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Essential GRE Words

Essential GRE Words

Last update 

Here's 800 Essential Words for the GRE that are guaranteed to increase your score.

Items (765)

  • abate

    to decrease; reduce

  • appellation

    name

  • bard

    poet

  • placid

    calm

  • sage

    wise

  • avarice

    greed

  • verbose

    wordy

  • capricious

    fickle

  • frugality

    thrift

  • laud

    praise

  • mendicant

    beggar

  • rue

    regret

  • saturnine

    gloomy

  • bawdy

    obscene

  • bovine

    cowlike

  • deride

    to mock

  • fissure

    crevice

  • indigence

    poverty

  • lascivious

    lustful

  • lustrous

    shining

  • multifarious

    diverse

  • rarefied

    refined

  • sundry

    various

  • abysmal

    very bad

  • apropos

    relevant

  • blandishment

    flattery

  • compliant

    yielding

  • convivial

    sociable

  • craven

    cowardly

  • dearth

    scarcity

  • dormant

    inactive

  • facetious

    humorous

  • forbearance

    patience

  • innocuous

    harmless

  • lethargic

    inactive

  • obdurate

    stubborn

  • paucity

    scarcity

  • puissant

    powerful

  • pusillanimous

    cowardly

  • query

    question

  • raiment

    clothing

  • apprise

    to inform

  • attenuate

    to weaken

  • burnish

    to polish

  • concoct

    to invent

  • contend

    to assert

  • enervate

    to weaken

  • loquacious

    talkative

  • maverick

    dissenter

  • mendacious

    dishonest

  • mollify

    to soothe

  • pragmatic

    practical

  • precarious

    uncertain

  • rescind

    to cancel

  • salubrious

    healthful

  • sporadic

    irregular

  • substantive

    essential

  • vertigo

    dizziness

  • warranted

    justified

  • ameliorate

    to improve

  • analogous

    comparable

  • circuitous

    roundabout

  • debauchery

    corruption

  • disparate

    dissimilar

  • doggerel

    poor verse

  • minuscule

    very small

  • nonplussed

    bewildered

  • onerous

    burdensome

  • permeable

    penetrable

  • piety

    devoutness

  • satiate

    to satisfy

  • suppliant

    beseeching

  • antediluvian

    prehistoric

  • discordant

    not in tune

  • disparage

    to belittle

  • expository

    explanatory

  • extemporaneous

    unrehearsed

  • grouse

    to complain

  • necromancy

    black magic

  • penchant

    inclination

  • sobriety

    seriousness

  • apathy

    indifference

  • audacious

    bold; daring

  • clamor

    noisy outcry

  • commensurate

    proportional

  • dirge

    funeral hymn

  • expiate

    to atone for

  • hallowed

    holy; sacred

  • immutable

    unchangeable

  • intangible

    not material

  • invective

    verbal abuse

  • mesmerize

    to hypnotize

  • regale

    to entertain

  • untenable

    indefensible

  • astringent

    harsh; severe

  • churlish

    rude; boorish

  • diffuse

    to spread out

  • euthanasia

    mercy killing

  • extraneous

    not essential

  • libido

    sexual desire

  • minutia

    petty details

  • petulant

    rude; peevish

  • stint

    to be sparing

  • viscous

    thick, syrupy

  • cadge

    to beg; sponge

  • codify

    to systematize

  • complacent

    self-satisfied

  • concave

    curving inward

  • convex

    curved outward

  • covert

    hidden; secret

  • default

    to fail to act

  • irascible

    easily angered

  • occlude

    to shut; block

  • placate

    soothe; pacify

  • precept

    principle; law

  • repine

    fret, complain

  • skeptic

    one who doubts

  • stentorian

    extremely loud

  • vaunt

    to boast, drag

  • brazen

    bold; shameless

  • chicanery

    trickery; fraud

  • decorum

    proper behavior

  • desuetude

    state of disuse

  • emaciated

    thin and wasted

  • gullible

    easily deceived

  • incursion

    sudden invasion

  • laconic

    using few words

  • Lilliputian

    extremely small

  • militate

    to work against

  • penury

    extreme poverty

  • physiognomy

    facial features

  • plummet

    to fall; plunge

  • quiescent

    inactive, still

  • soporific

    sleep producing

  • undulating

    moving in waves

  • vapid

    tasteless, dull

  • approbation

    praise, approval

  • coagulate

    thicken; congeal

  • coquette

    woman who flirts

  • emulate

    to imitate; copy

  • fetter

