GRE PREP Part 1 – 500 Words

ack-ack

artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

American basketball players are always conspicuous when they go abroad–not only are they American, but some are over seven feet tall.
adumbration

the act of providing vague advance indications

American basketball players are always conspicuous when they go abroad–not only are they American, but some are over seven feet tall.
amercement

money extracted as a penalty

The restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles were so severe that they engendered deep hatred and resentment in the German people.
avertible

capable of being avoided or warded off

By the time we reach 60-years old, most of our habits are so entrenched that it is difficult for us to change.
baksheesh

a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter)

Gainsay, a verb, means “contradict” or “speak out against.” When you challenge authority, you gainsay, as in teachers don’t like it when unruly students gainsay them.
bane

something causing misery or death

a trite or obvious remark
The professor argued that many statements regarded as wise in previous times, such as the Golden Rule, are now regarded as mere platitudes
billingsgate

foul-mouthed or obscene abuse

Todd was noble after the divorce, choosing to say only complimentary things about Barbara, but Barbara did not hesitate to vilify Todd
braggadocio

vain and empty boasting

After her third pet dog died, Marcia was simply forlorn: this time even the possibility of buying a new dog no longer held any joy.
brusque

rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner

Also, an outbreak of public anger or excitement.
brusquely

in a blunt direct manner

While the other employees responded to the bad news in a measured way, Andrew responded in a vehement manner, tipping over his desk and shouting at the top of his lungs.
brusqueness

an abrupt discourteous manner

Despite a low GPA, he contrived to get into college, going so far as to write his own glowing letters of recommendation.
camaraderie

the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability

hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
I thought I would finish writing the paper by lunchtime, but a number of urgent interruptions served to frustrate my plan.
camarilla

a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue

discontented as toward authority
After watching his superior take rations from the soldiers, he quickly became disaffected and rebelled.
cantankerously

in a bad mood

I would love to be able to present a fully polished proposal to the board, but right now, our plans for the product are still in the most rudimentary stages
canty

lively and brisk

And a demanding fan base and hyper-critical press corps, on both the local and national level, inflated his prodigious ego and then nitpicked him apart.
capaciousness

spatial largeness and extensiveness

While Nan was always engaged in philosophical speculation, her brother was occupied with far more pedestrian concerns: how to earn a salary and run a household.
carping

persistent petty and unjustified criticism

reject as untrue or unfounded
Many in the public believed the rumors of a UFO crash outside town, so the chief of police did everything he could to repudiate the rumors.
caveat

a warning against certain acts

assign great social importance to
Students in the U.S. learn to lionize Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington because they are the founding fathers of the nation.
cavil

raise trivial objections

Their large “donations” to the local police department gave the drug cartel the brazen confidence to do their business out in the open.
caviler

a disputant who quibbles

charming in a childlike or naive way
She was winsome by nature, and many people were drawn to this free and playful spirit.
censor

a person authorized to suppress unacceptable material

an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge
Fred has no formal medical training; while he likes to claim authority on medical issues, he is little more than a dilettante.
censure

harsh criticism or disapproval

Lilian could not help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen’s shoes were showing too much toe.
chumminess

the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability

in opposition to an established system or institution.
The ruling political party has begun a campaign to shut down subversive websites that it deems as a threat to “national safety.”
churl

a crude or uncouth person lacking culture or refinement

exceedingly harmful; working or spreading in a hidden and injurious way
The most successful viruses are pernicious: an infected person may feel perfectly healthy for several months while incubating and spreading the virus.
collogue

confer secretly

inappropriate
During the executive meeting, the marketing director continued to make infelicitous comments about the CEO’s gambling habit.
commensurate

corresponding in size or degree or extent

speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
During the rain delay, many who had come to see the game palavered, probably hoping that idle chatter would make the time go by faster.
commiserate

feel or express sympathy or compassion

droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness; become less intense
After the three crushing defeats in the last three games, the team’s enthusiasm began to flag.
commissariat

a stock or supply of foods

the quality of being meager
After two months at sea, the exiguity of the ship’s supplies forced them to search for fresh water and food.
comradeliness

the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability

The results were a kind of brilliant bastardization: English formality given a Mediterranean sensuality and slouch.
concomitance

