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Glossary of GRE Word List A

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abase
lower; degrade; humiliate; make humble; make (oneself) lose self-respect
abash
embarrass
abate
subside or moderate
abbreviate
shorten
abdicate
renounce; give up (position, right, or responsibility)
aberrant
abnormal or deviant
aberration
deviation from the normal; mental disorder
abet
assist usually in doing something wrong; encourage
abeyance
suspended action
abhor
detest; hate
abide
dwell; abide by: comply with; put up with; tolerate; Ex. abide by the rules; Ex. I can't abide rude people.
abject
(of a condition) wretched; as low as possible; lacking pride; very humble; showing lack of self-respect; Ex. abject apology
abjure
renounce upon oath
ablution
washing
abnegation
renunciation; self-sacrifice; self-abnegation
abode
dwelling place; home
abolish
cancel; put an end to
abominable
detestable; extremely unpleasant
abominate
loathe; hate
aboriginal
being the first of its kind in a region; primitive; native; indigenous; N. aborigine
abortive
unsuccessful; fruitless
abrasive
rubbing away; tending to grind down
abridge
condense or shorten
abrogate
abolish
abscission
cutting off; separation
abscond
depart secretly and hide
absolute
complete; totally unlimited; having complete power; certain; not relative; Ex. absolute honesty/ruler; CF. absolutism
absolve
pardon (an offense)
abstain
refrain; withhold from participation; intentionally not use one's vote;
abstemious
sparing in eating and drinking; temperate
abstinence
restraint from pleasant things, esp. eating or drinking; CF. abstention: act of abstaining from vote
abstract
theoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational
abstruse
obscure; profound; difficult to understand
abusive
coarsely insulting; physically harmful
abut
border upon; adjoin
abysmal
bottomless
abyss
enormous chasm; vast bottomless pit
academic
related to a school; not practical or directly useful
accede
agree
accelerate
move faster
accessible
easy to approach; obtainable
accessory
additional object; useful but not essential thing
acclaim
applaud; praise; greet with great approval; announce with great approval; Ex. The new drung has been acclaimed as the most important discoveries for years; N: strong expression of approval and praise
acclimate
adjust to climate or environment; adapt
acclivity
sharp upslope of a hill; OP. declivity
accolade
award of merit; strong praise and approval
accommodate
oblige or help someone; adjust or bring into harmony; adapt; make enough space for; ADJ. accommodative; CF. accomodating: helpful and obliging
accomplice
partner in crime
accord
agreement
accost
approach and speak first to a person
accoutre
equip; N. accoutrement
accretion
growth or increase in size by gradual addition; growth; increase; increase by natural growth; Ex. towers and other accretions of the castle; V. accrete
accrue
come to one as a gain; accumulate over time; come about by addition; Ex. benefits that accrue from scientific research; Ex. interest accruing in a bank account; N. accrual
acerbity
bitterness of speech and temper; ADJ. acerbic: bitter; acrid (in taste, manner, or tone)
acetic
vinegary
acidulous
slightly sour (in taste or manner); sharp; caustic
acknowledge
recognize; admit
acme
peak; pinnacle; highest point
acne
skin disease (on the face)
acoustics
science of sound; quality that makes a room easy or hard to hear in
acquiesce
assent; agree passively; comply without protest
acquittal
deliverance from a charge; V. acquit: free from a charge or accusation; discharge from a duty; conduct (oneself) in a specified manner
acrid
bitter (to the taste or smell); sharp; bitterly pungent
acrimonious
stinging; caustic; bitter in words or manner; N. acrimony: bitter ill-natured animosity in speech or behavior
acrophobia
fear of heights
actuarial
calculating; pertaining to insurance statistics
actuary
someone who advises insurance companies
actuate
motivate; activate; cause to act
acuity
sharpness (of mind or senses of sight or hearing)
acumen
mental keenness; sharpness of judgment; ability to judge quickly and well; Ex. business acumen
acute
(of the senses) sharp; quickly perceptive; keen; penetrating; brief and severe; Ex. acute sense of smell/analysis/pain
adage
wise saying; proverb
adamant
hard; inflexible
adapt
make or become suitable for a specific use; alter; modify; adjust; N. adaptation: act of adapting; composition recast into a new form; Ex. The play is an adaption of a short novel.
