Frequently Asked GRE Words
Insipid (adj.) – lacking taste or flavor
Too much sugar tends to make this otherwise delightful fruit pie insipid.
Laconic (adj.) – brief and to the point; effectively cut short
Jessica is so talkative that her sister thought the situation warranted conciseness, and her being laconic.
Iconoclast (noun) – someone who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions
Irrespective of his actuating motives, his deeds as an iconoclast will be treated harshly and is answerable in court.
Arduous (adj.) – difficult to accomplish, hard to endure
James and Mathew are planning to leave for the states next week for their masters, following months of arduous GRE preparation.
Pragmatic (adj.) – concerned with practical matters
After five years of war, both sides have found pragmatic ways to make peace with one another, as the bloodshed has grown viscous and brutal.
Prosaic (adj.) – not challenging; dull and lacking excitement
The project was full of prosaic ideas, such as using sand and stone to raise natural walls around monuments built in honor of the late president.
Profligate (adj.) – recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources
The senate is particularly perturbed over our profligate use of natural resources such as forest, oil, water, energy, land and minerals.
Fortuitous (adj.) – happening by accident or chance
The alignment timing proved to be scientifically fortuitous for planetary astronomers, who already have a orbital satellite stationed around the moon.
Obsequious (adj.) – obedient or attentive to an excessive degree
It was evident that the manager was flattering – from his obsequious manner in receiving his boss.
Capricious (adj.) – given to sudden behavior change
The recent recession is yet another example of how making rules without forethought and acting without taking the arbitrary and capricious effects these changes in policies have on our economy.
Ameliorate (v.) – make, become better
Increase in penalties and effective awareness programs would ameliorate the growing pollution levels and there by global warming it may have generated.
Magnanimous (adj.) – very generous or forgiving
Jaqueline’s magnanimous generosity and limitless loyalty towards her nation and its people is heart touching and is appreciated beyond words.
Corroborate (v.) – confirm or give support to
The police officials said, allegations of misconduct by the officer have been corroborated by video from closed circuit cameras.
Orthodox (adj.) – Conforming to all the traditional beliefs, and religious practices
Scrupulous (adj.) – diligent, thorough, and extremely careful
The health inspector during his usual visit found pests in the restaurant’s kitchen and hence ordered the owner to observe scrupulous hygiene to stop spreading illness or would issue a immediate closure notice.
Alacrity (noun) – lively and cheerful readiness
After marriage, Jenny rushed off with excitement to visit her parents, but her father did not accept their marriage with equal alacrity.
Prolific (adj.) – fruitful, present in large number
Ryan is furiously prolific, releasing albums on Maple, Mr. Siebel’s label, as well as his own metallic label, Metalloid.
Dogmatic (adj.) – dictatorial, opinionated
Ex: Most Americans have less dogmatic, more open-ended views and would ignore such a request but Mr. John didn’t hesitate and removed his coat immediately.
Pellucid (adj.) – translucently clear
The river water was so pellucid that Mary could see clearly that it swarmed with countless small fishes and loaves.
Placate (v.) – make (someone) less angry or hostile
Ex: Sam has to double stock divided last quarter and started working at an unsustainable pace in order to placate the company investors and shareholders.
Exacerbate (v.) – infuriate, make worse
Ex: Hummingbird declines have been connected to a lack of appropriate habitat so increasing the number of Washington’s hives could exacerbate the issue.
Mercurial (adj.) – subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood, temperamental
Ex: The mercurial senator, who retained office for more than 25 years, has frequently gone back and forth on his resignation.
Hackneyed (adj.) – unoriginal and trite
Girls dreaming their way to a wonderland to marry a prince and live happily ever after was already a hackneyed notion by the time Alice in the Wonderland was written.
Redundant (adj.) – redundant, superfluous
At first, taking a standardized test may seem redundant to existing skill metrics such as GPA, certifications, but the GRE is necessary for the college admissions to sort applicants.
Belie (v.) – disguise or contradict
Ex: Joe’s cheerful tone belies the grim nature of life in the Indian Countryside and her desperate desire to escape those suffocating circumstances.
Prudent (adj.) – acting with or showing care and thought
Ex: When the food manufacturer discovered toxins in a product sample case of one of its containers, it made a prudent decision to destroy all the boxes from the shipment.
