A Guide to the GRE/Vocabulary List 9

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Vocabulary List 9[edit]

Filigree (n.) metalwork jewelry or ornaments, typically made of threads of silver of gold

The typical filigree sold at the store was very ornate.

Veto (n.) an absolute right to overrule others’ decision, often in the context of politics and government; (v.) to the act of utilizing the power of veto

The veto power of the President is set out in the Constitution.

Suppliant (adj.) making a humble plea to one with power or authority; (n.) one who is suppliant

Their suppliant request was received by the director of activities, who acceded to their demands.

Eccentric (adj.) flamboyant, unusual, or defiant of convention

Though all the brothers were eccentric, Billy was by far the most odd.

Wheedle (v.) to attempt to persuade, often employing desperate measures such as acts of flattery

Though he was unqualified for the job, Eddie thought he might be able to wheedle his way into getting them to hire him.

Discursive (adj.) of or relating to discourse

The discursive texts on the issue of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays lacked any uniform alternative theory.

Disaffect (v.) to cause an individual to cease liking someone or something; to undo any affection

He did not know just how much the incident would disaffect him with regard to Thai food.

Gambol (v.) to run or frolic in a playful manner

The children proceeded to gambol about as their parents waited.

Plethora (n.) a large number and variety

Though he had a plethora of excuses, none of them were satisfactory in the eyes of Mrs. Mitchell.

Abjure (v.) to solemnly renounce a belief or claim, to make something go away

She had every intent to abjure her memories of that summer.

Picaresque (adj.) of or relating to a roguish but likeable protagonist, often in fiction

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea contains an example of the picaresque hero.

Ponderous (adj.) (1) excessively dull or tedious; (2) awkward and clumsy due to heaviness

The ponderous schoolwork annoyed Gabrielle.

Tumultuous (adj.) excitedly lacking order and confusing

The two had a tumultuous relationship for many weeks after the fight at the Bulldog.

Intestate (adj.) having not made a will upon death; (n.) one who dies intestate

Grandpa Hal died intestate.

Mundane (adj.) typical; boring

The mundane math problems in the textbook were never-ending.

Vaunt (v.) to brag or boast

Like every other car dealer, he would vaunt the capabilities of his own product and trash talk those of the competition.

Rhetoric (n.) persuasive or inciteful language, often which is lacking in substantive content

The speaker continued with his inflammatory rhetoric.

Arabesque (n.) a pattern of elaborately interwoven lines, often utilizing plant or animal outlines

Delilah loved the arabesque on the handbag, and had no choice but to purchase it.

Hallow (v.) to make or venerate as holy; consecrate

The church went on to hallow St. Martha, and her legend lived on.

Beneficent (adj.) that which his good, moral or helpful to society, especially in the context of charity and public service

The Jesuits are well known worldwide as a beneficent order.

Adorn (v.) to cause to be more appealing or attractive

The nation would adorn his uniform with medals for his war efforts.

Assiduous (adj.) done very carefully or persistently with great attention

Carrie's assiduous efforts paid off when she was offered the contract.

Acarpous (adj.) not producing any fruit

Though most of the apple trees were healthy, there were a few sickly and acarpous trees near the fenceline.

Improvidence (adj.) having little thought for the future when making decisions

She was intelligent but a poor planner, displaying remarkable improvidence.

Hirsute (adj.) hairy

The hirsute fellow's dreadlocks disgusted Sandy and her husband.

Arcane (adj.) secret or hidden; known only to a few

The recipe for Swedish cheesecake had become quite arcane over the years.

Feign (v.) to assert an untrue impression; to fake or pretend

Friar Lawrence gave her a potion designed to feign death, after the effects of which she would wake up.

Expurgate (v.) to cleanse or purge of something wrong or evil

Truman felt a day at church was needed to expurgate himself after what he had done.

Derivative (n.) that which stems from or is based on something else; that which is derived

She couldn't believe that such a nasty drug was a derivative of the opium poppy.

Eschew (v.) to consistently avoid, often on religious or moral grounds

Holly would consistently eschew drinking alcohol.

Euphemism (n.) a word or phrase, often large or lengthy, used in place of a more ordinary term to invoke a more positive connotation

"Loss prevention associate" was just a euphemism for "security guard."

