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To lessen in intensity or degree.
Although she filed her tax returns late, Mary hoped the IRS would abate the penalties
Deviating from the norm.
The child is usually well-mannered; sticking out her tongue was aberrant behavior.
S: abnormal, deviant, anomalous
To renounce or reject solemnly.
I had not choice but to abjure my allegiance to the organization after the chairman appointed his underqualified friends to the board.
Activists launched a statewide campaign to abrogate the death penalty.
Act of cutting off or removing.
Dr. Carter recommended an immediate abscission of the abcess.
To depart clandestinely; to steal off and hide.
Doug was left penniless when the 2 con men absconded with his life savings.
Eating and drinking in moderation
Studies have shown that abstemious people live longer, but I love cheesecake too much to moderate my intake.
An expression of praise.
The speeches at Sue's retirement dinner were filled with accolades for her achievements.
Growth, increase by successive addition, building up.
The accretion of dirt has changed the color of the kitchen floor from white to brown.
Having a sour or bitter taste or character.
The child was so adorable that even the acerbic old man had to smile
Quick, keen, or accurate knowledge or insight.
Her business acumen led her to invest in new companies just before they launched successful products.
S: shrewdness, perspicacity
To reprove; to express warning or disapproval.
Adam admonished his son for tracking mud into the house.
The adroit watchmaker carefully repaired my grandfather's shattered pocket watch.
Excessive praise; intense adoration.
The young girl's adulation of the pop singer irritated her older brothers.
To reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients.
Some people believe that cream and sugar adulterate coffee.
S: taint, debase
To foreshadow vaguely, intimate, suggest, or outline sketchily.
The first volume of the trilogy only adumbrates the basics of the story.
To argue for or support a cause.
He advocated the bill before anyone else got on board.
Dealing with , appreciative of, or responsive to art or beauty.
Elena enjoys the aesthetic qualities of great works of literature.
To increase in intensity, power, or prestige.
The Romans aggrandized their influence through the use of military tactics.
S: strengthen, exalt.
Eager and enthusiastic willingness.
The alacrity with which students headed for the door when the bell rang was a sure indication that the class was boring.
S: eagerness, enthusiasm, readiness.
A medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, especially base metals, into gold.
Although alchemy never produced its intended results, it led to advances in industries like metal refining and manufacturing.
To commingle; to debase by mixing with something inferior.
Alloying the punch with prune juice turned out not to be such a good idea after all.
To combine several elements into a whole.
The law allows two or more small companies to amalgamate into one large corporation.
The quality of having opposing ideas or feelings.
Her ambivalence about the job offer was apparent; she'd be making better money, but she'd have to move.
To make better or more tolerable.
All attempts to ameliorate the relationship between the two adversaries seemed futile.
Agreeable; responsive to suggestion.
Even investment banks, which traditionally resist restraints, are now amenable to some regulations.
Out of place in terns of historical or chronological context.
The movie, set in ancient Rome, was criticized for its use of exploding projectiles, wine glasses, and other anachronistic props.
A solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; a cursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing.
When the soccer player's bribery scandal came to light, the signed jersey the fan once had treasured became anathema to him.
S: detested thing
Don't you agree that nothing is quite so anodyne as a long soak in a bubble bath?
Deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
It was an anomaly that I got a D on that quiz, because my grades are usually excellent.
S: abnormaltiy, aberration, peculiarity
To irritate or cause hostility
Alonzo constantly antagonized his younger sister by stealing her lunch money.
I know my antipathy toward lawyers isn't fair, but I can't help thinking the worst of every one I meet.
Diametrically opposed; as in antithesis.
She quit her position as press secretary when she realized that her views on civil rights were antithetical to the senator's.
Of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious.
The apocryphal story about the origins of the school mascot is clearly a legend.
Farthest or highest point; culmination; zenith.
Winning the Pulitzer Prize was an affirmation that the journalist was at the apogee of her career.
One who abandons long-held or religious or political convictions
The senator was branded an apostate after he switched political parties midterm.
Deification; supreme example.
With the face that launched a thousand ships, Helen of Troy was said to be the apotheosis of female beauty.
Appropriate; pertinent; relevant.
The lawyer argued that the witness's testimony was apposite to the case.
To give notice to; to inform.
Be sure to apprise the security officers that you will be visiting the site so they don't think you are a trespasser.
An expression of approval or praise.
The civil rights leader's most recent speech to her supporters was received with great approbation.
S: admiration, esteem.
To take for one' own use; confiscate
As they passed through the town, both armies appropriated housing, food and ammunition.
Arcane vocabulary words are a source of great frustration for many GRE test-takers.
Outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive time.
In the current age of cell-phones, many are treating landline telephones as archaic forms of technology.
Strenuous, taxing, requiring significant effort.
Learning new vocab words is an arduous task.
Impudent; recklessly bold, bare-faced.
