GRE 330 – 500 Words

abate

become less in amount or intensity

abdicate

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

aberrant

markedly different from an accepted norm

abjure

formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief

abrasive

causing irritation or erosion by friction

abridge

lessen, diminish, or curtail

abstain

refrain from doing, consuming, or partaking in something

acme

the highest point of something

activism

a policy of action to achieve a political or social goal

adhere

stick to firmly

admonish

scold or reprimand; take to task

adverse

in an opposing direction

advocate

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

aesthetic

characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste

affable

diffusing warmth and friendliness

affectation

a deliberate pretense or exaggerated display

aggrandize

embellish; increase the scope, power, or importance of

aggregate

a sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together

alacrity

liveliness and eagerness

alienate

arouse hostility or indifference in

alleviate

provide physical relief, as from pain

ambiguous

having more than one possible meaning

ambivalent

uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow

analogous

similar or equivalent in some respects

anarchy

a state of lawlessness and disorder

anoint

administer an oil or ointment to, often ceremonially

anomaly

deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule

antagonize

provoke the hostility of

antipathy

a feeling of intense dislike

apathy

an absence of emotion or enthusiasm

apocryphal

being of questionable authenticity

appease

make peace with

appreciable

enough to be estimated or measured

arbitrary

based on or subject to individual discretion or preference

arcane

requiring secret or mysterious knowledge

archaic

so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

arduous

characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion

articulate

express or state clearly

artifact

a man-made object

artless

simple and natural; without cunning or deceit

ascertain

learn or discover with confidence

ascetic

someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline

assuage

provide physical relief, as from pain

audacious

disposed to venture or take risks

augment

enlarge or increase

austere

of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor

autonomous

existing as an independent entity

aver

declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true

avid

marked by active interest and enthusiasm

balk

refuse to comply

base

lowest support of a structure

belie

be in contradiction with

benign

kind in disposition or manner

bogus

fraudulent; having a misleading appearance

bolster

support and strengthen

boor

a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking refinement

buffer

protect from impact

bureaucracy

a government administered primarily by nonelective officials

burgeon

grow and flourish

buttress

a support usually of stone or brick

bygone

well in the past; former

cacophony

loud confusing disagreeable sounds

candid

openly straightforward and direct without secretiveness

canonical

conforming to orthodox or recognized rules

capricious

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

cartography

the making of maps and charts

castigate

inflict severe punishment on

catalyst

substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction

caustic

capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action

censure

harsh criticism or disapproval

chauvinism

fanatical patriotism

chronological

relating to or arranged according to temporal order

clamor

utter or proclaim insistently and noisily

clinch

secure or fasten by flattening the ends of nails or bolts

coalesce

fuse or cause to come together

cogent

powerfully persuasive

commensurate

corresponding in size or degree or extent

complacent

contented to a fault with oneself or one’s actions

complementary

acting as a part that completes another part

compliant

disposed to act in accordance with someone’s wishes

concede

give over

conciliatory

making or willing to make concessions

concur

happen simultaneously

condone

excuse, overlook, or make allowances for

confer

present

connoisseur

an expert able to appreciate a field

console

give moral or emotional strength to

consolidate

form into a solid mass or whole

constrict

squeeze or press together

construe

make sense of; assign a meaning to

contentious

showing an inclination to disagree

conundrum

a difficult problem

converge

be adjacent or come together

conversant

well informed about or knowing thoroughly

conversely

with the terms of the relation reversed

convoluted

highly complex or intricate

copious

large in number or quantity

corroborate

give evidence for

cosmopolitan

composed of people from many parts of the world

countenance

the appearance conveyed by a person’s face

counterintuitive

contrary to what common sense would suggest

counterpoint

a musical form involving the simultaneous sound of two or more melodies

counterproductive

tending to hinder the achievement of a goal

covert

secret or hidden

crafty

marked by skill in deception

craven

lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful

credibility

the quality of being believable or trustworthy

credulous

showing a lack of judgment or experience

crescendo

a gradual increase in loudness

culminate

end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage

cynical

believing the worst of human nature and motives

daunt

cause to lose courage

debase

make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance

debunk

expose while ridiculing

decorous

characterized by propriety and dignity and good taste

deem

judge or regard in a particular way

deface

mar or spoil the appearance of

defamatory

harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign

default

an option that is selected automatically

deference

courteous regard for people’s feelings

deflect

turn from a straight course or fixed direction

deleterious

harmful to living things

delineate

represented accurately or precisely

denigrate

charge falsely or with malicious intent

denote

have as a meaning

deride

treat or speak of with contempt

derivative

a compound obtained from another compound

desiccate

lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless

detached

no longer connected or joined

deterrent

something immaterial that interferes with action or progress

diatribe

thunderous verbal attack

didactic

instructive, especially excessively

digress

wander from a direct or straight course

din

a loud harsh or strident noise

disabuse

free somebody from an erroneous belief

discerning

having or revealing keen insight and good judgment

discredit

the state of being held in low esteem

discrepancy

a difference between conflicting facts or claims or opinions

discriminating

showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment

disingenuous

not straightforward or candid

disinterested

unaffected by concern for one’s own welfare

disjointed

taken apart at the points of connection

dismiss

stop associating with

dispassionate

unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice

dispatch

the act of sending off something

disperse

move away from each other

disposition

your usual mood

disquieting

causing mental discomfort

disseminate

cause to become widely known

dissent

a difference of opinion

dissonance

disagreeable sounds

distill

undergo condensation

diverge

move or draw apart

divest

take away possessions from someone

divine

a clergyman or other person in religious orders

document

a representation of a person’s thinking with symbolic marks

dogma

a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative

dormant

inactive but capable of becoming active

dubious

fraught with uncertainty or doubt

e.g.

