A Guide to the GRE/Vocabulary List 5

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Vocabularly List 5[edit]

Leviathan (n.) (1) a sea monster mentioned in the holy texts various Abrahamic religions; (2) a large ocean-dwelling creature; (3) an ominous and powerful entity, such as the government

Though experienced in litigation, Teddy did not feel he was yet ready to go up against the leviathan that was the EPA.

Parry (v.) (1) to block a blow or strike with one’s own counterblow or counterstrike, typically in the context of weapon combat; (2) to turn aside, dodge or evade; (n.) an act of parrying

Quentin's campaign found it easy to parry off the disparaging remarks and rumors concerning his college years.

Verdant (adj.) of or relating to countryside or lush vegetation

The couple had a most verdant back yard, replete with many flowers and shrubs.

Multifaceted (adj.) Having many sides or aspects

The panel conducted a multifaceted review of the incident.

Denounce (v.) to criticize or speak negatively about something, often publicly

Abby was not the only person to denounce the new state law.

Posterity (n.) all future generations

The posterity of the Hapsburg line would never regain the Austrian throne.


Indolent (adj.) lacking desire to be active; lazy

While most of the workers in the office were quite dedicated, Marcy was rather indolent.

Pugnacious (adj.) having a strong tendency toward argument or conflict

The establishment had long since fired the bouncer for his pugnacious tendencies. Nonplused (adj.) surprised or confused to the extent of inability to form a reaction

Like the deer in the headlights, Remi was nonplused upon learning of his mother's death.

Adversity (n.) those things which are hostile to or thwarting of goals or desires; opposition, challenge, difficulty

Caitlin had little problem with setbacks or adversity, and did well in the competition.

Malign (adj.)that which is evil or malicious in nature

The malign tendencies of the Sigma Nu fraternity were well known across campus.

Blandishment (n.) that which has the tendency to cause or encourage a course of action; an enticement or allurement

The promise of pecuniary gain was the primary blandishment for Bridget and Rachel when they decided to invest in silver certificates.

Precipitate (n.)that which is condensed out of the air, such as rain; (adj.)having been done suddenly without much thought or consideration; (v.) to bring about, often abruptly or without warning

The Kansas-Nebraska Act served to precipitate the Civil War. Craven (adj.) having absolutely no courage

Though he was brave and stood his ground, his craven little brother ran away when the Soviets began firing.

Attribute (n.) a characteristic, trait or skill; (v.) to give credit for authorship or production, often in the context of literature or music

Scholars would ultimately attribute the minuet not to Bach, but to one of Bach's contemporaries.

Antediluvian (adj.) (1) of or relating to the time before the great flood described in various texts of Abrahamic religions; (2)(colloquially) old, archaic, or outmoded

Rich still retained many antedliuvian ideas about women which annoyed Mary.

Precis (n.) a summary or outline of a speech or literary work

James wrote an excellent precis of The Jungle.

Disparage (v.) to speak about something with contempt or as being lower

Peter hoped that the remarks would disparage the opposition more than they actually did.

Convoluted (adj.) that which is detailed, complicated or difficult to follow

The standardized test was full of long, convoluted reading passages.

Turpitude (adj.) malice, wickedness, or depravity

Eichmann was put on trial in Israel for his alleged acts of moral turpitude.

Entreat (v.) to plead or make an offer

Captain Rafalko returned to Houston to entreat the shareholders of Neptune, who he felt he could sell on the new merger agreement.

Denigrate (v.) to attack or defy the status, reputation or importance of something

Wesley found it annoying how others would denigrate his career as a financial analyst.

Confabulation (n.) a casual conversation

The confabulation on the porch between Mrs. McLaughlin and Mrs. Dylewski lasted more than four hours.

Glib (adj.) smooth but insincere, often in the context of spoken words

The would-be-buyer soon saw through Marty's glib descriptions of the used car.

Mettle (n.) an ability to deal well with new and unforeseen situations or problems

Andrew knew that the others would help him if he could prove his mettle.

Sententious (adj.) tending continually offer moral statements or aphorisms

Jennifer was not looking forward to the prospect of spending another Thanksgiving being lectured by her sententious great aunt and uncle.

Idyll (n.) a peaceful or picturesque scene

Nate told her stories which left poetic idylls in her head of life growing up in the country.

Accretion (n.) (1) growth by steady accumulation; (2) that which is the result of accretion

The slow accretion of wealth in K&H holdings was mostly due to the investment efforts of Hughes and his subordinates.

