GRE Verbal - Top Words
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to reduce in amount, degree, or severity
"As the hurricane's force abated, the winds dropped and the sea became calm."
to leave secretly
"The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door."
to choose not to do something
"She abstained from choosing a mouth-watering desert from the tray."
an extremely dee hole
"The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen deths."
to make impure
"The chef made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water."
to speak in favor of
"The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat."
concerning the appreciation of beauty
"Followers of the aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art."
to increase in power, influence, and reputation
"The supervisor sought to aggrandize herself by claiming the achievemnts of her staff as her own."
to make more bearable
"Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache."
to combine, to mix together
"Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated."
doubtful or uncertain; able to be interpreted several ways
"The directions she gave were so ambiguous that we disagreed which way to turn."
to make better; to improve
"The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers."
something out of place in time
"The aged hippie used anachronistic phrases like 'groovy' and 'far out' that had not been popular in years."
similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
"In the Newtonian construct for explaining the existence of God, the universe is analogous to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent 'clockmaker.' "
deviation from what is normal
"Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates."
to annoy or provoke to anger
"The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling its tail."
"The antipathy between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare."
lack of interest or emotion
"The apathy of the voters is so great that less than half the people who are elligable to vote actually bother to do so."
to judge a dispute between two opposing parties
"Since the couple could not come to agreement, the judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings."
ancient, old fashioned
"Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software."
intense and passionate feeling
"Bishop's ardor for the landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley."
able to speak clearly and expressively
"She is such an articulate defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters."
to make something unpleasant less severe
"Serena used aspirin to assuage her pounding headache."
to reduce in force or degree; to weaken
"The Bill of Rights atttenuated the traditional power of governments to change laws at will."
fearless and daring
"Her audacious nature allowed her to fulfill her dream of skydiving."
severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
"The lack of decoration makes milatary barracks seem austere to the civilian eye."
predictable; cliched; boring
"He used banal phrases like 'Have a nice day' or 'Another day, another dollar.' "
to support; to prop up
"The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Sasqutch was in the area."
pompous in speech and manner
"The rantings of the radio talk show host was mostly bombastic; his boasting and outragous claims had no basis in fact."
harsh; jarring noise
"The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophany as they tried to tune their instruments."
impartial and honest in speech
"The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious."
changing one's mind quickly and often
"Queen Eliabeth I was capricious; her countless courtiers could never be sure which of their numbers would catch her fancy."
to punish or criticize harshly
"Many Americans are amazed at how harshly the authorities in Singapore castigate perpetrators of what would be considered minor crimes in the United States."
something that brings about a change in something else
"The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution."
biting in wit
"Dorothy Parker gained her reputation for caustic wit from her cutting, yet clever insults."
great disorder or confusion
"In many religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos."
someone prejudist in favor of a group to which he or she belongs
"The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male chauvinists."
deception by means of craft or guile
"Dishonest used car sales people aften use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars."
convincing and well-reasoned
"Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendent."
to overlook; to pardon; to disgregard
"Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness."
intricate and complicated
"Although many eople bought A Brief History of Time, few could follow its convoluted ideas and theories."
to provide supporting evidence
"Fingerprints corroborated the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment."
too trusting, gullible
"Although some four-year-olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most credulous nine-year-olds also believe in him."
steadily increasing in volume or force
"The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evil Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses."
appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
"The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace."
"The respectable young law clerktreated the Supreme Court Justice with the utmost deference."
to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock
"The awkward child was often derided by his 'coolder' peers."
to dry out thoroughly
"After a few weeks of lying on the desert's baking sands, the cow's carcass became completely dessicated."
juming from one thing to another; disconnected
"Diane had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in 3 years."
an absolute, condemnatory speech
"Th trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off."
lacking self confidence
"Steve's diffident mnner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field."
to make larger, to expand
"When you enter a darkened room, your pupils dilateu to let in more light."
intended to delay
"The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill."
someone with amateurish and superficial interest in a topic
"Jerry's friends were such dilettantes that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week."
a funeral hymn or mournful speech
"Melville wrote the poem 'A dirge for James McPherson' for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864."
to set right; to free from error
"Galileo's observations disabused scholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the earth."
to perceive; to recognize
"It is easy to discern the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping."
fundamentally different; entirely unlike
"Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are disparate."
to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character
"The villain could dissemble to the police no longer -- he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the body of the old man."
a harsh and disagreeable combination, often in sounds
"Cognitiv dissonance is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence."
a firmly held opinion, often a religious belief
"Linus's central dogma was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded."
dictatorial in one's opinions
"The dictator was dogmatc -- he, and only he, was right."
to deceive; a person who is easily deceived
"Bugs Bunny was able to dupe Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit."
selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
"Budaest's architecture is an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western styles."
