A Guide to the GRE/Vocabulary List 3

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search

GRE Vocabulary List 3[edit]

Aplomb (n.) composure and self-confidence

Her father's aplomb never wavered throughout the course of the meeting with the banker.

Trifling (adj.) lacking importance

Though some at the computer store objected that the room temperature was slightly too hot, Becky was not to be bothered with such trifling concerns.

Peripheral (adj.) of or relating to the sides, edges, or perimeter of something

The class was primarily about the history of Christianity since its inception, and the early days as discussed for example in the Book of Acts were only peripheral to the curriculum.

Turgid (adj.) swollen, misshapen or congested

The physician was unable to make a diagnosis with regard to the turgid, painful lesions on the patient's leg, without knowing more.

Guile (n.) craft; cunning

Franz's remarkable guile again proved to help him when he was able to figure out how to build a computer program to fill in the data forms for him, saving time and effort.

Diaphanous (adj.) something which is delicate, vague, lacking substance, or ethereal

Her diaphanous memories of her childhood were often difficult to sort out or comprehend.

Invective (n.) heavily critical or insulting language

Mr. Barrison would typically shout a biting insult or invective at the other person when he didn't get his way.

Asseverate (v.) to assert the truth of something

Fanny proceeded to asseverate that she had seen the fight outside the bar, and that Keb was not the aggressor.

Avarice (n.) extreme greediness

Wesley's avarice was apparent as he happily conned the old woman into buying the vacuum cleaner.

Extemporaneous (adj.) done in a manner which is impromptu, spur of the moment, or otherwise lacking preparation or forethought

Unable to find the proper anti-virus software, Clarence came up with the rather extemporaneous remedy of wiping the entire hard drive and reinstalling all of his files.

Empirical (adj.) based on observable and testable methods

Stacy was a firm believer in astrology despite its lack of confirmation through any empirical methodology.

Chauvinist (n.) one who believes in the supremacy of some group or thing with which that person is associated; an arrogant person, often in the context male sexism against women; (adj.) that which is a belief held by a chauvinist

While she had expected her boss to hold some chauvinist views, she was still blatantly offended at the comment.

Platitude (n.) a remark that has been overused to the point of lacking meaning

The negotiations had drug on to the point that "compromise" was becoming a platitude.

Sophistry (n.) the use of flawed or fallacious arguments, often deceptively

Kenneth was annoyed at how easily the other jurors fell for the lawyer's sophistry.

Autonomy (n.) the state of being self-governing or self-directing

Although under the authority of the marketing department, Andrew's division exercised a considerable degree of autonomy when it came to designing advertisements.

Shrill (adj.) piercingly loud or harsh, often with regard to a scream; (n.) a shrill scream; (v.) to emit a shrill

They knew from the shrill noises that something was amiss back at the campsite.

Candor (n.) honesty; straightforwardness

Stephanie's lack of candor during the investigation contributed to the harsher sentence which would later be imposed upon her by the board.

Lackadaisical (adj.) lacking the appropriate effort or enthusiasm

Though good at his job, Bruce was a lackadaisical parent

Bane (n.) a source of harm or trouble; that which is hated

Malpractice lawyers have long been the bane of the medical profession.

Boor (n.) an inconsiderate or unrefined person

Though he was very knowledgeable on the subject, he was also something of a boor.

Disperse (v.) to break up the concentration of something; to take that which is concentrated in a small area and spread it out over a large area

The Koontz family was dispersed all over central Illinois.

Stint (v.) to restrain or be sparing with regard to (n.) a short period of work

After a brief stint as a tax preparer, Hunter took a job at a publishing company.

Arbitrary (adj.) lacking any clear reason or rationale; capricious

Joseph found the decision to discipline him but not Otto somewhat arbitrary.

Turbid (adj.) cloudy, opaque, or thick with an absorbed substance, usually in the context of liquids

The turbid concoction in the tank was only one of a series of chemicals processed at the refinery.

Impediment (n.) something which contravenes a goal; an obstacle or problem

The weather proved to not be as much of an impediment, given that Marta drove a Subaru.

Insidious (adj.) sinister or treacherous; harmful

Robert's insidious intentions were revealed when the others went through the files on his computer.

Sanguine (adj.) exhibiting a positive attitude

Though others were nervous about the weather, Melanie was rather sanguine.

Supplication (n.) invocation or prayer

The initial supplication was a short and simple statement by the reverend.

