GRE Vocab (A-C)

  1. Abase (v)
    to humble; digrace

    My intention was not to abase the comedian.

    synonyms: demean; humiliate
  2. Abate (v)
    to reduce in amount, degree, or severity

    As the hurricane's force abated the winds dropped and the sea became calm.

    Synonyms: ebb; lapse; let up; moderate; relent; slacken; subside; wane
  3. Abdicate (v)
    to give up position, right, or power

    With the angry mob clamoring outside the palace, the king abdicated his throne and fled.

    Synonyms: cede; relinquish; resign; quit; yield
  4. Aberrant (adj)
    deviating from what is normal or expected

    Since he had been a steady, cheerful worker for many years, his fellow postal workers did not expect his aberrant burst of rage.

    Synonyms: abnormal; anomalous; deviant; divergent; errant; irregular
  5. Abeyance (n)
    temporary suppression or suspension

    The baseball game was held in abeyance while it continued to rain.

    Synonyms; deferral; delay; dormancy; postponement; remission
  6. Abjure (v)
    to reject; abandon formally

    The spy abjured his allegiance to the United States when he defected to Russia.

    Synonyms: forswear; recall; recant; take back
  7. Abscond (v)
    to leave secretly

    The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.

    Synonyms: decamp; escape; flee
  8. Abstain (v)
    to choose not to do something

    Before the medical procedure you must abstain from eating.

    Synonyms: forbear; refrain; withold
  9. Abstemious (adj)
    moderate in appetite

    Because Alyce is a vegetarian, she was only able to eat an abstemious meal at the Texas steakhouse.

    Synonyms: abstinent; continent; self-restraining; sober; temperate
  10. Abyss (n)
    an extremely deep hole

    The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen depths.

    Synonyms: chasm; void
  11. Accretion (n)
    a growth in size; an increase in amount

    The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scholarship money.

    Synonyms: accumulation; buildup
  12. Acidulous (adj)
    sour in taste or manner

    The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk made the young boy's lips pucker.

    Synonyms: acerbic; acetous; biting; piquant; pungent; tart
  13. Acme (n)
    highest point; summit; the highest level or degree attainable

    Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.

    Synonyms: apex; peak; summit
  14. Adulterate (v)
    to make impure

    The restaurant made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water.

    Synonyms: debase; doctor; load
  15. Advocate (v)
    to speak in favor of

    The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat.

    Synonym: back; champion; support
  16. Aerie (n)
    a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded dwelling

    Perched high among the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs.

    Synonyms: perch; stronghold
  17. Aesthetic (adj)
    concerning the appreciation of beauty

    The aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty to be the only true purpose of art.

    Synonyms: artistic; tasteful
  18. Affected (adj)
    phony; artificial

    The affected hairdresser spouted French phrases, though she had never been to France.

    Synonyms; insincere; pretentious; put-on
  19. Aggrandize (v)
    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.

    Synonyms: amplify; apotheosize; augment; dignify; elevate; enlarge; ennoble; exalt; glorify; magnify; swell; uplift; wax
  20. Amalgamate (v)
    to combine; to mix together

    Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products incorporated.

    Synonyms: admix; blend; coalesce; combine; commingle; commix; compound; fuse; intermingle; intermix; merge; mingle; mix; unite
  21. Ambiguous (adj)
    doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways

    The directions he gave were so ambiguous the we disagreed on which way to turn.

    Synonyms: cloudy; doubtful; dubious; equivocal; indeterminate; nebulous;obscure; unclear; vague
  22. Ameliorate (v)
    to make better; to improve

    The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers.

    Synonyms: amend; better;improve; pacify; upgrade
  23. Alacrity (n)
    speed or quickness

    The restaurant won a reputation for fine service since the wait staff responded to their clients' requests with alacrity.

    synonyms: dispatch; haste; swiftness
  24. Amortize (v)
    to diminish by installment payments

    While college students are notorious for accumulating credit card debt, they are not as well known for amortizing it.

    Synonyms: convivialty
  25. Alleviate (v)
    To make more bearable

    Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache.

    Synonyms: allay; assuage; comfort; ease; lessen; lighten; mitigate; palliate; relieve
  26. Amulet (n)
    ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits

    Though she claimed it was not because of superstition, Vivian always wore an amulet around her neck.

    Synonyms: fetish; talisman
  27. Anachronism (n)
    something out of place in time

    • The aged hippie used anachronistic phrases like "groovy" and "far out" that had not been popular for years.
    • synonyms; archaism; incongruity
  28. Analgesia (n)
    a lessening of pain without loss of consciousness

    After having her appendix removed, Tatiana welcomed the analgesia that the painkillers provided.
  29. Analogous (n)
    similar or alike in some way; equivalent to

    His mother argued that not going to college was analogous to throwing his life away

    Synonyms: alike; comparable; corresponding; equivalent; homogeneous; parallel; similar
  30. Anodyne (n)
    something that calms or soothes pain

    The anodyne massage helped remove the knots from the lawyer's tense shoulders.

