GMAT List – 500 Words

abdicate

give up, such as power, as of monarchs and emperors

abeyance

temporary cessation or suspension

ablution

the act of washing oneself, as for ritual purposes

abnegate

deny or renounce

abridge

lessen, diminish, or curtail

abrogate

revoke formally

abscond

run away, often taking something or somebody along

absolve

grant remission of a sin to

abstinence

the trait of refraining from something, especially alcohol

abstruse

difficult to penetrate

abysmal

so deep as to be immeasurable

accolade

a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction

accoutrement

accessory or supplementary item of equipment or clothing

acidulous

being sour to the taste

acquiesce

agree or express agreement

acquit

pronounce not guilty of criminal charges

adjure

command solemnly

adumbrate

describe roughly or give the main points or summary of

adventitious

associated by chance and not an integral part

advocate

a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea

aegis

armor plate that protects the chest

aesthetic

characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste

affinity

a natural attraction or feeling of kinship

afflatus

a strong creative impulse; divine inspiration

Agathis

kauri pine

agenda

a list of matters to be taken up, as at a meeting

aggrandize

embellish; increase the scope, power, or importance of

aggrieve

cause to feel distress

agnate

related on the father’s side

akimbo

with hands on hips and elbows extending outward

alacrity

liveliness and eagerness

alchemy

a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times

aleatory

dependent on chance

allusion

passing reference or indirect mention

altruistic

showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others

ambulatory

able to walk about

ameliorate

make better

amnesty

a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense

ana

a collection of anecdotes about a person or place

anathema

a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication

ancillary

furnishing added support

animosity

a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility

animus

a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility

anomalous

deviating from the general or common order or type

anomie

lack of moral standards in a society

antediluvian

of or relating to the period before the biblical flood

antinomy

a contradiction between two equally reasonable statements

antipodal

the relation of opposition along a diameter

aphasia

inability to use language because of a brain lesion

aphorism

a short pithy instructive saying

apocryphal

being of questionable authenticity

apoplexy

a loss of consciousness from the lack of oxygen in the brain

apostasy

rejecting your religious beliefs, political party or cause

arable

capable of being farmed productively

arduous

characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion

arrant

without qualification; used informally as intensifiers

arriviste

an ambitious social climber or status seeker

ascetic

someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline

aseptic

free of pathological microorganisms

assiduous

marked by care and persistent effort

assignation

a secret rendezvous (especially between lovers)

atrabilious

irritable as if suffering from indigestion

augment

enlarge or increase

austere

of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor

aversion

a feeling of intense dislike

bacchanal

wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity

bailiwick

one’s particular area of interest or branch of knowledge

banal

repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

banausic

(formal) ordinary and not refined

bandy

discuss lightly

baroque

relating to an elaborately ornamented style of art and music

bathos

a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one

begrudge

be envious of or feel annoyance toward

behemoth

someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful

belie

be in contradiction with

bellwether

someone who assumes leadership of a movement or activity

benediction

a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection

benign

kind in disposition or manner

benison

a spoken blessing

besmirch

smear so as to make dirty or stained

bibulous

given to or marked by the consumption of alcohol

bifurcated

divided into or made up of two parts

bilious

relating to a digestive juice secreted by the liver

bivouac

temporary living quarters built by the army for soldiers

blanch

turn pale, as if in fear

blithe

carefree and happy and lighthearted

bon vivant

a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment

boondoggle

work of little or no value done merely to look busy

bosky

covered with or consisting of bushes or thickets

botch

make a mess of, destroy, or ruin

bowdlerize

edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate

bracing

refreshing or invigorating

braggadocio

vain and empty boasting

broach

bring up a topic for discussion

brook

a natural stream of water smaller than a river

Brummagem

a city in central England

buffoon

a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior

bulwark

an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes

bumptious

offensively self-assertive

Byzantine

of or relating to or characteristic of the Byzantine Empire or the ancient city of Byzantium

