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Glossary of GRE Vocab

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abscond
to depart clandestinely, to steal off and hide
aberrant
deviating from the norm
alacrity
eager and enthusiastic willingness
anomaly
deviation from normal order or rule
approbation
an expression of approval or praise
arduous
strenuous, taxing
assuage
to ease or lessen, to appease or pacify
audacious
daring and fearless, recklessly bold
austere
without adornment, bare, severely simple
axiomatic
taken as a given, possessing self-evident truth
canonical
following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
capricious
inclined to change one's mind impulsively, erratic, unpredictable
censure
to criticize severely, to officially rebuke
chicanery
trickery or subterfuge
connoisseur
an informed and astute judge in matters of taste, an expert
convoluted
complex or complicated
disabuse
to undeceive, to set right
discordant
conflicting, dissonant or harsh in sound
disparate
fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
effrontery
extreme boldness, presumptuousness
eloquent
well-spoken, articulate
enervate
to weaken, to reduce in vitality
ennui
dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
equivocate
to use ambiguous language with a diceptive intent
erudite
very learned, scholarly
exculpate
exonerate, to clear of blame
exigent
urgent, requiring immediate action or attention
extemporaneous
improvised, done without preparation
filibuster
intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
fulminate
to loudly attack or denounce
ingenuous
artless, frank and candid, lacking in sophistication
inured
accustomed to accepting something undesirable
irascible
easily angered, prone to temperamental outbursts
laud
to praise highly
lucid
clear, easily understood
magnanimity
the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, esp. forgiving
martial
associated with war and the armed forces
mundane
of the world, typical or concerned with the ordinary
nascent
coming into being, in early developmental stages
nebulous
vague, lacking clearly defined form
neologism
a new work, expression or usage
noxious
harmful, injurious
obtuse
lacking sharpness of intellect
obviate
to anticipate and make unecessary
onerous
troubling, burdensome
paean
a song or hymn of praise or thanks
parody
a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect
perennial
recurrent through the year or many years, happening repeatedly
perfidy
intentional breach or faith, treachery
perfunctory
cursory, done without care or interest
perspicacious
acutely perceptive, having keen discernment
prattle
to babble meaninglessly
predilection
a disposition in favor of something, preference
prescience
foreknowledge of events
prevaricate
to deliberately avoid the truth,to mislead
qualms
misgivings, reservations, causes for hesitancy
recant
to retract, esp a previously held belief
refute
to disprove, to successfully argue against
relegate
to forcibly assign, esp. to lower position
reticent
quiet, reserved, reluctant to express thoughts and feelings
solicitous
concerned and attentive, eager
sordid
characterized by filth, grime or squalor
sporadic
occurring only occasionally
virulent
extremely harmful or poisonous, bitterly hostile or antagonistic
voracious
having an insatiable appetite for a pursuit, ravenous
waver
to move to and fro, to be unsettled in opinion
squander
to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
static
not moving, at rest
stupefy
to stun, baffle, or amaze
stymie
to block, thwart
synthesis
the combination of parts to make a whole
torque
a force that causes rotation
tortuous
winding, twisting, excessively complicated
truculent
fierce and cruel
veracity
truthfulness, honesty
abate
to lessen in intensity or degree, to decrease
accolade
an expression of praise
adulation
excessive praise, intense adoration
aesthetic
dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
ameliorate
to make better or more tolerable
ascetic
one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
avarice
greed, esp. for wealth
axiom
a universally recognized principle
burgeon
to grow rapidly or flourish
bucolic
rustic and pastoral, characteristics of rural areas
cacophony
harsh, jarring, discordant sound
canon
an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
castigation
severe criticism or punishment
catalyst
a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction, a person or thing that causes change
caustic
burning or stinging, causing corrosion
chary
wary, cautious, sparing
cogent
appealing forcibly to the mind or reason, convincing
complaisance
the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
contentious
argumentative, quarrelsome, causing controversy
contrite
regretful, penitent, seeking forgiveness
culpable
deserving blame
dearth
smallness of quantity or number, a lack
demur
to question or oppose
didactic
intended to teach or instruct
discretion
cautious reserve in speech, ability to make responsible decisions
disinterested
free of bias or self-interest, impartial
dogmatic
expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or unprovable principles
ebullience
the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
eclectic
