A Guide to the GRE/Vocabulary List 1

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GRE Vocabulary List 1[edit]

Laconic adj.) using few words; abrupt

Sherry was still confused about where her husband was going to store the new fishing boat after a rather laconic conversation about it.

Caparison (n.)(1) a decorative cloth that covers the back of a horse; (2) some type of ornamentation or decoration(v.) to decorate with a caparison

The caparison adorning the display had the standard blue, white and pink colors.

Propinquity (adj.) being close to a person, having a close bond or kinship

Mary and Michelle had developed a remarkable propinquity since being neighbors when they lived in Bremerton.

Belie (v.) to give a mistaken impression of something

Senator Gumbart's statements would prove to belie his true intentions.

Reproof (n.) criticism for some mistake or fault

The board of directors' constant reproof of Jenkins over the blown deal was too much to bear, and led to Jenkins' resignation.

Diffuse (v.) to spread out; to go from high to low concentration or pressure

Tsar Nicholas' statement that Russian mobilization would only be against Austria did little to diffuse Russo-German tensions.


Flounder (n.) a type of fish; (v.) to struggle or fail clumsily

Though not expecting remarkable success, Pedro did not foresee just how much his business model would flounder.

Effrontery (n.) insolent or rudely presumptuous behavior

While not pleased with the comment about her dress, Jennifer had come to expect such effrontery at a Long Island dinner party.

Intrepid (adj.) seeking challenge; adventurous

While Bobby had always been intrepid and outgoing, his little brother had few interests other than staying home and playing his PlayStation.

Officious (adj.) asserting authority excessively and annoyingly, especially in regard to trivial matters

The motel employee was rather officious, reprimanding the children for silly things like running too fast by the pool.

Recondite (adj.) not commonly known

It was a recondite fact amongst her friends from work that Kate was a devout Southern Baptist.

Ramify (v.)(1) to spread out by forming branches; (2) to have consequences

The decision not to expand into the lucrative handbag market would have great ramifications for the company in later years.


Resolute (adj.) determined, steadfast, passionate

Jack was resolute about reaching the top of Mount Everest, and would not be discouraged by the mishap at the Khumbu Icefall.

Synthesis (n.) the combining or mixing of multiple things to produce a new thing

The completed K288 rocket was Otto's masterpiece, the final result of a synthesis of his years of studying rocketry.

Runic (adj.)(1) of or relating to letters of an alphabet historically used by many Germanic peoples (the “runic” alphabet)(2) having mysterious or hidden meaning

Claire did not know what to make of the runic phrase.

Retrograde (v.)(1) to move backward; (2)to decline or deteriorate into a worse condition

Profits at Bernard's Restaurant would prove to retrograde sharply as patrons' demand for exquisite Occitane cuisine deteriorated.

Repudiate (v.)(1) deny the validity or truth of; (2) to refuse association with

By 1914, the Italian-Austrian alliance only existed on paper, and would soon be repudiated after the beginning of the war.

Obviate (v.)(1) to remove the need for a particular thing; (2) to reduce a risk or problem

Because it helped obviate weight concerns, the Wankel engine was ideal to use in the Mazda RX-8.

Ardent (adj.) passionate; having enthusiasm

Billy's ardent feelings for a woman halfway across the world still lingered in his mind.

Enervate (v.) to drain of energy; (n.) the state of having been enervated

While the Battle of Verdun would prove to severely enervate the French army, it would also inflict heavy casualties upon the German attackers.

Coercive (adj.) unduly influential or overcoming of free will

While he felt bad about being so coercive, Jamie thought it was important to talk his mother into getting a vacuum cleaner.

Specious (adj.) (1) misleadingly attractive; (2) wrong despite appearing to be plausible

Hoffman refused to accept the specious conclusion that all marine mammals were descended from ambulocetus, and explored the possibility of a separate lineage for walruses and seals.

Upbraid (v.) to reprimand or scold

Truman wasted no time in upbraiding his son over the incident with the fire extinguisher.

Dulcet (adj.) sweet or pleasant

Patty longed for another weekend up at Matt's cottage north of Council Bluffs, especially desiring some more of his delicious homemade espresso and dulcet rhubarb muffins.


Cajole (v.) to talk a person into something

Walter wanted a big truck, and was not going to let his nagging wife cajole him into buying a silly Yaris or Prius.

Disparate (adj.) significantly different or distinct

McLaren was astounded by the disparate track times before and after the aerodynamic modification.

Equivocal (adj.) of an uncertain meaning, attitude, nature or disposition

To Gabby, the statement "I am definitely interested" seemed quite equivocal as to whether or not the developer wanted to buy out her pizza parlor.

Refractory (adj.)(1) tending to bounce back heat or light; (2) stubborn or incapable of persuasion or management

The librarian was expectedly refractory with regard to requests to take the reference books out of the library and to the science building.