addendum
addition; appendix to book; something that is added (as at the end of a speech or book)
addiction
compulsive habitual need
addle
make or become confused; muddle; drive crazy; become rotten (egg)
address
direct a speech to; speak to; deal with or discuss; direct one's efforts or attention to; make with a destination; N: formal speech
adept
expert at; very skilled
adhere
stick fast; be a devotd follower; N. adhesion: adhering; devotion; loyality
adherent
supporter; follower
adjacent
adjoining; neighboring; close by
adjoin
be next to
adjourn
suspend until a later time; move from one place to another
adjunct
something attached to but holding an inferior position
adjuration
solemn urging; V. adjure: entreat earnestly; enjoin solemnly
adjutant
staff officer assisting the commander; assistant
admonish
warn or speak to with gentle disapproval; reprove
adore
love deeply and respect highly
adorn
decorate
adroit
skillful (in using mind or hand)
adulation
flattery; admiration that is more than is necessary or deserved
adulterate
make impure or of poorer quality by adding inferior or tainted(contaminated) substances
Advent
arrival
adventitious
accidental; casual; happening by chance
adversary
opponent; enemy
adverse
going against; opposing; unfavorable; hostile
adversity
great hardship or affliction; misfortune; calamitous event
advert
refer
advocacy
support; active pleading on behalf of someone or something
advocate
speak in favor of; support (an idea or plan); urge; plead for
aegis
shield; protection; defense
aerie(aery,eyrie,eyry)
nest of a large bird of prey
aesthetic
artistic; dealing with or capable of appreciating the beautiful (of a person or building); CF. aesthete; CF. aesthetics
affable
easily approachable; easy to talk to; warmly friendly
affected
artificial; pretended
affidavit
written statement made under oath (for use as proof in a court of law)
affiliation
joining; associating with
affinity
feeling of kinship; similarity; Ex. strong affinity for her; Ex. many affinities between two languages
affirmation
positive assertion; confirmation; solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath; V. affirm; ADJ. affirmative; CF. affirmative action: positive discrimination
affliction
state of distress; trial; cause of distress or suffering; V. afflict: inflict grievous suffering on
affluence
abundance; wealth
affront
insult; offense; intentional act of disrespect; V: insult or hurt the feelings of intentionally
afterlife
life after death; later part of one's life
agape
openmouthed
agenda
items of business at a meeting
agglomeration
collection; heap; V. agglomerate: gather into a rounded mass; N. aggolmeate: jumbled mass; heap
aggrandize
make greater; increase in power, wealth, rank, or honor; N. aggrandizement
aggregate
sum; total; ADJ. V: gather into a mass or whole; accumulate; add up to; Ex. aggregate 100 dollars
aghast
filled with great surprise or fear; horrified
agility
nimbleness; ability to move quickly
agitate
stir up; disturb
agnostic
one who is skeptical of the existence or knowability of a god or any ultimate reality
agog
highly excited; intensely curious
agrarian
pertaining to land or its cultivation; Ex. agrarian reform
airy
of air; high in the air; lofty; immaterial; unreal
alacrity
cheerful promptness without reluctance
alchemy
medieval chemistry
alcove
nook; recess
alias
an assumed name esp. by a criminal (usually to mislead people); ADV. alias
alienate
make unfriendly or hostile; estrange; separate; change the ownership of
alimentary
supplying nourishment
alimony
payments made regularly to an ex-spouse after divorce
allay
calm; pacify
allege
state without proof
allegiance
loyalty
allegory
story, play, or picture in which characters are used as symbols; fable
alleviate
relieve (pain)
alliteration
repetition of beginning sound in poetry
allocate
assign; set apart for a particular purpose
alloy
mixture as of metals; something added that lowers in value or purity; V: mix; make less pure; lower in value or quality; spoil; CF. unalloyed: not in mixture with other maetals; pure; complete; unqualified; Ex. unalloyed happiness
allude
refer indirectly; N. allusion: indirect reference
allure
entice; attract; tempt
alluvial
pertaining to soil deposits left by running water
alms
money or goods given to the poor
aloft
upward; high up in the air
aloof
apart; not open in one's relationship with other people; reserved; ADV.
altercation
noisy quarrel
altruistic
unselfishly generous; concerned for others; N. altiruism: unselfish concern for the welfare of others; unselfishness; OP. egoism
amalgam
combination of different things; mixture of metals (containing mercury) used for filling holes in teeth
amalgamate
(of societies or groups) combine; unite in one body
amass
collect (gradually, in a very large amount)
amazon
female warrior
ambidextrous
capable of using either hand with equal ease
ambience
environment; atmosphere; Ex. restraurant with a pleasant ambience; ADJ. ambient: completely surrounding; Ex. ambient temperature
ambiguous
unclear or doubtful in meaning; having more than one possible interpretation
ambivalence
the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes or opinions
amble
walking at an easy unhurried pace; V: walk slowly and aimlessly
ambrosia
food of the gods
ambulatory
able to walk
ambush
act of lying in wait to attack by surprise; sudden attack made from a concealed position; Ex. lie in ambush; V.
ameliorate
improve
amenable
obedient; compliant; readily managed; responsive; willing to be led; answerable or accountable legally; responsible; able to be tested by; Ex. amenable to sensible suggestions; Ex. He is very amenable; Ex. amenable to the usual tests
amend
correct; change ; generally for the better
amenities
convenient features that helps to make life pleasant; social courtesies
amiable
agreeable; lovable; warmly friendly
amicable
peaceful; politely friendly; not quarrelsome; Ex. amicable settlement
amiss
wrong; faulty; Ex. something amiss; ADV.
