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554 terms

GRE Words to Learn

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Abase
to humble; disgrace
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
Abjure
to reject; abandon formally
Abscond
to leave secretly
Abstain
to choose not to do something
Abstemious
moderate in appetite
Abyss
an extremely deep hole
Accretion
a growth in size; an increase in amount
Acidulous
sour in taste or manner
Acme
highest point; summit; the highest level or degree attainable
Adulterate
to make impure
Advocate
to speak in favor of
Aerie
a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded, dwelling
Aesthetic
concerning the appreciation of beauty
Affected
phony; artificial
Aggrandize
to increase in power, influence, and reputation
Alacrity
speed or quickness
Alleviate
to make more bearable
Amalgamate
to combine; to mix together
Ambiguous
doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways
Ameliorate
to make better; to improve
Amortize
to diminish by installment payments
Amulet
ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
Anachronism
something out of place in time
Analgesia
a lessening or pain without loss of consciousness
Analogous
similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
Anodyne
something that calms or soothes pain
Anomaly
deviation from what is normal
Antagonize
to annoy or provoke to anger
Antipathy
extreme dislike
Apathy
lack of interest or emotion
Apocryphal
of questionable authority or authenticity
Apostate
one who renounces a religious faith
Approbation
approval and praise
Arbitrary
determined by chance or impulse
Arbitrate
to judge a dispute b/w two opposing parties
Archaic
ancient; old-fashioned
Ardor
intense and passionate feeling
Arrogate
to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right
Articulate
able to speak clearly and expressively
Assail
to attack; assault
Assuage
to make something unpleasant less severe
Attenuate
to reduce in force or degree; weaken
Audacious
fearless and daring
Augury
prophecy; prediction of events
August
dignified; grandiose
Austere
severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
Axiom
premise; postulate; self-evident truth
Banal
predictable; clichéd; boring
Belfry
bell tower; room in which a bell is hung
Bevy
group
Bifurcate
to divide into two parts
Bilk
to cheat; defraud
Blight
to afflict; destroy
Blithe
joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate thought
Bolster
to support; prop up
Bombastic
pompous in speech and manner
Bonhomie
good-natured geniality; atmosphere of good cheer
Boor
crude person, one lacking manners or taste
Burgeon
to grow and flourish
Burnish
to polish
Cabal
a secret group seeking to overturn something
Cacophony
harsh, jarring noise
Calumny
a false and malicious accusation; misrepresentation
Canard
a lie
Candid
impartial and honest in speech
Capricious
changing one's mind quickly and often
Cartography
science or art of making maps
Castigate
to punish or criticize harshly
Catalyst
something that brings about a change in something else
Catholic
universal; broad and comprehensive
Caustic
biting in wit
Chaos
great disorder or confused situation
Chauvinist
someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he/she belongs
Chicanery
deception by means of craft or guile
Circumspect
cautious; aware of potential consequences
Cloying
sickly sweet; excessive
Coalesce
to grow together to form a single whole
Coffer
strongbox; large chest for money
Cogent
convincing and well-reasoned
Collusion
collaboration; complicity; conspiracy
Condone
to overlook, pardon, or disregard
Connoisseur
a person with expert knowledge or discriminating tastes
Contrite
deeply sorrowful or repentant for a wrong
Contumacious
rebellious
Convoluted
intricate and complicated
Corroborate
to support with evidence
Cosset
to pamper; treat with great care
Coterie
an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose
Craven
lacking courage
Credulous
too trusting; gullible
Crescendo
steadily increasing in volume or force
Cupidity
greed; strong desire
Curmudgeon
cranky person, usually old
Debutante
young woman making debut in high society
Declivity
downward slope
Decorous
proper; tasteful; socially correct
Decorum
appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
Deface
to mar the appearance of; vandalize
Deference
respect; courtesy
Deleterious
subtly or unexpectedly harmful
Demagogue
a leader or rabble-rouser, usually appealing to emotion or prejudice
Demur
to express doubts or objection
Deride
to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock
Desiccate
to dry out thoroughly
Desultory
jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
Diaphanous
allowing light to show through; delicate
