GRE 500 – 500 Words

interminable

tiresomely long; seemingly without end

indiscriminate

failing to make or recognize distinctions

badger

sturdy carnivorous burrowing mammal with strong claws

prudent

marked by sound judgment

ostensible

appearing as such but not necessarily so

spurious

plausible but false

milieu

the environmental condition

deleterious

harmful to living things

surfeit

indulge (one’s appetite) to satiety

strident

unpleasantly loud and harsh

dissent

a difference of opinion

incumbent

necessary as a duty or responsibility; morally binding

consecrate

give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause

contrite

feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses

continence

voluntary control over urinary and fecal discharge

conundrum

a difficult problem

fetid

offensively malodorous

mendicant

a pauper who lives by begging

meretricious

tastelessly showy

menagerie

a collection of live animals for study or display

repine

express discontent

rescind

cancel officially

reprobate

a person without moral scruples

reprise

repeat an earlier theme of a composition

reparation

something done or paid in expiation of a wrong

resolution

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

resolve

find a solution or answer

contumacious

willfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient

contend

compete for something

cursory

hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough

indigenous

originating where it is found

bulwark

an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes

coterie

an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose

altruistic

showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others

temerity

fearless daring

virtuosity

technical skill or fluency or style exhibited by a virtuoso

prolific

intellectually productive

progeny

the immediate descendants of a person

amorous

inclined toward or displaying love

perpetrate

perform an act, usually with a negative connotation

consummate

having or revealing supreme mastery or skill

impeccable

without fault or error

hoax

something intended to deceive

gullible

naive and easily deceived or tricked

enigma

something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained

subterfuge

something intended to misrepresent the nature of an activity

exult

feel extreme happiness or elation

foment

try to stir up

minuscule

very small

militate

have force or influence; bring about an effect or change

minatory

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

mettle

the courage to carry on

misanthrope

someone who dislikes people in general

cupidity

extreme greed for material wealth

irate

feeling or showing extreme anger

attest

provide evidence for

affinity

a natural attraction or feeling of kinship

forswear

formally reject or disavow

formidable

extremely impressive in strength or excellence

forestall

keep from happening or arising; make impossible

innate

present at birth but not necessarily hereditary

paltry

contemptibly small in amount or size

menial

relating to unskilled work, especially domestic work

venerable

profoundly honored

salubrious

promoting health

prodigious

great in size, force, extent, or degree

expedite

process fast and efficiently

celerity

a rate that is rapid

usurp

seize and take control without authority

succinct

briefly giving the gist of something

facetious

cleverly amusing in tone

rabid

marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea

fission

reproduction of a unicellular organism by cell division

fission

reproduction of a unicellular organism by cell division

fulminate

cause to explode violently and with loud noise

fulminate

cause to explode violently and with loud noise

facetious

cleverly amusing in tone

fracas

noisy quarrel

fresco

a mural done with watercolors on wet plaster

froward

habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition

mollify

cause to be more favorably inclined

motley

consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds

rue

feel sorry for; be contrite about

salutary

tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health

rubric

category name

riposte

a counterattack made immediately after successfully parrying

ruse

a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture

salacious

suggestive of or tending to moral looseness

reverent

feeling or showing profound respect or veneration

latent

potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

tortuous

marked by repeated turns and bends

misogynist

a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular

amenable

disposed or willing to comply

promulgate

state or announce

scurrilous

expressing offensive reproach

aspirant

an ambitious young person

belligerent

characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight

frenzy

state of violent mental agitation

profligate

unrestrained by convention or morality

sumptuous

rich and superior in quality

parsimonious

excessively unwilling to spend

strife

bitter conflict; heated often violent dissension

denigrate

charge falsely or with malicious intent

demotic

of or for the common people

goad

stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick

gainsay

take exception to

geniality

a disposition to be friendly and approachable

gauche

lacking social polish

gossamer

a gauze fabric with an extremely fine texture

garrulous

full of trivial conversation

gouge

an impression in a surface, as made by a blow

glib

artfully persuasive in speech

negate

make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of

neophyte

any new participant in some activity

nostrum

patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable

neologism

a newly invented word or phrase

amnesty

a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense

pecuniary

relating to or involving money

denizen

a plant or animal naturalized in a region

duress

compulsory force or threat

inexorable

not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty

flagrant

conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

construe

make sense of; assign a meaning to

acrimonious

marked by strong resentment or cynicism

pernicious

exceedingly harmful

debilitate

make weak

somber

grave or even gloomy in character

quarry

animal hunted or caught for food

slovenly

negligent of neatness especially in dress and person

penitent

feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds

evanescent

tending to vanish like vapor

propensity

a natural inclination

occult

supernatural forces and events and beings collectively

tantamount

being essentially equal to something

apogee

the farthest point in an orbit around the Earth

egregious

conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

glean

gather, as of natural products

consternation

sudden shock or dismay that causes confusion

sultry

attractive and suggesting hidden passion

divulge

make known to the public information previously kept secret

tenacious

stubbornly unyielding

vigil

a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe

redolent

having a strong pleasant odor

precocious

characterized by exceptionally early development

voluble

marked by a ready flow of speech

disparate

fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind

perfunctory

hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough

affluent

having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value

indict

accuse formally of a crime

lugubrious

excessively mournful

puissant

powerful

derogatory

expressive of low opinion

nebulous

lacking definite form or limits

interrogate

pose a series of questions to

disheveled

in disarray; extremely disorderly

antiquated

so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

grimace

contort the face to indicate a certain mental state

fastidious

giving careful attention to detail

au courant

being up to a particular standard or up to date in knowledge

unkempt

not properly maintained or cared for

cumbersome

difficult to handle or use because of size or weight

sally

a military action in which besieged troops burst forth

masticate

bite and grind with the teeth

unmitigated

not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity

asinine

devoid of intelligence

noisome

causing or able to cause nausea

pittance

an inadequate payment

arduous

characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion

dirge

a song or hymn of mourning as a memorial to a dead person

harangue

a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion

hallowed

worthy of religious veneration

gustatory

of or relating to the sense of taste

guileless

innocent and free of deceit

guise

an artful or simulated semblance

grandiloquent

lofty in style

grouse

popular game bird having a plump body and feathered legs

privation

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

obsequious

attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

destitution

a state without money or prospects

salvation

rescuing or protecting someone or something from harm

parable

a short moral story

sanctimonious

excessively or hypocritically pious

nonentity

a person of no influence

flabbergasted

as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise

vivacious

vigorous and animated

mien

a person’s appearance, manner, or demeanor

gamut

a complete extent or range

whet

sharpen by rubbing

pensive

deeply or seriously thoughtful

stupor

marginal consciousness

wince

draw back, as with fear or pain

countenance

the appearance conveyed by a person’s face

fretful

nervous and unable to relax

sanctuary

a consecrated place where sacred objects are kept

respite

a pause from doing something

venial

warranting only temporal punishment

unsavory

morally offensive

epitome

a standard or typical example

repugnant

offensive to the mind

compassion

a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering

dexterity

adroitness in using the hands

naive

marked by or showing unaffected simplicity

vehement

marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions

ignominious

deserving or bringing disgrace or shame

ingratiate

gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts

perfidious

tending to betray

acme

the highest point of something

penury

a state of extreme poverty or destitution

thwart

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

excruciating

extremely painful

covet

wish, long, or crave for

astute

marked by practical hardheaded intelligence

amicable

characterized by friendship and good will

vexatious

causing irritation or annoyance

ineffectual

not producing an intended consequence

extortion

unjust exaction, as by the misuse of authority

asset

a useful or valuable quality

malady

impairment of normal physiological function

perspicacious

mentally acute or penetratingly discerning

perpetuate

cause to continue or prevail

mandate

a document giving an official instruction or command

susceptible

yielding readily to or capable of

avocation

an auxiliary activity

autonomous

existing as an independent entity

deism

the belief in God on the basis of reason alone

avarice

reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth

distrait

having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety

dissolution

separation into component parts

divest

take away possessions from someone

immutable

not subject or susceptible to change or variation

impassive

having or revealing little emotion or sensibility

tabula rasa

an opportunity to start over without prejudice

impecunious

not having enough money to pay for necessities

imbroglio

an intricate and confusing interpersonal situation

nefarious

extremely wicked

distend

cause to expand as if by internal pressure

iconoclastic

characterized by attack on established beliefs

desist

stop performing some action

peruse

examine or consider with attention and in detail

pertinent

being of striking appropriateness

salient

conspicuous, prominent, or important

imminent

close in time; about to occur

squeamish

excessively fastidious and easily disgusted