    to bind; confine

  • fledging

    beginner; novice

  • fusion

    union; synthesis

  • goad

    to prod; urge on

  • impede

    to hinder; block

  • imprecation

    curse; damnation

  • labile

    likely to change

  • lucre

    money or profits

  • machinations

    plots or schemes

  • malign

    to speak evil of

  • modicum

    limited quantity

  • neophyte

    novice; beginner

  • obsequy

    funeral ceremony

  • tenet

    belief, doctrine

  • timbre

    voice tone color

  • trepidation

    fear and anxiety

  • turgid

    swollen, pompous

  • apex

    the highest point

  • arrest

    to stop; to seize

  • boorish

    rude; insensitive

  • causal

    involving a cause

  • consecrate

    to declare sacred

  • desiccate

    to dry completely

  • dupe

    to deceive; trick

  • embellish

    to adorn; enhance

  • engender

    to cause; produce

  • etiology

    causes or origins

  • foment

    to incite; arouse

  • forestall

    to prevent; delay

  • hirsute

    covered with hair

  • impair

    to damage; injure

  • limn

    to draw, describe

  • litigation

    legal proceedings

  • maelstrom

    whirlpool; turmoil

  • miscreant

    villain; criminal

  • nugatory

    trifling; invalid

  • obsequious

    overly submissive

  • suffrage

    the right to vote

  • wary

    careful, cautious

  • abject

    miserable; pitiful

  • abscond

    to depart secretly

  • affected

    pretentious; phony

  • antipathy

    dislike; hostility

  • artless

    guileless; natural

  • banal

    commonplace; trite

  • beneficent

    kindly; doing good

  • defunct

    no longer existing

  • discrepancy

    difference between

  • disingenuous

    not candid, crafty

  • erudite

    learned; scholarly

  • expatriate

    to send into exile

  • fetid

    having a bad smell

  • grandiloquent

    pompous; bombastic

  • gregarious

    outgoing; sociable

  • impassive

    showing no emotion

  • incarnate

    having bodily form

  • intractable

    not easily managed

  • jibe

    to be in agreement

  • juxtapose

    place side by side

  • kudos

    fame; glory; honor

  • limpid

    clear; transparent

  • mettle

    courage; endurance

  • ostentatious

    showy; pretentious

  • rationale

    fundamental reason

  • recondite

    abstruse, profound

  • rococo

    excessively ornate

  • sinuous

    intricate, complex

  • stratified

    arranged in layers

  • toady

    flatterer, yes-man

  • tractable

    obedient, yielding

  • tumid

    swollen, distended

  • uncanny

    mysterious, strange

  • unfeigned

    not false, genuine

  • veracious

    truthful, accurate

  • visage

    appearance, aspect

  • assuage

    to make less severe

  • cloister

    to confine; seclude

  • copious

    abundant; plentiful

  • equanimity

    composure; calmness

  • flag

    to droop; grow weak

  • flout

    to treat scornfully

  • forswear

    renounce; repudiate

  • heterodox

    not widely accepted

  • impinge

    to strike; encroach

  • interdict

    to forbid; prohibit

  • misogynist

    one who hates women

  • morose

    ill-humored; sullen

  • prehensile

    capable of grasping

  • proliferate

    to increase rapidly

  • qualified

    limited, restricted

  • salacious

    lascivious, lustful

  • sedulous

    diligent, assiduous

  • tenuous

    weak, insubstantial

  • thespian

    an actor or actress

  • transient

    temporary, fleeting

  • vacillate

    to waver, oscillate

  • abstemious

    moderate in appetite

  • aspersion

    slander; false rumor

  • avocation

    secondary occupation

  • banter

    playful conversation

  • burgeon

    to grow and flourish

  • champion

    to defend or support

  • convoluted

    twisted; complicated

  • demotic

    pertaining to people

  • diatribe

    bitter verbal attack

  • distend

    to expand; swell out

  • doctrinaire

    dogmatic; unyielding

  • elicit

    to provoke; draw out

  • Elysian

    delightful; blissful

  • emollient

    soothing; mollifying

  • enhance

    to increase; improve

  • enunciate

    to pronounce clearly

  • imperturbable

    not easily disturbed

  • incongruity

    state of not fitting

  • internecine

    deadly to both sides

  • magnanimity

    generosity; nobility

  • pedantic

    showing off learning

  • plaintive

    melancholy; mournful

  • propitiate

    to win over, appease

  • quail

    to cower, lose heart

