All Vocabulary

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  1. abate
    • verb: to lessen in intensity or degree
    • In an hour or so the storm would abate and they could leave.
  2. 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.
  3. abscond
    v. to leave secretly and hide, often to avoid the law.

    Several prisoners absconded from the jail.
  4. accolade
    • noun: an expression of praise
    • He does not praise his employees; silence is his highest accolade.
  5. acumen
    • noun: keen, accurate judgement or insight
    • John’s business acumen, along with his computer skills, made him an asset to the software company.
  6. adulation
    • noun: excessive praise; intense adoration
    • But here in America, great accomplishments and pop-culture adulation walk hand in hand.
  7. adulterate
    • verb: to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
    • If you want to adulterate your alcoholic drink, you should add some water to it.
  8. 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.
  9. aesthetic
    • adj: dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
    • The new browser is much more than an aesthetic overhaul.
  10. 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
  11. alacrity
    • noun: eager and enthusiastic willingness
    • She accepted the invitation with an alacrity that surprised me.
  12. 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
  13. ambiguous
    • adj. vague; subject to more than one interpretation
    • We were confused by the ambiguous wording of the message.
  14. 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.
  15. ameliorate
    • verb: to make better or more tolerable
    • I'm very glad to see someone working to help ameliorate that situation.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. anomaly
    • noun: peculiar; unique, contrary to the norm
    • adj form: anomalous
    • We couldn't explain the anomalies in the test results.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. approbation
    • noun: an expression of approval or praise
    • The company has even received the approbation of its former critics.
  22. 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.
  23. archaic
    • adj: outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive, time
    • Because my archaic computer is no longer useful to me, I am giving it away for free.
  24. arduous
    • adj: stenuous, taxing; requiring significant effort
    • an arduous journey across miles of desert
  25. ascetic
    • noun: one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
    • He renounced his kingdom and embraced instead the path of the ascetic.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. austere
    • adj: without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic
    • noun form: austerity
    • They choose austere furnishings for the office.
  30. avarice
    • noun: greed, esp. for wealth
    • adj form: avaricious
    • Usually, politics is about the avarice of one person or group in conflict.
  31. 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.
  32. axiom
    • noun: a universally recognized principle
    • adj form: axiomatic
    • Another axiom of science is dispassionate observation.
  33. axiomatic
    • adj: taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth
    • noun form: axiom
    • it's axiomatic that the instinct for self-preservation is universal throughout the animal kingdom
  34. 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.
  35. barefaced
    • adj. unconcealed, shameless, or brazen
    • a barefaced lie
    • a barefaced challenge for a fight
  36. 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.
  37. bolster
    • verb: to provide support or reinforcement
    • In science, one should always be extremely skeptical of claims which bolster the ideology of the person making the claim.
  38. 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
  39. bombastic
    • adj: pompous; grandiloquent
    • noun form: bombast
    • You are correct that my analogy was a little too bombastic.
  40. 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 etiquette.
  41. bucolic
    • adj: rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
    • It's true that I had a bucolic, truly peaceful childhood, growing up in a house next to our family's orchard.
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. cacophony
    • noun: harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
    • adj form: cacophonous
    • Some worry that such changes will invite a cacophony of contentious discussion.
  45. 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.
  46. canon
    • noun: an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
    • adj form: canonical
    • In the ancient canon of the Roman mass, he is ranked among the martyrs
  47. canonical
    • adj: following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
    • noun form: canon
    • What's been going on in the stock market hardly fits canonical notions of rationality.
  48. 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.
  49. capricious
    • adj: inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic, unpredictable
    • employees who are at the mercy of a capricious manager
  50. 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.
  51. catalyst
    • agent of change (adj: catalytic; v. catalyze); a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing
    • 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.
  52. 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.
  53. censure
    • verb: to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
    • The country faces international censure for its alleged involvement in the assassination.
  54. chary
    • adj: wary; cautious; sparing
    • most people are chary of allowing themselves to be photographed
  55. 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.
  56. cogent
    • adj: appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
    • The judge rejected that argument in a cogent and wholly convincing judgment.
  57. complaisance
    • noun: the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
    • adj form: complaisant
    • A rebellion of public opinion against such complaisance is possible but not certain.
  58. 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.
  59. 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
  60. connoisseur
    • noun: an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
    • She is a connoisseur of African art.
  61. contentious
    • adj: argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
    • a contentious issue
  62. contrite
    • adj: regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness
    • noun form: contrition
    • a broken and a contrite heart
  63. convoluted
    • adj: complex or complicated
    • a convoluted explanation that left the listeners even more confused than they were before
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. corroborate
    • strengthen or support:
    • "The witness corroborted his story."
    • (n: corroboration)
  67. 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
  68. 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.
    • Sometimes you’re just as culpable when you watch something as when you actually participate
  69. dearth
    • n.lack, scarcity:
    • "The prosecutor complained about the dearth of concrete evidence against the suspect."
