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Barron's 800 Words For The GRE - A


GRE Top 800 Words - A
  
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Abjure
 
Verb.

To reject, abandon formally.

Most Quakers abjure violence.
Abscond
 
Verb.

Depart secretly.

A warrant for arrest is out for a person believed to have absconded with $3 million.
Abscission
 
Noun.

The natural separation of a leaf or other part of plant.


Abscise
 
Verb.

The act of cutting.

The Dr. abscised a small growth on the patient's hand.
Abject
 
Adj.

Miserable, Pitiful.

The Grapes of Wrath portrays abject poverty of many people during the Great Depression.
Abstinence
 
Noun

the Act of giving up certain pleasures.

The mink's vow of abstinence includes all intoxicating substances.
Abate
 
Verb.

To decrease, reduce.

NASA announced that it would delay the launch of the shuttle until the solar flares were abated.
Aberrant
 
Adj.

Deviating from what is normal.

When a person's behavior becomes aberrant, his or her peers may become concerned that the individual is becoming a deviant.
Abstemious
 
Adj.

Moderate in appetite.

Some research suggests that people with an abstemious lifestyle tend to live longer than those who indulge their appetites.
Abdicate
 
To give up a position, power or right

The appeals court judge has abdicated his responsibility to review cases.
Abeyance
 
Temporary suppression or suspension.

A good judge must hold his or her judgment in abeyance until the facts are presented.
Abysmal
 
Very bad.

The abysmal failure of the free market system in Russia has led some people to argue that the planned economy of the Soviet Union, while not perfect, was better suited to Russia's history and culture than Western-style capitalism.
Free market
 
an economic market in which the demand and supply of goods and services is either not regulated or is slightly regulated.
Planned economy
 
an economic system in which the production, allocation and consumption of goods and supplies is planned in advance. Another term is "command economy."
Capitalism
 
an economic and political system in which a country's industry and trade are controlled by private owners rather than the gov.
Accretion
 
growth in size or increase in amount.

In the 1960s, the American geophysicist Harry Hess conceived the idea of sea-floor spreading, a process causing a steady accretion of the crust.
Geophysicist
 
one who specialized in the physics of the earth and its environment.
Igneous
 
In geology, relating to the formation of rocks by solidification from a molten state. From the Latin ignis (fire).
Accrue
 
to accumulate, grow by additions.

If you accrue interest smartly, you can increase your portfolio.
monopolistic
 
having exclusive control over a commercial activity.
Adamant
 
uncompromising, unyielding.

Despite widespread opposition to his plan, the D's leader is adamant that the party must move to the center to appeal to moderate voters.
Adjunct
 
something added, attached or joined.

Speed walking is normally regarded as adjuncts of track and field athletics since races in the sport are not normally held on a track.
Admonish
 
To caution or reprimand

The judge adminoshed the jury to discount testimony that had been ruled inadmissible.
Adulterate
 
to corrupt or make impure

The unscrupulous company sells an adulterated version of the drug.
Aesthetic
 
relating to beauty or art.

Members of the English aesthetic movement believed in art for art's sake.
Gothic
 
a style of architecture popular in Middle Ages. Pointed arches, soaring spaces and light.
Affected
 
pretentious, phony

It has been argued that the emphasis on so-called proper English" leads to unnatural and affected speech.
affinity
 
fondness, liking, similarity

The female students in the class felt an affinity for the ancient Greek playwright.
Aggrandize
 
to make larger or greater

One of the concerns of the framers of the Constitution was that one branch of gov. would try to aggrandize itself at th expense of the others.

Aggregate
 
amounting to a whole, total.

The aggregate wealth of a country includes private as well as public resources.

*Also a verb meaning to collect into a mass. To aggregate information.
Alacrity

 
cheerful willingness, eagerness, speed.

The football coach was pleased to see the team get to work on the task of improving its tacking skills with alacrity.

Alchemy
 
Medieval chemical philosophy based on changing metal into gold; a seemingly magical power or process of transmutation.

