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Level 1 GRE Vocab: Least Difficult
Terms in this set (110)
noun, a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected
"The Fed will probably need convincing that the latest labour-market report was an aberrationbefore tightening policy."
adjective, Up to date with the latest news, ideas, or information
Synonyms: in touch with, plugged into
"These daily updates were designed to help readers keep abreast of the markets..."
verb, Restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something
Synonyms: refrain, desist, hold back
"The decision to abstain from such techniques, just and wise though it was, came at a cost."
noun, a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm
Synonyms: gorge, ravine, void
"Whose dire warnings about risks... seem most believable? Which abyss looks darker and deeper?"
adjective, Very skilled or proficient at something
Synonyms: expert, proficient, accomplished
"An abundance of clever people—adept in English law as much as in finance—draws in banks, fund managers and so forth..."
adjective, Very eager or curious to hear or see something
Synonyms: excited, impatient, in suspense
"We are now agog to know when, on the basis of its forecasts, the Bank will push up interest rates..."
noun, the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating
Synonyms: attraction, lure, draw
"Yet it was the allure of the Model T for millions of consumers that finally drove the horse off the road."
noun, the belief in or practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others
Synonyms: selflessness, compassion, goodwill
"Dr Decety is not the first to wonder, in a scientific way, about the connection between religion and altruism."
adjective, having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone
Synonyms: equivocal, uncertain, unsure
"The first was a chronic lack of focus. Right from the start Yahoo was ambivalent about whether it should be a media or a technology company."
verb, Declare invalid
Synonyms: repeal, reverse, rescind
"Last month's election was a re-run of a vote in October 2015, the results of which were annulled after several candidates alleged electoral malpractice."
noun, Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern
Synonyms: indifference, passivity, ennui
"Perhaps most difficult will be overcoming the cynicism, and apathy, of the public."
adjective, Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system
Synonyms: capricious, random, chance
"The prevailing belief among linguists had been that the sounds used to form those words were arbitrary."
noun, a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter
Synonyms: authority, judge, controller
"The viewer is, ultimately, the arbiter of influence: either partaking in the objectification, or actively challenging the power dynamic."
adjective, without guile or deception
Synonyms: candid, direct, forthright
"He is loveably artless and embarrassingly awkward in his unstoppably cheerful attempts to win over the frosty members of the band..."
adjective, showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks
Synonyms: bold, daring, fearless
"It was as audacious as any heist and yet unlikely material for a Hollywood blockbuster."
adjective, Having an extremely plain and simple style or appearance
Synonyms: unadorned, subdued, stark
"Not all Western airports have austere arrival concourses à la Heathrow; many have eateries and bars..."
noun, a thing that spoils or damages something
Synonyms: affliction, scourge, bane
"Yet the USFS predicts that within a couple of decades, because of slowing growth and climate-related blights, the forests will become an emissions source."
adjective, showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper
Synonyms: indifferent, unconcerned, blasé
"Mr. Cameron's government was too posh, too cocky, too blithe about globalization's merits, too metropolitan. Too Notting Hill. "
noun, a person who blusters and boasts in an unpleasant way
Synonyms: boaster, bragger, show-off
"His name conjured up associations such as 'arrogant' and 'blowhard' ..."
verb, Support or strengthen
Synonyms: reinforce, prop up, boost
"If the results are confirmed, they will bolster voters' belief in the system."
adjective, High-sounding but with little meaning; inflated Synonyms: pompous, blustering, turgid
"Cynics may ascribe Mr. Rubio's mild tone to the diverse population of his home state, and the fact that bombastic Mr. Trump trails in the polls there."
noun, a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups
Synonyms: veto, shunning, rejection
"Conversely some prominent black women have called for a boycott, seeing Mr. Parker's past as a disqualifying stain."
noun, a variety show
Synonyms: skit, farce, striptease
"Madame JoJo's, a burlesque bar in London's Soho, had its license revoked in 2014 after two bouncers brandished a baseball bat at a rowdy crowd."