Plangent (adj.) having a loud reverberating sound

The plangent sound of the factory machines brought back memories of years on the assembly line.

Semblance (n.) appearance or form

While hazy, the painting contained some semblance of a person, maybe intending to represent a memory or regret.


Waft (v.) to float over through the air or with such ease as if it were floating through the air

The smell of the pumpkin pie wafted over into the garage where Frank was fixing the bicycle.

Derogatory (adj.) something which is insulting or offensive

Leandra found it quite derogatory for her boss to tell her that she looked like someone who once worked at Dairy Queen.

Plasticity (n.) the state of resembling plastic in some way, often by being easily molded, adapted, or by being fake or superficial

While she loved not having to have to drive to work, she loathed the plasticity of city culture, and missed life back in Ohio.

Circumspect (adj.) of or relating to an all-encompassing viewpoint or determination

While the assassination of the archduke was certainly the catalyst, in circumspect, it is difficult to pin down a single cause or instigator of the Great War.

Implication (n.) a necessary or likely truth, inference or consequence which is not expressly stated

The implication of the diagnosis was that Quentin was not going to be able to go bass fishing for a while.

Flamboyant (adj.) that which stands out for excess energy, uniqueness, or the like

While expecting to see flamboyant costumes, the couple had no idea what was in store for them at the party.


Inimitable (adj.) impossible to copy or duplicate; that which cannot be imitated

Charlotte's performance of the aria was inimitable, even by comparable sopranos.

Advocate (v.) to speak for or on behalf of a person, organization or idea; (n.) one who advocates

Walter was always a staunch advocate of having more interesting baselines for the tuba section to play.

Ubiquitous (adj.) that which is present or can be found everywhere or universally

While less present on the West Coast, Republicans were ubiquitous in Ashley's native Oklahoma.

Garrulous (adj.) extremely talkative, often with regard to unimportant things

The drive to Syracuse was rather unpleasant, mostly thanks to Kevin's garrulous sister and her longwinded tales from work.

Indifferent (adj.) lacking any concern or interest in a matter

While Uncle Hal was mostly indifferent to foreign affairs, he had watched a great deal of CNN since September 11th.

Libertine (n.) one who acts without restraint or defies convention

Three years in San Diego had turned a once shy biology student into something of a libertine.


Misanthrope (n.)one who dislikes people or society

A decade at Deloitte had made Gwynneth into a severe misanthrope, and ultimately she decided to move off to Yellowstone.

Macerate (v.) to softly break up, often via immersion in liquid

Randy began to macerate the dried apples a few hours before dinner.

Vital (adj.) that which is of the utmost importance; that which is essential

Securing the support of the Turks proved vital to the German cause, as it allowed for a blockade of the Black Sea.

Artless (adj.) (1) lacking skill or taste; (2) natural and simple, lacking any artificiality

After living in Paris for so many years, Elaine found herself unable to stand her artless parents back in Michigan.

Recumbent (adj.) lying down; in a comfortable or resting position

Fanny was nestled up and recumbent, and took a long nap which lasted for the rest of the afternoon.

Umbrage (n.) (1) a state of being offended or annoyed; (2) shade or a shadow

Yolanda's umbrage at not being selected for the danceoff finals was all too apparent at dinner.


Extol (v.) to enthusiastically praise

Many of the people of Naples would continue to extol the Angevin monarchs for years to come.

Equanimity (n.) the state of having a stable mind and character

Steve displayed remarkable equanimity and composure despite how incredibly angry Miranda was at him.

Homogeneous (adj.) composed of all the same type, style or consistency

The food at Eve's diner was all very good, but somewhat homogenous, always being some variation of a sandwich or breakfast platter.

Vindicate (v.) (1) to prove a person or idea to be justified or correct after the fact; (2) to obtain revenge or payback for some wrong

The junior V.P.'s prediction would be vindicated once the October sales report was available.

Savant (n.) one of exceptional ability or knowledge

While all the Koontz children were good at math, Jackie was particularly a savant.

Pertain (v.) to be relevant or informative with regard to a given issue

The interests of scientists in the bird species primarily pertained to their confusing geographic distribution.

Corporal (adj.) of or relating to the person’s body

Though corporal punishment was legal in Nevada, it had seldom been used in the last century.


Sinuous (adj.) bendable and flexible; subject to curvature

The thin, sinuous pieces of lead were used by Andy and his family as fishing sinkers.

Intransigent (adj.) refusing to change one’s views, agree or compromise

Juliet always found herself butting heads with her family's intransigent views sometime around Thanksgiving.

Consternation (n.) anxiety or dismay, often as the result of something unexpected

While she was flustered, Connie did not let the consternation bother her during her marathon run.

Usury (n.) the unlawful or unethical practice of lending money at excessive interest rates

The usury practiced by Ben against those who lost money to him playing poker was particular reprehensible.

