GRE Verbal - Top Words

  1. Abate
    to reduce in amount, degree, or severity

    "As the hurricane's force abated, the winds dropped and the sea became calm."
  2. Abscond
    to leave secretly

    "The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door."
  3. Abstain
    to choose not to do something

    "She abstained from choosing a mouth-watering desert from the tray."
  4. Abyss
    an extremely dee hole

    "The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen deths."
  5. Adulterate
    to make impure

    "The chef made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water."
  6. Advocate
    to speak in favor of

    "The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat."
  7. Aesthetic
    concerning the appreciation of beauty

    "Followers of the aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art."
  8. Aggrandize
    to increase in power, influence, and reputation

    "The supervisor sought to aggrandize herself by claiming the achievemnts of her staff as her own."
  9. Alleviate
    to make more bearable

    "Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache."
  10. Amalgamate
    to combine, to mix together

    "Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated."
  11. Ambiguous
    doubtful or uncertain; able to be interpreted several ways

    "The directions she gave were so ambiguous that we disagreed which way to turn."
  12. Ameliorate
    to make better; to improve

    "The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers."
  13. Anachronism
    something out of place in time

    "The aged hippie used anachronistic phrases like 'groovy' and 'far out' that had not been popular in years."
  14. Analogous
    similar or alike in some way; equivalent to

    "In the Newtonian construct for explaining the existence of God, the universe is analogous to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent 'clockmaker.' "
  15. Anomaly
    deviation from what is normal

    "Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates."
  16. Antagonize
    to annoy or provoke to anger

    "The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling its tail."
  17. Antipathy
    extreme dislike

    "The antipathy between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare."
  18. Apathy
    lack of interest or emotion

    "The apathy of the voters is so great that less than half the people who are elligable to vote actually bother to do so."
  19. Arbitrate
    to judge a dispute between two opposing parties

    "Since the couple could not come to agreement, the judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings."
  20. Archaic
    ancient, old fashioned

    "Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software."
  21. Ardor
    intense and passionate feeling

    "Bishop's ardor for the landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley."
  22. Articulate
    able to speak clearly and expressively

    "She is such an articulate defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters."
  23. Assuage
    to make something unpleasant less severe

    "Serena used aspirin to assuage her pounding headache."
  24. Attenuate
    to reduce in force or degree; to weaken

    "The Bill of Rights atttenuated the traditional power of governments to change laws at will."
  25. Audacious
    fearless and daring

    "Her audacious nature allowed her to fulfill her dream of skydiving."
  26. Austere
    severe or stern in appearance; undecorated

    "The lack of decoration makes milatary barracks seem austere to the civilian eye."
  27. Banal
    predictable; cliched; boring

    "He used banal phrases like 'Have a nice day' or 'Another day, another dollar.' "
  28. Bolster
    to support; to prop up

    "The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Sasqutch was in the area."
  29. Bombastic
    pompous in speech and manner

    "The rantings of the radio talk show host was mostly bombastic; his boasting and outragous claims had no basis in fact."
  30. Cacophany
    harsh; jarring noise

    "The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophany as they tried to tune their instruments."
  31. Candid
    impartial and honest in speech

    "The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious."
  32. Capricious
    changing one's mind quickly and often

    "Queen Eliabeth I was capricious; her countless courtiers could never be sure which of their numbers would catch her fancy."
  33. Castigate
    to punish or criticize harshly

    "Many Americans are amazed at how harshly the authorities in Singapore castigate perpetrators of what would be considered minor crimes in the United States."
  34. Catalyst
    something that brings about a change in something else

    "The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution."
  35. Caustic
    biting in wit

    "Dorothy Parker gained her reputation for caustic wit from her cutting, yet clever insults."
  36. Chaos
    great disorder or confusion

    "In many religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos."
  37. Chauvinist
    someone prejudist in favor of a group to which he or she belongs

    "The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male chauvinists."
  38. Chicanery
    deception by means of craft or guile

    "Dishonest used car sales people aften use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars."
  39. Cogent
    convincing and well-reasoned