Pusillanimous (adj.) having no courage; timid

Wendy was rather pusillanimous on that day, and it took a great deal of persuasion to get her to come along.

Temperate (adj.) (1) of or relating to mild temperatures; (2) showing restraint and moderation

Umberto was much more temperate than his anger-prone wife.

Repine (v.) to feel or communicate discontent or stress

They would constantly repine to each other in the break room about the woes of working for BH&H.

Divest (v.) to remove or take away

The financial subcommittee's members were ultimately divested of their power after a series of lamentable decisions on their part.

Presumption (n.) something which is taken to be true though never stated, often not illogically

In Martin's mind, there was a presumption of poor driving if somebody drove into a stationary object.


Savor (v.) to enjoy completely, typically with regard to taste or smell; (n.) a desirable flavor or aroma

Yoshi had every intention to savor his first victory, knowing that it wouldn't always be so easy.

Precipice (n.) a steep and dangerous cliff or rock face

Mentally, Wanda was at the edge of a precipice, about to fall and tumble down.

Rectify (v.) to make right, fix, correct

Haley worried that what happened in the past was a mistake that she would never be able to rectify.

Ingratiating (adj.) seeking approval or favor

His ingratiating requests only annoyed them, and did little to carry favor.

Deplore (v.) to strongly disapprove

The monarchy would always claim to deplore violence and brutality, even after the February incident.

Dissolution (n.) an act which causes something to come apart or cease to exist

Things had been less stressful since the dissolution of the two's partnership.

Clemency (adj.) the state of being mild, merciful, or forgiving

Though she was angry at him, she displayed a remarkable degree of clemency after his sincere apology.

Superficial (adj.) existing only at the surface; lacking depth

To Jeb, she was the only cheerleader in high school who wasn't totally superficial.

Impunity (n.) immunity from punishment or consequences

President Bush made very clear that officer Koon's acts were not shrouded by impunity, and that the justice system would have its turn with him.

Tamp (v.) to ram or pack down a substance firmly

With the handle of his knife, Custer proceeded to tamp the outside of the pie crust all the way around.

Toady (n.) one who is far too attentive and obedient (v.) to be a toady

Every junior associate at Milbank was a complete toady - a diligent little retriever for that person's superior.

Voluble (v.) to fluent, flowing, coming easily (especially with regard to language)

A native speaker of German, Susanne found the English language rather voluble.

Coquettish (n.) of or relating to a flirtatious woman

Pamela wasn't the only coquettish person in the bar, but she was by far the most noticeable.

Precept (n.) a general rule designed to govern individuals’ behavior

Though largely rejected in the field, Freud's precepts remain well-known today in popular culture.

Wean (v.) (1) to become accustomed to a food other than a creature’s mother’s milk; (2) to become accustomed to something new, often which is less desirable

Patty was unsure exactly when was the proper time to wean a colt.

Interdict (v.) to prohibit or forbid; (n.) a prohibition or forbiddance, often from the government

The mayor issued an order to interdict any activities in the city park after midnight, given the recent gang activity there.

Inveigh (v.) to speak or write about a topic with great contempt

He would go on to inveigh at length about the horrors of working in an emergency room in a sketchy part of town.

Epithet (n.) an insulting or offensive word or phrase

While Marcus wasn't sure which epithet the man had screamed at him, he was quite certain it didn't matter.

Defalcate (v.) to wrongly use things entrusted to oneself, to embezzle

Unbeknownst to Brian, every time he would defalcate property of his employer, it would catch up to him.

Connoisseur (n.) one with a great deal of knowledge, interest, and often pickiness in something

Jenny was a self-proclaimed connoisseur of fettuccine alfredo.

Deprecate (v.) to belittle or downplay something

He made no effort to deprecate how much he loved Gilmore Girls in front of his male friends.

Subtext (n.) an underlying theme, often in literature

Some believed that Native Son's true subtext was that the tragedy of the story was society's own creation.

Culpable (adj.) something which can be blamed or which is the cause of something

The faulty sprinkler system was partly culpable for the destructiveness of the fire.

Bucolic (adj.) of or relating to a country or rural lifestyle; pastoral

La Sonnambula was memorable for its beautiful singing and bucolic setting.

Estimable (adj.) capable of being determined in approximate amounts; capable of being estimated

Though the exact harm was only very crudely estimable, Barnes knew that it was in the millions.

Guise (n.) a manner of appearance or presentation, typically concealing a person or thing’s true nature

The entity was in fact a collection agency operating under the guise of a law firm.