Mettlesome (adj.) having a proud and unbroken spirit; courageous

While most retired women would've hesitated to canoe through the Boundary Waters so late in the year, Alison was particularly mettlesome, and set off to do just that.

Ascetic (adj.) strictly self-disciplined

The ascetic values of the German army were perhaps inherited from the days of the Prussians and Field Marshall von Blucher.


Venerate (v.) to hold in high respect; to honor

While perhaps seen as an afterthought at the time, the Bill of Rights would prove to be accepted and venerated by the American people.

Hermetic (adj.)(1) insulated from outside influences; (2) having no leaks

Brian became quite hermetic during exam season.

Soliloquy (n.) a lengthy speech given alone which expresses the speaker’s feelings, often used in dramatic productions

Melanie's rendition of the soliloquy impressed her theater class.

Puerile (adj.) childishly silly or unimportant

While Charles often worried about ants or termites in the house, his wife was seldom troubled by such, in her opinion, puerile concerns.

Proscribe (v.) to declare that something shall not be done; to forbid

While the exact date is not clear, a Norwegian law from 1274 mentions only "former" slaves, indicating that slavery had been proscribed in Norway.

Precursor (n.) that which came before another thing

Watt's machine was a precursor to the steam engines which would ultimately drive locomotives and factories.


Prolix (adj.) containing too many words; excessively lengthy

The dissertation was so prolix that the publishing company could not bind hard copies in the ordinary trim size.

Nostrum (n.) a medicine or remedy, often which lacks efficacy or is prepared by one without proper knowledge

The remedy of chewing on aspen branches to relieve headaches proved to be a disappointing nostrum.

Cachinnate (v.) to laugh in an unrestrained manner

Roger drowned out the conversation with his obnoxious cachinnations, often at his own statements.

Antipathy (n.) a strong dislike for a given thing

Alexander Hamilton's antipathy towards the French was well-known amongst his peers.

Enigma (n.) a puzzling set of circumstances; a mystery

The enigma of the Incan counting device known as a "quipu" puzzles scholars to this day.

Peremptory (adj.) (1) imperative without regard to the reasons why; (2) with arrogant self-assurance

The closing of the Maple Street and Vineland stores was seen as peremptory and unwarranted by many shareholders.

Prevaricate (v.) to avoid questions or speak evasively

Yvonne constantly prevaricated when asked about her plans for next year.


Pillory (n.)a wooden restrain used to punish individuals through public embarrassment in days past; (v.) to put an individual in a pillory

His blasphemy landed Ralph in a pillory from time to time.

Expatiate (v.)(1) to move around without restraint; (2) to communicate in lengthy detail

Lisa would be constantly expatiating about the movie she saw for the next few days.

Insular (adj.) isolated from or lacking contact from other things

Life in Brompton was remarkably insular, untouched by trends or the times.

Pretext (n.)a disingenuous reason given for a course of action

In reality, Kenny had little interest in wine; rather, it was a pretext for starting a conversation with Ashley.

Depredate (v.) to plunder or lay waste to something

The war would prove to depredate the Dylewskis' part of Poland.

Presumptuous (adj.) overstepping or exceeding of one’s boundaries or limits

Oscar thought it was rather presumptuous for his geometry students to tell him to change his curriculum because it was too hard.

Sagacious (adj.) demonstrating good judgment; wise or shrewd

Tony had always been a wild spender, despite attempts by his parents to teach him to be more sagacious with his money.

Bedizen (v.) to dress or decorate flamboyantly or gaudily

Meredith had grand plans as to how to bedizen the car for the parade.

Discourse (n.) a series of discussions or conversations

Both Stearns and Carlucci felt that lemurs received far too much attention in the discourse over unique species in Madagascar.

Irascible (adj.) easily made angry

Glen had become much more irascible over the years, and was especially irascible when he had been drinking.

Cadge (v.) to obtain something which one is not entitled to; to mooch

Paul was able to cadge a place to stay for the weekend from his friends in the area.

Epicure (n.) a person with highly refined tastes, especially with regard to food or wine

An epicure like Beth proved valuable in selecting what type of wine to get.

Recapitulate (v.) to summarize main points or ideas with regard to something

The body of the work was done, and Donato needed only to recapitulate the main ideas via a solid conclusion.


Sever (v.) to cut off or disconnect

Though the Finnish alliance with Nazi Germany was arguably only made to work together against the Russians, the United States nonetheless severed ties to Finland.

Inundate (v.) to overcome or overwhelm

Mr. Robbins was inundated with criticism from parents after having his high schoolers watch part of the racy film.


Membrane (n.) a thin and bendable sheet-like substance which forms a barrier, often in the biology of organisms or in industry

Desalinization of water for drinking is now often accomplished using a semi-permeable membrane.