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Glossary of GMAT Vocabulary

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abaft
(adv.) on or toward the rear of a ship
abase
(v.) to degrade; humiliate; disgrace
abdicate
(v.) to reject, renounce, or abandon
aberrant
(adj.) abnormal; straying from the normal or usual path
abeyance
(n.) a state of temporary suspension or inactivity
abhor
(v.) to hate
abject
(adj.) of the worst or lowest degree
abjure
(v.) to give up
abnegation
(n.) a denial
abridge
(v.) to shorten; to limit
abandon
(v.; n) to leave behind; to give something up; freedom; enthusiasm; impetuosity
abbreviate
(v.) to shorten; compress; diminish
abominate
(v.) to loathe; to hate
abrogate
(v.) to cancel by authority
abrupt
(adj.) happening or ending unexpectedly
abscond
(v.) to go away hastily or secretly; to hide
absolve
(v.) to forgive; to acquit
abstemious
(adj.) sparing in use of food or drinks
abstinence
(n.) the act or process of voluntarily refraining from any action or practice; self-control; chastity
abstruse
(adj.) hard to understand; deep; recondite
abysmal
(adj.) very deep
accede
(v.) to comply with; to consent to
acclaim
(n.) loud approval; applause
accolade
(n.) approving or praising mention; a sign of approval or respect
accomplice
(n.) co-conspirator; partner; partner-in-crime
accretion
(n.)growth by addition; a growing together by parts
accrue
(v.) a natural growth; a periodic increase
acerbic
(adj.) tasting sour; harsh in language or temper
acquiesce
(v.) to agree without protest
acrid
(adj.) sharp; bitter; foul smelling
acrimony
(n.) sharpness or bitterness in language or manner.
adage
(n.) an old saying now accepted as being truthful
adamant
(adj.) not yielding, firm
addled
(adj.) rotten
adept
(adj.) skilled; practiced
adjure
(v.) solemnly ordered
adroit
(adj.) expert or skillful
adulation
(n.) praise in excess
adulterate
(v.) to corrupt, debase, or make impure
adversary
(n.) an enemy; foe
adverse
(adj.) negative; hostile; antagonistic; inimical
advocate
(v.; n.) to plead in favor of; supporter; defender
aesthetic
(adj.) of beauty; pertaining to taste in art and beauty
affable
(adj.) friendly; amiable; good-natured
affiliate
(v.) to connect or associate with; to accept as a member
affinity
(n.) a connection; similarity of structure
aggrandize
(v.) to make more powerful
aghast
(adj.) astonished; amazed; horrified; terrified; appalled
agrarian
(adj.) of the land
alacrity
(n.) eager readiness or speed
alchemist
(n.) a person who studies chemistry
alchemy
(n.) any mysterious change of substance or nature
allegory
(n.) a symbolic description
alleviate
(v.) to lessen or make easier
allocate
(v.) set aside; designate; assign
allude
(v.) to refer indirectly to something
allure
(v.; n.) to attract; entice; attraction; temptation; glamour
allusion
(n.) an indirect reference (often literary); a hint
aloof
(adj.) distant in interest; reserved; cool
altercation
(n.) controversy; dispute
altruism
(n.) unselfish devotion to the welfare of others
altruistic
(adj.) unselfish
amalgam
(n.) a mixture or combination (often of metals)
amalgamate
(v.) to mix, merge, combine
amass
(v.) to collect together; accumulate
ambiguous
(adj.) not clear; uncertain; vague
ambivalent
(adj.) undecided
ameliorate
(v.) to improve or make better
amendment
(n.) a positive change
amiable
(adj.) friendly
amiss
(adj.; adv.) wrong; awry; wrongly; in a defective manner
amity
(n.) friendly relations
amorphous
(adj.) with no shape; unorganized; having no determinate form
amortize
(v.) to put money into a fund at fixed intervals
anachronism
(n.) something out of place in time (e.g., an airplane in 1492)
analogy
(n.) similarity; correlation; parallelism
anaphylaxis
(n.) an allergic reaction
anarchist
(n.) one who believes that a formal government is unnecessary
anchorage
(n.) something that can be relied on
anecdote
(n.) a short account of happenings
animosity
(n.) a feeling of hatred or ill will
anoint
(v.) to crown; ordain;
anomaly
