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600 Basic GRE Words 1

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 GRE List

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This is a fundamental set of words for any GRE exam preparation. In all GRE test sections, either reading or writing, you cannot avoid these words. You have to get them if you want to get a good score.


abasement: humiliation; degradation

abhor: fill with horror and loathing; horrify; hate

abrasive: rubbing away; tending to grind down

abrogate: abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority

absolution: act of absolving or the state of being absolved; formal remission of sin imparted by a priest

abstain: refrain; hold oneself back voluntarily from an action or practice

abstemious: sparing or moderation in eating and drinking; temperate

abstruse: obscure; profound; difficult to understand.

accolade: award of merit; expression of approval; praise

acquiesce: assent; agree without protesting

acrid: unpleasantly sharp or bitter to taste or smell; bitterly pungent

acrophobia: fear of heights; abnormal fear of high places

acuity: sharpness; acuteness of vision or perception; keenness

adamant: extremely hard; inflexible; stubbornly unyielding

adroit: skillful and adept under pressing conditions

adulation: excessive flattery or admiration; unmerited praise

adversity: state of misfortune, hardship, or affliction; misfortune

advocate: speak, plead, or argue in favour of; plead for; push for something

aesthetic: elegant or tasteful; of or concerning appreciation of beauty or good taste

affable: easily approachable; warmly friendly

alacrity: cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness

alchemy: medieval chemistry; magical or mysterious power or process of transforming

alibi: an excuse that shows someone was not at a crime scene

allay: calm; pacify; reduce the intensity of; relieve

alleviate: provide physical relief, as from pain; make easier; remove in part

aloof: apart; remote in manner; distant physically or emotionally; reserved and remote

altruism: putting others first; being self-sacrificing

amass: collect; gather for oneself, as for one's pleasure or profit

ambiguity: state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty

ambiguous: unclear or doubtful in meaning

ambivalence: state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes, such as love and hate

ambulatory: able to walk; formed or adapted for walking; not stationary

ameliorate: make or become better; improve; grow better

amelioration: improvement

amiable: good-natured and likable; lovable; warmly friendly

amity: friendship; peaceful relations, as between nations

amorphous: formless; lacking shape or definition

analgesic: serving to reduce sensibility to pain without loss of consciousness

analogous: comparable; similar or alike

anarchy: absence of governing body; state of disorder; political disorder and confusion

anecdote: short account of amusing or interesting event; short narrative; secret story of history or biography

animosity: bitter hostility; active hatred; hostile feeling or act

annex: append or attach; take possession of; incorporate into an existing political unit

annex: append or attach; take possession of; incorporate into an existing political unit

anomaly: irregularity; person or something that is unusual; departure from normal or common order

antagonism: active resistance; condition of being an opposing principle, force, or factor

antagonistic: opposed; hostile; aggressive

antediluvian: antiquated; extremely old and ancient; belonging to very ancient times

anthology: book of literary selections by various authors

antiquated: too old to be fashionable, suitable, or useful; obsolete; aged

apathetic: feeling or showing a lack of interest or concern; indifferent

apathy: lack of caring; indifference

apocryphal: untrue; of questionable authorship or authenticity; erroneous; fictitious

appease: bring peace, quiet, or calm to; satisfy or relieve

apprehensive: capable of apprehending; knowing; conscious; relating to the faculty of apprehension; sensible; feeling; perceptive

arable: fit for growing crops, as by plowing

arbitrary: randomly chosen; determined by chance or impulse, and not by reason or principle

arcane: secret; mysterious; known only to the initiated

archaic: no longer current or applicable; antiquated

bigot: hypocrite, especially, superstitious hypocrite; one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics

bilk: defraud or cheat; frustrate or disappoint; evade or escape from

billowing: swelling out in waves; surging; stormy; affected by storms

blasphemy: act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God; utterance or writing concerning God or a sacred entity

blatant: flagrant; conspicuously obvious; loudly offensive

blighted: suffering from a disease; destroyed, ruined, or spoiled

blithe: gay; joyous; carefree and lighthearted

blunderbuss: 1. ancient weapon (type of gun); 2. a clumsy person

bolster: support or prop up with or as if with a long narrow pillow or cushion

bombast: arrogant, pompous language

boorish: rude and clumsy in behavior; ungentlemanly; awkward in manners

bourgeois: middle class; selfishly materialistic; dully conventional

braggart: boaster; one given to loud, empty boasting; very talkative person

brawny: muscular

brevity: quality or state of being brief in duration; concise expression

bristle: to show irritation

broach: introduce; bring up for discussion or debate; announce

brusque: abrupt and curt in manner or speech; rudely abrupt, unfriendly

bulwark: earthwork or other strong defense; person who defends

bureaucracy: over-regulated administrative system

burgeon: grow forth; send out buds; grow or develop rapidly

burnish: make shiny by rubbing; polish

buttress: support physically; prop up; support something or someone by supplying evidence

byline: the line that tells you who wrote an article

cacophony: discordant loud noises

cajole: influence or urge by gentle urging or flattering

caldron: large kettle or boiler of copper, brass, or iron

callow: youthful; immature; inexperienced; without feathers

candid: straightforward; frank; free from prejudice; impartial

candor: frankness; quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech

cantankerous: ill humored; irritable; marked by ill-tempered contradiction or opposition; ugly; malicious

capacious: capable of containing a large quantity; spacious or roomy

capitulate: surrender; end all resistance; give up; go along with or comply

carping: fault-finding; excessive complaining; of unreasonable criticism or censure