Diatribe
an abusive, condemnatory speech
Dictum
authoritative statement
Diffident
lacking self-confidence
Dilate
to make larger; expand
Dilatory
intended to delay
Dilettante
someone with an amateurish or superficial interest in a topic
Dirge
a funeral hymn or mournful speech
Disabuse
to set right; free from error
Discern
to perceive or recognize
Disparate
fundamentally different; entirely unalike
Dissemble
to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character
Dissonance
a harsh and disagreeable combination, especially of sounds
Distaff
the female branch of a family
Distend
to swell, inflate, or bloat
Dither
to act confusedly or without clear purpose
Diurnal
existing during the day
Divine
to foretell or know by inspiration
Doctrinaire
rigidly devoted to theories without regard for practicality; dogmatic
Dogma
a firmly held opinion, especially a religious belief
Dogmatic
dictatorial in one's opinions
Droll
amusing in a wry, subtle way
Dupe
to deceive; a person who is easily deceived
Dyspeptic
suffering from indigestion; gloomy and irritable
Ebullient
exhilarated; full of enthusiasm and high spirits
Eclectic
selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
Edify
to instruct morally and spiritually
Efficacy
effectiveness
Effigy
stuffed doll; likeness of a person
Effrontery
impudent boldness; audacity
Elegy
a sorrowful poem or speech
Eloquent
persuasive and moving, especially in speech
Embellish
to add ornamental or fictitious details
Emulate
to copy; to try to equal or excel
Encomium
warm praise
Endemic
belonging to a particular area; inherent
Enervate
to reduce in strength
Engender
to produce, cause, or bring about
Enigma
a puzzle; a mystery
Enumerate
to count, list, or itemize
Ephemeral
lasting a short time
Epicure
person with refined taste in food and wine
Equivocate
to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead
Erratic
wandering and unpredictable
Ersatz
fake
Erudite
learned; scholarly; bookish
Eschew
to shun; to avoid (as something wrong or distasteful)
Esoteric
known or understood only by a few
Estimable
admirable
Ethos
beliefs or character of a group
Eulogy
speech in praise of someone
Euphemism
use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one
Euphony
pleasant, harmonious sound
Exacerbate
to make worse
Exculpate
to clear from blame; prove innocent
Exigent
urgent; requiring immediate action
Exonerate
to clear of blame
Explicit
clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression
Exponent
one who champions or advocates
Expurgate
to censor
Fallow
dormant; unused
Fanatical
acting excessively enthusiastic; filled with extreme unquestioned devotion
Fatuous
stupid; foolishly self-satisfied
Fawn
to grovel
Fecund
fertile; fruitful; productive
Fervid
intensely emotional; feverish
Fetid
foul-smelling; putrid
Flag
to decline in vigor, strength, or interest
Florid
excessively decorated or embellished
Foment
to arouse or incite
Ford
to cross a body of water by wading
Forestall
to prevent or delay; anticipate
Fortuitous
happening by chance; fortunate
Fractious
unruly; rebellious
Frenetic
frantic; frenzied
Frugality
tending to be thrifty or cheap
Furtive
secret, stealthy
Gambol
to dance or skip around playfully
Garner
to gather and store
Garrulous
tending to talk a lot
Gestation
growth process from conception to birth
Glib
fluent in an insincere manner; offhand; casual
Glower
to glare or stare angrily and intensely
Gradation
process occurring by regular degrees or stages; variation in color
Gregarious
outgoing; sociable
Grievous
causing grief or sorrow; serious and distressing
Grovel
to humble oneself in a demeaning way
Guile
deceit; trickery
Gullible
easily deceived
Hapless
unfortunate; having bad luck
Hegemony
the domination of one state or group over its allies
Hermetic
tightly sealed
Heterogeneous
composed of unlike parts; different; diverse
Hoary
very old; whitish or gray from age
Homogeneous
of a similar kind
Husband
to manage economically; to use sparingly
Hyperbole
purposeful exaggeration for effect
Iconoclast
one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions
Idiosyncrasy
peculiarity of temperament; eccentricity
Ignoble
having low moral standards; not noble in character; mean
Imbue
to infuse, dye, wet, or moisten
Impasse
blocked path; dilemma with no solution
Impecunious
poor; having no money
Imperturbable
not capable of being disturbed
Impervious
impossible to penetrate
Impetuous
quick to act without thinking
Impious
not devout in religion
Implacable
unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
Imprecation
a curse
Impugn
to call into question; to attack verbally
Incarnadine
blood-red in color
Inchoate
not fully formed; disorganized
Inculcate
to teach; impress in the mind
