gre vocab n-p.txt

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gre vocab n-p.txt
2013-01-20 16:43:26
GRE vocab

GRE Vocab n-p
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  1. Nadir (noun)
    Low point

    Ralph Nader has an emotional nadir after every election, but it doesn't stop him from running again the next year

    At my emotional nadir, I considered some drastic options to relieve my pain 

    S: rock bottom, perigree
  2. Nascent (adjective)
    Coming into being; in early developmental stages. 

    My novel is still in its nascent form, so I'm hesitant to describe the plot.

    S: Emerging, embryonic, burgeoning. 
  3. Natty (adjective)
    Trimly neat and tidy

    The natty young man always wore a well-pressed suit to the office. 

    S: dapper
  4. Nebulous (adjective)
    Vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form

    My plans for tomorrow are nebulous, but I'll contact you later to work out the details. 

    S: hazy, unformulated, unclear
  5. Neologism (noun)
    A new word, expression, or usage

    Many neologisms arise from technology including "spam," "mouse," and "internet."

    S: coinage (of a word or phrase)
  6. Nexus (noun)
    A connection; tie or link

    Greenwich Village became a nexus for artists and writers during the 1920's

    S: core, center of focus
  7. Nice (adjective)
    Exacting, extremely or even excessively precise; done with delicacy or skill

    The distinction he drew between the two findings was so nice that most of his listeners weren't even sure it was there
  8. Noisome (adjective)
    Offensive, especially to one's sense of smell; fetid

    I don't know how anyone with a nose can live in an apartment that is so noisome

    S: foul
  9. Nonplussed (adjective)
    Baffled, in a quandary, at a loss for what to say, do or think

    Ernest was a little nonplussed when Gertrude told him that she loved him but she wasn't in love with him, which is admittedly pretty confusing.

    S: bewildered
  10. Nostrum (noun)
    Panacea; questionable remedy

    Chocolate chip cookies were an effective nostrum for the crying child. 

    S: cure-all
  11. Noxious (adjective)
    Harmful; injurious

    I think my old car is leaking noxious gasses because whenever I drive it, I get a headache.

    S: Toxic, poisonous, deleterious
  12. Nefarious (adjective)

    Some of the most nefarious criminals in the world are held in that maximum-security prison. 

    S: sinful
  13. Nugatory (adjective)
    Trifling; inconsequential

    Our meeting was derailed because we discussed nugatory details instead of matters of substance. 

    S: piddling
  14. Neophyte (noun)
    A recent convert; a beginner

    The freshman senator is a neophyte to the conventions of Capitol Hill

    S: tyro, novice.
  15. Obdurate (adjective)
    Unyielding; hardhearted

    The obdurate ruler would not change his policies, even to ease the suffering of his people

    S: intractable
  16. Obeisance (noun)
    Gesture that expresses deference, such as a bow or curtsy

    In the court of a king or queen, no one would think of dancing without first offering some sort of obeisance to the monarch; obviously, rules on other dance floors are more relaxed
  17. Obfuscate (verb)
    To deliberately obscure; to make confusing

    The politician obfuscated the truth about his corruption by accusing his opponent of having an affair. 

    S: confound
  18. Obsequious (adjective)
    Exhibiting a fawning attentiveness

    Roger thought fawning over the boss would help him get promoted, but his obsequious behavior annoyed his co-workers

    S: kowtowing
  19. Obstinate (adjective)
    Stubborn; hardhearted

    Otto was obstinate and refused to compromise even on trivial issues

    S: uncompromising
  20. Obstreperous (adjective)
    Noisy; defiant

    The obstreperous child ran down the aisles of the movie theatre and disrupted audience members. 

    S: unruly
  21. Obtain (verb)
    To be established, accepted, or customary, prevail

    The customary niceties of polite conversation do not obtain in the middle of a tornado. 
  22. Obtuse (adjective)
    Lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression

    My father is obtuse when it comes to computers; he doesn't even know how to turn one on. 