Alchemy was the forerunner of the modern science of Chemistry.
Allay
 
to lessen, ease, soothe.

Improvements in anti-virus software have allayed many people's fears of having their computers infected.
Alleviate
 
To relieve, improve partially.

Alleviate relative poverty.
Bourgeoisie
 
Social order dominated by the property-owning class. Term is associated with Marxism but is today used disparagingly to suggest materialism and philistinism.
Alloy
 
a combination of, a mixture of two or more metals.

Scientists formulate alloys to create properties that are not possessed by natural metals or other substances.
Allure
 
the power to entice by charm

Political groups in the US often lobby Congress to use the allure of America's vast market as an incentive for countries to pursue policies in accordance with our policies.
Lobby
 
a group whose members share certain goals and work to bring about the passage, modification or defeat of laws that affect these goals.
Clockwork Universe
 
theory of origin of universe that compares universe to mechanical clock created by god. Once created, universe continues to run according to laws of nature and does not require further Divine intervention.
Amalgamate
 
To combine into a unified whole.

In early 1999, six municipalities were amalgamated into an enlarged city of Toronto, CA.
Ambiguous
 
Unclear or doubtful in meaning.
Mahayana Buddhist
 
One of three major traditions of Buddhism. Regards the historical Buddha as a manifestation of the celestial Buddha.
Ambivalent
 
the state of having conflicting emotional attitudes.

John felt some ambivalence about getting married before finishing college.
Ambrosia
 
Something delicious, food of the Gods.

The food critic praised the chef for preparing what he called an "ambroisal meal."
Ameliorate
 
To improve

Knowing they could not stop the spread of a contagion in a few days, health authorities worked to inhibit its spread and to ameliorate its effects by issuing warnings.
Amenable
 
agreeable, cooperative, suited.

The young writer is amenable to suggestions for improving her prose style to make it more interesting.
Amenity
 
something that increases comfort.

Many amenities considered normal by people in developed countries were luxuries only a few generations ago.
Amulet
 
ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits


Anachronism
 
Something out of the proper time.

Some experts regard the retirement age of 65 as an anachronism at a time when people in the developed world have a much longer life expectancy than previously.
Analgesic
 
Medication that reduces or eliminates pain.

Aspirin is a powerful analgesic that was introduced in 1899.
Analogous
 
comparable.

The psychology researcher's experiment postulates that the brain is analogous to a digital computer.
Social Darwinism
 
a theory in sociology that individuals achieve advantage over others as a result of genetic or biological superiority.
Protestant work ethic
 
a view of life that encourages hard work ad a rational view of the world as a way to achieve material success.
Confucian
 
a system or ethics based on the teachings of Confucious. Places high value on family relationships.
Anarchy
 
absence of government; state of disorder.
Dionysos
 
Known as Bacchus to the Romans, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Selene. He was the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and ecstasy and later regarded as a patron of the arts.
Anarchism
 
The theory that all forms of gov. are oppressive and should be abolished. Also means the advocacy of this theory or attempt to bring about anarchism.

Most political scientists do not believe anarchism to be a tenable theory of gov.
Anodyne
 
something that calms or soothes pain.

Some people use alcohol as an anodyne to numb their emotional pain.
Anomalous
 
Irregular, deviating from the norm. (Anomaly)

The psychologist discounted the anomalous behavior of the solider, saying it was merely a short-term effect of the stress of battle.
Antecedent
 
something that comes before.
Reformation
 
a 16th century movement aimed at reforming abuses in the Roman Catholic Church. Led to establishment of new churches.
Antediluvian
 
Prehistoric.

Most of our knowledge of antediluvian times has been built up as the result of fossils.
Antipathy
 
dislike, hostility.

Keri feels great antipathy towards her classes this semester.
Protagonist
 
the main character is a work of literature.
Apathy
 
indifference.

Apathy was high in the election because there was no major controversy or issue to arouse voter interest.
Welfare state
 
the provision of welfare services by the state.
Apex
 
the highest point.