Indolent
habitually lazy or idle
Inexorable
inflexible; unyielding
Ingenuous
showing innocence or childlike simplicity
Ingrate
ungrateful person
Ingratiate
to gain favor with another by deliberate effort; to seek to please somebody so as to gain an advantage
Inimical
hostile; unfriendly
Iniquity
sin; evil act
Innocuous
harmless
Inquest
an investigation; an inquiry
Insipid
lacking interest or flavor
Insurrection
rebellion
Inter
to bury
Interregnum
period between reigns
Intractable
not easily managed or manipulated
Intransigent
uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled
Intrepid
fearless; resolutely courageous
Inundate
to overwhelm; to cover with water
Inure
to harden; accustom become used to
Invective
abusive language
Investiture
ceremony conferring authority
Invidious
envious, obnoxious, or offensive; likely to promote ill-will
Irascible
easily made angry
Itinerant
wandering from place to place; unsettled
Jargon
nonsensical talk; specialized language
Jettison
to discard; get rid of as unnecessary or encumbering
Jingoism
belligerent support of one's country
Jocular
playful; humorous
Judicious
sensible; showing good judgment
Juncture
point of time, especially where two things are joined
Keen
having a sharp edge; intellectually sharp; perceptive
Kindle
to set fire to or ignite; excite or inspire
Kinetic
relating to motion; characterized by movement
Knell
sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure
Kudos
fame, glory, or honor
Lachrymose
tearful
Laconic
using few words
Lament
to express sorrow; to grieve
Lampoon
to ridicule with satire
Languid
lacking energy; indifferent; slow
Lapidary
relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them
Larceny
theft of property
Largess
generous giving (as of money) to others who may seem inferior
Lassitude
a state of diminished energy
Latent
potential that is not readily apparent
Laud
to give praise; to glorify
Lavish
extremely generous or extravagant; giving unsparingly
Leery
suspicious
Legerdemain
trickery
Lethargic
acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner
Levity
an inappropriate lack of seriousness; overly casual
Liberal
tolerant or broad-minded; generous or lavish
Libertine
a free thinker, usually used disparagingly; one without moral restraint
Licentious
immoral; unrestrained by society
Limpid
clear; transparent
Lionize
to treat as a celebrity
Lissome
easily flexed; limber; agile
Listless
lacking energy and enthusiasm
Livid
discolored from a bruise; reddened with anger
Loquacious
talkative
Lucid
clear and easily understood
Lugubrious
sorrowful; mournful; dismal
Lumber
to move slowly and awkwardly
Luminous
bright; brilliant; glowing
Machination
plot or scheme
Maelstrom
whirlpool; turmoil; agitated state of mind
Magnate
powerful or influential person
Malediction
a curse; a wish of evil upon another
Malinger
to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill
Malleable
capable of being shaped
Mannered
artificial or stilted in character
Mar
to damage or deface; spoil
Martinet
strict disciplinarian; one who rigidly follows rules
Maudlin
overly sentimental
Mendacious
dishonest
Mendicant
beggar
Mercurial
quick, shrewd, and unpredictable
Meretricious
gaudy; falsely attractive
Metaphor
figure of speech comparing two different things
Meticulous
extremely careful; fastidious; painstaking
Militate
to operate against; work against
Mirth
frivolity; gaiety; laughter
Misanthrope
a person who dislikes others
Missive
a written note or letter
Mitigate
to soften; to lessen
Mollify
to calm or make less severe
Molt
to shed hair, skin, or an outer layer periodically
Monastic
extremely plain or secluded
Monotony
no variation; tediously the same
Mores
fixed customs or manners; moral attitudes
Multifarious
diverse
Myopic
lacking foresight; having a narrow view or long-range perspective
Nadir
lowest point
Naïve
lacking sophistication or experience
Nascent
starting to develop; coming into existence
Neologism
new word or expression
Neophyte
novice; beginner
Nettle
to irritate
Noisome
stinking; putrid
Nominal
existing in name only; negligible
Nuance
a subtle expression of meaning or quality
Numismatics
coin collecting
Obdurate
hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion
Oblique
indirect or evasive; misleading or devious
Obsequious
overly submissive and eager to please
Obstinate
stubborn; unyielding
Obviate
to prevent; to make unnecessary
Occlude
to stop up; prevent the passage of
Officious
too helpful; meddlesome
Onerous
troublesome and oppressive; burdensome
Opaque
impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light
Opine
to express an opinion
Opprobrium
public disgrace
Orotund
pompous
Ossify
to change into bone; to become hardened or set in a rigidly conventional pattern
