict
command against
heterodox
characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards
hirsute
having or covered with hair
homiletics
the branch of theology that deals with sermons and homilies
homily
a sermon on a moral or religious topic
idyll
an episode of such pastoral or romantic charm as to qualify as the subject of a poetic idyll
ignominious
(used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
imbroglio
a very embarrassing misunderstanding
imperious
arrogantly domineering or overbearing
importune
beg persistently and urgently
impugn
attack as false or wrong
impute
attribute or credit to
extant
still in existence
extirpate
destroy completely, as if down to the roots
fallow
inactive; unproductive
feckless
generally incompetent and ineffectual
felicitious
well suited, appropriate, delicious, good companion
fetid
offensively malodorous
filigree
delicate and intricate ornamentation (usually in gold or silver or other fine twisted wire)
foment
try to stir up public opinion
fracas
noisy quarrel
fractious
easily irritated or annoyed
frieze
ornamental horizontal band on a wall
froward
habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
gainsay
to deny, contradict, controvert; to dispute, oppose
gambol
gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
gauche
lacking social graces; tactless
gossamer
characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy
hallow
to set apart as holy or sacred, sanctify, consecrate; to honor greatly, revere
harrow
to distress, create stress or torment
hermetic
completely sealed
equipoise
equality; balance; equilibrium
excoriate
express strong disapproval of
exegesis
an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
expatiate
to expand on, write or talk at length or in detail; to move about freely
expiate
make amends for
expostulate
reason with (somebody) for the purpose of dissuasion
expurgate
edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
exscind
to cut out cut away
effluvia
outflow in a stream of particles a noxious odor or vapor
effusive
extravagantly demonstrative
egress
the act of coming (or going) out
encomium
a formal expression of praise
enormity
an act of extreme wickedness
epithet
a defamatory or abusive word or phrase
equanimity
calmness, composure, refusal to panic
dirge
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
disaffect
arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness
discomfit
cause to lose one's composure
discursive
(of e.g. speech and writing) tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects
distention
the state or act of extending or being swollen out of shape
distrait
having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
doggerel
trivial, poorly constructed verse
dross
worthless material that should be removed
dulcet
extremely pleasant in a gentle way
edacious
voracious, devouring
edifying
enlightening or uplifting so as to encourage intellectual or moral improvement
depredate
to plunder and pillage
descant
talk at great length about something of one's interest
descry
to discriminate or discern
desuetude
a state of inactivity or disuse
desultory
marked by lack of definite plan or regularity or purpose
diaphanous
delicate, light, translucent
dilatory
tending to delay or procrastinate
contemn
look down on with disdain
contumacious
stubborn and disobedient; resisting authority (esp. disobedient to an order made by a court)
countenance
consent to, give permission
cozen
cheat or trick
defalcate
embezzle
denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work
calumny
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
caparison
to adorn or bedizen
captious
excessively ready to find fault; given to petty criticism; intended to trap, confuse, or show up
caret
a mark used by an author or editor to indicate where something is to be inserted into a text
cavil
raise trivial objections
celerity
Swiftness, rapidity of motion or action
chimera
a grotesque product of the imagination
churlish
(adj.) lacking politeness or good manners; lacking sensitivity; difficult to work with or deal with; rude
coda
concluding part of a literary or musical composition; something that summarizes or concludes
coeval
of the same period
bilge
bulge; the protuberance of a cask
blandish
to coax by using flattery
byzantine
highly involved or intricate
cabal
a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
cachinnate
laugh loudly and in an unrestrained way
cadge
to beg; sponge
calumniate
charge falsely or with malicious intent
asperity
roughness, severity; bitterness or tartness
aspersion
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
assay
an appraisal of the state of affairs
asseverate
to affirm earnestly and with emphasis
attenuate
become weaker, in strength, value, or magnitude
augury
an omen or prophecy
auspice
a favorable omen
beatify
make blessedly happy
bedizen
dress up garishly and tastelessly
anodyne
something that calms or soothes pain
apocryphal
of questionable authenticity
apogee
farthest point from the earth in the orbit of a heavenly body
apostate
a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
apotheosis
elevation to godhood; an ideal example of something
apposite
appropriate; fitting
arabesque
ornate design featuring intertwined curves
arrant
thoroughgoing, out-and-out; shameless, blatant
artless
without guile; open and honest
wag
a witty amusing person who makes jokes
abjure
formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
abrogate
revoke formally
abscission
the act of cutting something off
acarpous
