Word List 4 Flashcards Preview

GRE Vocabulary > Word List 4 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Word List 4 Deck (104):
1

attenuate

to make thin or slender; (in consistency) rarefy
to lessen the amount, force, magnitude, or value of; weaken

e.g. Earplugs will attenuate the loud sounds of the machinery.
an investment attenuated by significant inflation over the years

2

attest

to affirm to be true or genuine, specifically to authenticate officially
to be proof of; manifest
to bear witness; testify

e.g. I can attest that what he has said is true.
The certificate attests the authenticity of the painting.

3

attribute

an inherent characteristic
an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office
to explain by indicating a cause

e.g. The interviewer asked me what I consider to be my best attribute.
A scepter is the attribute of power.
The psychotherapist is a little too quick to attribute every emotional problem or character defect to an unhappy childhood.

4

attune

to bring into harmony; tune
to make aware or responsive

e.g. After years spent in academia, he's finding it difficult to attune himself to the corporate culture.

5

audacious

intrepidly daring; adventurous
recklessly bold; rash
contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum; insolent
marked by originality and verve

e.g. an audacious mountain climber
She made an audacious decision to quit her job.
audacious experiments

6

augur

one held to foretell events by omens
to foretell especially from omens
to give promise of; presage

e.g. ancient Roman augurs who predicted the future by reading the flight of birds
The extended interview augurs well for your acceptance into that law school.

7

august

marked by majestic dignity or grandeur

e.g. We visited their august mansion and expansive grounds.
The family claims an august lineage.

8

auspice

observation of an augur; a prophetic sign, especially a favorable sign
(pl.) kindly patronage and guidance

e.g. This program for inner-city youths is under the auspices of a national corporation.
He interpreted the teacher's smile as an auspice that he would get an A on his presentation.

9

auspicious

showing or suggesting that future success is likely; propitious
attended by good fortune; prosperous

e.g. She told him that she couldn't dance with him just them, but her auspicious smile encouraged him to ask again later.
an auspicious year

10

austere

stern and cold in appearance or manner; somber, grave
morally strict or giving little or no scope for pleasure; ascetic
markedly simple or unadorned

e.g. an austere critic
They lived an austere life in the country.
They chose austere furnishings for the office.

11

authoritarian

of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority
of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people

e.g. He grew up with an authoritarian older sister who though she was the queen of the world.
an authoritarian regime

12

autocrat

a person (as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority
one who has undisputed influence or power

13

auxiliary

offering or providing help; functioning in a subsidiary capacity
supplementary

e.g. an auxiliary branch of the state university
an auxiliary power plant

14

auxin

any of various usually acidic organic substances that promote cell elongation in plant shoots and usually regulate other growth processes (as root initiation)

15

avalanche

a large mass of snow, ice, earth, rock, or other material in swift motion down a mountainside or over a precipice
a sudden great or overwhelming rush or accumulation of something

e.g. hit by an avalanche of paperwork

16

avarice

excessive or insatiable desire or wealth or gain; greediness, cupidity

e.g. The corporate world is plagued by avarice and a thirst for power.

17

aver

to verify or prove to be true
to declare positively

e.g. He averred that he was innocent.

18

averse

having an active feeling of repugnance or distaste

e.g. averse to strenuous exercise

19

aversion

- averse

e.g. He regards drunkenness with aversion.
She expressed an aversion to parties.

20

avert

to turn away or aside (as the eyes) in avoidance
to see coming and ward off; avoid

e.g. The diplomatic talks narrowly averted a war.

21

aviary

a place for keeping birds confined

22

apiary

a place where bees are kept

23

aviatrix

a woman who is an aviator

24

avid

desirous to the point of greed; urgently eager; greedy
characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit

e.g. avid for publicity
He is an avid admirer of horror movies.

25

avow

to declare assuredly
to declare openly, bluntly, and without shame

e.g. He avowed that the colonization of Mars in our lifetime is not only possible but probably.
They avowed their undying love for each other.

26

svelte

slender, lithe
having clean lines; sleek
urbane, suave

e.g. a svelte figure
The svelte dancer seemed to float across the stage.

27

glib

marked by ease and informality; nonchalant
showing little forethought or preparation; offhand
lacking depth and substance; superficial
marked by ease and fluency in speaking or writing often to the point of being insincere or deceitful

e.g. Politicians need to do more than provide glib answers to difficult questions.
He only has glib solutions to knotty problems.

28

awl

a pointed tool for making surfaces or piercing small holes (as in leather or wood)

29

awning

a rooflike cover extending over or in front of a place (as over the deck or in front of a door or window) as a shelter

e.g. He stayed under the awning outside the shop during the rainstorm.

30

awry

in a turned or twisted position or direction; askew
off the correct or expected course; amiss

e.g. His cravat is put on awry.
Most people try to act cool, like nothing is awry, when nearly everything is tilted.

31

axiom

a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit
a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference

32

axle

a bar on which a wheel or a pair of wheel turns

33

babble

to talk enthusiastically or excessively
to utter meaningless or unintelligible sounds

e.g. He'll babble on about sports all night if you let him.
Her cousins were babbling in an unfamiliar dialect.