as an example

eccentric

conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual

eclectic

selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas

eclipse

the phenomenon when one celestial body obscures another

efficacy

capacity or power to produce a desired result

egalitarian

favoring social equality

egregious

conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

elated

exultantly proud and joyful; in high spirits

elevate

raise from a lower to a higher position

elicit

call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response

eloquent

expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively

embellish

make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color

eminent

standing above others in quality or position

empirical

derived from experiment and observation rather than theory

emulate

strive to equal or match, especially by imitating

enervate

weaken mentally or morally

enhance

increase

enigma

something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained

entitlement

right granted by law or contract

enumerate

specify individually

ephemeral

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

equitable

fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience

erratic

liable to sudden unpredictable change

erroneous

containing or characterized by mistakes

erudite

having or showing profound knowledge

eschew

avoid and stay away from deliberately

esoteric

understandable only by an enlightened inner circle

estimable

deserving of respect or high regard

eulogy

a formal expression of praise for someone who has died

exacerbate

make worse

exacting

severe and unremitting in making demands

exculpate

pronounce not guilty of criminal charges

exhaustive

performed comprehensively and completely

explicit

precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable

exponent

notation of how many times to multiply a quantity by itself

extraneous

not belonging to that in which it is contained

extrapolate

draw from specific cases for more general cases

facetious

cleverly amusing in tone

facilitate

make easier

fallacious

containing or based on incorrect reasoning

fanatical

marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea

fanciful

indulging in or influenced by the imagination

fathom

a linear unit of measurement for water depth

feasible

capable of being done with means at hand

fidelity

the quality of being faithful

figurative

not literal

finesse

subtly skillful handling of a situation

flag

a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design

fleeting

lasting for a markedly brief time

foment

try to stir up

foreshadow

indicate by signs

forfeit

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

fortify

make strong or stronger

fringe

an ornamental border of short lengths of hanging threads

frugal

avoiding waste

futile

producing no result or effect

gainsay

take exception to

garrulous

full of trivial conversation

gauche

lacking social polish

gawky

awkward and clumsy in movement or posture

germane

relevant and appropriate

gist

the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

glib

artfully persuasive in speech

gradation

relative position in a ranked series

gregarious

temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others

guile

shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

hackneyed

repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

hardy

having rugged physical strength

haven

a sheltered port where ships can take on or discharge cargo

hearken

listen; used mostly in the imperative

hedonist

someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures

heterogeneous

consisting of elements not of the same kind or nature

hierarchy

a series of ordered groupings within a system

hodgepodge

a motley assortment of things

homogeneous

all of the same or similar kind or nature

idiosyncrasy

a behavioral attribute peculiar to an individual

illiberality

a disposition not to be liberal (generous) with money

imminent

close in time; about to occur

impair

make worse or less effective

impartial

free from undue bias or preconceived opinions

impede

be a hindrance or obstacle to

implication

something that is inferred

implicit

suggested though not directly expressed

implode

burst inward

inadvertent

happening by chance or unexpectedly or unintentionally

incendiary

capable of causing fires or catching fire spontaneously

incentive

a positive motivational influence

inchoate

only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

incipient

only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

incongruous

lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness

inconsequential

lacking worth or importance

incorporate

make into a whole or make part of a whole

indeterminate

not fixed or known in advance

indifferent

marked by a lack of interest

inform

impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

ingenuous

lacking in sophistication or worldliness

ingrained

deeply rooted; firmly fixed or held

inherent

existing as an essential constituent or characteristic

innocuous

not injurious to physical or mental health

intelligible

capable of being apprehended or understood

intractable

difficult to manage or mold

intrepid

invulnerable to fear or intimidation

intrinsic

belonging to a thing by its very nature

jargon

technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject

jocular

characterized by jokes and good humor

judicious

marked by the exercise of good judgment in practical matters

juncture

the shape or manner in which things come together

keen

intense or sharp

kudos

an expression of approval and commendation

lackluster

lacking brilliance or vitality