    "Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendent."
  40. Condone
    to overlook; to pardon; to disgregard

    "Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness."
  41. Convoluted
    intricate and complicated

    "Although many eople bought A Brief History of Time, few could follow its convoluted ideas and theories."
  42. Corroborate
    to provide supporting evidence

    "Fingerprints corroborated the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment."
  43. Credulous
    too trusting, gullible

    "Although some four-year-olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most credulous nine-year-olds also believe in him."
  44. Crescendo
    steadily increasing in volume or force

    "The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evil Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses."
  45. Decorum
    appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety

    "The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace."
  46. Deference
    respect, courtesy

    "The respectable young law clerktreated the Supreme Court Justice with the utmost deference."
  47. Deride
    to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock

    "The awkward child was often derided by his 'coolder' peers."
  48. Dessicate
    to dry out thoroughly

    "After a few weeks of lying on the desert's baking sands, the cow's carcass became completely dessicated."
  49. Desultory
    juming from one thing to another; disconnected

    "Diane had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in 3 years."
  50. Diatribe
    an absolute, condemnatory speech

    "Th trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off."
  51. Diffident
    lacking self confidence

    "Steve's diffident mnner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field."
  52. Dilate
    to make larger, to expand

    "When you enter a darkened room, your pupils dilateu to let in more light."
  53. Dilatory
    intended to delay

    "The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill."
  54. Dilettante
    someone with amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

    "Jerry's friends were such dilettantes that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week."
  55. Dirge
    a funeral hymn or mournful speech

    "Melville wrote the poem 'A dirge for James McPherson' for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864."
  56. Disabuse
    to set right; to free from error

    "Galileo's observations disabused scholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the earth."
  57. Discern
    to perceive; to recognize

    "It is easy to discern the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping."
  58. Disparate
    fundamentally different; entirely unlike

    "Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are disparate."
  59. Dissemble
    to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character

    "The villain could dissemble to the police no longer -- he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the body of the old man."
  60. Dissonance
    a harsh and disagreeable combination, often in sounds

    "Cognitiv dissonance is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence."
  61. Dogma
    a firmly held opinion, often a religious belief

    "Linus's central dogma was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded."
  62. Dogmatic
    dictatorial in one's opinions

    "The dictator was dogmatc -- he, and only he, was right."
  63. Dupe
    to deceive; a person who is easily deceived

    "Bugs Bunny was able to dupe Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit."
  64. Eclectic
    selecting from or made up from a variety of sources

    "Budaest's architecture is an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western styles."
  65. Efficacy

    "The efficacy of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug comletely eliminated almost all bacterial infections for which it was administered."
  66. Elegy
    a sorrowful powem or seech

    "Although Thomas Gray's 'Ellegy Written in a Country Churchyard' s about death and loss, it urges readers to endure this life and to trust in spirituality."
  67. Eloquent
    persuasive and moving, especially in speech

    "The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments, but also because of its eloquent words."
  68. Emulate
    to copy; to try to equal or excel

    "The grduate student sought to emulte his rofessor in every way, coying not only how she taught hbut also how she conducted herself outside of class."
  69. Enervate
    to reduce in strength

    "The guerillas hoped that series of surprise attacks would enervate the regular army."
  70. Engender
    to produce, cause, or bring about

    "His fear and hatred of clowns was engendered when he witnessed the death of his fther at the hands of a clown."
  71. Enigma
    a puzzle, a mystery

    "Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation of something of an enigma."
  72. Enumerate
    to count, list, or itemize

    "Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commndments were enumerated."
  73. Ephemeral
    lasting a short time

    "The lives of mayflies seem ephemeral to use, since the flies' average life span is a matter of hours."
  74. Equivocate
    to use exressions of double meaning in order to mislead

    "When faced with criticsm of her policies, the politician equivocated and left all parties thinking she agreed with them."
  75. Erratic
    wandering and unpredictable

    "The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took series of erratic turns that surprised the audience."
  76. Erudite
    learned, scholarly, bookish

    "The annual meeting of philosophy rofessors was a gathering of the most erudite, well-published individuals in the field."
  77. Esoteric
    known or understood by only few

    "Only a handful of experts are knowledgable about the esoteric world of particle physics."
  78. Estimable

    "Most pople consider it estimable tht Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India."
  79. Eulogy
    speech in praise of someone

    "His best friend gave the eulogy, outlining his many achievements and talents."
  80. Euphemism
    use of an innofensive word or hrase in the place of a more distasteful one.

