Word List 28 Flashcards Preview

GRE Vocabulary > Word List 28 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Word List 28 Deck (96):
1

plight

an unfortunate, difficult, or precarious situation

2

alight

to come down from something; dismount, deplane
to descend from or as if from the air and come to rest; land, settle

e.g. A group of tourists alighted from the boat.
A flock of swans circled above, and then alighted on the pond.

3

plinth

the lowest member of a base; subbase
a usually square block serving as a base

4

plod

to work laboriously and monotonously; drudge
to walk heavily or slowly; trudge
to proceed slowly or tediously

e.g. We plodded through mud that came up past our ankles/
The movie's plot just plods along.

5

plough/plow

an implement used to cut, life, and turn over soil especially in preparing a seedbed
to work with or as if with a plow
the cleave the surface of or move through (water)
to clear away snow from with a snowplow
to spend or invest money in substantial amounts
to move forcefully into or through something
to proceed steadily and laboriously

e.g. freshly plowed soil
whales plowing the ocean
plow money into stocks
The car plowed into a fence.
had to plow through a stack of letters

6

ploy

escapade, frolic
a tactic intended to embarrass or frustrate an opponent
a devised or contrived move; stratagem

e.g. Asking me to take her shopping turned out to be a ploy to get me to the surprise party.

7

pluck

to pull or pick off or out
to remove something from by or as if by plucking
rob, fleece
an act or instance of plucking
courageous readiness to fight or continue against odds; dogged resolution

e.g. pluck a white hair from my head
pluck the child from the middle of the street
She showed pluck in getting up on stage.

8

spunk

a woody tinder; punk
mettle, pluck
spirit, liveliness

e.g. had the spunk to overcome a severe physical disability

9

plumb

a lead weight attached to a line and used to indicate a vertical direction
vertically
in a direct manner; exactly; also, without interval of time
to examine minutely and critically
to measure the depth of with a plumb

e.g. I plumb forgot about the party.
The book plumbs the complexities of human relationship.

10

plume

a feather of a bird
material (as a feather, cluster of feathers, or a tuft of hair) worn as an ornament or a token of honor
to provide or deck with feathers; to array showily
to indulge (oneself) in pride with an obvious or vain display of self-satisfaction

e.g. a hat with bright ostrich plumes
The Nobel Prize for Literature is the plume that all authors covet.
That jerk plumes himself on his supposed athletic skills.

11

preen

to groom with the bill
to dress or smooth (oneself) up; primp
to pride or congratulate (oneself) on an achievement

e.g. Adolescents preening in their bedroom mirrors.
He's busy preening himself on acquiring such a pretty girlfriend.

12

plummet

plumb
to fall perpendicularly
to drop sharply and abruptly

e.g. The acrobat plummeted into the net.
Prices plummeted.

13

plunder

to take the goods of by force (as in war); pillage
to take by force or wrongfully; steal, loot
to make extensive use of as if by plundering; use or use up wrongfully

e.g. The village was plundered by the invading army.
plundered artifacts from the tomb
plunder the land

14

plush

a thick, soft fabric
relating to, resembling, or made of plush
notably luxurious
rich, full

e.g. The hotel accommodations were plush.
the plush sound of his saxophone playing
a particularly plush and buttery chardonnay

15

plutocracy

government by the wealthy
a controlling class of the wealthy

e.g. If only the wealthy can afford to run for public office, are we more a plutocracy than a democracy?
corporate greed and America's growing plutocracy

16

podium

a low wall serving as a foundation or terrace wall
a dais especially for an orchestral conductor
lectern

17

poignant

pungently pervasive
painfully affecting the feelings; piercing
deeply affecting; touching
designed to make an impression; cutting
pleasurably stimulating
being to the point; apt

e.g. a poignant perfume
a poignant reminder of her childhood
a poignant story of a love affair that ends in tragedy
poignant satire

18

poise

balance
to put into readiness; brace
equilibrium
easy self-possessed assurance of manner; gracious tact in coping or handling
the pleasantly tranquil interaction between persons
a particular way of carrying oneself

e.g. She poised her pencil above the paper and waited for the signal to begin writing.
The disgraced business executive poised herself for the difficult press conference.
a poise between widely divergent impulses
No angry outbursts marred the poise of the meeting.

