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Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Date post: 20-Jul-2016
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Compilation of relevant GRE vocabulary words
Abasement, humiliation; degradation Abeyance, state of inactivity; disuse Abraded, worn away; eroded [abrade (v); abrasion (n)] Abrogate, cancel; deny; repeal Abscission, cutting; process causing leaves to fall off Abstemious, self denying; refraining from indulging Abstruse, difficult to understand; obscure Abut, to adjoin Accolade, tribute; honor; praise Accretion, accumulation of matter; growth produced by adding from the outside Acolyte, disciple; follower or attendant Acquiesce, to agree to; give in to Acrid, sharp; pungent (used of smells and tastes) Acrophobia, fear of heights Admonitory, scolding [admonition (n)] Adulation, strong admiration; worship Adumbrate, outline; indicate Affable, friendly; social; easygoing Agog, amazed; wide-eyed with enthusiasm Alacrity, eagerness; enthusiasm; quickness Aloof, distant; detached; cold Amalgamate, join; consolidate [amalgamation (n)] Amortize, pay off a debt in installments
Page 1: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Abasement, humiliation; degradation

Abeyance, state of inactivity; disuse

Abraded, worn away; eroded [abrade (v); abrasion (n)]

Abrogate, cancel; deny; repeal

Abscission, cutting; process causing leaves to fall off

Abstemious, self denying; refraining from indulging

Abstruse, difficult to understand; obscure

Abut, to adjoin

Accolade, tribute; honor; praise

Accretion, accumulation of matter; growth produced by adding from the outside

Acolyte, disciple; follower or attendant

Acquiesce, to agree to; give in to

Acrid, sharp; pungent (used of smells and tastes)

Acrophobia, fear of heights

Admonitory, scolding [admonition (n)]

Adulation, strong admiration; worship

Adumbrate, outline; indicate

Affable, friendly; social; easygoing

Agog, amazed; wide-eyed with enthusiasm

Alacrity, eagerness; enthusiasm; quickness

Aloof, distant; detached; cold

Amalgamate, join; consolidate [amalgamation (n)]

Amortize, pay off a debt in installments

Anodized, electroplated; coated with thin layer of metal

Anthology, a book which is a collection of poems or stories

Page 2: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Aphoristic, expressed tersely [aphorism (n) = short statement; maxim]

Apocryphal, of doubtful origin

Apposite, fitting; suitable

Approbation, approval [opp. disapprobation]

Arboreal, living in trees; concerned with trees

Asperity, using harsh or critical tone

Assay, 1. try; 2. assess purity

Assiduous, thorough; diligent

Atavism, reappearance of ancestral traits; regression [atavistic (a)]

Baleful, evil

Belabor, explain in unnecessary detail

Beleaguer, besiege; attack

Belie, contradict

Bemoan, complain about

Benignity, compassion; gentleness; fondness

Bilk, cheat; defraud

Blandishment, words used to coax or flatter [blandish (v)]

Blighted, damaged; destroyed; ruined

Blunderbuss, 1. ancient weapon (type of gun); 2. a clumsy person

Bombast, arrogant pompous language

Boorish, ill-mannered

Bristle, to show irritation

Brusque, blunt; abrupt

Bulwark, fortification; barricade; wall

Burgeon, grow; flourish; put forth new shoots

Page 3: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Burlesque, 1. comic play; 2. lampoon

Burnish, polish

Buttress, strengthen; support

Byline, the line that tells you who wrote an article

Callow, immature

Canonical, orthodox [canon (n) = set of accepted works]

Cant, insincere talk

Capacious, spacious

Caprices, whimsies; fancies

Caret, punctuation mark signifying omission

Carping, constant criticism

Carrion, dead flesh; carcasses

Caulk, treat with substance such as tar to make water-tight

Caustic, burning

Chantey, type of song sung by sailors

Chicanery, trickery

Chimerical, changeable; unstable

Choleric, easily angered

Chorales, simple hymns

Churlishness, rudeness; ill-mannered behavior

Circuitous, indirect

Cogitate, think over something; ponder

Colander, bowl with holes used to drain vegetables etc.