composed to elements drawn from various sources
elegy
a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
emollient
soothing, esp. to the skin, making less harsh, mollifying
empirical
based on observation or experiment
enigmatic
mysterious, obscure, difficult to understand
ephemeral
brief, fleeting
esoteric
intended for or understood by a small, specific group
eulogy
a speech honoring the dead
exonerate
to remove blame
facetious
playful, humorous
fallacy
an invalid or incorrect notion, a mistaken belief
furtive
marked by stealth, covert, surreptitious
gregarious
sociable, outgoing
harangue
to deliver a pompous speech or tirade, a long pompous speech
heretical
violating accepted dogma or convention
hyperbole
an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
impecunious
lacking funds, without money
incipient
beginning to come into being or to become apparent
inert
unmoving, lethargic, sluggish
innocuous
harmless, causing no damage
intransigent
refusing to compromise
inveigle
to obtain by deception or flattery
morose
sad, sullen, melancholy
odious
evoking intense aversion or dislike
opaque
impenetrable by light, not reflecting light
oscillation
the act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady rhythm
penurious
penny-pinching, excessively thrifty, ungenerous
pernicious
extremely harmful, potentially causing death
peruse
to examine with great care
pious
extremely reverent or devout, showing strong religious devotion
precursor
one the precedes and indicates or announces another
preen
to dress up, to primp, to groom oneself with excessive care
prodigious
abundant in size, force or extent, extraordinary
prolific
producing large volumes or amounts, productive
putrefy
to rot, to decay, to give off a foul odor
quaff
to drink deeply
quiescence
stillness, quality of being at rest
redoubtable
awe-inspiring, worthy of honor
sanction
authoritative permission or approval, a penalty intended to enforce compliance
satire
a literary work that ridicules or criticizes human vice through humor
squalid
sordid, wretched and dirty from neglect
stoic
indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain, steadfast
supplant
to take the place of, supersede
torpid
lethargic, sluggish, dormant
ubiquitous
existing everywhere at the same time, constantly encountered, widespread
urbane
sophisticated, refined, elegant
vilify
to defame, to characterize harshly
viscous
thick, sticky
acumen
keen, accurate judgment or insight
amalgamate
to combine several elements into a whole
adulterate
to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
archaic
outdated, associated with earlier more primitive time
aver
to state as a fact, to declare
bolster
to provide support or reinforcement
bombastic
pompous
diatribe
a harsh denunciation
dissemble
to disguise or conceal, to mislead
eccentric
departing from norms or conventions
endemic
charachteristic of or often found in a particular locality or people
evanescent
tending to disappear like vapor, vanishing
exacerbate
to make worse or more severe
fervent
greatly emotional or zealous
fortuitous
happening by accident or chance
germane
relevant to the subject at hand
grandiloquence
pompous speech or expression
hackneyed
rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
halcyon
calm and peaceful
hedonism
devotion to pleasurable pursuits
hegemony
the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
iconoclast
one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
idolatrous
given to intense or excessive devotion to something
impassive
revealing no emotion
imperturbable
marked by extreme calm and steadiness
implacable
not capable of being appeased or changed
impunity
immunity from punishment or penalty
inchoate
in an initial stage, not fully formed
infelicitous
unfortunate, inappropriate
insipid
without taste or flavor, lacking in spirit, bland
loquacious
extremely talkative
luminous
characterized by brightness and emission of light
malevolent
having or vicious ill will, spite or hatred
malleable
capable of being shaped or formed, pliable
mendacity
the condition of being untruthful, dishonesty
meticulous
characterized by extreme care and precision
misanthrope
one who hates all other humans
mitigate
to make or become less severe, to moderate
obdurate
unyielding, hardhearted
obsequious
exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
occlude
to obstruct of block
opprobrium
disgrace, contempt, scorn
pedagogy
the profession or principles of teaching
pedantic
overly concerned about trivial details of education, showoffish of knowledge
penury
poverty, destitution
pervasive
having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
pine
to yearn intensely, to lose vigor
pirate
to illegally use or reproduce
pith
the essential or central part
pithy
precise and brief
plummet
to drop straight down
polemical
controversial, argumentative
prodigal
recklessly wasteful, extravagant, lavish
profuse
given or coming forth abundantly
proliferate
to grow or increase swiftly
queries
questions, doubts in the mind, reservations
querulous
prone to complaining or grumbling
rancorous
characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment
repudiate
to refuse to have anything to do with, to disown
rescind
to invalidate, to retract
reverent
marked by a feeling of profound awe and respect
