100 Common Vocabulary Words Tested on the GRE

Mastering vocabulary is crucial for success on the GRE Verbal Reasoning section. Here are 100 common vocabulary words frequently tested on the GRE, along with their definitions and example sentences:

1. Abate - (verb) to become less intense or widespread.

   Example sentence: After the storm passed, the winds began to abate, and the rain gradually stopped.

2. Aberrant - (adjective) departing from the usual course.

   Example sentence: The doctor was concerned about the aberrant behavior of the patient's immune system.

3. Abridge - (verb) to shorten or condense without losing the meaning.

   Example sentence: The publisher decided to abridge the novel to make it more accessible to younger readers.

4. Abscond - (verb) to leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection or arrest.

   Example sentence: The thief absconded with the stolen jewels before the police arrived.

5. Abstemious - (adjective) not self-indulgent, especially when eating and drinking.

   Example sentence: Despite being surrounded by delicious desserts, she remained abstemious and opted for a simple salad.

6. Abstract - (adjective) existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.

   Example sentence: The artist's paintings were characterized by their abstract forms and vibrant colors.

7. Acumen - (noun) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions.

   Example sentence: His business acumen enabled him to identify profitable investment opportunities.

8. Adroit - (adjective) skillful and clever in the use of hands or mind.

   Example sentence: The adroit surgeon performed the delicate procedure with precision and expertise.

9. Aesthetic - (adjective) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

   Example sentence: The interior designer had a keen aesthetic sense, which was evident in her elegant designs.

10. Alacrity - (noun) brisk and cheerful readiness.

    Example sentence: She accepted the challenge with alacrity, eager to demonstrate her abilities.

11. Ambiguous - (adjective) open to more than one interpretation; unclear.

    Example sentence: The politician's ambiguous statement left reporters puzzled about his stance on the issue.

12. Ameliorate - (verb) to make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.

    Example sentence: The new regulations were implemented to ameliorate the safety standards in the workplace.

13. Anachronistic - (adjective) belonging to a period other than that being portrayed.

    Example sentence: The medieval castle stood out as an anachronistic landmark in the modern cityscape.

14. Anomaly - (noun) something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

    Example sentence: The scientist discovered an anomaly in the experimental data that required further investigation.

15. Antipathy - (noun) a deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion.

    Example sentence: Despite their shared interests, there was a strong antipathy between the two colleagues.

16. Apathy - (noun) lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

    Example sentence: The students' apathy towards the school assembly was evident in their disinterested expressions.

17. Approbation - (noun) approval or praise.

    Example sentence: The author eagerly awaited the critical approbation of her latest novel.

18. Arcane - (adjective) understood by few; mysterious or secret.

    Example sentence: The magician's tricks seemed arcane to the audience, leaving them in awe and wonder.

19. Archaic - (adjective) very old or old-fashioned.

    Example sentence: The professor used archaic language in his lectures, reflecting his deep reverence for classical literature.

20. Ascetic - (adjective) characterized by severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence.

    Example sentence: The ascetic monk lived a simple and austere life, renouncing worldly pleasures.

21. Assiduous - (adjective) showing great care and perseverance.

    Example sentence: The lawyer's assiduous efforts led to the successful resolution of the complex case.

22. Audacious - (adjective) showing a willingness to take bold risks; daring.

    Example sentence: The explorer embarked on an audacious journey to the remote wilderness.

23. Augment - (verb) to make something greater by adding to it; increase.

    Example sentence: The company decided to augment its workforce to meet the growing demand for its products.

24. Austerity - (noun) sternness or severity of manner or attitude.

    Example sentence: The austerity of the headmaster intimidated the students, but they respected him nonetheless.

25. Banal - (adjective) so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

    Example sentence: The speaker's banal remarks failed to captivate the audience's attention.

26. Belie - (verb) to fail to give a true notion or impression of something; disguise or contradict.

    Example sentence: His calm demeanor belied the inner turmoil he was experiencing.

27. Benevolent - (adjective) well meaning and kindly.

    Example sentence: The philanthropist's benevolent actions positively impacted the lives of many underprivileged individuals.

28. Bucolic - (adjective) relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.

    Example sentence: The bucolic scenery of rolling hills and lush green fields was a welcome escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

29. Burgeon - (verb) to begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish.

    Example sentence: The tech industry continued to burgeon, attracting investment and talent from around the world.

30. Cacophony - (noun) a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.

    Example sentence: The cacophony of car horns and construction machinery made it difficult to concentrate.

31. Capricious - (adjective) given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.

    Example sentence: The weather in the mountains was capricious, alternating between sunshine and thunderstorms.

32. Castigate - (verb) to reprimand (someone) severely.

    Example sentence: The coach castigated the team for their lackluster performance in the championship game.

33. Catalyst - (noun) a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.

    Example sentence: The new law served as a catalyst for social reform, sparking widespread debate and activism.

34. Caustic - (adjective) sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way.

    Example sentence: His caustic remarks offended many people at the party.

