ASVAB Word Knowledge – 100 Words

gouge

make a groove in

The bite marks could have been chiselled out, so deep are they cut into the metal, with whole chunks gouged from the frame.The Guardian (Jun 3, 2016)
refractory

stubbornly resistant to authority or control

In process of time, Parliament and public opinion brought these refractory landlords to their senses.Stanton, Henry B.
supersede

take the place or move into the position of

VCRs were introduced in the 1970s but were superseded by DVD technology.BBC (Jul 21, 2016)
stolid

having or revealing little emotion or sensibility

The child’s perfection was not just physical either — he also had a steady mind: “on the whole stolid and unemotional.”The Verge (May 20, 2015)
placate

cause to be more favorably inclined

“We are all working very hard to get you to a safe place,” Gabriel says, desperately attempting to placate Martha.Los Angeles Times (Apr 21, 2016)
inadvertently

without knowledge or intention

Before reading each story, some students first read a paragraph that appeared to inadvertently spoil the outcome of the story.Salon (Jul 30, 2016)
apprise

make aware of

Nicole kept the other sisters apprised of what was going on by phone.Washington Post (Jun 27, 2016)
efficacy

capacity or power to produce a desired result

That vaccine had an efficacy of 31%, which was too low to license it for general use.Economist (Jul 21, 2016)
diffidence

lack of self-assurance

He wears baggy white overalls that drown his frame and a shy smile that speaks of his diffidence.Slate (Jun 26, 2015)
tractable

readily reacting to suggestions and influences

The diversity of the two parties made their disagreements more tractable.The Verge (Aug 20, 2014)
lethargic

deficient in alertness or activity

Their speech was slurred and their movements were lethargic.The Guardian (May 27, 2016)
pragmatic

concerned with practical matters

The argument against it is as much pragmatic as moral: If we can use it on them, they can use it on us.Los Angeles Times (Jul 8, 2016)
ambiguous

having more than one possible meaning

“Funk is a feeling. It’s rhythmic, it’s movement, it’s tone color. Everybody thinks they know what it is, but I like to leave it ambiguous.”Washington Post (Jun 24, 2016)
impurity

the condition of having extraneous elements

New methods could scrub impurities from recycled steel to make products for the aerospace and car industries, he said.BBC (Apr 15, 2016)
discredit

reject as false; refuse to accept

The allegations were later discredited and convictions overturned, but the actions damaged morale and fueled resentment.Reuters (Jul 17, 2016)
hardship

something difficult to endure

But after the hardships they endured early in life, this challenge isn’t that scary.Seattle Times (Jul 29, 2016)
grudging

petty or reluctant in giving or spending

While change is coming, it is grudging and slow.New York Times (Jul 5, 2016)
mar

render imperfect

Pacific Coast Highway remained open Wednesday, but its signature views were marred by a dark haze.Seattle Times (Jul 28, 2016)
scabbard

a sheath for a sword or dagger or bayonet

The strange horseman drew an enormous, curved sword from a scabbard mounted on his saddle.The Alchemist
upbraid

express criticism towards

Some letters upbraid us, some update and some amuse.Nature (Dec 16, 2015)
warble

sing or play with trills

And maybe doing just a little bit of wistful warbling, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down . . . “Seattle Times (Jun 1, 2016)
minute

infinitely or immeasurably small

Corkin knew Henry intimately, spending decades gathering the most minute details of his strengths and his deficits.New York Times (Aug 3, 2016)
accord

a written agreement between two states or sovereigns

International monitors have recently raised the alarm about both sides violating peace accords by using heavy weaponry that was supposed to have been withdrawn.Seattle Times (Aug 3, 2016)
evident

clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment

“It is not their presence which is troubling but the danger, which is now more evident than before,” he said.New York Times (Jul 25, 2016)
fraught

marked by distress

But the conductor generates a sense of calm that permeates the room, no matter how fraught he might be feeling.BBC (Jul 28, 2016)
intend