no longer fertile; worn out
accretion
an increase by natural growth or addition
adroit
skillful (or showing skill) in adapting means to ends
adumbrate
describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of
anathema
an object of intense dislike; a curse or strong denunciation
pied
having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly
prize
to move or force, especially in an effort to get something open
rail
complain bitterly
rent
an opening made forcibly as by pulling apart
quail
draw back, as with fear or pain
scurvy
contemptible, despicable
steep
let sit in a liquid to extract a flavor or to cleanse
strut
brace consisting of a bar or rod used to resist longitudinal compression
table
hold back to a later time
ford
the act of crossing a stream or river by wading or in a car or on a horse
grouse
complain
guy
a rope or cable that is used to brace something (especially a tent)
nice
excessively fastidious and easily disgusted
occult
hide from view
pedestrian
lacking wit or imagination
alloy
to debase by mixing with something inferior
august
profoundly honored
bent
a relatively permanent inclination to react in a particular way
brook
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
essay
make an effort or attempt
exact
to demand
epicure
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
perfidy
betrayal of a trust
polemical
of or involving dispute or controversy
portentious
ominous
quotidian
found in the ordinary course of events
sycophant
a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
ribald
humorously vulgar
variegated
having a variety of colors
viturperate
criticize
stymie
hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
quaff
to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught
wizened
lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
pernicious
exceedingly harmful
plaintive
expressing sorrow
oscillation
The act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm
largess
liberality in bestowing gifts
gambit
a maneuver in a game or conversation
gnostic
possessing intellectual or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things
fulsome
unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
fulminate
criticize severely
noxious
injurious to physical or mental health
neophyte
any new participant in some activity
neologism
the act of inventing a word or phrase
ignoble
completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose
hubris
overbearing pride or presumption
hedonism
the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
impiety
lack of reverence or dutifulness
maxim
a general truth or rule of conduct; a short saying
mercurial
liable to sudden unpredictable change
moribund
on the point of death
nascent
coming into existence
conflate
mix together different elements
choleric
quickly aroused to anger
alacrity
liveliness and eagerness, quickness
accolade
praise, an award
replete
full; abundant
virulent
extremely poisonous or injurious
vestige
a trace or evidence of something that once existed
volubility
the quality of being facile in speech and writing
wax
go up or advance
verdant
green with vegetation
acerbic
harsh or corrosive in tone
acumen
keenness of judgment or insight
adulation
servile flattery
advent
arrival that has been awaited (especially of something momentous)
apex
the highest point (of something)
appropriate
take possession of by force, as after an invasion
ascetic
practicing great self-denial
diffident
showing modest reserve
assiduous
marked by care and persistent effort
effrontery
audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
astringent
tending to draw together or constrict soft organic tissue; sour or bitter in taste
collusion
secret agreement
comely
very pleasing to the eye
luminary
a celebrity who is an inspiration to others
craven
lacking even the rudiments of courage
loquacious
talkative
laud
praise, glorify, or honor
garrulous
talkative
florid
elaborately or excessively ornamented
ebullience
overflowing with enthusiasm
demagogue
an orator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience
dogmatic
characterized by arrogant assertion of unproved or unprovable principles
didactic
instructive (especially excessively)
germane
relevant
emollient
having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin
endemic
native to or confined to a certain region
deprecate
belittle
coterie
an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
elegy
a mournful poem
eschew
avoid and stay away from deliberately
esoteric
confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle
paean
a formal expression of praise
pithy
concise and full of meaning
prattle
speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
reprove
to find fault with, scold, rebuke
salubrious
promoting health
sedulous
marked by care and persistent effort
stoic
seemingly indifferent to emotions
strident
unpleasantly loud and harsh
stupefy
to stun, baffle, or amaze
surfeit
the state of being more than full
tawdry
cheap and shoddy
tetchy
easily irritated or annoyed
timorous
timid by nature or revealing timidity
torpid
slow and apathetic
truculent
defiantly aggressive
ubiquitous
being present everywhere at once
uncouth
lacking refinement or cultivation or taste
untenable
not capable of being held or defended; impossible to maintain
urbane
showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience
venerate
regard with feelings of respect and reverence
reprobate
a person without moral scruples
pundit
a learned person; one who gives authoritative opinions
prolific
bearing in abundance especially offspring