laconic

brief and to the point

lament

a cry of sorrow and grief

lampoon

ridicule with satire

landmark

a prominent or well-known object in a particular place

languid

lacking spirit or liveliness

lassitude

a feeling of lack of interest or energy

laudable

worthy of high praise

lavish

very generous

layperson

someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person

levity

a manner lacking seriousness

levy

impose and collect

liberal

showing or characterized by broad-mindedness

libertine

unrestrained by convention or morality

likewise

in like or similar manner

log

a segment of the trunk of a tree when stripped of branches

loquacious

full of trivial conversation

lucid

transparently clear; easily understandable

lull

make calm or still

makeshift

done or made using whatever is available

malleable

capable of being shaped or bent

maverick

someone who exhibits independence in thought and action

mendacious

given to lying

mercurial

liable to sudden unpredictable change

metamorphosis

striking change in appearance or character or circumstances

meticulous

marked by precise accordance with details

modest

marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself

mollify

cause to be more favorably inclined

monotony

the quality of wearisome constancy and lack of variety

moreover

in addition

mores

the conventions embodying the fundamental values of a group

mundane

found in the ordinary course of events

naive

marked by or showing unaffected simplicity

nascent

being born or beginning

negate

make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of

net

an open fabric of string or rope or wire woven together

nevertheless

despite anything to the contrary

nonetheless

despite anything to the contrary

notoriety

the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality

novel

an extended fictional work in prose

nuance

a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

objective

the goal intended to be attained

obsequious

attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

obsolete

no longer in use

obstinate

marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield

obviate

do away with

occult

supernatural forces and events and beings collectively

offhand

with little or no preparation or forethought

officious

intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner

offset

a compensating equivalent

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

opaque

not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy

optimal

most desirable possible under a restriction

optimum

most desirable possible under a restriction

orthodox

adhering to what is commonly accepted

oscillate

move or swing from side to side regularly

outstrip

go far ahead of

overshadow

cast a shadow upon

paradigm

a standard or typical example

paradox

a statement that contradicts itself

pariah

a person who is rejected from society or home

partial

being or affecting only a segment

partisan

a fervent and even militant proponent of something

patent

a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention

pathological

relating to the study of diseases

patronizing

characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance

paucity

an insufficient quantity or number

peccadillo

a petty misdeed

pedestrian

a person who travels by foot

penchant

a strong liking

perfidious

tending to betray

peripheral

on or near an edge or constituting an outer boundary

permeate

spread or diffuse through

pervasive

spreading or spread throughout

philanthropy

the act of donating money or time to promote human welfare

phony

fraudulent; having a misleading appearance

pious

having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity

pith

spongelike central cylinder of the stems of flowering plants

placate

cause to be more favorably inclined

placid

calm and free from disturbance

plastic

synthetic material that can be molded into objects

plausible

apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful

plummet

drop sharply

polarize

cause to concentrate about two conflicting positions

ponderous

having great mass and weight and unwieldiness

posthumous

occurring or coming into existence after a person’s death

potentate

a ruler who is unconstrained by law

pragmatic

concerned with practical matters

preamble

a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution

precarious

not secure; beset with difficulties

precursor

something indicating the approach of something or someone

predisposed

made susceptible

preempt

acquire for oneself before others can do so

pre-empt

a high bid that is intended to prevent the opposing players from bidding

presumptive

having a reasonable basis for belief or acceptance

presumptuous

going beyond what is appropriate, permitted, or courteous

pretentious

creating an appearance of importance or distinction

principled

based on objectively defined standards of rightness

pristine

immaculately clean and unused

probity

complete and confirmed integrity

prodigal

recklessly wasteful

prodigious

great in size, force, extent, or degree

profligate

unrestrained by convention or morality

profound

situated at or extending to great depth

profuse

produced or growing in extreme abundance

prohibitive

tending to discourage, especially of prices

proliferate

grow rapidly

prologue

an introduction to a play

pronounced

strongly marked; easily noticeable

propriety

correct behavior

prosaic

lacking wit or imagination

proscribe

command against

prospective

of or concerned with or related to the future

prudent

marked by sound judgment

pugnacious

ready and able to resort to force or violence

qualified

