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Barrons GRE Wordlist 14

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peer: gaze; stare; look searchingly; company with
E.g.We peer in at ten infants through the glass walls of a new-born nursery, imagining the bright futures ahead in the 80 years of life they can expect.

peerless: having no equal; incomparable
E.g.At our town Sam is a peerless cooker: no one could compare with him.

pellucid: transparent; limpid; easy to understand
E.g.After reading these stodgy philosophers, I find Bertrand Russell's pellucid style very enjoyable.

penchant: strong inclination; definite liking
E.g.There is a certain penchant in true believers to ignore input which conflicts and contradicts that belief.

pending: not yet decided or settled; awaiting conclusion or confirmation
E.g.She was held in custody pending trial.

penetrate: pierce; go through; permeate
E.g.You can hear her piano practice penetrate each room of the house.

penitent: feeling or expressing deep regret for misdeeds
E.g.When he realized the enormity of his crime, he became remorseful and penitent.

pensive: deeply, often dreamily thoughtful; engaged in serious thought or reflection; contemplative
E.g.The pensive lover gazed at the portrait of his beloved and deeply sighed.

penury: extreme poverty; lack of something; barrenness; insufficiency
E.g.When his pension fund failed, George feared he would end his days in penury. He became such a penny pincher that he turned into a closefisted, penurious miser.

perceptive: insightful; aware; wise; having the ability to perceive
E.g.In sense capacity, in perceptive and discriminative ability, there is likewise a practical equality.

percussion: striking one object against another sharply
E.g.The drum is a percussion instrument.

perdition: entire ruin; utter destruction, especially, utter loss of soul, or of final happiness in future
E.g.Praying for salvation, young Steven Daedalus feared he was damned to eternal perdition.

peregrination: travel or journey, especially by foot, notably by pilgrim
E.g.Auntie Mame was a world traveler whose previous peregrination took her from Tiajuana to Timbuctoo.

peremptory: offensively self-assured; dictatorial; not allowing contradiction or refusal
E.g.From Jack's peremptory knock on the door, Jill could tell he would not give up until she let him in.

perennial: lasting indefinitely long time; suggesting self-renewal; remaining active throughout all the time
E.g.These plants are hardy perennial and will bloom for many years.

perfidious: tending to betray; disloyal; faithless
E.g.When Caesar realized that Brutus had betrayed him, he reproached his perfidious friend.

perforate: pierce, punch, or bore hole or holes in; penetrate
E.g.Before you can open the aspirin bottle, you must first perforate the plastic safety seal that covers the cap.

perfunctory: done routinely and with little interest or care; acting with indifference; showing little interest or care
E.g.I introduced myself, and at my name his perfunctory manner changed; I knew he heard me before.

perimeter: outer boundary length; closed curve bounding a plane area
E.g.Find the largest possible width if the the perimeter is at most 64 cm.

peripheral: located in outer boundary; unimportant; auxiliary
E.g.We lived, not in central London, but in one of those peripheral suburbs that spring up on the outskirts of a great city.

periphery: edge, especially of a round surface; surface of a solid; circumference
E.g.He sensed that there was something just beyond the periphery of his vision.

perjury: false testimony while under oath; breach of an oath or promise
E.g."That kind of perjury is one of the hardest cases for a prosecutor to prove," Coleman said.

permeable: penetrable; porous; allowing liquids or gas to pass through
E.g.If your jogging clothes weren't made out of permeable fabric, you'd drown in your own perspiration.

permissive: approving; tolerant; granting; not strict in discipline
E.g.Direct primary legislation is largely permissive rather than prescriptive.

pernicious: very destructive; tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly
E.g.Crack cocaine has had a pernicious effect on urban society: it has destroyed families, turned children into drug dealers, and increased the spread of violent crimes.

perpetrate: be responsible for; commit; do execute or perform, generally in bad sense
E.g.Only an insane person could perpetrate such a horrible crime.

perpetual: everlasting; continuing without interruption
E.g.Nearly 50 Virginia prisoners are being held in perpetual isolation because they refuse to cut their hair.

