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Arrow_left - Barron’s Guide, 2005, 16th Edition GRE High-Frequency Vocab
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abate
Become less intense or widespread
aberrant
Differing from the norm, from the expected type; abnormal, anomalous.
abeyance
A state of temporary disuse or suspension
abscond
Leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection of or arrest for an unlawful action such as theft
abstemious
Not self-indulgent, esp. when eating and drinking
admonish
Warn or reprimand someone firmly
adulterate
Render (something) poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one
aesthetic
Concerned with beauty, artistic impact, or appearance.
aggregate
A mass, assemblage, or sum of particulars;
alacrity
eagerness; liveliness; enthusiasm
alleviate
To make less severe, as a pain or difficulty.
amalgamate
To merge, to combine, to blend, to join.
ambiguous
Open to multiple interpretations.
ambivalence
The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings (such as love and hate) towards a person, object or idea.
ameliorate
To make better, to improve; to heal; to solve a problem.
anachronism
A thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned
analogous
Comparable in certain respects, typically in a way that makes clearer the nature of the things compared
anarchy
The state of a society being without authoritarians or a governing body.
anomalous
deviating from the normal; aberrant or abnormal
antipathy
A deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion
apathy
Complete lack of emotion or motivation about a person, activity, or object
appease
To make quiet; to calm; to reduce to a state of peace; to dispel (anger or hatred).
apprise
To notify, or to make aware; to inform.
approbation
Approval or praise
appropriate
Suitable or proper in the circumstances
arduous
Involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring
artless
Having or displaying no guile, cunning, or deceit.
ascetic
One who is devoted to the practice of self-denial, either through seclusion or stringent abstinence.
assiduous
Hard-working, diligent or regular (in attendance or work); industrious.
assuage
To lessen the intensity of, to mitigate or relieve (hunger, emotion, pain etc.).
attenuate
To reduce in size, force, value, amount, or degree
audacious
Showing willingness to take bold risks; recklessly daring.
austere
Grim or severe in manner or appearance
autonomous
Self-governing. Governing independently.
aver
State or assert to be the case
banal
Common in a boring way, to the point of being predictable; containing nothing new or fresh.
belie
To give a false representation of something.
beneficent
Given to acts that are kind, charitable, philanthropic or beneficial.
bolster
Support or strengthen; prop up
bombastic
Pompous or overly wordy.
boorish
rough in manners; rude; uncultured.
burgeon
Begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish
burnish
To make smooth or shiny by rubbing; to polish; to shine.
buttress
A brick or stone structure built against another structure to support it.
capricious
Impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance, impulse, or whim
castigation
Corrective punishment; chastisement; reproof; pungent criticism.
catalyst
A substance which increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed in the process.
caustic
Sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way
chicanery
Deception by use of trickery, quibbling, or subterfuge.
coagulate
Change to a solid or semisolid state (of a fluid, esp. blood)
coda
The concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure
cogent
Clear, logical, and convincing (of an argument or case)
commensurate
proportionate; of a similar measurable standard
compendium
A collection of concise but detailed information about a particular subject, esp. in a book or other publication
complaisant
Willing to do what pleases others.
compliant
yielding; bending; pliant; submissive.
conciliatory
Intended or likely to placate or pacify
condone
To forgive, excuse or overlook (something).
confound
to mix up; to puzzle.
connoisseur
A specialist of a given field whose opinion is valued; especially in one of the fine arts, or in a matter of taste
contention
An assertion, esp. one maintained in argument
contentious
Causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial
contrite
Sincerely penitent or feeling regret or sorrow, especially for one’s own actions; apologetic.
conundrum
A difficult question or riddle, especially one using a play on words in the answer.
converge
Of two or more entities, to approach each other; to get closer and closer.
convoluted
Extremely complex and difficult to follow (esp. of an argument, story, or sentence)
craven
Unwilling to fight; lacking even the rudiments of courage; extremely cowardly.
daunt
To discourage, intimidate.
decorum
Appropriate social behavior; propriety
default
The condition of failing to meet an obligation.
deference
Humble submission and respect
delineate
To sketch out, draw or trace an outline.
denigrate
Criticize unfairly; disparage
deride
To harshly mock; ridicule.
derivative
Imitative of the work of someone else.
desiccate
Lacking interest, passion, or energy
desultory
Lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
deterrent
A thing that discourages or is intended to discourage someone from doing something
diatribe
A forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something
dichotomy
A cutting in two; a division.