noun, a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
Synonyms: racket, noise, clamor
"In 1957 New York's subway contained a haphazard mishmash of fonts, both serif and sans, and a typographic designer, sick of the visual cacophony, submitted a brief to the New York City Transit Authority..."
adjective, (Of a problem) long lasting and difficult to eradicate
Synonyms: constant, continuing, persistent
"Pessimists think the productivity problem is chronic. Technological advances, they say, are ever-less revolutionary..."
noun, a concluding event, remark or section
Synonyms: ending, finale
"With distinct ballad, opera and hard rock sections—and a pensive intro and coda, for good measure—the song was not for listeners in a hurry."
verb, Prove (a theory, expectation, or prediction) wrong
Synonyms: contradict, counter, go against
"Yet in another sense, the Fed has confounded predictions—at least, those it made itself."
verb, Do something that one considers to be beneath one's dignity
Synonyms: come down from one's high horse
"If the Senate deigns to consider and confirm a nominee, do not expect changes overnight."
adjective, not candid or sincere
Synonyms: dishonest, deceitful, duplicitous
"But shamelessly self-interested and probably contrary to his real views on the EU though it is, the mayor's move is perhaps not entirely disingenuous."
adjective, Ready to accept control or instruction; submissive
Synonyms: compliant, obedient, pliant
"Docile with humans, they are fierce defenders of territory and their young."
verb, Remove (an item of clothing)
Synonyms: lay hold of, take hold of
"To don shoes, to doff them, or even to throw them at somebody?"
verb, be extremely and uncritically fond of
Synonyms: adore, love dearly, be devoted to
"Falling birth-rates allowed parents to dote on fewer children, who were increasingly likely to go to school."
verb, Provide with a quality, ability, or asset
Synonyms: equip, bless, give
"Good and inspiring teachers, meanwhile, such as... J.K. Rowling's Minerva McGonagall, are portrayed as endowed with supernatural gifts..."
adjective, Lasting for a very short time
Synonyms: fleeting, passing, short-lived
"One was Song Dong, just 19 and studying oil painting which he quickly abandoned. Now he is known for his performances and his ephemeral—sometimes edible—installations."
noun, the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community
Synonyms: character, atmosphere, climate
"Mr. Cotton presented himself as a member of the generation moved by the patriotic spirit... leaving civilian careers to join the army and learn a 'warrior ethos.'"
adjective, Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor
Synonyms: flippant, glib, tongue-in-cheek
"'More disturbing,' says Mr. Hart, I didn't note that his column was facetious. In tone, it was indeed, and I should have noted that."
noun, a small, organized, dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics
Synonyms: contingent, section, sector
"One particular separatist faction is now widely accepted to have been responsible for a string of small bombs which detonated in August..."
Synonyms: dormant, quiet, slack
"Their fickle attention might waver for a few fallow years of rebuilding, but Angel Stadium will still be standing..."
verb, Move unsteadily or in a way that shows lack of confidence
Synonyms: stumble, fumble
"His early steps were faltering, and a frailer soul might have been daunted by his mentors' fate..."
verb, Flounder; struggle uselessly
Synonyms: thrash, thresh, squirm
"This means that, a good accent, rhythm and grammar notwithstanding, the intermediate-to-advanced learner is likely to flail..."
noun, Unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck
Synonyms: coincidence, accident, a twist of fate
"Was this a fluke? Mr. Baker is not the first to notice the anomaly."
verb, (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions
Synonyms: hunt, scavenge, grub
"And you must be ready to abandon tired orthodoxies of the left and right and forage for good ideas across the political spectrum."
adjective, Happening by a lucky chance
Synonyms: fortunate, advantageous, opportune
"Thanks to these sensible policies, and the fortuitous tailwind of higher productivity growth, the economy boomed and prosperity was shared."
noun, the unconventional, extreme, or marginal wing of a group or sphere of activity
Synonyms: peripheral, radical, unorthodox
"Fringe beliefs reinforced in these ways can establish themselves and persist long after outsiders deem them debunked..."