perpetuate: make something last; preserve from extinction
E.g.Some critics attack The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because they believe Twain's book to perpetuate a false image of Blacks in this country.

persevere: endure; be persistent, refuse to stop
E.g.The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.

persist: continue; insist; persevere
E.g.Why, when studies show that cell phone use, and especially texting, while driving impairs drivers more than drinking, do so many people persist in combining these lethal behaviors?

personable: pleasing in personality or appearance; attractive
E.g.So showing good moral standards and being personable is a great start.

perspicacious: having keen insight; mentally perceptive; astute
E.g.The brilliant lawyer was known for his perspicacious deductions.

pert: improperly forward or bold; trim and stylish in appearance
E.g.I think your pert and impudent remarks call for an apology.

pertinacious: stubbornly or perversely persistent; unyielding; obstinate
E.g.He is bound to succeed because his pertinacious nature will not permit him to quit.

pertinent: having precise or logical relevance; pertaining or relating
E.g.That policy, in pertinent part, said as follows: "A person living at other countries should not be counted as a vote."

perturb: disturb greatly; make uneasy or anxious; throw into great confusion
E.g.The thought that electricity might be leaking out of the empty light bulb sockets might perturb my aunt.

peruse: read or examine, typically with great care
E.g.After the conflagration that burned down her house, Joan closely began to peruse her home insurance policy to discover exactly what benefits her coverage provided her.

pervasive: pervading; spread throughout every part
E.g.Despite airing them for several hours, Martha could not rid her clothes of the pervasive odor of mothballs that clung to them.

perverse: stubbornly wrongheaded; directed away from what is right or good
E.g.When Jack was in a perverse mood, he would do the opposite of whatever Jill asked him.

perversion: action of perverting someone or something; humiliation; debasement; instance of abnormal activity
E.g.What we once called a perversion, we now call it an alternative lifestyle.

pervert: cause to turn away from what is right, proper, or good; corrupt; bring to a bad or worse condition
E.g.As he was charged for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, detectives arrived at the house, taking him into custody at 5.45 p.m.

pessimism: belief that life is basically bad or evil; gloominess
E.g.Considering how well you have done in the course so far, you have no real reason for such pessimism about your final grade.

petrify: convert wood or other organic matter into stony replica; cause to become stiff or stonelike
E.g.His sudden and unexpected appearance seemed to petrify her.

petty: trivial; of small importance; very small
E.g.She had no major complaints to his work, only a few petty issues that were almost too minor to state.

petulant: easily irritated or annoyed; unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered
E.g.Her narrow face was fixed in petulant defiance.

phalanx: compact or close knit group of people, animals, or things
E.g.A phalanx of guards stood outside the prime minister's home day and night.

phenomena: observable facts; subjects of scientific investigation
E.g.We kept careful records of the phenomena we noted in the course of these experiments.

philanderer: faithless lover; fickle lover; flirt, usually applies only to men
E.g.Swearing he had never so much as looked at another woman, Ralph assured Alice he was no philanderer.

philanthropist: person who loves mankind in general; very generous person or institution
E.g.In his role as philanthropist and public benefactor, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., donated millions to charity; as an individual, however, he was a tight-fisted old man.

philistine: narrow-minded person, uncultured and exclusively interested in material gain
E.g.We need more men of culture and enlightenment; we needn't any philistine among us.

philology: study of language; investigation of language and its literature
E.g.The professor of philology advocated the use of Esperanto as an international language.

phlegmatic: calm; not easily disturbed; not easily excited to action or passion
E.g.The nurse was a cheerful but phlegmatic person, unexcited in the face of sudden emergencies.

phobia: anxiety disorder by extreme and irrational fear; dislike
E.g.And a phobia is an uncontrollable response to fear, so I looked for another way to expose millions of people.

phoenix: symbol of immortality or rebirth; bird in Egyptian mythology that lived for 500 years
E.g.Also known widely as the Fire Bird, the phoenix is a profound symbol of the circle of life.

phylum: major class of plants; primary branch of animal kingdom; division
E.g.In sorting out her hundreds of packets of seeds, Katya decided to file them by phylum.