Ostensible
apparent
Ostentation
excessive showiness
Overwrought
agitated; overdone
Palatial
relating to a palace; magnificent
Palliate
to make less serious; ease
Pallid
lacking color or liveliness
Panache
flamboyance or dash in style and action; verve
Panegyric
elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise
Panoply
impressive array
Paradox
a contradiction or dilemma
Paragon
model of excellence or perfection
Pare
to trim off excess; reduce
Pariah
an outcast
Parley
discussion, usually b/w enemies
Parry
to ward off or deflect, especially by a quick-witted answer
Pastiche
piece of literature or music imitating other works
Pathogenic
causing disease
Peccadillo
minor sin or offense
Pedant
someone who shows off learning
Pejorative
having bad connotations; disparaging
Penury
an oppressive lack of resource (as money); severe poverty
Peregrinate
to wander from place to place; to travel, especially on foot
Perfidious
willing to betray one's trust
Perfunctory
done in a routine way; indifferent
Peripatetic
wandering from place to place, especially on foot
Permeate
to penetrate
Perspicacious
shrewd, astute, or keen-witted
Pervade
to be present throughout; to permeate
Phalanx
a compact or close-knit body of people, animals, or things
Philanthropy
charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness
Philistine
a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values
Phlegmatic
calm and unemotional in temperament
Pithy
profound or substantial yet concise succinct, and to the point
Placate
to soothe or pacify
Plastic
able to be molded, altered, or bent
Plebeian
crude or coarse; characteristic of commoners
Plethora
excess
Plucky
courageous; spunky
Polemic
controversy; argument; verbal attack
Politic
shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic
Polyglot
a speaker of many languages
Posit
to assume as real or conceded; propose as an explanation
Potentate
monarch or ruler with great power
Pragmatic
practical, as opposed to idealistic
Prattle
meaningless; foolish talk
Precipitate
to throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation
Precise
short summary of facts
Prescient
having foresight
Prevaricate
to lie or deviate from the truth
Pristine
fresh and clean; uncorrupted
Probity
complete honesty and integrity
Proclivity
a natural inclination or predisposition
Prodigal
lavish; wasteful
Profligate
corrupt; degenerate
Proliferate
to increase in number quickly
Propitiate
to conciliate; to appease
Propriety
the quality of behaving in a proper manner; obeying rules and customs
Prudence
wisdom, caution, restraint
Puerile
childish, immature, or silly
Pugilism
boxing
Pulchritude
beauty
Pungent
sharp and irritating to the senses
Pusillanimous
cowardly; without courage
Querulous
inclined to complain; irritable
Quiescent
motionless
Quixotic
overly idealistic; impractical
Quotidian
occurring daily; commonplace
Raconteur
witty, skillful storyteller
Rarefy
to make thinner or sparser
Redress
relief from wrong or injury
Rejoinder
response
Repast
meal or mealtime
Replete
abundantly supplied; complete
Repose
relaxation; leisure
Repudiate
to reject the validity of
Requite
to return or repay
Restive
impatient, uneasy, or restless
Reticent
silent; reserved
Rhetoric
effective writing or speaking
Ribald
humorous in a vulgar way
Rococo
very highly ornamented
Rustic
rural
Sacrosanct
extremely sacred; beyond criticism
Sagacious
shrewd; wise
Salient
prominent; of notable significance
Salubrious
healthful
Sanguine
ruddy; cheerfully optimistic
Sardonic
cynical; scornfully mocking
Satiate
to satisfy fully or overindulge
Scintilla
trace amount
Sedition
behavior that promotes rebellion or civil disorder against the state
Sentient
aware; conscious; able to perceive
Seraphic
angelic; sweet
Sinecure
a well-paying job or office that requires little or no work
Slake
to calm down or moderate
Sobriquet
nickname
Solecism
grammatical mistake; blunder in speech
Soporific
causing sleep or lethargy
Spartan
highly self-disciplined; frugal; austere
Specious
deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious
Sportive
frolicsome; playful
Stasis
a state of static balance or equilibrium; stagnation
Stentorian
extremely loud
Stigma
a mark of shame or discredit
Stolid
unemotional; lacking sensitivity
Stratagem
trick designed to deceive an enemy
Sublime
lofty or grand
Sully
to tarnish; taint
Supplant
to replace (another) by force; to take the place of
Surfeit
excessive amount
Surly
rude and bad-tempered
Sybarite
a person devoted to pleasure and luxury
Sycophant
a self-serving flatterer; yes-man
Symbiosis
cooperation; mutual helpfulness
Syncopation
temporary irregularity in musical rhythm
Tacit
done without using words