Collage, picture made from fragments of other pictures

Collate, arrange in order

Page 4: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Complaisance, flexibility; willingness to please [complaisant (a)]

Concatenate, link together

Concatenation, linking into chains

Conflagration, big fire

Consternation, worry and concern

Contiguous, adjacent; touching; abutting [contiguity (n)]

Contrite, sorry

Contrition, sorrow and repentance

Contumacious, stubborn

Corrugated, highly folded

Crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk

Daguerreotype, forerunner of the photograph

Dawdler, slow person who falls behind others [dawdle (v)]

Decathlon, an athletic competition with ten events

Defoliate, cause leaves to fall off

Deign, condescend

Deleterious, harmful

Demur, hesitate; refuse

Descry, to see (esp. at a distance); catch sight of

Desecrate, to damage or pollute a holy place

Destitution, hardship; poverty; misery

Diaphanous, transparent; thin and delicate

Diatribe, tirade; violent denunciation; stream of criticism

Diffident, lacking confidence

Dike, dam; embankment

Page 5: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Dilettante, person who dabbles in a subject without serious study

Dilettantism, dabbling esp. in the arts [dilettante (n) = person who dabbles]

Diorama, model of a scene

Disabuse, make someone aware of an error in thinking

Discordancy, cacophony; harshness; jarring

Discrete, separate; discontinuous (not to be confused with discreet - prudent; diplomatic]

Discursiveness, long windedness; indirectness

Disinter, dig up [opposite inter = bury]

Diurnal, active in daytime

Doff, take off (esp. of a hat)

Don, put on (esp. of clothes)

Dotard, foolish old man

Dote, be excessively fond of [doting (a)]

Drivel, nonsense

Dross, something worthless; impurities left after refining

Ebullient, very lively; cheerful; jovial; happy

Eddy, circular current

Effigy, a model of a person

Effrontery, daring; audacity (has a negative connotation)

Emboss, decorate with a raised design

Emollient, softening (a); something which softens (n)

Encomium, praise

Enervate, weaken

Enshroud, cover

Envenom, to cause bitterness and bad feeling

Page 6: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Epaulet, shoulder decoration

Epicure, someone who appreciates good food and drink

Epistle, a letter (form of communication)

Epistolary, concerned with letters; through correspondence

Equivocate, speak ambiguously; avoid telling the truth

Esoterica, obscure details

Etymology, the study of word origins

Euphony, pleasant sounds

Exceptionable, very bad (something which we should object to)

Exculpate, free someone from blame; pardon; acquit

Execrable, very; very bad

Exegesis, scholarly explanation or interpretation

Exemplar, model type [exemplary (a)]

Exigency, urgent matter; pressing need

Expiate, atone; make amends for

Expostulate, offer strong objections; remonstrate

Extant, still in existence (opposite of extinct)

Extemporize, speak without preparation or rehearsal [extemporaneous (a)]

Extirpate, wipe out totally

Extirpation, wiping out; complete destruction [extirpate (v)]

Extol, praise

Faddish, whimsical; following a fashion

Fallow, uncultivated

Falters, hesitates

Fastidious, overly particular; finicky

Page 7: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Fawn, behave in a sycophantic way; grovel [fawning (a)]

Fecund, fertile

Felicitous, apt

Ferrous, concerned with iron or its compounds

Fitful, not continuous; stopping and starting

Fledge, 1. grow feathers; 2. leave nest [fledgling (n) = an inexperienced person or a baby bird]

Fly-by-night, unreliable; disreputable

Foible, quirk; minor weakness

Foppish, behaving or dressing like a dandy; excessively concerned with fashion

Fracas, fight; disturbance

Frieze, decorative border

Froward, stubborn; wayward; disobedient

Fulminate, 1. attack loudly in words; denounce thunderously; 2. explode noisily

Furrow, groove

Fusillade, long burst of gunfire

Gainsay, contradict

Gall, 1. bitterness (bad feeling); 2. confidence; 3. abnormal growth on a plant

Garble, distort; confuse; muddle

Garish, gaudy

Gaucherie, awkwardness [gauche (a)]