physiological: pertaining to science of the function of living organisms
E.g.To understand this disease fully, we must examine not only its physiological aspects but also its psychological elements.

piebald: mottled; spotted or patched, especially in black and white
E.g.You should be able to identify Polka Dot in this race; it is the only piebald horse running.

piecemeal: by a small amount at a time; in stages; gradually
E.g.Tolstoy's War and Peace is too huge to finish in one sitting; I'll have to read it piecemeal.

pied: having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly; multicolored
E.g.The pied piper of Hamelin got his name from the multicolored clothing he wore.

piety: religious devotion and reverence to God; devout act, thought, or statement; godliness
E.g.The nuns in the convent were noted for their piety; they spent their days in worship and prayer.

pigment: substance used as coloring; dry coloring matter
E.g.Van Gogh mixed more than one pigment with linseed oil to create his paints.

pilfer: steal in small quantities, or articles of small value; practice petty theft
E.g.I'll do the best I can with it, even if I am compelled to pilfer from the pages of the book.

pillage: rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; plunder; take as spoils
E.g.The enemy planned to pillage the quiet village and leave it in ruins.

pine: have desire for something or someone; yearn; grieve or mourn for
E.g.Though she tried to be happy living with Clara in the city, Heidi used to pine for the mountains and for her gruff but loving grandfather.

pinnacle: peak; tall pointed formation, such as mountain peak
E.g.We could see the morning sunlight illuminate the pinnacle while the rest of the mountain lay in shadow.

pious: devout; religious; exhibiting strict, traditional sense of virtue and morality
E.g.The challenge for church people today is how to be pious in the best sense, that is, to be devout without becoming hypocritical.

piquant: pleasantly tart-tasting; stimulating; charming or attractive
E.g.The piquant sauce added to our enjoyment of the meal.

pique: sudden outburst of anger; state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity
E.g.She showed her pique at her loss by refusing to appear with the other contestants at the end of the competition.

pitfall: hidden danger; concealed trap; hidden hazard
E.g.Her parents warned young Sophie against the pitfall that lays in wait for her in the dangerous big city.

pithy: precisely meaningful; forceful and brief
E.g.While other girls might have gone on and on about how un-cool Elton was, Liz summed it up in one pithy remark: "He's bogus!"

pittance: very small portion or allowance assigned, whether of food or money
E.g.He could not live on the pittance he received as a pension and had to look for an additional source of revenue.

pivotal: being of vital or central importance; crucial
E.g.Its pivotal location has also exposed it to periodic invasions.

placate: appease or pacify; bring peace to
E.g.The store manager tried to placate the angry customer, offering to replace the damaged merchandise or to give back her money right away.

placebo: harmless substance prescribed as a dummy pill
E.g.In a controlled experiment, fifty volunteers were given aspirin tablets; the control group received only placebo ones.

placid: peaceful; tranquil; calm or quiet
E.g.After his vacation in this placid section, he felt soothed and rested.

plaintive: expressing sorrow ;mournful or melancholy; sad
E.g.The dove has a plaintive and melancholy call.

plait: braid, especially of hair; flat fold; doubling, as of cloth
E.g.I smiled when I saw her, one plait loose and the other still held in place with a ribbon, proof of all the mischief in the school bus.

plaster: cover conspicuously, as by pasting something on; adhesive tape used in dressing wounds; a hardened surface as on a wall or ceiling
E.g.The plaster is mostly removed now and we get to see the paintings in their full glory.

plasticity: ability to be molded, formed, or modeled; quality or state of being plastic
E.g.When clay dries out, it loses its plasticity and becomes less malleable.

platitude: dullness; insipidity of thought; commonplace statement; lack of originality
E.g.In giving advice to his son, old Polonius expressed himself only in same platitude; every word out of his mouth was a commonplace.

platonic: not sexual in nature; of or relating to the philosophical views of Plato and his successors
E.g.I love you too, Pollyanna but our relationship must remain platonic.

plaudit: enthusiastically worded approval; round of applause
E.g.The theatrical company reprinted every plaudit of the critics in its advertisements.