Don Juan's arrant philandering made him a legend.
S: arrogant, insolent.
A complex, ornate design; also a dance position.
The highly valuable picture frame was covered with arabesques, including gold-leaf animals, plants, and fruits.
Completely without guile; unsophisticated.
A few unscrupulous people took advantage of the artless owner of the antique shop.
S: naive, genuine
Deceitful, with guile
The Artful Dodger was a cunning pickpocket in Dickens' Oliver Twist
Someone practicing in self-denial
The ascetic tried to convince others that there was virtue in the denial of worldly goods.
Severity, rigor; roughness, harshness, acrimony, irritability.
The asperity of a northern winter can lead to serious depression.
An act of defamation or maligning.
The hot-headed candidate cast aspersions on his opponent's honesty.
To put to a test.
Her ability to quickly assay a situation and find a solution is what makes her a great manager and troubleshooter
The internet has made research so easy that the gap between the assiduous student and the lackadaisical student is harder to discern.
To ease or lessen; to appease or pacify.
Shining a flashlight under the bed helped to assuage the child's fears of a monster lurking there.
S: alleviate, allay, soothe.
After hearing the director's astringent criticism of his performance, the actor stormed out of the theater.
- To weaken or make thinner.
- Economic hardships have attenuated the value of the dollar, making it much more expensive for Americans to travel in Europe.
To waste away or deteriorate.
Kate's leg has been in a cast for weeks, and her muscles are starting to atrophy from lack of use.
Daring and fearless; recklessly bold.
The candidate made the audacious claim that his rival had mismananged public funds.
S: impudent, foolhardy
Omen; portent; predicting the future
The smooth test-run of the new software was a favorable augury of the product's success
The august presence of the pharoahs endures through the millennia.
Protection or support; patronage.
SInce my project falls under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, I no longer have to wait in airport lines.
The cost of failure is too great, so we must wait for the most auspicious moment to strike.
Without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic.
The building's austere facade gave no indication of the rich ornamentation inside.
Greed, especially for wealth.
The investor's avarice led her to make risky moves to increase her already sizable fortune.
To state as a fact; to confirm or support.
The court records show that the witness averred that she saw the defendant at the scene of the crime.
S: assert, affirm.
A universally recognized principle, a generally accepted or common saying.
It is an axiom of the American legal system that one is innocent until proven guilty.
S: idiom, colloquialism.
The set director created a baleful scene of a dark, dirty alley on a rainy night.
Cause of injury, source of harm; source of persistent frustration.
Even for those who recognize smoking is far more often a bane that a benefit.
To bless, make happy, or ascribe a virtue to.
Inductions into the Hall of Fame are ways to beatify the greatest players of the game.
To adorn, especially in a cheap showy manner; festoon; caparison.
The speakeasy was bedizened with every manner of tawdry decoration.
To give a false impression of.
The lack of school funding belies the government's claim of making education reform a top priority.
The bellicose voices in the Senate grab the headlines, but fortunately the diplomatic voices are more likely to grab the votes.
Leaning, inclination, proclivity, tendency.
Mike's bent for self-destructive behavior worried his friends.
Something enormous; a gigantic creature.
That huge shopping mall is a behemoth that ruins the charm of the historical waterfront.
To beset; to besiege.
Within a week of staring the job, she was beleaguerd by complaints from clients and employees about the company's bad service.
To coax with flattery, toady or fawn.
The minister was famous for his ability to blandish his way from obscurity to power.
Paul's blithe attitude toward his housecleaning led to a comfortable, yet dusty, clutter.
Loud; noisy; lacking restraint.
Children are boisterous by nature but experienced teachers can calm an entire class down in a matter of seconds.
To provide support.
Bob convinced me he was right only after he bolstered his arugment with facts and data.
Self-important of pompous writing or speech.
The CEO's toast at the launch part was quickly turning into a bombast
A rude or insensitive person
Many people have called him a boor; his genius leaves him with little paitience for social niceties.
Bring up, announce, begin to talk about.
To broach the subject of her truly hideous broach would have been impolite.
To tolerate, endure, countenance.
The con doctor refused to brook any more delay and took off suddently
Rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants.
They suffer from a lot of cholera in bucolic areas.
To grow rapidly or flourish
The researcher was pleased to discover that the wolf population burgeoned only two years after the area was turned into a reserve.
To make smooth; to rub to a shine.
A few more big sales will burnish my reputation and position me well for my next salary review.
In our department, byzantine filing systems are a form of job security since we are the only ones who can find key documents .
Harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance.
Gerald can't sleep because of the cacophony of car alarms going off each night.
To sponge, beg or mooch.
She would cadge a little bit of everything I brought for lunch until she had a full meal.
To inveigle; to coax through flattery.
The director had to cajole the vain actor into wearing the chicken suit.
Tight political races can become very dirty in their final days, with each candidate trying to calumniate the other.
