GRE Key Terms Group 4
Terms in this set (72)
having a sour or bitter taste or character; sharp; biting
"his acerbic wit"
to increase in intensity, power, influence, or prestige
"he hoped to aggrandize himself by dying a hero's death"
a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold
"immortality through alchemy"
agreeable; responsive to suggestion
"an amenable child"
something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
"everything was as it would have appeared in centuries past apart from one anachronism, a bright yellow construction crane"
having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe
"an astringent skin lotion"
sharing a border; touching; adjacent
"the 48 contiguous states"
a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
"a convention signed by 74 countries"
tending to believe too readily; gullible
"he sold 'miracle' cures to desperate and credulous clients"
an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
"public cynicism about politics"
polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
"you exhibit remarkable modesty and decorum"
scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
"my stories were greeted with derision and disbelief"
to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
"a dilettante approach to science"
to slight or belittle
"he never missed an opportunity to disparage his competitors"
to disclose something secret
"I am too much of a gentleman to divulge her age"
to flatter or praise excessively
"they were fawning over the president"
to show contempt for, as in a rule or convention
"these same companies still flout basic ethical practices"
pointlessly talkative; talking too much
"polonius is portrayed as a foolish, garrulous old man"
marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth; superficial
"she was careful not to let the answer sound too glib"
overbearing presumption or pride; arrogance
"the hubris among economists was shaken"
about to happen; impending
"they were in imminent danger of being swept away"
not capable of change
"an immutable fact"
hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
"an impetuous but controlled flow of water"
having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
"they all seemed indifferent rather than angry"
damaging; harmful; injurious
"action inimical to our interests"
not easily managed or directed; stubborn; obstinate
"an intractable man"
steadfast and courageous
"our intrepid reporter"
using few words; terse
"his laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic"
an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
"a maverick among Connecticut republicans"
characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
"his mercurial temperament"
to calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
"nature reserves were set up around the power stations to mollify local conservationists"
a recent convert; a beginner; novice
"four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts"
to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
"the spelling changes will deform some familiar words and obfuscate their etymological origins"
stubborn; hard-headed; uncompromising
"it's unusual for two such obstinate people to have a happy marriage"
characterized by or given to pretentious display; showy
"books that people buy and display ostentatiously but never actually finish"
to permeate throughout
"the smell of stale cabbage pervaded the air"
calm, sluggish, unemotional
"I come from a very demonstrative, emotional italian family, I can't remember one phlegmatic moment from my childhood"
an overabundance; a surplus
"a plethora of committees and subcommittees"
practical rather than idealistic
"a pragmatic approach to politics"
overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
"I hope I won't be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice"
pure; uncorrupted; clean
"a pristine white shirt"
adherence to highest principles; complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness
a natural predisposition or inclination
"a proclivity for hard work"
excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
"profligate consumers of energy"
a natural inclination or tendency; penchant
"his propensity for giving long speeches"
dull; lacking in spirit or imagination
"prosaic language can't convey the experience"
characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
"the pungent smell of frying onions"
foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
"a vast and perhaps quixotic project"
occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
"the car sped noisily off through the quotidian traffic"
to make or become thin, less dense; to refine
hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
"the book is full of recondite information"
radiant; shiny; brilliant
"refulgent blue eyes"
to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
"the administration had reneged on its election promises"
diligent; persistent; hard-working
"he watched himself with the most sedulous care"
a piece of broken pottery or glass
"shards of glass flew in all directions"
causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
"the motion of the train had a somewhat soporific effect"
thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
"she has sparse eyebrows"
one who spends money wastefully
"he is such a spendthrift"
not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
"he tried a more subtle approach"
implied; not explicitly stated
"your silence may be taken to mean tacit agreement"
brief and concise in wording
"a terse statement"
to publicly praise or promote
"Jim was touting his wares"
sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
"she heard angry voices, not loud, yet certainly trenchant"
genuine; not false or hypocritical
"a broad smile of unfeigned delight"
indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
"this argument is clearly untenable"
to waver indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another
"I had for a time vacillated between teaching and journalism"
multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
"variegated yellow bricks"
"Jenny bit her lip in vexation"
"the burglar was spotted vigilant neighbors"
to use harsh condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; to berate
"he began vituperating the 'social sins' of capitalism"
readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive
"a volatile organic compound"
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