    Synonyms: narcotic; nepenthe; opiate
  31. Anomaly (n)
    deviation from what is normal

    Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.

    Synonyms: aberrant; aberration; abnormality; deviance; deviation; irregularity; preternaturalness
  32. Antagonize (v)
    to annoy or anger

    The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling it's tail.

    Synonyms: clash; conflict; incite; irritate; oppose; pester; provoke; vex
  33. Antipathy (n)
    extreme dislike

    The antipathy between fans of the rival soccer teams made the game even more electrifying to watch.

    Synonyms: abhorrence; animosity; animus; antagonism; aversion; dislike; enmity; hatred; hostility; loathing; repellence; repugnance; repulsion; revulsion
  34. Apathy (n)
    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.

    Synonyms; coolness; disinterest; disregard; impassivity; indifference; insensibility; lassitude; lethargy; listlessness; phlegm; stolidity; unconcern; unresponsiveness
  35. Apocryphal (adj)
    of questionable authority

    There is no hard or authoritative evidence to support the apocryphal tales that link the Roswell, New Mexico, incident to a downed UFO.

    Synonyms: disputed; doubtful; fictitious; fraudulent
  36. Apostate (n)
    one who renounces a religious faith

    So that he could divorce his wife, the king scoffed at the church docrines and declared himself an apostate.

    Synonyms: defector; deserter; traitor
  37. Approbation (n)
    approval and praise

    The approbation that Jerry Lewis had received in France included a medal from the ministry of culture.

    Synonyms: acclaim; adulation; applause; commendation; compliments; exalt; extol; hail; kudos; praise
  38. Arbitrary (adj)
    determined by chance or impulse

    When you lack the information to judge what to do next, you will be forced to make an arbitrary decision.

    Synonyms; changeable; erratic; indiscriminate; random; wayward
  39. Arbitrate (v)
    to judge a dispute between two opposing parties

    Since the couple could not come to an agreement, a judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings.

    Synonyms: adjudge; adjudicate; determine; intermediate; intervene; judge; moderate; referee; rule
  40. Archaic (n)
    ancient; old-fashioned

    Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software.

    Synonyms: ancient; antediluvian; antique; archaic; bygone; dated; dowdy; fusty; obsolete; old-fashioned; outdated; outmoded; passé; prehistoric; stale; superannuated; superseded; vintage
  41. Ardor (n)
    intense and passionate feeling

    Bishop's ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.

    Synonyms: devotion; enthusiasm; fervency; fervidity; fervidness; fervor; fire; passion; zeal; zealousness
  42. Articulate (adj)
    able to speak clearly and expressively

    She is extremely articulate when it comes to expressing her pro-labor views; as a result, unions are among her strongest supporters.

    Synonyms: eloquent; expressive; fluent; lucid; silver-tongued; smooth-spoken
  43. Arrogate (v)
    to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right

    Gretchen watched in astonishment as he boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work on the project.

    Synonyms: appropriate; presume; take
  44. Assuage (v)
    to make something unpleasant less severe

    Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to assuage his sense of meaninglessness and despair.

    Synonyms: allay; alleviate; appease; comfort; conciliate; ease; lighten; mitigate; mollify; pacify; palliate; placate; propitiate; relieve; soothe; sweeten
  45. Assail (v)
    to attack; assault

    The foreign army will try to assail our bases, but they will not be successful in their attack.

    Synonyms: beset; strike; storm
  46. Attenuate (v)
    to reduce in force or degree; weaken

    The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will.

    Synonyms: debilitate; devitalize; dilute; enervate; enfeeble; rarefy; sap; thin; undermine; undo; unnerve; water; weaken
  47. Audacious (adj)
    fearless and daring

    The audacious peasant dared to insult the king's mother.

    Synonyms; adventuresome; aggressive; assertive; bold; brave; courageous; daring; dauntless; doughty; fearless; gallant; game; heroic; intrepid; mettlesome; plucky; stout; stouthearted; unafraid; undaunted; valiant; valorous; venturesome; venturous
  48. Augury (n)
    prophecy; prediction of events

    Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of the good things to come.

    Synonyms: auspices; harbinger; omen; portent; presage
  49. August (adj)
    dignified; grandiose

    The august view of the Grand Teton summit took my breath away.

    Synonyms: admirable; awesome; grand; majestic
  50. Austere (adj)
    severe or stern in appearance; undecorated

    The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem austere to the untrained eye.

