GRE Vocab (P-R)

  1. Palatial (adj)
    relating to a palace; magnificent

    After living in a cramped studio apartment for years, Siobhan though the modest one bedroom looked downright palatial.
  2. Palliate (v)
    to make less serious; ease

    The alleged crime was so vicious that the defense lawyer could not palliate it for the jury.
  3. Pallid (adj)
    lacking color or liveliness

    The old drugstore's pallid window could not could not compete with Wal-Mart's extravagant display next door.
  4. Panache (n)
    flamboyance or dash in style and action; verve

    Leah has such panache when planning parties, even when they're las minute affairs.
  5. Panegyric (n)
    elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise

    The director's panegyric for the donor who kept his charity going was heart-warming.
  6. Panoply (n)
    impressive array

    His resume indicates a panoply of skills and accomplishments.
  7. Paradox (n)
    a contradiction or dilemma

    It is a paradox that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to attain it.
  8. Paragon (n)
    model of excellence or perfection

    He is the paragon of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking, and just.
  9. Pare (v)
    to trim off excess; reduce

    The cook's hands were sore after he pared hundreds of potatoes for the banquet.
  10. Pariah (n)
    an outcast

    Once he betrayed those in his community, he was banished and lived the life of a pariah.
  11. Parley (n)
    discussion, usually between enemies

    The parley between the cheerleading teams resulted in neither side admitting that they copied the other's dance moves.
  12. Parry (v)
    to ward of or deflect, especially by quick witted answer

    Kari parried every question the army officers fired at her, much to their frustration.
  13. Pastiche (n)
    piece of literature or music imitating other works

    The playwright's clever pastiche of the well-known children's story had the audience rolling in the aisles.
  14. Pathogenic (adj)
    causing disease

    Bina's research on pathological microorganisms should help stop the spread of disease.
  15. Peccadillo (n)
    minor sin or offense

    Gabriel tends to harp on his brother's peccadilloes and never lets him live them down.
  16. Pedant (n)
    someone who shows off learning

    The graduate professor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a pedant.
  17. Pejorative (n)
    having bad connotations, disparaging

    The teacher scolded Mark for his unduly pejorative comments about his classmate's presentation.
  18. Penury (n)
    an oppressive lack of resources (as money); severe poverty

    Once a famous actor, he eventually died in penury and anonymity.
  19. Peregrinate (v)
    to wander from place to place; to travel, especially on foot

    Shivani enjoyed peregrinating the expansive grounds of Central Park.
  20. Perfidious (adj)
    willing to betray one's trust

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

    The machine-like teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a perfunctory smile.
  22. Peripatetic (adj)
    wandering from place to place, especially on foot

    Eleaqna's peripatetic meanderings took her all over the countryside in the summer months.
  23. Permeate (v)
    to penetrate

    This miraculous new cleaner is able to permeate stains and dissolve them in minutes.
  24. Perspicacious (adj)
    Shrewd, astute, or keen-witted

    Inspector Poirot used his perspicacious mind to solve mysteries.
  25. Pervade (v)
    to be present throughout; to permeate

    Four spices- cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne- pervade almost every Indian dish and give the cuisine its distinctive flavor.
  26. Phalanx (n)
    a compact or close-knit body of people, animals, or things

    A phalanx of guards stood outside the prime minister's home night and day.
  27. Philanthropy (n)
    charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the philanthropy of private collectors who willed their estates to the museum.
  28. Philistine (n)
    a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values

    The philistine never even glanced at the rare violin in his collection but instead kept an eye on its value and sold it at a profit.
  29. Phlegmatic (adj)
    calm and unemotional in temperament

    Although the bomb could go off at any moment, the phlegmatic demolition expert remained calm and unafraid.
  30. Pithy (adj)
    profound or substantial yet concise, succinct, and to the point

    Martha's pithy comments during the interview must have been impressive because she got the job.
  31. Placate (v)
    to soothe or pacify

    The burglar tried to placate the snarling dog by calling it a "nice doggy" and offering it a treat.
  32. Plastic (adj)
    able to be molded, altered, or bent

    The new material was very plastic and could be formed into products of vastly different shape.
  33. Plebeian (adj)
    crude or coarse; characteristic of commoners

    After five weeks of rigorous studying, the graduate settled in for a week of plebeian socializing and television watching.
  34. Plethora (n)

    Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a plethora of excuses.
  35. Plucky (adj)
    courageous; spunky

    The plucky young nurse dove into the foxhole, determined to help the wounded soldier.
  36. Polemic (n)
    controversy; argument; verbal attack

    The candidate's polemic against his opponent was vicious and small-minded rather than convincing and well-reasoned.
  37. Politic (adj)
    shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic

    She was wise to curb her tongue and was able to explain her problem to the judge in a respectful and politic manner.
  38. Polyglot (n)
    a speaker of many languages

    Ling's extensive travels have helped her to become a polyglot.
  39. Posit (v)
    to assume as real or conceded; propose as an explanation

    Before proving the math formula, we needed to posit that x and y were real numbers.
  40. Potentate (n)
    a monarch or ruler with great power