  70. deference
    • n.submission or courteous yielding:
    • "He held his tongue in deference to his father."
    • (n: deferential. v. defer)
  71. demur
    • verb: to question or oppose
    • normally she would have accepted the challenge, but she demurred
  72. 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.
  73. deprecation
    • n.belittlement. (v. deprecate)
    • movie critics tried to outdo one another in deprecatingthe comedy as the stupidest movie of the year
  74. depredation
    • n.the act of preying upon or plundering:
    • "The depredations of the invaders demoralized the population."
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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.
  78. didactic
    • adj: intended to teach or instruct
    • a didactic novel that set out to expose social injustice
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. discordant
    • adj: conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
    • She has the difficult task of bringing together a number of discordant elements.
  82. discretion
    • noun: cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
    • adj form: discreet
    • she knew she could rely on his discretion
  83. disinterested
    • adj: free of bias or self-interested; impartial
    • a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice
  84. 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.
  85. disparate
    • adj: fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
    • disparate notions among adults and adolescents about when middle age begins
  86. dispassionate
    • adj.calm; objective; unbiased
    • An example of someone dispassionate is a good judge.
    • Journalists aim to be dispassionate observers.
  87. 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
  88. dogged
    • adj.stubborn or determined:
    • "Her dogged pursuit of the degree eventually paid off."
  89. dogmatic
    • adj.relying upon doctrine or dogma, as opposed to evidence; expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or improvable principles
    • An example of dogmatic is insisting that a feminist view is the one and only way to look at literature.
    • She's become so dogmatic lately that arguing with her is pointless.
    • He gives his opinion without trying to be dogmatic
  90. ebullience
    • noun: the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
    • adj form: ebullient
    • the ebullience of happy children
  91. eclectic
    • adj.selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources:
    • "Many modern decorators prefer an eclectic style." (n: eclecticism)
  92. eccentric
    • adj: departing from norms or conventions
    • It would be easy to dismiss him as a lovable, eccentric old hippie.
  93. efficacy
    • n.effectiveness; capability to produce a desired effect
    • An example of efficacy is when a crime bill is effective at stopping crime.
    • questioned the efficacy of the alarms in actually preventing auto theft
  94. effluent
    • adj., nthe quality of flowing out. something that flows out, such as a stream from a river (n: effluence)
    • An example of effluent is sewage dumped into the Mississippi river.
    • The factory has been accused of discharging effluent into the river.
  95. effrontery
    • noun: extreme boldness; presumptuousness
    • the little squirt had the effrontery to deny eating any cookies, even with the crumbs still on his lips
  96. elegy
    • noun: a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
    • adj form: elegiac
    • As a result, modern elegies more often than not break with the decorum of earlier modes of mourning and become melancholic, self-centered, or mocking.
  97. eloquent
    • adj: well-spoken, expressive, articulate
    • noun form: eloquence
    • His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work.
  98. emollient
    • adj., n.softening; something that softens
    • Aloe cream that you put on sunburned skin is an example of an emollient cream.
    • An approach to resolving conflict intended to create a peace treaty that will end a war between two fighting countries is an example of an emollient approach.
  99. empirical
    • adj: based on observation or experiment
    • Our data is based on empirical evidence collected in numerous studies.
  100. emulate
    • strive to equal or excel (n: emulation)
    • An example of emulate is a little boy trying to be like his father.
    • She grew up emulating her sports heroes.
  101. encomium
    • n.a formal eulogy or speech of praise
    • An example of an encomium is the speech given to the recipient of a service award presented each year by a town’s city hall.
    • the encomiums bestowed on a teacher at her retirement ceremonies
  102. endemic
    • adj.prevalent in or native to a certain region, locality, or people:
    • "The disease was endemic to the region." Don't confuse this word with epidemic.
  103. enervate
    • weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of:
    • "The heat enervated everyone."
    • (adj: enervating)
  104. engender
    • give rise to, to propagate, to cause:
    • "His slip of the tongue engendered much laughter."
  105. enigma
    • n.puzzle; mystery:
    • "Math is an enigma to me."
    • (adj: enigmatic)
  106. enigmatic
    • adj: mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
    • noun form: enigma
    • After I did a little research, the subject of metaphysics was no longer so enigmatic to me.
  107. ennui
    • noun: dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
    • the kind of ennui that comes from having too much time on one's hands and too little will to find something productive to do
  108. ephemeral
    • adj.lasting for only a brief time, fleeting (n: ephemera)
    • An example of ephemeral is a plant blossom that only lasts one day.
    • the autumnal blaze of colors is always to be treasured, all the more so because it is so ephemeral
  109. equivocal
    • adj.ambiguous; unclear; subject to more than one interpretation -- often intentionally so:
    • "Republicans complained that Bill Clinton's answers were equivocal."
    • (v. equivocate)
  110. equivocate
    • verb: to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
    • adj form: equivocal
    • The applicant seemed to be equivocating when we asked him about his last job.
  111. erudite
    • adj.scholarly; displaying deep intensive learning. (n: erudition)
    • An example of erudite is a professor of literature.