plausible: likely but not certain to be or become true or real
E.g.Both sides can maintain plausible deniability and simply claim a misunderstanding.

plebeian: crude or coarse; unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar
E.g.After five weeks of rigorous studying, the graduate settled in for a weekend of plebeian socializing and television watching.

plenitude: abundance; completeness; ample amount or quantity
E.g.Looking in the pantry, we admired the plenitude of fruits and pickles we had preserved during the summer.

plethora: excess; over-fullness in any respect; superabundance
E.g.She offered a plethora of excuses for her shortcomings.

pliable: flexible; yielding; easily bent or shaped
E.g.In remodeling the bathroom, we have replaced all the old, rigid lead pipes with new, pliable copper tubing.

pliant: flexible; easily influenced; easily bent or flexed; pliable
E.g.He says that media in China is largely pliant, meaning his company has rarely faced tough questions.

plight: condition or state, especially a bad state or condition
E.g.Firstly, we are convinced that the people of our country, especially the poor, do appreciate that their plight is at the top of government's agenda.

ploy: action calculated to frustrate an opponent or gain an advantage indirectly or deviously; maneuver; tactic or strategy
E.g.A typical ploy is to feign illness, procure medicine, then sells it on the black market.

pluck: pull or draw, especially, to pull with sudden force or effort, or to pull off or out from something
E.g."Let another help me!" "No; you shall tear yourself away, none shall help you: you shall yourself pluck out your right eye; yourself cut off your right hand."

plumage: covering of feathers on bird; feathers used ornamentally; elaborate dress
E.g.Bird watchers identify different species of bird by their characteristic songs and distinctive plumage.

plumb: checking perpendicularity; exactly vertical
E.g.Before hanging wallpaper it is advisable to drop a plumb line from the ceiling as a guide.

plumber: craftsman who installs and repairs pipes and fixtures and appliances
E.g.Today's plumber is in demand and has expanded duties, which include installing, repairing and maintaining piping.

plummet: fall straight down; plunge; decline suddenly and steeply
E.g.Stock prices plummet as Wall Street reacts to the crisis in the economy.

plump: sound of a sudden heavy fall; well-rounded and full in form
E.g.A New York City Ballet dancer says a newspaper critic needn't apologize for calling her plump in a performance of "The Nutcracker.

plutocracy: society or government ruled by wealthy class
E.g.From the way the government caters to the rich, you might think our society is a plutocracy rather than a democracy.

podiatrist: doctor who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of foot ailments
E.g.He consulted a podiatrist about his fallen arches.

podium: platform raised above surrounding level to give prominence to person on it
E.g.For me to still stay on the podium is a great accomplishment for now.

poignancy: state of deeply felt distress or sorrow; keenness of emotion
E.g.Watching the tearful reunion of the long-separated mother and child, the social worker was touched by the poignancy of the scene.

poise: be balanced or held in suspension; hover; carry or hold in equilibrium; balance
E.g.When I saw him lift and poise the book and stand in act to hurl it, I instinctively started aside with a cry of alarm.

polar: pertaining to one of the poles of the earth; of the poles
E.g.The two systems of government are polar opposites.

polarize: split into opposite extremes or camps
E.g.The abortion issue will polarize the country into pro-choice and anti-abortion camps.

politic: expedient; artful, crafty or cunning; using, displaying, or proceeding from policy
E.g.Even though he was disappointed by the size of the bonus he was offered, he did not think it politic to refuse it.

polygamist: one who has more than one spouse at a time
E.g.He was arrested as a polygamist when his two wives filed complaints about him.

polyglot: speaking, writing, written in, or composed of several languages
E.g.New York City is a polyglot community because of the thousands of immigrants who settle there.

pomposity: excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; acting like stuffed shirt
E.g.Although the commencement speaker had some good things to say, we had to laugh at his pomposity and general air of parading his own dignity.

ponderous: slow and laborious because of weight; labored and dull
E.g.His humor lacked the light touch; his jokes were always ponderous.

pontifical: pertaining to bishop or pope; having dignity or authority of bishop
E.g.This is quite evident from his acquired right of subdelegation whereby he was allowed to name a vicegerens, his representative not alone in pontifical ceremonies, but also in jurisdiction.