Undue (adj.) to a degree excessive with regard to that which is necessary or appropriate

Everyone knew it would be an undue strain on the store's resources to move all of the merchandise off the ground floor in the event of a flood.


Enormity (n.) (1) that which is very large; (2) that which has which has improperly gone beyond its bounds

The sailing apparatus on the Cutty Sark, a clipper ship, was an absolute enormity.

Secrete (v.) (1) to produce or emit, often with regard to a gland or body party; (2) to hide away

Aphids secrete a sucrous substance eaten by the ants who tend to them.

Diatribe (n.) a bitter and negative criticism or attack upon something or someone

The article was yet another diatribe appearing in The Wall Street Journal about the mishaps of politicians.

Astrology (n.) a field of study in which people try to predict future events based on the alignment of planets, stars, and other celestial objects

Karen loved the astrology section of the newspaper.

Facetious (adj.) joking; not meant to be taken seriously

Phil's claim to be a member of the Spanish royal family was facetious, though some may not have taken it that way.

Tentative (adj.) for the time being; subject to change

The tentative recording schedule involved laying the drums and bass down first.

Clique (n.) an inclusive social group

In high school, the two had been part of the same clique.


Sycophant (n.) one who is excessively obedient or flattering of another, often for purposes of taking advantage of the person

Edgar found it interesting how, in his old age, everyone he knew began to turn into something of a sycophant.

Tacit (adj.) understood or implied though not explicitly stated

Vivie and Taylor had a tacit agreement with regard to walking the dogs every day.

Facilitate (v.) to do something which allows something to happen; to accommodate

Veronica's efforts were necessary to facilitate expansion into the internet advertising field.

Warrant (v.) to provide an adequate basis for undertaking an action or accepting a fact; (n.) something which provides an adequate basis, such as a document used by law enforcement to validate a search

Though it raised some suspicion, the fact that the man was carrying a crowbar itself did not warrant arresting him.

Disingenuous (adj.) lacking honesty or candor; that which is fake or a sham

Felicity's stated reason for hiring her cousin - that he was the best person for the job - was universally seen as disingenuous.

Ambiguous (adj.) open to more than one potential meaning

Poe's stories were ambiguous as to whether they were merely entertaining fiction or allegorical with regard to larger concepts in life.

Redolent (adj.) (1) strongly reminiscent or suggestive of another thing; (2) having a strong smell

The hair tie was quite redolent, reminding him of Nancy.

Salacious (adj.) stating, suggesting or implying that which is sexually inappropriate

Janet became enraged at the salacious comments, and demanded an apology.

Doggerel (adj.) irregular, disproportionate, or badly put together

They were not looking forward to pouring through another fifty pages of the doggerel that always made up Ivan's reports.

Covert (adj.) that which is secret, hidden, disguised

Though he could never prove it, he always suspected that Lindsay had a covert motive.

Delineate (v.) (1) to mark or depict something by drawing a line; (2) to describe something

They went on to delineate the categories of permissible employee expenditures.

Approbation (n.) an act of approval or praise

The firefighters received regular approbation from the city of Harahan.

Errant (adj.) having gone astray

Errant golf balls were a common source of lawsuits against the golf course.

Verbose (adj.) using excessive or unnecessary words or language

The verbose writing style was typical of standardized tests. Splenetic (adj.) ill-tempered and unpleasant

Terry did not enjoy being forced to babysit her bratty, splenetic cousin for the day.

Puissance (n.) great strength, power or influence

Rex had a great deal of puissance at the country club.

Inherent (adj.) that which is an invariable attribute or trait of something

The ability to understand "quick-sale" value was inherent in the job description of any appraiser.

Anoint (v.) to smear or rub with some substance, often as part of a religious ceremony

The priest went on to anoint the others.

Fallow (n.) (1) a plot of land not planted during a given growing season; (2) a shade of yellow

The Grefsruds' land had not been fallow for over a decade.


Prodigal (adj.) excessively wasteful or indulgent

Dave was rather prodigal and neglectful when it came to the family business his father had let him run.

Panegyric (n.) a public speech or published text which speaks highly of something

The president's latest panegyric was with regard to civil rights leaders in the mid-1900s.

Implode (v.) to collapse or destruct inward

Stein predicted that the entire economy would implode if taxes were continually increased.

Reconciliation (n.) a reestablishment of cordial relations or understanding

While the reconciliation took a long time, eventually the two were able to be friends again.