GRE Vocabulary I

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  1. aberrant
    adj. deviating from normal or correct.

    • An example of an aberrant behavior would be a usually calm person having a fit of rage.
    • A year of abberant weather-record rainfall in the summer, record heat in autumn.
  2. abscond
    v. to leave secretly and hide, often to avoid the law.

    Several prisoners absconded from the jail.
  3. advocate
    • v., n. to speak, plead, or argue for a cause, or in another’s behalf.
    • a passionate advocate of civil rights

    • (n) -- one who advocates.
    • She works as a consumer advocate.
  4. aggrandize
    • v. to make greater, to increase, thus, to exaggerate.
    • To make your farm larger by purchasing the neighboring farm is an example of aggrandize.
    • a movie that aggrandizes the bad guys and makes the cops look like dopes
  5. amalgamate
    • v. to unite or mix.
    • An example of the word amalgamate is the process of combining flour and butter to create a roux.

    • (n) -- amalgamation.
    • amalgamating different styles of music
  6. ambiguous
    • adj. vague; subject to more than one interpretation
    • We were confused by the ambiguous wording of the message.
  7. ambrosial
    • adj. extremely pleasing to the senses, divine (as related to the gods) or delicious (n: ambrosia)
    • An example of ambrosia is perfume.
    • An example of ambrosia is nectar.
    • An example of ambrosia is a dessert salad made with marshmallows, orange, pineapple and coconut.
  8. anachronism
    • n. a person or artifact appearing after its own time or out of chronological order (adj: anachronistic)
    • If a movie about ancient Egypt showed a Pharaoh wearing a wristwatch, the wristwatch would be an example of an anachronism.
    • He's an old-fashioned politician who is seen by many of his colleagues as an anachronism.
  9. anomalous
    • adj. peculiar; unique, contrary to the norm (n: anomaly)
    • A person with 50 piercings and tattoos is an example of someone who is anomalous.
    • Researchers could not explain the anomalous test results.
  10. antediluvian
    • adj. ancient; outmoded; (literally,before the flood)
    • An example of people who are antediluvian are Adam and Eve.
    • An example of an antediluvian item is the rotary phone.
    • He has antediluvian notions about the role of women in the workplace.
  11. antipathy
    • n. hostility toward, objection, or aversion to
    • An example of antipathy is how a staunch Republican might feel about a Democrat.
    • There has always been strong antipathy between the two groups.
  12. arbitrate
    • v. to settle a dispute by impulse (n: arbitration)
    • An example of arbitrate is to hear issues and help a couple decide on a divorce settlement.
    • The council will arbitrate among the interest groups.
  13. assuage
    • v. to make less severe; to appease or satisfy
    • An example of something that a nurse might assuage is someone's pain with the distribution of medicine.
    • An example of something that you may assuage is your need for sleep.
    • He couldn't assuage his guilt over the divorce.
  14. attenuate
    • v. weaken (adj: attenuated)
    • An example of attenuate is to destroy many members of an opposing force.
    • Earplugs will attenuate the loud sounds of the machinery.
  15. audacious
    • adj. extremely bold; fearless, especially said of human behavior (n: audacity)
    • A shy housewife traveling to a war torn country alone is an example of an audacious act.
    • They have audacious plans for the new school.
  16. aver
    • v. to declare
    • An example of aver is to firmly and assertively state that you are not guilty.
    • He averred that he was innocent.
  17. banal
    • adj. commonplace or trite (n: banality)
    • An example of something banal are boring knock-knock jokes that have been told many times before.
    • He made some banal remarks about the weather.
  18. barefaced
    • adj. unconcealed, shameless, or brazen
    • a barefaced lie
    • a barefaced challenge for a fight
  19. blandishment
    • n. speech or action intended to coax someone into doing something
    • An example of a blandishment is telling a friend how beautiful she is in order to entice her to buy your movie ticket.
    • He resisted the blandishment.
  20. bombast
    • n. pompous speech (adj: bombastic)
    • The writings of Shakespeare are examples of bombast.
    • you need less bombast and more substance in this speech on human rights
  21. breach
    • n., v. a lapse, gap or break, as in a fortress wall. To break or break through.
    • Unfortunately, the club members never forgot his breach of ettiquette.
  22. burgeon
    • v., n. to grow or flourish; a bud or new growth (adj: burgeoning )
    • An example of burgeon is a cherry tree flowering in springtime.
    • The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years.
  23. buttress
    • v., n. to support. a support
    • A stone wall built against a wall to support the building is an example of a buttress.
    • the mother had always been the buttress of our family in trying times
  24. cadge
    • get something by taking advantage of someone
    • An example of to cadge is to get dinner by asking people entering a restaurant to buy you something.
    • She cadged money from her sister.
  25. caprice
    • n. impulse (adj: capricious)
    • A groom leaving a bride while standing at the altar is an example of a caprice action.