wan

deficient in color suggesting physical or emotional distress

symptomatic

relating to sensations experienced by a patient

elusive

skillful at evading capture

sojourn

a temporary stay

volition

the act of making a choice

superfluous

more than is needed, desired, or required

nascent

being born or beginning

conducive

tending to bring about; being partly responsible for

vertigo

a reeling sensation; a feeling that you are about to fall

germane

relevant and appropriate

felicitous

exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner or style

tenable

based on sound reasoning or evidence

bawdy

humorously vulgar

doggerel

a comic verse of irregular measure

ebullient

joyously unrestrained

effete

excessively self-indulgent, affected, or decadent

effervescence

the process of bubbling as gas escapes

mystical

beyond ordinary understanding

implode

burst inward

impinge

infringe upon

imperturbable

marked by extreme calm and composure

implacable

incapable of being appeased or pacified

implicit

suggested though not directly expressed

reductionist

of a theory explaining complex things by simpler elements

imprecation

the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil

implausible

highly imaginative but unlikely

impervious

not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

impute

attribute or credit to

doleful

filled with or evoking sadness

assuage

provide physical relief, as from pain

discrete

constituting a separate entity or part

dissemble

behave unnaturally or affectedly

homily

a sermon on a moral or religious topic

harrowing

causing extreme distress

hermetic

completely sealed or airtight

heterodox

characterized by departure from accepted standards

nugatory

of no real value

obdurate

stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing

occlude

block passage through

olfactory

of or relating to the sense of smell

officious

intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner

odyssey

a long wandering and eventful journey

paroxysm

a sudden uncontrollable attack

indigent

poor enough to need help from others

revert

go back to a previous state

forthwith

without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening

effigy

a representation of a person

plight

a situation from which extrication is difficult

prelude

something that introduces what follows

palliate

lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of

cumulative

increasing by successive addition

disingenuous

not straightforward or candid

fray

wear away by rubbing

incapacitate

make unable to perform a certain action

delude

be dishonest with

anthropologist

a social scientist specializing in the study of humanity

contemptuous

expressing extreme scorn

entreaty

earnest or urgent request

inviolable

incapable of being transgressed or dishonored

taint

place under suspicion or cast doubt upon

inanimate

not endowed with life

brazen

unrestrained by convention or propriety

pallid

deficient in color suggesting physical or emotional distress

penchant

a strong liking

pedantic

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning

pathological

relating to the study of diseases

legerdemain

an illusory feat

stagnant

not growing or changing; without force or vitality

procrastinate

postpone doing what one should be doing

passe

out of fashion

capitulate

surrender under agreed conditions

foist

force onto another

tantalize

harass with persistent teasing or baiting

docile

easily handled or managed

retort

a quick reply to a question or remark

tacit

implied by or inferred from actions or statements

cadge

obtain or seek to obtain by wheedling

canard

a deliberately misleading fabrication

buttress

a support usually of stone or brick

canon

a collection of books accepted as holy scripture

bucolic

devoted to raising sheep or cattle

engender

call forth

encomium

a formal expression of praise

enervate

weaken mentally or morally

perennial

lasting an indefinitely long time

perigee

the nearest point in an orbit around the Earth

peremptory

putting an end to all debate or action

permeable

allowing fluids or gases to pass or diffuse through

garbled

lacking orderly continuity

poignant

keenly distressing to the mind or feelings

domicile

housing that someone is living in

inundate

fill or cover completely, usually with water

quip

a witty saying

decrepit

worn and broken down by hard use

opprobrium

a state of extreme dishonor

demeanor

the way a person behaves toward other people

heinous

extremely wicked, deeply criminal

vindicate

show to be right by providing justification or proof

vituperation

abusive or venomous language to express blame or censure

redress

make reparations or amends for

turpitude

a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice

deplorable

of very poor quality or condition

conflagration

a very intense and uncontrolled fire

obliterate

remove completely from recognition or memory

detriment

a damage or loss

senile

mentally or physically infirm with age

imbibe

take in liquids

aegis

armor plate that protects the chest

fortuitous

occurring by happy chance

expunge

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

capricious

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

debris

the remains of something that has been destroyed

incursion

the act of entering some territory or domain

incarnate

possessing or existing in bodily form

paean

a hymn of praise

ornithologist

a scientist who studies birds

overweening

presumptuously arrogant

paleontology

the earth science that studies fossil organisms

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onerous

burdensome or difficult to endure

onomatopoeia

using words that imitate the sound they denote

clairvoyant

someone who can perceive things not present to the senses

chivalry

the medieval principles governing knightly conduct

coagulate

change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state

cloister

residence that is a place of religious seclusion

eulogy

