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  1. Amiable
    Amiable means friendly. It is very similar to amicable, another common GRE word. Amicable, however, does not refer to a person the way that amiable does, but rather refers to relationships between people. You’ll notice that amicable is, therefore, the opposite of acrimonious (see below).
  2. Affable
    Likeable, easy to talk to: affable is similar to amiable. The differences are subtle, and as far as the GRE is concerned, you can treat them as the same word. Like amiable, this word is great to use to describe people we know. After all, everyone knows an affable person.
  3. Amenable
    Easily persuaded: if someone is cooperative and goes along with the program, so to speak, that person is amenable. Amenable can also be used in the medical sense—if a disease is amenable to treatment, that disease can be treated.
  4. Attenuate
    To weaken (in terms of intensity), to taper off/become thinner: attenuate can refer to both abstract and tangible things (e.g. her animosity towards Bob attenuated over the years, the stick is attenuated at one end).
  5. Animosity
    • Intense hostility: animosity should be reserved for extreme cases. That is, if you really loathe someone, and that person feels the same way, then you can say animosity exists between the two of you.
    • A related word, and a synonym, is animus (though animus can also mean motivation, as in impetus).
  6. Anomalous
    Not normal, out of the ordinary: this is simply the adjective, and scarier looking, form of anomaly, which is a noun. Anomalous can be used in cases to describe something that is not typical, like this cold California spring we’ve been having over here.
  7. Acrimony
    Bitterness and ill-will: acrimony—don’t forget the adjective form, acrimonious—describes relationships filled with bitterness and ill will. Disputes and arguments can also be modified with acrimonious, depending on the case.
  8. Aberration
    A deviation from what is normal or expected: this word is tinged with a negative connotation. For instance, in psychology there is a subset of behavior known as aberrant behavior. So, basically, if you’re narcissistic, psychotic, or just plain old cuckoo, you are demonstrating aberrant behavior.
  9. Ambiguous
    Open to more than one interpretation: let’s say I have two friends, Bob and Paul. If I tell you that he is coming to my house today, then that is ambiguous. Who do I mean? Paul or Bob?
  10. Amorphous
    Shapeless: Morph- comes from the Latin for shape. The root a-, as in atypical, means not or without. Therefore, if something is amorphous, it lacks shape.
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2013-03-29 20:03:57

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