Heretical (adj.) dissenting or departing from an accepted belief or standard

Huss was vilified for his allegedly heretical statements.

Precarious (adj.) uncertain or insecure; likely to fall or collapse

The mayor's office found themselves in a rather precarious position, with public support beneath them wavering.

Extravagance (n.) the state of being excessive or overdone, usually in the context of money

Donald Trump's extravagance is well known.

Anodyne (adj.) (1) pain-relieving; (2) unlikely to offend or upset

Though Mary Ann worried she'd upset the others, her comments were in fact rather anodyne.

Polyglot (adj.) having mastery of or capable of using multiple languages; (n.) a polyglot individual

Jimmy was such a polyglot that he even knew Swahili.

Caret (n.) the symbol “^” which denotes that something is to be inserted

Every caret on the document indicated a word that Sylvia needed to fill.

Indelible (adj.) incapable of being removed or erased

The exact name on the document could be erased, but the ink was indelible.

Egregious (adj.) noticeable or serious, usually used in a negative context

The most egregious part of it, in Laura's opinion, was the fact that he never even apologized.

Inimical (adj.) hostile, contrary or harmful

Her behavior was inimical to the best interests of the Republican Party, which subsequently distanced itself from her.

Dissent (n.) a contrary opinion or disagreement; (v.) to express dissent

While most of the directors agreed to the new policy, Tollefson did not, and he made sure his dissent was noted.

Stentorian (adj.) loud, forceful and powerful, typically with regard to a person’s voice

The playground aide's stentorian voice echoed for a wide radius, ordering the children to return inside.

Frugal (adj.) resistant to spending money, thrifty

Pierre's frugal lifestyle earned him the nickname "Penny Pierre."

Sanctimonious (adj.) embellishing the belief that one is morally superior to others

While both Luke and Kate were rather upstanding members of the community, only the former was sanctimonious about it.

Waver (v.) (1) to shake or tremble; (2) to give in or compromise

Though pressured, Phil never wavered in maintaining his innocence.

Poseur (n.) one who pretends, often regularly, to be something which that person is not

With her lengthy collection of French novels and cookbooks, Katy - an American - was something of a poseur.

Celerity (adj.) done with quickness or rapidity

The two of them fixed the '71 Chevelle with remarkable celerity.

Welter (v.) to move about in disarray (n.) a number of things in disarray

The welter filling her room was certainly a sight to see.

Importune (v.) to inquire, often persistently or with a strong desire

Shelly would constantly importune with regard to whether there were any job openings at the restaurant.

Burnish (v.) to smooth or shine something by rubbing it

He always made it a point to burnish the silver.

Dissertation (n.) a long discussion of a subject

Victoria's dissertation discussed the change in the law of the Republic of Venice as the result of the influx of commerce.

Temper (v.) to improve the durability of something through some process

An accomplished blacksmith, he went on to temper the metal with his hammer.

Indefatigable (adj.) incapable of becoming tired

Though others slowly became weary in the marathon, Gregory was indefatigable for its entire duration.

Coeval (adj.) having the same age

The coeval samples had strikingly different aspects, despite having the same age.

Somber (adj.) sad, depressing, mournful

The background music on the film had a somber tone.

Maverick (n.) a rebellious or unorthodox person

The senator repeatedly touted his reputation as a maverick.

Obsequious (adj.)excessively obedient or attentive

Harold was by far the most obsequious of any of the office employees.

Implicit (adj.) something which is a necessary or likely consequence or inference which is not directly stated; something which is implied

It was implicit in Kenny's dissertation that he was hostile to organized religion.

Abscond (v.) to leave or disappear in a quick and secretive manner

She suspected her husband's intentions were to abscond with the couples' child.

Profligate (adj.) recklessly extravagant, indulgent, or wasteful; (n.) one who is profligate

Miguel's profligate spending called a lot of attention to him.

Sophomoric (adj.) (1) of or relating to the second in a series, typically of years in school; (2) rude and insubordinate in a manner reminiscent of a juvenile

His sophomoric opinions were an annoyance to the others in philosophy class.

Provocation (n.) an act intended or having the effect of prompting or stimulating another’s course of action

Roger claimed that the attack was completely without provocation.