    S: thickheaded, simple-minded, dull-witted
  23. Obloquy (noun)
    Sharp criticism; abusively detractive language

    After the judge was arrested for accepting bribes, she became the target of public obloquy

    S: calumny
  24. Obviate (verb)
    To anticipate and make unnecessary 

    Streaming movies online obviates the need to go to a video store

    S: intervene, preclude, avert
  25. Occlude (verb)
    To obstruct or block

    The last mile of the trail was occluded by overgrown brush and fallen trees

    S: clog, congest
  26. Occult (adjective)
    Hidden, concealed, beyond comprehension

    The occult mysteries of humankind's purpose on earth have yet to be fully solved despite the best efforts of scientists, philosophers and theologians
  27. Odious (adjective)
    Evoking intense aversion or dislike 

    Rotting eggs cause an odious smell

    S: repugnant
  28. Officious (adjective)
    Meddlesome; pushy in one's services

    My neighbor is extremely officious; she keeps offering to set me up with her nephew

    S: intrusive
  29. Ombudsman (noun)
    A person who investigates citizens' complaints

    The newspaper's ombudsman fielded phone calls from readers who complained about factual errors in the front-page story

    S: mediator
  30. Onerous (adjective)
    Troubling; burdensome

    Shoveling out the stables is a more onerous task than feeding the chickens

    S: arduous, grueling, laborious
  31. Opaque (adjective)
    Impenetrable by light; not reflecting light

    The opaque curtains prevent the early morning light from waking me up 

    S: turbid
  32. Opprobrium (noun)
    Disgrace; contempt

    Allegations of steroid use brought such opprobrium that the athlete lost several sponsers

    S: scorn
  33. Oscillation (noun)
    The act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm

    The oscillation of the electric fan back and forth was the only sound in the diner mid-afternoon
  34. Ossified (adjective)
    Tending to become more rigid; conventional; turned into bone

    At what point is it no longer possible to change the ossified opinions of someone from an older generation?

    S: hardened
  35. Ostensible (adjective)
    Seeming; appearing as such

    The ostensible purpose of college is for children to learn about different academic areas, but what they really learn are life skills and responsibility

    S: outward
  36. Ostentatious (adjective)
    Characterized by or given to pretentiousness 

    The economic downturn is causing some wealthy people to curtail their ostentatious lifestyles 

    S: showy
  37. Overweening (adjective)
    Presumptuously arrogant; overbearing

    The overweening pride of the celebrity is unbearable; he showed up at the restaurant with an entourage and expected to be seated immediately 

    S: excessive
  38. Paean (noun)
    A song or expression of praise and thanksgiving

    Though learning it was a pain, the paean we gave at his retirement ceremony went over very well. 

    The young musician composed a paean to his beloved teacher in thanks for her guidance
  39. Palliate (verb)
    To make something appear less serious; to make less severe

    I tried to palliate the throbbing migraine with aspirin and deep breathing, but what I really needed to do was go home and sleep

    S: mitigate
  40. Pandemic (adjective)
    Widespread; occurring over a large area or affecting an unusually large percentage of the population

    HIV and AIDS have become pandemic throughout much of the world and are likely to be the biggest health crisis of the century
  41. Panegyric (noun)
    Formal praise 

    At the retirement dinner, Juan's panegyric on loyalty and friendship brought tears to a few people's eyes. 

    S: encomium 
  42. Paradigm (noun)
    Something that serves as a model, example or pattern

    She is a paradigm of studiousness; she spends all of her time studying in the library
  43. Paradox (noun)
    A contradiction; a seemingly self-contradictory statement that seems true nonetheless

    The most widely used example of a paradox is the statement "less is more."
  44. Paragon (noun)
    Something regarded as a model of excellence or perfection in some way

    The businessman relied on his reputation as a paragon of honesty to become one of the town's most beloved politicians
  45. Pariah (noun)
    An outcast; a rejected and despised person

    His abrasive attitude and angry outbursts made him a pariah at the office

    S: leper
  46. Parody (noun)
    A humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, especially in literature and art. 

    The comedy troupe performed a parody in which a popular young actress was portrayed by a large hairy man. 

    S: satire, lampoon, caricature
  47. Parry (verb)
    To block, evade or ward off, as a blow

    Chuck was able to parry all his opponent's blows, except the last one, which caught him right on the chin
  48. Parsimonious (adjective)
    Cheap; miserly

    The parsimonious man led a meager tip for the kind and overworked waitress

    S: stingy
  49. Partisan (adjective)
    Biased or prejudiced

    Many newspapers have become increasingly partisan, and few offer objective and balanced coverage of current events. 