meeting the proper standards and requirements for a task

quandary

state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options

quibble

evade the truth of a point by raising irrelevant objections

quotidian

found in the ordinary course of events

rank

relative status

reap

get or derive

recluse

one who lives in solitude

refute

overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

relegate

assign to a lower position

remedial

tending or intended to rectify or improve

render

give or supply

replete

filled to satisfaction with food or drink

reproach

express criticism towards

repudiate

refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid

requite

make repayment for or return something

rescind

cancel officially

resolution

a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner

respectively

in the order given

restive

being in a tense state

reticent

reluctant to draw attention to yourself

retrospective

concerned with or related to the past

reverent

feeling or showing profound respect or veneration

rhetoric

study of the technique for using language effectively

rife

excessively abundant

rudimentary

being in the earliest stages of development

rustic

characteristic of rural life

sacrosanct

treated as if holy and kept free from violation or criticism

sagacious

acutely insightful and wise

salubrious

promoting health

sanction

official permission or approval

sanguine

confidently optimistic and cheerful

sap

a watery solution in the vascular system of a plant

satiate

fill to satisfaction

sate

fill to contentment

saturate

infuse or fill completely

savor

a particular taste or smell, especially an appealing one

scant

less than the correct or legal or full amount

scathing

marked by harshly abusive criticism

secular

someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person

sedulous

marked by care and persistent effort

sentient

endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

simultaneous

occurring or operating at the same time

skeptic

someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs

skirt

a garment hanging from the waist

slack

not tense or taut

slew

a large number or amount or extent

slight

small in quantity or degree

solicitous

full of anxiety and concern

soporific

inducing sleep

sound

mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium

spartan

unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment

spate

a sudden forceful flow

spearhead

the head and sharpened point of a spear

specious

plausible but false

spectrum

a broad range of related objects, values, or qualities

speculate

reflect deeply on a subject

sporadic

recurring in scattered or unpredictable instances

sportive

given to merry frolicking

standing

social or financial or professional status or reputation

stark

severely simple

static

not in physical motion

status quo

the existing state of affairs

stingy

unwilling to spend

stoic

seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive

stoical

seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive

stolid

having or revealing little emotion or sensibility

stymie

hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of

stymy

hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of

subjective

taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias

subside

wear off or die down

substantiate

establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts

succeeding

coming after or following

supersede

take the place or move into the position of

supplicate

ask for humbly or earnestly, as in prayer

surfeit

indulge (one’s appetite) to satiety

surmise

infer from incomplete evidence

sycophant

a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage

synchronous

occurring or existing at the same time

table

furniture having a smooth flat top supported by legs

tacit

implied by or inferred from actions or statements

taciturn

habitually reserved and uncommunicative

tangential

of superficial relevance if any

temperance

the trait of avoiding excesses

tenuous

very thin in gauge or diameter

timely

done or happening at the appropriate moment

timorous

shy and fearful by nature

tirade

a speech of violent denunciation

torpor

a state of motor and mental inactivity

torrid

characterized by intense emotion

tractable

easily managed

transitory

lasting a very short time

trifling

not worth considering

trite

repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

ubiquitous

being present everywhere at once

undermine

weaken or impair, especially gradually

underscore

give extra weight to

unearth

recover through digging

unequivocal

admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding

unprecedented

novel; having no earlier occurrence

unseemly

not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper

vacillate

be undecided about something

venerate

regard with feelings of respect and reverence

veracity

unwillingness to tell lies

verbose

using or containing too many words

viable

capable of life or normal growth and development

vintage

the oldness of wines

virtual

being actually such in almost every respect

vituperate

spread negative information about

volatile

liable to lead to sudden change or violence

wary

marked by keen caution and watchful prudence

whimsical

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

wily

marked by skill in deception

zeal

a feeling of strong eagerness

zenith

the point above the observer directly opposite the nadir

refute

overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

sea urchin

shallow-water echinoderms having soft bodies enclosed in thin spiny globular shells

spherule

a small sphere
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