19

polemic

an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another
an aggressive controversialist; disputant

e.g. Her book is a fierce polemic against the inequities in our society.
They managed to discuss the issue without resorting to polemics.

20

polemical

of, relating to, or being a polemic; controversial
engaged in or addicted to polemics; disputatious

e.g. an unnecessarily polemical look at the supposed incompatibility between science and religion

21

polish

freedom from rudeness or coarseness; culture
a state of high development or refinement

e.g. The movie has the polish we've come to expect from that director.

22

pollinate

to give (a plant) pollen from another plant of the same kind so that seeds will be produced
to mark or smudge with pollen

23

pollster

one that conducts a poll or compiles data obtained by a poll

e.g. He refused to tell the exit pollster whom he'd voted for because he is ashamed that he voted for Trump.

24

pompous

excessively elevated or ornate
having or exhibiting self-importance; arrogant
relating to or suggestive of pomp of splendor; magnificent

e.g. pompous rhetoric
She found it difficult to talk about her achievements without sounding pompous.

25

ponder

to weigh in mind; appraise
to think about; reflect on

e.g. He pondered the question before he answered.
The team pondered their chances of success.

26

ponderable

significant enough to be worth considering; appreciable

27

ponderous

of very great weight
unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size
oppressively or unpleasantly dull; lifeless

e.g. a ponderous lecture

28

gossamer

a piece of a spider's web
something light, delicate, or insubstantial
extremely light, delicate, or tenuous

e.g. the gossamer of youth's dreams
The gossamer veil seemed to float about the bride as she walked down the aisle.

29

pontifical

of, relating to, or coming from a pope
pompous
pretentiously dogmatic

e.g. a theater critic known for his pontifical pronouncements on what is or is not worth seeing

30

pontificate

the position of a pope
the period of time during which a person is pope
to officiate as a pontiff
to speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way

e.g. elected to the pontificate
during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II
We had to listen to her pontificate about the best way to raise children.

31

populace

the common people; masses
population

e.g. high officials awkwardly mingling with the general populace

32

populous

densely populated; having a large population
numerous; filled to capacity

e.g. the most populous state in the U.S.

33

porcupine

a small animal that has very stiff, sharp parts (called quills) all over its body

34

portentous

giving a sign or warning that something usually bad or unpleasant is going to happen
eliciting amazement or wonder; prodigious
being a grave or serious matter
self-consciously solemn or important; pompous
ponderously excessive

e.g. suspense, portentous foreshadowing, hints of sinister and violent mysteries
regarded the first landing on the moon as a truly portentous event
portentous decision
portentous declamation unsalted by the least trace of humor
that disciple's overwrought, portentous phrases

35

poseur

a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; an affected or insincere person

36

posit

to dispose or set firmly; fix
to assume or affirm the existence of; postulate
to propose as an explanation; suggest

e.g. Advocates of intervention may want to posit the nation as the world's police.
His more polemical books often posit a worldview bleak enough to make everyone blanch.
I posit that ...

37

posse

a large group often with a common interest
to body or persons summoned by a sheriff to assist in preserving the public peace usually in an emergency
a group of people temporarily organized to make a search
entourage

e.g. The sheriff and his posse rode out to look for the bandits.
I went to the game with my posse.

38

postulate

demand, claim
to assume or claim as true, existent, or necessary

e.g. Scientists have postulated the existence of water on the planet.

39

posture

to assume a posture; especially, to strike a pose for effect
to assume an artificial or pretended attitude; attitudinize

e.g. The companies may posture regret, but they have a vested interest in increasing Third World sales.

40

potable

suitable for drinking

41

potation

a usually alcoholic drink or brew
the act or an instance of drinking or inhaling

42

potentate

ruler, sovereign; broadly, one who wields great power or sway

43

potentiate

to make effective or active or more effective more active; also, to augment the activity of (as a drug) synergistically

44

potpourri

a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent
a miscellaneous collection; medley

e.g. a musical potpourri
a potpourri of hit songs from the past 10 years

45

practitioner

one who practices; especially, one who practices a profession

46

pragmatic

relating to or being in accordance with pragmatism

e.g. a pragmatic man, not given to grand, visionary schemes

47

prate

to talk long and idly; chatter

e.g. The young executive gratingly prated about his weekend hobnobbing with the rich.