    Alex was much kinder before he assumed the role of potentate.
  41. Pragmatic (adj)
    practical, as opposed to idealistic

    While idealistic gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, pragmatic gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
  42. Prattle (n)
    meaningless, foolish talk

    Her husband's mindless prattle drove Heidi insane; sometimes she wished he would just shut up.
  43. Precipitate (v)
    to throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation

    Theirs was a precipitate marriage- they had only known each other for two weeks before they wed.
  44. Précis (n)
    short summary of facts

    Farah wrote a précis of her thesis on the epic poem to share with the class.
  45. Prescient (adj)
    having foresight

    Jonah's decision to sell the apartment seemed to be a prescient one, as its value soon dropped by half.
  46. Prevaricate (v)
    to lie or deviate from the truth

    Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic prevented him from getting to work on time.
  47. Pristine (adj)
    fresh and clean; uncorrupted

    Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological sight was still pristine when the researchers arrived.
  48. Probity (n)
    complete honesty and integrity

    George Washington's reputation for probity is illustrated in the legend about his inability to lie after he chopped down a cherry tree.
  49. Proclivity (n)
    a natural inclination or predisposition

    Her childhood love of acting, singing, and adoration indicated a proclivity for the theater later in life.
  50. Prodigal (adj)
    lavish; wasteful

    The prodigal son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
  51. Profligate (adj)
    corrupt; degenerate

    Some historians claim that it was the Romans' decadent, profligate behavior that led to the decline of the Roman Empire.
  52. Proliferate (v)
    to increase in number quickly

    Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they proliferated to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
  53. Propitiate (v)
    to conciliate; to appease

    Because their gods were angry and vengeful, the Vikings propitiated them with many sacrifices.
  54. Propriety (n)
    the quality of behaving in a proper manner; obeying rules and customs

    The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
  55. Prudence (n)
    wisdom, caution, or restraint

    The college student exhibited prudence by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her resume.
  56. Puerile (adj)
    childish, immature or silly

    Olivia's boyfriend's puerile antics are really annoying; sometimes he acts like a 5-year-old!
  57. Pugilism (n)

    Pugilism has been defended as a positive outlet for aggressive impulses.
  58. Pulchritude (n)

    The mortals gazed in admiration at Venus, stunned by her incredible pulchritude.
  59. Pungent (adj)
    sharp and irritating to the senses

    The smoke from the burning tire was extremely pungent.
  60. Pusillanimous (adj)
    cowardly; without courage

    The pusillanimous man would not enter the yard where the chihuahua was barking.
  61. Querulous (adj)
    inclined to complain; irritable

    Curtis's complaint letter received prompt attention after the company labeled him a querulous troublemaker.
  62. Quiescent (adj)

    Many animals are quiescent over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
  63. Quixotic (adj)
    overly idealistic; impractical

    The practical Danuta was skeptical oh her roommate's quixotic plans to build a roller coater in their yard.
  64. Quotidian (adj)
    occurring daily; commonplace

    The sight of people singing on the street is so quotidian in New York that passerby rarely react to it.
  65. Raconteur (n)
    witty, skillful storyteller

    The raconteur kept all the passengers entertained with his stories during the six-hour flight.
  66. Rarefy (v)
    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.
  67. Redress (n)
    relief from wrong or injury

    Seeking redress for the injuries she had received in the accident, Doreen sued the driver of the truck that had hit her.
  68. Rejoinder (n)

    Patrick tried desperately to think of a clever rejoinder to Marianna's joke, but he couldn't.
  69. Repast (n)
    meal or mealtime

    Ravi prepared a delicious repast of chicken tikka and naan.
  70. Replete (adj)
    abundantly supplied; complete

    The gigantic supermarket was replete with consumer products of every kind.
  71. Repose (n)
    relaxation; leisure

    After working hard every day in the busy city, Mike finds his repose on weekends playing golf with friends.
  72. Repudiate (v)
    to reject the validity of

    The old woman claim that she was Russian royalty repudiated when DNA tests showed she was of no relation to them.
  73. Requite (v)
    to return or repay

    Thanks for offering to lend me $1,000 but I know I'll never be able to requite your generosity.
  74. Restive (adj)
    impatient, uneasy, restless

    The passengers became restive after having to wait in line for hours and began to shout complaints.
  75. Reticent (adj)
    silent; reserved

    Physically small and verbally reticent, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those she was reporting on.
  76. Rhetoric (n)
    effective writing or speaking

    Lincoln's talent for rhetoric was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address.
  77. Ribald (adj)
    humorous in a vulgar way

    The court jester's ribald brand of humor delighted the rather uncouth king.
  78. Rococo (adj)
    very highly ornamented; relating to an 18th century artistic style of elaborate ornamentation

    The ornate furniture of the house reminded Tatiana of the rococo style.
  79. Rustic (n)

    The rustic cabin was an ideal setting for a vacation in the country.
Card Set
GRE Vocab (P-R)
500 "hardest" words/definitions/sample sentences