By Jiuondgie Lyon

GRE Vocabulary 2020

This hot words list for GRE test takers is weekly selected from mainstream English media based on popular topics of 2020. It's an express supplement to prepare GRE test.

You can get example sentences and contexts to bind more words together with popular topics. It's a proven way to accumulate new words accurately.

We also include previous GRE vocabulary 2019-2018 in this page and add links of sentences and contexts from classic books for further reading.

If any GRE test-takers is going to kick off building vocabulary, we also recommend below 3 GRE lists as start point.



Recent Added GRE Words:
stratospheric   a. relating to the layer of the earth's atmosphere extending to about 50 km above the earth's surface Detail
rover   n. a vehicle for driving over rough terrain Detail
magnum   n. a thing of a type that is larger than normal, in particular Detail
opus   n. any artistic work, especially one on a large scale Detail
evangelist   n. a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching Detail
resurrection   n. state of one risen from the dead Detail
trove   n. a store of valuable or delightful things Detail
infiltrate   v. access to somewhere surreptitiously and gradually, especially to acquire secret information Detail
intercession   n. the action of intervening on behalf of another Detail
preeminent   a. surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way Detail
coniferous   Speak
a. any of an order (Coniferales) of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs having usually needle-shaped
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craggy   Speak
a. (of a landscape) abrupt, cliffy, steep
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cronyism   Speak
n. appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications
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debacle   Speak
n. a sudden failure
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deciduous   Speak
a. (of a tree or shrub) shedding its leaves annually
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down   Speak
n. a gently rolling hill
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dwindle   Speak
v. diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength
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evangelist   Speak
n. a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching
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gibe   Speak
n. being compatible, similar or consistent
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infiltrate   Speak
v. access to somewhere surreptitiously and gradually, especially to acquire secret information
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intercession   Speak
n. the action of intervening on behalf of another
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jog   Speak
v. rouse to alertness
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kneecap   Speak
v. shoot (someone) in the knee or leg as a form of punishment
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magnum   Speak
n. a thing of a type that is larger than normal, in particular
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melancholy   Speak
n. a feeling of thoughtful sadness
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monger    Speak
n. someone who purchases and maintains an inventory of goods to be sold
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muzzle    Speak
n.  the open end of the barrel of a firearm
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opus   Speak
n. any artistic work, especially one on a large scale
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painstaking   Speak
a. extremely careful and correct, and involving a lot of effort
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post-mortem   Speak
n. a medical examination of a dead person's body in order to find out the cause of death
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preeminent   Speak
a. surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way
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resurrection   Speak
n. state of one risen from the dead
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rover   Speak
n. a vehicle for driving over rough terrain
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sequester   Speak
v. isolate or hide away (someone or something)
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sneer   Speak
n. a contemptuous or scornful remark
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stain   Speak
n. a colored patch or dirty mark that is difficult to remove
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stratospheric   Speak
a. relating to the layer of the earth's atmosphere extending to about 50 km above the earth's surface
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taint   Speak
v. contaminate or pollute something
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temple   Speak
n. the flat area on either side of the forehead
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tide waiter   Speak
n. a customs inspector at a seaport
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trove   Speak
n. a store of valuable or delightful things
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vibe   Speak
n. atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others
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GRE Vocabulary 2018-2019
abound  Speak
exist in large numbers or amounts

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adorn  Speak
make more beautiful or attractive

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adversity  Speak
difficulties or misfortune
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afflict  Speak
cause pain or suffering to; affect or trouble

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after hours  Speak
after normal working or opening hours, typically those of bars and nightclubs
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alleviation  Speak
easement, easing, relief

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amble  Speak
walk or move at a slow, relaxed pace

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annex  Speak
append or add as an extra or subordinate part, especially to a document

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aquifer  Speak
a body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater

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back-alley  Speak
a narrow passage behind or between buildings