amity
friendship; peaceful relationship as between nations
amnesia
loss of memory
amnesty
pardon (allowed by government to political criminals)
amok(amuck)
in a state of rage; Ex. run amok
amoral
nonmoral; having no understanding of right and wrong
amorous
moved by sexual love; loving; of sexual love; Ex. amorous advances
amorphous
formless; lacking shape or definition
amphibian
able to live both on land and in water; N.
amphitheater
oval building with tiers of seats; CF. arena
ample
enough; abundant; spacious; large in size; Ex. ample opportunity/garden; N. amplitude: quality of being ample; abundance; largeness of space
amplify
increase in size or effect; expand; broaden or clarify by expanding; intensify; make stronger; Ex. amplify one's remarks with a graph
amputate
cut off part of body; prune (a limb)
amulet
charm; talisman; an object worn believed to protect against evil, bad luck
anachronism
an error involving time in a story; something or someone misplaced in time; ADJ. anachronistic
analgesia
condition of being unable to feel pain
analgesic
causing insensitivity to pain; N.
analogous
comparable; similar
analogy
similarity; parallelism; comparing two similar things
anarchist
person who seeks to overturn the established government; advocate of abolishing authority
anarchy
absence of governing body; state of disorder
anathema
solemn curse; someone or something regarded as a curse; V. anathematize
ancestry
family descent; ADJ. ancestral
anchor
secure or fasten firmly; be fixed in place; N. anchorage
ancillary
serving as an aid or accessory; auxiliary; N.
anecdote
short story of an amusing or interesting event
anemia
condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles; ADJ. anemic
anesthetic
substance that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness; N. anesthesia
anguish
acute pain; extreme suffering
angular
sharp-cornered; having an angle; not rounded (body); bony; lean; gaunt; stiff in manner
animadversion
critical remark; V. animadvert: comment critically with disapproval
animated
lively; spirited
animosity
active enmity
animus
hostile feeling or intent; animosity; hostility; disposition
annals
records arranged in yearly parts; history
anneal
reduce brittleness and improve toughness by heating and cooling (metal or glass)
annex
attach; add to a large thing; take possession of; incorporate (territory) into a larger existing political unit (by force); N: building added to a large one
annihilate
destroy
annotate
comment; make explanatory notes
annuity
yearly allowance
annul
make void
anodyne
drug that relieves pain or trouble;opiate; ADJ. Ex. anodyne statement
anoint
consecrate; put oil on (in a religious ceremony)
anomalous
abnormal; irregular
anomaly
irregularity
anonymity
state of being nameless; anonymousness; ADJ. anonymous
antagonism
hostility; active opposition; V. antagonize: cause to become an enemy; N. antagonist: person who is opposed to another; opponent; adversary; principal character in oppostion to the protagonist
antecede
precede
antecedents
preceding events that influence what comes later; ancestors or early background
antediluvian
antiquated; extremely ancient
anthem
song of praise or patriotism; Ex. national anthem
anthology
book of literary selections by various authors; CF. omnibus
anthropoid
manlike; resembling a human being; N.
anthropologist
student of the history and science of humankind
anthropomorphic
having human form or characteristics
anticlimax
letdown in thought or emotion; something unexciting, ordinary, or disappointing coming after something important or exciting
antidote
remedy to counteract a poison or disease; Ex. antidote to the economic troubles
antipathy
aversion; dislike or opposition
antiquated
obsolete; old-fashioned; outdated
antique
made in an earlier period and usu. valuable; N: object that was made in an earlier period and that is rare or valuable
antiquity
quality of being very old; ancient times;
antiseptic
substance that prevents infection in a wound; ADJ.
antithesis
contrast; direct opposite of or to; ADJ. antithetic or antithetical
antler
bony growth on the head of a deer
anvil
iron block used in hammering out metals
apathy
lack of caring; indifference; lack of concern or interest in important matters; Ex. He was sunk in apathy after his failure; ADJ. apathetic
ape
imitate or mimic (a person's behavior or manner)
aperture
opening; hole; adjustable opening in a camera that limits the amount of light
apex
tip; summit; climax; highest point
aphasia
loss of speech due to injury or illness
aphorism
pithy maxim or saying; ADJ. aphoristic
apiarist
person who keeps bees
apiary
a place where bees are kept
apiculture
bee-keeping
aplomb
poise; composure in difficult situations; assurance; self-confidence
apocalyptic
prophetic; pertaining to revelations especially of disaster; N. apocalypse
apocryphal
(of a story) widely believed but untrue
apogee
highest point; the point farthest from the earth; OP. perigee
apolitical
having an aversion or lack of concern for political affairs
apologist
one who writes in defense of a cause or institution; N. apologia
apoplexy
stroke; loss of consciousness caused by too much blood in the brain
apostate
one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs; N. apostasy
apothecary
druggist; pharmacist

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