TOP 100 GRE Vocabulary Words

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TOP 100 GRE Vocabulary Words

 

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abstinence

(noun)

DEFINITION

the act or process of voluntarily refraining from any action, behavior, or practice–self-control

SYNONYMS

temperance, continence, renunciation, chastity, sobriety, self-restraint, abstemiousness

ANTONYMS

indulgence, excess, promiscuity

USAGE EXAMPLES

While trying to lose weight, I practiced abstinence from red meat and junk food, and instead ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (self-restraint)
For a month before her surgery, Anne was completely abstinent from caffeine and other stimulants. (self-restraining)

allude

(verb)

DEFINITION

to mention something in an indirect way

SYNONYMS

intimate, imply, suggest, signify, hint, insinuate

ANTONYMS

advertise, affirm, assert, declare

USAGE EXAMPLES

Miguel alluded to his wife’s drinking problem by mentioning her red eyes and constant partying. (hinted, intimated)
The rock group made several allusions to governmental injustices on their new CD. (references, insinuations)

anomaly

(noun)

DEFINITION

an irregularity or peculiarity that deviates from normal expectations and can be difficult to identify or classify–something odd or unusual

SYNONYMS

peculiarity, abnormality, deviation, oddity, irregularity, curiosity, discrepancy, exception, aberration

ANTONYMS

normalcy, constancy, regularity

USAGE EXAMPLES

I don’t think we need to worry about that happening again; it was just a one time anomaly. (irregularity, discrepancy)
I don’t think we can explain the precipitous drop in sales last month; now that sales have increased back to normal, I think the drop was just an anomaly. (abnormality, exception)

antipathy

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. strongly negative feeling toward something or somebody; 2. the object of negative feelings or hostility and something to be avoided

SYNONYMS

anger, hostility, loathing, abhorrence, disgust, animosity, enmity, aversion

ANTONYMS

affection, affinity, regard

USAGE EXAMPLES

The antipathy between celebrities and the paparazzi is well-known. (animosity, hostility)
When I discovered Sean had gossiped about me, I couldn’t help feeling antipathy toward him. (anger, hostility)

arbiter

(noun)

DEFINITION

someone who has the power and/or authority to judge or decide an issue

SYNONYMS

judge, umpire, mediator, referee, arbitrator

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

The mayor’s office and city council will be the final arbiters on the location of the new ball park. (judges)
The Superior Court judge will be the final arbiter in my law suit. (judge)

audacity

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. aggressive or fearless boldness or daring; 2. lack of respect

SYNONYMS

boldness, daring, impudence, insolence, brazenness

ANTONYMS

caution, fearfulness, reserve

USAGE EXAMPLES

I can’t believe he had the audacity to question my integrity in front of everyone. (bold, daring, impudence)
Her audacity, when confronted with what she viewed as needless homework, was seen by her teachers as a result of being spoiled. (insolence, impudence)

bereft

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. deprived of something cared for or about; 2. without something necessary or desirable; 3. feeling loss

SYNONYMS

bereaved, deprived, destitute, lacking, wanting

ANTONYMS

satisfied

USAGE EXAMPLES

Her children and husband gone, the old woman was left sad and bereft. (bereaved, wanting, destitute)
Susie was bereft of her job during the recession, but she soon recovered by getting an even better one. (deprived)

cacophony

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. harsh or sudden sounds; 2. sounds out of harmony

SYNONYMS

dissonance, discord, disharmony, clamor, noise

ANTONYMS

harmony

USAGE EXAMPLES

My friends tried to serenade me with violins and flutes, but the result was more cacophony than concert. (noise, discord)
As the star entered the auditorium, his ears were met with a cacophony of shouts and cheers from the crowd. (dissonance, clamor)

comprehensive

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. covering completely in range or scope; 2. exhibiting expansive mental understanding

SYNONYMS

inclusive, thorough, complete, expansive, exhaustive, extensive, far-reaching

ANTONYMS

exclusive, limited, narrow, selective

USAGE EXAMPLES

The astronomer’s comprehensive knowledge of space theory led him to be a sought-after speaker. (expansive, exhaustive)
My comprehensive earthquake survival kit includes water, canned foods, and first aid supplies. (inclusive, complete)

conciliatory

(adjective)

DEFINITION

acting in a placating manner to bring about agreement, restore trust and goodwill, or settle someone’s anger

SYNONYMS

accommodating, obliging, appeasing, assuaging, mollifying, placating

ANTONYMS

antagonistic, belligerent, stubborn

USAGE EXAMPLES

The conciliatory tone of his voice showed that he was ready to end our disagreement. (placating, assuaging)
If it’s any conciliation, I didn’t have any fun at the party without you. (appeasement)

conjure

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to call or bring about an image in one’s mind; 2. to summon or call forth a supernatural force; 3. to perform an illusion or magic spell

SYNONYMS

evoke, summon, call, adjure, charm, invoke, rouse, exorcise, concoct

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

The smell of my mother’s apple pie always conjured images of happy family gatherings. (evoked, brought to mind)
The magician conjured fire from a glass of water. (evoked, concocted)

connoisseur

(noun)

DEFINITION

a specialist with discriminating taste and expertise in a given field, especially in fine art, wine, and food

SYNONYMS

aficionado, expert, gourmet, epicure, specialist

ANTONYMS

amateur, dabbler, novice

USAGE EXAMPLES

Even after my in-depth course in wine history and tasting, I could not consider myself a connoisseur. (specialist, aficionado)
My good friend George is an art connoisseur, researching and following the art world extensively. (aficionado, expert)

consensus

(noun)

DEFINITION

group agreement on opinions and judgments, reached as a whole

SYNONYMS

agreement, accord, singularity, consent, unanimity, concurrence

ANTONYMS

disagreement, discord, dissension

USAGE EXAMPLES

The general consensus was to embark on the project as soon as possible. (consent, unanimity)
The consensus among the third graders was that chocolate ice cream tastes better than vanilla. (accord, unanimity)

contentious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. likely to cause an argument or controversy; 2. intending or likely to argue or fight; 3. hostile, aggressive, tense, and quarrelsome