Vernacular (n.)a language or dialect specific to a region or group; (adj.) of or relating to a vernacular

A native England, she had a tough time adjusting to the Massachusetts vernacular.

Descant (v.) to talk tediously or comment at length

She proceeded to descant about the issue of clean water in the community.

Ambrosia (n.) (1) food of the Greek or Roman deities; (2) that which is very tasteful

Pad Thai was Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds' personal ambrosia.

Cynical (adj.) excessively negative or pessimistic, often with regard to a person’s outlook or worldview

While not cynical per se, Claudia often had a very negative attitude.

Exegesis (n.) an explanation or giving of reasons, often of a literary work

Eddie's compilation of war memoirs was introduced by an exegesis in the first few pages.

Forestall (v.) to prevent, exclude, or hamper

The harsh winter proved to forestall their efforts to fix up things around the shed.

Ineluctable (adj.) unavoidable; irresistible

Ethel found the smell of fresh apple pie ineluctable.

Untenable (adj.) incapable of being supported, especially with regard to an argument or contention

In his opinion, any argument for gun control was simply untenable.

Onerous (adj.) prone to cause trouble

Knowing Haley's onerous behavior, he figured it was only a matter of time before she called needing help out of some situation.

Auspice (n.) (1) a sign of what is to happen in the future, sometimes based on watching birds; (2) patronage, support or guidance

He completed his training under the auspices of Father Murphy.

Censure (n.) condemnation or negative opinion; (v.) to censure

The censure of A Clockwork Orange was widely known at the time it was published.

Captious (adj.) having the tendency to disagree, object, argue, or be difficult

Bill was always captious, whether or not he was talking about politics.

Dross (n.) (1) a scum that forms on the surface of molten iron; (2) something that is impure or worthless

Judy was sick of hearing about the sappy plots of the romance novels and such other literary dross that her mother would buy at the supermarket.

Wizened (adj.) shriveled or wrinkled as the result of the passage of time

The dog's wizened face reflected its age.

Acerbic (adj.) (1) sour or bitter in taste; (2)(in speech) straightforward, harsh, uncompromising

Barbara didn't understand how they could all drink such an acerbic, rancid beverage.

Elegy (n.) a sad poem or song, often written to mourn the dead

The flautist and cellist played a beautiful elegy at Clint's funeral.


Din (n.) a loud and often dissonant emanation of noise or noises

The din from the gymnasium could only be the result of a basketball game.

Resuscitate (v.) (1) to revive from unconsciousness; cause to breathe again; (2) to bring back to life or existence, often in the context of an idea

His book would attempt to resuscitate the some of the laissez-faire ideas of the late 1800s.

Tendentious (adj.) promulgating or intending to promote an idea or viewpoint, often which is controversial

Bennett's book on the Kennedy assassination was, as to be expected, tendentious.

Tangent (n.) divergence from a prior course or direction

Mrs. Makela subsequently went off on a tangent about her pet cat.

Expedient (adj.) effective in achieving some particular result, often which is practical but unethical; (n.) something which is expedient

Though an expedient solution, Mr. Kervin wondered if it burning all the garbage was really the best thing for the air.

Unflappable (adj.) having a state of calmness; not wavering, especially during some crisis

His spirit proved unflappable, even through the depths of the recession.

Adumbrate (v.) to outline, sketch or represent

The report went on to adumbrate the layout of the apartment where the incident took place.

Defer (v.) to abstain or pass on an action or decision and direct it elsewhere

Jamarcus elected to defer to his friends' decision with regard to what type of pizza to order that evening.

Rebus (n.) a puzzle, riddle, or other writing in which words are represented with pictures

The rebus sentence, while initially decipherable, was easy to figure out.


Emulate (v.) to copy or try to be more like something; to draw inspiration from something

He often tried to emulate many of his heroes from the World War II generation.

Treacherous (adj.) (1) culpable with regard to fraud, deceit or betrayal; (2) posing great risks

The first day of the mountain climb was by far the most treacherous.

Ossify (v.) (1) to turn into bone; (2) to stagnate or cease in terms of progress or development

The merger began to ossify after Lance quit his job and left no one to manage or coordinate it.