48

preamble

an introductory statement; especially, the introductory part of a constitution or statute that usually states the reasons for and intent of the law
an introductory fact or circumstances; especially, one indicating what is to follow

e.g. His early travels were just a preamble to his later adventures.

49

precarious

depending on the will or pleasure of another
dependent on uncertain premises; dubious
dependent on chance circumstances, unknown conditions, or uncertain developments
characterized by a lack of security or stability that threatens with danger

e.g. precarious generalizations
He earned a precarious livelihood by gambling.
The strong wind almost knocked him off of his precarious perch on the edge of the cliff.

50

precept

a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action
an order issued by legally constituted authority to a subordinate official

e.g. I was taught by precept and by example.
in the form of precepts and command, since they were intended for the guidance of conduct

51

precipice

a very steep or overhanging place
a hazardous situation; broadly, brink

e.g. scaled the steep precipice with the ease of an experienced climber

52

precipitate

to throw violently; hurl
to bring about especially abruptly
falling, flowing, or rushing with steep descent
exhibiting violent or unwise speed

e.g. His death precipitated a family crisis.
The budget problem was precipitated by many unexpected costs.
the army's precipitate withdrawal from the field of battle

53

precis

a concise summary of essential points, statements, of facts

e.g. a precis of the book's plot

54

preclude

to make impossible by necessary consequences; rule out in advance

e.g. She suffered an injury that precluded the possibility of an athletic career.
Bad weather precluded any further attempts to reach the summit.

55

precocious

exceptionally early in development or occurrence
exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age

e.g. precocious puberty
a precocious child who could read before she went to school

56

predestine

to destine, decree, determine, appoint, or settle beforehand

e.g. Our victory in the tournament was seemingly predestined.

57

predicament

the character, status, or classification assigned by a predication; especially, category
condition, state; especially, a difficult, perplexing, or trying situation

e.g. get oneself into a predicament

58

predicate

affirm, declare
to assert to be a quality, attribute, or property (used with following of)
found, base (usually used with on)
imply

e.g. predicates intelligence of humans
The theory is predicated on recent findings.

59

predilection

an established preference for something

e.g. a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales

60

predispose

to dispose in advance
to make susceptible

e.g. A good teacher predisposes children to learn.
Malnutrition predisposes one to diseases.

61

predisposition

- predispose

e.g. a predisposition to think positively

62

predominant

having superior strength, influence, or authority; prevailing
being most frequent or common

e.g. Religion is the predominant theme of the play.

63

preeminent

having paramount rank, dignity, or importance; outstanding, supreme

e.g. a preeminent example of his work

64

preempt

to prevent (something) from happening
to take the place of (something)
to take for oneself
to gain a commanding or preeminent place in

e.g. a political issue preempted by the opposition party
The special newscast preempted the usual television program.

65

pregnant

abounding in fancy, wit, or resourcefulness; inventive
rich in significance or implication
having possibilities of development or consequence; involving important issues; momentous
full, teeming

e.g. All this has been said by great and pregnant artists.
the pregnant phrases of the Bible
draw inspiration from the heroic achievements of that pregnant age

66

preliminary

something that precedes or is introductory or preparatory
coming before and usually forming a necessary prelude to something

e.g. A meeting to discuss seating arrangements was merely a preliminary to the formal negotiating sessions.
Preliminary findings show that the drug could help patients with skin cancer.

67

preliterate

not yet employing writing as a cultural medium
lacking the use of writing
andedating the use of writing

68

coda

a concluding musical section that is formally distinct from the main structure
a concluding part of a literary or dramatic work
something that served to round out, conclude, or summarize and usually has its own interest

e.g. The movie's coda shows the main character as an adult 25 years later.

69

premise

a building and the area of land that it is on
a statement or idea that is accepted as being true and that is used as the basis of an argument

e.g. asked to leave the premises

70

premium

a reward or recompense for a particular act
a sum in advance of or in addition to the nominal value of something
the consideration paid for a contract of insurance
a high value or a value in excess of that normally or usually suspected

e.g. bonds callable at a premium of six percent
Health insurance premiums went up this year.
willing to pay a premium for organic vegetables

71

premonition

previous notice or warning; forewarning
anticipation of an event without conscious reason; presentiment

e.g. She had a premonition that her cat would somehow get hurt that day.