(n.) an oddity, inconsistency; a deviation from the norm
anonymous
(adj.) nameless; unidentified
antagonism
(n.) hostility; opposition
antipathy
(n.) a strong dislike or repugnance
apathy
(n.) lack of emotion or interest
apocalyptic
(adj.) pertaining to a discovery or new revelation
apocryphal
(adj.) counterfeit; of doubtful authorship or authenticity
appease
(v.) to satisfy; to calm
apposite
(adj.) suitable; apt; relevant
apprehensive
(adj.) fearful; aware; conscious
approbatory
(adj.) approving or sanctioning
arable
(adj.) suitable (as land) for plowing
arbiter
(n.) one who is authorized to judge or decide
arbitrary
(adj.) based on one's preference or judgment
arcane
(adj.) obscure; secret; mysterious
archetype
(n.) original pattern or model; prototype
ardent
(adj.) with passionate or intense feelings
arduous
(adj.) laborious, difficult; strenuous
arid
(adj.) extremely dry, parched; barren, unimaginative
aromatic
(adj.) having a smell which is sweet or spicy
arrogant
(adj.) acting superior to others; conceited
arrogate
(v.) to claim or demand unduly
articulate
(v.; adj.) to utter clearly and distinctly; clear, distinct; expressed with clarity; skillful with words
artifice
(n.) skill in a craft
ascetic
(n.; adj.) one who leads a simple life of self-denial; rigorously abstinent
aseptic
(adj.) germ free
askance
(adv.) a sideways glance of disapproval
asperity
(n.) harshness
aspersion
(n.) slanderous statement; a damaging or derogatory criticism
aspirant
(n.) a person who goes after high goals
assay
(n.) to determine the quality of a substance.
assess
(v.) to estimate the value of
assiduous
(adj.) carefully attentive; industrious
assuage
(v.) to relieve; ease; make less severe
astringent
(n.; adj.) a substance that contracts bodily tissues; causing contraction; tightening; stern, austere
astute
(adj.) cunning; sly; crafty
atrophy
(v.; n.) to waste away, as from lack of use; to wither; failure to grow
attenuate
(v.) to thin out; to weaken
atypical
(adj.) something that is abnormal
audacious
(adj.) fearless; bold
augment
(v.) to increase or add to; to make larger
august
(adj.) to be imposing or magnificent
auspicious
(adj.) being of a good omen; successful
austere
(adj.) having a stern look; having strict self-discipline
authentic
(adj.) real; genuine; trustworthy
authoritarian
(n.; adj.) acting as a dictator; demanding obedience
autocracy
(n.) an absolute monarchy; government where one person holds power
autocrat
(n.) an absolute ruler
avarice
(n.) inordinate desire for gaining and possessing wealth
aver
(v.) to affirm as true
awry
(adj; adv.) crooked(ly); uneven(ly); wrong; askew
azure
(adj.) the clear blue color of the sky
baleful
(adj.) harmful, malign, detrimental
banal
(adj.) trite; without freshness or originality
baneful
(adj.) deadly or causing distress, death
baroque
(adj.) extravagant; ornate; embellished
bastion
(n.) a fortified place or strong defense
batten
(v.) to gain
bauble
(n.) a showy yet useless thing
beget
(v.) to bring into being
beholden
(adj.) indebted to
behoove
(v.) to be advantageous; to be necessary
belittle
(v.) to make small; to think lightly of
bellicose
(adj.) quarrelsome; warlike
bemuse
(v.) to preoccupy in thought
benefactor
(n.) one who helps others; a donor
beneficent
(adj.) conferring benefits; kindly; doing good
benevolent
(adj.) kind; generous
benign
(adj.) mild; harmless
berate
(v.) scold; reprove; reproach; criticize
bereft
(v.; adj.) to be deprived of; to be in a sad manner; hurt by someone's death
beseech
(v.) to ask earnestly
besmirch
(v.) to dirty or discolor
bestial
(adj.) having the qualities of a beast; brutal
betroth
(v.) to promise or pledge in marriage
biased
(adj.) prejudiced; influenced; not neutral
biennial
(adj.; n.) happening every two years; a plant which blooms every two years
bilateral
(adj.) pertaining to or affecting both sides or two sides; having two sides
blasphemous
(adj.) irreligious; away from acceptable standards; speaking ill of using profane language
blatant