    S: sectarian
  50. Paucity (noun)

    In the dead of winter, there is a paucity of fresh vegetables available at the farmer's market

    S: dearth
  51. Peccadillo (noun)
    A slight offense; literally, a minor sin

    Taking a few office supplies from the office is a peccadillo, but stealing a laptop is a whole different story

    S: infraction
  52. Pedagogy (noun)
    The art or profession of training, teaching, or instructing

    The pedagogy of early primary science focuses on the development of critical thinking skills and exploration through hands-on experiments

    S: education
  53. Pedantic (adjective)
    The parading of learning; excessive attention to minutiae and formal rules

    Pete is pedantic about grammar and will nitpick my essay for even the minutest of errors

    S: bookish
  54. Pedestrian (adjective)
    Commonplace, trite, unremarkable

    The movie's plot was pedestrian, despite the director's brave decision to cast a badger in the role of the hero
  55. Penchant (noun)
    Strong inclination; a liking

    The stylist has a penchant for expensive designer labels

    S: fondness
  56. Penurious (adjective)
    Penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous 

    My penurious boss makes us bring toilet paper from home in order to save the company money
  57. Penury (noun)
    Poverty; destitution

    During the Great Depression, thousands of people lost their life savings and were reduced to penury

    S: indigence
  58. Peremptory (adjective)
    Admitting of no contradiction, putting an end to further debate, haughty, imperious 

    Her peremptory tone made it clear that there would be no further discussion of the matter. 
  59. Perennial (adjective)
    Recurrent throughout the year or over many years; happening repeatedly or continually

    David is the perennial optimist; he is always hopeful now matter how bad things get at the office 

    S: lasting, returning
  60. Perfidy (noun)
    Intentional breach of faith, treachery

    I couldn't believe my campaign manager's perfidy in voting for my opponent 
  61. Perfunctory (adjective)
    Done without care or interest; done merely as a duty

    I don't expect warm hugs at the registration office, but even a perfunctory hello would be nice

    S: obligatory, cursory, automatic
  62. Peripatetic (adjective)
    Itinerant; traveling on foot

    It's difficult to maintain lasting relationships and long-term employment with such a peripatetic lifestyle

    S: roving
  63. Pernicious (adjective)
    Extremely harmful, potentially causing death

    THe pernicious venom of the Black Mamba snake will always kill its victim unless an antidote is administered quickly 
  64. Personable (adjective)
    Pleasing in appearance or personality

    I think personable bartenders make more money than the grumpy or homely ones

    S: winning
  65. Perspicacious (adjective)
    Acutely perceptive, having keen discernment

    How very perspicacious of you to notice that I dyed my hair blue 
  66. Peruse (verb)
    To examine with great care

    Frank peruses every page of the newspaper for any mention of his name

    S: scrutinize
  67. Pervade (verb)
    To permeate

    Spring pervaded the entire city; flowers were blooming and everyone was energetic and happy

    S: infuse
  68. Petrous (adjective)
    Like a rock, hard, stony

    I wasn't surprised that my petrous cake wasn't a big hit, but it did make an excellent doorstop, if I do say so myself
  69. Petulant (adjective)
    Ill-tempered; irritable

    The parents apologized for their petulant child and left the dinner party early

    S: peevish
  70. Perigee (noun)
    The point nearest the earth in an orbit of a body

    At its perigee, the moon appears to be larger in our night's sky

    S: nearest point
  71. Pervasive (adjective)
    Having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout

    Exaggeration is pervasive in advertising today; I just saw an ad for a diet pill that works overnight!

    S: ubiquitous
  72. Pecuniary (adjective)
    Having to do with money

    The stockbroker was motivated by pecuniary interests and resorted to insider trading

    S: financial 
  73. Pellucid (adjective)
    Transparent; easy to understand

    If the tax code were more pellucid, thousands of accountants would be out of business 

    S: clear
  74. Philistine (noun)
    A crass individual guided by material rather than intellectual or artistic values

    The author claimed that his many critics were just philistines, who obviously lacked any taste since they didn't appreciate his writing
  75. Phlegmatic (adjective)
    Calm; sluggish; unemotional

    Even though Phil seems phlegmatic, I think he actually cares about doing a good job

    S: dispassionate
  76. Picaresque (adjective)
    Involving clever rogues or adventurers

    Huck Finn is sometimes described as a picaresque hero, since the novel follows his roguish adventures
  77. Pied (adjective)
    Multi-colored, usually in blotches