SYNONYMS

belligerent, argumentative, controversial, quarrelsome, combative, antagonistic, aggressive, hostile, litigious

ANTONYMS

agreeable, passive, nice

USAGE EXAMPLES

His contentious remarks regularly caused gossip and controversy among staff members. (controversial, disagreeable)
Politics is a contentious subject in our house, so we don’t discuss it much. (argumentative, controversial)

conventional

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. conforming to the usual practices of accepted standards of conduct or taste; 2. lacking originality or individuality; unimaginative and routine; 3. commonly believed to be true, but often false (conventional wisdom)

SYNONYMS

acknowledged, customary, endorsed, established, time-honored, commonplace, ordinary, unimaginative, routine, stereotyped, prevailing, accepted

ANTONYMS

unconventional, irregular, questionable, refused, rejected, abnormal, exotic, radical, strange, unorthodox

USAGE EXAMPLES

The new, technologically savvy consumer has forced companies to rethink conventional advertising. (customary, time-honored)
Moms like to attribute cold symptoms to the conventional wisdom that walking in the rain will make you sick, but in reality, being cold has nothing to do with catching one. (accepted, prevailing)

corroborate

(verb)

DEFINITION

to establish or strengthen evidence by adding information or confirming facts

SYNONYMS

verify, confirm, authenticate, certify, establish

ANTONYMS

contradict, deny, disclaim, refute

USAGE EXAMPLES

The onlooker corroborated the crash victim’s assertion of innocence. (confirmed, certified)
Experts are often brought in to trials to corroborate a witness’ testimony. (authenticate, confirm)

cynic

(noun)

DEFINITION

one who is skeptical or distrustful of human nature and motives, believing that human actions are based in self-interest

SYNONYMS

pessimist, misanthrope, skeptic, scoffer

ANTONYMS

optimist, believer

USAGE EXAMPLES

Martha’s cynicism made it difficult for her to believe that Bill had acquired his money by working hard and saving. (mistrust, skepticism)
The public is cynical about most politicians’ motives, although many are honest and well-meaning. (skeptical, mistrustful)

debauchery

(noun)

DEFINITION

extreme indulgence in immoral or self-indulgent behavior

SYNONYMS

corruption, degeneracy, dissolution, dissipation, immorality, impropriety, indulgence, lechery, lewdness

ANTONYMS

purification, morality, propriety, piety

USAGE EXAMPLES

Much of what was considered debauchery in the 19th century is now widely regarded as merely good fun. (immorality, degeneracy)
The sheer debauchery of the American family’s habits shocked their proper British nanny. (impropriety)

decorous

(adjective)

DEFINITION

marked by propriety and good taste, especially in dress or behavior

SYNONYMS

seemly, dignified, appropriate, befitting, correct, decent, proper

ANTONYMS

indecorous, improper, unseemly, vulgar, inappropriate

USAGE EXAMPLES

It is important to behave in a decorous manner when being presented to the Queen, unless you don’t mind being thrown out by the palace guards. (correct, seemly)
The decorum of our grandparents’ courting seems quaint and uptight today. (propriety)

deleterious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

causing harmful or damaging effects

SYNONYMS

destructive, harmful, damaging, pernicious, noxious, toxic, injurious

ANTONYMS

helpful, salubrious, advantageous

USAGE EXAMPLES

Recent studies show that consuming too much protein may be deleterious to health. (harmful, damaging)
The downturn in investments has been quite deleterious to our business. (destructive, damaging)

discourse

(noun, verb)

DEFINITION

(n.) 1. verbal communication; 2. formal, extended expression of thought on a subject; (v.) to converse or discuss

SYNONYMS

(n.) talk, dialogue, conversation, discussion, speech, lecture, thesis, (v.) discuss, communicate, converse

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

His passionate political discourse caused a stir among the students. (dialogue, speech)
The paralegals kept their discourse to a hushed whisper due to the volatile nature of the case. (discussion, conversation)

disinterested

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. unbiased and impartial, and therefore objective; 2. uninterested

SYNONYMS

unbiased, impartial, objective, neutral, dispassionate, indifferent, uninterested

ANTONYMS

interested, biased, partial

USAGE EXAMPLES

In order to obtain a fair result, we need to ask a disinterested party to be our judge. (unbiased, neutral)
Having seen countless other trials, the man observed the current proceedings with disinterest. (indifference)

disseminate

(verb)

DEFINITION

to spread something around, especially information

SYNONYMS

broadcast, distribute, advertise, disperse, propagate, scatter, spread

ANTONYMS

collect, gather

USAGE EXAMPLES

She is using the web to disseminate her petition. (distribute, advertise, spread)
It didn’t take long for the rumor to disseminate throughout the school. (spread, disperse, scatter)

dissonance

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. disagreement or incompatibility, especially of beliefs; 2. discordant musical notes or clashing, unpleasant sounds

SYNONYMS

discord, cacophony, disharmony, disagreement, incompatibility, inconsistency, incongruity

ANTONYMS

harmony, consonance

USAGE EXAMPLES

The junior high school band’s concert unfortunately featured more dissonance than harmony. (disharmony)
To a vegetarian, loving animals and eating meat are dissonant with one another. (incompatible, inconsistent)

eclectic

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. made up of elements from various sources; 2. choosing what is best or preferred from a variety of sources or styles

SYNONYMS

varied, diverse, heterogeneous, select, selective, discriminating

ANTONYMS

distinctive, narrow, homogeneous

USAGE EXAMPLES

He has a very eclectic taste in literature: he likes everything from the intense classics like Joyce and Faulkner to easier reads like John Grisham and Dan Brown. (diverse)
She had an eclectic taste in music and was always listening to something new. (varied)

equivocal

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. open to question or interpretation; 2. difficult to understand

SYNONYMS

ambiguous, dubious, questionable, uncertain, cryptic, confusing, unclear, ambivalent, suspicious

ANTONYMS

clear, certain

USAGE EXAMPLES

I am voting for him because he always responds to tough questions with a direct answer and never tries to equivocate. (mislead, confuse)
Her father grew tired of her equivocations and her ability to twist the truth. (ambiguities, misleading statements)

erratic

(adjective)

DEFINITION

unpredictable, irregular, or inconsistent, especially in being likely to depart from what is considered standard or expected

SYNONYMS

irregular, unpredictable, inconsistent, variable, errant, misplaced

ANTONYMS

steady, consistent

USAGE EXAMPLES

The dog’s erratic behavior means he may be more likely to bite. (unpredictable)
He drives erratically; he constantly changes lanes, increases and decreases his speed, and slams on his breaks without cause or warning. (misplaced, irregular, unpredictable)

exposition

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a clear and full rhetorical discourse intended to give an explanation of difficult material; 2. the act of expounding upon the meaning of an author, or passage–an interpretation; 3. a large-scale public exhibition or show of art or industrial goods, etc.