Classicalism
 
an aesthetic tradition that values simplicity.
Augustans
 
a period of English literature from around 1700-1789. Satire was a feature.
Apogee
 
the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited. the highest point.

The Ottoman Emire reached its apogee in the 17th century, when it controlled a territory running from Budapest to North Africa.
Apothegm
 
A terse, witty saying. Pronounced "AP-uh-them"

One of the best known political apothegms was written by Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Appease
 
to calm, pacify, placate.

Many historians have criticized British PM Neville Chamberlain for trying to appease Hitler.
Meow! Meow!
 
Merl!
Appellation
 
name.

The discovery of the bones of a person with the appellation Kennewick Man...
Apposite
 
strikingly appropriate an relevant.

the writer searched two dictionaries and a thesaurus before finding the perfectly apposite word he was looking for.
Apprise
 
To inform.

Nadine Cohoda's biography keeps the reader apprised of racism black Americans had to endure.
Approbration
 
Praise, approval.


The Medal of Honor is the highest approbation an American soldier can receive.
Appropriate
 
To take possession for one's own use, confiscate.

The invading army appropriated supplies from the houses of the local people.
Apropos
 
Relevant.

Apropos of nothing, the speaker declared that the purpose of life is to love.
Arabesque
 
Ornate design featuring intertwined curves; a ballet position in which one leg is extended in back while the other supports the weight of the biody.
Archeaology
 
The study of material evidence of past human life.
Carbon-14
 
determining the actual or relative age of an object through the use of the isotope Carbon-14, which occurs naturally.
ardor
 
great emotion of passion.

"It is the unknown that excited the ardor of scholars, who , in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom."
Arduous
 
extremely difficult, laborious.

the task of writing a research paper is arduous.
Argot
 
a specialized vocab word used by a group.

Writers of crime fiction often use the argot of criminals and detectives to create a realistic atmosphere.
Arrest
 
to stop, to seize.

Temporary arrest of the patient's respiration made it easier for the doctor to perform surgery on him.
Artifact
 
item made by human craft.
Artless
 
guilesless, natural

The source of the meaning of artless as guiless is the poet Dryden. Such artless beauty lies in Shakespeare's wit.
Ascetic
 
One who practices sself-denial.

Muslim ascetics consider the internal battle against human passions a greater jihad than the struggle against infidels.
Asperity
 
severity, harshness, irritability.
Aspersion
 
slander false rumor.

Singapore is a young democracy and its leaders often respond strongly to journalists and others who cast aspersions on their integrity.
Assiduous
 
diligent, hard-working.

The assiduous people of Hong Kong live in a territory with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Assuage
 
to make less severe.
Astringent
 
harsh, sevre

Bob tends to nick himself when he shaves, so he uses n astringent aftershave to stop the bleeding.
Asylum
 
place of refuse or shelter.

The Stoic, accused of seeking asylum in the consolations of philosophy, refuted this charge, saying that Stoicism is simply the most prudent and realistic philosophy to follow.
Atavism
 
in biology, the reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generationa of absense.
Attenuate
 
to weaken.

Modern digital radio equipment allows even signals that have been greatly attenuated to be transmitted by one station and received by another.
audacious
 
bold, daring.

austere
 
Stern, unadorned.

Deism is an austere belief that reflects the predominant philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment.
Deism
 
the belief in a God who created the universe and then abondened it.
autonomous
 
self-governing, independent.

Some biologists have theorized that our belief in our ability to act as autonomous agents is in conformity with the theory of evolution.
Avarice
 
Greed.

aver
 
to affirm, declare to be true.

Avocation
 
seconadary occupation.

Dan became so proficient at his avocation - computer programming - that he is thinking of giving up his job as a teacher to do it full time.
avuncular
 
like an uncle, benvolent and tolerant.

Walter Cronkite had an avuncular manner that made him one of America's most trust personalities. axiomatic
axiomatic
 
taken for granted.

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