    • the most erudite people in medical research attended the conference
  112. esoteric
    • adj.intended for or understood by only a few:
    • "The esoteric discussion confused some people."
    • (n: esoterica)
  113. eulogy
    • n.a spoken or written tribute to the deceased (v. eulogize)
    • An example of a eulogy is a tribute given about someone at a funeral Mass.
    • He delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral.
  114. evanescent
    • adj: tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing
    • Elusive and evanescent, the rainbow has generated wonder and speculation.
  115. exacerbate
    • increase the bitterness or violence of; to aggravate:
    • "The decision to fortify the border exacerbated tensions."
  116. exculpate
    • demonstrate or prove to be blameless: 
    • "The evidence tended to exculpate the defendant."
    • (adj: exculpatory)
  117. exigent
    • adj: urgent, pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
    • started his workday with a flood of exigent matters that required his quick decision
  118. exonerate
    • verb: to remove blame
    • The job of the defense attorney is to exonerate his clients and keep them out of jail.
  119. exorbitant
    • adj.exceeding customary or normal limits, esp. in quantity or price:
    • "The cab fare was exorbitant."
  120. explicit
    • adj.fully and clearly expressed
    • An example of explicit is someone giving very straightforward directions to a location.
    • They were given explicit instructions.
  121. extemporaneous
    • adj: improvised; done without preparation
    • caught by surprise, I had to make an extemporaneous speech at the awards banquet
  122. extant
    • existence, still existing:
    • "The only extant representative of that species."
  123. facetious
    • adj: playful; humorous
    • Do you always have to be so facetious?
  124. fallacy
    • noun: an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
    • adj form: fallacious
    • Having money makes you happy is a fallacy because happiness has nothing to do with wealth.
  125. fathom
    • n., v.a measure of length (six feet) used in nautical settings. to penetrate to the depths of something in order to understand it:
    • "I couldn't fathom her reasoning on that issue."
  126. fawn
    • seek favor or attention; to act subserviently (n, adj: fawning)
    • An example of to fawn is how a young girl acts towards a boy she likes.
    • a student who could not wait to fawn over the new teacher
  127. feign
    • give false appearance or impression:
    • "He feigned illness to avoid going to school." (adj: feigned)
  128. fervid, fervent
    • adj.highly emotional; hot:
    • "The partisans displayed a fervent patriotism."
    • (n: fervor)
  129. filibuster
    • noun: intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
    • They engaged in a filibuster that lasted for over a week.
  130. fledgling
    • n., adj.a baby bird; an inexperienced person; inexperienced.
    • A company that has just opened its doors and gone into business is an example of a fledgling.
    • at hockey he's still a fledgling and needs to work on his basic skating skills
  131. florid
    • adj.flushed with a rosy color, as in complexion; very ornate and flowery:
    • "florid prose."
    • An example of someone who would be described as florid is a red-faced, flushed runner whose face has turned red with exertion.
    • gave a florid speech in honor of the queen's visit
  132. floundering
    • adj.struggling:
    • "We tried to save the floundering business."
  133. fortuitous
    • adj: happening by accident or chance
    • It was an extremely fortuitous find, because the odds of mummification are slim, researchers noted.
  134. fulminate
    • verb: to loudly attack or denounce
    • She was fulminating about the dangers of smoking.
  135. furtive
    • adj: marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
    • Students who cheat on tests employ their furtive tactics to avoid getting caught.
  136. garrulous
    • adj.verbose; talkative; rambling:
    • "We tried to avoid our garrulous neighbor."
  137. gossamer
    • n., adj.fine cobweb on foliage; fine gauzy fabric; very fine:
    • "She wore a gossamer robe."
  138. germane
    • adj: relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
    • So an amendment to an amendment must be germane to the latter.
  139. grandiloquence
    • noun: pompous speech or expression
    • adj form: grandiloquent
    • Voters are not really expected to pay attention to the grandiloquence.
  140. gregarious
    • adj: sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
    • If you want to be more approachable, show a gregarious smile.
  141. guile
    • n.skillful deceit:
    • "He was well known for his guile."
    • (v. bequile; adj: beguiling. Note, however, that these two words have an additional meaning: to charm (v.) or charming (adj:), while the word guile does not generally have any such positive connotations)
  142. guileless
    • adj.honest; straightforward (n: guilelessness)
    • An example of someone who is guileless is an honest and innocent girl who just arrived in a big city and who believes that everyone is as honest and good as she.
    • she was an easygoing, guileless young woman who was comfortable just being herself
  143. hackneyed
    • adj: rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
    • There was a lot of truth in this reply, however hackneyed.
  144. halcyon
    • adj: calm and peaceful
    • Despite the years since their halcyon youth, they made brave efforts to dance.
  145. hapless
    • adj.unfortunate
    • An example of hapless is someone who seems to break everything they touch.
    • She plays the hapless heroine who is unlucky in love.
