GMAT Tones & Styles – 175 Words

Baroque

the historic period from about 1600 until 1750 when the baroque style of art, architecture, and music flourished in Europe

Victorian

a person who lived during the nineteenth century

abstract

existing only in the mind

absurd

inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense

accusatory

containing or expressing blame

acerbic

sour or bitter in taste

affected

influenced

aggressive

characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight

ambiguous

having more than one possible meaning

amused

pleasantly occupied

analytical

using or skilled in using reasoning

anecdotal

based on stories rather than data or scientific observation

apathetic

showing little or no emotion or animation

apprehensive

in fear or dread of possible evil or harm

archaic

so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

arrogant

having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance

atmosphere

the envelope of gases surrounding any celestial body

attitude

a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings

audacious

disposed to venture or take risks

awe

an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration

bantering

cleverly amusing in tone

baroque

relating to an elaborately ornamented style of art and music

belligerent

characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight

biased

favoring one person or side over another

bizarre

conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual

bland

lacking taste or flavor or tang

bombastic

ostentatiously lofty in style

caustic

capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action

choleric

characterized by anger

classical

of the most highly developed stage of an early civilization

colloquial

characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation

commiserate

feel or express sympathy or compassion

condescending

characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance

confused

unable to think with clarity or act intelligently

connotation

an idea that is implied or suggested

contemplative

deeply or seriously thoughtful

contemptuous

expressing extreme scorn

contented

satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are

convention

the act of meeting formally

conventional

following accepted customs and proprieties

cynical

believing the worst of human nature and motives

decadent

marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay

depressing

causing sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy

derisive

expressing contempt or ridicule

detached

no longer connected or joined

dialect

the usage or vocabulary characteristic of a group of people

dialogue

a conversation between two persons

diatribe

thunderous verbal attack

diction

the manner in which something is expressed in words

didactic

instructive, especially excessively

diffident

showing modest reserve

digression

a message that departs from the main subject

discursive

tending to cover a wide range of subjects

disdainful

showing arrogant superiority to those one views as unworthy

disparaging

expressive of low opinion

dogmatic

pertaining to a code of beliefs accepted as authoritative

dramatic

characteristic of a stage performance

earnest

characterized by a firm, humorless belief in one’s opinions

effeminate

having unsuitable feminine qualities

elegiac

resembling or characteristic of a lament for the dead

emotional

of or pertaining to feelings

epigraph

a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing

epistolary

written in the form of letters or correspondence

erudite

having or showing profound knowledge

ethical

conforming to accepted standards of social behavior

eulogistic

formally expressing praise

evocative

serving to bring to mind

expository

serving to expound or set forth

facetious

cleverly amusing in tone

factual

existing in reality

fanciful

indulging in or influenced by the imagination

farcical

broadly or extravagantly humorous

fatalistic

accepting that everything that happens is inevitable

flamboyant

tending to attract attention; marked by ostentatious display

flashback

a transition in a story to an earlier event or scene

flippant

showing an inappropriate lack of seriousness

gloomy

depressingly dark

grandiose

impressive because of unnecessary largeness or magnificence

haughty

having or showing arrogant superiority

horrific

grossly offensive to decency or morality; causing horror

humorous

characterized by the power to evoke laughter

hyperbole

extravagant exaggeration

idiomatic

of or relating to or conforming to an expression

illustration

a visual representation to make a subject easy to understand

imagery

the ability to form mental pictures of things or events

impartial

free from undue bias or preconceived opinions

incendiary

capable of causing fires or catching fire spontaneously

indignant

angered at something unjust or wrong

inference

drawing a conclusion on the basis of circumstantial evidence

insolent

marked by casual disrespect

intimate

marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity

introspective

given to examining own sensory and perceptual experiences

invective

abusive language used to express blame or censure

irate

feeling or showing extreme anger

irony

incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs

irreverent

showing lack of due respect or veneration

jargon

technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject

jovial

full of or showing high-spirited merriment

judgmental

relating to an assessment of a person, situation, or event

juxtaposition

the act of positioning close together

laudatory

full of or giving praise

local

of or belonging to or characteristic of a particular area

lugubrious

excessively mournful

lyrical

expressing deep emotion

malapropism

misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar

malicious

having the nature of threatening evil

metaphor

a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity

metaphorical

expressing one thing in terms normally denoting another

mocking

expressing contempt or ridicule

mood

a characteristic state of feeling

morose

showing a brooding ill humor

motivating

impelling to action

mournful

expressing sorrow

mundane

found in the ordinary course of events

narrative

an account that tells the particulars of an act or event

nostalgic

unhappy about being away and longing for familiar things

objective

the goal intended to be attained

obsequious

attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

ominous

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

optimistic

hopeful that the best will happen in the future

parody

a composition that imitates or misrepresents a style

patronizing

characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance

pedantic

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning

pedestrian

a person who travels by foot

personification

attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas

persuasive

intended or having the power to induce action or belief

pessimistic

expecting the worst possible outcome

philosophical

relating to the investigation of existence and knowledge

picturesque

suggesting or suitable for an artistic composition

pious

having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity

poignant

keenly distressing to the mind or feelings

pompous

puffed up with vanity

populist

an advocate of democratic principles

provincial

associated with an administrative district of a nation

provocative

serving or tending to excite or stimulate

prurient

characterized by lust

pseudonym

a fictitious name used when performing a particular role

quizzical

perplexed

realistic

aware or expressing awareness of things as they are

reflective

capable of physically throwing back light or sound

regretful

feeling or expressing sorrow or a sense of loss

restrained

under control

reverent

feeling or showing profound respect or veneration

ribald

humorously vulgar

ridicule

language or behavior intended to mock or humiliate

romantic

expressive of or exciting love

sarcasm

witty language used to convey insults or scorn

sarcastic

expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds

sardonic

disdainfully or ironically humorous

satire

witty language used to convey insults or scorn

satirical

exposing human folly to ridicule

sentimental

marked by tender, romantic, or nostalgic emotion

simile

a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things

sincere

open and genuine; not deceitful

skeptical

marked by or given to doubt

solemn

dignified and somber in manner or character

soliloquy

speech you make to yourself

speculative

not based on fact or investigation

stream

a natural body of water flowing on or under the earth

subjective

taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias

technical

of or relating to aptitude in a practical skill

terse

brief and to the point

timorous

shy and fearful by nature

tone

the distinctive property of a complex sound

trite

repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

turgid

ostentatiously lofty in style

unity

an undivided or unbroken completeness with nothing wanting

urbane

showing a high degree of refinement

veneration

a feeling of profound respect for someone or something

vexed

troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances

victorian

exaggeratedly proper

vitriolic

harsh, bitter, or malicious in tone

vituperative

marked by harshly abusive criticism

whimsical

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

wry

humorously sarcastic or mocking
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