occurrence or existence together or in connection with one another

a deliberately misleading fabrication
The public will always be fooled by the media’s canards.
concomitant

following or accompanying as a consequence

not straightforward; indirect
Herbert never explicitly revealed anything negative about Tom’s past, but at times he would obliquely suggest that Tom was not as innocent as he seemed.
confabulate

talk socially without exchanging too much information

describing an event or situation that happens at the same time as or in connection with another
Concomitant with his desire for nature was a desire for the culture and energy of a big city.
conscript

enroll into service compulsorily

be valid, applicable, or true
The custom of waiting your turn in line does not obtain in some countries, in which many people try to rush to front of the line at the same time.
conspicuous

obvious to the eye or mind

characterized by or full of force and vigor; having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect
Jill presented a rather superficial treatment of sales in Asia, but her trenchant analysis of sales in Europe inspired a number of insights into how to proceed in that market.
conspicuous

obvious to the eye or mind

corruption, usually through bribery
In countries with rampant graft, getting a driver’s license can require no more than paying an official.
contagious

capable of being transmitted by infection

verb: squander or spend money frivolously
The recent graduates dissipated their earnings on trips to Las Vegas and cruises in Mexico.
verb: to disperse or scatter
Kathleen’s perfume was overwhelming in the cramped apartment, but once we stepped outside the smell dissipated and we could breathe once again.
contagiously

in a contagious manner

conceal one’s true motives, usually through deceit
To get close to the senator, the assassin dissembled his intentions, convincing many people that he was a reporter for a well-known newspaper.
copious

large in number or quantity

an angry dispute
The Prime Minister looked very foolish after his row with the foreign dignitary was caught on video and posted on youtube.
corroborate

give evidence for

a living full of debauchery and indulgence in sensual pleasure
Many Roman emperors were known for their dissolution, indulging in unspeakable desires of the flesh.
covet

wish, long, or crave for

verb: the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
New curfew laws have bridled people’s tendency to go out at night.
verb: to react with anger or to take offense
The hostess bridled at the tactless dinner guests who insisted on eating before everybody had gotten their food.
decree

a legally binding command or decision

provide with an opportunity
The summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro affords a panoramic view that encompasses both Tanzania and Kenya.
derelict

a person without a home, job, or property

While the grand jury cleared the senator of all criminal charges, in the public mind he was still complicit in the corruption.
descry

catch sight of

The government appropriated land that was occupied by squatters, sending them scurrying for another place to live.

also,to allocate
The committee appropriated the funds to its various members.
didactic

instructive, especially excessively

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
Movies often use storms or rain clouds as a baleful omen of evil events that will soon befall the main character.
discreetness

knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress

Much of the modern art movement was an atavism to a style of art found only in small villages through Africa and South America.
donnish

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects

suppress or crush completely
After the dictator consolidated his power, he took steps to squelch all criticism, often arresting any journalist who said anything that could be interpreted as negative about his regime.
eldritch

suggesting the operation of supernatural influences

creating an unfavorable or neutral first impression
World leaders coming to meet Gandhi would expect a towering sage, and often would be surprised by the unprepossessing little man dressed only in a loincloth and shawl.
elixir

a substance believed to cure all ills

not confined or limited
The whole notion of living untrammeled inspired the American Revolution and was enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
elope

run away secretly with one’s beloved

cause (someone) to be no longer on friendly terms with someone.
“he became estranged from his father”
synonyms: alienate, antagonize, disaffect, make hostile/unfriendly, destroy the affections of, turn away, drive away, distance, put at a distance; More
(of a wife or husband) no longer living with their spouse.
adjective: estranged
“his estranged wife”
engender

call forth

very generous
Helen is unstinting with her time, often spending hours at the house of a sick friend.
engender

call forth

also,express strong disapproval of
The entire audience erupted in shouts and curses, decrying the penalty card issued by the referee.
enjoin

give instructions to or direct somebody to do something

an exemption from a rule or obligation
Since her father is a billionaire, she is given dispensation from many of the school’s policies.
entreat

ask for or request earnestly

The speaker was famous for his ribald humor, but the high school principal asked him to keep the talk G-rated when he spoke to the student body.
entreatingly

in a beseeching manner

mutual accusations
The two brothers sat and cried, pointing fingers and making elaborate recriminations of the other’s guilt
entrenched