35. Censure - (verb) to express severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement.

    Example sentence: The committee voted to censure the politician for his unethical behavior.

36. Chicanery - (noun) the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose.

    Example sentence: The lawyer's chicanery was exposed during the cross-examination, undermining his credibility.

37. Circumlocution - (noun) the use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive.

    Example sentence: The politician's speech was filled with circumlocution, making it difficult to discern his true intentions.

38. Circumscribe - (verb) to restrict (something) within limits.

    Example sentence: The terms of the contract circumscribed the company's ability

 to make unilateral decisions.

39. Circumvent - (verb) to find a way around (an obstacle).

    Example sentence: The hacker attempted to circumvent the security protocols to gain unauthorized access to the system.

40. Clandestine - (adjective) kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit.

    Example sentence: The clandestine meeting between the two rival leaders sparked rumors of a possible alliance.

41. Coalesce - (verb) to come together to form one mass or whole.

    Example sentence: Over time, the separate tribes coalesced into a unified nation.

42. Cogent - (adjective) clear, logical, and convincing.

    Example sentence: The speaker presented a cogent argument supported by empirical evidence.

43. Commensurate - (adjective) corresponding in size or degree; in proportion.

    Example sentence: The salary increase was commensurate with her level of experience and expertise.

44. Complacency - (noun) a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

    Example sentence: The team's complacency after winning the first round led to their defeat in the subsequent matches.

45. Condone - (verb) to accept and allow (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive) to continue.

    Example sentence: The teacher refused to condone cheating and imposed strict penalties on students caught plagiarizing.

46. Conflagration - (noun) an extensive fire that destroys a great deal of land or property.

    Example sentence: The firefighters worked tirelessly to contain the conflagration spreading through the forest.

47. Confound - (verb) to cause surprise or confusion in (someone), especially by acting against their expectations.

    Example sentence: The magician's sleight of hand confounded the audience, leaving them mystified.

48. Conspicuous - (adjective) standing out so as to be clearly visible.

    Example sentence: The bright red car was conspicuous among the sea of black and white vehicles.

49. Contentious - (adjective) causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.

    Example sentence: The contentious debate over immigration policy divided the nation along political lines.

50. Contrite - (adjective) feeling or expressing remorse or penitence; affected by guilt.

    Example sentence: The defendant appeared contrite as he apologized to the victim's family in court.

51. Conundrum - (noun) a confusing and difficult problem or question.

    Example sentence: The mystery of the missing artifacts presented investigators with a conundrum that baffled them for months.

52. Copious - (adjective) abundant in supply or quantity.

    Example sentence: The student took copious notes during the lecture to ensure she didn't miss any important information.

53. Corroborate - (verb) to confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding).

    Example sentence: The witness's testimony corroborated the victim's account of the incident.

54. Credulous - (adjective) having or showing too great a readiness to believe things.

    Example sentence: The scam artist took advantage of the credulous investors by promising unrealistic returns on their investments.

55. Cryptic - (adjective) having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure.

    Example sentence: The message left by the spy was cryptic and required deciphering to reveal its true intent.

56. Culminate - (verb) to reach a climax or point of highest development.

    Example sentence: The concert culminated in a spectacular fireworks display, delighting the audience.

57. Cursory - (adjective) hasty and therefore not thorough or detailed.

    Example sentence: The inspector's cursory examination of the building failed to uncover the hidden defects.

58. Dearth - (noun) a scarcity or lack of something.

    Example sentence: The drought resulted in a dearth of crops, leading to food shortages in the region.

59. Debunk - (verb) to expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).

    Example sentence: The scientist set out to debunk the pseudoscientific claims of the self-proclaimed psychic.

60. Decorum - (noun) behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety.

    Example sentence: The formal dinner was conducted with decorum, with guests adhering to proper etiquette.

61. Deference - (noun) humble submission and respect.

    Example sentence: The young soldier showed deference to his commanding officer, addressing him with utmost respect.

62. Deride - (verb) to express contempt for; ridicule.

    Example sentence: The bullies derided the new student, mocking his accent and clothing.

63. Derivative - (adjective) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for that reason.

    Example sentence: The artist's latest painting was criticized for being derivative, lacking originality and creativity.

64. Desiccate - (verb) to remove the moisture from (something, especially food), typically in order to preserve it.

    Example sentence: The fruits were desiccated and stored in airtight containers to prevent spoilage.

65. Despondent - (adjective) in low spirits from loss of hope or courage.

    Example sentence: After receiving the rejection letter, she felt despondent and unsure about her future prospects.

66. Diatribe - (noun) a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.

    Example sentence: The politician launched into a diatribe against his opponents, accusing them of corruption and incompetence.

67. Dichotomy - (noun) a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

    Example sentence: The writer explored the dichotomy between tradition and modernity in his novel.

68. Diffidence - (noun) modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence.

    Example sentence: Despite her talent, she struggled with diffidence and hesitated to share her artwork with others.