  • remonstrate

    to object or protest

  • reparation

    amends, compensation

  • servile

    submissive, obedient

  • terrestrial

    earthly, commonplace

  • apothegm

    a terse, witty saying

  • buttress

    to reinforce; support

  • concomitant

    existing concurrently

  • discredit

    to dishonor; disgrace

  • ephemeral

    short-lived; fleeting

  • execrable

    detectable; abhorrent

  • formidable

    menacing; threatening

  • fracas

    a loud quarrel; brawl

  • garrulous

    very talkative; wordy

  • impecunious

    poor; having no money

  • indeterminate

    uncertain; indefinite

  • indolent

    habitually lazy; idle

  • minatory

    threatening; menacing

  • plethora

    excess; overabundance

  • prate

    to talk idly; chatter

  • preamble

    preliminary statement

  • presumptuous

    rude; improperly bold

  • profound

    deep, not superficial

  • propensity

    inclination, tendency

  • sartorial

    pertaining to tailors

  • sidereal

    relating to the stars

  • translucent

    partially transparent

  • vexation

    irritation, annoyance

  • vindictive

    vengeful, unforgiving

  • assiduous

    diligent; hard-working

  • cantankerous

    irritable; ill-humored

  • cardinal

    of foremost importance

  • cartography

    science of making maps

  • coalesce

    to cause to become one

  • delineate

    to represent or depict

  • detraction

    the act of taking away

  • divest

    to strip; deprive; rid

  • extant

    in existence; not lost

  • extirpate

    to root up; to destroy

  • facilitate

    to make less difficult

  • founder

    to sink; fail; collapse

  • hermetic

    tightly sealed; magical

  • impermeable

    impossible to permeate

  • implausible

    unlikely; unbelievable

  • lassitude

    lethargy; sluggishness

  • liberal

    tolerant; broad-minded

  • linguistic

    pertaining to language

  • Machiavellian

    crafty; double-dealing

  • metamorphosis

    change; transformation

  • negate

    to cancel out; nullify

  • neologism

    new word or expression

  • officious

    too helpful; meddlesome

  • oscillate

    to move back and forth

  • overweening

    presumptuous; arrogant

  • platonic

    spiritual; theoretical

  • pristine

    untouched; uncorrupted

  • probity

    honesty; high-mindedness

  • resolution

    determination, resolve

  • sensuous

    relating to the senses

  • supplant

    to replace, substitute

  • tautology

    unnecessary repetition

  • venal

    mercenary, corruptible

  • admonish

    to caution or reprimand

  • allay

    to lessen; ease; soothe

  • carping

    to find fault; complain

  • contumacious

    disobedient; rebellious

  • disinterested

    unprejudiced; objective

  • dross

    waste; worthless matter

  • florid

    ruddy; reddish; flowery

  • insipid

    lacking in flavor; dull

  • jocose

    fond of joking; jocular

  • precursor

    forerunner; predecessor

  • refute

    to contradict, disprove

  • ruse

    trick, crafty stratagem

  • seismic

    relating to earthquakes

  • subsume

    to include, incorporate

  • whimsical

    fanciful, unpredictable

  • appease

    to calm, pacify, placate

  • ardor

    great emotion or passion

  • artifact

    item made by human craft

  • austere

    stern; unadorned; simple

  • bifurcate

    to divide into two parts

  • clique

    a small, exclusive group

  • dissonance

    discord; lack of harmony

  • distrait

    inattentive; preoccupied

  • exacerbate

    to aggravate; make worse

  • fatuous

    foolishly self-satisfied

  • gainsay

    to deny; dispute; oppose

  • inert

    unable to move; sluggish

  • inveterate

    confirmed; long standing

  • levity

    light manner or attitude

  • propriety

    correct conduct, fitness

  • ramification

    implication, consequence

  • renege

    to go back on one's word

  • stygian

    dark and gloomy, hellish

  • tremulous

    trembling, frugal, timid

  • truculence

    aggressiveness, ferocity

  • valedictory

    pertaining to a farewell

  • venerate

    to adore, honor, respect

  • adulterate

    to corrupt or make impure

  • aggrandize

    to make larger or greater

  • centrifugal

    moving away from a center

  • disabuse

    free from a misconception

  • dissolution

    disintegration; debauchery

  • efficacy

    effectiveness; efficiency

  • equable

    steady; unvarying; serene