have in mind as a purpose

“Because of its intended use, fenders will get damaged and sometimes do fall off the walls and subsequently are replaced.”New York Times (Jul 30, 2016)
conceit

an artistic device or effect

The conceit visually articulates a metaphor: Despite conviction and courage, the play’s characters are foundering for lack of empathy.Washington Post (Jul 13, 2016)
equable

not varying

“What happens is, I’m pretty equable and pretty much the same most of the time,” he says with a shrug.The Guardian (May 30, 2014)
pastoral

devoted to raising sheep or cattle

Increased construction of wind turbines and solar panels and transmission lines will turn pastoral areas into an extended substation.Wall Street Journal (Dec 4, 2015)
disapprobation

pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable

The social disapprobation against being rude and demeaning completely enrages them.Salon (Nov 24, 2015)
ellipsis

omission or suppression of parts of words or sentences

The ellipsis indicates that something has been omitted.The New Yorker (Dec 16, 2015)
pusillanimous

lacking in courage, strength, and resolution

The “cowardly man” meaning is derived from another source entirely, the Latin pusillanimous.Slate (Aug 28, 2012)
yeoman

a free man who cultivates his own land

“His name was Clement,” and foreseeing the next question, “he was a yeoman at Easthope.”Weyman, Stanley J.
precept

a doctrine that is taught

It’s a precept she learned as a girl on her family’s estate in Venezuela.New York Times (May 27, 2016)
nexus

the means of connection between things linked in series

“It’s the nexus of things like big data, social networks and mobility, and the next big thing, which is artificial intelligence.”New York Times (Jul 24, 2016)
pork barrel

appropriations designed to ingratiate constituents

Lawmakers use pork barrel money to finance projects for their constituencies, aiding their re-election.Reuters (Aug 23, 2013)
ensconce

fix firmly

She often seemed at ease, he said, only when she and her husband were ensconced in safe surroundings.Los Angeles Times (Mar 11, 2016)
punctually

at the proper time

Arriving punctually for a job, day in and day out, demonstrates an ability to manage your time well.US News (Aug 18, 2014)
vicissitude

a variation in circumstances or fortune

As a result, they have little protection against both life’s vicissitudes and volatile home prices.US News (Oct 22, 2015)
pendulous

hanging loosely or bending downward

Some eggplants are long, lean and pendulous, like smooth-skinned cucumbers.Scientific American (Sep 3, 2013)
bibliophile

someone who loves and usually collects books

With a Kindle, the bibliophile in your life will be able to easily carry around their entire library wherever they go.Time (Dec 21, 2015)
nicety

a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

A good-hearted curmudgeon, he had no social niceties and told it like it was much to my grandmother’s embarrassment.BBC (Jun 27, 2016)
privation

a state of extreme poverty

Their privation is a result of artificially holding down prices, which creates shortages.Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2016)
superannuated

old; no longer valid or fashionable

This artfully staged show brings a fresh vibe to a genre that has come to seem prematurely superannuated.New York Times (Dec 5, 2013)
gainsay

take exception to

My evaluation process would be a lot simpler and less anxiety-ridden if I knew I would never be gainsaid by any student.Salon (May 25, 2013)
execrate

curse or declare to be evil or anathema

He was found out, and execrated by all–for he had been false to all–he fled for his life.Weyman, Stanley John
conceited

having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

“She’s not stuck up or conceited or look down on us. I love her. She has a heart of gold.”New York Times (Jul 9, 2015)
caucus

a closed political meeting

Their nominating caucuses — which were informal meetings of congressmen — had picked the three previous presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.New York Times (Jul 20, 2016)
stentorian

very loud or booming

He had a deep sonority on the baritone, softening the instrument’s stentorian brawn with a smooth, almost velvety tone.New York Times (May 19, 2016)
defensive

intended or appropriate for deterring aggression or attack

Most of the public discussion has been about defensive measures, such as how to protect networks of the government and the private sector from attack.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2016)
tenacious