diffidence
Modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence
diffuse
To spread over or through as in air, water, or other matter, especially by fluid motion or passive means.
digression
A departure from the subject, course, or idea at hand; an exploration of a different or unrelated concern.
dirge
A mournful poem or piece of music composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.
disabuse
Persuade (someone) that an idea or belief is mistaken
discerning
Having or showing good judgment
discordant
Disagreeing or incongruous
discredit
To harm the good reputation of a person; to cause an idea or piece of evidence to seem false or unreliable.
discrepancy
An inconsistency between facts or sentiments.
discrete
Individually separate and distinct
disingenuous
Not noble; unbecoming true honor or dignity; mean; unworthy; fake or deceptive.
disinterested
Having or feeling no interest in something
disjointed
Not connected, coherent, or continuous.
dismiss
To discharge; to end the employment or service of.
disparage
Regard or represent as being of little worth
disparate
Things so unlike that there is no basis for comparison
dissemble
Conceal one's true motives, feelings, or beliefs
disseminate
Spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely
dissolution
The termination of an organized body or legislative assembly, especially a formal dismissal.
dissonance
a harsh, discordant combination of sounds
distend
To extend or expand, as from internal pressure; to swell
distill
Purify (a liquid) by vaporizing it, then condensing it by cooling the vapor, and collecting the resulting liquid
diverge
(lines, paths, interests, opinions etc.) to run apart; to tend into different directions
divest
Deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions
document
An original or official paper relied upon as the basis, proof, or support of anything else, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information pertinent to such proof or support.
dogmatic
Stubbornly adhering to insufficiently proven beliefs; inflexible, rigid.
dormant
Inactive, asleep, suspended.
dupe
To swindle, deceive, or trick.
ebullient
boiling, agitated, enthusiastic
eclectic
Deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources
efficacy
Ability to produce a desired amount of a desired effect.
effrontery
Insolent or impertinent behavior
elegy
A mournful or plaintive poem; a funeral song; a poem of lamentation.
elicit
To evoke, educe (emotions, feelings, responses, etc.); to generate, obtain, or provoke as a response or answer.
embellish
To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate.
empirical
Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic
emulate
To copy or imitate, especially a person
endemic
Native to a particular area or culture; originating where it occurs.
enervate
Cause (someone) to feel drained of energy or vitality; weaken
engender
Cause or give rise to (a feeling, situation, or condition)
enhance
Intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of
ephemeral
Lasting for a short period of time.
equanimity
Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation
equivocate
Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself
erudite
Having or showing great knowledge or learning
esoteric
Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
eulogy
An oration to honor a deceased person, usually at a funeral.
euphemism
The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive or less vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.
exacerbate
Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse
exculpate
Show or declare that (someone) is not guilty of wrongdoing
exigency
An urgent need or demand
extrapolation
A calculation of an estimate of the value of some function outside the range of known values.
facetious
Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.
facilitate
To make easy or easier.
fallacious
Deceptive or misleading.
fatuous
Obnoxiously stupid, vacantly silly, content in one's foolishness.
felicitous
Well chosen or suited to the circumstances
fervor
An intense, heated emotion; passion, ardor.
flag
A piece of cloth, often decorated with an emblem, used as a visual signal or symbol.
fledgling
A person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped
flout
Openly disregard (a rule, law or convention)
foment
Instigate or stir up (an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action)
forestall
To prevent, delay or hinder something by taking precautionary or anticipatory measures; to avert.
frugality
A sparing use; sparingness.
gainsay
Deny or contradict (a fact or statement)
futile
Incapable of producing results; useless; not successful; not worth attempting.
garrulous
Excessively talkative, esp. on trivial matters
goad
A thing that stimulates someone into action
gouge
A cut or groove, as left by something sharp.
grandiloquent
Pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, esp. in a way that is intended to impress
gregarious
Describing one who enjoys being in crowds and socializing.
guileless
honest but naïve.
gullible
Easily deceived or duped; naïve, easily cheated or fooled.
harangue
A lengthy and aggressive speech
homogeneous
similar, or the same as something else
hyperbole
Extreme exaggeration or overstatement; especially as a literary or rhetorical device.
iconoclastic
Characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions;
idolatry
The admiration of somebody or something.
immutable
Unable to be changed without exception
impair
to weaken; to affect negatively; to have a diminishing effect on.