SYNONYMS

treatise, discourse, dissertation, thesis, interpretation, bazaar, exhibition, production, demonstration

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

The exposition at the local fair featured all the major inventions of the twentieth century. (exhibition, production)
The exposition given on natural foods and vegetarianism as the way of the future was not too popular in the small Midwestern town. (discourse, demonstration)

exuberance

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. joyful enthusiasm; 2. an abundant amount of joyful energy

SYNONYMS

vivaciousness, enthusiasm, high-spiritedness, ebullience, passion

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

The temporary employee’s exuberance was catchy, and morale heightened for those in her vicinity. (enthusiasm, high-spiritedness)
His exuberance revealed his love for life and all its possibilities. (passion, vivaciousness)

feasible

(adjective)

DEFINITION

capable of being done or carried out

SYNONYMS

possible, attainable, workable, viable, doable, achievable

ANTONYMS

impossible, impractical, unlikely

USAGE EXAMPLES

The producer was concerned about the feasibility of the special effects in the movie. (viability, probability)
She felt it was feasible to make it on her own in a new city. (possible, achievable)

fecund

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. capable of intellectual and creative productivity, with abundantly imaginative output; 2. able to produce a lot of vegetation (crops, plants) or offspring (babies, young animals, etc.)

SYNONYMS

fertile, productive, prolific, creative, fruitful

ANTONYMS

unproductive, unimaginative, barren, impotent, infertile, sterile, feckless

USAGE EXAMPLES

The author developed fecund narratives for his first novel while working in a greenhouse. (creative, prolific)
The California Condor has not proved to be a fecund species for the zoologists at the Wild Animal Park. (fertile)

flippant

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. showing a lack of seriousness to the point that it is inappropriate and unseemly; 2. showing too much levity during a grave situation

SYNONYMS

impudent, rude, sarcastic, inappropriate, glib, offhand, disrespectful, unconcerned

ANTONYMS

serious, polite, concerned, respectful

USAGE EXAMPLES

His flippant remarks during serious client meetings are a liability, so I would rather not have him there. (sarcastic, inappropriate)
Your jokes are usually funny, but today you’re just being flippant and disrespectful. (rude, glip, inappropriate)

forbear

(verb)

DEFINITION

to stop or hold yourself back from doing something, in consideration of others

SYNONYMS

abstain, desist, restrain, refrain

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

At times, it is difficult to forbear thinking negative thoughts about people. (abstain, refrain)
Her mother used to forbear from yelling at her brothers and sisters when upset, by counting slowly to ten when she was angry. (desist, restrain)

foster

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to nurture and rear a child, as a temporary guardian; 2. to encourage the development or interest of ideas or activities

SYNONYMS

cherish, nourish, harbor, raise, nurture, champion, encourage, advance, uphold, stimulate

ANTONYMS

squelch, discourage

USAGE EXAMPLES

We try to foster an environment of open communication within this department. (encourage, uphold)
By fostering musical literacy and appreciation within his small child, the father opened doors for her and broadened her perspective. (championing, stimulating)

frenetic

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. involving a lot of movement or activity–extremely active, excited, or uncontrolled 2. involving violent emotion

SYNONYMS

hectic, chaotic, frantic, frenzied, agitated, hurried

ANTONYMS

placid, calm

USAGE EXAMPLES

I don’t think I could handle the frenetic environment on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (highly active, frenzied)
It was a busy day on Wall Street, where the frenetic trading of the morning set the pace for the day. (frenzied, frantic)

frugal

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. tending to spend very little money; 2. small in expense or quantity

SYNONYMS

thrifty, sparing, provident, economical, penny-pinching, conserving, prudent, scanty, meager, paltry

ANTONYMS

prodigal, extravagant, wasteful, expensive, lavish

USAGE EXAMPLES

My frugal track record has led to a twenty-five percent decrease in frivolous spending. (prudent, conserving)
Frugality may be a road to riches. (thriftiness, scrimping)

genial

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. good-natured and kind; 2. mild, especially sunny and good for life or growth

SYNONYMS

pleasant, mild, amicable, amiable, kind, friendly, congenial, warm, favorable

ANTONYMS

unfriendly, cold, hostile

USAGE EXAMPLES

The genial sunshine and mild temperature was ideal for growing a variety of flowers and plants. (mild, favorable)
She was always a genial hostess, treating her guests with kindness and sincere attention. (good-natured, friendly, amicable)

genre

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a group or classification used for artistic or creative works of various kinds–category; 2. paintings depicting scenes of everyday home life

SYNONYMS

category, classification, style, type, kind, form, sort, genus, class

ANTONYMS

generality, assortment

USAGE EXAMPLES

I don’t listen to any one, particular genre of music; I like all types. (style, type, category)
These two paintings should be classified within the same genre because of their similarity in style. (category, class)

goad

(verb, noun)

DEFINITION

(v.) to provoke or try to incite someone to do something; (n.) something, usually a verbalization, used to get someone to do something

SYNONYMS

(v.) push, prompt, incite, bully, coerce, provoke, motivate, spur, prod, (n.) stimulus, incentive, motivation, prod, jolt, spur