Othello believed the calumny that his wife was cheating on him, setting in motion Shakespear's tragedy.
An established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature.
The priest encouraged the parishioners to adhere to the canons of the church.
Inclined to change one's mind impulsively or unpredictability.
At first the child wanted tacos, but now she wants banana pudding; she cannot help her capricious appetite.
S: whimsical, erratic, fickle
Of basic importance or consequence; primary.
His cardinal error was in failing to bribe his sister.
Something relating to the body or flesh.
Her carnal desire for him distracted her from the task at hand.
Severely criticize or punish.
The teacher castigated the student for arriving late to class.
A substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person who causes change.
We hope the new ambassador will be a catalyst for reviving peace discussions.
S: acceleration, impetus.
Burning or stinging, causing corrosion.
We were reminded to wear gloves when handling the caustic chemicals.
To laugh loudly.
The made scientist began to cachinnate after he thought of a brilliant plan to capture the hero.
A scheme or plot; a group of plotters.
The stock price of a healthy company is not likely to drop that dramatically unless a cabal of investors decides to sell the stock short.
Calculated to confuse or entrap in argument.
Watch out for the captious questions during the cross-examination; the opposing counsel is a master at entrapping witnesses on the stand.
To criticize severely; to officially rebuke.
When the senator was caught buying a boat with the taxpayer dollars, many members of his party publicly censured him.
S: chastise, denounce, reprimand.
The celerity with which she accepted the terms indicated that we had perhaps offered too much.
Wary; cautious, sparing.
Chuck was chary about lending money to his brother, who has always mismanaged his bank accounts.
To restrain or correct
We all hoped that joining the army would chasten his wild behavior.
A blindly devoted patriot.
Giovanni is a chauvinist about his grandmother's cooking and complains constantly whenever he eats at an Italian restaurant.
Trickery or subterfuge.
Enron's financial chicanery included creating fake businesses in order to boost profit.
S: ruse, sham, deception
An illusion; originally, an imaginary fire-breathing monster.
Your vision of running New York City entirely on solar power is a chimera.
Tending toward anger.
Choleric by nature, the boxer had not trouble mental preparing to face his opponent.
Vulgar; difficult and intractable.
As I am far from a morning person my loud nieces are likely to find me churlish before eight o' clock.
To come together or unite.
Suddenly, all the different ideas coalesced into one perfect story and the rest of the script practically wrote itself.
Concluding section of a musical or literary piece.
At the end of the movie, a coda descrived what happened to each of the characters later in life.
Appealing forcibly to the mind or reason, convincing.
Corrine's cogent argument made a lot of sense to me, so I switched my vote.
To change as if by dyeing, distort or gloss over.
Knowing that he had lied about his previous experience colored our evaluation of him.
Matching; corresponding in degree, size, or amount.
Many job listings don't give a specific salary, but state that it will be commensurate with experience.
The willingness to comply with the wishes of others.
The child showed her complaisance by wearing the dress her mother chose.
To cause to be confused, to frustrate.
By the time my roommate and I had parted ways, our things were such a confounded mess.
An informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert.
Derek is such a chocolate connoisseur that he has chocolates shipped to him from Belgium and Switzerland.
S: aficionado, enthusiast, specialist.
Hipsters tend to have a consequential attitude toward the music they listen to.
To scorn or despise.
I contem their attempts to curry favor; nothing is more contemptible than a sycophant.
Sharing a border; touching; adjacent.
We offer free shipping to any of the forty-eight contiguous states in the United States.
Argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement.
Octomom wanting to have another child created some contentious headlines.
- Regretful, penitent; seeking forgiveness
- The judge looked favorable on the defendant's contrite plea for leniency.
A generally agreed-upon practice or attitude.
Flouting convention, the bride wore a brilliant red suit, while her bridesmaids were dressed in white.
Capable of being set right; correctable.
The earlier the intervention, the more corrigible the condition; if left too long, it can't be fixed.
To approve of or tolerate.
The judge was quite a disciplinarian and would not countenance any stunts in his courtroom.
S: sanction, brook
He was selfish child and was cosseted by his parents, so he never learned to share or to compromise.
To deceive, beguile, or hoodwink.
A common internet scam attempts to cozen people into revealing their bank account details.
- Contemptibly fainthearted; lacking any courage, pusillanimous.
- Despite all his military training, he feared he was craven by nature and would turn and run in battle.
Tending to believe too readily.
The con artist easily deceived his credulous victims.
She interviewed for the position three times and was crestfallen when the job was finally offered to another candidate.
Hasty; done with little attention.
The producer took a cursory look at the script, and then tossed it in the trash.
Curmudgeon ( noun)
An irritable, ill-tempered person.
My neighbor is an old curmudgeon who complains loudly whenever anyone makes a sound.
An attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness.
People driven by cynicism are often skeptical of others' generosity.
S: distrust, pessimism