Kaplan GRE 2010 Vocab 180

  1. Obdurate
    Hardened in feeling, resistant to persuasion

    The Judge was completely OBDURATE on the decision and no amount of pleading would change his mind.
  2. Monotony
    No variation, tediously the same

    The MONOTONY of his factory job slowly drove him insane.
  3. Waver
    To fluctuate between choices

    If you WAVER too long you may miss out on the opportunity.
  4. Plastic
    Able to be molded, altered or bent

    Silly Putty is very PLASTIC and could be molded into any shape.
  5. Whimsical
    Lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable

    The WHIMSICAL movie appealed both to children and their parents.
  6. Volatile
    Easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive

    His VOLATILE attitude made it difficult to critique his work.
  7. Vex
    To annoy

    He alienated himself at work by VEXING his coworkers all day long.
  8. Pragmatic
    Practical as opposed to idealistic

    The PRAGMATIC gamble will always work the odds and know when to quit.
  9. Veracity
    Filled with truth and accuracy

    She was known for her VERACITY so many people were quick to trust her.
  10. Verbose

    His answer was so VERBOSE they forgot what the original question was.
  11. Zeal
    Passion, excitement

    Her ZEAL about fashion design always inspired her students.
  12. Naive
    Lacking sophistication or experience

    Having never left the country before he seemed much more NAIVE than the other foreigners.
  13. Mollify
    • To calm or make less severe
    • The racist man was so irate that it seemed impossible to MOLLIFY his anger.
  14. Perfidious
    Willing to betray one's trust

    My PERFIDIOUS friend told my girlfriend about my one night stand.
  15. Perfunctory
    Done in a routine way; indifferent

    The bank teller did his job in a PERFUNCTORY way leaving the customers feeling cold and unimportant.
  16. Soporific
    Causing sleep or lethargy

    The professor’s lecture was so SOPORIFIC that soon half the students were asleep.
  17. Permeate
    To penetrate

    The new cloth prevented any liquids from PERMEATING into the lower layers.
  18. Tirade
    Long, harsh speech or verbal attack

    People were shocked by the chef’s TIRADE over such a minor mistake.
  19. Taciturn
    Silent, not talkative

    Because of his TACITURN nature people often thought he was very shy.
  20. Vacillate
    To physically sway or be indecisive

    The customer VACILLATED for over thirty minutes unable to make up his mind.
  21. Satiate
    To satisfy fully or overindulge

    The growing boy had such an apatite that nothing could SATIATE it.
  22. Meticulous
    Extremely careful about details

    To solve the puzzle you must METICULOUSLY examine every piece.
  23. Precipitate
    To throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation

    Since they only knew each other for a short time, people expected the PRECIPITATE marriage to end in divorce.
  24. Pedant
    Someone who shows off learning

    The student’s PEDANT attitude and behavior soon alienated her from her classmates.
  25. Sublime
    Lofty or grand

    The music was so SUBLIME it transformed the old warehouse into a special place.
  26. Torpor
    Extreme mental and physical sluggishness

    After surgery, the patient experienced TORPOR until the anesthesia wore off.
  27. Philanthropy
    Charity, a desire or effort to promote goodness

    The PHILANTHROPY of the donors allowed the students to attend university.
  28. Tacit
    Done without using words

    Although all remained silent everyone knew TACITLY what actions needed to be taken.
  29. Paragon
    Model of excellence or perfection

    She is the PARAGON of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, and impartial.
  30. Opaque
    Impossible to see through, preventing the passage of light

    The dirt on the windows almost made them OPAQUE.
  31. Transitory
    Temporary, lasting a brief time

    The writer lived a TRANSITORY life living in a place only long enough to write a book.
  32. Occlude
    To stop up, prevent the passage of

    The moon OCCLUDES the light from the Sun during a solar eclipse.
  33. Ostentation
    Excessive showiness

    His OSTENTATION attitude was evident in the way he showed off every new purchase.
  34. Obviate
    To prevent; to make necessary

    The river was shallow enough to wade across, which OBVIATED the need for a bridge.
  35. Luminous
    Bright, brilliant, glowing