stubbornly unyielding

Still, Mann is known as a tenacious sort, one who doesn’t back down even in the face of long odds.Los Angeles Times (Jan 6, 2016)
complacent

contented to a fault with oneself or one’s actions

Surely he wasn’t complacent enough to put aside his teacher’s instinct just because of a test score.Ungifted
fidelity

accuracy with which a system reproduces its input signal

This promised to be a lot better than my cheapo earplugs, with a bonus of better fidelity to the actual sounds I’d hear.The Verge (May 10, 2016)
succinct

briefly giving the gist of something

I promised to be succinct, so let’s not belabor this further.US News (Apr 12, 2016)
venerate

regard with feelings of respect and reverence

It is one of the most venerated names in high-end sports cars, having drawn the affection of car aficionados for decades.New York Times (Oct 20, 2015)
pivotal

being of crucial importance

He said the role would be ” pivotal” and the chair would play an important part in deciding who else would be on the board.BBC (Aug 1, 2016)
amicable

characterized by friendship and good will

The exchange came to an amicable end, as each party leader wished the other an enjoyable holiday.BBC (Jul 21, 2016)
feign

give a false appearance of

I could no longer feign being outdoorsy, so I made the only contribution I could: I became an Amazonian homemaker.New York Times (Jul 22, 2016)
reign

rule or have supreme power

Here she is with Gabby Douglas, the reigning all-around champion from 2012.Time (Aug 2, 2016)
coup

a sudden and decisive change of government by force

“We have such a strong economy that we overcome this coup with small scratches,” Mr. Yildirim said.New York Times (Aug 2, 2016)
abate

become less in amount or intensity

If the wind didn’t abate—and soon—the summit would be out of the question for all of us.Into Thin Air
vain

having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

“He’s kind of vain . . . he thinks he’s this dashing, romantic, swashbuckling adventurer . . . but he’s flawed.”Washington Post (Jul 21, 2016)
yield

the income or profit arising from a transaction

The U.S. stock market has remained largely resilient as investors have favored equities in the face of low yields from other investments.Wall Street Journal (Aug 2, 2016)
compel

force somebody to do something

With those simple words, her brother was gone — and she felt compelled to take control in the ensuing chaos.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2016)
advocate

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

That cumbersome process has drawn criticism from healthy food advocates who want ingredients derived from biotech crops flagged as explicitly as possible.Wall Street Journal (Aug 3, 2016)
alleged

declared but not proved

The police are already looking into ” alleged financial irregularities” surrounding the loan, because the cash has gone missing.BBC (Jul 27, 2016)
cede

relinquish possession or control over

Self-driving cars can be ranked on how much control they cede to the vehicle.Seattle Times (Jul 9, 2016)
afflict

cause physical pain or suffering in

I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end.New York Times (Jul 22, 2016)
conspicuous

obvious to the eye or mind

You want to be visible, but you don’t want to be conspicuous.Slate (Jun 28, 2016)
insurgent

a member of an irregular force that fights a stronger force

Party stalwarts insisted that the insurgents won’t win their fight.Washington Times (Jul 14, 2016)
austere

severely simple

With its granite and cream tiles and bare walls, the room exuded an austere aesthetic.New York Times (Apr 1, 2016)
admonish

scold or reprimand; take to task

The Hippocratic Oath admonishes doctors to keep secret what they “see or hear” from patients.Washington Post (Jul 28, 2016)
deference

a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others

Most clerics kept quiet out of deference to the king.New York Times (Jul 10, 2016)
neglected

disregarded

“We have been neglected and ignored by all the powers in the region.”US News (Aug 3, 2016)
insinuate

suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand

It also insinuates that you must remain cheerful and uncomplaining in the face of unimaginable pain and fatigue.New York Times (Jul 31, 2016)
explicate

make plain and comprehensible

Then, there’s the tone of exposition, of a story explicated rather than told.Los Angeles Times (Feb 27, 2015)
decorum