Taciturn
silent; not talkative
Talon
claw of an animal, especially a bird of prey
Tangential
digressing; diverting
Tawdry
gaudy, cheap, or showy
Terrestrial
earthly; down-to-earth; commonplace
Tirade
long, harsh speech or verbal attack
Toady
one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors
Tome
book, usually large and academic
Torpor
extreme mental and physical sluggishness
Transitory
temporary; lasting a brief time
Trenchant
acute, sharp, or incisive; forceful; effective
Turgid
swollen as from a fluid; bloated
Tyro
beginner; novice
Umbrage
offense; resentment
Unconscionable
unscrupulous; shockingly unfair or unjust
Unequivocal
absolute; certain
Upbraid
to scold sharply
Usury
the practice of lending money at exorbitant rates
Vacillate
to physically sway or be indecisive
Variegated
varied; marked with different colors
Venerable
respected because of age
Venerate
to respect deeply
Veracity
filled with truth and accuracy
Verbose
wordy
Verdant
green with vegetation; inexperienced
Vernal
related to spring; fresh
Vestige
a trace; remnant
Vex
to annoy; irritate; puzzle; confuse
Vicissitude
a change or variation; ups and downs
Vim
vitality and energy
Viscous
thick and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid
Vituperate
to abuse verbally; berate
Volatile
easily arouse or changeable; lively or explosive
Voluble
talkative; speaking easily; glib
Wan
sickly pale
Wanton
undisciplined; unrestrained; reckless
Waver
to fluctuate between choices
Whimsical
lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable
Wily
clever; deceptive
Winsome
charming; happily engaging
Wizened
shriveled; withered; wrinkled
Wraith
a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his/her death
Xenophobia
a fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers
Yoke
to join together
Zeal
passion; excitement
Zealot
someone passionately devoted to a cause
Zenith
the point of culmination; peak
Zephyr
a gentle breeze; something airy or insubstantial
ambrosial
extremely pleasing to the senses, divine
antediluvian
ancient; outmoded; (literally,before the flood)
aver
to declare
barefaced
unconcealed, shameless, or brazen
blandishment
speech or action intended to coax someone into doing something
breach
a lapse, gap or break, as in a fortress wall. To break or break through.
buttress
to support. a support
cadge
to get something by taking advantage of someone
caprice
impulse (adj: capricious)
complaisant
willingly compliant or accepting of the status quo
conflagration
a great fire
corporeal
of or having to do with material, as opposed to spiritual; tangible.
corporal
of the body
culpable
deserving of blame
dearth
lack, scarcity
deprecation
belittlement.
depredation
the act of preying upon or plundering:
descry
to make clear, to say
dogged
stubborn or determined
effluent
the quality of flowing out. something that flows out, such as a stream from a river
emollient
softening; something that softensexorbitant exceeding customary or normal limits, esp. in quantity or price
explicit
fully and clearly expressed
feign
to give false appearance or impression
fledgling
a baby bird; an inexperienced person; inexperienced.
gossamer
fine cobweb on foliage; fine gauzy fabric; very fine
headlong
headfirst; impulsive; hasty. impulsively; hastily; without forethought
imperious
commanding
indelible
permanent; unerasable; strong
ineffable
indescribable; inexpressible in words; unspeakable
insensible
numb; unconscious
insular
of or pertaining to an island, thus, excessively exclusive
leviathan
giant whale, therefore, something very large
magnanimity
generosity and nobility. (adj: magnanimous)
malevolent
malicious; evil; having or showing ill will
misnomer
incorrect name or word for something
misogynist
one who hates women
nefarious
wicked, evil
petulant
easily or frequently annoyed, especially over trivial matters; childishly irritable
ponderous
heavy; massive; awkward; dull
precipice
cliff with a vertical or nearly vertical face; a dangerous place from which one is likely to fall; metaphorically, a very risky circumstance
precursor
something (or someone) that precedes another:
reproof
the act of censuring, scolding, or rebuking
rescind
to repeal or annul
sate
to satisfy fully or to excess
saturnine
having a gloomy or morose temperament
savant
a very knowledgeable person; a genius
sedulous
diligent; persevering; persistent
superficial
only covering the surface
temperate
exercising moderation and self-denial; calm or mild
tortuous
twisted; excessively complicated:
turpitude
depravity; baseness
vacuous
empty; without contents; without ideas or intelligence
voracious
craving or devouring large quantities of food, drink, or other things.
wretched
extremely pitiful or unfortunate