    "The funeral director preferred to use the euphemism sleeping instead of dead."
  81. Exacerbate
    to make worse

    "It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; instead of providing relief, the drug will only exacerbate the problem."
  82. Exculpate
    to clear from blame; prove innocent

    "The adversarial legal system is intendd to convict those who are guilty and to exculpate those who are innocent."
  83. Exigent
    urgent, reuiring immediate action

    "The patient ws losing blood so rapidly that it was exigent to stop the source of bleding."
  84. Exonerate
    to clear of blame

    "The fugitive ws exoneated when another criminal confessed to committing the crime."
  85. Explicit
    clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression

    "The owners of the house left a list of explicit instructions detailing their house-sitter's duties, including a schedule for watering the house plants."
  86. Fanatical
    acting expressively enthusiastic; filled with etreme, unquestioned devotion

    "The stormtroopers were fanatical in theif devotion to the emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him."
  87. Fawn
    to grovel

    "The understudy fawned over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis."
  88. Fervid
    intensely emotional; feverish

    "The fans of Maria Callas were unusually fervid, doing anything to catch a glimse of the great opera singer."
  89. Florid
    excessively decorated or embellished

    "The palac had been decorated in a florid style; every surface had been carved and gilded."
  90. Foment
    to arouse or incite

    "The protesters tried to foment feeling against the war through their speeches and demonstrations."
  91. Frugality
    a tendency to be thrifty or cheap

    "Scrooge McDuck's fugality was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with money."
  92. Garrulous
    tending to talk a lot

    "The garrulous parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking."
  93. Gregarious
    outgoing, scoiable

    "She was so gregarious that when she found herself alone, she felt quite sad."
  94. Guile
    deceit or trickery

    "Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to guile in an effort to trap his enemy."
  95. Gullible
    easily deceived

    "The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to full the gullible bank customers into giving him their account information."
  96. Homogenous
    of a similar kind

    "The class was fairly homogenous, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors."
  97. Iconoclast
    one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions

    "His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an iconoclast."
  98. Imperturbable
    not capable of being disturbed

    "The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she seemed inperturbable, even when faced with the wildest tantrums."
  99. Impervious
    impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected

    "A good raincoat will be impervious to moisture."
  100. Impetuous
    quick to act without thinking

    "It is not good for an investment broker to be impetuous since much thought should be given to all possible outcomes."
  101. Implacable
    unable to be calmed down or made peaceful

    "His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained implacable for weeks."
  102. Inchoate
    not fully formed; disorganized

    "The ideas expressed in Nietzsche's mature work also appear in an inchoate from his earliest writing."
  103. Ingenuous
    showing inncnce or childlike simplicity

    "She was so ingenuous that her friends feared that her innocence nd trustfulness would be exploited when she visited the big city."
  104. Inimical
    hostile, unfriendly

    "Even though the children hd grown up together, they were inimical to each other at school."
  105. Innocuous

    "Some snakes are oisonous, but most species are innocuous and pose no danger to humans."
  106. Insipid
    lacking interest or flavor

    "The critic claimed that the painting was insipid, containing no interesting qualities at all."
  107. Intransigent
    uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled

    "The professor was intransigent on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time."
  108. Inundate
    to overwhelm; to cover with water

    "The tidal wave innundated Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water."
  109. Irascible
    easily made angry

    "Atilla the Hun's irascible and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives."
  110. Laconic
    using few words

    "She was a laconic poet who built her reputation on using words s saringly as possible."
  111. Lament
    to expres sorrow; to grieve

    "The children continued to lament the death of the goldfish weks after its demise."
  112. Laud
    to give praise; to glorify

    "Parades and fireworks were staged to laud the success of the rebels."
  113. Lavish
    to give unsparingly (v.); extremely generous or extravegent (n.)

