400 Most Common GRE Words 1
This list is selected by dictionary.com and very popular in online GRE preparation and practice. We attached them with definitions and examples of Pacific Lava's word bank. Besides, we also offer explanations in multiple language for the demands of ESL students for GRE test.
/ə'beɪt/ v. Syn. subside; decrease; lessen
subside; decrease; become less in amount or intensity
Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate.
/æ'bɛrənt/ n. Syn. abnormal; deviant
abnormal; markedly different from an accepted norm
Given the aberrant nature of the data, we doubted the validity of the entire experiment.
/ə'beɪəns/ n. Syn. suspension
suspended action; temporary cessation or suspension
The deal was held in abeyance until her arrival.
/'æbnɪgeɪt/ v. Syn. renounce
give up or surrender; deny something to oneself
After his retirement, the former police commissioner found it difficult to abnegate authority.
leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution
The teller who did abscond with the bonds went un-captured until someone recognized him from his photograph on "America's Most Wanted.".
/əb'steɪn/ v. Syn. refrain
refrain; hold oneself back voluntarily from an action or practice
After considering the effect of alcohol on his athletic performance, he decided to abstain from drinking while he trained for the race.
/'ækəleɪd/ n. Syn. praise
award of merit; expression of approval; praise
In Hollywood, an "Oscar" is the highest accolade.
/ə'kri:ʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. growth; increase
growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion
The accretion of wealth marked the family's rise in power.
/'ækjʊmɛn, ə'kju:mɛn/ n. Syn. acuteness; insight
mental keenness; quickness of perception
However, her team's political acumen is clearly beyond mine, an Ivy League Medical Science Professor and NOT a Political "Science" Professor.
/əd'mɒnɪʃ/ v. Syn. warn; reprove
warn; counsel someone against something to be avoided
I would again admonish the reader carefully to consider the nature of our doctrine.
/ə'drɔɪt/ a. Syn. skillful; dexterous
skillful and adept under pressing conditions
I should work in adroit references to this evening's speeches.
make impure by adding inferior or tainted substances
It is a crime to adulterate foods without informing the buyer.
/'ædʌmbreɪt/ v. Syn. overshadow; shade
give hint or indication of something; disclose partially or guardedly; overshadow; shade
Her constant complaining about the job would adumbrate her intent to leave.
/'ædvəkət/ v. Syn. urge; support
speak, plead, or argue in favour of; plead for; push for something
The some doctors advocate a smoking ban in the entire house.
/i:s'θɛtɪk/ a. Syn. artistic; elegant
elegant or tasteful; of or concerning appreciation of beauty or good taste
Kenneth Cole, the American designer known for his modern, urban aesthetic, is hawking $35 T-shirts.
/ə'grændaɪz/ v. Syn. increase; intensify
increase scope of; extend; intensify; make greater in power, influence, stature, or reputation
The history of the past quarter century illustrates how a President may aggrandize his power to act aggressively in international affairs without considering the wishes of Congress.
cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness
Phil and Dave were raring to get off to the mountains; they packed up their ski gear and climbed into the van with alacrity.
/ə'lɔɪ/ v. Syn. combine; mix
combine; mix; make less pure; lessen or moderate
Our concern for Dwight Gooden, who injured his pitching arm in the game, will alloy our delight at the Yankees' victory.
/ə'mælgəmeɪt/ v. Syn. combine; mix
combine; unite in one body; mix or alloy a metal with mercury
The unions will attempt to amalgamate their groups into one national body.
state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty
This ambiguity is also becoming part of US policy toward Israel, we all have to guess the next step.
unclear or doubtful in meaning
His ambiguous instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.
state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes, such as love and hate
Torn between loving her parents one minute and hating them the next, she was confused by the ambivalence of her feelings.
/ə'mi:lɪəreɪt/ v. Syn. improve
make or become better; improve; grow better
Many social workers have attempted to ameliorate the conditions of people living in the slums.
/ə'mi:nəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. responsible; accountable
responsive to advice or suggestion; responsible to higher authority; willing to comply with; agreeable
He was amenable to any suggestions that came from those he looked up to.
solemn curse; someone or something regarded as a curse
To the Ayatolla, America and the West were anathema; he loathed the democratic nations, cursing them in his dying words.
source of relaxation or comfort; medicine that relieves pain
The sound of classical music is usually just anodyne I need after a tough day at work.
