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300 TOEFL Writing Vocabulary (4)



glutton: Read
/'glʌt(ə)n/ n.
person who eats too much food and drink
When Mother saw that Bobby had eaten all the cookies, she called him a little glutton.

gossamer: Read
/'gɒsəmə(r)/ a.
sheer, light, delicate, or tenuous
They would laugh in gossamer tones, and then move on gracefully to someone else, sometimes moving gracefully at speeds exceeding 40 mph.

gregarious: Read
/grɪ'gɛərɪəs/ a. Syn. sociable
sociable; seeking and enjoying the company of others
Natural selection in gregarious animals operates upon groups rather than upon individuals.

grimace: Read
/grɪ'meɪs/;/'grɪməs/ n.
facial distortion to show feeling such as pain, disgust
Even though he remained silent, his grimace indicated his displeasure.

hail: Read
/heɪl/ n.
call for; salute; greet; praise vociferously
The US Embassy in Manila found itself under a hail of rotten fruit early today, the latest symptom of anti-American feeling reverberating across Asia in recent days.

harangue: Read
/hə'ræŋ/ n.
noisy speech; speech or piece of writing with strong feeling or expression
In her lengthy harangue, the principal berated the offenders.

harbinger: Read
/'hɑrbɪndʒə(r)/ n. Syn. forerunner
forerunner; an indication of approach of something or someone
The crocus is an early harbinger of spring.

haughty: Read
/'hɔ:tɪ/ a.
high; lofty; bold; arrogant; overbearing
"Indeed, mama, but you can -- and will," pronounced the haughty voice of Blanche, as she turned round on the piano-stool.

heedless: Read
/'hi:dlɪs/ a. Syn. disregarding
unaware, without noticing; unmindful or thoughtless
He drove on, heedless of the danger warnings placed at the side of the road.

heinous: Read
/'heɪnəs/ a. Syn. wicked; atrocious; flagitious
grossly wicked; abominable; hateful; infamous
I'm a sincere believer that people who have engaged in heinous crimes deserve the ultimate retribution.

heresy: Read
/'hɛrɪsɪ/ n.
opinion contrary to popular belief; opinion contrary to accepted religion
Galileo's assertion that the earth moved around the sun directly contradicted the religious teachings of his day; as a result, he was tried for heresy.

hiatus: Read
/haɪ'eɪtəs/ n. Syn. gap; pause
gap; interruption in duration or continuity; pause
During the summer hiatus, many students try to earn enough money to pay their tuition for the next school year.

histrionic: Read
/hɪstrɪ'ɒnɪk/ a.
characteristic of acting or stage performance
He was proud of his histrionic ability and wanted to play the role of Hamlet.

hoax: Read
/hoʊks/ n. Syn. trick
act intended to deceive or trick; practical joke
Mr. Troyer said later that some of the search had been in response to a hoax - a man called the police and falsely said he was the gunman.

hovel: Read
/'hɒv(ə)l/;/'hɒvl/ n. Syn. shack
shack; small, wretched house
He wondered how poor people could stand living in such a hovel.

hyperbole: Read
/haɪ'pɜrbəlɪ/ n. Syn. exaggeration; overstatement
figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis; overstatement
As far as I'm concerned, Apple's claims about the new computer are pure hyperbole: no machine is that good!

hypothesis: Read
/haɪ'pɒθəsɪs/ n. Syn. assumption; theory
assumption; theory
A hypothesis is a tentative statement that proposes a possible.

idiosyncrasy: Read
/ɪdɪə'sɪŋkrəsɪ/ n.
behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
One Richard Nixon's little idiosyncrasy was his liking for ketchup on cottage cheese.

ignominy: Read
/'ɪgnəmɪnɪ/ n.
deep disgrace; shame or dishonor
To lose the Ping-Pong match to a trained chimpanzee! How could Rollo stand the ignominy of his defeat?.

immaculate: Read
/ɪ'mækjʊlət/ a. Syn. spotless; flawless
spotless; flawless; absolutely clean
Chatman said her mom and dad always kept their vehicles in immaculate shape.

imminent: Read
/'ɪmɪnənt/ a. Syn. impending
near at hand; close in time; about to occur
Peak oil does not mean that we are in imminent danger of running out of oil.

immune: Read
/ɪ'mju:n/ a. Syn. exempt; resistant
resistant to; free or exempt from; not subject to
Still, the company doesn't expect to remain immune from the effects of the downturn.

impale: Read
/ɪm'peɪl/ v. Syn. pierce
pierce; kill by piercing with a spear or sharp
His adversary hurled a spear to impale him.

impeach: Read
/ɪm'pi:tʃ/ v. Syn. indict; hinder
make an accusation against; challenge or discredit the credibility of
The angry congressman wanted to impeach the president for his misdeeds.