ANTONYMS

discourage

USAGE EXAMPLES

The group tried to goad Dale into singing karaoke by telling him he was a “chicken" if he didn’t do it. (push, prod, bully)
The President delivered several speeches intended to goad congress into enacting new legislation. (incite, prompt, motivate)

hermetic

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. sealed or airtight; 2. uninfluenced, sealed off from outside influence; 3. abstruse or confusing; 4. having to do with magic

SYNONYMS

airtight, sealed, protected, uninfluenced, removed, magical, mystical, obscure, abstruse

ANTONYMS

open, vulnerable, penetrable, clear, ordinary

USAGE EXAMPLES

To prevent contamination, each vaccine should be stored in a container with a hermetic seal. (airtight)
You know the hermetic seal has not been broken if the lid makes a suction noise when you open it. (airtight)

idyll

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a period of happiness, tranquility, and romance; 2. a rural or pastoral scene of peacefulness and charm; 3. a piece of art, music, or prose depicting such a pastoral or rural scene

SYNONYMS

romantic interlude, pastoral scene, tranquility, peace

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

Plato’s Phaedrus is a conversation that takes place in an idyllic scene where the participants are free to lay back or walk barefoot. (rural, peaceful, happy, rustic)
The poem is an idyll about the simple joys of life in rural France. (pastoral poem)

impediment

(noun)

DEFINITION

an impairment of function or an obstacle or block to progress–a hindrance

SYNONYMS

obstacle, hindrance, encumbrance, difficulty, restriction

ANTONYMS

help, assistance

USAGE EXAMPLES

James Earl Jones overcame a childhood speech impediment to become one of Hollywood’s most famous voices. (difficulty)
The need to obtain a permit from the city is proving to be a major impediment to the completion of our home’s renovation. (hindrance)

impervious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. not affected by outside influence, remaining unaffected by other’s opinions, arguments, suggestions, etc.; 2. unable to be penetrated or not allowing passage into or through something; 3. unable to be injured or damaged

SYNONYMS

impenetrable, impermeable, resistant, unaffected, invulnerable, unmoved

ANTONYMS

responsive, vulnerable, penetrable

USAGE EXAMPLES

The candidate seemed impervious to their attacks, maintaining popularity despite the negative campaign ads being run against her. (resistant, invulnerable)
George seemed impervious to pain as he hiked down the mountain with a sprained ankle. (resistant, not vulnerable)

implement

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to put something into practice or effect; 2. to give the tools to do something

SYNONYMS

effect, execute, complete, carry out, enforce, fulfill

ANTONYMS

halt

USAGE EXAMPLES

In my last position, I implemented a number of procedures, all of which saved our company money. (executed, carried out)
Using this cutting implement will make the job easier. (tool)

implicit

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. implied and understood, though not directly expressed; 2. certain and without doubt; 3. present as a necessary part of something

SYNONYMS

tacit, connoted, assumed, insinuated, implied, contained, understood, absolute, unquestioning, virtual, necessary

ANTONYMS

explicit, stated, uncertain, doubtful

USAGE EXAMPLES

My dog’s implicit obedience is a result of good training. (absolute, unquestioning)
We had an implicit agreement not to broach the subject because we both knew it would start an argument. (tacit, understood)

impromptu

(adjective)

DEFINITION

said or done without preparation, on the spot

SYNONYMS

spontaneous, improvised, ad lib, ad hoc, unrehearsed, extemporaneous

ANTONYMS

planned, rehearsed

USAGE EXAMPLES

Upon receiving the award, the coach made an impromptu speech to his team. (unplanned, spontaneous, unrehearsed)
Part of the debate is the impromptu question-and-answer session. (spontaneous, extemporaneous)

indignant

(adjective)

DEFINITION

angered at something unjust

SYNONYMS

righteously angry, incensed, irate, offended

ANTONYMS

gratified

USAGE EXAMPLES

She was so indignant at her paltry, nearly insulting raise, she immediately handed in her resignation. (offended, incensed)
Mike was indignant when accused of stealing from his company and set out to prove his innocence. (incensed, righteously angry)

indulgent

(adjective)

DEFINITION

characterized by the tendency to give into a wish or desire–lenient or tolerant

SYNONYMS

complaisant, compliant, gentle permissive, lenient, tolerant, mild, obliging

ANTONYMS

oppressive, strict, stern

USAGE EXAMPLES

The indulgent mother gave her son everything he wanted. (lenient, complaisant)
His excessive, self-indulgent behavior is what probably caused his bankruptcy. (permissive, lavish, excessive)

inept

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. characterized by a lack of perceptiveness, judgment, or finesse; 2. generally incompetent; 3. unsuitable or out of place

SYNONYMS

incompetent, foolish, ineffective, clumsy, awkward, unfit, inappropriate

ANTONYMS

competent, adroit, effective, graceful, adept

USAGE EXAMPLES

No one was sure why he was still employed there, since he was totally inept at record-keeping and several other key job duties. (incompetent)
When it comes to soccer, I have to admit that I’m pretty much inept. (clumsy, ineffective, unfit)

inert

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. not having the ability to move; 2. having no energy or interest, lacking motivation; 3. chemically inactive

SYNONYMS

motionless, idle, listless, inactive, static, sluggish, lazy, paralyzed, lifeless, dormant

ANTONYMS

active, energized, lively, spirited

USAGE EXAMPLES

The real estate market seemed almost inert, having slowed down to a crawl. (idle, static)
After running the marathon, she could only lounge on the sofa for the rest of the day, in an inert stage of exhaustion. (motionless)

infer

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to conclude something based on information given; 2. to believe something to be true; 3. to draw a conclusion based on reason

SYNONYMS

interpret, guess, surmise, ascertain, assume, deduce, construe, hypothesize, reason

ANTONYMS

imply, misinterpret, misunderstand

USAGE EXAMPLES

He implied that I was inept, or at least that’s what I inferred from his message. (assumed, interpreted)
Because he was yawning and checking his watch, I inferred that he wanted to leave the party early. (surmised, guessed)

ingenuous

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. to be innocent and trusting, sometimes to the point of being foolish; 2. openly candid and sincere