pore: gaze intently; stare; scrutinize; read or study carefully and attentively
E.g.Determined to become a physician, Beth spent hours to pore over her anatomy text.

porous: full of pores; able to absorb fluids; full of tiny pores that allow fluids or gasses to pass through
E.g.Dancers like to wear porous clothing because it allows the ready passage of water and air.

portend: foretell; serve as an omen or a warning of; indicate by prediction
E.g.The king does not know what these omens portend and asks his soothsayers to interpret them.

portly: inoffensive expression of fat; stout
E.g.The overweight gentleman was referred to as portly by the polite salesclerk.

pose: pretend to be someone you are not; assume a posture as for artistic purposes
E.g.We don't know the woman who pose for Leonardo so often.

poseur: person who pretends to be sophisticated, elegant to impress others
E.g.Some thought Salvador Dali was a brilliant painter; others dismissed him as a poseur.

posterity: descendants collectively; the race that proceeds from a progenitor; future generations
E.g.After all, what we term posterity is but a drop of water in the ocean of Time.

postmortem: occurring or done after death; relating to a medical examination of a dead body
E.g.A postmortem exam revealed large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she had been alive and conscious while being buried.

postulate: essential premise; underlying assumption
E.g.The basic postulate of democracy, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, is that all men are created equal.

posture: position or arrangement of the body and its limbs
E.g.He has a warm smile on his face but his posture is firm and his eyes are open and locked directly into our eyes.

potable: suitable for drinking; drinkable
E.g.The recent drought in the Middle Atlantic states has emphasized the need for extensive research in ways of making sea water potable.

potent: powerful; having power to influence or convince; having great control or authority
E.g.They remain potent forces, as evidenced by car bombings in both countries over the past two weeks.

potentate: monarch; ruler who is unconstrained by law
E.g.The potentate spent more time at Monte Carlo than he did at home on his throne.

potential: existing in possibility; expected to become or be
E.g.The volume of unconventional gas isn't significant on a U. K. wide scale, supplying enough electricity for only 1,200 homes, but the potential is there, analysts say.

potion: dose of liquid; liquid mixture; liquid medicine
E.g.Thank God, the operation of the potion is slow, and may be counteracted.

practicable: feasible; capable of being effected, done, or put into practice
E.g.The board of directors decided that the plan was practicable and agreed to undertake the project.

practical: based on experience; useful
E.g.He was a practical man, opposed to theory.

pragmatic: practical as opposed to idealistic; concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
E.g.AIDS advocates are now wondering whether pragmatic is just a euphemism for cheap.

pragmatist: who acts in response to particular situations rather than upon abstract ideals; one who acts in a practical or straightforward manner
E.g.No pragmatist enjoys becoming involved in a game he can never win.

prance: spring or bound, as a horse in high mettle; ride in an ostentatious manner; walk or strut about in a pompous, showy manner
E.g.When her mare began to prance about, Cay shifted in her saddle and calmed it down.

prank: acting like a clown; dress up showily; practical joke
E.g.This kind of prank is not good for Amazon because it will scare some customers away.

prate: speak foolishly; talk idly and at length; chatter
E.g.Let us not prate about our good qualities; rather, let our virtues speak for themselves.

prattle: speak about unimportant matters rapidly and incessantly; talk artlessly and childishly
E.g.Baby John used to prattle on and on about the cats and his ball and the Cookie Monster.

preamble: introductory statement; introductory paragraph or division of discourse or writing
E.g.In the preamble to the Constitution, the purpose of the document is set forth.

precarious: uncertain; risky; dangerously lacking in security or stability
E.g.But that is why NASA used test pilots, men used to handling life and death decisions in precarious situations and instantly making the right choice.

precedent: act or instance that may be used as example in subsequent similar cases
E.g.How to determine what a precedent is authority for are talked by the lawyers.

precedent: act or instance that may be used as example in subsequent similar cases
E.g.How to determine what a precedent is authority for are talked by the lawyers.

precinct: district or division of city; place or enclosure by definite limits
E.g.Not enough paper ballots at the precinct is an administrative failure.

