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100 terms

Barron's essential words for the GRE (set 1 of 8)

From the book "Essential words for the GRE." Published by Barron's in 2007.
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abate
to decrease; reduce
abdicate
to give up a position, right, or power
aberrant
deviating from what is normal
abeyance
temporary suppression or suspension
abject
miserable; pitiful
abjure
to reject; abandon formally
abscission
the act of cutting; the natural separation of a leaf or other part of a plant
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
something added, attached, or joined
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
cheerful willingness; eagerness; speed
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; improve partially
alloy
a combination; a mixture of two or more metals
allure
the power to entice by charm
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 improve
amenable
agreeable; cooperative; suited
amenity
something that increases comfort
amulet
ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
anachronism
something out of the proper time
analgesic
medication that reduces or eliminates pain
analogous
comparable
anarchy
absence of government; state of disorder
anodyne
something that calms or soothes pain
anomalous
irregular; deviating from the norm
antecedent
something that comes before
antediluvian
prehistoric
antipathy
dislike; hostility
apathy
indifference
apex
the highest point
apogee
the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited; the highest point
apothegm
a terse, witty saying
appease
to calm, pacify, placate
appellation
name
apposite
strikingly appropriate and relevant
apprise
to inform
approbation
praise, approval
appropriate
to take possession of for one's own use; confiscate
apropos
relevant
arabesque
ornate design featuring intertwined curves; a ballet position in which one leg is extended in back while the other supports the weight of the body
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
guileless; natural
ascetic
one who practices self-denial
asperity
severity; harshness; irritability
aspersion
slander; false rumor
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; individual or a part that exhibits atavism; return of a trait after a period of absence
attenuate
to weaken
audacious
bold; daring
austere
stern; unadorned; simple
autonomous
self-governing; independent
avarice
greed
aver
to affirm; declare to be true
avocation
secondary occupation
avuncular
like an uncle, benevolent and tolerant
axiomatic
taken for granted; self-evident truth
bacchanalian
pertaining to riotous or drunken festivity; pertaining to revelry
banal
commonplace; trite
banter
playful conversation
bard
poet
bawdy
obscene
beatify
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
kindly; doing good
bifurcate
to divide into two parts
blandishment
flattery
blase
bored because of frequent indulgence; unconcerned
bolster
to give a boost to; prop up; support
bombastic
pompous; using inflated language
boorish
rude; insensitive
bovine
cowlike
brazen
bold; shameless
broach
to mention for the first time