SYNONYMS

naive, candid, childlike, innocent, frank, trusting, open, unreserved, honorable, sincere

ANTONYMS

disingenuous, insincere, deceitful

USAGE EXAMPLES

The ingenuous man became a victim of identity theft after he gave out his personal information over the internet. (naive, trusting)
The child’s ingenuous comment about the man’s bald spot made him feel uncomfortable. (frank, candid)

inherent

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. part of the essential character; 2. in the nature of something; 3. unable to be considered separately from the nature of something because of being innate or characteristic

SYNONYMS

intrinsic, inborn, fundamental, innate, implicit, ingrained, natural, underlying

ANTONYMS

extrinsic, extraneous, external, incidental, adventitious

USAGE EXAMPLES

She is a great human resources manager because she has an inherent ability to solve inter-personal conflicts and allay employee concerns. (natural, innate)
The archeologists knew there would be inherent obstacles in searching for artifacts on Native American land. (fundamental, intrinsic)

judicious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

showing sound judgment, wisdom, good sense, or discretion, often with the underlying aim of avoiding trouble or waste

SYNONYMS

prudent, practical, sagacious, informed, sensible, keen, wise, rational, sound, reasonable, discerning

ANTONYMS

imprudent, illogical, foolish

USAGE EXAMPLES

Because of the budget crisis, the official had to make sure available funds were distributed judiciously. (prudently, reasonably)
The arbiter always looked for judicious solutions to the problems that came before her. (prudent, reasonable)

laconic

(adjective)

DEFINITION

using only a few words to express yourself–brief

SYNONYMS

short, brief, concise, terse, succinct, sharp, snippy, pithy

ANTONYMS

lengthy, long, extended, verbose, talkative, garrulous

USAGE EXAMPLES

His laconic reply made her worry that he was angry about something. (sharp, terse)
Although they were both able to talk extensively about a number of topics, they usually only exchanged laconic remarks with each other. (short, brief, terse)

lament

(verb, noun)

DEFINITION

(v.) to express sadness or regret about something; (n.) 1. the expression of sorrow or grief; 2. a mournful song or poem

SYNONYMS

(v.) wail, mourn, deplore, bemoan, complain, (n.) complaint

ANTONYMS

rejoice, exult

USAGE EXAMPLES

While you were wasting time lamenting the past, we were developing a business solution for the future. (bemoaning)
Her lamentations were only meant to evoke sympathy, and nobody took them seriously. (expressions of sorrow)

levee

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a natural or artificial embankment by a river, to contain flooding; 2. a river landing place

SYNONYMS

bank, embankment, lakefront, lakeshore, cliff, barrier, wharf, jetty, pier, dock

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

After the levee broke, more than 3,000 acres of farmland was flooded. (embankment, barrier)
In order to make a natural fish habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service had to destroy a part of the lake’s levee. (barrier, embankment)

litigate

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to take part in a lawsuit; 2. to file a lawsuit against someone

SYNONYMS

contest, proceed, sue, file suit, dispute

ANTONYMS

settle

USAGE EXAMPLES

Their attorney advised them to settle their case rather than litigate. (dispute, contest)
My boss is a litigant in two separate cases right now: one in which our company is accused of copyright infringement and one over an alleged trade secret violation by a former employee. (participant in a lawsuit)

luminous

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. emitting light–illuminated; 2. very bright; 3. clear or enlightening

SYNONYMS

luminescent, illuminated, lit, radiant, bright, glowing, clear, lucent, enlightening, intelligent, brilliant, lucid

ANTONYMS

dark, dim, dull

USAGE EXAMPLES

The stadium became luminous with camera flashes when the Olympians entered. (glowing, bright, illuminated)
Her gown was a luminous pink that caught the light with its radiance. (bright)

malleable

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. shapeable or easily bent; 2. susceptible to influence

SYNONYMS

flexible, pliant, adaptable, impressionable, tractable, ductile, moldable

ANTONYMS

refractory, hard, unbendable, intractable, unmanageable

USAGE EXAMPLES

Our shop teacher said that for our next project, we would be using a malleable metal alloy that we could easily reshape. (pliant, flexible)
She was a timid, malleable girl, easily bent to the will of others. (impressionable, easily influenced)

mandatory

(adjective)

DEFINITION

describes something that must be done or is demanded by law

SYNONYMS

compulsory, required, imperative, requisite, obligatory

ANTONYMS

voluntary, optional, elective

USAGE EXAMPLES

It is mandatory to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. (compulsory, required)
Your attendance in this class is mandatory if you wish to graduate. (required, requisite)

manifest

(verb, adjective)

DEFINITION

(v.) 1. to display or exhibit something, or show evidence for; 2. to appear; 3. to make something clear, known, or revealed; 4. to record items on a shipment list; (adj.) very clear or easy to understand

SYNONYMS

(v.) show, display, exhibit, reveal, demonstrate, prove, (adj.) obvious, apparent, clear, unmistakable, evident

ANTONYMS

(v.) hide, conceal, (adj.) hidden, concealed

USAGE EXAMPLES

The union workers elected to manifest their dissatisfaction in a series of strikes. (present, display, show)
His talent manifested itself in the performance. (revealed, showed)

ostentatious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

being showy, conspicuous, or pretentious, usually in an attempt to get others to notice

SYNONYMS

showy, pretentious, garish, grandiose, gaudy, flashy, pompous, extravagant, flamboyant, boastful

ANTONYMS

modest, understated, tasteful, unpretentious

USAGE EXAMPLES

Of course he was thrilled to have won the competition, but wearing his medal around his neck for the next week was rather ostentatious. (pretentious, boastful)
The huge, diamond-encrusted Rolex on his wrist isn’t tasteful, it’s ostentatious. (extravagant, garish)

palliate

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to try to make something seem less serious or severe, especially by offering excuses; 2. to make something less intense or severe; 3. to relieve the painful, physical symptoms of a disorder or disease