  • exhort

    to urge by strong appeals

  • extrinsic

    not inherent of essential

  • flora

    plants of a region or era

  • frieze

    ornamental band on a wall

  • gambol

    to frolic; leap playfully

  • implode

    collapse inward violently

  • inconsequential

    insignificant; unimportant

  • insensible

    unconscious; unresponsive

  • opprobrium

    public disgrace; contempt

  • prattle

    meaningless, foolish talk

  • premonition

    forewarning; presentiment

  • redoubtable

    formidable, arousing fear

  • reproach

    to find fault with, blame

  • simian

    apelike, relating to apes

  • taxonomy

    science of classification

  • adamant

    uncompromising; unyielding

  • asylum

    place of refuge or shelter

  • callous

    thick-skinned; insensitive

  • cognizant

    informed; conscious; aware

  • compunction

    uneasiness caused by guilt

  • confound

    to baffle; perplex; mix up

  • discomfit

    to make uneasy; disconcert

  • fresco

    a painting done on plaster

  • fulminate

    to attack loudly; denounce

  • gauche

    coarse and uncouth; clumsy

  • igneous

    produced by fire; volcanic

  • invidious

    likely to provoke ill will

  • irresolute

    unsure of how to act; weak

  • luminous

    bright; brilliant; glowing

  • meteorological

    concerned with the weather

  • patois

    jargon; a regional dialect

  • platitude

    stale; overused expression

  • problematic

    posing a problem; doubtful

  • proscribe

    to condemn, forbid, outlaw

  • purport

    to profess, suppose, claim

  • quagmire

    marsh, difficult situation

  • rubric

    protocol, title or heading

  • sanction

    to approve, ratify, permit

  • singular

    unique, extraordinary, odd

  • squalor

    filthy, wretched condition

  • subside

    to settle down, grow quiet

  • abjure

    to reject; abandon formally

  • aggregate

    amounting to a whole; total

  • antecedent

    something that comes before

  • autonomous

    self-governing; independent

  • categorical

    absolute; without exception

  • diffidence

    shyness; lack of confidence

  • etymology

    origin an history of a word

  • exigency

    crisis; urgent requirements

  • existential

    having to do with existence

  • expatiate

    to speak or write at length

  • inadvertently

    carelessly; unintentionally

  • libertine

    one without moral restraint

  • lucid

    bright; clear; intelligible

  • ornithologist

    scientist who studies birds

  • pallid

    lacking color or liveliness

  • prevaricate

    to quibble; evade the truth

  • raconteur

    witty, skillful storyteller

  • reprobate

    morally unprincipled person

  • sardonic

    cynical, scornfully mocking

  • solicitous

    concerned, attentive, eager

  • torque

    a turning or twisting force

  • affinity

    fondness; liking; similarity

  • allure

    the power to entice by charm

  • cacophonous

    unpleasant or harsh-sounding

  • catalyst

    something that causes change

  • compendium

    brief, comprehensive summary

  • denigrate

    to slur someone's reputation

  • disseminate

    to spread; scatter; disperse

  • euphoria

    feeling of extreme happiness

  • exculpate

    to clear of blame; vindicate

  • explicate

    to explain; interpret; clarify

  • fauna

    animals of a period o region

  • fawning

    seeking flavor by flattering

  • flux

    flowing; a continuous moving

  • gustatory

    affecting the sense of taste

  • harangue

    long, pompous speech; tirade

  • insularity

    narrow-mindedness; isolation

  • intimate

    marked by close acquaintance

  • literati

    scholarly of learned persons

  • pervasive

    spread throughout every part

  • plutocracy

    society ruled by the wealthy

  • riposte

    retaliatory action or retort

  • sodden

    thoroughly soaked, saturated

  • stanch

    to stop or check the flow of

  • tacit

    silently understood, implied

  • aberrant

    deviating from what is normal

  • alleviate

    to relieve; improve partially

  • ascetic

    one who practices self-denial

  • aver

    to affirm; declare to be true

  • broach

    to mention for the first time

  • contentious

    quarrelsome; causing quarrels

  • demographic

    related to population balance

  • derivative

    something derived; unoriginal

  • encomium

    a formal expression of praise

  • eulogy

    high praise to a death person