Germinal, just growing; not developed; immature

Gerontocracy, government by the aged

Gibbering, making meaningless noises

Glacial, hostile; unfriendly; cold; icy

Glib, slick; superficial esp. in speech

Page 8: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Gossamer, delicate; filmy; like gauze

Grate (v), 1. to annoy; aggravate; vex; 2. shred

Guffaw, sudden loud laughter

Guileless, frank; straightforward; honest

Gustatory, concerned with the sense of taste

Hackneyed, common and over-used

Halcyon, peaceful and happy; calm (esp. of summer weather)

Hallow, respect; worship

Hapless, unlucky

Haughtiness, arrogance; pride

Hawser, thick rope or cable

Hidebound, rigid in opinions

Histrionic, theatrical; exaggerated

Hoary, old

Homiletics, art of preaching and giving sermons

Hortatory, encouraging; exhorting

Hypochondriac, a person obsessed with health; having imaginary illnesses

Idyll, story or incident in peaceful or ideal setting [idyllic (a)]

Impecunious, having no money

Imperturbability, quality of being calm and not easily disturbed [imperturbable (a)]

Importune, beg; solicit [importunate (a)]

Improbity, lack of honesty or integrity

Impugn, challenge; question someone’s honor etc.

Inchoate, undeveloped; nascent

Incubus, encumbrance; nightmarish thing

Page 9: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Indecorous, unseemly; inappropriate (of behavior)

Indelible, cannot be wiped out

Inerrancy, infallibility; inability to make mistakes [inerrant (a)]

Ingénue, naïve, unsophisticated person

Iniquitous, evil; unjust [iniquity (n)]

Intemperate, excessive; immoderate [intemperance (n)]

Interregnum, interval between reigns or governments

Intrepid, brave

Inured, hardened; habituated

Inveigle, coax; cajole; wheedle; entice

Jamb, door post

Jaundiced, cynical; pessimistic

Jibe, agree with; complement; match up with (in British usage jibe means mock)

Jollity, gaiety; happiness

Knotty, complex; difficult to solve

Laceration, a cut

Lachrymose, tearful; sad

Laconic, using few words; brief; to the point

Lacuna, gap; missing part [plural = lacunae]

Lambaste, attack verbally

Lampoon, ridicule; spoof

Languid, tired; slow

Largess, generosity

Lassitude, lack of energy; weariness

Leaven, to make light; modify; cause bread to rise using yeast etc.

Page 10: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Levee, 1. raised bank of a river; 2. morning reception held by a monarch

Levity, flippancy; joking about serious matters

Libertine, dissolute person; prodigal

Lien, right to sell property held as a security; legal hold on job etc.

Liniment, soothing lotion

Lint, fluff; soft material used to cover wounds

Lithe, flexible; supple

Liturgy, form of worship (rite/ceremony)

Livid, very angry

Lofty, snooty; arrogant; haughty

Loll, laze around; hang out (when used of the tongue)

Lope, run with long strides

Lugubrious, sad; gloomy

Lummox, clumsy person

Macerate, chop into tiny pieces

Maculated, spotted

Maelstrom, whirlpool; storm in the ocean

Malady, illness

Malapropism, use of similar sounding but incorrect word

Malingerer, person who deliberately tries to avoid work

Martinet, person who believes in strict discipline

Maudlin, sad; sentimental; inclined to weep

Maverick, a loner

Menagerie, collection of animals

Mercurial, volatile; changeable

Page 11: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Mettlesome, spirited [mettle (n)]

Millinery, hats and hat-making

Minatory, threatening

Mince, 1. chop into small pieces; 2. walk with tiny steps, 3. speak in an affected manner