a formal expression of praise for someone who has died

etymology

a history of a word

euphoria

a feeling of great elation

evocative

serving to bring to mind

etiology

the cause of a disease

internecine

within a group or organization

intransigence

stubborn refusal to compromise or change

interregnum

the time between two reigns or governments

psychosomatic

used of illness or symptoms resulting from neurosis

insuperable

incapable of being surpassed or excelled

interdict

command against

interpolate

insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby

epistemology

the philosophical theory of knowledge

esoteric

understandable only by an enlightened inner circle

equable

not varying

equitable

fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience

insinuate

suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand

insouciant

marked by unconcern

ineluctable

impossible to avoid or evade

ingenuous

lacking in sophistication or worldliness

insensible

barely able to be perceived

insipid

lacking interest or significance or impact

status quo

the existing state of affairs

coalesce

fuse or cause to come together

complement

something added to embellish or make perfect

compendium

a publication containing a variety of works

codify

organize into a system, such as a body of law

expatiate

add details, as to an account or idea

execrable

unequivocally detestable

inveterate

habitual

inured

made tough by habitual exposure

invidious

containing or implying a slight or showing prejudice

inveigle

influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering

surreptitious

marked by quiet and caution and secrecy

subjugate

make subservient; force to submit or subdue

incredulous

not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving

importune

beg persistently and urgently

propitious

presenting favorable circumstances

remiss

failing in what duty requires

aversion

a feeling of intense dislike

vogue

a current state of general acceptance and use

lucrative

producing a sizeable profit

jettison

throw away, of something encumbering

tussle

disorderly fighting

cogent

powerfully persuasive

terse

brief and to the point

acute

ending in a sharp point

gist

the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

prevalent

most frequent or common

placate

cause to be more favorably inclined

physiognomy

the human face

piety

righteousness by virtue of being religiously devout

placid

calm and free from disturbance

plaintive

expressing sorrow

petulant

easily irritated or annoyed

piquant

having an agreeably pungent taste

plummet

drop sharply

platitude

a trite or obvious remark

plutocracy

a political system governed by the wealthy people

plumb

exactly vertical

poseur

a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not

savor

a particular taste or smell, especially an appealing one

sardonic

disdainfully or ironically humorous

satyr

one of a class of woodland deities

secrete

generate and separate from cells or bodily fluids

sartorial

of or relating to tailoring or clothing

sedulous

marked by care and persistent effort

sextant

an instrument for measuring angular distance

sentient

endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

sedition

an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority

shard

a broken piece of a brittle artifact

sidereal

of or relating to the stars or constellations

falter

move hesitatingly, as if about to give way

bereft

sorrowful through loss or deprivation

retrospect

contemplation of things past

vitriolic

harsh, bitter, or malicious in tone

preamble

a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution

precept

rule of personal conduct

precarious

not secure; beset with difficulties

precursor

something indicating the approach of something or someone

prattle

speak about unimportant matters rapidly and incessantly

prehensile

adapted for grasping especially by wrapping around an object

preempt

acquire for oneself before others can do so

presage

a foreboding about what is about to happen

prevaricate

be deliberately ambiguous or unclear

prodigal

recklessly wasteful

primordial

having existed from the beginning

pristine

immaculately clean and unused

presumptuous

going beyond what is appropriate, permitted, or courteous

probity

complete and confirmed integrity

preternatural

existing outside of or not in accordance with nature

soliloquy

speech you make to yourself

sodden

wet through and through; thoroughly wet

sinuous

curved or curving in and out

simian

relating to or resembling an ape

solicitous

full of anxiety and concern

simile

a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things

soporific

inducing sleep

staccato

separating the notes; in music

solvent

capable of meeting financial obligations

specious

plausible but false

somatic

characteristic of the body as opposed to the mind or spirit

propinquity

the property of being close together

infallible

incapable of failure or error

panacea

hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases

disgruntled

in a state of sulky dissatisfaction

sedate

characterized by dignity and propriety

moribund

being on the point of death

nadir

the lowest point of anything

bedlam

a state of extreme confusion and disorder

bastardization

an act that debases or corrupts

abrogate

revoke formally

obtain

come into possession of

diminutive

very small

verisimilitude

the appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true

loath

strongly opposed

exiguity

the quality of being meager

bastardization

an act that debases or corrupts

eponym

the person for whom something is named

countermand

cancel officially

pillory

a wooden instrument of punishment on a post

splenetic

of or relating to the spleen

simulacrum

a representation of a person

halcyon

a mythical bird said to breed at the winter solstice

hoodwink

conceal one’s true motives from

graft

tissue or organ transplanted from a donor to a recipient
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