  • fiat

    arbitrary order; authorization

  • fidelity

    loyalty; exact correspondence

  • insuperable

    insurmountable; unconquerable

  • inured

    hardened; accustomed; used to

  • itinerary

    route of a traveler's journey

  • mettlesome

    full of courage and fortitude

  • olfactory

    concerning the sense of smell

  • peregrination

    wandering from place to place

  • peremptory

    imperative; leaving no choice

  • prodigal

    wasteful; extravagant; lavish

  • refulgent

    brightly shining, resplendent

  • sedition

    behavior prompting rebellion

  • travail

    work, especially arduous work

  • aesthetic

    relating to beauty or the arts

  • ambiguous

    unclear or doubtful in meaning

  • amenable

    agreeable; cooperative; suited

  • arduous

    extremely difficult; laborious

  • desultory

    random; disconnected; rambling

  • distill

    extract the essential elements

  • dogmatic

    stating opinions without proof

  • eclectic

    selecting from various sources

  • endemic

    inherent; belonging to an area

  • iconoclastic

    attacking cherished traditions

  • inundate

    to cover with water, overwhelm

  • pellucid

    transparent; easily understood

  • piquant

    pleasantly pungent; attractive

  • pique

    fleeting feeling or hurt pride

  • recalcitrant

    resisting authority or control

  • recant

    retract a statement of opinion

  • sylvan

    related to the woods or forest

  • vogue

    prevailing fashion or practice

  • vortex

    whirlpool, center of turbulence

  • amalgamate

    to combine into a unified whole

  • conundrum

    riddle; puzzle with no solution

  • credence

    acceptance of something as true

  • entomology

    the scientific study of insects

  • estimable

    admirable; possible to estimate

  • fervor

    warmth and intensity of emotion

  • fractious

    quarrelsome; unruly; rebellious

  • futile

    ineffective; useless; fruitless

  • lambaste

    to trash verbally or physically

  • latent

    dormant; potential not apparent

  • malinger

    to feign illness to escape duty

  • meticulous

    very careful; picky; fastidious

  • nexus

    a means of connection; a center

  • pathological

    departing from normal condition

  • stigma

    mark of disgrace or inferiority

  • strident

    loud, harsh, unpleasantly noisy

  • accrue

    to accumulate; grow by additions

  • amenity

    something that increases comfort

  • anachronism

    something out of the proper time

  • bombastic

    pompous; using inflated language

  • conciliatory

    overcoming distrust or hostility

  • condone

    to overlook voluntarily; forgive

  • conjugal

    pertaining to marriage agreement

  • denizen

    an inhabitant; a regular visitor

  • ebullient

    exhilarated; overly enthusiastic

  • equivocate

    intentionally use vague language

  • fulsome

    so excessive as to be disgusting

  • megalomania

    delusions of power or importance

  • mitigate

    alleviate; to become less severe

  • phlegmatic

    unemotional; calm in temperament

  • presage

    to foretell; indicate in advance

  • repudiate

    to reject as having no authority

  • saturate

    imbue throughout, soak thoroughly

  • sordid

    filthy, contemptible and corrupt

  • stolid

    having or showing little emotion

  • tome

    book, usually large and academic

  • torpor

    lethargy, dormancy, sluggishness

  • asperity

    severity; harshness; irritability

  • diaphanous

    transparent; vague; insubstantial

  • flourish

    en embellishment or ornamentation

  • harrowing

    extremely distressing; terrifying

  • inchoate

    imperfectly formed or formulated

  • insinuate

    to suggest; say indirectly; imply

  • inveigh

    to disapprove; protest vehemently

  • paragon

    model of perfection or excellence

  • provident

    providing for future need, frugal

  • sentient

    aware, conscious, able to perceive

  • substantiate

    to support with proof or evidence

  • supplicant

    one who asks humbly and earnestly

  • vacuous

    empty, void, lacking intelligence

  • wistful

    vaguely longing, sadly thoughtful

  • abstinence

    the giving up of certain pleasures

  • anomalous

    irregular; deviating from the norm

  • bedizen

    to dress in a vulgar, showy manner

  • centripetal

    moving or directed toward a center

  • deference

    respect; regard for another's wish