    The jester wore a pied coat of many bright colors
  78. Pillory (verb)
    To punish, hold up to public scorn

    The politician was pilloried in the press for his inability to spell potato
  79. Pine (verb)
    To yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor

    Meredith lost her appetite and became noticeably thinner as she pined for her dog which had been missing for three months

    S: mourn, desire
  80. Pious (adjective)
    Extremely reverent or devout

    Cleo was so pious that she went to church at least once a day 
  81. Piquant (adjective)
    Agreeably pungent, spicy, stimulating

    The piquant gumbo was a welcome change after days of bland hospital food
  82. Pique (noun)
    Resentment, feeling of irritation due to hurt pride

    In a fit of pique, Chelsea threw her boyfriend's bowling ball out the fourth-story window onto his car
  83. Pirate (verb)
    To illegally use or reproduce

    I always heed the warnings and do not pirate materials by making illegal copies

    S: steal
  84. Pith (noun)
    The essential or central part 

    Please stop digressing and get to the pith of your argument

    S: core, quintessence 
  85. Pithy (adjective)
    Precise and brief 

    The car had a banal but pithy bumper sticker: "mean people suck."

    S: succinct
  86. Placate (verb)
    To appease; to calm by making concessions 

    Doctors often placate children with lollipops after giving them shots

    S: assuage, pacify
  87. Plaintive (adjective)
    Mournful, melancholy, sorrowful

    The plaintive strains of the bagpipe made everyone feel as mournful as it sounded
  88. Plangent (adjective)
    Pounding, thundering, resounding

    The plangent bells could be heard all over town as they chimed the hour
  89. Plastic (adjective)
    Moldable, pliable, not rigid

    This foam is highly plastic and can be molded to almost any shape
  90. Platitude (noun)
    A superficial remark, especially one offered a meaningful 

    The politician's speech was full of the regular,tired platitudes about "making the world a better place for our children and our children's children"

    S: cliche
  91. Plethora (noun)
    An overabundance; a surplus

    The plethora of pastries at the bakery made it difficult to decide

    S: plenty
  92. Pluck (noun)
    Courage, spunk, fortitude

    The prospect of glory and a hot cup of soup gave the soldiers the pluck they needed to keep fighting
  93. Plumb (verb)
    To measure the depth (as with a plumb line), to examine critically

    It was the exploratory ship's task to plumb the depth of a section of a section of the Pacific Ocean
  94. Plummet (verb)
    To plunge or drop straight down

    I watched my flow pot plummet five stories and then shatter onto the pavement 

    S: fall, decline
  95. Polemical (adjective)
    Controversial; argumentative

    Paula disagrees with many of her college policies and often sends polemical letters to the school paper

    S: contentious
  96. Pragmatic (adjective)
    Practical rather than idealistic

    Pragmatic solutions often involve cooperation and compromise

    S: realistic
  97. Prattle (verb)
    To babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty idle manner

    I couldn't stand to hear my teenage sister prattle on about the prom during dinner, so I left the table

    S: chatter, blather, prate
  98. Precarious (adjective)
    Uncertain, risky, dangerous

    The house was perched precariously on the edge of the cliff, vulnerable to any mudslide
  99. Precept (noun)
    Rule establishing standards of conduct, a doctrine that is taught

    You will violate the precepts of fair play if you peek at my cards
  100. Precipitate (adjective)
    Acting with excessive haste or impulse

    The captain was forced to take precipitate action when the storm arrived earlier than he had expected
  101. Precursor (noun)
    Something that precedes and indicates or announces another

    Overindulgence is often the precursor to a nasty hang over the next morning
  102. Predilection (noun)
    A disposition in favor of something, preference

    Once President Reagan's predilection for jellybeans became known, people sent him tons of them
  103. Preempt (verb)
    To replace, to supersede, to appropriate

    My friends preempted my birthday plans by throwing me a surprise party
  104. Preen (verb)
    To dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care

    Male birds of paradise preen their feathers and clean their nests in order to woo females

    S: beautify
  105. Prescience (noun)
    Knowing of events prior to their occurring

    The fortune-teller's prescience of death prevented her from leaving the house

    S: presage, foreknowledge, insight
  106. Presumptuous (adjective)
    Overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties

    It was very presumptuous of him to ask for a raise after only two months at the company

    S: presuming, rash
  107. Prevaricate (verb)
    To deliberately avoid the truth; mislead