precipice: cliff; overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock; dangerous position
E.g.Suddenly Indiana Jones found himself dangling from the edge of a precipice.

precipitate: rash; moving rapidly and heedlessly; speeding headlong; occurring suddenly
E.g.Though I was angry enough to resign on the spot, I had enough sense to keep myself from quitting a job in such a precipitate fashion.

precipitous: extremely steep; descending rapidly, or rushing onward
E.g.This hill is difficult to climb because it is so precipitous.

precise: exact; clearly expressed; accurate or correct
E.g.How exactly, in precise detail, will he bring about this supposed unity?

preclude: make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent; eliminate
E.g.The fact that the band was already booked to play in Hollywood on New Year's Eve would preclude their accepting the New Year's Eve gig in London.

precocious: advanced in development; appearing or developing early
E.g.Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was.

precursor: forerunner; one who precedes an event and indicates its approach
E.g.Though Gray shared many traits with the Romantic poets who followed them, most critics consider him precursor of the Romantic Movement, not true Romantics.

predator: animal that lives by preying on other animals; person who robs or exploits others
E.g.The penguins eat krill and small fish, and their main predator is the seal which can take them by surprise.

predecessor: former occupant of post; ancestor or forefather
E.g.I hope I can live up to the fine example set by my late predecessor in this office.

predetermine: determine, decide, or establish in advance; influence markedly
E.g.Bea gathered estimates from caterers, florists, and stationers so that she could predetermine the costs of holding a catered buffet.

predicament: tricky or dangerous situation; dilemma; troublesome
E.g.In our hearts we really should realize that the major underlying cause of this predicament is the American lifestyle, our excessive, wasteful habits.

predilection: condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; preference
E.g.Although I have written all sorts of poetry over the years, I have a definite predilection for occasional verse.

predispose: give inclination toward; make susceptible to; settle or dispose of in advance
E.g.Genetic influences apparently predispose people to certain forms of cancer.

preeminent: outstanding; superior to or notable above all others
E.g.The king traveled to Boston because he wanted the preeminent surgeon in the field to perform the operation.

preempt: appropriate, seize, or take for oneself before others; gain possession of by prior right or opportunity
E.g.Hoping to preempt any attempts by the opposition to make educational reform a hot political issue, the candidate set out her own plan to revitalize the public schools.

preen: make oneself tidy in appearance; feel self-satisfaction
E.g.With each new crisis, the capitalists, "blinded by greed," will always be blamed, as noble altruists such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain preen about how they just want to help the little guy.

prehensile: capable of grasping or holding; having keen intellect
E.g.Monkeys use not only their arms and legs but also their prehensile tails in traveling through the trees.

prelate: church dignitary; senior clergyman
E.g.The archbishop of Moscow and one high-ranking prelate visited the Russian Orthodox seminary.

prelude: introduction; forerunner; preliminary or preface
E.g.I am afraid that this border raid is the prelude to more serious attacks.

premeditate: plan, arrange, or plot in advance; deliberate upon future action
E.g.She would premeditate the murder for months, reading about common poisons and buying weed killer that contained arsenic.

premise: proposition upon which an argument is based; assumption; land and the buildings on it
E.g.Our main premise is to get in and get out as quickly as possible, while performing a level of quality work equal to or greater than anything seen before.

premonition: forewarning; warning in advance
E.g.He knew with the sick and certain premonition of disaster.

preponderance: superiority in numbers or amount
E.g.There is a preponderance of Blacks in our city.

preposterous: contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; ridiculous
E.g.We all know the fact that grounds for such lawsuits are often preposterous, so they just waste money of taxpayers.

prerogative: privilege; unquestionable right; exclusive power to command
E.g.For the sake of policy and representativeness, we need a constitutional amendment to remove this prerogative from the president.

presage: foretell or predict; indicate or warn of in advance
E.g.The vultures flying overhead presage the discovery of the corpse in the desert.

prescience: ability to foretell future; knowledge of actions or events before they occur; foresight
E.g.Given the current wave of Japan-bashing, it does not take prescience for me to foresee problems in our future trade relations with Japan.