  • dissemble

    to pretend; disguise one's motives

  • dissident

    person who disagrees about beliefs

  • fallow

    plowed but not sowed; uncultivated

  • gouge

    to tear out; scoop out; overcharge

  • guileless

    free of cunning or deceit; artless

  • homily

    sermon; tedious moralizing lecture

  • hyperbole

    purposeful exaggeration for effect

  • implicit

    implied; understood but not stated

  • menagerie

    a variety of animals kept together

  • perfidious

    faithless; disloyal; untrustworthy

  • pungent

    penetrating, caustic, to the point

  • relegate

    to consign to an inferior position

  • resolve

    determination, firmness of purpose

  • shard

    a piece of broken glass or pottery

  • solvent

    able to meet financial obligations

  • spendthrift

    person who spends money recklessly

  • staccato

    marked by abrupt, clear-cut sounds

  • stultify

    to impair or reduce to uselessness

  • tangential

    peripheral, irrelevant, digressing

  • tout

    to promote or praise energetically

  • tutelary

    serving as a guardian or protector

  • untoward

    not favorable, troublesome, unruly

  • viable

    practicable, capable of developing

  • volatile

    tending to vary frequently, fickle

  • abeyance

    temporary suppression or suspension

  • apposite

    strikingly appropriate and relevant

  • castigation

    punishment; chastisement; criticism

  • covetous

    desiring something owned by another

  • digression

    act of straying from the main point

  • dismiss

    put away from consideration; reject

  • elegy

    poem or song expressing lamentation

  • feral

    existing in a wild or untamed state

  • glib

    fluent in an insincere way; offhand

  • intransigence

    stubbornness; refusal to compromise

  • meretricious

    gaudy; specious; falsely attractive

  • motley

    many colored; made up of many parts

  • nostalgia

    sentimental longing for a past time

  • odyssey

    a long, adventurous voyage; a quest

  • porous

    full of holes; permeable to liquids

  • reverent

    expressing deep respect, worshipful

  • accretion

    growth in size or increase in amount

  • adjunct

    something added, attached, or joined

  • anodyne

    something that calms or soothes pain

  • bolster

    to give a boost to; prop up; support

  • canard

    false; deliberately misleading story

  • caucus

    smaller group within an organization

  • caustic

    burning; stinging; causing corrosion

  • defame

    to malign; harm someone's reputation

  • demur

    to express doubt; question or oppose

  • effrontery

    shameless boldness; presumptuousness

  • egotistical

    excessively self-centered; conceited

  • evince

    to show plainly; be an indication of

  • guise

    outward appearance; false appearance

  • insouciant

    indifferent; lacking concern or care

  • inveigle

    to win over by flattering or coaxing

  • litany

    lengthy recitation; repetitive chant

  • mnemonic

    related to memory; assisting memory

  • preempt

    to supersede; appropriate for oneself

  • stipulate

    to specify as an essential condition

  • stupefy

    to dull the senses of, stun, astonish

  • tirade

    long, violent speech, verbal assault

  • variegated

    varied, marked with different colors

  • axiomatic

    taken for granted; self-evident truth

  • cozen

    to mislead by trick or fraud; deceive

  • daunt

    to discourage; intimidate; dishearten

  • deterrent

    something that discourages or hinders

  • essay

    to make an attempt; subject to a test

  • geniality

    cheerfulness; kindliness; sociability

  • herbivorous

    an animal that feeds mainly on plants

  • inherent

    firmly established by nature or habit

  • primordial

    original; existing from the beginning

  • qualm

    sudden feeling of faintness or nausea

  • strut

    to swagger, display to impress others

  • supine

    lying in the back, marked by lethargy

  • abdicate

    to give up a position, right, or power

  • alacrity

    cheerful willingness; eagerness; speed

  • avuncular

    like an uncle, benevolent and tolerant

  • celestial

    concerned with sky or heavens; sublime

  • discrete

    constituting a separate thing; distinct

  • disjointed

    lacking order or coherence; dislocated

  • divulge

    to make known something that is secret

  • empirical

    derived from observation or experiment