SYNONYMS

extenuate, mitigate, excuse, abate, alleviate, diminish, ease, assuage

ANTONYMS

aggravate, worsen, exacerbate

USAGE EXAMPLES

She works out everyday in order to palliate stress. (ease, lessen)
The medical article addressed the many ways to palliate the symptoms of the disease until a cure could be found. (alleviate)

paradox

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics; 2. a statement or idea that contradicts itself; 3. a person who has qualities that are contradictory; 4. something that conflicts with common opinion or belief

SYNONYMS

contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity, reversal, puzzle, dilemma, oxymoron

ANTONYMS

consistency, congruity, coherence, agreement

USAGE EXAMPLES

It seems a paradox that exercise promotes energy, while remaining inactive drains it. (contradiction, puzzle)
It is a paradox that technology increases communication, yet can tend to make people feel isolated. (incongruity, contradiction)

parallel

(noun, adjective)

DEFINITION

(n.) 1. a comparison between two things; 2. something very similar to something else; 3. a line or plane that is the same distance apart from another at all points; 4. imaginary line on the earth’s surface, running parallel to the equator, that represents the degrees of latitude; (adj.) 1. relating to two lines or planes running the same distance apart and never meeting; 2. having similarities or shared characteristics

SYNONYMS

(n.) comparison, similarity, equivalent, counterpart, corollary, coordinate, latitude, (adj.) corresponding, concurrent, even, similar, comperable

ANTONYMS

(adj.) different, dissimilar, (n.) difference, opposite

USAGE EXAMPLES

I don’t know why she always tries to draw parallels between us; I think we’re completely different. (comparisons, similarities)
There were no obvious parallels between the two advertisements, yet they both fit well within our marketing efforts. (similarities, corollaries)

partisan

(noun, adjective)

DEFINITION

(n.) 1. a strong supporter of a group, person, or cause; 2. a member of an unofficial military; (adj.) 1. biased and unwilling to listen to other opinions when supporting a particular person, group, or cause; 2. devoted to a group or cause

SYNONYMS

(n.) defender, supporter, patron, adherent, guerrilla, (adj.) biased, prejudiced, partial

ANTONYMS

(adj.) non-partisan, open-minded, tolerant, unbiased

USAGE EXAMPLES

The dinner was held for partisan supporters of the President. (adherent, biased)
Washington DC has become too partisan and neither side is willing to work with the other. (biased, entrenched)

pathology

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. the scientific study of diseases; 2. a deviation from a healthy and normal condition

SYNONYMS

study of disease

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

Ask Carol about the disease that’s killing your roses; she specialized in plant pathology in college. (study of disease)
Hundreds of pathology tests were conducted before the article was published in the medical journal. (study of disease, scientific)

permeate

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to completely spread throughout something; 2. to pass through

SYNONYMS

pervade, saturate, penetrate, infuse, diffuse, suffuse, seep, imbue, drench, soak, invade, flood

ANTONYMS

empty, leak

USAGE EXAMPLES

I love opening the windows in spring and letting the fresh smell of the outdoors permeate the house. (pervade, saturate)
Once the announcement was made, the news quickly permeated the office. (flooded, pervaded)

pervade

(verb)

DEFINITION

to spread and be distributed throughout

SYNONYMS

permeate, penetrate, fill, diffuse, saturate, overrun

ANTONYMS

empty, leak [out], leach

USAGE EXAMPLES

We know our grandmother is cooking because the delicious smells pervade the whole house. (fill, permeate)
There was a pervasive feeling of disappointment among the partygoers when the band quit early. (widespread)

piquant

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. interesting and provocative, especially in a striking way; 2. having a pleasantly pungent, spicy flavor

SYNONYMS

flavorful, appealing, appetizing, biting, spicy, bitter, sharp, dry, provocative

ANTONYMS

bland, boring, dull

USAGE EXAMPLES

She used a homemade, piquant barbecue sauce to marinade the chicken. (spicy, flavorful)
The teacher had a piquant sense of humor that her students seemed to appreciate. (biting, dry, sharp)

placid

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. completely free of interruption and disturbance–calm; 2. easily satisfied

SYNONYMS

serene, calm, peaceful, tranquil, imperturbable, even-tempered, composed, halcyon

ANTONYMS

frenzied, turbulent, rough, excited, disturbed

USAGE EXAMPLES

The placid sea and the approaching storm clouds appeared to be the calm before the storm. (calm)
Her placid manner often made people think she never got angry. (even-tempered)

plumb

(verb, adjective, adverb, noun)

DEFINITION

(v.) 1. to measure the depth of something; 2. to fully understand something; 3. to experience something to the fullest; 4. to make something vertical; (adj.) 1. completely vertical; 2. complete and total; (adv.) 1. in a vertical line; 2. exactly; 3. completely; (n.) a small weight tied to a line for measurement of water depth or vertical alignment

SYNONYMS

(v.) measure, gauge, examine, probe, fathom, explore, sound, (adj.) vertical, perpendicular, total, complete, full, deep, utter, absolute, (adv.) vertically, exactly, directly, fully, completely, (n.) weight, sinker

ANTONYMS

(adj.) horizontal, imprecise, inexact, incomplete, (adv.) horizontally, indirectly

USAGE EXAMPLES

They plumbed the uncharted ocean floor near the islands to make sure it was deep enough for the ship to pass. (fathomed, explored, sounded)
When hanging a door, you need to make sure that it is both level and plumb or it will not shut completely. (vertically aligned, perpendicular)

polemical

(adjective)

DEFINITION

involving controversy

SYNONYMS

controversial, argumentative, disputatious, trouble-making, contentious, quarrelsome

ANTONYMS

agreeable, passive

USAGE EXAMPLES

The book is polemical, criticizing the President and his administration. (controversial)
Bringing up controversial topics will usually cause heated polemics. (debate, argument)

precipitous

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. very steep; 2. done in haste and without much thought

SYNONYMS

abrupt, sharp, steep, hasty

ANTONYMS

slow, gradual

USAGE EXAMPLES

Cutbacks in several industries, coupled with the precipitous drop in consumer confidence, did not bode well for the economy. (sharp, abrupt)
The company precipitated into bankruptcy shortly after the accounting discrepancies were discovered. (plunged, fell)

pristine

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. completely free from dirt and contamination; 2. clean and unused