dug in

showing inappropriate levity
Although Sam was trying to honor Mark’s sense of humor, many found it quite flippant that he wore a comic nose and glasses mask to Mark’s funeral.
espy

catch sight of

verb: to hold back the progress of something
Bad weather has hobbled rescue efforts, making it difficult for crews to find bodies in the wreckage.
evitable

capable of being avoided or warded off

adjective: powerful
Over the years of service, and quite to his surprise, he became a puissant advisor to the community.
faction

a dissenting clique

treat with excessive indulgence
The king and queen cosseted the young prince, giving him a prized miniature pony for his fifth birthday.
felon

someone who has been legally convicted of a crime

adjective: determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
Nearly every month our capricious CEO had a new plan to turn the company around, and none of them worked because we never gave them the time they needed to succeed.
felonious

involving or being or having the nature of a crime

verb: cause to become widely known
Before the effects of anesthesia were disseminated, patients had to experience the full pain of a surgery.
felonious

involving or being or having the nature of a crime

noun: a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event)
Ever since Elvira resigned as the head of marketing, everything about our sales strategy has been in a state of flux.
fiat

a legally binding command or decision

adjective: carelessly and hastily put together
The office building had been constructed in a slapdash manner, so it did not surprise officials when, during a small earthquake, a large crack emerged on the façade of the building.
finesse

subtly skillful handling of a situation

verb: to make nervous or upset
At one time unnerved by math problems, she began avidly “Magoosh-ing”, and soon became adept at even combinations and permutations questions.
finicky

exacting especially about details

adjective: to be shy, and to be inclined to retract from company
Nelson was always the first to leave soirees—rather than mill about with “fashionable” folk, he was retiring, and preferred the solitude of his garret.
flak

artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

also,verb: offer up something formally
The government was loath to tender more money in the fear that it might set off inflation
foolproof

not liable to failure

When the cyclist swerved into traffic, it forced the driver to brake and elicited an indignant shout of “Hey, punk, watch where you’re going!”
foray

a sudden short attack

noun: an informal meeting or discussion
Before the team takes the field, the coach always calls for a powwow so that he can make sure all the players are mentally in the right place.
forefend

prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening

adjective: emaciated; gaunt
Some actors take challenging roles in which they have to lose so much weight that they appear cadaverous.
forego

do without or cease to hold or adhere to

adjective: making a show of being pious; holier-than-thou
Even during the quiet sanctity of evening prayer, she held her chin high, a sanctimonious sneer forming on her face as she eyed those who were attending church for the first time.
forfeit

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

adjective: marked by disreputable or unfortunate happenings
One by one, the presidential candidates dropped out of the race, their respective checkered pasts— from embezzlement to infidelity—sabotaging their campaigns.
forte

an asset of special worth or utility

making less guilty or more forgivable
fractious

easily irritated or annoyed

Ever the resourceful lexicographer, Fenton was able to ferret out the word origin of highly obscure words.
fringe benefit

an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment (especially if it is regarded as a right)

verb: to limit (usually modifying the growth of something)
Deserted for six months, the property began to look more like a jungle and less like a residence—weeds grew unchecked in the front yard
noun: the condition of being held back or limited
When government abuses are not kept in check, that government is likely to become autocratic.
fussy

exacting especially about details

also,noun: a large number of something
Despite a raft of city ordinances passed by an overzealous council, noise pollution continued unabated in the megalopolis.
gall

a digestive juice secreted by the liver

also..to limit..to hold back or limit the flow or growth of something
To stem the tide of applications, the prestigious Ivy requires that each applicant score at least 330 on the Revised GRE.
gambol

play or run boisterously

verb: come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
For years, Argentina would dominate in World Cup qualifying matches, only to be vanquished by one of the European countries during the late stages of the tournament.
gamut

a complete extent or range

noun: a right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group (especially a hereditary or official right)
Even as the dishwasher at the French restaurant, Josh quickly learned that he had the perquisite of being able to eat terrific food for half the price diners would pay.
gestalt

