2 terms

GRE Vocab - Day 1

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Iconoclast
Definition:

Iconoclast (noun) - one who attacks or breaks down prevalent standards, beliefs, or institutions; or, one who destroys idols of worship

Iconoclastic (adjective) - characterized by breaking rules or attacking prevalent standards, beliefs, or institutions

GRE pro tips:

You may have seen the root clast in your high school or college biology class - specifically, when studying osteoclasts, or cells that help to regulate calcium levels in the blood. The root clast comes from the Greek klastos, meaning "broken," and klao, meaning "to break" or "to destroy." Therefore, osteoclasts are so named because they break down bone to release calcium into the bloodstream. Likewise, biblioclasts are destroyers of books; and, iconoclasts destroy icons, or help to tear down or undo prevalent beliefs, traditions, or institutions. Iconoclastic individuals are revolutionary thinkers - ones who constantly question and work to combat the status quo.

Example sentences:

"A well-known iconoclast, she continually challenged - and often undid - the antiquated practices of the manufacturing world."

"The university would benefit from employing more iconoclastic thinkers - those who will challenge current theories."
Dogmatic
Definition:

Dogmatic (adjective) – tending to express or hold very strong opinions, codes, or beliefs, as if they are unquestionably true; or, relating to dogma

GRE pro tips:

It is easiest to understand the word dogma and dogmatic in conjunction with one another. A “dogma” refers to an established opinion, code, or doctrine. Someone who is “dogmatic” will cling to existing dogmas (opinions, codes, or doctrines) and treat them as fact. Not only do they hold and express their views very strongly, dogmatic people are generally extreme in their views, and refuse to even consider ideas that are contrary to their own.

To better remember dogmatic, think of the dogmatic dog. The dogmatic dog just knows that his favorite brand, Blue Deer, is the best dog food ever made. It’s not even up for discussion – no questions asked!

Example sentences:

“His dogmatic views on programming prevent him from seriously considering alternative approaches.”

“After a few beers, Uncle Harry becomes quite dogmatic about politics.”
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