  • imbroglio

    complicated situation; an entanglement

  • plumb

    to examine deeply; determine the depth

  • punctilious

    careful in observing rules of behavior

  • supposition

    the act of assuming to be true or real

  • calumny

    false and malicious accusation; slander

  • credo

    statement of belief or principle; creed

  • clairvoyant

    one who can predict the future; psychic

  • esoteric

    hard to understand; known only to a few

  • gossamer

    sheer; light and delicate; like cobwebs

  • panegyric

    elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise

  • perfunctory

    superficial; performed really as a duty

  • anarchy

    absence of government; state of disorder

  • argot

    a specialized vocabulary used by a group

  • converge

    to approach; come together; tend to meet

  • ineluctable

    not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable

  • itinerant

    wandering from place to place; unsettled

  • miscellany

    mixture of writings on various subjects

  • perennial

    present throughout the years; persistent

  • rail

    to scold with bitter or abusive language

  • reticent

    nor speaking freely, reserved, reluctant

  • succor

    relief, help in time of distress or want

  • theocracy

    government by priests representing a god

  • ambrosia

    something delicious; the food of the gods

  • errant

    mistaken; straying from the proper course

  • fallacious

    based on a false idea or fact; misleading

  • felicitous

    suitable expressed; wee-chose; appropriate

  • idolatry

    idol worship; blind or excessive devotion

  • travesty

    parody, exaggerated imitation, caricature

  • vendetta

    prolonged feud marked by bitter hostility

  • vitiate

    to impair the quality of, corrupt morally

  • welter

    wallow or roll, toss about, be in turmoil

  • zealot

    one who is fanatically devoted to a cause

  • analgesic

    medication that reduces or eliminates pain

  • ingenious

    naive and trusting; lacking sophistication

  • interregnum

    interval between reigns; gap in continuity

  • perturb

    to disturb greatly; make uneasy or anxious

  • reprise

    repetition, especially of a piece of music

  • subpoena

    notice ordering someone to appear in court

  • vituperative

    using or containing harsh, abusive censure

  • document

    to provide with written evidence to support

  • effete

    depleted of vitality; over refined; decadent

  • juggernaut

    huge force destroying everything in its path

  • secrete

    produce and release substance into organism

  • virtuoso

    someone with master skills, expert musician

  • complement

    something that completes or makes up a whole

  • forward

    stubbornly contrary; obstinately disobedient

  • halcyon

    calm and peaceful; happy; golden; prosperous

  • junta

    group of people united in political intrigue

  • nostrum

    medicine or remedy of doubtful effectiveness

  • precipitate

    to cause to happen; throw down from a height

  • savor

    to enjoy, have a distinctive flavor or smell

  • somatic

    relating to or affecting the body, corporeal

  • striated

    marked with thin, narrow grooves or channels

  • stricture

    something that restrains, negative criticism

  • tortuous

    having many twists and turns, highly complex

  • turbid

    muddy, opaque, in a state of great confusion

  • amulet

    ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits

  • beatify

    to sanctify; to bless; to ascribe a virtue to

  • continence

    self-control; abstention from sexual activity

  • dichotomy

    division into two usually contradictory parts

  • evocative

    tending to call to mind or produce a reaction

  • introspective

    contemplating one's own thoughts and feelings

  • preternatural

    supernatural; beyond the normal use of nature

  • salutary

    expecting an improvement, favorable to health

  • talisman

    charm to bring good luck and avert misfortune

  • transgression

    act of trespassing or violating a law or rule

  • tryst

    agreement between lovers to meet, rendezvous

  • alloy

    a combination; a mixture of two or more metals

  • cant

    insincere talk; language of a particular group

  • log

    record of a voyage; record of daily activities

  • obviate

    to make unnecessary; to anticipate and prevent

  • perigee

    point in an orbit that is closest to the earth