impassive
Having, or revealing, no emotion.
impede
to get in the way of; to hinder
impermeable
Not liable to be affected by pain or distress; insusceptible or imperturbable
imperturbable
Unable to be upset or excited; calm
impervious
unaffected or unable to be affected by
implacable
Relentless; unstoppable
implicit
Contained in the essential nature of something but not openly shown
implode
to collapse or burst inward violently
inadvertently
Unintentionally, because of an oversight.
inchoate
Recently started but not fully formed yet; just begun; only elementary or immature.
incongruity
The state of being incongruous, or lacking congruence.
inconsequential
Having no consequence, not consequential, of little importance.
incorporate
To include (something) as a part.
indeterminate
not accurately determined or determinable
indigence
extreme poverty or destitution
indolent
Habitually lazy, procrastinating, or resistant to physical labor/labour.
inert
unable to move or act; inanimate
ingenuous
naïve and trusting
inherent
A natural part or consequence of something.
innocuous
Not harmful or offensive
insensible
Unable to be perceived by the senses.
insinuate
Suggest or hint (something bad or reprehensible) in an indirect and unpleasant way
insipid
Lacking vigor or interest
insularity
Ignorance of or lack of interest in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one's own experience
intractable
Hard to control or deal with
intransigence
Unwillingness to change one's views or to agree.
inundate
To cover with large amounts of water; to flood.
invective
Insulting, abusive, or highly critical language
irascible
Easily provoked to outbursts of anger; irritable.
irresolute
Showing or feeling hesitancy; uncertain
itinerary
A route or proposed route of a journey.
laconic
Using as few words as possible; pithy and concise.
lassitude
Lethargy or lack of energy; fatigue.
latent
Existing or present but concealed or inactive.
laud
Praise or glorification.
lethargic
sluggish, slow
levee
The steep bank of a river, or border of an irrigated field.
levity
lightness of manner or speech, frivolity
log
The trunk of a dead tree, cleared of branches.
loquacious
Talkative or chatty, especially of persons given to excess conversation.
lucid
clear; easily understood
luminous
emitting light; glowing brightly
magnanimity
Showing generosity
malingerer
someone shirking their duty by feigning illness or incapacity
malleable
Able to be hammered into thin sheets (literally); Easily influenced;
maverick
Showing independence in thoughts or actions.
mendacious
lying, untruthful or dishonest
metamorphosis
A transformation, such as that of magic or by sorcery
meticulous
Showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise
misanthrope
A person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society
mitigate
To reduce, lessen, or decrease.
mollify
To ease a burden; make less painful; to comfort
morose
Sullen, gloomy; showing a brooding ill humour
mundane
Lacking interest or excitement; dull
negate
To deny the existence, evidence, or truth of; to contradict.
neophyte
A beginner.
obdurate
Stubbornly persistent, generally in wrongdoing; refusing to reform or repent.
obsequious
Obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree
obviate
Remove (a need or difficulty)
occlude
To obstruct, cover, or otherwise block an opening.
officious
Assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. with regard to petty or trivial matters
onerous
burdensome; difficult; wearing; tiring
opprobrium
Harsh criticism or censure
oscillate
To swing back and forth, especially if with a regular rhythm.
ostentatious
Characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice
paragon
A person of preeminent qualities, who acts as a pattern or model of some given (especially positive) quality. [from 16th c.]
partisan
An adherent to a party or faction.
pathological
Compulsive; obsessive
paucity
The presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity
pedantic
marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects
penchant
taste, liking, or inclination (for)
penury
extreme want; poverty; destitution.
perennial
Lasting or remaining active throughout the year, or all the time.
perfidious
Deceitful and untrustworthy
perfunctory
Performed out of routine and with little care.
permeable
A substance, substrate, membrane or material that absorbs or allows the passage of water.
pervasive
Manifested throughout;
phlegmatic
Having an unemotional and stolidly calm disposition (of a person)
piety
The quality of being religious or reverent
placate
To calm; to bring peace to;
plasticity
The quality of being easily shaped or molded
platitude
An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become unoriginal or hackneyed through overuse; a cliché.
plethora
An excessive amount or number; an abundance.
plummet
A steep and rapid fall or drop
porous
Full of tiny pores that allow fluids or gasses to pass through.
pragmatic
Practical, concerned with making decisions and actions that are useful in practice, not just theory
preamble
A short preliminary statement or remark, especially an explanatory introduction to a formal document or statute.