    The living room was filled with LUMINOUS sunlight which made it perfect for the lazy dog to sleep.
  36. Obstinate
    Stubborn, unyielding

    The OBSTINATE child would not eat any green vegetables.
  37. Pristine
    Fresh and clean, uncorrupted

    The cave-in blocked the tomb’s entrance leaving the site PRISTINE.
  38. Mitigate
    To soften, to lessen

    The judge MITIGATED the sentence because the crime was committed out of necessity.
  39. Venerate
    To respect deeply

    In many Asian cultures, the young are taught to VENERATE their elders, even people only one year older.
  40. Misanthrope
    A person who dislikes others

    He is such a MISANTHROPE that even the sight of children playing makes him angry.
  41. Prodigal
    Lavish, wasteful

    The PRODIGAL son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle.
  42. Prudence
    Wisdom, caution or restraint

    The student showed PRUDENCE by obtaining work experience relating to her major.
  43. Repudiate
    To reject the validity of

    The man’s claim that he won the lottery was quickly REPUDIATED when his ticket didn’t match the winning numbers.
  44. Plethora

    The day spa offered a PLETHORA of treatments, more than anyone could need.
  45. Obsequious
    Overly-submissive and eager to please

    Hoping to get a raise the worker was always very OBSEQUIOUS when around his boss.
  46. Loquacious

    She was the most LOQUACIOUS student in the class, which was often problematic.
  47. Lucid
    Clear and easily understood

    To make the instructions easily understood they were written in a simple and LUCID way.
  48. Lethargic
    Acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner

    The clerk was so LETHARGIC that he always had a long line in front of him.
  49. Onerous
    Troublesome and oppressive; burdensome

    The project was so extensive and difficult it proved ONEROUS to the team in charge of it.
  50. Stigma
    A mark of shame or discredit

    The woman wore the letter “A” on her clothes as a public STIGMA for her adultery.
  51. Malinger
    To evade responsibility by pretending to be ill

    By MALINGERING the young men dodged the draft.
  52. Specious
    Deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious

    Although false, the student’s SPECIOUS excuse seemed legitimate.
  53. Opprobrium
    Public disgrace

    After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter OPPROBRIUM.
  54. Rhetoric
    Effective writing or speaking

    His talent for RHETORIC was evident in his beautifully expressed speech.
  55. Reticent
    Silent, reserved

    Physically small and RETICENT in her speech, she often went unnoticed.
  56. Stolid
    Unemotional, lacking sensitivity

    The prisoner appeared STOLID and unaffected by the judge’s harsh sentence.
  57. Propitiate
    To conciliate, to appease

    The management PROPITIATED the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members.
  58. Quiescent

    Many animals are QUIESCENT over the winter months.
  59. Pungent
    Sharp and irritating to the senses

    The smoke from the burning tires was extremely PUNGENT.
  60. Propriety
    Acting in a proper manner, obeying rules and customs

    The aristocracy maintained a high level of PROPRIETY, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
  61. Proliferate
    To increase in number quickly

    Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they PROLIFERATED to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
  62. Malleable
    Capable of being shaped

    Gold is the most MALLEABLE of precious metals; it can be easily made it any shape.
  63. Placate
    To soothe or pacify

    The burglar tried to PLACATE the snarling dog with steak.
  64. Dogma
    A firmly held opinion, especially a religious belief

    His central DOGMA was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded.
  65. Dissonance
    A harsh and disagreeable combination, especially of sounds

    Cognitive DISSONANCE is the inner conflict produced when long standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
  66. Dissemble
    To present a false appearance, to disguise one's real intentions or character

    The villain could DISSEMBLE to the police no longer – he confessed to the crime.
  67. Paradox
    A contradiction or dilemma

    It is a PARADOX that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
  68. Metaphor
    A figure of speech comparing two different things, a symbol

    The METAPHOR “A sea of troubles,” suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
  69. 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.
  70. Enigma
    A puzzle, a mystery

    Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation as something of an ENIGMA.
  71. Engender
    To produce, cause, or bring about

    His fear and hatred of clowns was ENGENDERED when he witnessed his father’s death by the clown.
  72. Enervate
    To reduce in strength