  • precipitate

    rash; hasty; sudden; done without deliberation

  • behemoth

    huge creature; anything very large and powerful

  • contrite

    very sorrowful for a wrong; seeking forgiveness

  • exorcise

    to expel evil spirits; free from bad influences

  • factotum

    a person who does all sorts of work; a handyman

  • misanthrope

    one who hates humanity; one who dislikes others

  • partisan

    one-sided; committed to a party, group or cause

  • usury

    a practice of lending money at exorbitant rates

  • quorum

    number of members necessary to conduct a meeting

  • sinecure

    well-paying job that requires little or no work

  • archeology

    the study of material evidence of past human life

  • blasé

    bored because of frequent indulgence; unconcerned

  • congenial

    similar in tastes and habits; friendly; suited to

  • contiguous

    touching; neighboring; connecting without a break

  • ethnocentric

    based on the attitude that one's group is superior

  • interpolate

    to insert; change by adding new words or material

  • poseur

    person who affects an attitude to impress others

  • refractory

    stubborn, resisting ordinary methods of treatment

  • elixir

    a substance believed to have the power to cure ills

  • malleable

    capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionable

  • microcosm

    a small system having analogies to a larger system

  • quibble

    to argue over insignificant and irrelevant details

  • specious

    seeming to be logical and sound, but not really so

  • ambivalence

    the state of having conflicting emotional attitudes

  • appropriate

    to take possession of for one's own use; confiscate

  • bucolic

    characteristic of the countryside; rustic; pastoral

  • captious

    faultfinding; intended to entrap, as in an argument

  • conscript

    a person compulsorily enrolled for military service

  • homogeneous

    composed of identical parts; uniform in composition

  • implacable

    inflexible; incapable of being pleased or calmed down

  • paean

    song of joy or triumph; a fervent expression of joy

  • recluse

    person who lives in seclusion and often in solitude

  • schematic

    relating to or in the form of an outline or diagram

  • belie

    to contradict; misrepresent; give a false impression

  • carnal

    of the flesh or body; related to physical appetites

  • impervious

    incapable of being affected; impossible to penetrate

  • levee

    en embankment that prevents a river from overflowing

  • paleontology

    study of past geological eras through fossil remains

  • extrapolation

    the act of estimation by projecting known information

  • discerning

    perceptive; exhibiting keen insight and good judgment

  • discretion

    quality of showing self-restraint in speech or actions

  • monolithic

    solid and uniform; constituting a single, unified whole

  • sextant

    navigation tool that determines latitude and longitude

  • spectrum

    band of color, broad range of related ideas or objects

  • diverge

    to vary; go in different directions from the same point

  • exact

    to force the payment of; demand and obtain by authority

  • connoisseur

    expert in matters of taste; expert knowledge or training

  • prohibitive

    so high as to prevent the purchase or use of, forbidding

  • treatise

    article treating a subject systematically and thoroughly

  • cornucopia

    horn overflowing with fruit and grain; state of abundance

  • simile

    comparison of one thing with another using "like" or "as"

  • chasten

    to correct by punishment or reproof; to restrain or subdue

  • epistemology

    branch of philosophy that examines the nature of knowledge

  • plasticity

    pliability; condition of being able to be shaped or formed

  • cataclysm

    a violent upheaval that causes great destruction and change

  • homeostasis

    automatic maintenance by an organism in balance with itself

  • incorporate

    introduce something into another thing already in existence

  • mundane

    worldly as opposed to spiritual; concerned with the ordinary

  • occult

    relating to practices connected with supernatural phenomena

  • phoenix

    anything that is restored after suffering great destruction

  • supersede

    to replace, especially to displace as inferior or antiquated

  • supersede

    to relace, especially to displace as inferior or antiquated