Vocab for the GRE
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Vocabulary for the GRE

In the GRE, vocabulary plays a very important role. The Verbal Reasoning section contains a wide range of words. These are some of the words that are most commonly used in native-English speaking countries. You will need a strong vocabulary to be able to answer questions on

  • Reading comprehension – to be able to comprehend passages on a wide range of complex topics
  • Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence – these questions directly test your vocabulary in context in the GRE are vocabulary based.

To complicate matters, there are so many GRE vocabulary lists available – some with 300 words while some with 1000. But the question is – How does one remember so many words? Is it possible to remember all the words and that too, in context?

A decent strategy

We can follow the following steps:

  1. Try to understand the roots of words instead of memorizing the words themselves – that way, you can try to make out a meaning of the word even if you aren’t familiar with that word.
  2. Simultaneously, learn the usage of words (and the parts of speech) – often that helps in eliminating options. Remember, GRE tests contextual meanings, not the meanings of stand-alone words. Thus, memorizing meanings without knowing the applications won’t help.
  3. Use of flashcards would help (it’s convenient) – use any of the ones available or make your own online! Write down the meaning and also a sentence using the word.
  4. Keep reading articles, stories, news editorials which use similar vocabulary – this is the way words stick. Keep using these words in day-to-day conversations if possible. Simply trying to cram words is not a very effective strategy
  5. Try to form phrases with words that are unfamiliar and use simple words in the phrases. For example, “the innocuous virus”, etc. Being able to relate to simple ideas help in memorizing faster.
  6. Write down unfamiliar (or difficult to remember) words. This helps to maintain a list of such words for quick revision. Remember to regularly revise this list and keep making sentences with these words.
  7. And most importantly, read aloud whenever you are trying to memorize words – hearing what you read helps your brain to process the data more efficiently, helping you to remember those.

Let’s look at some words

The following is a small list of words with which one can make a beginning (do try out the small quiz at the end of this list):

  1. abstain – verb – to restrain oneself for doing or enjoying something
  2. accentuate – verb – to emphasize
  3. adulterate – verb – to make (something) impure or weaker by adding something of inferior quality
  4. advocate – verb – publicly recommend or support
  5. anomaly – noun – something that is unusual or unexpected
  6. antipathy – noun – a strong feeling of dislike
  7. apathy – noun – lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern
  8. assuage – verb – to make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense
  9. audacious – adj. – a willingness to take bold risks / adj. – showing a lack of respect
  10. banal – adj. – boring, unoriginal
  11. bolster – verb – to support or strengthen
  12. cacophony – noun – a harsh, unpleasant mixture of sounds
  13. capricious – adj. – given to sudden changes of mood or behaviour
  14. corroborate – verb – to confirm or make more certain
  15. deride – verb – to express contempt for; ridicule
  16. desiccate – verb – remove the moisture from (something)
  17. dissonance – noun – a lack of harmony or agreement
  18. duplicity – noun – dishonesty, deceitfulness
  19. enervate – verb – cause (someone or something) to feel drained of energy; weaken
  20. engender – verb – to produce, cause, or give rise to (something)
  21. enigma – noun – a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand
  22. ephemeral – adj. – lasting for a very short time
  23. equivocal – adj. – not easily understood or explained
  24. erudite – adj. – having or showing great knowledge
  25. eulogy – noun – a speech that praises someone, typically some who has recently died
  26. expatiate – verb – to describe in great detail
  27. fervid – adj. – intensely enthusiastic or passionate
  28. galvanize – verb – to shock, or to coat in iron
  29. garrulous – adj. – excessively talkative
  30. gullible – adj. – easily persuaded to believe something
  31. homogenous – adj. – of the same or similar kind
  32. ingenuous – adj. – innocent and unsuspecting
  33. intermediary – noun – one who mediates between parties
  34. laconic – adj. – using few words
  35. laudable – adj. – deserving praise and commendation
  36. lethargic – adj. – lacking energy
  37. loquacious – adj. – tending to talk a great deal
  38. lucid – adj. – very clear and easy to understand
  39. maladroitness – noun – lacking skill or intelligence
  40. malleable – adj. – easily influenced; pliable
  41. misanthrope – noun – a person who dislikes humankind
  42. mitigate – verb – make less severe, serious, or painful
  43. obdurate – adj. – stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion
  44. olfactory – adj. – relating to scent
  45. omniscience – noun – possessing all knowledge
  46. opaque – adj. – not able to be seen through; not easily understood
  47. orthodox – adj. – conforms to tradition
  48. ostentation – noun – excessive display of wealth
  49. paradox – noun – a statement that contradicts itself but might be true
  50. partisanship – noun – bias in favour of one view
  51. pedant – noun – a person who makes an excessive display of learning
  52. philanthropic – adj. – seeking to promote the welfare of others
  53. placate – verb – to make (someone) less angry or hostile
  54. polemical – adj. – strongly critical
  55. pragmatic – adj. – dealing with the problems that exist in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on theories
  56. precipitate – verb – to cause (something) to happen quickly or suddenly
  57. pre-eminence – noun – superiority, excellence
  58. prevaricate – verb – avoid telling the truth by not directly answering a question
  59. prodigal – adj. – wastefully extravagant
  60. propriety – noun – the state or quality of being correct or proper
  61. ubiquitous – adj. – appearing everywhere
  62. untenable – adj. – unable to defend
  63. vacillate – verb – to waver between different opinions or actions
  64. venality – noun – to be open to corruption
  65. venerate – verb – regard with great respect
  66. volatile – adj. – likely to change rapidly and unpredictably
  67. waver – verb – to go back and forth between choices or opinions
  68. zeal – noun – a strong feel of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something

How is your vocabulary? Try this quiz and find out!

GRE Vocab Quiz

1 / 8

What is the meaning of "ostentatious"?

2 / 8

What is the meaning of "ingenuous"?

3 / 8

Which of the following means: :Tending to talk a great deal"?

4 / 8

Which of the following means: "To make an unpleasant feeling less intense"?

5 / 8

What is the best meaning of "

6 / 8

Which of these means "the deliberate act of deviating from the truth"

7 / 8

Which of the following means "discordant"?

8 / 8

Which word means "Make someone feel drained of energy"?

Your score is

0%

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