Esoteric (adj.) – mysterious, obscure
Ex: A couple of months ago, Mr. Niobe submitted a thesis with his analysis and computations — a fairly esoteric mathematical dissent about how best to gather rational generalizations on the origin of the universe theory.
Impetuous – acting or done quickly and without thought or care
Ex: Michael is methodical, barely the impetuous kind, and he has had ample time to come to a consolidated opinion of the university he wishes to apply for.
Cacophony (noun) – a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
Ex: The cacophony surrounding the multi-billion dollar buyout of leading messaging service by a social networking company shook the whole tech industry.
Idiosyncrasy – a way of thought peculiar to an individual
Ex: Modern technologies are a lot more expensive than their existing alternatives and each has its own idiosyncrasies that be conquered.
Obscure – not discovered or known about; uncertain
Ex: Apple maps give such obscure directions that even after roaming around for hours, Derek couldn’t reach the new church that opened in the town.
Extant – in existence; surviving
Ex: Several works produced by Shakespeare during his later years are yet extant at Rome; and far surpassing the rest is his tale of two young lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
Pithy – brief, to the point
Ex: The professor was not known for talking much, but what he did say was always pithy.
Didactic – intended to teach, educational
Ex: Though more didactic, Rama’s story of the triumph over evil and of a king’s dharma and nobility is quite powerful and enchanting.
Ostentation (adj.) – pretentious and vulgar display intended to impress, show off
The movie celebrity is not having a good day because he got another ticket for speeding only two over and driving ostentatiously in his new, cherry-red sports car.
Copious (adj.) – abundant in supply or quantity
Mathew insisted that Sophie track all her household expenditures, including every penny spent for hair clips, in copious account books.
Vociferous – loud and clamorous
Ex: The protestors were vociferous in their demands as they screamed outside of the mayor’s house.
Adulterate – alter or debase, often for profit
Ex: Of all teas, I love green tea the most and would never adulterate it with sweeteners; even a pitch of sugar would be a desecration.
Obdurate – refuse to change one’s opinion; stubborn
Ex: The teacher couldn’t stand the obdurate student as he yelled at anyone who dared to disagree with his opinions during the debate.
Taciturn – reserved or uncommunicative in speech
Ex: Over the past 50 years, as a recruiter, Yuri has come across different types of candidates, some of them speak a lot while some stay taciturn.
Misanthrope – person who hates others
Ex: People thought the old woman was a misanthrope since she wouldn’t talk to any of her neighbors let alone help them but they realized how much she loved them when she put a huge bag of candy out at Halloween.
Garrulous – excessively talkative
Ex: Though not garrulous by nature, Ryan seems to be comfortable with the diverse audiences at the education conference and managed to have conversations with several of them.
Lionize (verb) – treat someone as a celebrity
Ex: The retired lieutenant is being lionized as a paragon of integrity for standing up against corruption.
Frivolous – trivial, silly
Ex: Ram was passionate and serious about collecting coins but his friends thought it was a frivolous activity.
Imminent (adj.) – about to happen
Ex: Some people thought it was outrageous when the media predicted the imminent death of the drug-addicted actress.
Dissonance – lack of harmony, disagreement
Ex: There is a great deal of dissonance between the conflicting evidences produced by both the parties and hence the judge had to close the case on account of lack of sufficient evidence.
Benign – gentle, kindly
Ex: Even though the advertisements claim the energy drink is benign, customers may experience some unwanted side effects after consuming.
Docile – compliant, submissive
Ex: Although a trained lion appears docile during the circus acts, it is really a fierce animal when not controlled by a trainer.
Inculpate – accuse or blame
Ex: Although the killer successfully disposed of the murder weapon, his friends provided evidence that could actually inculpate both the killer and the people who tried to cover up the killing.
Prevaricate – deceive; stretch the truth
Ex: Aria does not take bad news well and hence her brother always prevaricates when telling her something she does not want to hear.
Sporadic – occurring at irregular intervals; scattered or isolated
Ex: The doctors are finding it difficult to identify the cause of Tom’s heartaches because of his sporadic heartbeat.