  146. harangue
    • verb/noun: to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long, pompous speech
    • As usual, the priest made his usual harangue about the dangers of listening to rap music.
  147. headlong
    • adj., adv.headfirst; impulsive; hasty. impulsively; hastily; without forethought:
    • "They rushed headlong into marriage."
  148. hedonism
    • noun: devotion to pleasurable pursuits, esp. to the pleasures of the senses 
    • (a hedonist is someone who pursues pleasure)
    • He's not the only college student willing to trade hedonism for altruism on spring break.
  149. hegemony
    • noun: the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
    • It wasn't easy being a jazz fan at the height of rock's hegemony in pop music.
  150. heretical
    • adj: violating accepted dogma or convention
    • noun form: heresy
    • men holding heretical opinions were condemned to the stake, women to be buried alive.
  151. homogeneous
    • adj.similar in nature or kind; uniform:
    • "a homogeneous society."
  152. hyperbole
    • noun: an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
    • adj form: hyperbolic
    • Because Janice was a drama queen, she used a hyperbole in practically every sentence.
  153. iconoclast
    • who attacks traditional ideas or institutions or one who destroys sacred images (adj: iconoclastic)
    • An example of an iconoclast is someone who destroys pictures of Jesus.
    • An example of an iconoclast is someone who protests against democracy in the U.S.
    • notorious as an iconoclast, that music critic isn't afraid to go after sacred cows
  154. idolatrous
    • adj: given to intense or excessive devotion to something
    • noun form: idolatry
    • Pele in idolatrous times was the dreaded goddess of Kilauea.
  155. impassive
    • adj: revealing no emotion
    • He searched Death's impassive features.
  156. impecunious
    • adj.penniless; poor
    • An example of impecunious is someone living on the street.
    • they were so impecunious that they couldn't afford to give one another even token Christmas gifts
  157. imperious
    • adj.commanding
    • An example of imperious is a demand by a new house guest that you go to the store and buy him the type of drink he enjoys.
    • an imperious little boy who liked to tell the other scouts what to do
  158. imperturbable
    • adj: marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness
    • Some people are incurable contrarians or imperturbable logicians.
  159. implacable
    • adj: not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
    • The little boy was implacable when his parents left him alone with the babysitter.
  160. implication
    • n.insinuation or connotation (v. implicate)
    • An example of implication is the policeman connecting a person to a crime even though there is no evidence.
    • I'm offended by his implication that women can't be good at mathematics.
  161. imply
    • suggest indirectly; to entail: 
    • "She implied she didn't believe his story." (n: implication)
  162. improvidence
    • absence of foresight; a failure to provide for future needs or events:
    • "Their improvidence resulted in the loss of their home."
  163. impunity
    • noun: immunity from punishment or penalty
    • In exchange for her testimony, the accomplice received impunity from prosecution.
  164. inchoate
    • an initial or early stage; incomplete; disorganized:
    • "The act of writing forces one to clarify incohate thoughts."
  165. incipient
    • adj: beginning to come into being or to become apparent
    • The best way to stop the disease from spreading is by identifying it while it is incipient.
  166. incorrigible
    • adj.not capable of being corrected:
    • "The school board finally decided the James was incorrigible and expelled him from school."
  167. indelible
    • adj.permanent; unerasable; strong:
    • "The Queen made an indelible impression on her subjects."
  168. ineffable
    • adj.undescribable; inexpressible in words; unspeakable
    • An example of ineffable is overwhelming sadness that one does not know how to show.
    • An example of ineffable is the name of a deity that cannot be said out of respect.
    • an ineffable beauty descends upon the canyon as the sun begins to set
  169. inert
    • adj: unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
    • Nitrogen is a very inert gas: it will neither burn nor support the combustion of ordinary combustibles.
  170. infelicitous
    • adj: unfortunate; inappropriate
    • The question for this debate is at best infelicitous and at worse misleading.
  171. infer
    • deduce:
    • "New genetic evidence led some zoologists to infer that the red wolf is actually a hybrid of the coyote and the gray wolf."
  172. ingenious
    • adj.clever:
    • "She developed an ingenious method for testing her hypothesis."(n: ingenuity)
  173. ingenuous
    • adj.unsophisticated; artless; straightforward; candid:
    • "Wilson's ingenuous response to the controversial calmed the suspicious listeners."
  174. inhibit
    • hold back, prohibit, forbid, or restrain (n: inhibition, adj: inhibited)
    • An example of inhibit is locking a door to keep people from coming in.
    • You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you.
  175. innocuous
    • adj.harmless; having no adverse affect; not likely to provoke strong emotion
    • An example of innocuous is playful teasing between friends.
    • He told a few innocuous jokes.
  176. insensible
    • adj.numb; unconscious:
    • "Wayne was rendered insensible by a blow to the head."
    • unfeeling; insensitive:
    • "They were insensibile to the suffering of others.:
  177. insipid
    • adj.lacking zest or excitement; dull
    • A cup of bland soup from a cafeteria is an example of insipid.
    • The soup was rather insipid.