putrefy
to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
quay
wharf usually built parallel to the shoreline
rectitude
uprightness as a consequence of being honorable and honest
rampart
an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
prosaic
lacking wit or imagination
recant
formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
redoubtable
inspiring fear
regale
to entertain or delight
exhort
urge on or encourage especially by shouts
exposition
an account that sets forth the meaning or intent of a writing or discourse
extol
praise, glorify, or honor
facile
performing adroitly and without effort
attrition
a wearing down to weaken or destroy
banal
obvious and dull
baleful
deadly or sinister
axiomatic
evident without proof or argument
auspicious
attended by favorable circumstances
bane
something causes misery or death
beget
to produce; to make happen
list
tilt to one side
lumber
move heavily or clumsily
mince
make less severe or harsh
levity
lightness of manner
levee
a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water or to keep out the sea
refractory
stubbornly resistant to authority or control
prevaricate
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
preen
dress or groom with elaborate care
canon
a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy
canonical
conforming to orthodox or recognized rules
cajole
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
capitulate
surrender under agreed conditions
consonant
involving or characterized by harmony
demur
take exception to
redolent
having a strong distinctive fragrance
ingenuous
lacking in sophistication or worldliness
mendacity
the tendency to be untruthful
munificence
liberality in bestowing gifts
nebulous
lacking definition or definite content
rancorous
showing deep-seated resentment
chagrin
strong feelings of embarrassment
gregarious
seeking and enjoying the company of others
guile
the quality of being crafty
hackneyed
repeated too often
harangue
a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion
blithe
carefree and happy and lighthearted
immutable
not subject or susceptible to change or variation in form or quality or nature
dolorous
showing sorrow
chasten
correct by punishment or discipline
decorous
characterized by propriety and dignity and good taste in manners and conduct
consummate
perfect and complete in every respect
veneration
profound respect
erudite
having or showing profound knowledge
magnanimity
liberality in bestowing gifts
perfunctory
hasty and without attention to detail; as a formality only
prodigious
so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
tractable
easily managed (controlled or taught or molded)
tortuous
not straightforward; highly involved or intricate
solicitous
full of anxiety and concern
unfeigned
sincere, real, without pretense
aggrandize
to increase in greatness, power, or wealth; to build up or intensify; to make appear greater
probity
complete and confirmed integrity
privation
a state of extreme poverty
pulchritude
physical beauty (especially of a woman)
eponymous
a term for the title character of a work of literature
imprimatur
formal and explicit approval
deposition
the act of putting something somewhere
grandiloquence
high flown style
egregious
conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
gratuitous
unnecessary and unwarranted
incandescent
characterized by ardent emotion or intensity or brilliance
panacea
hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases
paucity
an insufficient quantity or number
pliant
capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out
predilection
a predisposition in favor of something
quixotic
very idealistic; impractical; caught up in romantic notions
chide
censure severely or angrily
panache
distinctive and stylish elegance
soporific
sleep inducing
vernacular
the everyday speech of the people (as distinguished from literary language)
gravitas
formality in bearing and appearance
cleave
separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
canard
a deliberately misleading fabrication
cupidity
extreme greed for material wealth
vitriolic
harsh or corrosive in tone
mordant
harshly ironic or sinister
vacuous
complacently or inanely foolish
lascivious
driven by lust
languorous
lacking spirit or liveliness
lugubrious
excessively mournful
sepulchral
suited to or suggestive of a grave or burial
ineffable
defying expression or description
amity
a cordial disposition
agape
open-mouthed; surprised; agog
scurrilous
expressing offensive reproach
invective
abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will
hectoring
bullying
soubriquet
a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name)
accession
agreeing with or consenting to (often unwillingly)
agglutination
the coalescing of small particles that are suspended in solution
pullulation
a rapid and abundant increase
sanatorium
pejorative terms for an insane asylum
avarice
extreme greed for material wealth
evince
give expression to
expound
to explain in detail
pandemic
an epidemic that is geographically widespread
coterminous
of equal extent or scope or duration
affective
characterized by emotion
gauntlet
dare, provocation, trial, punishment
caterwauling
a shrill, discordant sound
tonicity
the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli
platonic
free from physical desire
rubicund
inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life
sartorial
of or relating to a tailor or to tailoring
gawkishness
awkwardness, clumsiness
euphony
any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds