A Guide to the GRE/Vocabulary List 8

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GRE Vocabulary List 8[edit]

Meticulous (adj.) paying great attention to detail and precision

He was very meticulous when it came to keeping track of his weather observations.

Edacious (adj.) having a very strong appetite

It would not be long, he knew, before their edacious St. Bernard devoured the entire bowl of dog food.

Daunt (v.) to frighten or bother

Worries of not having enough money to pay next month's rent continued to daunt him.

Extant (adj.) existing or real

Within the extant universe, nothing has been shown to be able to travel through time.

Recluse (n.) one who lives a solitary life and avoids others

Mark was something of a recluse, rarely socializing with others.

Sedulous (adj.) exhibiting diligence and persistence

Maria was the most sedulous of any of those designated to work on the project.

Cacophony (n.) an unpleasant mixture of dissonant sounds

The horrid cacophony outside must have been a street fight or similar type of quarrel.


Pervasive (adj.) widespread and continuous, often with regard to something not desired

Homelessness became a pervasive problem in San Francisco after the dot-com bust.

Munificent (adj.) more generous or lenient than is customary or necessary

He was considered to be one of the more munificent of the Ottoman Sultans.

Vexation (n.) the state of being distressed or worried

The current vexation had to do with the loan payments due at the end of the month which the couple was unable to pay.

Tirade (n.)a lengthy and ranting attack or criticism

Shaun's nasty tirade was met with an equally bitter response from his opponent.

Brevity (n.) having a short duration; that which his brief

The brevity of Kennedy's presidency did not mean his legacy would soon be forgotten.

Arcane (adj.) obscure, difficult to understand, or known by very few, often with relation to knowledge

The family had many strange traditions with rather arcane origins.

Erstwhile (adj.) as things were at a prior time; previously

Melinda regretted that some of these erstwhile traditions had not continued.


Homily (n.) (1) a religious speech or sermon (2) a tedious lecture on morals or ethics

Brian was not looking forward to another homily from his mother.

Feckless (adj.) worthless, weak or ineffective

Her feckless dog began to wimper and subsequently ran away.

Subpoena (n.)a document compelling one to appear in court; (v.) to compel an individual via subpoena

Brenton made clear his intent to subpoena all eleven witnesses.

Dogma (n.) an established tenet or belief, such as in religion (typically used by one who does not agree with the belief)

Lorelai would constantly vent about the crazy dogma her mother believed in.

Salubrious (adj.) healthy or in good condition

Monica looked quite alive and salubrious despite the stroke.

Transfiguration (n.) a change in form or appearance, often which is exalting or glorifying

She described a vision wherein there was a strange transfiguration.

Calumniate (v.) to make harmful and malicious statements about a person or thing; to make a calumny

They would sit back in the coffee shop and calumniate about people passing by outside on the street.


Phlegmatic (adj.) demonstrative of calmness and composure

Juliette's phlegmatic behavior was surprising given the tress she was under.

Chimera (1) a fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail, described in Greek Mythology; (2) a myth, illusion, or falsehood

The chimera of Carver's invention of peanut butter is still taught in schools today, despite its falsity.

Sporadic (adj.)happening or occurring at a few irregular times or locations

Their eating patterns were quite sporadic, lacking any consistency.

Emollient (adj.) (1) having the effect of making something less harsh; (2) something which has an emollient effect

Her sob story was intended to be an emollient.

Obstinate (adj.) (1) exhibiting stubborn refusal to change an opinion or belief; (2) difficult or frustrating to deal with

While she was obstinate at first, Rachel grudgingly moved her car out of the way.

Maunder (v.) (1) to speak in a rambling or unstructured manner; (2) to wander

The man on the street continued to maunder, and neither of the two were exactly sure just what he had said.

Latent (adj.) not yet fully developed; hidden or dormant

He had many latent characteristics which would not exhibit until much later in life.

Ineffable (adj.) too extraordinary to be expressed by words

Seeing the entire bay from the top of the bridge was an ineffable sight.

Usurp (v.) to take by force, fraud or collusion, often in the context of political office

The Bolsheviks proceeded to usurp power after the Tsar's abdication.

Calibrate (v.) to determine the diameter or caliber or something; to measure something precisely

It was standard procedure to calibrate various measures on the automobile before working on it.

Parody (n.) a copy or imitation of something else for comedic purposes; (v.) to make a parody

The song was a "stylistic parody" of music of the genre.

Gainsay (v.) to take the opposing position, to dispute

He took great pleasure in the gainsay of what his opponent had to offer.

Baleful (adj.) eerily threatening or foreboding

The baleful parking fines were enough to persuade Allison to pay for parking at a nearby lot.

Episodic (adj.) of or relating to episodes; proceeding in or consisting of different stages episodes

His was an example of an episodic novel, even with distinct books within it.

Edifice (n.) a building or structure (typically large)

The edifice was in fact an old warehouse from the neighborhood.

Bolster (v.) to strengthen or support

The eyewitness' testimony tended to bolster the defense's theory of the case.

Dissemble (v.) to take on a false appearance

Hugo often made efforts to dissemble or disguise himself, embarrassed of his job.

Insipid (adj.) lacking any spirit, vigor or vitality

Matty was a lazy and insipid child, preferring to watch TV all day.

Deride (v.) to ridicule someone or something; to pejoratively laugh

Penny was used to how the people at school would constantly deride and insult her.

Compunction (n.) a feeling of guiltiness or remorse

They both felt remarkable compunction after what happened to the neighbor's dog.

Apposite (adj.) highly relevant or appropriate

The wedding was filled with lovely, apposite music, such as Mendelssohn's famous wedding march.

Encomium (n.) overly enthusiastic praise

The latest encomium venerated the book as a great stride in modern literature.

Discordant (adj.) having sounds which do not harmonize together

The chirping birds outside were rather discordant on that given morning.

Caustic (adj.) (1) that which will corrode materials or eat them away; (2) sharply sarcastic or mocking

While he shrugged it off, the caustic criticism truly did hurt his feelings deep down inside.

Contemn (v.) to treat a person with contempt; to display dislike for an individual

As a militant vegan, Sara would continually contemn “animal killers.”

Torrid (adj.) (1) very hot and dry; (2) having powerful emotions stemming from sexual attraction

The torrid weather in the region did not bode well for Mrs. Jackson.

Peripatetic (adj.) tending to travel from place to place, often staying for short periods; (n.) one who is peripatetic

Belinda had been more peripatetic in recent years, living all around New England.

Petulant (adj.) childishly selfish, bratty, or ill-tempered

He wished the neighbors would do more to discipline their rude, petulant children.

Poignant (adj.) tending to cause sadness or unpleasant feelings

It was rather poignant to hear that she was leaving and not returning.

Fetid (adj.) having an unpleasant smell

One whiff of the barn reminded Neil of the fetid odors on his uncle's farm growing up.

Peroration (n.) a conclusion to a speech

Billy ended with a peroration that analogized the current situation to the founding days of the nation.

Ingenuous (adj.) innocent and unsuspecting

Rachael had no idea that such an ingenuous little poodle could be capable of such a vicious bite.

Lassitude (n.) a lack of energy or motivation

Paul's lassitude was apparent during the hunting trip.

Echelon (n.) any one in a sequence of ranked groups

He would ultimately be promoted into a higher echelon than the others.

Coda (n.) an ending, conclusion or finalization, such as in a musical work

She recognized the coda, and nudged her husband to wake him, since the concert was ending.

Proliferate (v.) to increase or reproduce rapidly

Though there were only a few Polish immigrant families in Luzerne county at first, the population of them soon began to proliferate.

Venal (adj.) susceptible to bribery or corruption, often in the context of public officials

Rick was a rather venal individual when it came to his position as representative, and would readily take money from lobbyists.

Opaque (n.) an opaque thing or substance; (adj.) not able to be seen through; not transparent

The glass on the window was opaque.

Invigorate (v.) to increase the strength or energy of something; to give vigor

Andy knew that an energy drink would invigorate him.

Fractious (adj.) having a tendency to cause trouble

Eddie's fractious behavior ultimately got him kicked off campus.

Amalgamate (v.) to merge into one; combine

Ultimately the two jewelry stores would amalgamate into one single brand, which would dominate the local jewelry market for years to come.

Convalescence (n.) the recovery of one’s health after some sickness or injury

Jerry had a remarkably quick convalescence after his fall.

Lucid (adj.) clear and understandable

Meredith gave by far the most lucid explanation of a sonic boom.

Lubricious (adj.) (1) smooth or slippery; (2) offensively sexual

He did not realize how lubricious the oil-slicked sidewalk was until it was too late.

Abscission (n.) (1) an act of cutting something off; (2) the natural shedding of a plant’s leaves or fruits

Marta proceeded to trip the hedge by making a large abscission of its lower leaves and branches.

Normative (adj.) of or relating to what is typical and standard; normal

The two made all the normative arrangements for their wedding, with nothing too extravagant.

Zeal (n.) an eager and passionate desire towards some goal

Her zeal in pursuit of the employee of the month award was all too apparent.

Decibel (n.) a unit measuring the intensity or volume of sound

Whether described by the decibel or the ringing in his ears afterward, Kyle knew that the concert was loud.

Querulous (adj.) making whiny, ill-tempered, or annoying complaints

The querulous branch manager was always nagging on people to follow regulations more closely.

Mellifluous (adj.) pleasant to listen to, typically with regard to spoken words

Though she didn't understand what he was saying, she found his speech mellifluous.

Effigy (n.) a tangible representation of a person such as a doll or stick figure created for some expression of contempt

The police officer would be all but burned in effigy after the town found out what he had done.

Jettison (v.) to rid oneself of something by forcefully ejecting it, often from an airplane or other vehicle

Zelda would jettison her traditional beliefs about marriage in her early 20s.

Prate (v.) to speak at tedious length about something, often unwisely

Kelly would prate for lengthy periods of time about how much she hated her job.

Discomfit (v.) to thwart or frustrate the plans of someone or something

The launch of the new product would serve to discomfit competitors' hopes of dominating the market.

Obdurate (adj.) stubbornly reluctant toward changing an opinion or belief

Her father and uncle were tied for being the most obdurate people in the world.

Jocose (adj.) playful, humorous or joking

Though jocose most of the time, Heather was quite serious that day.

Cower (v.) to back away or flee from something out of fear or fright

Despite claims that he would cower like a cockroach, Jose stood his ground.

Virago (n.) (1) a controlling or ill-tempered woman; (2) a female warrior

Becky was as much of a Virago as Wesley's last girlfriend.

Plod (n.) a slow walk with heavy steps; (v.) to partake in a plod

Their plod along the trail was rather unpleasant given how muddy it was there.

Detraction (n.) that which belittles or reduces the magnitude of something else

To Todd, the plot of the musical was really only a detraction from the lovely orchestration.

Perjury (n.) dishonesty under oath

Though he knew it was wrong, he did not know it to be perjury.

Attenuate (v.) to make thinner or weaker; (n.) that which is thinner or weaker

Each minute waiting would increasingly attenuate his patience.

Fracas (n.) a noisy dispute or fight

The loud fracas at the restaurant was provoked by an insulting comment between different tables.

Frieze (n.) (1) a pile of uncut loops; (2) an ornamentation on a building; (3) coarse wool

The frieze on top of city hall displayed a farmer and an ox with a plow.

Propensity (adj.) a natural tendency to do something

While all the children got into trouble, Pete had the greatest propensity for mischief.

Limpid (adj.) clear and not cloudy or murky

The limpid contents of the beaker were nonetheless not presumed to be water.

Fatuous (adj.) silly or pointless

The plot of the operetta could best be described as fatuous.

Arrant (adj.) not giving the proper respect, excessively bold, rude, insolent

He wasn't the first arrant young boy to have quarreled with the police officer.

Disseminate (v.) to spread or disperse

Lenin's followers would then disseminate his ideas throughout the party.