propriety in manners and conduct

He allowed that he had been taken aback by how disrespectfully they had greeted him, and by the lack of “ decorum” and “civilized debate.”The New Yorker (Jun 23, 2016)
chagrined

feeling or caused to feel uneasy and self-conscious

We are duly mortified, chagrined and abashed and apologize to our readers.Washington Post
audacious

disposed to venture or take risks

An exploded bubble could very well mean that those “totally audacious” bets will go unfunded entirely.New York Times (May 10, 2016)
intrepid

invulnerable to fear or intimidation

Despite such warnings, one intrepid fan who did make the journey was impressed.The Guardian (Jun 3, 2016)
surreptitious

marked by quiet and caution and secrecy

But with the ubiquity of camera phones, surreptitious photography is harder to spot, Ms. Worth said.New York Times (Mar 6, 2016)
required

necessary by rule

The students are required to wear jackets and ties to school.Washington Post (Aug 2, 2016)
stalwart

dependable

Without the involvement of these stalwarts, the spirit of party unity was hard to manifest.US News (Aug 2, 2016)
brusque

rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner

“He was passionate, opinionated, and sometimes brusque and rude,” she writes.Washington Post (May 10, 2015)
subordinate

lower in rank or importance

Executive service appointees, on the other hand, are agency heads who are subordinate to the mayor and serve at her pleasure.Washington Post (Jul 1, 2016)
apprehensive

in fear or dread of possible evil or harm

He didn’t know what to expect from the job and felt a bit apprehensive.Los Angeles Times (Jun 17, 2016)
proscribe

command against

The alleged offences include murder, directing terrorism, membership of a proscribed organisation and robbery.BBC (Feb 14, 2015)
infallible

incapable of failure or error

Furthermore, journal peer review is not infallible: poor science routinely slips through the net.Economist (Mar 17, 2016)
meticulous

marked by precise accordance with details

She is a meticulous thinker who almost never leaps before looking.Washington Post (Jul 24, 2016)
deferential

showing courteous regard for people’s feelings

Throughout the season, Porzingis has been unfailingly deferential to Anthony — an approach that Anthony clearly appreciates.New York Times (Jan 17, 2016)
comply

act in accordance with someone’s rules, commands, or wishes

On its website, Niantic says users must comply with age restrictions and applicable laws to play its games.Reuters (Aug 1, 2016)
deploy

use or distribute systematically or strategically

If deployed in the field, the new tool could help medical professionals detect infected patients more quickly.The Verge (Aug 1, 2016)
inept

revealing lack of perceptiveness or judgment or finesse

The defense lawyer was either inept or trying, actively, to throw the case.The New Yorker (Jun 8, 2016)
conscientious

characterized by extreme care and great effort

“It’s almost a lost art. He’s very conscientious about his work. He’ll stick with it until it’s done right.”Washington Times (May 23, 2016)
malevolent

wishing or appearing to wish evil to others

Some speculate on the arrival of malevolent robots that through conscious volition harm the human race.Forbes (Feb 24, 2015)
treacherous

dangerously unstable and unpredictable

During the most treacherous part of Juno’s journey to Jupiter, orbit insertion, the camera and all of the craft’s instruments were turned off.National Geographic
irate

feeling or showing extreme anger

Irate students circulated petitions, wrote editorials and posted social-media tirades.Wall Street Journal (Jun 3, 2016)
antecedent

a preceding occurrence or cause or event

Chomsky has dismissed efforts to teach apes like Koko how to sign as revealing nothing about the antecedents of human language.The Guardian (Apr 20, 2016)
lucidity

freedom from obscurity of expression; comprehensibility

But at several moments, he produces lines of epigrammatic clarity that echo the lucidity of his photographs.New York Times (Jun 28, 2016)
corporeal

having material or physical form or substance

Maybe it’s unfair to compare a corporeal creature with a cartoon caricature, but today, that’s what I’m doing.The Verge (Mar 6, 2016)

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