verb, Gather or collect (something, especially information or approval)
Synonyms: accumulate, amass, assemble
"Labs that garnered more pay-offs were more likely to pass on their methods to other, newer labs..."
noun, the substance or essence of a speech or text
Synonyms: quintessence, main idea
"Machine translation, too, has gone from terrible to usable for getting the gist of a text..."
adjective, Used to refer to something very light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate
Synonyms: gauzy, gossamery, fine
"Like a saintly relic, the gossamer threads that tie the two halves offer the promise of miraculous healing by evoking the vulnerability of the suffering body."
verb, Act in an obsequious manner in order to obtain someone's forgiveness or favor
Synonyms: be servile, suck up, flatter
"She writes...in the knowledge that some of these lovers will snoop into her diary to see what she's written. ('Does she get a kick out of my groveling in the last two years?)"
noun, a lengthy and aggressive speech
Synonyms: tirade, diatribe, rant
"State-run China Central Television (CCTV) has broadcast harsh criticisms of some multinationals, including an absurd harangue over Starbucks' prices..."
adjective, Acting or done quickly and without thought or care
Synonyms: impulsive, rash, hasty
"The report holds many lessons, including for this newspaper, which supported the invasion of Iraq: about the danger of impetuous decision-making..."
noun, a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime
Synonyms: arraignment, citation
"A criminal indictment would, in all likelihood, force the prime minister to resign."
adjective, Lacking vigor
Synonyms: idle, inactive, underactive
"America's founders, he argued, put their faith in reasoned discussion among citizens and believed that the 'greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.' "
noun, an ungrateful person
"Greater liberty... over the past generation is abused by ingrates who think it funny to depict their leaders pantless..."
adjective, Lacking vigour or interest
Synonyms: boring, vapid, dull
"It was a stultifying procession of patriotic songs... insipid skits and bald propaganda."
adjective, Not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful
Synonyms: slack, slipshod, negligent
"Mario Draghi has faced attacks from critics in Germany (for being too lax) and Greece (for being too tight)."
adjective, Not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful
Synonyms: slack, slipshod, negligent
"Mario Draghi has faced attacks from critics in Germany (for being too lax) and Greece (for being too tight)."
adjective, furiously angry
Synonyms: infuriated, irate, fuming
"A livid Vladimir Putin minced no words in his response, calling the downing a 'stab in the back'..."
verb, Sit, lie, or stand in a lazy, relaxed way
Synonyms: lounge, sprawl, drape oneself
"The pair loll on a green hillside at Murnau south of Munich where Münter had bought a house."
adjective, Presented in vividly shocking or sensational terms
Synonyms: melodramatic, exaggerated, overdramatized
"Their absence from the public eye, especially in a Western country with an abundant supply of good hospitals, tends to spark lurid rumours of illness and even death."
verb, Impair the quality or appearance of
Synonyms: spoil, ruin, damage
"These oversights mar an otherwise engaging and interesting account, but perhaps it is natural that a history of space should have a few gaping holes."
verb, Use polite or moderate expressions to indicate disapproval
"President Barack Obama didn't mince his words in a tweet on June 21st, the day after the Senate failed to pass four proposals..."
noun, a follower or underling of a powerful person
Synonyms: henchman, yes-man, lackey
"Its minions have set up thousands of social-media "bots" and other spamming weapons to drown out other content."
noun, Amusement, especially as expressed in laughter
Synonyms: merriment, high spirits
"A further proposal, to cut the salaries of senior public managers by 25%, has caused both anger and mirth."
adjective, not excessively large, elaborate, or expensive
Synonyms: ordinary, simple, plain
"They can be seen in the modest dress, office decor and eating habits of Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor..."
adjective, Sullen and ill-tempered
Synonyms: sullen, sulky, gloomy
"Mr. Macron's can-do political energy stands out in morose France, home to 10% unemployment and growth last year of just 1.1%."
noun, a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist
Synonyms: inspiration, influence, stimulus
"Mr. Blackwell's mother was Fleming's mistress, muse and supposedly the model for Pussy Galore."