/ə'nɒmələs/ a. Syn. abnormal; irregular
deviating from normal or common order, form, or rule
He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures which he despised.
/ə'nɒməlɪ/ n. Syn. irregularity
irregularity; person or something that is unusual; departure from normal or common order
No doubt, this anomaly is the result of the uncertain international environment and high interest rates.
/æn'tægənɪz(ə)m/ n. Syn. hostility; enmity
active resistance; condition of being an opposing principle, force, or factor
Barry showed his antagonism toward his new stepmother by ignoring her whenever she tried talking to him.
/æn'tɪpəθɪ/ n. Syn. aversion; dislike
strong feeling of aversion; dislike
Tom's extreme antipathy for disputes keeps him from getting into arguments with his temperamental wife.
/'æpəθɪ/ n. Syn. indifference
lack of caring; indifference
A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.
/ə'pɒkrɪf(ə)l/ a. Syn. untrue
untrue; of questionable authorship or authenticity; erroneous; fictitious
To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs
Because he switched from one party to another, his former friends shunned him as an apostate.
elevation to godhood; fact or action of becoming a god; an ideal example of something
The apotheosis of a Roman emperor was designed to insure his eternal greatness: people would worship at his altar forever.
/ə'pi:z/ v. Syn. relieve; pacify
bring peace, quiet, or calm to; satisfy or relieve
Tom and Jody tried to appease the crying baby by offering him one toy after another, but he would not calm down.
/'æpəzɪt/ a. Syn. appropriate; relevant
strikingly appropriate and relevant; well-suited
He was always able to find the apposite phrase, the correct expression for every occasion.
/ə'praɪz/ v. Syn. inform
inform; give notice to; make aware
If you apprise him the dangerous weather conditions, he has to postpone his trip.
/æprə'beɪʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. approval
expression of warm approval; praise
She looked for some sign of approbation from her parents, hoping her good grades would please them.
/ə'proʊprɪət/ v. Syn. acquire; allocate
acquire; take possession of for one's own use; set apart for specific use
The ranch owners appropriate the lands that have originally been set aside for the Indians' use.
/ɑr'keɪn/ a. Syn. secret; mysterious
secret; mysterious; known only to the initiated
Secret brotherhoods surround themselves with arcane rituals and trappings to mystify outsiders.
/ɑr'keiɪk/ a. Syn. antiquated
no longer current or applicable; antiquated
"Methinks," "thee," and "thou" are archaic words that are no longer part of our normal vocabulary.
/'ɑrdjʊəs/;/'ɑrdʒʊəs/ a. Syn. hard; strenuous
demanding great effort or labor; difficult
Her arduous efforts had sapped her energy.
stop or slow down; catch someone's attention; take into custody
The trapeze artists plunge from the heights until a safety net luckily arrest their fall.
/ɑr'tɪkjʊlət/ a. Syn. effective; distinct
expressing oneself easily in clear and effective language
Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers.
/'ɑrtlɪs/ a. Syn. naive
free of artificiality; natural; open and honest
Sophisticated and cynical, Jack could not believe Jill was as artless and naive as she appeared to be.
/ə'sɛtɪk/ a. Syn. austere; severe
leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial; austere
The wealthy, self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the strict, ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders.
sharpness of temper; roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate
These remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
/ə'sɪdjʊəs/;/ə'sɪdʒʊəs/ a. Syn. diligent; persistent
constant in application or attention; diligent; unceasing or persistent
He was assiduous, working at this task for weeks before he felt satisfied with his results.
/ə'sweɪdʒ/ v. Syn. relieve
ease or lessen pain; satisfy or appease
Jilted by Jane, Dick tried to assuage his heartache by indulging in ice cream.
/ə'strɪndʒənt/ a. Syn. austere
causing contraction; having the effect of drawing tissue together; stern or austere
The juice from the last pressing being very dark and astringent, is put with the inferior wine.
/ə'tɛnjʊeɪt/ v. Syn. weaken
make slender, fine, or small; weaken; lessen density of
By withdrawing their forces, the generals hoped to attenuate the enemy lines.
/ɔ:'deɪʃəs/ a. Syn. brave; bold
fearlessly, often recklessly daring; bold
Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their audacious, death defying leap to freedom, escaping Darth Vader's troops.