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

adjective: involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt; foul and run-down and repulsive
The nightly news simply announced that the senator had had an affair, but the tabloid published all the sordid details of the interaction.
gloat

dwell on with satisfaction

adjective: characterized by dignity and propriety
Frank came from a staid environment, so he was shocked that his college roommate sold narcotics.
gloating

malicious satisfaction

adjective: careful to protect one’s speech or actions in order to avoid offense or draw attention
The professor thought that he was discreet, subtly wiping the stain off of his shirt, but as soon as he stepped off the podium a heckler in the audience burst out, “You missed a spot”.
gloatingly

in a gloating manner

noun: the property of being prompt and efficient
She finished her thesis with dispatch, amazing her advisors who couldn’t believe she had written 60 scholarly pages so quickly.
verb: dispose of rapidly and without delay and efficiently
As soon as the angry peasants stormed the castle, they caught the king and swiftly dispatched him.
glut

supply with an excess of

adjective: use to the limit; exhaust
The hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney was so taxing that I could barely speak or stand up.
gnaw

bite or chew on with the teeth

verb: advertize in strongly positive terms; show off
At the conference, the CEO touted the extraordinary success of his company’s Research & Development division.
gnome

a legendary creature resembling a tiny old man

noun: an unstated doubt that prevents you from accepting something wholeheartedly
I was initially excited by the idea of a trip to Washington, D.C. but now that I have read about the high crime statistics there, I have some reservations.
goaded

compelled forcibly by an outside agency

adjective: terribly evil
For fans of the Harry Potter series, the fell Lord Voldemort, who terrorized poor Harry for seven lengthy installments, has finally been vanquished by the forces of good—unless, that is, JK Rowling decides to come out of retirement.
goading

a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something

adjective: glaringly obvious
Since the book had been through no fewer than six proof runs, the staff was shocked to see such a patent spelling mistake remaining, right in the middle of the front cover!
goggle

look with amazement

goofproof

proof against human misuse or error

gratitude

a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation

gratuitous

unnecessary and unwarranted

gratuity

a small, extra gift of money for services rendered

gravid

in an advanced stage of pregnancy

gravida I

(obstetrics) a woman who is pregnant for the first time

gruffness

an abrupt discourteous manner

hard up

not having enough money to pay for necessities

heresy

a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion

hors d’oeuvre

a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal

hors d’oeuvre

a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal

idiosyncrasy

a behavioral attribute peculiar to an individual

impecunious

not having enough money to pay for necessities

imploringly

in a beseeching manner

importunately

in a beseeching manner

indigence

a state of extreme poverty or destitution

ineluctable

impossible to avoid or evade

inevitable

incapable of being avoided or prevented

ingratiate

gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts

in straitened circumstances

not having enough money to pay for necessities

interminable

tiresomely long; seemingly without end

involve

contain as a part

involve

contain as a part

involve

contain as a part

involve

contain as a part

jactitation

a false boast that can harm others

jettison

throw away, of something encumbering

knavish

marked by skill in deception

lope

run easily

louche

of questionable taste or morality

Luddite

any opponent of technological progress

Luddite

any opponent of technological progress

maraud

raid and rove in search of booty

maunder

speak in a rambling or incoherent way

meander

move or cause to move in a sinuous or circular course

mendacity

the tendency to be untruthful

mendicancy

the state of being a beggar or mendicant

mercenary

a person hired to fight for another country than their own

mollycoddle

treat with excessive indulgence

mollycoddler

someone who pampers or spoils by excessive indulgence

morbid

suggesting the horror of death and decay

mordant

harshly ironic or sinister

moribund

being on the point of death

moribund

being on the point of death

mulct

money extracted as a penalty

necrology

a list of people who died recently

nemesis

something causing misery or death

nonplus

be a mystery or bewildering to

nonplussed

filled with bewilderment

nostrum

patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable

obituary

a notice of someone’s death

obliterated

reduced to nothingness

obviate

do away with

odious

unequivocally detestable

odium

hate coupled with disgust

offbeat

strikingly unconventional

orotund

ostentatiously lofty in style

panacea

hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases

panderer

person who caters to the vulgar passions or plans of others

paroxysm

a sudden uncontrollable attack

pauperisation

the act of making someone poor

pauperize

reduce to beggary

pecuniary

relating to or involving money

pecuniary

relating to or involving money

pedantic

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning

penurious

excessively unwilling to spend

perquisite

an incidental benefit for certain types of employment

piquant

having an agreeably pungent taste

pique

a sudden outburst of anger

plaintive

expressing sorrow

posit

take as a given; assume as a postulate or axiom

pourboire

a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter)