34

backdrop

a painted cloth hung across the rear of a stage
background

e.g. The mountains provided a perfect backdrop for the wedding photos.
The novel unfolds against a backdrop of war.

35

backhanded

indirect, devious, especially sarcastic
using or made with a backhand

e.g. "You throw okay, for a girl" is a bit of a backhanded compliment.

36

barge

a roomy usually flat-bottomed boat used chiefly for the transport of goods on inland waterways

37

cadge

to persuade someone to give you (something) for free; beg, sponge

e.g. She cadged a free cup of coffee from her sister.

38

badger

any of various burrowing mammals
to harass or annoy persistently

e.g. She finally badgered me into cutting my hair.

39

badinage

playful repartee; banter

e.g. the sophisticated badinage of the characters in plays by Oscar Wilde

40

bail

a temporary release of a prisoner in exchange for security given for the due appearance of the prisoner; also the security given
to release under bail
to help from a predicament (used with out)

e.g. The magistrate granted him bail.
bailing out impoverished countries

41

bait

to persecute or exasperate with unjust, malicious, or persistent attacks
entice, lure

e.g. The interviewer kept baiting the politician by asking him whether he was lying.

42

bale

great evil
woe, sorrow
a large bundle of goods, specifically a large closely pressed package of merchandise bound and usually wrapped

e.g. a bale of paper/hay

43

baleful

deadly or pernicious in influence
foreboding or threatening evil

e.g. the baleful effects of water pollution
a dark, baleful sky portending a tornado

44

balk

beam, rafter
hindrance, check
to stop short and refuse to proceed; to refuse abruptly
block

e.g. The extravagant centerpiece proved to be a balk to the flow of conversation.
The horse balked and would not jump the fence.

45

ballast

a heavy substance placed in such a way as to improve stability and control
something that gives stability (as in character or conduct)

e.g. To make it soar well or sail well, friendship must have ballast.

46

balloon

to swell or puff out; expand
to increase rapidly

e.g. the ballooning costs of education

47

balmy

having the qualities of balm; soothing
mild
crazy, foolish

e.g. A completely balmy but harmless old man talked intently to plants and believed they answered back.
A pleasant, balmy breeze was all that stirred the wildflowers growing near the shore.

48

banal

lacking originality, freshness, or novelty; trite

e.g. He made some banal remarks about the weather.

49

bane

a source of harm or ruin; curse

e.g. National frontiers have been more of a bane than a boon for mankind.

50

banish

to drive out or remove from; to clear away, dispel

e.g. The dictator banished anyone who opposed him.
His discovery banishes anxiety.

51

banister

a handrail with its supporting posts; handrail

52

solvency

the state of being able to pay debts

e.g. They reviewed financial records to measure the borrower's solvency.

53

banter

to speak (to) or address in a witty and teasing manner
good-natured and usually witty and animated jokes

e.g. The teacher bantered pleasantly, albeit a bit awkwardly, with the students at the school dance.

54

barb

a sharp projection extending backwards (as a fishhook)
a biting or pointedly critical remark or comment

55

barbarous

uncivilized; lacking culture or refinement; philistine
mercilessly harsh or cruel

e.g. She abhors barbarous behavior such as eating with your fingers.
the barbarous treatment of the native peoples of the New World by those bent on conquest at any cost

56

occult

to shut off from view or exposure; cover, eclipse
not revealed; not easily understood; secret, abstruse, mysterious
of or relating to supernatural powers or practices

e.g. The actor's private life had long been occulted by a contrived public persona.
occult practices such as magic and fortune-telling

57

barefaced

open, unconcealed
having or showing a lack of scruples; shameless

e.g. barefaced impudence
a barefaced lie

58

baroque

characterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, complexity, or flamboyance

e.g. a somewhat baroque writing style

59

barrage

artillery fire laid on a line close to friendly troops to screen and protect them
a vigorous or rapid outpouring or projection of many things at once

e.g. a barrage of protests

60

barren

not reproducing
not productive
devoid, lacking (used with of)
lacking interest, charm, inspiration, or ideas

e.g. Few organisms can thrive on these barren mountaintops.
barren of excitement
barren routine/mind

61

barter

to trade by exchanging one commodity for another

62

base

lacking or indicating the lack of high qualities of mind or spirit; ignoble, degrading

e.g. a base and sneaky act that is a clear violation of international law

63

bask

to lie or relax in a pleasant warmth or atmosphere
to take pleasure or derive enjoyment

e.g. Tourists were basking on the beaches.
He stood before the audience, basking in their applause.

64

baste

to sew with long, loose stitches
to moisten (as meat) at intervals with a liquid (as melted butter, fat, or pan drippings) especially during cooking

65

bathetic

displaying bathos, the sudden appearance of the commonplace in otherwise elevated matter or style; anticlimactic
displaying insincere or overdone pathos

e.g. The man spoke earnestly, but a third person and extraneous hearer could hardly avoid being struck by the bathetic conclusion.