  178. insular
    • adj.of or pertaining to an island, thus, excessively exclusive:
    • "Newcomers found it difficult to make friends in the insular community."
  179. intransigent
    • adj.stubborn; immovable; unwilling to change:
    • "She was so intransigent we finally gave up trying to convince her."
    • (n: intransigence)
  180. inured
    • adj: accustomed to accepting something undesirable
    • Does violence on television inure children to violence in real life?
  181. inveigle
    • verb: to obtain by deception or flattery
    • Their testimony confirmed the defendant's successful efforts to inveigle them into investing in the hedge fund.
  182. irascible
    • adj.prone to outbursts of temper, easily angered
    • An example of irascible is a man who becomes extremely mad at even the slightest of mistakes.
    • an irascible old football coach
  183. laconic
    • adj.using few words; terse:
    • "a laconic reply."
  184. latent
    • adj.present or potential but not evident or active (n: latency)
    • An example of latent are fingerprints which cannot be seen.
    • he has a latent talent for acting that he hasn't had a chance to express yet
  185. laud
    • verb: to praise highly
    • adj form: laudatory
    • an actor who in his lifetime received all the laud and honor that the theater world could bestow
  186. laudable
    • adj.praiseworthy; commendable (v. laud)
    • An example of laudable is a person who donates to charity and wants to save the world.
    • you showed laudable restraint in dealing with that ridiculously demanding customer
  187. leviathan
    • n.giant whale, therefore, something very large
    • An example of a leviathan is a large aircraft carrier.
    • The factory is a towering leviathan in the middle of the town.
  188. loquacious
    • adj.talkative
    • An example of loquacious is someone who calls and talks for three minutes straight without pausing.
    • the loquacious host of a radio talk show
  189. lucid
    • adj: clear; easily understood
    • He is able to recognize his wife in his lucid moments.
  190. lugubrious
    • adj.weighty, mournful, or gloomy, especially to an excessive degree:
    • "Jake's lugubrious monologues depressed his friends."
  191. luminous
    • adj: characterized by brightness and the emission of light
    • In the hands of the hero, the magic sword glowed in a luminous manner.
  192. magnanimity
    • noun: the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, esp. in forgiving
    • adj form: magnanimous
    • His enemies he treated with the greatest magnanimity; no bloody executions followed the victory of the Milvian Bridge.
  193. malevolent
    • adj: having or showing often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred
    • noun form: malevolence
    • How malevolent of you to wish that I was dead!
  194. malleable
    • adj: capable of being shaped or formed; tractable; pliable
    • Unfortunately, most teenagers are malleable and give in to peer pressure rather easily.
  195. martial
    • adj: associated with war and the armed forces
    • one of the basic tenets of martial law
  196. mendacity
    • noun: the condition of being untruthful; dishonesty
    • adj form: medacious
    • You can always tell a con man by his mendacity and desire to trick you out of your money.
  197. meticulous
    • adj: characterized by extreme care and precision; attentive to detail
    • This accounting job requires a meticulous person.
  198. misanthrope
    • who hates people:
    • "He was a true misanthrope and hated even himself."
  199. misnomer
    • n.incorrect name or word for something
    • An example of misnomer is someone telling a child that an elephant is a lion.
    • “International Airport” is something of a misnomer, since almost all the arriving and departing flights are local.
  200. misogynist
    • who hates women
    • A male chauvinist who thinks all women are stupid and manipulative is an example of a misogynist.
  201. mitigate
    • make less forceful; to become more moderate; to make less harsh or undesirable:
    • "He was trying to mitigate the damage he had done."
    • (n: mitigation)
  202. morose
    • adj: sad; sullen; melancholy
    • When her dog died, the little girl was morose for months.
  203. mundane
    • adj: of the world; typical of or concerned with the ordinary
    • mundane chores, like washing dishes
  204. nascent
    • adj: coming into being; in early developmental stages
    • The actress is now focusing on her nascent singing career.
  205. nebulous
    • adj: vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
    • These philosophical concepts can be nebulous.
  206. nefarious
    • adj.wicked, evil:
    • "a nefarious plot."
  207. neologism
    • noun: a new word, expression, or usage; the creation or use of new words or senses
    • He also joined words together to create neologisms
  208. noisome
    • adj.harmful, offensive, destructive:
    • "The noisome odor of the dump carried for miles."
  209. noxious
    • adj: harmful, injurious
    • mixing bleach and ammonia can cause noxious fumes that can seriously harm you
  210. obdurate
    • adj.hardened against influence or feeling; intractable.
    • An example of obdurate is a judge who sentences a man without feeling.
    • He is known for his obdurate determination.
  211. obsequious
    • adj: exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
    • The princess had obsequious servants who showered her with attention.
  212. obtuse
    • adj: lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
    • He is too obtuse to take a hint.
  213. obviate
    • verb: to anticipate and make unnecessary
    • The new medical treatment obviates the need for surgery.
  214. occlude
    • close or shut off; to obstruct (n: occlusion)
    • An example of occlude is hiding a gift for someone behind your back.