cabal

a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue

cache

a hidden storage space

cachet

an indication of approved or superior status

caduceus

an insignia used by the medical profession

callous

emotionally hardened

calumny

a false accusation of an offense

canard

a deliberately misleading fabrication

candor

the quality of being honest and straightforward

capitulate

surrender under agreed conditions

capricious

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

castigate

inflict severe punishment on

cataclysm

a sudden violent change in the earth’s surface

catharsis

purging the body to stimulate evacuation of the bowels

caustic

capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action

cavil

raise trivial objections

celerity

a rate that is rapid

censure

harsh criticism or disapproval

centrifugal

tending to move away from a center

chary

characterized by great caution

chastise

censure severely

chicanery

the use of tricks to deceive someone

chimerical

like a grotesque product of the imagination

chronic

long-lasting or characterized by long suffering

circumlocution

an indirect way of expressing something

circumspect

careful to consider potential consequences and avoid risk

claque

a group of followers hired to applaud at a performance

clemency

leniency and compassion shown toward offenders

clerisy

an educated and intellectual elite

clique

an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose

clout

(boxing) a blow with the fist

coalesce

fuse or cause to come together

cogitate

consider carefully and deeply

coherent

marked by an orderly and consistent relation of parts

colloquial

characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation

compatible

able to exist and perform in harmonious combination

compendium

a publication containing a variety of works

comport

behave in a certain manner

compunction

a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed

concomitant

following or accompanying as a consequence

conflagration

a very intense and uncontrolled fire

contentious

showing an inclination to disagree

convey

transmit or serve as the medium for transmission

conviction

an unshakable belief in something without need for proof

copious

large in number or quantity

corroborate

give evidence for

cortege

the group following and attending to some important person

coterie

an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose

covet

wish, long, or crave for

craven

lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful

criterion

the ideal in terms of which something can be judged

culvert

a transverse and enclosed drain under a road or railway

cursory

hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough

daedal

complex and ingenious in design or function

dearth

an insufficient quantity or number

debacle

a sudden and complete disaster

deciduous

shedding foliage at the end of the growing season

decimate

kill in large numbers

defalcate

appropriate fraudulently to one’s own use

defenestration

the act of throwing someone or something out of a window

deference

courteous regard for people’s feelings

deft

skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands

deism

the belief in God on the basis of reason alone

deleterious

harmful to living things

delineate

represented accurately or precisely

delude

be dishonest with

demimonde

a class of woman not considered respectable because of indiscreet or promiscuous behavior

denouement

the outcome of a complex sequence of events

denunciation

a public act of denouncing

depravity

moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles

depreciate

decline in value

depredation

an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding

descry

catch sight of

desecrate

violate the sacred character of a place or language

desiccate

lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless

destitute

poor enough to need help from others

diadem

an ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty

diatribe

thunderous verbal attack

dichotomy

a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses

didactic

instructive, especially excessively

diffuse

spread out; not concentrated in one place

digress

wander from a direct or straight course

dilettante

an amateur engaging in an activity without serious intention

discerning

having or revealing keen insight and good judgment

discomfit

cause to lose one’s composure

discount

an amount or percentage deducted

disquiet

a feeling of mild anxiety about possible developments

dissipate

cause to separate and go in different directions

diurnal

having a daily cycle or occurring every day

diva

a distinguished female operatic singer

docile

easily handled or managed

doff

remove

doggerel

a comic verse of irregular measure

dogmatic

pertaining to a code of beliefs accepted as authoritative

dolorous

showing sorrow

dormant

inactive but capable of becoming active

dossier

papers containing detailed information about a person

Draconian

imposing a harsh code of laws

dulcet

pleasing to the ear

dupe

fool or hoax

ebb

the outward flow of the tide

eccentric

conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual

eclat

brilliant or conspicuous success or effect

eclectic

selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas

edacious

devouring or craving food in great quantities

efface

remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing

effete

excessively self-indulgent, affected, or decadent

egocentric

limited to or caring only about yourself and your own needs

egregious

conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

elan

enthusiastic and assured vigor and liveliness

elliptical

rounded like an egg

elucidate

make clear and comprehensible

embellish

make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color

emigrate

leave one’s country of residence for a new one

emissary

someone sent on a mission to represent another’s interests

emulate

strive to equal or match, especially by imitating

encomium

a formal expression of praise

endemic

native to or confined to a certain region

enervate

weaken mentally or morally

engaging

attracting or delighting

enigma

something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained

ennui

the feeling of being bored by something tedious

ensconce

fix firmly

enshroud

cover as if with a shroud

ephemeral

anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day

epicene

having an ambiguous sexual identity

ersatz

an artificial or inferior substitute or imitation

erudite

having or showing profound knowledge

escarpment

a long steep slope at the edge of a plateau or ridge

escalade

an act of scaling by the use of ladders

esoteric

understandable only by an enlightened inner circle

espy

catch sight of

ethnocentric

centered on a specific ethnic group, usually one’s own

etiolate

make weak by stunting the growth or development of

eulogize

praise formally and eloquently

euthenics

the study of methods of improving human well-being and efficient functioning by improving environmental conditions