precarious
dangerously insecure or unstable; perilous
precipitate
To make something happen suddenly and quickly; hasten.
precursor
A person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner
presumptuous
Going beyond what is right or proper because of an excess of self-confidence or arrogance
prevaricate
Speak or act in an evasive way
pristine
Unspoiled; still with its original purity; uncorrupted or unsullied
probity
The quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency
problematic
A thing that constitutes a problem or difficulty
prodigal
wastefully extravagant.
profound
Descending far below the surface; opening or reaching to a great depth; deep.
prohibitive
Costly to the extreme; beyond budget.
proliferate
To increase in number or spread rapidly.
propensity
A tendency, preference, or attraction.
propitiate
Win or regain the favor of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them
propriety
The state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals
proscribe
To forbid or prohibit.
pungent
Having a strong odor that stings the nose, said especially of acidic or spicy substances.
qualified
Meeting the standards, requirements, and training for a position.
quibble
A trivial or minor complaint, objection or argument.
quiescent
Inactive, at rest, quiet.
rarefied
Esoterically distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people
recalcitrant
marked by a stubborn unwillingness to obey figures of authority
recant
To withdraw or repudiate (statement or opinion formerly expressed), especially formally and publicly.
recluse
A person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people
recondite
Hidden from the mental or intellectual view; secret; abstruse.
refractory
Obstinate and unruly; strongly opposed to something.
refute
To prove (something) to be false or incorrect.
relegate
To send into exile; banish.
reproach
A mild rebuke, or an implied criticism.
reprobate
Rejected; cast off as worthless.
repudiate
To reject the truth or validity of something; to deny.
rescind
To repeal, annul, or declare void.
resolution
A strong will, determination.
resolve
Firm determination to do something
reticent
Keeping one's thoughts and opinions to oneself; reserved or restrained.
reverent
showing respect or reverence; respectful
sage
wise
salubrious
Promoting health or well-being; wholesome. Especially related to air.
sanction
An approval, by an authority, generally one that makes something valid.
satiate
To fill to satisfaction; to satisfy.
saturate
To cause to become completely penetrated, impregnated, or soaked; imbue.
savor
Enjoy or appreciate (something pleasant) completely, esp. by dwelling on it
secrete
Conceal; hide
shard
A piece of broken glass or pottery, especially one found in an archaeological dig.
skeptic
Someone who habitually doubts beliefs and claims presented as accepted by others, requiring strong evidence before accepting any belief or claim.
solicitous
Characterized by or showing interest or concern
soporific
Something inducing sleep, especially a drug
specious
Superficially plausible, but actually wrong
spectrum
A range; a continuous, infinite, one-dimensional set, possibly bounded by extremes.
sporadic
Rare and scattered in occurrence.
stigma
A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person
stint
A period of time spent doing or being something. A spell.
stipulate
To require (something) as a condition of a contract or agreement.
stolid
Having or revealing little emotion or sensibility.
striated
Having parallel lines or grooves on the surface.
strut
A stiff, erect, and apparently arrogant or conceited gait
strut
A support rod.
subpoena
A writ requiring someone to appear in court to give testimony.
subside
Become less intense, violent, or severe
substantiate
to verify something by supplying evidence; to corroborate or authenticate
supersede
Take the place of (a person or thing previously in authority or use); supplant
supposition
An uncertain belief
tacit
Understood or implied without being stated
tangential
Diverging from a previous course or line; erratic
tenuous
Thin in substance or consistency.
tirade
A long, angry or violent speech; a diatribe
torpor
A state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy
tortuous
Twisted; having many turns; convoluted.
tractable
Easy to deal with (of a situation or problem)
transgression
A violation of a law, command or duty
truculence
defiantly aggressive;
vacillate
Alternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive
venerate
To treat with great respect and deference.
veracious
truthful
verbose
Abounding in words, containing more words than necessary. Long winded, or windy.
viable
Capable of working successfully; feasible
viscous
Having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid
vituperative
Bitter and abusive
volatile
Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, esp. for the worse
warranted
Justify or necessitate (a certain course of action)
wary
Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers;
welter
Move in a turbulent fashion
whimsical
capricious; odd; peculiar; playful; light-hearted or amusing.
zealot
one who is zealous, one who is full of zeal for his own specific beliefs or objectives, usually in the negative sense of being too passionate; a fanatic