    • An example of occlude is shutting a window to keep a bee outside.
    • a blood clot had occluded a major artery in his body
  215. odious
    • adj: evoking intense aversion or dislike
    • Cleaning the toilet is such an odious task.
  216. onerous
    • adj: troubling; burdensome
    • The government imposed onerous taxes on imports.
  217. opaque
    • adj.not transparent or translucent; dense; difficult to comprehend, as in opaque reasoning
    • An example of opaque is the quality of a black sheet of paper.
    • An example of opaque is the study of astrophysics.
    • somehow listeners seem to connect with the songwriter, despite his deeply personal, often opaque lyrics
  218. opprobrium
    • noun: disgrace; contempt; scorn
    • The celebrity chef earned opprobrium when she made a racial slur in front of the media.
  219. oscillation
    • noun: the act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm
    • verb form: oscillate
    • He observed a small clockwise motion of the pendulum's apparent plane of oscillation.
  220. ossified
    • adj.turned to bone; hardened like bone; Inflexible:
    • "The ossified culture failed to adapt to new economic conditions and died out."
  221. paean
    • noun: a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
    • his retirement party featured many paeans for his long years of service to the company
  222. panegyric
    • n.a writing or speech in praise of a person or thing
    • A speech praising a new political theory is an example of a panegyric.
    • wrote a panegyric on the centennial of the Nobel laureate's birth
  223. parody
    • noun: a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, esp. in literature and art
    • He has a talent for writing parodies.
  224. peccadillo
    • n.a small sin or fault
    • When you break a minor rule, this is an example of a peccadillo.
  225. pedagogy
    • noun: the profession or principles of teaching, or instructing
    • The school boasts the most progressive pedagogy and a 100% graduation rate.
  226. pedantic
    • adj: overly concerned with the trivial details of learning or education; show-offish about one's knowledge
    • Sometimes, Jason is so pedantic in writing the perfect paper that he forgets to properly manage his time.
  227. penurious
    • adj: penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
    • Penurious behavior isn't confined to hosts these days.
  228. penury
    • noun: poverty; destitution
    • Many people in third world countries live in penury and misery.
  229. perennial
    • adj: recurrent through the year or many years; happening repeatedly
    • Flooding is a perennial problem for people living by the river.
  230. perfidious
    • adj.deliberately treacherous; dishonest (n: perfidy)
    • A person who lies all the time is an example of someone who would be described as perfidious.
    • We were betrayed by a perfidious ally.
  231. perfidy
    • noun: intentional breach of faith; treachery
    • adj form: perfidious
    • They are guilty of perfidy.
  232. perfunctory
    • adj: cursory; done without care or interest
    • the violinist delivered a perfunctory performance that displayed none of the passion and warmth he was once known for
  233. pernicious
    • adj: extremely harmful; potentially causing death
    • If you are going to behave in such a pernicious manner, I would prefer to not be around you.
  234. perspicacious
    • adj: acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
    • noun form: perspicacity
    • The perspicacious salesman earned a great living because he knew how to read his customers.
  235. peruse
    • verb: to examine with great care
    • noun form: perusal
    • Peruse the manual to set up your television.
  236. pervasive
    • adj: having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
    • So the concept of brand loyalty is very pervasive out there.
  237. petulant
    • adj.easily or frequently annoyed, especially over trivial matters; childishly irritable
    • An example of petulant is a toddler throwing a temper tantrum when they don't get their way.
    • Her tone was petulant and angry.
  238. philanthropy
    • n.tendency or action for the benefit of others, as in donating money or property to a charitible organization
    • An example of philanthropy is giving money to charity and volunteering.
    • The family's philanthropy made it possible to build the public library.
  239. phlegmatic
    • adj.not easily excited; cool; sluggish
    • An example of a phlegmatic person is someone who remains cool and collected during emergencies.
    • a strangely phlegmatic response to what should have been happy news
  240. pine
    • verb: to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
    • Some of us pine for that car that folds up into a suitcase.
  241. pious
    • adj: extremely reverent or devout; showing strong religious devotion
    • noun form: piety
    • The students running around naked at Berkley Catholic University do not seem very pious.
  242. pirate
    • verb: to illegally use or reproduce
    • None of those practices have eliminated underground pirate networks on many campuses.
  243. pith
    • noun: the essential or central part
    • Remove as much of the white membrane or pith as possible.
  244. pithy
    • adj: precise and brief
    • Here's a particularly pithy commentary about printers.
  245. placate
    • calm or reduce anger by making concessions:
    • "The professor tried to placate his students by postponing the exam."
  246. plastic
    • adj.related to being shaped or molded; capable of being molded. (n: plasticity n: plastic)
    • An example of something plastic is Play-Doh modeling compound.
    • there's usually a plastic cordiality at these corporate events
  247. platitude
    • noun: a superficial remark, esp. one offered as meaningful
    • These were platitudes dressed up as epiphanies to suit the populist mood.