evanescent

tending to vanish like vapor

evanescent

tending to vanish like vapor

evince

give expression to

exacerbate

make worse

exacting

severe and unremitting in making demands

exalt

praise, glorify, or honor

exemplar

something to be imitated

exigent

demanding immediate attention

exorbitant

greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation

expedite

process fast and efficiently

explicit

precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable

expunge

remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line

extirpate

destroy completely, as if down to the roots

extol

praise, glorify, or honor

facade

the front of a building

facetious

cleverly amusing in tone

faction

a dissenting clique

fallacy

a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning

fauna

all the animal life in a particular region or period

fawning

attempting to win favor by flattery

feckless

generally incompetent and ineffectual

fecund

capable of producing offspring or vegetation

feign

make believe with the intent to deceive

feral

wild and menacing

fetter

a shackle for the ankles or feet

fey

suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness

fidelity

the quality of being faithful

filial

designating the generation following the parental generation

finesse

subtly skillful handling of a situation

flagellate

whip or scourge; punish as if by whipping

fledgling

young bird that has just become capable of flying

flourish

grow vigorously

fluke

a stroke of luck

fodder

coarse food composed of plants or leaves and stalks

foment

try to stir up

foray

a sudden short attack

forfeit

lose the right to or lose by some error, offense, or crime

forswear

formally reject or disavow

fortuitous

occurring by happy chance

forward

at or to or toward the front

furtive

secret and sly or sordid

fusillade

rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms

fustian

a strong cotton and linen fabric with a slight nap

futile

producing no result or effect

gainsay

take exception to

galoot

a foolish or clumsy person

galvanize

stimulate (muscles) by administering a shock

gamin

a homeless boy who has been abandoned and roams the streets

gamut

a complete extent or range

garner

assemble or get together

garrulous

full of trivial conversation

gamine

a homeless girl who roams the streets

genteel

marked by refinement in taste and manners

gerrymander

divide voting districts unfairly and to one’s advantage

gestalt

a whole that cannot be described as a sum of its parts

gesticulate

show, express, or direct through movement

gird

bind with something round or circular

gratuitous

unnecessary and unwarranted

gravity

the force of attraction between all masses in the universe

grigri

an African amulet

grimace

contort the face to indicate a certain mental state

grovel

show submission or fear

guile

shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

guise

an artful or simulated semblance

gullible

naive and easily deceived or tricked

halitosis

offensive breath

harbinger

something indicating the approach of something or someone

hegira

a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment

herald

a person who announces important news

heresy

a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion

hiatus

an interruption in the intensity or amount of something

hidebound

stubbornly conservative and narrow-minded

histrionic

characteristic of acting or a stage performance

hoary

having gray or white hair as with age

homage

respectful deference

homeopathy

a method of treating disease with small amounts of remedies that, in large amounts in healthy people, produce symptoms similar to those being treated