69. Dilatory - (adjective) slow to act; intended to cause delay.

    Example sentence: The lawyer employed dilatory tactics to postpone the trial and buy more time for preparation.

70. Discern - (verb) to perceive or recognize something.

    Example sentence: The detective's sharp eyes were able to discern subtle clues that others might have missed.

71. Disparate - (adjective) essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison.

    Example sentence: The group consisted of disparate individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests.

72. Dispassionate - (adjective) not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial.

    Example sentence: The judge delivered a dispassionate verdict based on the evidence presented in court.

73. Disseminate - (verb) to spread or disperse (something, especially information) widely.

    Example sentence: The organization's goal was to disseminate knowledge and raise awareness about environmental issues.

74. Dogmatic - (adjective) inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true.

    Example sentence: The professor was known for her dogmatic teaching style, insisting that her theories were beyond question.

75. Ebullient - (adjective) cheerful and full of energy.

    Example sentence: The newlyweds were ebullient as they danced together at their wedding reception.

76. Eclectic - (adjective) deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and

 diverse range of sources.

    Example sentence: The restaurant's menu featured an eclectic mix of cuisines from around the world.

77. Egregious - (adjective) outstandingly bad; shocking.

    Example sentence: The company's egregious violations of environmental regulations resulted in hefty fines.

78. Elucidate - (verb) to make (something) clear; explain.

    Example sentence: The professor used diagrams and examples to elucidate the complex scientific concepts.

79. Emulate - (verb) to match or surpass (a person or achievement), typically by imitation.

    Example sentence: The young athlete aspired to emulate the success of her idol, training tirelessly to improve her skills.

80. Enervate - (verb) to cause (someone) to feel drained of energy or vitality; weaken.

    Example sentence: The scorching heat enervated the hikers, leaving them exhausted and dehydrated.

81. Enigma - (noun) a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

    Example sentence: The disappearance of the famous explorer remains an enigma, with no clues or leads.

82. Ephemeral - (adjective) lasting for a very short time.

    Example sentence: The beauty of the cherry blossoms is ephemeral, lasting only a few weeks each spring.

83. Equivocate - (verb) to use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

    Example sentence: The politician tended to equivocate when asked direct questions about his policies.

84. Esoteric - (adjective) intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.

    Example sentence: The professor's lectures were filled with esoteric references that confused most of the students.

85. Euphemism - (noun) a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

    Example sentence: "Let go" is a euphemism for being fired from a job.

86. Evanescent - (adjective) soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.

    Example sentence: The evanescent beauty of the sunset reminded her of the fleeting nature of life itself.

87. Exacerbate - (verb) to make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.

    Example sentence: The lack of rainfall only served to exacerbate the drought conditions in the region.

88. Exculpate - (verb) to show or declare that (someone) is not guilty of wrongdoing.

    Example sentence: The evidence presented at the trial served to exculpate the defendant, leading to his acquittal.

89. Exonerate - (verb) to absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing, especially after due consideration of the case.

    Example sentence: DNA evidence later proved his innocence and exonerated him of all charges.

90. Explicate - (verb) to analyze and develop (an idea or principle) in detail.

    Example sentence: The professor took great care to explicate the nuances of the philosophical concept.

91. Extol - (verb) to praise enthusiastically.

    Example sentence: The coach extolled the team's efforts, praising their determination and teamwork.

92. Fallacious - (adjective) based on a mistaken belief.

    Example sentence: The argument presented in the article was fallacious, relying on faulty reasoning and false assumptions.

93. Fastidious - (adjective) very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail.

    Example sentence: The chef was known for his fastidious attention to detail, ensuring that every dish was prepared to perfection.

94. Fatuous - (adjective) silly and pointless.

    Example sentence: The comedian's fatuous jokes failed to elicit laughter from the audience.

95. Fervent - (adjective) having or displaying a passionate intensity.

    Example sentence: The fans showed their fervent support for the team by cheering loudly throughout the game.

96. Flagrant - (adjective) conspicuously or obviously offensive.

    Example sentence: The referee ignored the player's flagrant foul, much to the dismay of the opposing team.

97. Flippant - (adjective) not showing a serious or respectful attitude.

    Example sentence: His flippant remarks about the tragedy offended many people in the audience.

98. Florid - (adjective) elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated.

    Example sentence: The author's florid prose overshadowed the simplicity of the story he was trying to tell.

99. Frivolous - (adjective) not having any serious purpose or value.

    Example sentence: The lawsuit was dismissed as frivolous and without merit.

100. Garrulous - (adjective) excessively talkative, especially on trivial matters.

     Example sentence: The garrulous old man enjoyed regaling anyone who would listen with tales of his youth.

This comprehensive list provides not only the vocabulary words commonly tested on the GRE but also their definitions and how they can be used in sentences. Familiarizing yourself with these words and their contexts can significantly improve your verbal reasoning skills and enhance your performance on the exam.