precept

rule of personal conduct

preceptor

teacher at a university or college

predicament

an unpleasant or difficult situation

preempt

acquire for oneself before others can do so

preemption

the right to purchase something in advance of others

preemptive

designed to prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence

preemptive

designed to prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence

premise

a statement that is held to be true

privation

the act of stripping someone of food, money, or rights

profligate

unrestrained by convention or morality

proliferate

grow rapidly

promenade

a leisurely walk, usually in some public place

protected

kept safe or defended from danger or injury or loss

protracted

relatively long in duration

protractedly

in a slow, leisurely or prolonged way

purvey

supply with provisions

purveyor

someone who supplies provisions, especially food

qualify

prove capable or fit; meet requirements

qualm

uneasiness about the fitness of an action

rabid

marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea

ramification

a consequence, especially one that causes complications

ramify

have or develop complicating consequences

rave

talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner

ravenous

extremely hungry

rebut

overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

recant

formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief

recantation

a disavowal or taking back of a previous assertion

redolent

having a strong pleasant odor

remiss

failing in what duty requires

remit

send in payment

remit

send in payment

repast

the food served and eaten at one time

reprove

reprimand, scold, or express dissatisfaction with

repudiate

refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid

rhodomontade

vain and empty boasting

rodomontade

vain and empty boasting

rostrum

a platform raised above the surrounding level

rotund

spherical in shape

ruminate

reflect deeply on a subject

scourge

something causing misery or death

screed

a long, tedious rant

scrooge

a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend

scurrility

foul-mouthed or obscene abuse

slouchy

lacking stiffness in form or posture

sly

marked by skill in deception

surfeit

indulge (one’s appetite) to satiety

temerarious

presumptuously daring

timid

showing fear and lack of courage

ubiquitous

being present everywhere at once

uncanny

surpassing the ordinary or normal

upbeat

pleasantly optimistic and cheerful

upheaval

a violent disturbance

venal

capable of being corrupted

viands

a stock or supply of foods

victuals

a source of materials to nourish the body

vindicate

show to be right by providing justification or proof

vindicated

freed from any question of guilt

vindictive

disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge

waive

do without or cease to hold or adhere to

waiver

a formal written statement of relinquishment

wanting

inadequate in amount or degree

welter

a confused multitude of things

gainsay

take exception to

platitude

a trite or obvious remark

plaintive

expressing sorrow

predilection

a predisposition in favor of something

predicament

an unpleasant or difficult situation

exacerbate

make worse

exasperate

make furious

impudent

improperly forward or bold

imprudent

not sensible, responsible, or wise

vilify

spread negative information about

forlorn

marked by or showing hopelessness

furore

an interest followed with exaggerated zeal

vehement

marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions

contrite

feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses

contrive

make or work out a plan for; devise

frustrate

hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire

disaffected

discontented as toward authority

rudimentary

being in the earliest stages of development

fathom

a linear unit of measurement for water depth

prodigy

an unusually gifted or intelligent person

prodigal

recklessly wasteful

prodigious

great in size, force, extent, or degree

pedestrian

lacking wit or imagination

repudiate

refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid

lionize

assign great social importance to

cartel

a consortium formed to limit commercial competition

brazen

unrestrained by convention or propriety

winsome

charming in a childlike or naive way

dilettante

an amateur engaging in an activity without serious intention

insolent

marked by casual disrespect

indolent

disinclined to work or exertion

subversive

in opposition to an established system or government

subservient

compliant and obedient to authority

resurgent

rising again as to new life and vigor

insurgent

in opposition to a civil authority or government

pernicious

exceedingly harmful

infelicitous

not appropriate in application; defective

loath

strongly opposed

palaver

loud and confused and empty talk

flag

a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design

exiguity

the quality of being meager

exigency

a pressing or urgent situation

extant

still in existence; not extinct or destroyed or lost

bastardization

an act that debases or corrupts

slouch

assume a drooping posture or carriage

slovenly

negligent of neatness especially in dress and person

canard

a deliberately misleading fabrication

calumny

a false accusation of an offense

candour

the quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech

oblique

slanting or inclined in direction or course or position

bereft

sorrowful through loss or deprivation