  248. plethora
    • n.excessively large quantity; overabundance:
    • "We received a plethora of applications for the position."
  249. plummet
    • verb: to plunge or drop straight down
    • Overfishing has caused fish populations and catches to plummet.
  250. polemical
    • adj: controversial; argumentative
    • To have an impact, a polemical argument must be precise and persuasive.
  251. ponderous
    • adj.heavy; massive; awkward; dull:
    • "A ponderous book is better than a sleeping pill."
  252. pragmatic
    • adj.concerned with facts; practical, as opposed to highly principled or traditional:
    • "His pragmatic approach often offended idealists."
    • (n: pragmatism)
  253. prattle
    • verb: to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
    • They prattled on into the night, discussing school, music, and friends.
  254. precipice
    • n.cliff with a vertical or nearly vertical face; a dangerous place from which one is likely to fall; metaphorically, a very risky circumstance
    • An example of a precipice is the edge of a cliff.
    • He stood on the edge of the precipice.
    • precipitate
    • adj: acting with excessive haste or impulse
    • verb: to cause to happen before anticipated or required
    • The budget problem was precipitated by many unexpected costs.
  255. precipitate
    • v., fall; to fall downward suddenly and dramatically; to bring about or hasten the occurrence of something:
    • "Old World diseases precipitated a massive decline in the American Indian population."
  256. precursor
    • noun: one that precedes and indicates or announces another
    • All too often, high blood pressure is a precursor of heart disease.
  257. predilection
    • noun: a disposition in favor of something; preference
    • a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales
  258. preen
    • verb: to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
    • The kiwi's distinctive scent comes from the wax it secretes to preen its feathers.
  259. prescience
    • noun: foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occurring
    • adj form: prescient
    • He predicted their response with amazing prescience.
  260. prevaricate
    • verb: to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead
    • Government officials prevaricated about the real costs of the project.
  261. prodigal
    • adj: recklessly wasteful; extravagant; profuse; lavish
    • They left others to gather up the flowers which they scattered with a prodigal hand.
  262. prodigious
    • adj: abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
    • After overindulging in a prodigious meal, I really needed a nap.
  263. profuse
    • adj: given or coming forth abundantly; extravagant
    • Although it's not a profuse display, half the meteors leave glowing trails.
  264. proliferate
    • verb: to grow or increase swiftly and abundantly
    • As companies work their way down the income pyramid, the problems proliferate.
  265. prolific
    • adj: producing large volumes or amounts; productive
    • The prolific chemical reaction produced a lot of carbon monoxide.
  266. propitiate
    • conciliate; to appease:
    • "They made sacrifices to propitiate angry gods."
  267. Pulchritudinous
    • adj.beautiful (n: pulchritude)
    • A person who is very beautiful would be described as pulchritudinous.
  268. pusillanimous
    • adj.cowardly, timid, or irreselute; petty:
    • "The pusillanimous leader soon lost the respect of his people."
  269. putrefy
    • verb: to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
    • adj form: putrid
    • Dead bodies quickly putrefy and so become a health hazard to the living.
  270. quaff
    • verb: to drink deeply
    • a man in a dinner suit quaffing champagne
  271. qualms
    • noun: misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitancy
    • she has no qualms about downloading pirated music files from the Internet
  272. queries
    • noun: questions; inquiries; doubts in the mind; reservations
    • Search engines also engage in predictive text to figure out what queries users might type in.
  273. querulous
    • adj: prone to complaining or grumbling; peevish
    • Adrift in a clueless no-man's-land, I felt my moods range from querulous to despondent.
  274. quiescence
    • noun: stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest
    • adj form: quiescent
    • South could draw several inferences from the opponents' quiescence.
  275. rancorous
    • adj: obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
    • It is an astonishingly rancorous and controversial debate, with far-reaching implications.
  276. recant
    • verb: to retract, esp. a previously held belief
    • Witnesses threatened to recant their testimony when the court released their names to the paper.
  277. redoubtable
    • adj: awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
    • The revolt speedily collapsed before this redoubtable commander, and Alem and the other leaders surrendered.
  278. refute
    • verb: to disprove; to successfully argue against
    • The lawyer refuted the testimony of the witness.
  279. relegate
    • verb: to forcibly assign, esp. to a lower place or position
    • courtiers and generals who incurred the emperor's disfavor were soon relegated to the farther reaches of the empire
  280. repudiate
    • verb: to refuse to have anything to do with; to disown
    • Before me now is plaintiff's motion to repudiate the settlement agreement.
  281. rescind
    • verb: to invalidate; to repeal; to retract
    • However, years later, your country decided to rescind this law so that dual citizenship became possible.
  282. reticent
    • adj: quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts and feelings
    • her husband is by nature a reticent person, and she resigned herself to that fact long ago
  283. reverent
    • adj: marked by, feeling, or expressing a feeling of profound awe and respect
    • noun form: reverence
    • The proposed inscriptions for the monument must be reverent, tasteful, and pay respectful tribute to the deceased.