impeccable: Read
/ɪm'pɛkəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. faultless; perfect
faultless; incapable of sin or wrongdoing
His voting record has been impeccable from a conservative point of view.

impervious: Read
/ɪm'pɜrvɪəs/ a. Syn. impenetrable
impenetrable; incapable of being damaged or distressed
The carpet salesman told Simone that his most expensive brand of floor covering was warranted to be impervious to ordinary wear and tear.

implacable: Read
/ɪm'plækəb(ə)l/ a.
incapable of being pacified; not to be relieved;
Madame Defarge was the implacable enemy of the Evremonde family.

implicit: Read
/ɪm'plɪsɪt/ a. Syn. implied; suggested
implied or understood though not directly expressed
Jack never told Jill he adored her; he believed his love was implicit in his actions.

import: Read
/ɪm'pɔ:t/ v.
bring in from another country
Despite being one of the world's largest oil exporters, Nigeria refines only a very small proportion of even its own fuel needs, and has to import the rest - a severe and unnecessary drain on resources.

impostor: Read
/ɪm'pɒstə(r)/ n.
someone who assumes a false identity
Some Sarah Palin impostor somehow got access to Sarah Palin's Facebook page and posted the bizarre comments.

imprecation: Read
/ɪmprɔ'keɪʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. curse
curse; act of calling down a curse that invokes evil
Spouting violent imprecation, Hank searched for the person who had vandalized his truck.

impregnable: Read
/ɪm'prɛgnəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. invulnerable
invulnerable; able to withstand attack
Until the development of the airplane as a military weapon, the fort was considered impregnable.

impropriety: Read
/ɪmprə'praɪətɪ/ n. Syn. improperness
improper act; improper or unacceptable usage in speech or writing
Because of the impropriety of the punk rocker's slashed T-shirt and jeans, the management refused to admit him to the hotel's very formal dining room.

improvident: Read
/ɪm'prɒvɪdənt/ a. Syn. thriftless
thriftless; not providing for future; incautious
He was constantly being warned to mend his improvident ways and begin to "save for a rainy day.".

impugn: Read
/ɪm'pju:n/ v. Syn. challenge
dispute or contradict, often in insulting way; challenge
Our treasurer was furious when the finance committee's report tried to impugn the accuracy of his financial records.

incarcerate: Read
/ɪn'kɑrsəreɪt/ v. Syn. imprison
imprison; put into jail; shut up or enclose
He was not willing to incarcerate the civil rights workers because their imprisonment could serve the cause.

incisive: Read
/ɪn'saɪsɪv/ a. Syn. cutting; sharp
penetrating, clear, and sharp, as in operation or expression
His incisive remarks made us see the fallacy in our plans.

incognito: Read
/ɪnkɒg'ni:toʊ/;/ɪn'kɒgnətoʊ/ a.
with one's identity disguised or concealed; in disguise; in an assumed character, or under an assumed title
You can browse normally and in incognito mode at the same time by using separate windows.

incontrovertible: Read
/ɪnkɒntrə'vɜrtɪb(ə)l/ a. Syn. indisputable
indisputable; not open to question
Unless you find the evidence against my client absolutely incontrovertible, you must declare her not guilty of this charge.

increment: Read
/'ɪnkrɪmənt/ n. Syn. increase
process of increasing in number, size, quantity, or extent
The new contract calls for a 10 percent increment in salary for each employee for the next two years.

incumbent: Read
/ɪn'kʌmbənt/ a. Syn. obligatory
imposed as an obligation or duty; currently holding an office
Voters see the same old candidates year after year and figure that the incumbent is usually a lock in a vast number of congressional districts.

indefatigable: Read
/ɪndɪ'fætɪgəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. tireless
tireless; showing sustained enthusiastic action
Although the effort of taking out the garbage tired Wayne out for the entire morning, when it came to partying, he was indefatigable.

indigenous: Read
/ɪn'dɪdʒɪnəs/ a. Syn. native; original
native; originating where it is found
But rarely was the music they played anchored in indigenous sounds of their homelands, as the groups eagerly explored musical hybrids.

indomitable: Read
/ɪn'dɒmɪtəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. unconquerable; invincible
unconquerable; incapable of being overcome
Focusing on her game despite all her personal problems, tennis champion Steffi Graf proved she had an indomitable will to win.

inference: Read
/'ɪnfərəns/ n.
inferring by deduction or induction; truth or proposition drawn from another which is admitted or supposed to be true; conclusion; deduction
If he is guilty, then by inference so is she; both should be in trouble.

ingenious: Read
/ɪn'dʒi:nɪəs/ a. Syn. clever; resourceful
clever; having inventive or cunning mind
Do not certain ingenious philosophers teach this doctrine, and ought not we to be grateful to them?