    When my grandmother asked about her broken vase, my brother and I began to prevaricate

    S: mininform, decieve, hedge
  108. Pristine (adjective)
    Pure; uncorrupted; clean

    Much of the tundra in northern Canada is still pristine since the region has not been developed 

    S: untouched
  109. Prize (verb)
    To pry, press or force with a lever

    His parents had to prize the trophy from his sleeping fingers, since he insisted on taking it to bed with him
  110. Probity (noun)
    Adherence to highest principle; uprightness

    The judge's reputation of probity is well deserved; she recused herself from a case because she had gone to school with the defendant

    S: integrity
  111. Proclivity (noun)
    A natural predisposition or inclination

    Gerald's main personality flaw is his proclivity to do anything that anyone asks of him

    S: penchant
  112. Prodigal (adjective)
    Recklessly wasteful; extravagant

    The teacher's pet was given prodigal praise

    S: profuse, lavish
  113. Prodigious (adjective)
    Abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary

    Prodigious numbers of villagers, young and old, traveled to the castle to pay their respects to the departed queen

    S: immense
  114. Profligate (adjective)
    Excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant

    The profligate young man racked up quite the credit card-debt

    S: prodigal
  115. Profuse (adjective)
    Given or coming forth in great abundance

    Dogs tend to shed profuse amounts of fur with the change of the seasons

    S: copious, extravagant
  116. Prolific (adjective)
    Producing large volumes or amounts, productive

    She was a prolific writer, churning out 100 pages a week
  117. Prolix (adjective)
    Long-winded, verbose

    The prolix politician was a natural at filibustering he could talk for hours without stopping
  118. Propensity (noun)
    A natural inclination or tendency

    Independent study programs are designed for students who have a propensity for taking cross-curricular courses and have the discipline to do so on their own

    S: proclivity
  119. Propinquity (adjective)
    Nearness in time or place, affinity of nature, kinship

    His propinquity to the object of his affections made him blush
  120. Propitiate (verb)
    To appease or pacify

    They tried to propitiate the storm gods by dancing in the rain and pouring wine on the ground as an offering
  121. Propitious (adjective)
    Auspicious, favorable 

    The took the clearing of the sky as a propitious omen that the storm was passing
  122. Propriety (noun)
    Appropriateness; conformity with standards of acceptable behavior

    Unfortunately, Jean's dinner conversation shocked his new in-laws, whose ideas of propriety were significantly more conservative than his
  123. Prosaic (adjective)
    Dull; unimaginative

    Critics bashed the play because of its uncreative and prosaic plot

    S: lackluster, commonplace
  124. Proscribed (verb)
    To outlaw or prohibit

    Attempts to proscribe swimming in the old quarry were unsuccessful; people continued to do it despite the new rules
  125. Provident (adjective)
    Frugal, looking to the future

    His provident financial planning allowed him to buy a small tropical island when he retired. 
  126. Protracted (adjective)
    Extended in time '

    Protracted contract negotiations prolonged the project

    S: prolonged
  127. Prowess (noun)
    Superior skill or daring

    The gymnast's athletic prowess shined through her routines during the all-around competition

    S: mastery
  128. Proliferate (verb)
    To grow or increase swiftly and abundantly 

    Without expedient diplomacy, nuclear weapons might proliferate

    S: burgeon, propagate
  129. Puerile (adjective0
    Childish, immature

    His puerile humor prominently featured fart jokes
  130. Pugnacious (adjective)
    Contentious; quarrelsome; given to fighting

    The service industry is no place for pugnacious people 

    S: belligerent
  131. Punctilious (adjective)
    Precise, paying attention to trivialities, especially in regard to etiquette 

    Although his punctilious obsession with etiquette is usually very annoying, it is always handy when royalty comes to dine
  132. Pundit (noun)
    An authority on a subject; one who gives opinions

    The political pundits had a field day with the senator's corruption charges

    S: expert
  133. Pungent (adjective)
    Characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste

    Some people love the pungent aroma of garlic while others find it offensive

    S: acrid, pointed
  134. Pusillanimous (adjective)
    Cowardly; craven

    The pusillanimous manager preferred to let the employee show up hours late every day rather than confront him

    S: timid
  135. Putrefy (verb)
    To rot; to decay and give off a foul odor

    Bacteria caused the raw meat to putrefy and stink up the whole refrigerator 

    S: spoil