    "She lavished the puppy with so many treats that it soon became overweight and spoiled."
  114. Lethargic
    acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner

    "The clerk was so lethargic that, even when the store was slow, he always had a long line in front of him."
  115. Loquacious

    "She was naturally loquacious, which was a problem in situations in which listening was more important than talking."
  116. Lucid
    clear and easily understood

    "The explanations were written in a simple and lucid manner so that students were immediately able to apply what they learned."
  117. Luminous
    bright, brilliant, glowing

    "The park was bathed in luminous sunshine, which warmed the bodies and the souls of the visitors."
  118. Malinger
    to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill

    "A common way to avoid the draft was by malingering -- pretending to be mentally or physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the army."
  119. Malleable
    capable of being shaped

    "Gold is the most malleable of precious metals; it can easily be formed into almost any shape."
  120. Metaphor
    a figure of speech comparing two different things; a symbol

    "The metaphor 'a sea of troubls' suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea."
  121. Meticulous
    extremely careful about details

    "To find all the clues at the crime scene, the investigators meticulously examined every inch of the area."
  122. Misanthrope
    a person who dislikes others

    "The character Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is such a misanthrope that even the sight of children singing makes him angry."
  123. Mitigate
    to soften; to lessen

    "A judge may mitigate a sentence if she decides that a person committed a crime out of need."
  124. Mollify
    to calm or make less severe

    "Their argument was so intense that it was difficult to believe any compromise would mollify them."
  125. Monotony
    lack of variation

    "The monotony of the sound of the dripping faucent almost drove the research assistant crazy."
  126. Naive
    lacking sophistication or experience

    "Having never traveled before, the elementary school students were more naive than their high school counterparts on the field trip."
  127. Obdurate
    hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion

    "The president was comletely obdurate on the issue, and no ammount of persuasion would change his mind."
  128. Obsequious
    overly submissive and eager to please

    "The obsequious new associate made sure to comliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue."
  129. Obstinate
    stubborn, unyielding

    "The obstinate child could not be made to eat any food that he disliked."
  130. Obviate
    to prevent; to make unecessary

    "The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which obviated the need for a bridge."
  131. Occlude
    to stop up; to prevent the passage of

    "A shadow is through across the earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is occluded by the moon."
  132. Onerous
    troublesome and oppressive; burdensome

    "The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved onerous to the team in charge of it."
  133. Opaque
    impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light

    "The heavy buildup of dirt and grime on the windows almost made them opaque."
  134. Oppobrium
    public disgrace

    "After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasure resigned in utter opobrium."
  135. Ostentation
    excessive showiness

    "The ostentation of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his alace at Versailles."
  136. Paradox
    a contradiction or dilemma

    "It is a paradox that those mot in need of medical attention are often those least abl to obtain it."
  137. Paragon
    model of excellence or perfection

    "She is a paragon of what a judge should be honest, intelligent, hard working, and just."
  138. Pedant
    someone who shows off learning

    "The graduate instructor's tedious and excesive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a pedant."
  139. Perfidious
    willing to betray one's trust

    "The actress's perfidious companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist."
  140. Perfunctory
    done in a routine way; indifferent

    "The machinelike bank teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a perfunctory smile."
  141. Permeate
    to penetrate

    "The miraculous new cleaning fluid is able to ermeate stains and disolve them in minutes!"
  142. Philanthropy
    charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness

    "New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the philahtropy of rivate collectors who willed their estates to the museum."
  143. Placate
    to soothe or pacify

    "The burglar tried to lacate the snarling dog by saying 'Nice doggy' and offering it a treat."
  144. Plastic
    able to be molded, altered, or bent

    "The new material was very plastic and could be formed into products of vastly different shapes."
  145. Plethora

    "Assuming that more was better, the defendent offered the judge a plethora of excuses."
  146. Pragmatic
    practical as opposed to idealistic