Chicanery – deception, trickery
Ex: The judge has plenty of reason to suspect chicanery because the lawyer has a reputation of aggressively defending his clients and of getting verdicts of innocence on guilty Policemen.
Eulogy – praise, exclamation
Ex: Public officials and her friends joined in a chorus of eulogy and remembrances for many days afterward as Michelle signs on the human rights doctrine.
Gainsay – deny or contradict
Ex: Some of the officers were about to reject the project, but it had come from them, they could not well gainsay it.
Belligerent – hostile and aggressive
Ex: Russia’s public statement has been belligerent, menacing military action against the United States.
Providential – lucky, occurring at a favorable time; opportune
Ex: Sam’s dangerous and providential escape, made her tremble; and so pale did he still look, that she could scarcely believe he was uninjured.
Dispassionate – unfeeling, impartial
Ex: The heart of the ruthless monarch seems dispassionate to the plight of those people suffering in his kingdom.
Fractious – irritable and quarrelsome
Ex: Third world powers are hesitant about sending arms to aid the war, partially due to the fractious politics of the hostile political group abroad.
Diffidence – hesitancy; lack of confidence
Ex: A lot of sportsmen attain prominence before they know what to do with it; others put across diffidence to fame while secretly craving it; and some just don’t treasure their moments in the spotlight.
Malign – hurtful, injurious
Ex: Often, people suffering psychological disorders are considered by their families to be under the influence of malign spirits, or showing sign of a physical confliction.
Plausible – seeming reasonable or probable
Ex: Astronomers received data from the unexplored planet which indicates that the possibility of life, at least in the ancient past, is at least plausible.
Disparate – essentially different in kind, not allowing comparison
Ex: Chief Puritan and songwriter James Rhodes has led his band through six very disparate albums united by their subtle indifference for listener accessibility.
Sanguine – optimistic or positive
Ex: Among those who remain sanguine about the nation’s economic revival, there is always the lively topic of tax reduction policies, the remedy to deflationary recession in the United States.
Trite – silly, commonplace
Ex: Of these athletes, only Mr. Johnson delivered movements with any firmness; and even he was moving with such a professional awe that rendered everything trite.
Venerate – regard with great respect
Ex: In a nod to the religious customs of the Vatican, which popes here venerate, there are plans for a cathedral between the St. Peter’s Square and Mount Street.
Succinct – brief, to the point
Ex: Perhaps the most succinct equations of wave theory come closest in mathematics to defining probability, but chemistry can fairly lay claim to these equations.
Meticulous – very careful and precise
Ex: Queen Cleopatra did beautiful architectural drawings on monuments built around the pyramids, the result of years of obsessive and meticulous hard work by numerous artists and builders.
Erudite – well-educated, cultured
Ex: Consuming the books her father supplied, Miss. Jane, who grew up in near poverty, became an erudite, self-educated woman and loves sharing her knowledge with others.
Ingenious – clever, original, and inventive
Ex: No matter how ingenious a thesis or an analysis may be, it will be quickly invalidated if appropriate field experts haven’t been engaged in the process for feedback.
Bolster – support or strengthen
Ex: Students having trouble paying college tuition fee may be relieved to hear that the Academic Council has launched new policies that will bolster borrower protections for student education loans.
Trivial – of little value or importance
Ex: Evidently, $10 was a trivial amount for the wealthy business man, but no one wants to be embarrassed in front of his or her fellow associates.
Anachronism – error in time placement
Ex: With the rate of economic growth in the western countries at its lowest rate in nearly a century, the power wielded by the United Nations can seem like an anachronism.
Advocate – person supporting an idea or cause publicly
Ex: Mr. Sam who is a leading GRE test prep expert advocates strong basics and ample practice to be the key to succeed on the exam.
Innocuous – harmless and inoffensive
Ex: Companies that track their visitor’s online behavior have long claimed that the data they collect is anonymous, and therefore innocuous. But the interpretation of the word “anonymous” has changed over time in the online world.
Conspicuous – obvious, easily seen
Ex: Taxes on the corporates encourage investment and growth, instead of conspicuous consumption. The rich will always be wealthy. It’s the middle class that needs help.
Audacious – reckless, daring
Ex: Jim is known for his adventurous style and audacious nature for when he is inside the ring, his audiences would jump off their seats to watch him play with the lion.