deprivation

the disadvantage that results from losing something

berate

censure severely or angrily

concomitant

following or accompanying as a consequence

coterminous

being of equal extent or scope or duration

contingent

determined by conditions or circumstances that follow

obtain

be valid, applicable, or true

entrenched

established firmly and securely

trenchant

having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought

pillory

expose to ridicule or public scorn

raillery

light teasing

simulacrum

a representation of a person

abrogate

revoke formally

arrogate

seize and take control without authority

banter

light teasing repartee

sardonic

disdainfully or ironically humorous

burlesque

a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor

brusque

rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner

graft

offering something to gain an illicit advantage

dissipate

cause to separate and go in different directions

panacea

hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases

paragon

a perfect embodiment of a concept

panache

distinctive and stylish elegance

dissemble

behave unnaturally or affectedly

row

an arrangement of objects or people side by side in a line

dissolution

degenerate indulgence in sensual pleasure

bridle

anger or take offense

fecund

intellectually productive

mendicant

a pauper who lives by begging

mendacious

given to lying

afford

provide access to

luculent

(of language) transparently clear; easily understandable

desideratum

something sought after as a necessity

complicity

guilt as a confederate in a crime or offense

confederate

united in a league

appropriate

take possession of by force

aplomb

great coolness and composure under strain

turgid

ostentatiously lofty in style

solicit

request urgently or persistently

solicitous

full of anxiety and concern

solitude

a state of social isolation

solicitation

an entreaty addressed to someone of superior status

entreat

ask for or request earnestly

obtuse

lacking in insight or discernment

empiricism

the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience

baleful

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

apothegm

a short pithy instructive saying

sententious

concise and full of meaning

sentient

endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

endowed

provided or supplied or equipped with

bequeath

leave or give, especially by will after one’s death

behest

an authoritative command or request

memoir

an account of the author’s personal experiences

annals

a chronological account of events in successive years

atavism

a reappearance of an earlier characteristic

objurgate

censure severely

obliterate

remove completely from recognition or memory

bristle

react in an offended or angry manner

philistine

a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits

phlegmatic

showing little emotion

pragmatic

concerned with practical matters

bemoan

regret strongly

bemused

perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements

squelch

suppress or crush completely

unprepossessing

creating an unfavorable or neutral first impression

unprecedented

novel; having no earlier occurrence

pith

spongelike central cylinder of the stems of flowering plants

untrammeled

not confined or limited

trammel

place limits on extent or access

epigram

a witty saying

inanity

total lack of meaning or ideas

recrudesce

happen

broadside

a speech of violent denunciation

browbeat

discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner

artifice

a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture

nettlesome

causing irritation or annoyance

mettlesome

having a proud, courageous, and unbroken spirit

ineffable

defying expression or description

defy

resist or confront with resistance

ersatz

an artificial or inferior substitute or imitation

phony

fraudulent; having a misleading appearance

percipient

characterized by ease and quickness in perceiving

rapprochement

the reestablishing of cordial relations

estrange

remove from customary environment or associations

unstinting

very generous

stalwart

having rugged physical strength

inure

cause to accept or become hardened to

descry

catch sight of

intimation

a slight suggestion or vague understanding

intimidation

the act of scaring a weaker person to make them do something

intimacy

a feeling of being close and belonging together

dispensation

the act of giving out in portions

ribald

humorously vulgar

rabid

marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea

risque

suggestive of sexual impropriety

antagonise

provoke the hostility of

antagonist

someone who offers opposition

unpropitious

not propitious

propitious

presenting favorable circumstances

probity

complete and confirmed integrity

recrimination

mutual accusations

flippant

showing an inappropriate lack of seriousness

fillip

something that acts as a stimulus

filibuster

a tactic for delaying legislation by making long speeches

celerity

a rate that is rapid

nonchalant

marked by blithe unconcern

nonplused

filled with bewilderment

hobble

walk impeded by some physical limitation or injury

puissant

powerful

firebrand

someone who deliberately foments trouble

cosset

treat with excessive indulgence

specious

plausible but false

spurious

plausible but false

capricious

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

dilatory

wasting time

askance

with suspicion or disapproval

stringent

demanding strict attention to rules and procedures