  284. rhetoric
    • noun: the art or study of effective use of language for communication and persuasion
    • He has all the proper sentiments, and his rhetoric and rimes are easy work for him.
  285. salubrious
    • adj: promoting health or well-being
    • The environment was more salubrious, with nutritious food available from their crops and cows.
  286. sanction
    • noun/verb: authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority
    • Imposition of sanctions against Iraq.
  287. satire
    • noun: a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
    • adj form: satirical
    • Its impossible to watch any kind of western satire with her.
  288. solicitous
    • adj: concerned and attentive; eager
    • I appreciated his solicitous inquiry about my health.
  289. solvent
    • adj: able to meet financial obligations; able to dissolve another substance
    • The idea that keeping a particular individual's firm solvent should be in the national interest may sound odd.
  290. sordid
    • adj: characterized by filth, grime, or squalor; foul
    • he managed to rise above the sordid streets upon which he grew up
  291. specious
    • adj: seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive; plausible but false
    • His arguments and specious comparisons are bogus and not worth seriously entertaining, in my humble opinion.
  292. sporadic
    • adj: occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
    • sporadic loud noises kept startling everyone
  293. spurious
    • adj: lacking authenticity or validity; false; counterfeit
    • The quote may be spurious, but it contains a grain of truth.
  294. squalid
    • adj: sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect
    • noun form: squalor
    • The urban poor often lived and worked in squalid and dangerous conditions.
  295. squander
    • verb: to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
    • squandered all her money gambling in casinos
  296. static
    • adj: not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
    • the static installation of the statue in that niche means that no one will ever see its back, which is also of interest
  297. stoic
    • adj: indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast
    • noun form: stoicism
    • That night it's obvious to Jake that Skeet, usually stoic, is deeply upset.
  298. stupefy
    • verb: to stun, baffle, or amaze
    • stupefied by the ruling that he could not compete because his missed the qualifying age by two days
  299. stymie
    • verb: to block; to thwart
    • Progress on the project has been stymied by lack of money.
  300. subpoena
    • noun: a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony
    • He used his subpoena power to put people on the stand for day after day.
  301. succinct
    • brief; concise
    • The inscription that inspired me was succinct and to the point.
  302. superfluous
    • adj: exceeding what is sufficient or necessary
    • In a climate where clothes are superfluous, this is how you dress up for special occasions.
  303. supplant
    • verb: to take the place of; to supersede
    • Nintendo tried to supplant personal computers?
  304. surfeit
    • verb: an overabundant supply; excess; to feed or supply to excess
    • Instead, the technology-driven surfeit of modern information has made the need for clarity and concision more acute.
  305. synthesis
    • noun: the combination of parts to make a whole
    • verb form: synthesize
    • a philosophy that is a kind of synthesis of several schools of Western and Eastern thought
  306. tenacity
    • noun: the quality of adherence or persistence to something valued; persistent determination
    • adj form: tenacious
    • Jake’s tenacity allowed him to excel in college while working two jobs.
  307. tenuous
    • adj: having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
    • Because the evidence against her is tenuous, the accused murderer will be released from jail on bail.
  308. tirade
    • noun: a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
    • Because Carrie is normally a laidback person, she shocked everyone with her tirade.
  309. torpid
    • adj: lethargic; sluggish; dormant 
    • noun form: torpor
    • They usually sit in little tents, and make holes in the ice from which they capture torpid fish.
  310. torque
    • noun: a force that causes rotation
    • torque wrench
  311. tortuous
    • adj: winding, twisting; excessively complicated
    • a tortuous path up the mountain
  312. transient
    • adj: fleeting; passing quickly; brief
    • The snow is transient and will melt as soon as the sun appears.
  313. truculent
    • adj: fierce and cruel; eager to fight
    • die-hard fans who became truculent and violent after their team's loss
  314. ubiquitous
    • adj: existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; widespread
    • Personal computers have become ubiquitous in rich countries.
  315. urbane
    • adj: sophisticated; refined; elegant
    • noun form: urbanity
    • He was a good insurance broker: urbane and vigorous, and he could sell.
  316. veracity
    • noun: truthfulness, honesty
    • We questioned the veracity of his statements.
  317. vilify
    • verb: to defame; to characterize harshly
    • People tend to vilify gambling as the root of all evil.
  318. virulent
    • adj: extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile or antagonistic
    • the virulent look on her face warned me that she was about to say something unkind
  319. viscous
    • adj: thick; sticky
    • noun form: viscosity
    • The resulting paste forms a wet, viscous brown dough.
  320. voracious
    • adj: having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; ravenous
    • it seemed like the voracious kitten was eating her weight in food every day
  321. waver
    • verb: to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
    • The kite wavered in the wind.
  322. zealous
    • adj: fervent; ardent; impassioned, devoted to a cause
    • (a zealot is a zealous person)
    • The zealous detective searched for the killer for over twenty years.
Card Set
All Vocabulary
All learned GRE vocabulary (no repeats)
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