    The guerrillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would ENERVATE the regular army.
  73. Emulate
    To copy; to try to equal or excel

    The students wished to EMULATE their professor in every way.
  74. Eloquent
    Persuasive and moving, especially in speech

    The speech is moving not only because of its lofty ideas but also because of its ELOQUENT words.
  75. Elegy
    A sorrowful poem or speech

    Even though the ELEGY was about death, it urges its readers to endure this life.
  76. Efficacy

    The EFFICACY of the drug was unsurpassed when it was first introduced.
  77. Eclectic
    Selecting from or made up from a variety of sources

    Budapest’s architecture is an ECLECTIC mix of eastern and western styles.
  78. Dupe
    To deceive or a person who is easily deceived

    Bugs Bunny was able to DUPE Elmer Fudd by dressing up like a lady.
  79. Dogmatic
    Dictatorial in one's opinions

    The dictator was DOGMATIC he and only he was right.
  80. Exacerbate
    To make worse

    It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; it will only EXACERBATE it.
  81. Euphemism
    Use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one

    The funeral director preferred to use the EUPHEMISM “sleeping” instead of the word “dead.”
  82. Eulogy
    Speech in praise of someone

    His best friend gave the EULOGY, outlining his many achievements.
  83. Estimable

    Most people consider it ESTIMABLE that she spent her life helping the poor.
  84. Esoteric
    Known or understood only by a few

    Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the ESOTERIC world of particle physics.
  85. Erudite
    Learned, scholarly, bookish

    The annual meeting appealed only to the most ERUDITE university professors.
  86. Erratic
    Wandering and unpredictable

    The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of ERRATIC turns.
  87. Equivocate
    To use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead

    When faced with criticism of his policies, the politician EQUIVOCATED and left all parties thinking he agreed with them.
  88. Ephemeral
    Lasting a short time

    The lives of mayflies seem EPHEMERAL to us.
  89. Enumerate
    To count, list, itemize

    Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commandments were ENUMERATED.
  90. Florid
    Excessively decorated or embellished

    The palace had been decorated in an excessively FLORID style.
  91. Fervid
    Intensely emotional, feverish

    The fans were unusually FERVID, doing anything to catch a glimpse of the singer.
  92. Fawn
    To grovel

    The understudy FAWNED over the director in hopes of being cast in the movie.
  93. Fanatical
    Acting excessively enthusiastic, filled with extreme, unquestioned devotion

    The soldiers were FANATICAL in their devotion to the general.
  94. Explicit
    Clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression

    The owners of the house left a list of EXPLICIT instructions detailing their house-sitters’ duties.
  95. Exonerate
    To clear of blame

    The fugitive was EXONERATED when another criminal confessed.
  96. Exigent
    Urgent; requiring immediate action

    The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was EXIGENT to stop the bleeding.
  97. Exculpate
    To clear from blame, prove innocent

    The adversarial legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and to EXCULPATE those who are innocent.
  98. Impetuous
    Quick to act without thinking

    It is not good for an investment broker to be IMPETUOUS, since much though should be given to all possible options.
  99. Impervious
    Impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected

    A good raincoat will be IMPERVIOUS to moisture.
  100. Imperturbable
    Not capable of being disturbed

    Her experience dealing with distraught children made her IMPERTURBABLE, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
  101. Iconoclast
    One who opposes established beliefs, customs and institutions

    His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an ICONOCLAST.
  102. Homogenous
    Of a similar kind

    The class was fairly HOMOGENOUS, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors.
  103. Gullible
    Easily deceived

    The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool GULLIBLE bank customers into giving him their account information
  104. Guile
    Deceit, 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.
  105. Gregarious
    Outgoing, sociable

    She was so GREGARIOUS that when she found herself alone she felt quite sad.
  106. Garrulous
    Tending to talk a lot

    The GARRULOUS parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
  107. Frugality
    Tending to be thrifty or cheap

    Scrooge’s FRUGALITY was so great he accumulated a great amount of wealth.
  108. Foment
    To arouse or incite

    The protesters tried to FOMENT feelings against the war through their speeches.
  109. Laud
    to give praise; to glorify