strident

unpleasantly loud and harsh

esoteric

understandable only by an enlightened inner circle

eclectic

selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas

disseminate

cause to become widely known

timorous

shy and fearful by nature

temerarious

presumptuously daring

flux

a state of uncertainty about what should be done

slapdash

marked by great carelessness

blithe

carefree and happy and lighthearted

bleak

unpleasantly cold and damp

screed

a long, tedious rant

serendipity

good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries

surreptitious

marked by quiet and caution and secrecy

collude

act in unison and in secret towards a deceitful purpose

peruse

examine or consider with attention and in detail

hound

pursue or chase relentlessly

reprehensible

bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure

telling

disclosing unintentionally

telltale

disclosing unintentionally

unnerve

disturb the composure of

inundate

fill or cover completely, usually with water

innuendo

an indirect and usually malicious implication

pine

a coniferous tree

retiring

of a person who has held and relinquished a position

soiree

a party of people assembled in the evening

garret

floor consisting of open space at the top of a house

dormer

a gabled extension built out from a sloping roof

gazebo

a small roofed building affording shade and rest

hacienda

the main house on a ranch or large estate

tender

easy to cut or chew

indignant

angered at something unjust or wrong

indigence

a state of extreme poverty or destitution

underwrite

protect by insurance

replete

filled to satisfaction with food or drink

powwow

a council of or with Native Americans

virago

a noisy or scolding or domineering woman

harridan

a scolding (even vicious) old woman

termagant

a scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman

cadaverous

of or relating to a corpse

cavil

raise trivial objections

heyday

the period of greatest prosperity or productivity

fecund

capable of producing offspring or vegetation

aboveboard

without concealment or deception; honest

sanctimonious

excessively or hypocritically pious

checkered

patterned with alternating squares of color

extenuating

partially excusing or justifying

melee

a noisy riotous fight

ferret

search and discover through persistent investigation

check

examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition

pittance

an inadequate payment

lagniappe

a small gift given by a merchant to a customer

largesse

liberality in bestowing gifts

amok

wildly; without self-control

fleece

outer coat of especially sheep and yaks

dupe

fool or hoax

swindle

deprive of by deceit

hoodwink

conceal one’s true motives from

finagle

achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods

raft

a flat float that can be used for transport

stem

cylinder forming a long narrow part of something

vicarious

experienced at secondhand

proletariat

a social class comprising those who do manual labor

beget

generate children

beleaguer

annoy persistently

anemic

lacking vigor or energy

languid

lacking spirit or liveliness

morbid

suggesting the horror of death and decay

derelict

a person without a home, job, or property

rhetoric

using language effectively to please or persuade

raconteur

a person skilled in telling anecdotes

recondite

difficult to penetrate

hagiography

a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person

unvanquished

not conquered

perquisite

an incidental benefit for certain types of employment

decimation

destroying or killing a large part of the population

sordid

foul and run-down and repulsive

tabloid

newspaper with half-size pages

provisional

under terms not final or fully worked out or agreed upon

staid

characterized by dignity and propriety

discreet

marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint

resignation

acceptance of an unpleasant but inevitable situation

dispatch

the act of sending off something

champion

someone who fights for a cause

vie

compete for something

vex

disturb, especially by minor irritations

ply

use diligently

sly

marked by skill in deception

slyly

in an artful manner

besiege

surround so as to force to give up

relegate

assign to a lower position

charlatan

a flamboyant deceiver

quack

an untrained person who pretends to be a physician

monger

someone who maintains an inventory of goods to be sold

foible

a minor weakness or peculiarity in someone’s character

quip

a witty saying

goad

stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick

eke out

live from day to day, as with some hardship

impregnable

incapable of being attacked or tampered with

smug

marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction

taxing

not easily borne; wearing

tout

advertise in strongly positive terms

bout

a contest or fight

impending

close in time; about to occur

reservation

the act of setting aside for some future occasion

unseemly

not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper

fell

able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering

jaundice

a rough and bitter manner

insidious

working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

invidious

containing or implying a slight or showing prejudice

patent

clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment

apposite

being of striking appropriateness and pertinence

pertinent

being of striking appropriateness
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