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barista  Speak
a person whose job involves preparing and serving different types of coffee
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barrack  Speak
jeer loudly in order to express disapproval or to create a distraction

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barren  Speak
too poor to produce much or any vegetation

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bawdy  Speak
dealing with sexual matters in a comical way; humorously indecent
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bayonet  Speak
a swordlike stabbing blade that may be fixed to a rifle for use in hand-to-hand fighting

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bead  Speak
a small piece of glass or stone, typically rounded for threading
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benighted  Speak
in a state of intellectual or moral ignorance, typically owing to a lack of opportunity

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bite the dust  Speak
fall so that your body hits the ground heavily, die, end in failure
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blare  Speak
make or cause to make a loud, harsh sound
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blob  Speak
a drop of a thick liquid or other viscous substance
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bloodless  Speak
without violence or killing, lacking in spirit or vitality

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blossom  Speak
flourish or develop
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Bodhisattva  Speak
in Buddhism, a person who is able to save suffering beings

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bonnet  Speak
a protective cover or cap over a machine or object

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boon  Speak
a thing that is helpful or beneficial

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bound  Speak
walk or run with leaping strides

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brag  Speak
say in a boastful manner
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breathtaking  Speak
astonishing or awe-inspiring in quality, so as to take one's breath away
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brutalist  Speak
characterized by a deliberate plainness, crudity, or violence of imagery, especially in style of architecture or art

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brutality  Speak
savage physical violence; great cruelty

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catastrophic  Speak
extremely unfortunate or unsuccessful

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categorically  Speak
flatly, unconditionally

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cellulose  Speak
the main constituent of plant cell walls and of vegetable fibers such as cotton

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chaos  Speak
complete disorder and confusion

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chill  Speak
an unpleasant feeling of coldness in the atmosphere

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choke  Speak
have severe difficulty in breathing

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clamber  Speak
climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way

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clinch  Speak
confirm or settle a contract or bargain

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clog  Speak
block or become blocked with an accumulation of thick, wet matter

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comeback  Speak
a return by a well-known person to the activity he or she has formerly been successful

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conglomerate  Speak
a number of different things or parts that are put or grouped together to form a whole but remain distinct entities

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conscious  Speak
aware of and responding to; awake

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contraption  Speak
a device that appears strange or unnecessarily complicated, and often badly made

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coo  Speak
talk fondly, amorously, or appreciatively

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corpse  Speak
a dead body, especially of a human being rather than an animal

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corruption  Speak
dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery

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count towards  Speak
be part of what is needed to complete or achieve something

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coup  Speak
a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government

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credible  Speak
able to be believed; convincing

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crimp  Speak
have a limiting or adverse effect on something

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cringe-worthy  Speak
causing feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness
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crook  Speak
person who is dishonest or a criminal

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crumple  Speak
crush something, typically paper or cloth so that it becomes wrinkled

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cuddle  Speak
hold close in one's arms as a way of showing love or affection

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damning  Speak
strongly suggesting guilt or error
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dangle  Speak
hang or swing loosely

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daze  Speak
make someone unable to think or react properly

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deficiency  Speak
a lack or shortage
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deform  Speak
distort the shape or form of; make misshapen

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deride  Speak
express contempt for; ridicule

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desalination  Speak
the process of removing salt from seawater

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despise  Speak
feel a strong dislike for someone or something because of bad or no value

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despotic  Speak
autocratic; tyrannical

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destine  Speak
intend or choose for a particular purpose or end

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detriment  Speak
the state of being harmed or damaged

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devolution  Speak
the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level

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displace  Speak
take over the place, position, or role of

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divert  Speak
cause to change course or turn from one direction to another

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dominant  Speak
most important, powerful, or influential

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doorstop book  Speak
a large, boring book, generally considered a classic

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dormant  Speak
having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time

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drain  Speak
cause the water or other liquid in something to run out

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droll  Speak
curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement
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dwindle  Speak
diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength

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eerie  Speak
strange and frightening

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enlist  Speak
enroll or be enrolled in the armed services
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entice  Speak
attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage

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ethos  Speak
the character or disposition of a community, group, person

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evolution  Speak
he gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form

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famine  Speak
extreme scarcity of food

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faulty  Speak
working badly or unreliably because of imperfections

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fiddle  Speak
change something dishonestly, especially to own advantage

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first go  Speak
doing or trying someting at first

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flinch  Speak
make a quick, nervous movement of the face or body as an instinctive reaction to surprise, fear or pain

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flog  Speak
sell or offer for sale

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foment  Speak
instigate or stir up an undesirable action

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formidable  Speak
inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large and powerful

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foul  Speak
an unfair stroke of play, especially one involving interference with opponent

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frantic  Speak
wild or distraught with fear, anxiety, or other emotion

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fraternity  Speak
a group of people sharing a common profession or interests
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full-on  Speak
not limited in any way, fully developed
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furlough  Speak
leave of absence, especially that granted to a member of the armed services
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galvanise  Speak
shock or excite someone, typically into taking action

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garb  Speak
clothing or dress, especially of a distinctive or special kind

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geek  Speak
an unfashionable or socially inept person

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gel  Speak
a thick, clear, liquid substance, especially one used on the hair or body

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gentrification  Speak
the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste

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glamorous  Speak
attractive in an exciting and special way
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Gordian knot  Speak
an extremely difficult or involved problem

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gown  Speak
long dress worn on formal occasions

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grind on  Speak
continue for a long time in a wearying or tedious way
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gubernatorial  Speak
of or relating to a state governor or the office of state governor
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gulag  Speak
a system of labor camps in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died

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gyrate  Speak
move or cause to move in a circle or spiral, especially quickly
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gyration  Speak
a rapid movement in a circle or spiral; a whirling motion
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hard-core  Speak
the most active or committed members of a group or movement
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haze  Speak
force a new member to perform strenuous, humiliating, or dangerous tasks
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heed  Speak
careful attention

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helm  Speak
steer a boat or ship
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herald  Speak
be a sign that something is about to happen

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heretic  Speak
a person who differs in opinion from established religious dogma

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heron  Speak
a large fish-eating wading bird with long legs, a long S-shaped neck

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homeroom  Speak
a classroom in which a group of students assembles daily with the same teacher
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homily  Speak
a religious discourse that is intended primarily for spiritual edification, sermon

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homosexual  Speak
a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex
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hone  Speak
refine or perfect something over a period of time
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horizon  Speak
the limit of a person's mental perception or interest

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idiosyncrasy  Speak
a mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual

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ilk  Speak
a type of people or things similar to those already referred to

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illusion  Speak
a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted
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imminent  Speak
about to happen, urgent
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impose  Speak
force something to be accepted or put in place

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impunity  Speak
exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action

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in chaos  Speak
overturned, inverted

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in full swing  Speak
in full operation, at the highest level of activity
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incumbent  Speak
the holder of an office or post

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indigenous  Speak
originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native

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infest  Speak
be present in large numbers, typically so as to cause damage or disease

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infidel  Speak
a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one's own

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infuse  Speak
soak in liquid to extract the flavor or healing properties

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ingest  Speak
take food or drink by swallowing or absorbing it

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ingrained  Speak
firmly fixed or established; difficult to change

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inimitably  Speak
in an impossible to reproduce or duplicate manner

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inmate  Speak
a person confined to an institution such as a prison or hospital

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insecure  Speak
not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious
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insuperable  Speak
impossible to overcome

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intently  Speak
with earnest and eager attention

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intimidate  Speak
frighten or overawe someone to make them do what one wants

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irrefutably  Speak
in a way that is impossible to prove wrong
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jurisprudence  Speak
theory or philosophy of law