ingenuous: Read
/ɪn'dʒɛnjʊəs/ a. Syn. young; unsophisticated
naive and trusting; young; unsophisticated
The woodsman had not realized how ingenuous Little Red Riding Hood was until he heard that she had gone off for a walk in the woods with the Big Bad Wolf.

ingratiate: Read
/ɪn'greɪʃɪeɪt/ v.
become popular with; make agreeable or acceptable
He tried to ingratiate himself into her parents' good graces.

inhibit: Read
/ɪn'hɪbɪt/ v. Syn. restrain; prevent
restrain; prevent or forbid; hold back
Only two things inhibit him from taking a punch at Mike Tyson: Tyson's left hook, and Tyson's right jab.

innocuous: Read
/ɪ'nɒkjʊəs/ a. Syn. harmless
having no adverse effect; harmless
An occasional glass of wine with dinner is relatively innocuous and should have no ill effect on you.

innuendo: Read
/ɪnju:'ɛndoʊ/ n. Syn. hint; implication
hint; indirect implication , usually malicious
Until he engages in innuendo about being supported by "hard-working, white Americans," then he has not said much that should upset fellow Democrats.

inordinate: Read
/ɪ'nɔ:dɪnət/ a. Syn. unrestrained; excessive
exceeding reasonable limits; excessive; not regulated; disorderly
She had an inordinate fondness for candy, eating two or three boxes in a single day.

insatiable: Read
/ɪn'seɪʃəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. unquenchable; greedy
not easily satisfied; impossible to satiate or satisfy; greedy
If this country has an insatiable need for Mexico's drugs, it's only due to federal negligence in fencing and securing our borders.

inscrutable: Read
/ɪn'skru:təb(ə)l/ a. Syn. impenetrable; mysterious
impenetrable; not readily understood; mysterious
Experienced poker players try to keep their expressions inscrutable, hiding their reactions to the cards behind a so-called "poker face."

insidious: Read
/ɪn'sɪdɪəs/ a. Syn. treacherous; stealthy; sly
spreading harmfully in a subtle manner; designed or adapted to entrap
More insidious is the whole issue of the second amendment.

instigate: Read
/'ɪnstɪgeɪt/ v. Syn. urge; incite; provoke
goad or urge forward; provoke; incite
Rumors of police corruption led the mayor to instigate an investigation into the department's activities.

integrity: Read
/ɪn'tɛgrɪtɪ/ n. Syn. uprightness; wholeness
quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness
Protecting global supply chain integrity is of the utmost importance for manufacturers.

invective: Read
/ɪn'vɛktɪv/ n. Syn. abuse
abusive language used to express blame or ill will
He had expected criticism but not the invective that greeted his proposal.

irascible: Read
/ɪ'ræsɪb(ə)l/ a. Syn. irritable
irritable; easily angered; excited by or arising from anger
Miss Minchin's irascible temper intimidated the younger schoolgirls, who feared she'd burst into a rage at any moment.

ire: Read
/'aɪə(r)/ n. Syn. anger; irritate
anger; wrath; keen resentment; irritate
The waiter tried unsuccessfully to placate the ire of the diner who had found a cockroach in her soup.

irksome: Read
/'ɜrksəm/ a. Syn. annoying; tedious
causing annoyance, weariness, or vexation; tedious
He found working on the assembly line irksome because of the monotony of the operation he had to perform.

itinerant: Read
/aɪ'tɪnərənt/ a. Syn. wandering; traveling
wandering; traveling place to place, especially to perform work or duty
Since the storm, the city had also been attracting a new kind of itinerant idealist.

jargon: Read
/'dʒɑrgən/ n. Syn. gibberish
language used by a special group; technical terminology; nonsensical or meaningless talk
The computer salesmen at the store used a jargon of their own that we simply couldn't follow.

jaunty: Read
/'dʒɔ:ntɪ/ a. Syn. lighthearted; animated
gay in manner, appearance, or action; easy and carefree
In An American in Paris, Gene Kelly sang and danced his way through "Singing in the Rain" in a properly jaunty style.

jeopardy: Read
/'dʒɛpədɪ/ n.
exposure to death, loss, or injury; hazard; risk of loss or injury
Some private developers say the number of projects in jeopardy is much higher.

jettison: Read
/'dʒɛtɪs(ə)n/ v.
throw overboard; eject from boat, submarine, aircraft, or spaceship
In order to enable the ship to ride safely through the storm, the captain had to jettison much of his cargo.

judicious: Read
/dʒu:'dɪʃəs/ a. Syn. wise; prudent
exhibiting good judgment or sound thinking; prudent
At a key moment in his life, he made a judicious investment that was the foundation of his later wealth.