SYNONYMS

pure, clean, unsullied, untarnished, perfect

ANTONYMS

dirty, spoiled, tarnished

USAGE EXAMPLES

Because of his pristine credit, he was pre-approved by every major credit card. (perfect)
The once-pristine mountainside is now covered with hotels and cabins. (clean, untarnished)

prodigy

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a young person with exceptional gift or talent; 2. something amazing or extraordinary

SYNONYMS

genius, virtuoso, marvel, talent, wonder, phenomenon

ANTONYMS

USAGE EXAMPLES

Mozart was a musical prodigy who began writing concertos at the age of five, when other children were still playing in the sandbox. (marvel, genius)
The mother wanted her daughter to be a golf prodigy so badly, she dragged her to golf practice every day. (talent, marvel)

pungent

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. strong and sharp in taste or smell; 2. strong and biting in expression

SYNONYMS

bitter, tangy, tart, biting, spicy, sharp, caustic, cutting, penetrating

ANTONYMS

bland, sweet, mild

USAGE EXAMPLES

The pungent smells from the Korean restaurant permeated the neighborhood. (spicy, sharp)
The politician used pungent commentary when referring to his opponent. (biting, bitter)

qualify

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. make something fit, especially by achieving the necessary requirements; 2. to gain the right to something because you meet the necessary requirements; 3. add information to something in order to clarify it

SYNONYMS

authorize, fit, certify, prepare, adapt, pass, train, weaken, temper, attribute, modify, distinguish

ANTONYMS

differ, deny, confound

USAGE EXAMPLES

She tried to qualify for the Olympics, but she didn’t make the cut. (prepare, train)
Let me qualify my previous remarks by noting I still think you are the best sales executive we have. (temper, modify)

reciprocity

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. mutual exchange of favors; 2. a relationship characterized by mutual dependency or actions

SYNONYMS

mutuality, exchange, partnership, reciprocation, alliance, cooperation, interdependence, interrelationship

ANTONYMS

rivalry, competition, autonomy

USAGE EXAMPLES

It was a matter of reciprocity; since he broke a promise, so would she. (mutuality, exchange)
Our relationship is one based on mutual cooperation and reciprocity, and we try to help each other as much as we can. (exchange, cooperation)

renaissance

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. a rebirth or revival of an activity or interest, especially art, literature, or music; 2. the humanistic cultural revival inEurope, dating from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, of classical culture and art

SYNONYMS

rebirth, revival, reawakening, renewal, rejuvenation, restoration

ANTONYMS

death, regression

USAGE EXAMPLES

The failing nightclub experienced a renaissance after the new owners hired several popular DJ’s. (rebirth, revival)
The cultural arts center in the rural town was designed to provide the impetus for a renaissance of the arts. (renewal, rejuvenation)

sagacious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. acutely insightful; 2. of keen intelligence and sound judgment–wise

SYNONYMS

wise, discerning, prudent, savvy, astute, judicious

ANTONYMS

naive, unintelligent, ignorant, senseless

USAGE EXAMPLES

Among her friends, she is considered the sagacious one, the one to go to for advice. (prudent, wise)
The sagacious psychotherapist’s reputation preceded him. (wise, astute)

salubrious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

promoting good health or well-being

SYNONYMS

beneficial, healthful, healthy, nourishing, wholesome

ANTONYMS

harmful, adverse, bad

USAGE EXAMPLES

The journal article mainly discussed the salubrious effects that the vitamins had on those suffering with cancer. (beneficial, healthful)
I try to exercise everyday as party of my salubrious lifestyle. (healthy)

sanction

(noun, verb)

DEFINITION

(n.) 1. punitive action intended to pressure a country into following international laws; 2. punishment for breaking rules or regulations; 3. official support for something; (v.) to give authority or approval

SYNONYMS

authorization, approval, punishment, penalty, boycott, decree, approve, endorse, allow

ANTONYMS

reward, impede, prevent

USAGE EXAMPLES

The country will face severe sanctions if the government does not put an end to the genocide happening there. (penalties)
After receiving sanction from the council, we went ahead with the plan. (authorization, approval)

satire

(noun)

DEFINITION

something intended to criticize, often using humor, especially wit and sarcasm

SYNONYMS

lampoon, ridicule, irony, parody, mockery, sarcasm, wit, spoof

ANTONYMS

tragedy, drama

USAGE EXAMPLES

The movie “Wag the Dog" is a great example of political satire. (lampoon, parody)
The movie took a satiric look at the Presidency and politics in general. (ridiculing)

spurious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. not valid or genuine; 2. different than what is claimed and intended to deceive

SYNONYMS

counterfeit, fake, phony, meretricious, substitute, artificial, imitation, illegitimate, unauthentic, deceptive

ANTONYMS

genuine, authentic, true

USAGE EXAMPLES

The lawyer said the charges were spurious and were only trumped up to discredit his client. (illegitimate, unauthentic)
He made false and spurious accusations against me in order to damage my reputation. (deceptive, illegitimate)

squalid

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. dirty, run-down, or unsanitary, especially because of poverty; 2. lacking in morals and dignity

SYNONYMS

filthy, broken-down, crummy, seedy, shabby, wretched, degraded, nasty, sordid, immoral, undignified

ANTONYMS

clean, sanitary, sterile

USAGE EXAMPLES

The animals were rescued from their squalid shelter. (wretched, filthy)
Volunteers worked to improve the squalid conditions of the inner-city neighborhood. (shabby, crummy, broken-down)

sterile

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. free from dirt and germs–sanitary; 2. unable to reproduce; 3. not effective or creative

SYNONYMS

antibacterial, sanitary, hygienic, germ-free, clean, barren, infertile, fruiless, ineffective, unproductive

ANTONYMS

dirty, contaminated, unsanitary, fertile, effective

USAGE EXAMPLES

The doctor’s office was cold and sterile. (clean, sanitary, antibacterial)
Chemotherapy killed the woman’s cancer, but also made her sterile. (barren, infertile)

subjugate

(verb)