homogeneous

all of the same or similar kind or nature

homologic

similar in evolutionary origin but not in function

hortative

giving strong encouragement

hubris

overbearing pride or presumption

hugger-mugger

a state of confusion

husbandry

the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock

hyperbole

extravagant exaggeration

ignominious

deserving or bringing disgrace or shame

imago

an adult insect produced after metamorphosis

imbroglio

an intricate and confusing interpersonal situation

immaterial

lacking importance; not mattering one way or the other

imminent

close in time; about to occur

immutable

not subject or susceptible to change or variation

impecunious

not having enough money to pay for necessities

imperious

having or showing arrogant superiority

impervious

not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

implacable

incapable of being appeased or pacified

impotent

(of a male) unable to copulate

impugn

attack as false or wrong

incessant

uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing

inchoate

only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

incipient

only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

incontrovertible

impossible to deny or disprove

indeterminate

not fixed or known in advance

indigenous

originating where it is found

indigent

poor enough to need help from others

indubitable

too obvious to be doubted

ineffable

defying expression or description

ineluctable

impossible to avoid or evade

inept

generally incompetent and ineffectual

infamy

a state of extreme dishonor

inhibit

limit the range or extent of

iniquitous

characterized by injustice or wickedness

inquietude

a feeling of anxiety, uneasiness, or restlessness

insidious

working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

insipid

lacking interest or significance or impact

insouciant

marked by unconcern

interregnum

the time between two reigns or governments

intransigent

impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, or reason

intrepid

invulnerable to fear or intimidation

inured

made tough by habitual exposure

inveterate

habitual

irascible

quickly aroused to anger

irreverent

showing lack of due respect or veneration

itinerant

traveling from place to place to work

jargon

technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject

jaunt

a journey taken for pleasure

jejune

lacking interest or significance or impact

jeopardy

a source of danger

judicious

marked by the exercise of good judgment in practical matters

juggernaut

a massive inexorable force

junction

an act of joining or adjoining things

junta

a group of officers who rule a country after seizing power

juxtapose

place side by side

karma

the effects of a person’s actions that determine his destiny

labile

liable to change

lachrymose

showing sorrow

laconic

brief and to the point

lambent

softly bright or radiant

lament

a cry of sorrow and grief

largess

liberality in bestowing gifts

lassitude

a feeling of lack of interest or energy

latent

potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

laud

praise, glorify, or honor

lax

without rigor or strictness

legacy

a gift of personal property by will

leitmotif

a melodic phrase that accompanies a person or situation

levee

an embankment built to prevent a river from overflowing

levity

a manner lacking seriousness

liaison

a means of communication between groups

libation

the act of pouring a liquid offering as a religious ceremony

libidinous

driven by lust

lissome

moving and bending with ease

listless

lacking zest or vivacity

lope

run easily

lucid

transparently clear; easily understandable

luminary

a celebrity who is an inspiration to others

luminous

softly bright or radiant

lupine

of or relating to or characteristic of wolves

macerate

soften and cause to disintegrate as a result

machination

a crafty and involved plot to achieve your ends

magnanimous

noble and generous in spirit

malaise

a general feeling of discomfort, uneasiness, or depression

malapropism

misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar

malfeasance

wrongful conduct by a public official

manifest

clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment

manque

unfulfilled or frustrated in realizing an ambition

manumit

free from slavery or servitude

marshal

a military officer of highest rank

martinet

someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms

martyr

one who voluntarily suffers death

matriculate

enroll as a student

matrix

an enclosure within which something originates or develops

maudlin

effusively or insincerely emotional

maverick

someone who exhibits independence in thought and action

meander

move or cause to move in a sinuous or circular course

melange

a motley assortment of things

mellifluous

pleasing to the ear

mendacious

given to lying

mercenary

a person hired to fight for another country than their own

mercurial

liable to sudden unpredictable change

miasma

an unwholesome atmosphere

mien

a person’s appearance, manner, or demeanor

milieu

the environmental condition

minion

a servile or fawning dependant

mirthful

full of or showing high-spirited merriment

moot

of no legal significance, as having been previously decided

mordant

harshly ironic or sinister

moribund

being on the point of death

morose

showing a brooding ill humor

moue

a disdainful grimace

muckrake

explore and expose misconduct and scandals concerning public figures

mugwump

a neutral or uncommitted person, especially in politics

munificent

very generous

myopia

eyesight abnormality in which distant objects appear blurred

myriad

a large indefinite number

nabob

a governor in India during the Mogul empire

nascent

being born or beginning

negligent

characterized by undue lack of attention or concern

nemesis

something causing misery or death

neophyte

any new participant in some activity

nepotism

favoritism shown to relatives or friends by those in power

niggardly

petty or reluctant in giving or spending

nihilism

complete denial of established authority and institutions

nimbus

a dark grey cloud bearing rain

nirvana

the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation

noisome

causing or able to cause nausea

nomadic

migratory

nominal

relating to or constituting or bearing or giving a name

nonplus

be a mystery or bewildering to

novel

an extended fictional work in prose

nuance

a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

nullify

declare invalid

obdurate

stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing

obliterate

remove completely from recognition or memory

obloquy

state of disgrace resulting from public abuse

obscure

not clearly understood or expressed

obsequious

attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

obstreperous

noisily and stubbornly defiant

obviate

do away with

odious

unequivocally detestable

odyssey

a long wandering and eventful journey

oeuvre

the total output of a writer or artist

offal

viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal

officious

intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner

ogle

stare or look at, especially with amorous intentions

oligarchy

a political system governed by a few people

omniscient

infinitely wise

omnivorous

feeding on both plants and animals

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onus

a burdensome or difficult concern

opaque

not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy

opine

express one’s view openly and without fear or hesitation

opportunist

a person who places expediency above principle

opprobrious

expressing offensive reproach

opus

a musical work that has been created

oscillate

move or swing from side to side regularly

osmosis

diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane

ossify

become bony

oust

remove from a position or office

overture

orchestral music at the beginning of an opera or musical

pace

the relative speed of progress or change

pachyderm

a large mammal with thick skin, such as an elephant or hippo

palatable

acceptable to the taste or mind

palliate

lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of

pallid

deficient in color suggesting physical or emotional distress

paltry

contemptibly small in amount or size

panacea

hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases

panegyric

formally expressing praise

paradigm

a standard or typical example

paralogism

an unintentionally invalid argument

pariah

a person who is rejected from society or home

paroxysm

a sudden uncontrollable attack

parsimonious

excessively unwilling to spend

partition

separation by the creation of a boundary that divides

parvenu

a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status

pastiche

a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work

patina

a fine coating of oxide on the surface of a metal

patois

a regional dialect of a language

paucity

an insufficient quantity or number

pedantic

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning

penchant

a strong liking

penultimate

next to the last

penury

a state of extreme poverty or destitution

percipient

characterized by ease and quickness in perceiving

perdition

the place or state in which one suffers eternal punishment

peregrination

traveling or wandering around

perfidious

tending to betray

castigate

inflict severe punishment on
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