    Parades and fireworks were staged to LAUD the success of the rebels.
  110. Lament
    To express sorrow, to grieve

    The children continued to LAMENT the death of the goldfish weeks after its death.
  111. Laconic
    Using few words

    She was a LACONIC poet who builds her reputation on using words as sparingly as possible.
  112. Irascible
    easily made angry

    Attila the Hun’s IRASCIBLE and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives.
  113. Inundate
    To overwhelm, to cover with water

    The tidal wave INUNDATED Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
  114. Intransigent
    Uncompromising, refusing to be reconciled

    The professor was INTRANSIGENT on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time.
  115. Insipid
    Lacking interest or flavor

    The critic claimed that painting was INSIPID, containing no interesting qualities at all.
  116. Innocuous

    Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are INNOCUOUS and pose no danger to humans.
  117. Inimical
    Hostile, unfriendly

    Even though the children had grown up together they were INIMICAL to each other at school.
  118. Ingenuous
    Showing innocence or childlike simplicity

    She was so INGENUOUS that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploited.
  119. Inchoate
    Not fully formed, disorganized

    The ideas expressed in his work also appear in an INCHOATE form in his earlier work.
  120. Implacable
    Unable to be calmed down or made peaceful

    His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained IMPLACABLE for weeks.
  121. Decorum
    Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety

    The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the DECORUM appropriate for a visit to the palace.
  122. Deference
    Respect, courtesy

    The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost DEFERENCE.
  123. Deride
    To speak of or treat with contempt, to mock

    The awkward child was often DERIDED by his “cooler” peers.
  124. Desiccate
    To dry out thoroughly

    After a few weeks of lying on the desert’s baking sands, the cow’s carcass become completely DESICCATED.
  125. Desultory
    Jumping from one thing to another; disconnected

    She had a DESULTORY academic record; she had changed majors 12 times.
  126. Diatribe
    An abusive, condemnatory speech

    The trucker bellowed a DIATRIBE at the driver who had cut him off.
  127. Diffident
    Lacking self-confidence

    His DIFFIDENT manner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature.
  128. Dilate
    To make larger, expand

    When you enter a darkened room, your pupils DILATE to let more light in.
  129. Dilatory
    Intended to delay

    The congressman used DILATORY measure to delay the passage of the bill.
  130. Dilettante
    Someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

    His friends were such DILETTANTES that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
  131. Dirge
    A funeral hymn or mournful speech

    His brother wrote a DIRGE to be read at the funeral.
  132. Disabuse
    Set right, free from error

    Galileo’s observations DISABUSED scholars of the notion that the Sun revolved around the Earth.
  133. Discern
    To perceive or recognize

    It is easy to DISCERN the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
  134. Disparate
    Fundamentally different; entirely unlike

    Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are DISPARATE.
  135. Cacophony
    Harsh, jarring noise

    The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable CACOPHONY as they tried to tune their instruments.
  136. Candid
    Impartial and honest in speech

    The observations of a child can be charming since they are CANDID and unpretentious.
  137. Capricious
    Changing one's mind quickly and often

    Queen Elizabeth I was quite CAPRICIOUS; her courtiers could never be sure which of their number would catch her fancy.
  138. Castigate
    To punish or criticize harshly

    Singapore authorities CASTIGATE perpetrators of minor crimes.
  139. Catalyst
    Something that brings about a change in something else

    The imposition of harsh taxes was the CATALYST that finally brought on the revolution.
  140. Caustic
    Biting in wit

    She gained her reputation for CAUSTIC wit from her cutting, yet clever, insults.
  141. Chaos
    Great disorder or confused situation

    In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from CHAOS.
  142. Chauvinist
    Someone prejudiced in favor of a group that he or she belongs to

    The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male CHAUVINISTS.
  143. Chicanery
    Deception by means of craft or guile

    Dishonest used car salesmen often use CHICANERY to sell their beat-up old cars.
  144. Cogent
    Convincing and well-reasoned

    Swayed by the COGENT argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
  145. Condone
    To overlook, pardon or disregard

    Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as CONDONING an air of lawlessness.
  146. Convoluted
    Intricate and complicated