72

preoccupation

an act of preoccupying; the state of being preoccupied
extreme or excessive concern with something

e.g. We need to better understands the problems and preoccupations of our client.
the future entomologist's preoccupation with insects from a very early age

73

preponderate

(intransitive) to exceed in weight; to exceed in influence, power, or importance; to exceed in numbers

e.g. Evidence for the accused preponderated at the trial.

74

preponderance

- preponderate

e.g. Not since Rome in its glory days had a nation enjoyed such overwhelming military preponderance.
A preponderance of the evidence points to the guilt of the defendant.

75

preposition

a word or group of words that is used to show direction, location, or time, or to introduce an object

e.g. "On" in "the keys are on the table" is a preposition.

76

preposterous

contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; very foolish or silly

77

prerogative

an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege
a distinctive excellence

e.g. It's a writer's prerogative to decide the fate of her characters.

78

presage

something that foreshadows or portends a future event; omen
an intuition or feeling of what is going to happen in the future
warning or indication of the future
to give an omen or warning of; foreshadow
foretell, predict

e.g. a nagging presage that the results would not be good
The sight of the first robin is always a welcome presage of spring.
The current slowdown could presage another recession.
events that presaged the civil rights movement

79

prescience

knowledge of things before they exist or happen; foreknowledge, foresight

e.g. Admiration for the past mingles with prescience of the future.

80

prescribe

to lay down a rule; dictate

e.g. The people have no other rule of conduct than what their priests are pleased to prescribe.

81

preside

to exercise guidance, direction, or control
to occupy the place of authority
to occupy a position of featured instrumental performer

e.g. Obama is going to preside over some very tough decisions.
preside over a strategy that argues that shrinking a company is the best way to survive

82

pressing

urgently important; critical
earnest, warm

e.g. a pressing need for reform
pressing questions/business

83

presume

to undertake without leave or clear justification; dare
to expect or assume especially with confidence
to suppose to be true without proof
to take for granted

e.g. to presume to speak for another
The court must presume innocence until there is proof of guilt.
Do not presume upon his tolerance.

84

presumption

presumptuous attitude or conduct; audacity
an attitude or belief dictated by probability; assumption

e.g. When he invited me to contribute to the tribute, I summoned the presumption to offer this thought.
a defendant's right to a presumption of innocence

85

presuppose

to suppose beforehand
to require as an antecedent in logic or fact

e.g. The rule presupposes a need to restrict student access to the library.

86

pretension

an allegation of doubtful value; pretext
vanity, pretentiousness

e.g. He spoke about his achievements without pretension.

87

preternatural

existing outside of nature
exceeding what is natural or regular; extraordinary
inexplicable by ordinary means; especially, psychic

e.g. a preternatural ability to charm people
preternatural phenomena

88

pretext

a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs

e.g. She went back to her friend's house on the pretext that she had forgotten her purse.

89

prevail

to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority; triumph
to use persuasion successfully
to be frequent; predominate
to be or continue in use or fashion; persist

e.g. They prevailed over their enemy in battle.
He prevailed upon us to accompany him.
the west winds that prevail in the mountains
Silence prevailed along the funeral route.

90

prevaricate

to avoid telling the truth by not directly answering the question; equivocate

e.g. Government officials prevaricated about the real costs of the project.

91

prim

stiffly formal and proper; decorous
prudish
neat, trim

e.g. the prim and proper actress

92

primeval

ancient, primitive

e.g. primeval forests slowing disappearing as the climate changed

93

primordial

existing in or persisting from the beginning (as of a solar system or universe)
primitive
fundamental, primary

e.g. All life on Earth supposedly came from a primordial ooze in existence many millions of years ago.
primordial human joys

94

primp

to dress, adorn, or arrange in a careful or finicky manner

e.g. spent hours primping in front of the mirror
He primped his hair while waiting for his date.

95

pristine

belonging to the earliest period or state; original
not spoiled, corrupted, or polluted; pure
fresh and clean as or as if new

e.g. the hypothetical pristine lunar atmosphere
a pristine forest
used books in pristine condition

96

squalid

marked by filthiness and degradation from neglect or poverty
sordid

e.g. lived in squalid conditions