presentiment: sense that something is about to occur; anticipatory fear; premonition
E.g.Saying goodbye at the airport, Jack had a sudden presentiment that this was the last time he would see Jill.

prestige: impression produced by achievements or reputation; recognized distinction or importance
E.g.What they are doing to our military, our treasury, our power, and our prestige is an unconscionable national betrayal.

presumptuous: overconfident; going beyond what is right or proper; excessively forward
E.g.It was asked everyday of his Mid East and European trip, “Is he too presumptuous, is he trying too hard to be a rock star?"

pretension: advancing of a claim; assertion; a false or unsupportable quality
E.g.I strongly believe that pretension is the root of all human suffering.

pretentious: intended to attract notice and impress others; making unjustified claims; overly ambitious
E.g.In the old world, Munich offers the closest analogy to St. Petersburg, that not only by half-occupied areas, but by pretentious and pseudo-classic architecture.

preternatural: being beyond normal course of nature; differing from natural
E.g.Malcolm's mother's total ability to tell when he was lying struck him as almost preternatural.

pretext: excuse; something serving to conceal plans; fictitious reason
E.g.He looked for a good pretext to get out of paying a visit to his aunt.

prevail: induce; be greater in strength or influence; triumph; win out
E.g.I hope the country is finally turning a corner where common sense will once again prevail over the insanity of the last 30 years.

prevalent: widespread; widely or commonly occurring, existing, accepted
E.g.A radical committed to social change, Reed had no patience with the conservative views prevalent in the America of his day.

prevaricate: lie; stray from or evade truth; behave in evasive way such as to delay action
E.g.Some people believe that to prevaricate in a good cause is justifiable and regard such a statement as a "white lie.".

prey: target of a hunt; animal hunted or caught for food
E.g.Although their main prey is the soft tissue of red corals, they eat other types of corals as well.

prim: very precise and formal; exceedingly proper
E.g.Many people commented on the contrast between the prim attire of the young lady and the inappropriate clothing worn by her escort.

primary: of first rank or importance or value; essential or basic
E.g.Many ordinary Iraqis appreciated that the primary UN role was humanitarian.

primate: animal order including monkeys and apes and human beings; senior clergyman
E.g.The primate is elected by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada through a process in which the bishops offer five nominations to the clergy and lay members of synod who then choose one name.

prime: first in excellence, quality, or value; at the best stage; peak; first in degree or rank; chief
E.g.Jordan tonight announced that his group arrested the prime suspect in last week's rocket attack.

primordial: being or happening first in sequence of time; original; primary; fundamental
E.g.Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial time, the fabulous time of the beginnings.

primp: become formal or affected in dress or manners; give neat appearance to
E.g.The groom stood by idly while his nervous bride-to-be began to primp before the mirror.

pristine: uncorrupted by civilization; primitive; remaining free from dirt or decay
E.g.He has opposed building dirty coal-fired power plants in pristine landscapes.

privation: hardship; state of extreme poverty
E.g.In his youth, he knew hunger and privation.

probe: explore with tools; investigate; search
E.g.The surgeon tried to probe the wound for foreign matter before suturing it.

problematic: open to doubt; unsettled; questionable; difficult to solve
E.g.Even more problematic is the likelihood that once instituted, such a tax would be expanded.

proclivity: inclination; natural tendency; readiness; facility of learning
E.g.Watching the two-year-old boy voluntarily put away his toys, I was amazed by his proclivity for neatness.

procrastinate: postpone or delay needlessly; put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness
E.g.Looking at four years of receipts he still had to sort through, Bob was truly sorry to procrastinate for so long and not finished filing his taxes long ago.

prod: stir up; urge; goad to action; incite
E.g.If you prod him hard enough, he'll eventually clean his room.

prodigal: wasteful; reckless with money
E.g.In his Christmas feasts Richard outdid his predecessors in prodigal hospitality.

prodigious: impressively great in size, force, or extent; enormous
E.g.Watching the weight lifter heave the barbell to shoulder height and then boost it overhead, we marveled at his prodigious strength.

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