    Synonyms: bleak; dour; grim; hard; harsh; severe
  51. Axiom (n)
    premise; postulate; self-evident truth

    Halle lived her life based on the axioms her grandmother had passed on to her.

    Synonyms: adage; apothegm; aphorism; maxim; rule
  52. Banal (adj)
    predictable; clichéd; boring

    His conversation consisted of banal phrases like "Have a nice day" or "Another day, another dollar."

    Synonyms: bland; bromidic; clichéd; commonplace; fatuous; hackneyed; innocuous; insipid; jejune; musty; platitudinous; prosaic; quotidian; shopworn; stale; stereotypic; threadbare; timeworn; tired; trite; vapid; worn-out
  53. Belfry (n)
    bell tower; room in which the bell is hung

    The town was shocked when a bag of money was found stashed in the old belfry of the church.

    Synonyms: spire; steeple
  54. Bevy (n)

    As predicted, a bevy of teenagers surrounded the rock star's limousine.

    Synonyms: band; bunch; gang; pack; troop
  55. Bifurcate (v)
    to divide into two parts

    The large corporation just released a press statement announcing its plans to bifurcate.

    Synonym: bisect
  56. Bilk (v)
    to cheat; defraud

    When the greedy salesman realized that his customer spoke poor French, he bilked the tourist out of 20 euros.

    Synonyms: beat; defraud; diddle; gyp; overreach
  57. Blight (v)
    to afflict; destroy

    The farmers feared that the night's frost would blight the potato crops entirely.

    Synonyms: damage; plague
  58. Blithe (adj)
    joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate thought

    Summer finally came, and the blithe students spent their days at the beach.

    Synonyms: carefree; lighthearted; merry
  59. Bolster (v)
    to support; prop up

    The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Bigfoot was in the area.

    Synonyms: brace; buttress; crutch; prop; stay; support; sustain; underpinning; uphold
  60. Bombastic (adj)
    pompous in speech and manner

    Mussolini's speeches were mostly bombastic; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.

    Synonyms: bloated; declamatory; fustian; grandiloquent; grandiose; high-flown; magniloquent; orotund; pretentious; rhetorical; self-important
  61. Bonhomie (n)
    good-natured geniality; atmosphere of good cheer

    The aspects of her job she loved most were the flexible hours and the pleasant bonhomie in the office.
  62. Boor (n)
    crude person, one lacking in manners or taste

    "That utter boor ruined my recital with his constant guffawing!" wailed the pianist.

    Synonyms: clod; lout; oaf; vulgarian; yahoo
  63. Burgeon (v)
    to grow and flourish

    Faulkner neither confirmed nor denied stories about himself, allowing rumor to burgeon where it would.

    Synonyms: bloom flourish prosper; thrive
  64. Burnish (v)
    to polish

    He burnished the silver coffee pot until it shone brightly

    Synonyms: buff; luster; polish; scour
  65. Cabal (n)
    a secret group seeking to overturn something

    The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep girls out of their tree house.

    Synonyms: camp; clan; clique; coterie; in-group; mafia; mob; ring
  66. Cacophony (n)
    harsh, jarring noise

    The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophony as they tried to tune their instruments.

    Synonyms: chaos; clamor; din; discord; disharmony; noise
  67. Calumny (n)
    a false malicious accusation; misrepresentation

    The unscrupulous politician used calumny to bring down his opponent in the senatorial race.

    Synonyms: defamation; libel; slander
  68. Canard (n)
    a lie

    That tabloid's feature story about a goat giving birth to a human child was clearly a canard.

    Synonyms: falsehood; falsity; fib; misrepresentation; prevarication; tale; untruth
  69. Candid (adj)
    impartial, and honest in speech

    The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious

    Synonyms: direct; forthright; frank; honest; open; sincere; straight; straightforward; undisguised
  70. Capricious (adj)
    changing one's mind quickly and often

    Queen Elizabeth I was quite capricious; her courtiers could never be sure which one would catch her fancy.

    Synonyms: arbitrary; chance; changeable; erratic; fickle; inconstant; mercurial; random; whimsical; willful
  71. Cartography (n)
    science or art of making maps

    Gail's interest in cartography may stem from the extensive traveling as a child.

    Synonyms: charting; surveying; topography
  72. Castigate (v)
    to punish or criticize harshly

    Martina castigated her boyfriend for not remembering her birthday.

    Synonyms: admonish; chastise; chide; rebuke; reprimand; reproach; reprove; scold; tax; upbraid
  73. Catalyst (n)
    something that brings about a change in something else

    The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution.