Reticent – secretive, quiet
Ex: The usually reticent Swiss bank acknowledged the policy quandary at an International Monetary Fund meeting in New York this month.
Tumultuous – confused, or disorderly
Ex: During the recent riots, the crowd was tumultuous and went berserk as the police arrest their leader, washing away all that impeded it.
Fervid – intensely enthusiastic or passionate
Ex: During political debates, the candidates hurl fervid accusations at each other while justifying their positions on national issues.
Prodigal – wastefully extravagant
Ex: Scott had been prodigal of all his energy, money and resources and innovative stratagems and loving kindness.
Enervate – weaken, wear out
Ex: The blazing heat in mid-June caused dehydration and enervated the shipwrecked crew, leaving them almost too weak to hail the passing vessel.
Auspicious – conducive to success; favorable
Ex: The Australian skipper considered the sunny forecast to be an auspicious sign that his team would win tomorrow’s cricket match.
Engender – cause or give rise to
Ex: The new technology has engendered great hope for the potential development of preventive methods for lethal genetic and severe chronic diseases such as glaucoma and cancer.
Soporific – tending to induce drowsiness or sleep
Ex: The reality shows aired on TV tend towards the soporific; by contrast, the coverage of soccer game in newspapers is more fun because the pictures counted for everything.
Loquacious – tending to talk a great deal; talkative
Ex: Julie and Katie were not being loquacious with the other guests because they were too busy making long conversations with their other friends.
Inimical – tending to obstruct or harm
Ex: Though Sarah’s husband is an inimical person who often beats her for trivial reasons, she has always tried to be nice to him.
Superfluous – extra, unnecessary
Ex: Massive marketing budgets may seem superfluous when revenues are hard to come by, but it’s indispensable to have them in place in order to get substantial funding and to stay capital efficient.
Equivocate – to avoid giving a clear or direct answer to a question
Ex: When I asked Rachel if the suit looks good on me, she equivocated a response, avoiding the question by saying she needed it to be somewhere else.
Fastidious – very careful and attentive
Ex: After the party, Jenny and her brother were fastidious in their efforts to clean up the mess because they knew their parents were on their way home.
Ephemeral – momentary, passing
Ex: Sophie always knew the relationship with Haden would be ephemeral; she just didn’t expect they would breakup so soon.
Pusillanimous – lacking courage, fearful
Ex: Despite the opportunity for heroism, the captain led his soldiers into a pusillanimous retreat and since then the man has been rated as a coward.
Recalcitrant – disobedient, uncontrollable
Ex: Recalcitrant politicians, in interviews on TV and newspaper, raised their concerns over the party’s national policies publicly and were consequently punished for their disobedience.
Vacillate – go back and forth, be indecisive
Ex: Since his term exams were round the corner, Adam vacillated between going on the family vacation and staying back at home to study.
Enigma – difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious
Ex: Bruce Wayne was an enigmatic businessman; no one could ever guess what goes through the master tactician’s mind.
Ambivalent – having mixed feelings, conflicting
Ex: My feelings about Shelly are ambivalent because on one hand she is a loyal friend, but on the other, she is a cruel and vicious thief.
Euphoric – intense excitement and happiness
Ex: The Australian cricket players were all euphoric when the Government declared a bonus pay to each of them as bring the world cup home.
Profound – very great or intense; thoughtful
Ex: The realities are forcing a profound reassessment of how the Nile, Africa’s only major river, can continue to slake the thirst of one of the continent’s fastest-growing regions.
Pedant – a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details
Ex: The senior professor was obviously a pedant since she persistently focuses on mediocre details and keeps interrupting me to point out my imperfect pronunciation and grammar usage without letting me make my argument.
Inchoate – undeveloped, beginning
Ex: Just after the big bang explosion, before the universe expanded to the gigantic distances, it was an inchoate assemblage of elemental matter.
Deride (adj.) – make fun of; insult
When United States briefly considered withdrawing their forces completely out of Iraq in 2009, several patriots in public conversations derided the idea as a big mistake.
Lethargic – lazy, sluggish
Ex: In Asia, data on Tuesday showed that Japan’s economy contracted in the three months to September, as exports and domestic consumer spending remain lethargic.