Augury (n.) a determination of what is to happen in the future based on signs or omens

The future business' partners initial friendship in school proved to be an augury, and years later, they would ultimately end up working together.

Palliate (v.) to alleviate or make less severe

A sip of the brandy helped to palliate the pain in Joel's foot.

Cogent (adj.) requiring or strongly supporting some result; compelling

The fact that he tried to walk out of the convenience store with the can in his pocket proved to be cogent evidence of his intent to steal it.

Plummet (v.) to fall or drop, often at a high speed

The dislodged piece of the airplane went on to plummet toward the sea far below.

Condemn (v.) to speak negatively about something or blame something; to declare something unworthy

Fran made it a point not only to condemn the mayor, but the city council as well.

Vitriol (n.) (1) harsh or unfriendly criticism; (2) sulfuric acid

The lengthy vitriol of the new advertising campaign by Courtney and a few others ultimately led to its cancellation.

Blithe (adj.) lacking concern or attention

Though Colleen was paying attention, her assistant was quite blithe.

Perfunctory (adj.)done with as little effort as possible

They made at most a perfunctory attempt to find a place to stop for dinner in Bristol, preferring to continue driving into Virginia and find a place there.

Blight (n.) disease or decay; (v.) to infect with a blight

The durum wheat crop in North Dakota would be ravaged by severe blight that year, leading to a jump in the price of spaghetti.

Synergy (n.)an interaction of the energy or ability of multiple persons or things

The branch manager's efforts to promote synergy were only really an annoyance to those in the office.

Audacious (adj.) (1) extremely or recklessly daring or bold; (2) rude or insolent

Roger's audacious quest to memorize Pi to a thousand places attracted the support of many of his friends.

Moratorium (n.) a temporary prohibition with regard to some activity

The administration placed a moratorium on drilling after the great oil spill.

Evince (v.) to clearly point to a conclusion

As evinced by the clothing found in Mr. Stone's closet, he was clearly the same person described in the report.

Limn (v.) to depict or describe via painting or literature

In her paintings, Laura love to limn the lives of her ancestors in Europe and the early colonies.

Bilge (n.) (1) the lowermost part of a ship where water often collects; (2) ideas or remarks which are nonsense, worthless, or a waste of time

Mr. Zaffny's argument proved to be a bunch of hot air and bilge.

Frisson (n.) a momentary excitement or thrill

After the brief frisson that followed the good news regarding the football team was over, the doldrums of everyday life ensued.

Stratagem (n.) (1) a plan or scheme, often utilized strategically or to outfox an opponent; (2) craft or skill at designing strategic plans

Sally's cunning little stratagem was to wait until after the holiday season to shop for kitchen gadgets.

Restitution (n.) return of or compensation for something of which a person has been deprived

Embarrassed to have been caught stealing, Matt made full restitution to J.C. Penny.

Aversion (n.) intense dislike

Meredith had an aversion to onions, and thus was in no mood to eat the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.

Taciturn (adj.) tending to say few words

Bruce had been more talkative as a child, but in recent years had become more taciturn.

Veracity (adj.) truthfulness; the state of being true

Historians dispute the veracity of the existence of Socrates, with some believing him to be merely the literary invention of Plato.

Hapless (adj.) having no good luck; unfortunate

The hapless travelers found that their luggage was over a thousand miles away in Bremerton.

Equipoise (n.) a state of being evenly balanced; (v.) to evenly balance

The bargaining power of each side was far from equipoise, given that Raritan Bank had the power to seize the couple's home.

Jibe (v.) to come to the same conclusion; agree

Though neither was completely satisfied, the parties would ultimately jibe with regard to what to do about the flooding problem on both of their properties.

Slake (v.) to quench or satisfy one’s desire

The magazines would prove to slake Camellia's desire for civilization the camping trip for awhile.

Fawn (n.) a deer less than one year old (v.) to produce young

The fawn followed its mother around the field as the crowd watched.

Partisan (adj.) of or relating to a party, especially a political party or the party’s cause

The senator was known for never going against partisan interests.

Placebo (n.) a pharmacologically inert substance

Though she insisted it made her feel better, the drug given to Elizabeth was but a mere placebo.

Travesty (n.) a false, distorted, or mocking representation of something (v.) to represent something in the form of a travesty

Martin's "still life" painting could only have been described as a travesty.

Fervid, fervent (adj.) having a great degree of intensity; passionate

None of the employees were particularly fervent about working at the sporting goods store.

Tumid (adj.) (1) swollen, especially with relation to body parts; (2) ostentatious and pompous

They were used to Mr. LaNasa's tumid and outrageous claims.

Effluent (n.) that which is emanating or flowing out; outflow

The people downriver regularly complained about the sewage effluent from the plant.

Contumacious (adj.) stubbornly refusing to obey authority, often in the context of a criminal defendant

She was rather contumacious with regard to her supervisors at the store.

Edict (n.) a command or directive

The church's position on the matter came from a papal edict issued some thirty years prior.

Denouement (n.) the final outcome of some complex turn of events, particularly in literature

The novels' denouement would not come until the sixteenth volume, when the plot was finally resolved.

Asperity (adj.) the state of being, rough, harsh, severe, or uneven

Claudia's study of orthopedics was full of a great deal of asperity.

Paradigm (n.) an intellectual framework or worldview with regard to an issue

The paradigm of most of the people working for the newspaper was somewhat different from Jake's.

Nadir (n.) (1) the low point of something; (2) the point on a planet or other celestial body furthest from the observer

The late 1800s is often considered the nadir of harmony in American Society.

Conspicuous (adj.) that which is easily noticed, obvious, or apparent

The two had a large conspicuous gym bag with them, and Wendy could only wonder what they had in it.

Volatile (adj.) heavily reactive, unstable or dangerous

The most volatile substances at the lab were off-limits to most people for safety reasons.

Transliterate (v.) to write or print a letter or word from another language using the closest corresponding linguistic implements

Charles typically forewent the vowel modifiers in in his transliterations of French.

Recrudescence (n.) the return of some unpleasant condition or situation after it previously had ceased

The recrudescence of Virginia's symptoms prompted a great deal of concern amongst family members.

Endemic (adj.) confined to a particular region or group

Though notably present in West Africa, sickle-cell anemia is certainly not endemic to this area.

Tawdry (adj.) flashy and showy but cheap and of poor quality; (n.) items such as jewelry which are tawdry

The personal injury lawyer's tawdry advertising annoyed members of the community.

Labile (adj.) (1) of or relating to mood swings or spontaneous emotions; (2) susceptible to change or modification

They both knew that Eliott had rather labile opinions on the subject.

Discrete (adj.) distinct and recognizable

The marketing firm followed many discrete tactics and strategies.

Misnomer (n.) an inaccurate or misleading name or designation

The"war veteran", in Gwen's opinion, was a misnomerwhen applied to Fuchs.

Eradicate (v.) to wipe out or cause to cease to exist

While it took a few months, the couple managed to eradicate all cockroaches from the building.

Umlaut (n.) a marking of two dots placed over a word commonly used in the German language; (v.) to mark with an umlaut

Skilled in German, Kenny knew that the umlaut changed the pronunciation of the word.

Digress (v.) to lose track, to go off on a tangent, to stray

Jeanne would constantly digress and find herself telling random stories.

Ostensible (adj.) that which is purported, stated, or appears to be true but need not be

It was certainly ostensible that the "John" of Revelation was the same John mentioned in other parts of the New Testament.

Provident (adj.) tending to timely prepare for the future

Phyllis was very organized and provident, always making sure the necessary arrangements were made.

Timorous (adj.) afraid, fearful, lacking confidence

Allyson had been very timorous about singing in public when she was younger.

Jocular (adj.) playful, humorous or joking

Mr. Dames was rather jocular when it came to his profession of banking, despite the serious nature of it.

Conflate (v.) to combine or confuse two things, often when they should be kept separate and distinct

Walter knew all too well his friend Jerry's tendency to conflate opinion with fact.

Abrogate (v.) to make something cease to exist, to abolish or repeal

The new administration issued an order which abrogated the old rule with regard to stem-cell research funding.

Condone (v.) to allow or approve something

Cindi would condone spanking and small physical violence, but nothing more.

Aver (v.) to claim or allege (especially in a complaint that begins a case in court)

The letter went on to aver that Mary Ann's will had been stolen and destroyed.

Impute (v.) to cause to be possessed or assigned to another person or entity

Liability for the employee's malfeasance was imputed to the employer, and ultimately to the entire corporation.

Symmetry (n.) the state of being equally balanced or reflective

The flounder is an example of a fish which lacks symmetry.

Sundry (n.) an item not important enough to be mentioned specifically; a miscellaneous item

A sundry like cornstarch would probably be on some random aisle near the baking products, she figured.

Mendicant (n.) one who begs for money

Yet another mendicant asked Claire for some spare change on her way to the bus stop.