/'ɔ:gjʊrɪ/ n. Syn. omen; prophecy
sign of something coming; art or practice of foretelling events by signs or omens
He interpreted the departure of the birds as an augury of evil.
/ɔ:'gʌst/ a. Syn. impressive; majestic; grand
impressive; majestic; inspiring awe or admiration
Visiting the palace at Versailles, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
/ɔ:'spɪʃəs/ a. Syn. propitious
attended by favorable circumstances; marked by success; prosperous
With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
strict or severe in discipline; severely simple and unornamented
The headmaster's austere demeanor tended to scare off the more timid students, who never visited his study willingly.
greediness for wealth; insatiable desire of gain
King Midas is a perfect example of avarice, for he was so greedy that he wished everything he touched would turn to gold.
/ə'vɜr(r)/ v. Syn. affirm
declare to be true; affirm
The witnesses aver that he was holding a gun.
self-evident truth requiring no proof
Before a student can begin to think along the lines of Euclidean geometry, he must accept certain principle or axiom.
/'beɪlfʊl/ a. Syn. deadly; ominous
portending evil; harmful in intent or effect.
The fortune teller made baleful predictions of terrible things to come.
/bə'nɑrl/;/'beɪnl/ a. Syn. dull; commonplace; trite
obvious and dull; commonplace; lacking originality
The writer made his comic sketch seem banal, only a few people liked it.
/beɪn/ n. Syn. curse
something causes misery or death; curse; fatal injury or ruin
Lucy's little brother was the bane of her existence: his attempts to make her life miserable worked so well that she could have poisoned him.
ornament something in showy, tasteless, or gaudy finery
We usually bedizen witch doctors in all their gaudiest costumes.
/bɪ'laɪ/ v. Syn. contradict
contradict; give a false impression
His coarse, hard-bitten exterior does belie his inner sensitivity.
/bɪ'naɪn/ a. Syn. kindly; favorable
kindly; favorable; not malignant
Though her benign smile and gentle bearing made Miss Marple seem a sweet little old lady, in reality she was a tough-minded lady.
determined to do or have
We are bent on going to the theater no matter how heavy the snow is.
/blaɪð/ a. Syn. gay; joyous; heedless
gay; joyous; carefree and lighthearted
Shelley called the skylark a "blithe spirit" because of its happy song.
/'bɔɪstərəs/ a. Syn. violent; rough; noisy
rough and stormy; loud, noisy, and lacking in restraint or discipline
The unruly crowd became even more boisterous when he tried to quiet them.
/'boʊlstə(r)/ v. Syn. support; reinforce
support or prop up with or as if with a long narrow pillow or cushion
The debaters amassed file boxes full of evidence to bolster their arguments.
/bɒm'bæstɪk/ a. Syn. pompous
pompous; using inflated language; high-sounding but with little meaning
The biggest military power on Earth was acting belligerent and its president was indulging in bombastic nationalistic grandstanding.
/'bɜrdʒ(ə)n/ v. Syn. thrive; mushroom
grow forth; send out buds; grow or develop rapidly
In the spring, the plants that burgeon are a promise of the beauty to come.
/'bɜrnɪʃ/ v. Syn. polish
make shiny by rubbing; polish
I burnish the brass fixtures until they reflect the lamplight.
/'bʌtrɪs/ v. Syn. support
support physically; prop up; support something or someone by supplying evidence
The attorney came up with several far-fetched arguments in a vain attempt to buttress his weak case.
/kə'kɒfənəs/ a. Syn. discordant; inharmonious
discordant; inharmonious; sounding harshly; ill-sounding
Do the students in the orchestra enjoy the cacophonous sounds they make when they're tuning up? I don't know how they can stand the racket.
/kə'prɪʃəs/ a. Syn. unpredictable; fickle; arbitrary
fickle; impulsive and unpredictable; apt to change opinions suddenly
The storm was capricious: it changed course constantly.
/'kæstɪgeɪt/ v. Syn. punish
criticize severely; punish; revise or make corrections to publication
When the teacher threatened that she would castigate the mischievous boys if they didn't behave, they shaped up in a hurry.
/'kætəlɪst/ n. Syn. enzyme; stimulus
agent which brings about chemical change while it remains unaffected and unchanged
Many chemical reactions cannot take place without the presence of a catalyst.
capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action
The critic's caustic remarks angered the hapless actors who were the subjects of his sarcasm.