    "While daydreaming gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, pragmatic gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them."
  147. Precipitate
    to throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation

    "Upon learning that the couple married after knowing each other for only two months, friends and family members expected such a precipitate marriage to end in divorce."
  148. Prevaricate
    to lie or deviate from the truth

    "Rather than admit that he had overslept agan, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time."
  149. Pristine
    fresh and clean; uncorrupted

    "Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological site was still pristine when researchers arrived."
  150. Prodigal
    lavish, wasteful

    "The prodigal son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure."
  151. Proliferate
    to increase in number quickly

    "Although she only kept two guinea pigs initially, they proliferated to such an extent that she soon had dozens."
  152. Propritiate
    to conciliate; to appease

    "The management propitiated the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members."
  153. Propriety
    correct behavior; obedience to rules and customs

    "The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules."
  154. Prudence
    wisdom, caution, or restraint

    "The college student exhibited prudence by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her resume."
  155. Pugent
    sharp and irritating to the senses

    "The smoke from the burning tires was extremely pugent."
  156. Quiescent

    "Many animals are quiescent ovver the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy."
  157. Rarefy
    to make thinner or sparser

    "Since the atmosphere rarefies as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe."
  158. Repudiate
    to reject the validity of

    "The old woman's claim that she was Russian royalty was repudiated when DNA tests showed she was of no relation to them."
  159. Reticent
    silent, reserved

    "Physically small and reticent in her speech, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those upon whom she was reporting."
  160. Rhetoric
    effective writing or speaking

    "Lincoln's talent for rhetoric was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address."
  161. Satiate
    to satisfy fully or overindulge

    "His desire for power was so great that nothing less than comlete control of the country could satiate it."
  162. Soporific
    causing sleep or lethargy

    "The movie proved to b so soporific that soon loud snores were heard throughout the theater."
  163. Specious
    deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious

    "The student's specious excuse for being late sounded legitimate but was proved otherwise when her teacher called her home."
  164. Stigma
    a mark of shame or discredit

    "In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was required to wear the letter A on her clothes as a public stigma for her adultery."
  165. Stolid
    unemotional; lacking sensitivity

    "The prisoner appeared stolid and unaffected by the judge's harsh sentence."
  166. Sublime
    lofty or grand

    "The music ws so sublime that it transformed the rude surroundings into a special place."
  167. Tacit
    done without using words

    "Although not a word had been said, everyone in the room knew that a tacit agreement had been made about which course of action to take."
  168. Taciturn
    silent, not talkative

    "The clerk's taciturn nature earned him the nickname 'Silent Bob.' "
  169. Tirade
    long, harsh seech or verbal attack

    "Observers were shocked at the manager's tirade over such a minor mistake."
  170. Torpor
    extreme mental and physical sluggishness

    "After surgery, the patient experienced torpor until the anesthesia wore off."
  171. Transitory
    temporary, lasting a brief time

    "The reporter lived in a transitory life, staying in one place only long enough to cover the current story."
  172. Vacillate
    to sway physically; to be indecisive

    "The customer held up the line as he vacillated between ordering chocolate chip or rock road ice cream."
  173. Venerate
    to respect deeply

    "In a traditional Confucian society, the young venerate their elders, deferring to the elders' wisdom and experience."
  174. Veracity
    filled with truth and accuracy

    "She had a reputaton for veracity, so everyone trusted her descrition of events."
  175. Verbose

    "The professor's answer was so verbose that his student forgot what the original question had been."
  176. Vex
    to annoy

    "The old man who loved his peace and quiet was vexed by his neighbor's loud music."
  177. Volatile
    easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive

    "His volatile personality made it difficult to predict his reaction to anything."
  178. Waver
    to fluctuate between choices

    "If you waver too long before making a decision about which testing site to register for, you may not get your first choice."
  179. Whimsical
    acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable

    "The ballet was whimsical, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpreditcable sets."
  180. Zeal
    passion; excitement

    "She brought her typical zeal to the project, sparking enthusiasm in the other team members."
Card Set
GRE Verbal - Top Words
Top GRE words in context