"The efficacy of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug comletely eliminated almost all bacterial infections for which it was administered."
a sorrowful powem or seech
"Although Thomas Gray's 'Ellegy Written in a Country Churchyard' s about death and loss, it urges readers to endure this life and to trust in spirituality."
persuasive and moving, especially in speech
"The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments, but also because of its eloquent words."
to copy; to try to equal or excel
"The grduate student sought to emulte his rofessor in every way, coying not only how she taught hbut also how she conducted herself outside of class."
to reduce in strength
"The guerillas hoped that series of surprise attacks would enervate the regular army."
to produce, cause, or bring about
"His fear and hatred of clowns was engendered when he witnessed the death of his fther at the hands of a clown."
a puzzle, a mystery
"Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation of something of an enigma."
to count, list, or itemize
"Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commndments were enumerated."
lasting a short time
"The lives of mayflies seem ephemeral to use, since the flies' average life span is a matter of hours."
to use exressions of double meaning in order to mislead
"When faced with criticsm of her policies, the politician equivocated and left all parties thinking she agreed with them."
wandering and unpredictable
"The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took series of erratic turns that surprised the audience."
learned, scholarly, bookish
"The annual meeting of philosophy rofessors was a gathering of the most erudite, well-published individuals in the field."
known or understood by only few
"Only a handful of experts are knowledgable about the esoteric world of particle physics."
"Most pople consider it estimable tht Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India."
speech in praise of someone
"His best friend gave the eulogy, outlining his many achievements and talents."
use of an innofensive word or hrase in the place of a more distasteful one.
"The funeral director preferred to use the euphemism sleeping instead of dead."
to make worse
"It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; instead of providing relief, the drug will only exacerbate the problem."
to clear from blame; prove innocent
"The adversarial legal system is intendd to convict those who are guilty and to exculpate those who are innocent."
urgent, reuiring immediate action
"The patient ws losing blood so rapidly that it was exigent to stop the source of bleding."
to clear of blame
"The fugitive ws exoneated when another criminal confessed to committing the crime."
clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression
"The owners of the house left a list of explicit instructions detailing their house-sitter's duties, including a schedule for watering the house plants."
acting expressively enthusiastic; filled with etreme, unquestioned devotion
"The stormtroopers were fanatical in theif devotion to the emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him."
"The understudy fawned over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis."
intensely emotional; feverish
"The fans of Maria Callas were unusually fervid, doing anything to catch a glimse of the great opera singer."
excessively decorated or embellished
"The palac had been decorated in a florid style; every surface had been carved and gilded."
to arouse or incite
"The protesters tried to foment feeling against the war through their speeches and demonstrations."
a tendency to be thrifty or cheap
"Scrooge McDuck's fugality was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with money."
tending to talk a lot
"The garrulous parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking."
"She was so gregarious that when she found herself alone, she felt quite sad."
deceit or trickery
"Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to guile in an effort to trap his enemy."
"The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to full the gullible bank customers into giving him their account information."
of a similar kind
"THe class was fairly homogenous, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors."
one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions
"His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an iconoclast."
not capable of being disturbed
"The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she seemed inperturbable, even when faced with the wildest tantrums."
impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
"A good raincoat will be impervious to moisture."
quick to act without thinking
"It is not good for an investment broker to be impetuous since much thought should be given to all possible outcomes."
unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
"His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained implacable for weeks."
not fully formed; disorganized
"The ideas expressed in Nietzsche's mature work also appear in an inchoate from his earliest writing."
showing inncnce or childlike simplicity
"She was so ingenuous that her friends feared that her innocence nd trustfulness would be exploited when she visited the big city."
"Even though the children hd grown up together, they were inimical to each other at school."
"Some snakes are oisonous, but most species are innocuous and pose no danger to humans."
lacking interest or flavor
"The critic claimed that the painting was insipid, containing no interesting qualities at all."
uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled
"The professor was intransigent on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time."
to overwhelm; to cover with water
"The tidal wave innundated Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water."
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