/ʃɪ'keɪnərɪ/ n. Syn. trickery; deception
mean or unfair artifice to obscure truth; deception by trickery or sophistry
Those sneaky lawyers misrepresented what occurred, made up all sorts of implausible alternative scenarios to confuse the jurors, and in general depended on chicanery to win the case.
/'tʃɜrlɪʃ/ a. Syn. boorish; rude
difficult to work with; rude; unyielding; unmanageable
Dismayed by his churlish behaviors at the party, the girls vowed never to invite him again.
/'koʊdʒənt/ a. Syn. convincing
reasonable and convincing; based on evidence; forcefully persuasive
It was inevitable that David chose to go to Harvard: he had several cogent reasons for doing so, including a full-tuition scholarship.
/kəm'pleɪzənt/ a. Syn. obliging
trying to please; showing cheerful willingness to do favors for others
The courtier obeyed the king's orders in a complaisant manner.
/kən'faʊnd/ v. Syn. confuse; puzzle
cause to become confused or perplexed; fail to distinguish; mix up
I developed an elaborate color scheme to help us pluck just the right card at that special moment to confound the opposing pair of debaters.
/kɒnə'sɜr(r)/ n. Syn. specialist; expert
specialist; person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts
A literature professor by training and a self-taught art connoisseur, Charles Ryskamp served three decades as director first of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
/kən'tɛnʃəs/ a. Syn. quarrelsome; disagreeable
quarrelsome; disagreeable; marked by heated arguments or controversy
The contentious gentleman in the bar ridiculed anything anyone said.
/'kɒnvəlutɪd/ a. Syn. intricate
coiled around; highly involved; intricate
His argument was so convoluted that few of us could follow it intelligently.
/kə'rɒbəreɪt/ v. Syn. confirm; support
establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts; support with evidence
Though Huck was quite willing to corroborate Tom's story, Aunt Polly knew better than to believe either of them.
/'kaʊntɪnəns/ v. Syn. approve; tolerate
give sanction or support to; tolerate or approve
He refused to countenance such rude behavior on their part.
apt to believe on slight evidence; easily imposed upon; unsuspecting; believed too readily
They are credulous people who believe in the advertisement.
/dɔ:nt/ v. Syn. intimidate; frighten; dismay
frighten; abate the courage of; discourage
Other northern employers were shocked that ex-slaves refused to work in conditions that would not daunt a farmer in the North.
/dɜrθ/ n. Syn. scarcity
scarcity; shortage of food; famine from failure or loss of crops
The dearth of skilled labor compelled the employers to open trade schools.
propriety in manners and conduct; good taste in manners; conventions or requirements of polite behavior
Keeping public decorum is an important factor in media credibility.
/'dɛfərəns/ n. Syn. respect
willingness to carry out the wishes of others; great respect
In deference to the minister's request, please do not take photographs during the wedding service.
/dɛlɪ'tɪərɪəs/ a. Syn. harmful
having harmful effect; injurious; having quality of destroying life; noxious; poisonous
If you believe that smoking is deleterious to your health, then quit!.
/dɪ'mɜr(r)/ v. Syn. hesitate
object because of doubts; hesitate
When offered a post on the board of directors, David had to demur: he had scruples about taking on the job because he was unsure he could handle it.
/'dɛnɪgreɪt/ v. Syn. blacken; defame; belittle
blacken; defame; attack reputation of; degrade
All attempts to denigrate the character of our late president have failed; the people still love him and cherish his memory.
/'dɛprɪkeɪt/ v. Syn. belittle
express disapproval of; protest against; belittle
A firm believer in old-fashioned courtesy, Miss Post must deprecate the modern tendency to address new acquaintances by their first names.
/dɛprɪ'deɪʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. plundering
plundering; destructive action; predatory attack; damage or loss
After the depredation of invaders, the people were penniless.
/dɪ'raɪd/ v. Syn. ridicule
ridicule; make fun of; laugh at with contempt
The critics deride his pretentious dialogue and refused to consider his play seriously.
/dɪ'rɪvətɪv/ a. Syn. unoriginal
unoriginal; derived from another source
Although her early poetry was clearly derivative in nature, the critics thought she had promise and eventually would find her own voice.
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