cartographer: one who makes maps or charts

castigate: criticize severely; punish; revise or make corrections to publication

catharsis: purging or cleansing of any passage of body

caucus: private meeting of members of a party to select officers or determine policy

caustic: capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action

cavalcade: ceremonial procession or display; succession or series

celerity: swiftness of action or motion; speed

censorious: critical; addicted to censure; severe in making remarks on others, or on their writings or manners; implying or expressing censure

censure: expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism; blame

cerebral: relating to the brain or cerebrum; intellectual rather than emotional

certitude: state of being certain; complete assurance; confidence

chary: cautious; sparing or restrained about giving

chastises: punishes

chicanery: mean or unfair artifice to obscure truth; deception by trickery or sophistry

chimerical: fantastically improbable; highly unrealistic; imaginative

choleric: hot-tempered; easily angered; bad-tempered; expressing anger

chronicler: person who records historical information

circuitous: being or taking a roundabout, lengthy course; going round in a circuit; not direct

circumlocution: indirect or roundabout expression; evasion in speech or writing

circumscribe: limit narrowly; confine; draw a line around; encircle

circumspect: carefully aware of all circumstances; cautious

circumvent: surround an enemy; enclose or entrap; beat by cleverness and wit

clairvoyant: having foresight; fortuneteller

clamor: noise; loud outcry; expression of discontent or protest

clandestine: secret; conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods

counterfeit: make a copy of, usually with the intent to defraud; forge

covert: secretive, not openly shown

cower: recoil in fear or servility; shrink away from

credible: capable of being credited or believed; worthy of belief; entitled to confidence; trustworthy

creditable: praiseworthy

credulous: apt to believe on slight evidence; easily imposed upon; unsuspecting; believed too readily

crepuscular: active at dawn and dusk

cringe: shrink or recoil, as in fear, disgust or embarrassment; bend or crouch with base humility

cryptic: having hidden meaning; mystifying; using code or cipher

curtail: cut short or reduce; cut off end or tail, or any part

cynical: skeptical of motives of others; selfishly calculating; negative or pessimistic

debility: weakness; incapacity

debunking: exposing false claims or myths

decathlon: an athletic competition with ten events

decorum: propriety in manners and conduct; good taste in manners; conventions or requirements of polite behavior

decoy: lure or bait; means used to mislead or lead into danger

deference: willingness to carry out the wishes of others; great respect

defoliate: strip leaves or branches from; cause leaves of plant, tree, or forest to fall off, especially by use of chemicals

defunct: dead; no longer in use or existence

degradation: humiliation; debasement; decline to a lower condition, quality, or level

deleterious: having harmful effect; injurious; having quality of destroying life; noxious; poisonous

deliberate: consider; think about carefully; weigh

delineation: demarcation; explanation; definition; outlining

demur: object because of doubts; hesitate

denounce: condemn openly; criticize; make known in formal manner

deplete: decrease fullness of; use up or empty out

deplore: feel or express strong disapproval of; condemn; express sorrow or grief over; regret

depravity: extreme corruption or degradation; wickedness

deprecate: express disapproval of; protest against; belittle

deride: ridicule; make fun of; laugh at with contempt

derogatory: expressing low opinion; disparaging; belittling

desecrate: violate with violence, especially to sacred place

desecration: spoiling something holy

desist: cease to proceed or act; stop; forbear

despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courage

destitution: hardship; poverty; misery

deter: keep from; stop; prevent or discourage from acting

deteriorate: become worse; decline

detrimental: causing damage or harm; injurious

devoured: greedily eaten/consumed

dexterous: skillful in the use of the hands; having mental skill

dichotomy: a division into two parts

didactic: intended to teach; instructive

diffident: lacking confidence

digress: turn aside, especially from main subject in writing or speaking

dike: dam; embankment

dilemma: predicament; state of uncertainty or between equally unfavorable options

dilettante: person who dabbles in a subject without serious study

diligent: assiduous; industrious; hard-working

diorama: model of a scene

dirge: a piece of music of a mournful character, to accompany funeral rites; funeral hymn

disapprobation: disapproval

discern: detect; perceive

discord: conflict; lack of agreement among persons, groups, or things

discordancy: cacophony; harshness; jarring

discrepancy: lack of consistency; difference

discriminate: make a clear distinction; distinguish; make sensible decisions; judge wisely

discursiveness: long windedness; indirectness

disdain: view with scorn or contempt; feel with aversion

enfranchise: admit to rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote

engender: cause; bring into existence; give rise to

enhance: make better or more attractive; increase; improve

enigma: puzzle; difficult problem

ensconce: settle oneself securely or comfortably; place or conceal in secure place

enshroud: cover

enunciation: clear pronunciation; accent; articulation

envenom: to cause bitterness and bad feeling

ephemeral: short-lived; enduring a very short time

epicure: a person with refined taste, especially in food and wine

epistle: a writing directed or sent to a person or persons; a written communication; letter

epistolary: consisting of letters; written in form of or carried on by letters

epitomized: typified; characterized; personified

equivocate: lie; mislead; attempt to conceal the truth

err: make a mistake

erratic: no fixed or regular course; wandering

esoteric: hard to understand; known only in a particular group

espouse: take in marriage; marry; give one's loyalty or support to; adopt

etymology: study of historical development of languages, particularly as manifested in individual words

eulogy: expression of praise, often on the occasion of someone's death

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