adjective, Not explicit or direct in addressing a point
Synonyms: indirect, inexplicit, roundabout
"'Fire at Sea' has been praised for offering an oblique, poetic alternative to a more conventional campaigning documentary..."
adjective, Not able to be seen through; not transparent
Synonyms: cloudy, obscure
"But Mr. Kim is so opaque and so little is known about how decisions come about in the capital, Pyongyang, that deterring North Korea is fraught with difficulty."
adjective, (of a piece of writing or a work of art) too elaborate or complicated in design or construction
Synonyms: overblown, contrived, exaggerated
"She made prodigious strides as a writer and learned to temper her overwrought outpourings."
verb, be appropriate, related, or applicable
Synonyms: concern, relate to, be related to
"Religious exceptions to the law, such as those pertaining to animal welfare, should ideally be ended..."
verb, Miss and long for the return of
"Few DJs pine for the days of ones-and-twos; the possibilities of modern technology are too alluring."
verb, Make (someone) less angry or hostile
Synonyms: appease, pacify, mollify
"The government has tried to placate voters without abandoning its policies."
noun, A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful
Synonyms: cliché, truism, commonplace
"For most of her end-of-term grilling by the liaison committee... she wore an aquiline scowl, quibbling with the questions and, when pushed, cleaving to evasive platitudes..."
noun, a large or excessive amount
Synonyms: excess, overabundance, surplus
"Podcasts were facing fierce competition for audiences' attention from a plethora of other new digital-native products including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter."
verb, Put forward as fact or as a basis for argument
Synonyms: postulate, propound, submit
"Mr. Ansar and his co-authors assume this margin is 40%: they posit a ratio of expected benefits to costs of 1.4 for every project."
noun, a person who leaves home and behaves recklessly, but later makes a repentant return
"As the 73-year-old Mr. Obiang becomes frailer, his sons, including the prodigal Teodorín, have begun jockeying to succeed him."
adjective, Accurately describing or predicting what will happen in the future
Synonyms: predictive, visionary
"As the depleted council began, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware... said he still hoped it could avoid being mired in Orthodoxy's internal woes and 'speak in a firm, prophetic voice' to humanity."
noun, a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures
Synonyms: pedant, dogmatist, perfectionist
"From this purist point of view, there is only one Christian church worthy of the name...."
noun, a heap of combustible material, especially one for burning a corpse as part of a funeral ceremony
"Yet Ms McInerney takes the story deeper, skillfully setting a funeral pyre 'for that Ireland'..."
noun, a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge in some field
Synonyms: swindler, charlatan, fraud
"That can cause malnutrition and eating disorders—and supports a vast, quack-ridden diet industry."
noun, the quality of not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily
Synonyms: reserve, introversion, restraint
"Mr. Harding is more comfortable with facts; with classic English reticence, he buries his family's responses in footnotes and summaries."
verb, Bitterly regret (something one has done or allowed to happen)
Synonyms: deplore, lament, bemoan
"Meanwhile, Mr. Showalter will now have a long six months to rue his slavery to the save rule before his club plays another game."
verb, Think deeply about something
Synonyms: contemplate, consider, mull over
"Alfred Sauvy, the French thinker... was prone to worry that the first world would become 'a society of old people, living in old houses, ruminating about old ideas.'"
noun, a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person
Synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonour
"A stigma against adults having fun, strong in the aftermath of the Second World War, has faded."
verb, Walk with a stiff, erect, and apparently arrogant or conceited gait
Synonyms: swagger, prance, parade
"Dogs strut their stuff on its pavements tricked out in tutus, hoodies, boots, overalls and trousers."
adjective, of very great excellence or beauty
Synonyms: awe-inspiring, awesome, majestic
"Yet life in the ocean can still mount sublime spectacles."
adjective, Bad-tempered and unfriendly
Synonyms: ill-natured, grumpy, glum
"Here, poverty and economic decline has led to the surly separation of a left-behind, resentful white working class and a Muslim minority."