ken: Read
/kɛn/ n. Syn. understanding; knowledge; scope
understanding; knowledge; range of vision
I really do not know the reason. It is beyond my ken.

labyrinth: Read
/'læbərɪnθ/ n. Syn. maze
maze; complex structure of interconnecting passages
You know, Michelle, one thing contributing to this labyrinth is the nation's biggest private employer, Wal-Mart.

lachrymose: Read
/'lækrɪmoʊs/ a.
weeping or inclined to weep; tearful; showing sorrow
His voice has a lachrymose quality more appropriate to a funeral than a class reunion.

laconic: Read
/lə'kɒnɪk/ a. Syn. concise
brief; effectively cut short; marked by use of few words
Many of the characters portrayed by Clint Eastwood are laconic types: strong men of few words.

larceny: Read
/'lɑrsənɪ/ n. Syn. theft
unlawful taking and removing of another's personal property; theft
When an author sells the thoughts of another man for his own, the larceny is called plagiarism.

latent: Read
/'leɪtənt/ a. Syn. dormant; hidden
present or potential but not evident or active; dormant; hidden
Existing arrangements contain latent functions that can be neither seen nor replaced by the reformer.

lavish: Read
/'lævɪʃ/ a. Syn. liberal; profuse
liberal; wasteful; excessive spending
I would fly to Paris and stay in lavish hotels if someone else were paying.

lethal: Read
/'li:θ(ə)l/ a. Syn. deadly; fatal
deadly; causing or capable of causing death
In a decision the court upheld the use of all three drugs in lethal injections.

longevity: Read
/lɒn'dʒɛvɪtɪ/ n.
long life; great duration of life; long duration or continuance, as in an occupation
When he reached ninety, the old man was proud of his longevity.

low: Read
/loʊ/ v. Syn. moo
utter sound made by cattle; make a low noise
From the hilltop, they could see the herd like ants in the distance; they could barely hear the cattle low.

lucid: Read
/'lu:sɪd/ a. Syn. clear; intelligible
easily understood; clear; intelligible
So in lucid moments, you structure your life to serve your own best interest.

ludicrous: Read
/'lu:dɪkrəs/ a. Syn. laughable; trifling
laughable; completely devoid of wisdom or good sense
It is ludicrous to call a cottage a mansion.

luminary: Read
/'lu:mɪnərɪ/;/'lumɪnɛrɪ/ n. Syn. celebrity; dignitary
celebrity; person who is an inspiration to others; person who has achieved eminence in specific field
A leading light of the American stage, Ethel Barrymore was a theatrical luminary whose name lives on.

malice: Read
/'mælɪs/ n.
enmity of heart; malevolence; ill will; spirit delighting in harm or misfortune to another
I detected a suggestion of malice in his remarks.

malicious: Read
/mə'lɪʃəs/ a. Syn. spiteful
deliberately harmful; spiteful; proceeding from extreme hatred
It is just plain malicious software designed to corrupt your device or steal your information.

masquerade: Read
/mæskə'reɪd/;/mæskə'rɛd/ n.
assembly of persons wearing masks, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions; dramatic performance by actors in masks
The masquerade is where fans play instruments and perform skits, dance numbers, and stand-up comedy in costume.

maudlin: Read
/'mɔ:dlɪn/ a. Syn. sentimental
tearfully sentimental; over-emotional; sickly-sentimental
One moment he was in maudlin tears and the next he was cracking some miserable joke about the disaster.

meander: Read
/mɪ'ændə(r)/ v.
follow a winding and turning course; move aimlessly and idly without fixed direction
Needing to stay close to a source of water, he follows every twist and turn of the streams as they meander through the countryside.

mediocre: Read
/mi:dɪ'oʊkə(r)/ a. Syn. ordinary; commonplace; average
moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary; commonplace
He manages to give solid performances even in mediocre movies.

mercenary: Read
/'mɜrsɪnərɪ/;/-nɛrɪ/ a.
interested in making money; profit oriented; hired for service in foreign army
South African involvement in mercenary activities was approved in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

meretricious: Read
/mɛrɪ'trɪʃəs/ a.
of or pertaining to prostitutes; tastelessly showy; lustful; deceptive; misleading
The net result is that both the news columns and the editorial columns are commonly meretricious in a high degree.

meticulous: Read
/mɪ'tɪkjʊləs/ a. Syn. scrupulous; cautious
excessively careful; marked by extreme care in treatment of details
One neighbor, who usually uses the truck to haul away lawn debris, always returns the truck in meticulous condition.

mettle: Read
/'mɛt(ə)l/ n. Syn. courage; spirit
quality of endurance and courage; good temperament and character
When challenged by the other horses in the race, the thoroughbred proved its mettle by its determination to hold the lead.