rhetoric
the art or study of effective use of language
salubrious
promoting health or wellbeing
solvent
able to meet financial obligations, able to dissoble another substance
specious
seeming true but actually being false, misleadingly attractive
spurious
lacking validity, false, counterfeit
subpoena
a court order requiring appearance/testimony
succinct
brief, concise
superfluous
exceeding what is necessary
surfeit
an overabundant supply, to feed or supply excess
tenacity
the quality of adherence to something valued, persistent determination
tenuous
having little substance or strength, flimsy
tirade
a long and extremely critical speech
transient
fleeting, passing quickly, brief
zealous
fervent, ardent, devoted to a cause
abeyance
temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension
abdicate
to give up a position, right or power
abject
miserable; pitiful
abjure
to reject; abandon formally
abscission
act of cutting; natural separation of a leaf
abstemious
moderate in appetite
abstinence
the giving up of certain pleasures
acerbic
adj; having a sour or bitter taste or character
aggrandize
verb; to increase in intensity, power, or prestige
amenable
adj; agreeable; responsive to suggestion
anachronism
noun; something or someone out of place in terms of its historical or chronological context
astringent
adj; having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe
convention
a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
credulous
tending to believe too readily; gullible
cynicism
an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
decorum
polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
derision
scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
desiccate
to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
dilettante
one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
disparage
to slight or belittle
divulge
to disclose something secret
garrulous
adj; pointlessly talkative, talking too much
glib
adj; marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth; superficial
hubris
arrogant presumption or pride
imminent
about to happen; impending
immutable
not capable of change
impetuous
hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
inimical
damaging; harmful; malevolent
intractable
not easily managed or directed; stubborn, obstinate
intrepid
steadfast and courageous
laconic
using few words; terse
maverick
an independent noun; individual who does not go along w/ a group or party
mercurial
characterized by adj; rapid and unpredictable change in mood
mollify
verb; to calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
neophyte
noun; a recent convert; a beginner; novice
obfuscate
verb; to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
obstinate
adj; stubborn; hardheaded; uncompromising
ostentatious
adj; characterized by or given to pretentiousness
pervade
to permeate throughout
phlegmatic
adj; calm; sluggish; unemotional
placate
verb; to appease; to calm by making concessions
platitude
noun; a superficial remark, esp on offered as meaningful
plethora
noun; an overabundance; a surplus
pragmatic
adj; practical rather than idealistic
precipitate
verb/adj; to cause or to happen before anticipated or required; acting w/ excessive haste or impulse
presumptuous
adj; overstepping due bounds, as of propriety or courtesy; taking liberties
pristine
adj; pure; clean; uncorrupted
probity
noun; adherence to highest principles; unrightness
proclivity
noun; a natural predisposition or inclination
profligate
adj; excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
propensity
noun; a natural inclination or tendency; penchant
prosaic
adj; dull; unimaginative
pungent
adj; characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
quixotic
adj; foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
quotidian
adj; occuring or recurring daily; commonplace
rarefy
verb; to make or become thin, less dense; to refine
recalcitrant
adj; obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
recondite
adj; hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
refulgent
adj; radiant; shiny; brilliant
renege
verb; to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
sedulous
adj; diligent; persistent; hard-working
soporific
adj; causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
sparse
adj; thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
spendthrift
noun; one who spends money wastefully
subtle
adj; not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
tacit
adj; implied; not explicitly stated
terse
adj; brief and concise in wording
tout
verb; to publicly praise or promote
trenchant
adj; sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
unfeigned
adj; genuine; not false or hypocritical
untenable
adj; indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
vacillate
verb; to waver indecisively btw one course of action or opinion and another
variegated
adj; multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
vexation
noun; annoyance; irritation
vigilant
adj; alertly watchful
vituperate
verb; to use harsh, condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; berate
volatile
adj; readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive

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