    • Snow falling in Los Angeles in the middle of the summer is an example of a caprice.
    • Employees have complained of being at the mercy of the manager's every whim and caprice.
  26. castigate
    • chastise or criticize severely
    • An example of castigate is when a person is punished harshly in public for his behavior.
    • The author castigated the prime minister as an ineffective leader.
  27. catalyst
    • agent of change (adj: catalytic; v. catalyze)
    • An example of catalyst is how President Bush's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction started the war in Iraq.
    • The bombing attack was the catalyst for war.
  28. caustic
    • adj.capable of dissolving by chemical action; highly critical:
    • "His caustic remarks spoiled the mood of the party."
    • The chemical was so caustic that it ate through the pipes.
  29. chicanery
    • n.deception by trickery
    • An example of chicanery is dishonest actions by politicians to get elected.
    • He wasn't above using chicanery to win votes.
  30. complaisant
    • adj.willingly compliant or accepting of the status quo (n: complaisance)
    • A happy-go-lucky girl who is agreeable, doesn't fight and does what others want her to do is an example of someone who is complaisant.
  31. conflagration
    • n.a great fire
    • An example of a conflagration is a large fire that burns up two houses.
    • the historic tavern burned to the ground in a horrible conflagration
  32. corporeal
    • adj.of or having to do with material, as opposed to spiritual; tangible.
    • (In older writings,coeporeal could be a synonym for corporal. This usage is no longer common)
    • An example of corporeal is tangible property as opposed to intellectual property.
    • the corporeal nature of matter
  33. corporal
    • adj.of the body: "corporal punishment."
    • a non-commissioned officer ranked between a sergeant and a private.
    • When you punish someone by harming his body and causing pain (such as by spanking the person) this is an example of corporal punishment.
    • started to suffer the corporal ailments that come with advancing age
  34. corroborate
    • strengthen or support:
    • "The witness corroborted his story."
    • (n: corroboration)
  35. craven
    • adj., n.cowardly; a coward
    • A person who runs and hides when he hears any noise or sounds is an example of someone who might be described as craven.
    • a craven refusal to deliver the unwelcome news personally
  36. culpable
    • adj.deserving of blame (n: culpability)
    • An example of culpable is a person who has committed a wrongdoing.
    • They held her culpable for the accident.
  37. dearth
    • n.lack, scarcity:
    • "The prosecutor complained about the dearth of concrete evidence against the suspect."
  38. deference
    • n.submission or courteous yielding:
    • "He held his tongue in deference to his father."
    • (n: deferential. v. defer)
  39. depict
    • show, create a picture of.
    • When a writer describes a scene in vivid detail, this is an example of when he depicts the scene.
    • The wall was painted with a large mural depicting famous scenes from American history.
  40. deprecation
    • n.belittlement. (v. deprecate)
    • movie critics tried to outdo one another in deprecatingthe comedy as the stupidest movie of the year
  41. depredation
    • n.the act of preying upon or plundering:
    • "The depredations of the invaders demoralized the population."
  42. descry
    • make clear, to say
    • An example of descry is to pick out a secret code in a message.
    • we couldn't descry the reasons for his sudden departure
  43. desiccate
    • dry out thoroughly (adj: desiccated)
    • An example of desiccate is slice a banana and put in a food dehydrator.
    • that historian's dry-as-dust prose desiccates what is actually an exciting period in European history
  44. diatribe
    • n.a bitter abusive denunciation.
    • An example of a diatribe is a father lecturing his son about how the son is not doing anything with his life.
    • The article is a diatribe against mainstream media.
  45. diffident
    • adj.lacking self-confidence, modest (n: diffidence)
    • An example of diffident is a young man who is afraid to sign up for the football team.
    • She was diffident about stating her opinion.
    • for someone who makes a living performing for other people, the actress is remarkably diffident in real life
  46. disabuse
    • free a person from falsehood or error:
    • "We had to disabuse her of the notion that she was invited."
    • let me disabuse you of your foolish notions about married life
  47. disparaging
    • adj.belittling (n: disparagement. v. disparage)
    • The candidate made disparaging remarks about his opponent, but they only made him seem small for insulting a worthy adversary.
  48. dispassionate
    • adj.calm; objective; unbiased
    • An example of someone dispassionate is a good judge.
    • Journalists aim to be dispassionate observers.
  49. dissemble
    • conceal one's real motive, to feign
    • An example of dissemble is a person who is pretending to be your friend but who really just wants an invitation to your beach house.
    • he dissembled happiness at the news that his old girlfriend was getting married—to someone else
  50. dogged
    • adj.stubborn or determined:
    • "Her dogged pursuit of the degree eventually paid off."
Card Set
GRE Vocabulary I
GRE Vocab Words (1-50) from Michigan State University
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