(adj.) obvious; unmistakable; crude; vulgar
blighted
(adj.) causing frustration or destruction
blithe
(adj.) happy; cheery; merry; a cheerful disposition
bode
(v.) to foretell something
bombast
(n.) pompous speech; pretentious words
bombastic
(adj.) pompous; wordy; turgid
boor
(n.) a rude person
breadth
(n.) the distance from one side to another
brevity
(n.) briefness; shortness
brindled
(adj.) mixed with a darker color
broach
(v.) to introduce into conversation
brusque
(adj.) abrupt in manner or speech
bucolic
(adj.) having to do with shepherds or the country
bumptious
(adj.) arrogant
bungler
(n.) a clumsy person
burgeon
(v.) to grow or develop quickly
burlesque
(v.; n.) to imitate in a non-serious manner; a comical imitation
burly
(adj.) strong; bulky; stocky
burnish
(v.) to polish by rubbing
cabal
(n.) a group of persons joined by a secret
cache
(n.) stockpile; store; heap; hiding place for goods
cacophonous
(adj.) sounding jarring
cacophony
(n.) a harsh, inharmonious collection of sounds; dissonance
cajole
(v.) to coax with insincere talk
calamity
(n.) disaster
caliber
(n.) quality
callow
(adj.) being young or immature
calumny
(n.) slander
canard
(n.) a false statement or rumor
candid
(adj.) honest; truthful; sincere
cant
(n.) insincere or hypocritical statements of high ideals; the jargon of a particular group or occupations
caprice
(n.) a sudden, unpredictable or whimsical change
capricious
(adj.) changeable; fickle
captious
(adj.) disposed to find fault
carte blanche
(n.) unlimited authority
cascade
(n; v.) waterfall; pour; rush; fall
castigate
(v.) to punish through public criticism
cataclysm
(n.) an extreme natural force
catalyst
(n.) anything which creates a situation in which change can occur
catharsis
(n.) a purging or relieving of the body or soul
caustic
(adj.) eating away at; sarcastic words
cavil
(v.) to bicker
censor
(v.) to examine and delete objectionable material
censure
(n.; v.) a disapproval; an expression of disapproval; to criticize or disapprove of
ceremonious
(adj.) very formal or proper
cessation
(n.)ceasing; a stopping
chafe
(v.) to annoy, to irritate; to wear away or make sore by rubbing
chaffing
(n.) banter; teasing
chagrin
(n.) a feeling of embarrassment due to failure or disappointment
charisma
(n.) appeal; magnetism; presence
charlatan
(n.) a person who pretends to have knowledge; an impostor; fake
chary
(adj.) cautious; being sparing in giving
chaste
(adj.) virtuous; free of obscenity
chastise
(v.) to punish; discipline; admonish
cherish
(v.) to feel love for
chicanery
(n.) trickery or deception
chimera
(n.) an impossible fancy
choleric
(adj.) cranky; cantankerous; easily moved to feeling displeasure
chortle
(v.) to make a gleeful, chuckling sound
churlishness
(n.) crude or surly behavior; behavior of a peasant
circumlocution
(n.) a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; not to the point
circumlocutory
(adj.) being too long, as in a description or expression; a roundabout, indirect, or ungainly way of expressing something
circumspect
(adj.) considering all circumstances
citadel
(n.) a fortress set up high to defend a city
clandestine
(adj.) secret
clemency
(n.) mercy toward an offender; mildness
cloture
(n.) a parliamentary procedure to end debate and begin to vote
cloying
(adj.) too sugary; too sentimental or flattering
coagulate
(v.) to become a semisolid, soft mass; to clot
coalesce
(v.) to grow together
coda
(n.) in music, a concluding passage
coddle
(v.) to treat with tenderness
codify
(v.) to organize laws or rules into a systematic collection
coffer
(n.) a chest where money or valuables are kept
cogent
(adj.) to the point; clear; convincing in its clarity and presentation
cogitate
(v.) to think hard; ponder; meditate
cognate
(adj.; n.) having the same family; a person related through ancestry
cognitive
(adj.) possessing the power to think or meditate; meditative; capable of perception
cognizant
(adj.) aware of; perceptive

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