    Synonyms: accelerator; goad; impetus; impulse; incentive; motivation; spur; stimulant
  74. Catholic (adj)
    universal; broad and comprehensive

    Hot tea with honey is a catholic remedy for a sore throat.

    Synonyms: extensive; general
  75. Caustic (adj)
    biting in wit

    Dorothy Parker gained her caustic reputation from her cutting, yet witty, insults.

    Synonyms: acerbic; biting; mordant; trenchant
  76. Chaos (n)
    great disorder or confused situation

    In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos.

    Synonyms: clutter; confusion; disarrangement; disarray; disorder; disorderliness;disorganization; jumble; mess; muddle; scramble; snarl; topsy-turviness; turmoil
  77. Chauvinist (n)
    someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs

    The attitude that men must be obeyed since they are inherently superior to women is common among male chauvinists.

    Synonyms: biased; colored; one-sided; partial; partisan; prejudicial; prepossessed; tendentious
  78. Chicanery (n)
    deception by means of craft or guile

    Dishonest used-car salesmen often use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars.

    Synonyms: artifice; conniving; craftiness; deception; deviousness; misrepresentation; pettifoggery; shadiness; sneakiness; sophistry; subterfuge; underhandedness
  79. Circumspect (adj)
    cautious; aware of potential consequences

    She was very circumspect in her language and behavior when first introduced to her fiancée's parents.

    Synonyms: alert; cautious; heedful; mindful; prudent; solicitous; vigilant; wary
  80. Cloying (adj)
    sickly sweet; excessive

    When Enid and Jay first started dating, their cloying affection towards one another often made their friends ill.

    Synonyms: excessive; fulsome
  81. Coalesce (v)
    to grow together to form a single whole

    The sun and planets eventually coalesced out of a vast cloud of gas and dust.

    Synonyms: amalgamate; blend; coalesce; condense; consolidate; fuse; unite
  82. Coffer (n)
    stongbox; large chest for money

    The bulletproof glass of the coffer is what keeps the crown jewels secure.

    Synonyms; treasury; chest; exchequer; war chest
  83. Cogent (adj)
    convincing and well-reasoned

    Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.

    Synonyms; convincing; persuasive; solid; telling; valid
  84. Collusion (n)
    collaboration; complicity; conspiracy

    It came to light that the police chief and the mafia had a collusion in running the numbers racket.

    Synonyms: connivance; intrigue; machination
  85. Condone (v)
    to overlook, pardon, or disregard

    Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness.

    Synonyms: exculpate; excuse; pardon; remit
  86. Connoisseur (n)
    a person with expert knowledge or discriminating tastes

    Dr. Crane was a connoisseur of fine food and wine, drinking and eating only the best.

    Synonyms: authority; epicure; expert; gastronome; gourmet
  87. Contrite (adj)
    deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong

    After three residents were mugged in the lobby while the watchman was away from his post, he felt very contrite.

    Synonyms: apologetic; regretful; remorseful
  88. Contumacious (adj)

    The contumacious teenager ran away from home when her parents told her she was grounded.

    Synonyms: factious; insubordinate; insurgent; mutinous;rebellious; seditious
  89. Convoluted (adj)
    intricate and complicated

    Although many people bought the professor's book, few people could follow its convoluted ideas and theories.

    Synonyms: Byzantine; complex elaborate; intricate; knotty; labyrinthine; perplexing; tangled
  90. Corroborate (v)
    to support with evidence

    All the DA needed were fingerprints to corroborate the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment.

    Synonyms: authenticate; back; buttress; confirm; substantiate; validate; verify
  91. Cosset (v)
    to pamper; treat with great care

    Marta just loves to cosset her first and only grandchild.

    Synonyms: cater to; cuddle; dandle; fondle; love; pamper; pet; spoil
  92. Coterie (n)
    an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose

    Angel invited a coterie of fellow stamp enthusiasts to a stamp-trading party

    Synonyms: clique; set
  93. Craven (adj)
    lacking courage

    The craven lion cringed in the corner oh his cage, terrified of the mouse

    Synonyms: fainthearted; spineless; timid
  94. Credulous (adj)
    too trusting; gullible

    Although some 4-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous 9-year-olds also believe in her.

    Synonyms: naive; susceptible; trusting
  95. Crescendo (n)
    steadily increasing in volume or force

    The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.

    Synonyms: acme; capstone; climax; crest; culmen; culmination; meridian; peak
  96. Cupidity (n)
    greed; strong desire

    The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his gleaming eyes.

    Synonyms: avarice; covetousness; rapcity
  97. Curmudgeon (n)
    cranky person, usually old

    Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him for any reason.

    Synonyms: crab; coot; grouch
Card Set
GRE Vocab (A-C)
500 "hardest" words/definitions/synonyms/sample sentences