Mire, swamp; muddy ground

Misanthrope, hater of the rest of mankind

Modicum, small amount

Moribund, on the point of death

Munificent, generous; charitable

Mutinous, very rebellious

Nadir, lowest point

Nascent, emerging; newly formed

Natty, neat; dapper; smart

Neologism, newly coined word

Nettle, annoy

Niggardly, miserly; stingy

Noisome, disgusting

Nondescript, having no special features; dull and ordinary

Nonplussed, confused

Nostrum, remedy

Nugatory, of minor significance; futile

Nuzzle, cuddle; snuggle

Obdurate, stubborn

Oblique, indirect; slanting

Obviate, avoid; make unnecessary

Page 12: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Occluded, obscured; blocked

Officious, domineering; intrusive; meddlesome

Ogle, stare at; observe in an obvious manner

Opaque, does not let light through

Opprobrious, expressing great scorn [opprobrium (n)]

Opulent, wealthy; rich; magnificent

Ossified, turned to bone; become rigid [ossification (n)]

Ossify, 1. turn to bone; 2. become fixed and rigid

Overwrought, worked up; in an emotional state

Paean, praise; tribute (esp. in song)

Palisade, fence made of posts

Palliative, a remedy that improves but doesn't cure

Palpate, medical term meaning to examine with the hands

Panegyric, speech praising someone; laudatory words

Papyrus, material used for writing on before paper was invented

Paragon, a perfect example

Parched, dried up

Pastiche, work (usually artistic) which imitates, or is composed of parts taken from varied sources

Peccadillo, minor weakness; trivial offence

Percipient, perceptive; insightful

Perfunctory, superficial; cursory

Peripatetic, nomadic; moving from place to place

Persnickety, fastidious; fussy

Perspicacious, insightful; sharp; wise

Perspicacity, insight

Page 13: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Phlegmatic, calm; imperturbable

Picayune, insignificant; of little value

Pine, 1. type of evergreen tree; 2. grieve

Pique, 1. annoyance (n); 2. to stimulate interest; to annoy (v)

Pith, center; soft part of stem; essence

Placid, calm; peaceful

Plaudit, statement giving strong praise

Pliable, flexible; not stubborn

Plodding, walking slowly and heavily; uninspired

Plumage, feathers of a bird

Polemical, causing debate or argument

Ponderous, weighty; slow and heavy

Pontificate, speak pompously or dogmatically

Portent, a warning sign; omen

Poseur, someone who puts on an act

Potable, suitable for drinking

Prattle, mindless talk

Precept, guiding principle

Precipice, steep slope

Precipitous, done in a hurry

Precocious, developing early

Predilection, leaning; interest; talent

Presage, forewarn of; indicate

Presentiment, feeling that something might happen

Preternatural, unnatural; abnormal

Page 14: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Prevaricate, speak misleadingly and evasively

Probity, uprightness; honesty

Prodigious, very large

Prolixity, wordiness [prolix (a)]

Propitiate, appease; try to gain favor [propitiation (n)]

Proscribe, forbid

Prosody, study of versification

Prudish, narrow-minded; excessively concerned with morals [prudery (n), prude (n)]

Psychosis, severe mental disturbance

Puissance, power

Punctilious, paying attention to small details

Purchase, 1. grip; 2. buy

Purloin, steal

Pusillanimous, cowardly

Pyre, ceremonial fire

Pyromania, compulsion to start fires

Quaff, drink down quickly

Quandary, dilemma; puzzle

Quarry, 1. something that is hunted; 2. mine for stone

Querulous, always complaining

Quisling, traitor

Quixotic, impractically idealistic

Quotidian, daily; routine

Raconteur, person who relates a story

Rarefy, make less dense [rarefaction (n)]

Page 15: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Raucous, rough and unpleasant (of sounds)

Rebus, puzzle in which pictures give clues

Recondite, obscure

Recumbent, reclining; lying down

Redolent, smelling of; giving off odors

Refulgent, glowing; radiant

Relegate, dismiss to a lower position

Remuneration, payment for work done

Replete, full

Repudiate, shun; eschew

Rescind, retract; repeal

Reticent, restrained; holding something back; uncommunicative

Rife, common

Riveting, fascinating [to rivet literally means to fix metal plates using metal pins]