66

battalion

a considerable body of troops organized to act together

67

bauxite

an impure mixture of earthy hydrous aluminum oxides and hydroxides that is the principal source of aluminum

68

bawdy

obscene, lewd; boisterously or humorously indecent

e.g. a bawdy film that is not appropriate for children

69

bazaar

a market (as in the Middle East) consisting of rows of shops or stalls selling miscellaneous goods

70

bearing

the manner in which one conducts or carries oneself, including posture and gestures
reference or relation (used with on)

e.g. a man of dignified bearing
It has some bearing on the problem.

71

bedeck

decorate

e.g. The ladies arrived bedecked in furs.

72

bedlam

a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion

e.g. He was instrumental in the transformation of bedlams from filthy hellholes to well-ordered humane institutions.
The park had never had so many visitors at one time. It was total bedlam.

73

befuddle

to muddle or stupefy with or as if with drink
confuse, perplex

e.g. Most of the applicants were befuddled by the wording of one of the questions on the driving test.

74

begrudge

to give or concede reluctantly or with displeasure
to look upon with disapproval

e.g. begrudge money
begrudge their rivals' success

75

behoove

to be necessary, proper or advantageous for

e.g. It behooves us to go.

76

belabor

to attack verbally; to beat soundly
to explain or insist on excessively

e.g. He uses his newspaper column to belabor writers for even the most minor grammatical errors.
Her habit of belaboring the obvious makes her a very boring speaker.

77

belated

delayed beyond the usual time
existing or appearing past the normal or proper time

e.g. She received belated recognition for her scientific discovery.

78

beleaguer

besiege
trouble, harass

e.g. The troops beleaguered the castle for months.
an economically beleaguered city

79

belie

to give a false impression of
to show something to be false or wrong; to run counter to, contradict
disguise

e.g. Their actions belie their claim to be innocent.

80

bellicose

favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars

e.g. Bellicose hockey players always seem to spend more time fighting than playing.

81

belligerence

an aggressive or truculent attitude, atmosphere, or disposition

e.g. Among the Native American tribes of the colonial period, the Iroquois were known for their belligerence.

82

bellwether

one that takes the lead or initiative; leader; also an indicator of trends

e.g. She is a bellwether of fashion.

83

bench

the place where justice sits in the court

84

benediction

the invocation of divine blessing
something that promotes goodness or well-being

e.g. The priest offered a benediction for the missing children.

85

valediction

an act of bidding farewell

86

benefactor

one that confers a benefit, especially one that makes a gift or bequest

e.g. With the help of a rich benefactor, he set up a charity.

87

beneficiary

one that benefits from something
the person designated to receive proceeds or benefits

e.g. The college was a beneficiary of the private grant.

88

benison

blessing, benediction

e.g. During the harbor festival, the parish priest offered a benison for the local fishermen.

89

benevolent

marked by or disposed to doing good
marked by or suggestive of goodwill

e.g. a benevolent donor
a benevolent smile

90

volition

an act of making a choice or decision; also a choice or decision made
the power of choosing or determining; will

e.g. Tourette's syndrome is a neurological disorder marked by recurrent tics and vocalizations that are beyond the suffer's volition or control.

91

truculent

feeling or displaying ferocity; cruel, savage
deadly, destructive
scathingly harsh; vitriolic
aggressively self-assertive; belligerent

e.g. a theater critic who was notorious for his titanically truculent reviews
Die-hard fans became truculent and violent after their team's loss.

92

malign

evil in nature, influence, or effect; injurious
having or showing intense often vicious ill will; malevolent

e.g. Both parties to the divorce showed a malign desire to make each other's future life utterly miserable.

93

bent

a strong inclination or interest; bias
a special inclination or capacity; talent
capacity of endurance

94

bequeath

to give or leave by will, used especially of personal property
to hand down; transmit

e.g. Lessons of the past are bequeathed to future generations.

95

bequest

the act of bequeathing
something bequeathed; legacy

96

berate

to scold or condemn vehemently and at length

e.g. There's no need to berate someone for making a mistake during the first day on the job.

97

bereft

deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something (usually used with of)
lacking something needed, wanted, or expected
suffering the death of a loved one

e.g. Both players are instantly bereft of their poise.
a cheap motel completely bereft of all amenities
a bereft mother

98

beset

to set or stud with or as if with ornaments
trouble, harass
to set upon, to hem in; assail, surround

e.g. He's been beset by a lack of self-confidence virtually his entire life.
The settlers were beset by savages.

99

besiege

to surround with armed forces
to press with requests; importune
to cause worry or distress to; beset

e.g. The army besieged the castle.
Customers have besieged the company with questions.
Doubts besieged him.

100

besmirch

to cause harm or damage to (as reputation of someone or something); sully, soil

101

bestial

beastlike
brutal

102

bestow

to put to use; apply
to convey as a gift (used with on or upon)

e.g. He bestowed his spare time on study.
The university bestowed on her an honorary degree.

103

betroth

to promise to marry
to give in marriage

e.g. Her father betrothed her to him at an early age.

104

troth

loyal or pledged faithfulness; fidelity
one's pledged word (by my troth)

e.g. They solemnly announced their troth before the church's congregation.