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lacklustre  Speak
lacking in vitality, force, or conviction; uninspired or uninspiring

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lance corporal  Speak
military rank, below corporal, typically the lowest non-commissioned officer
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languid  Speak
weak or faint from illness or fatigue

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lavish  Speak
sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious
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lead-up  Speak
an event, point, or sequence that leads up to something else

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ledger  Speak
a book or other collection of financial accounts of a particular type

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legion  Speak
a unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army; a vast number of people or things

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lest  Speak
with the intention of preventing something undesirable; to avoid the risk of

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levy  Speak
impose a tax, fee, or fine

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lignin  Speak
a complex substance deposited in the cell walls of plants, making plants rigid

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loophole  Speak
an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules.

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lose shirt  Speak
lose a lot of money, lose all of one's assets
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magistrate  Speak
civil officer or lay judge who administers the law

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malaise  Speak
a general feeling of discomfort or illness whose cause is difficult to identify

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manifesto  Speak
a public declaration of policy and aims

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matrix  Speak
an environment or material in which something develops; a surrounding medium or structure

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maven  Speak
an expert or connoisseur
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misdemeanor  Speak
a minor wrongdoing
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momentum  Speak
impetus gained by a moving object; tendency or influence
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money-grubbing  Speak
someone does anything possible to get money

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monsoon  Speak
a seasonal prevailing wind in the region of South and Southeast Asia;

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munch  Speak
eat something with a continuous and often audible action of the jaws

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nasty  Speak
highly unpleasant, especially to the senses; physically nauseating

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national side  Speak
national team, sports team that is the representative of the whole nation rather than a school or club

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newsreel  Speak
a short film of news, formerly made for showing in a movie theater

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nip  Speak
go somewhere quickly or be somewhere for only a short time

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nobility  Speak
people of the highest social rank in a society, considered as a group

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obnoxious  Speak
extremely unpleasant

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obscene  Speak
offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency
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occupant  Speak
a person who resides or is present in a house

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offence  Speak
a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act

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on the skids  Speak
in a bad state; failing
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ornate  Speak
made in an intricate shape or decorated with complex patterns
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outfit  Speak
a group that works as a team

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pachinko  Speak
a Japanese form of pinball

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palpable  Speak
able to be touched or felt
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parole  Speak
release of a prisoner temporarily
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pawn  Speak
an object left as security for money lent

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penitentiary  Speak
a prison for people convicted of serious crimes
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perk  Speak
money, goods, or other benefit to which one is entitled as an employee or as a shareholder

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phantom  Speak
unreal image, ghost
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pilgrim  Speak
a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons

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pinball  Speak
a game in which small metal balls are shot across a sloping board

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platelet  Speak
a small colorless disk-shaped cell fragment, found in large numbers in blood and involved in clotting

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plead guilty to  Speak
state that one is guilty of a crime before a court of law
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pledge  Speak
a person who has promised to join a fraternity or sorority
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plume  Speak
a long, soft feather or arrangement of feathers used by a bird for display

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plummet  Speak
fall or drop straight down at high speed

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plush  Speak
richly luxurious and expensive
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polymer  Speak
a substance that has a molecular structure consisting of a large number of similar units bonded together

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poster child  Speak
typical or good example of something

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potassium  Speak
chemical element of atomic number 19, a soft silvery-white reactive metal of the alkali metal group
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potent  Speak
having great power, influence, or effect

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preeminent  Speak
surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way

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prodigious  Speak
remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree

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promptly  Speak
at exactly a specified time; punctually

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proponent  Speak
person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project

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proposition  Speak
a statement or assertion that expresses a judgment or opinion
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pummel  Speak
strike repeatedly, typically with the fists

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punter  Speak
a person who gambles, places a bet, or makes a risky investment

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rambunctious  Speak
uncontrollably exuberant; boisterous, wild
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redeem  Speak
gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment

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renegade  Speak
a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles

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repeal  Speak
revoke or annul
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retiree  Speak
a person who has retired from full-time work

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reveal  Speak
make previously secret information known to others

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rid  Speak
make someone or something free of a troublesome person or thing

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risotto  Speak
Italian food of rice cooked with other ingredients such as meat and vegetables

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rivalry  Speak
state of trying to defeat or be more successful than another

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rogue  Speak
a dishonest or unprincipled man

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roughly  Speak
in a manner lacking refinement and precision
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run along  Speak
be in line with; form a line along

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sacrilege  Speak
violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred

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sass  Speak
be cheeky or rude to someone
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scapegoat  Speak
a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others

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scorched-earth  Speak
a military policy in which everything in an area are destroyed so that enemy cannot use them

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scrubland  Speak
land consisting of scrub vegetation

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seepage  Speak
the slow escape of a liquid or gas through porous material or small holes

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seismic  Speak
of or relating to earthquakes or other vibrations of the earth and its crust

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shale  Speak
soft rock that can be split easily into fragile slabs

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shine a light  Speak
metaphorically put the spotlight on an issue or subject so that others will notice it

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sideways  Speak
to, toward, or from the side

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silver iodide  Speak
a yellow insoluble powder, used in photography and artificial rainmaking

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sizzling  Speak
very hot, unbearably hot
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skeptical  Speak
not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations
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slam  Speak
shut something forcefully and loudly

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slender  Speak
gracefully thin; barely sufficient in amount

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sloppy  Speak
casual and loose-fitting

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slug  Speak
be cheeky or rude to someone
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snap  Speak
break or cause to break suddenly and completely

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snippet  Speak
a small piece or brief extract

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snort  Speak
make a sudden sound through one's nose

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soulmate  Speak
a person ideally suited to another as a close friend

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starchy  Speak
very formal and serious in behavior

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stark  Speak
severe or bare in appearance or outline

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strained  Speak
not relaxed or comfortable; tense or uneasy

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strand  Speak
drive or leave a boat or sea creature aground on a shore

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strife  Speak
angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues, conflict
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swear someone in  Speak
administer an oath to someone who then officially begins in office

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swoop  Speak
seize with a sweeping motion
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take a drag  Speak
inhale smoke from something, especially a cigarette
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tally  Speak
calculate the total number of

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tantalisingly  Speak
in attractive, alluring, or tempting

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tat  Speak
tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewelry, or ornaments

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tectonic  Speak
of or relating to the structure of the earth's crust

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tedium  Speak
the state of being tedious

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terrestrial  Speak
of, on, or relating to the earth

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tilt  Speak
move or cause to move into a sloping position

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tinker  Speak
attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect

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transfix  Speak
cause someone to become motionless with horror, wonder, or astonishment

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treacherous  Speak
guilty of or involving betrayal or deception

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trespass  Speak
commit an offense against person or rule
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trifling  Speak
unimportant or trivial

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truffle  Speak
a strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato

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tweak  Speak
improve system by making fine adjustments to it

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typhoon  Speak
a tropical storm in the region of the Indian or western Pacific oceans

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unicycle  Speak
a cycle with a single wheel, typically used by acrobats

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up sticks  Speak
take all the things that you own and go and live in a different place

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uptight  Speak
anxious or angry in a tense and overly controlled way

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usher  Speak
cause or mark the start of something new

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vantage  Speak
a place or position affording a good view of something
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vicious  Speak
deliberately cruel or violent
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vigilante  Speak
a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community

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vital  Speak
absolutely necessary or important; essential

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wag  Speak
a person who makes facetious jokes

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well-pressed  Speak
thoroughly or skilfully pressed

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woe  Speak
great sorrow or distress
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woman about town  Speak
a socially active, sophisticated woman who frequents fashionable nightclubs, theaters, or restaurants
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yuppie  Speak
a well-paid young middle-class professional who has a luxurious lifestyle

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