30 GRE Words Beginning with “P” – 30 Words

panache

distinctive and stylish elegance

In one insouciant swipe, racism symbolically undone with wit, skill and panache, the banana no longer carried any terrible politica potency.T
The Guardian (Mar 28, 2011)
paradigm

the generally accepted perspective of a discipline

Meanwhile, a major paradigm shift is occurring, whereby white men from Western Europe and North America are no longer calling all the shots.
New York Times (Jun 29, 2013)
pellucid

transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity

“We saw many translucent streams, whose pellucid waters were charming to behold.
C. G. (Carl Gustaf) Helleberg
penitent

feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds

Then her cheek burned with shame, and penitent tears filled her eyes, as better thoughts came crowding into her mind.
Martha Finley
perennial

lasting an indefinitely long time

Italy’s longest-serving prime minister is known for irrepressible off-color humor, his facelifts, perennial tan, make-up and hair weave.
Reuters (Aug 1, 2013)
perfunctory

hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough

Directors have called Mr. Loeb’s candidates, but the interviews were interpreted as brief and perfunctory, according to people close to Mr. Loeb.
New York Times (Mar 8, 2012)
peripheral

related to the key issue but not of central importance

In business, project managers sometimes get mired in peripheral issues.
Forbes (Jul 16, 2013)
persistence

steady determination

His films, which combined archival footage, still photographs and fresh interviews, were triumphs of curiosity and persistence in unearthing lost material about forgotten subjects.
New York Times (May 18, 2013)
pithy

concise and full of meaning

As we are hastily reading books and papers we continually come across maxims, epigrams, and short, pithy sayings that attract us.
Louis Philippe McCarty
placid

not easily irritated

His smooth, placid demeanor is perfect here, which make the few times he does snap seem that much more startling.
Seattle Times (Sep 11, 2012)
polemical

of or involving dispute or controversy

But even here Kushner’s polemical fury at the Iraq invasion is qualified by his residual sympathy for Mrs Bush.
The Guardian (Sep 6, 2010)
posthumous

occurring or coming into existence after a person’s death

A third suspect who died in jail was given a posthumous conviction.
BBC (Jun 18, 2012)
practicable

capable of being done with means at hand

On two occasions when I crossed the beaches the sea was running too heavily to make bathing practicable.
Samuel Adams Drake
pragmatism

the attribute of accepting the facts of life

Pragmatism surely explains some of this surge: participants frustrated by stagnant multilateral talks are anxious to do deals where they can.
Economist (Mar 14, 2013)
precariously

in a manner affording no ease or reassurance

One moment, Mr. Gates was precariously perched on the jetty; the next, he had vanished behind a wall of water.
New York Times (Apr 28, 2013)
predominant

having superior power and influence

“Political choices have become predominant over monetary policy instruments,” he said.
BBC (Jun 15, 2012)
premeditate

consider, ponder, or plan beforehand

He denied the killing was premeditated, but said Arias snapped in the “sudden heat of passion” after Alexander attacked her.
Reuters (May 6, 2013)
preternatural

surpassing the ordinary or normal

Though still radiating preternatural cuteness, Witherspoon is no longer so attractive at the box office .
Time (Feb 20, 2012)
prevalent

most frequent or common

At the Nike outlet, Chung said all sales staff were now required to be fluent in Mandarin, the most prevalent Chinese dialect.
Reuters (May 19, 2013)
probity

complete and confirmed integrity

Secret Service agents are also drilled almost from Day One on the need for probity, discretion and solid morals.
Chicago Tribune (Apr 21, 2012)
prodigality

the trait of spending extravagantly

Drink, gambling, licentiousness, and prodigality, ruined his fortunes, and cut short his life.
H. G. Somerville
profligate

unrestrained by convention or morality

“Then the government is doing all this profligate spending and unethical things.
Slate (Feb 25, 2013)
profundity

intellectual depth; penetrating knowledge

Mr. Zapruder’s verse — a learned, attentive everyman’s train of thought — couches subtle profundities among mundane observations.
New York Times (Oct 28, 2012)
prolixity

boring verbosity

His prolixity was increased by his unwillingness, when writing without prescribed limits, to leave out any detail, however unimportant.
Various
prominent

conspicuous in position or importance

Though they garner far less publicity than splashy initial public offerings, private placements play as prominent a role in the financial markets.
New York Times (Jul 10, 2013)
prophetic

foretelling events as if by supernatural intervention

The piece feels strangely prophetic, anticipating an eclipse of the news outlets themselves.
New York Times (Jan 20, 2011)
prosaic

lacking wit or imagination

The solutions are many and various, mostly boring and prosaic—and not frightening.
Slate (Jun 28, 2013)
providential

peculiarly fortunate or appropriate

The oldest sailors on board acknowledged that they had never witnessed so providential an escape.
George Henry Borrow
proximity

the property of being close together

These two schools are very close in geographic proximity, but their cultures are worlds apart.
Forbes (Aug 1, 2013)
pseudonym

a fictitious name used when performing a particular role

JK Rowling has said she feels “very angry” after finding out her pseudonym Robert Galbraith was leaked by a legal firm.
BBC (Jul 18, 2013)

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