DEFINITION

to conquer or take control by force

SYNONYMS

overpower, conquer, defeat, overcome, master, overthrow, subdue, enslave

ANTONYMS

lose, surrender

USAGE EXAMPLES

Extreme Islamic fundamentalists subjugate their wives and force them to obey their every command. (overpower, subdue, conquer)
The United States is set up in a way that ensures the government could never subjugate its people. (subdue, conquer, overpower)

substantive

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. important, serious, or related to real facts; 2. a large quantity; 3. being the essence or essential element of something; 4. having practical importance or value; 5. in grammar, relating to or used like a noun

SYNONYMS

substantial, firm, tangible, concrete, permanent, material, essential, enduring

ANTONYMS

unsubstantial, unessential, fleeting

USAGE EXAMPLES

In order to test the effectiveness of a new drug, substantive research is needed to prove both the drug’s efficacy and its safety. (substantial, real, serious)
We had a substantive discussion on the benefits of the new company policy, and everyone left with a better understanding of the issues. (concrete)

sullen

(adjective)

DEFINITION

showing anger by refusing to talk or participate

SYNONYMS

brooding, cross, crabby, dismal, grumpy, pouting, silent, morose, sulky, reserved, gloomy, cheerless

ANTONYMS

cheerful, happy, pleasant

USAGE EXAMPLES

His sullen neighbor never spoke to him. (grumpy, silent, reserved)
She became sullen after her husband’s rude comment. (crabby, brooding, sulky)

superfluous

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. more than is needed or desired; 2. having no useful purpose

SYNONYMS

inessential, extravagant, excessive, unnecessary

ANTONYMS

deficient, essential, vital, necessary

USAGE EXAMPLES

We need to edit this story to make it more brief, so please delete any superfluous words. (unnecessary, inessential)
Please edit this memo by removing the superfluous details. (excessive, unnecessary)

surreptitious

(adjective)

DEFINITION

done in quiet secrecy, and making sure not to be observed

SYNONYMS

sneaky, covert, hidden, secret, stealthy, underhanded, undercover, clandestine, furtive

ANTONYMS

open, public, forthright

USAGE EXAMPLES

He has a surreptitious smoking habit that very few people know about. (hidden, secret)
The investigative reporter uncovered the company’s surreptitious plan to cheat its customers. (underhanded, sneaky, clandestine)

synthesis

(noun)

DEFINITION

1. the combining of various elements into a unified whole; 2. in chemistry, the forming of chemical compounds through a series of chemical reactions; 3. the process of reasoning by deduction from the general to the specific

SYNONYMS

creation, combination, formation, mixture, compound, composition, union

ANTONYMS

separation, destruction

USAGE EXAMPLES

The synthesis of all the information we have gathered should provide us with a definitive theory. (combination)
Please synthesize the data in a concise report. (combine, integrate)

tacit

(adjective)

DEFINITION

implied, but not openly expressed

SYNONYMS

implied, unspoken, assumed, understood, implicit

ANTONYMS

expressed, spoken, explicit

USAGE EXAMPLES

Because the two men trusted each other implicitly, they felt they didn’t need an official contract and instead had a tacit agreement on the deal. (unspoken, understood)
The city regulators gave us tacit approval to move forward on the project. An official approval will ensue. (assumed, implied)

tractable

(adjective)

DEFINITION

1. easily managed, controlled, or dealt with; 2. easily influenced

SYNONYMS

manageable, compliant, complaisant, controllable, docile, workable, submissive, amenable

ANTONYMS

intractable, nonconforming, inflexible, stubborn

USAGE EXAMPLES

My car problems were not as tractable as I had originally thought, and instead of trying to have them fixed, I sold the car and bought a new one. (manageable, controllable, workable)
The loud and outspoken secretary was replaced by a more tractable one. (compliant, amenable, submissive)

transitory

(adjective)

DEFINITION

lasting for only a short period of time–temporary

SYNONYMS

temporary, short-term, short-lived, momentary, fleeting, transient

ANTONYMS

lengthy, long-lived, permanent

USAGE EXAMPLES

The football team took an early but transitory lead in the first half of Sunday’s game. (temporary, short-lived, fleeting)
According to analysts, the sudden shift in consumer spending will prove to be transitory. (short-term, temporary)

vex

(verb)

DEFINITION

1. to annoy, aggravate, or confuse someone; 2. to discuss something at length

SYNONYMS

distress, aggravate, anger, torment, perplex, confound, offend, trouble, discuss, debate, agitate

ANTONYMS

soothe, appease, comfort

USAGE EXAMPLES

My daughter really vexed me when she came home so late. (distressed, angered)
Budget problems continue to vex the government. (perplex, trouble)

vindicate

(verb)

DEFINITION

to free from blame, suspicion, or doubt through indisputable proof

SYNONYMS

exonerate, absolve, acquit, prove, maintain, uphold

ANTONYMS

accuse, convict, incriminate

USAGE EXAMPLES

The scientist’s research on stem-cell therapy was vindicated years after his findings were published. (upheld)
Certain celebrities who commit crimes may be vindicated in court but will not necessarily be innocent in the public mind. (exonerated, acquitted)

visionary

(noun, adjective)

DEFINITION

(n.) 1. a person with acute foresight, who is able to imagine what courses of action will benefit the future; 2. a dreamer; (adj.) 1. having great foresight and imagination; 2. given to impractical or idealistic plans–dreamy; 3. produced from the imagination

SYNONYMS

(n.) idealist, theorist, dreamer, seer, (adj.) idealized, imaginative, illusory, fanciful, impractical, dreamy, whimsical, utopian, noble, prophetic, futuristic, radical

ANTONYMS

practical, real, pragmatic

USAGE EXAMPLES

Bill Gates is generally regarded as a computer visionary. (idealist)
The executive’s visionary plan for the company’s expansion could make or break the business. (idealized, futuristic, impractical)

 

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8 Responses to TOP 100 GRE Vocabulary Words

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