    Although many people bought “A Brief History of Time,” few could follow its CONVOLUTED ideas and theories.
  147. Corroborate
    Supporting evidence

    Fingerprints CORROBORATED the witness’s testimony that he saw the defendant.
  148. Credulous
    Too trusting; gullible

    Although some four yr olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most CREDULOUS nine yr olds also believe in him.
  149. Crescendo
    Steadily increasing in volume or force

    The CRESCENDO of tension became unbearable as he prepared to jump his motorcycle.
  150. Abate
    To reduce in amount, degree, or severity

    As the hurricane’s force ABATED, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
  151. Abscond
    To leave secretly

    The patron ABSCONDED from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
  152. Abyss
    An extremely deep hole

    The submarine dove into the ABYSS to char the previously unseen depths.
  153. Adulterate
    To make impure

    The restaurateur made his ketchup last longer by ADULTERATING it with water.
  154. Lavish
    Extremely generous or extravagant; to give unsparingly

    She LAVISHED the puppy with so many treats it soon became over weight.
  155. Advocate
    To speak in favor of

    The vegetarian ADVOCATED a diet containing no meat.
  156. Aesthetic
    Concerning the appreciation of beauty

    Followers of the AESTHETIC Movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
  157. Aggrandize
    To increase in power, influence and reputation

    The supervisor sought to AGGRANDIZE himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
  158. Alleviate
    To make more bearable

    Taking aspirin helps to ALLEVIATE a headache.
  159. Amalgamate
    To combine, to mix together

    Giant Industries AMALGAMATED with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Inc.
  160. Ambiguous
    Doubtful or uncertain, can be interpreted several ways

    The directions she gave were so AMBIGUOUS that we disagreed on which way to turn.
  161. Ameliorate
    To make better; to improve

    The doctor was able to AMELIORATE the patient’s suffering using painkillers.
  162. Anachronism
    Something out of place in time

    The aged hippie used ANACHRONISTIC phrases like groovy and far out that had not been popular for years.
  163. Analogous
    Similar or alike in some way; equivalent to

    In a famous argument for the existence of God, the universe is ANALOGOUS to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent “clockmaker.”
  164. Anomaly
    Deviation from what is normal

    Albino animals may display too great an ANOMALY in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
  165. Antagonize
    To annoy or provoke to anger

    The child discovered that he could ANTAGONIZE the cat by pulling its tail.
  166. Antipathy
    Extreme dislike

    The ANTIPATHY between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare.
  167. Apathy
    Lack of interest or emotion

    The APATHY of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
  168. Arbitrate
    To judge a dispute between two opposing parties

    Since the couple could not come to agreement, a judge was forced to ARBITRATE their divorce proceedings.
  169. Archaic
    Ancient, old-fashioned

    Her ARCHAIC pc could not run the latest software.
  170. Ardor
    Intense and passionate feeling

    Bishop’s ARDOR for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
  171. Articulate
    Able to speak clearly and expressively

    She is such an ARTICULATE defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters.
  172. Assuage
    To make something unpleasant less severe

    Serena used aspirin to ASSUAGE her pounding headache.
  173. Attenuate
    Reduce in force or degree; weaken

    The Bill of Rights ATTENUATED the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
  174. Audacious
    Fearless and daring

    Her AUDACIOUS nature allowed her to fulfill her dream of skydiving.
  175. Austere
    Severe or stern in appearance; undecorated

    The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem AUSTERE to the untrained eye.
  176. Banal
    Predictable, cliched, boring

    He used BANAL phrases like “Have a nice day” or “Another day, another dollar."
  177. Bolster
    Support, prop up

    The presence of giant footprints BOLSTERED the argument that Sasquatch was in the area.
  178. Bombastic
    Pompous in speech and manner

    The dictator’s speeches were mostly BOMBASTIC; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
  179. Prevaricate
    To lie or deviate from the truth

    Rather than admit he didn't know the answer, he PREVARICATED and made an answer that seemed right.
  180. Abstain
    To choose to not to do something

    Due to his fear of the dentist he choose to ABSTAIN from going there.
Card Set
Kaplan GRE 2010 Vocab 180
Kaplan GRE 2010 Vocab top 180 words with definitions and context