Ruminate, think over something; ponder

Saccharin, falsely sweet

Sacrosanct, very holy; inviolable

Salacious, lecherous; erotic

Sallow, yellowish

Salubrious, health-giving

Salutary, something which teaches you a lesson; beneficial

Sap, 1. liquid inside plants (n); 2. to drain; to undermine (v); 3. a fool (n)

Sate, satisfy

Sedulity, thoroughness; perseverance [sedulous (a)]

Sedulous, persevering; eager and thorough

Page 16: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Seine, type of fishing net

Seminal, essential; formative

Sequester, isolate

Sere, withered; old

Serrated, jagged; saw-like

Serration, jagged edge

Sibyl, prophetess

Sidereal, of or related to stars

Sinecure, job which pays salary but requiring little effort

Sinistral, left-handed (or counterclockwise) [dextral - right handed]

Slew, glut; excess

Slight, 1. minor (a); 2. perceived insult (v) and (n)

Smorgasbord, a Swedish buffet of cold dishes

Somatic, concerned with the body

Sophomoric, juvenile; immature

Soporific, inducing sleep

Sparse, spare; bare; meager

Staid, dull; sober; serious

Stanch, to stop

Staunch, loyal; faithful; dependable

Stevedore, dockworker

Stipple, cover with dots of paint etc.

Stolid, impassive; dull; indifferent

Strident, loud and harsh

Strut, 1. supporting rod (n); 2. to walk in an arrogant manner; show off (v)

Page 17: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Strut, swagger; show off

Stygian, very dark

Suborn, bribe

Subterfuge, a trick

Suffragist, someone who campaigns for voting rights

Supercilious, proud and haughty

Supine, lying flat on one’s back

Supplicant, person who requests or begs for something [supplicate (v)]

Surly, grumpy; rude

Sybarite, lover of luxury

Syllogism, type of logical reasoning

Syncopation, type of musical rhythm with missed beats

Taciturn, quiet; saying little

Tamp, to plug; press loose matter down tightly (e.g. pack explosives into a hole)

Tare, 1. weed; 2. allowance made for container when weighing

Tawdry, of little value; gaudy

Teetotalism, total abstinence from alcohol

Temper, to moderate; soften

Tendentious, dogmatic; biased

Tenuous, flimsy; not solid

Terse, concise; to the point

Testiness, irritability; irascibility [testy (a)]

Titter, giggle quietly

Toady, sycophant; flatterer

Torpid, inactive; lazy; stagnant

Page 18: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Torpor, dormancy; sluggishness; inactivity

Totter, walk unsteadily

Trepidation, fear

Trite, unoriginal; dull

Truant, shirker; someone absent without permission

Turpitude, depravity

Tutelary, serving as a guardian [tutelage (n)]

Tyro, novice; beginner

Umbrage, 1. shadow; 2. offence; sense of injury

Unalloyed, undiluted; total

Unctuous, oily; using excessive flattery

Underwrite, give guarantee, insure

Unfetter, set free

Unfrock, to remove a priest from his position

Untoward, unexpected

Vagary, something unaccountable; freak

Vagrant, person wandering without a home

Variegated, multicolored; speckled

Venial, minor; unimportant

Verbiage, excessive or meaningless wordiness

Vicissitude, unexpected change in fortune or circumstances

Vignette, small sketch

Virtuosity, skill, expertise [virtuoso (n); virtuosi (n.pl)]

Virtuoso, an accomplished musician

Vitiate, weaken; sap energy

Page 19: Important Word List (Alphabetized)

Vitriolic, corrosive; strongly attacking

Vivacity, liveliness; animation

Vivify, enliven

Volubility, excessive talkativeness [voluble (a)]

Voluble, talkative

Voracious, ravenous

Waft, drift smoothly (v); whiff; smell (n)

Wag (n), a witty person

Wane, grow less

Waylay, accost; stop; approach; hinder

Whelp, young dog

Whittle, 1. carve with knife; 2. reduce step by step

Wistful, melancholy; pensive; expressing a longing for

Wry, 1. twisted or bent to one side; 2. dryly humorous