noun, A displacement of the beat or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa
"She dances an assortment of lissom steps, marvelously shedding shoes and socks as the Beethoven famously shifts from solemnity to syncopation."
noun, A remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone
Synonyms: jeer, gibe, sneer
"But in the past two years taunts have turned into deadly attacks."
adjective, Showy but cheap and of poor quality
Synonyms: gaudy, flashy, garish
"A team of 21 organisers resigned from the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (NPBCU), throwing the festival of tawdry pop into doubt."
adjective, Relating to or denoting a region or climate characterized by mild temperatures
Synonyms: mild, clement, pleasant
"It can remain temperate in such a close orbit only because Proxima is a red dwarf, and thus much cooler than the sun. "
adjective, Sparing in the use of words
Synonyms: curt, brusque, abrupt
"In a terse phone-call on Thursday night, President Barack Obama paused only briefly to congratulate Mr. Netanyahu on his victory..."
noun, a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one
Synonyms: volume, work, opus
"It is a tome to which most recent arguments about regulation and economic reform are merely annotations."
adjective, Full of difficulty or tribulation
"The pound, after a few torrid days of trading immediately after the vote, has stabilized."
noun, an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct
Synonyms: offense, crime, sin
"We can forgive most kinds of transgression—anger, adultery, avarice—but we cannot forgive absurdity."
adjective, Guilty of or involving betrayal or deception
Synonyms: traitorous, disloyal, perfidious
"It sang of domineering men, treacherous women and the manly solace of tequila."
adjective, offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging; bland
Synonyms: insipid, uninspired, uninteresting
"Mr. Silver delighted in savaging commentators who relied on vapid clichés like 'momentum shifts' and 'game-changers.'"
noun, a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists
Synonyms: remnant, remainder, fragment
"He said this would remove a 'lingering vestige of the cold war.' "
verb, Speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner
Synonyms: disparage, denigrate, defame
"Its publications and social-media accounts, however, have vilified Turkey ever since the country decided last year to open its airbases to coalition jets..."
adjective, having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid
Synonyms: gummy, glue-like, gluey
"Not all barrels of oil are alike. Crudes can be viscous like tar or so 'light' they float on water."
adjective, Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse
Synonyms: tense, strained, turbulent
"The period from the 1940s to the 1970s, when governments took primary responsibility for keeping economies out of slumps, was more volatile and inflationary..."
noun, Lengthy but trivial or useless talk or writing
Synonyms: prattle, hot air, drivel
"Most voters say they know little about the candidates or their policies, some of which are pure waffle."
verb, Pass or cause to pass easily or gently through or as if through the air
Synonyms: drift, float, glide
"The acrid scent of smoke wafts from his clothes."
adjective, (of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked
Synonyms: malicious, malevolent, spiteful
"Over the decades these Muslim non-people, without legal or any other sort of protection, have been the victims of wanton discrimination and violence..."
verb, Deliberately attempt to conceal unpleasant facts about (a person or organization)
Synonyms: cover up, sweep under the carpet
"Indeed, in trying to whitewash the past, the government may stir up prejudice instead."
verb, Reduce something in size, amount, or extent by a gradual series of steps
Synonyms: erode, wear away, diminish
"Democrats had spent a nervous September watching that lead whittle away after Mrs. Clinton's bout of pneumonia..."
adjective, Attractive or appealing in appearance or character
Synonyms: engaging, charming, winning
"By the time Mr. Pattinson came along as the winsome vampire in "Twilight", the teenage rebels were starting the movie already dead."
adjective, Shriveled or wrinkled with age
Synonyms: lined, creased, withered
"His son, himself a wizened old man, is nonplussed by the news; he looks like an eccentric, or maybe the village drunk..."
adjective, Using or expressing dry, especially mocking, humor
Synonyms: ironic, sardonic, satirical
"Catherine Merridale is one of the foremost foreign historians of Russia, combining wry insights with deep sympathy for the human beings..."
noun, Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective
Synonyms: passion, zealousness, fervor
"But it was his zeal in amassing land by borrowing heavily that gave him his edge—and ultimately brought him down."