GRE Premier 2017 with 6 Practice Tests
Part VII. GRE RESOURCES
Appendix C. Top GRE-Level Words in Context
The GRE tests the same kinds of words over and over again. Here you will find some common GRE-Level words with their definitions in context to help you to remember them. If you see a word that’s unfamiliar to you, take a moment to study the definition and, most importantly, reread the sentence with the word’s definition in mind.
Remember: learning vocabulary words in context is one of the best ways for your brain to retain the words’ meanings. A broader vocabulary will serve you well on all four GRE Verbal question types and will also be extremely helpful in the Analytical Writing section. section.
· ABATE: to reduce in amount, degree, or severity
o As the hurricane’s force ABATED, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
· ABSCOND: to leave secretly
o The patron ABSCONDED from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
· ABSTAIN: to choose not to do something
o She ABSTAINED from choosing a mouthwatering dessert from the tray.
· ABYSS: an extremely deep hole
o The submarine dove into the ABYSS to chart the previously unseen depths.
· ADULTERATE: to make impure
o The chef made his ketchup last longer by ADULTERATING it with water.
· ADVOCATE: to speak in favor of
o The vegetarian ADVOCATED a diet containing no meat.
· AESTHETIC: concerning the appreciation of beauty
o Followers of the AESTHETIC Movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
· AGGRANDIZE: to increase in power, influence, and reputation
o The supervisor sought to AGGRANDIZE herself by claiming that the achievements of her staff were actually her own.
· ALLEVIATE: to make more bearable
o Taking aspirin helps to ALLEVIATE a headache.
· AMALGAMATE: to combine; to mix together
o Giant Industries AMALGAMATED with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated.
· AMBIGUOUS: doubtful or uncertain; able to be interpreted several ways
o The directions she gave were so AMBIGUOUS that we disagreed on which way to turn.
· AMELIORATE: to make better; to improve
o The doctor was able to AMELIORATE the patient’s suffering using painkillers.
· ANACHRONISM: something out of place in time
o The aged hippie used ANACHRONISTIC phrases, like “groovy” and “far out,” that had not been popular for years.
· ANALOGOUS: similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
o In the Newtonian construct for explaining the existence of God, the universe is ANALOGOUS to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent “clockmaker.”
· ANOMALY: deviation from what is normal
o Albino animals may display too great an ANOMALY in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
· ANTAGONIZE: to annoy or provoke to anger
o The child discovered that he could ANTAGONIZE the cat by pulling its tail.
· ANTIPATHY: extreme dislike
o The ANTIPATHY between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare.
· APATHY: lack of interest or emotion
o The APATHY of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
· ARBITRATE: to judge a dispute between two opposing parties
o Since the couple could not come to an agreement, a judge was forced to ARBITRATE their divorce proceedings.
· ARCHAIC: ancient, old-fashioned
o Her ARCHAIC Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
· ARDOR: intense and passionate feeling
o Bishop’s ARDOR for the landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
· ARTICULATE: able to speak clearly and expressively
o She is such an ARTICULATE defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters.
· ASSUAGE: to make something unpleasant less severe
o Serena used aspirin to ASSUAGE her pounding headache.
· ATTENUATE: to reduce in force or degree; to weaken
o The Bill of Rights ATTENUATED the traditional power of governments to change laws at will.
· AUDACIOUS: fearless and daring
o Her AUDACIOUS nature allowed her to fulfill her dream of skydiving.
· AUSTERE: severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
o The lack of decoration makes military barracks seem AUSTERE to the civilian eye.
· BANAL: predictable, clichéd; boring
o He used BANAL phrases like “have a nice day” and “another day, another dollar.”
· BOLSTER: to support; to prop up
o The presence of giant footprints BOLSTERED the argument that Sasquatch was in the area.
· BOMBASTIC: pompous in speech and manner
o The ranting of the radio talk-show host was mostly BOMBASTIC; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
· CACOPHONY: harsh, jarring noise
o The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable CACOPHONY as they tried to tune their instruments.
· CANDID: impartial and honest in speech
o The observations of a child can be charming since they are CANDID and unpretentious.
· CAPRICIOUS: changing one’s mind quickly and often
o Queen Elizabeth I was quite CAPRICIOUS; her courtiers could never be sure which of their number would catch her fancy.
· CASTIGATE: to punish or criticize harshly
o Many Americans are amazed at how harshly the authorities in Singapore CASTIGATE perpetrators of what would be considered minor crimes in the United States.
· CATALYST: something that brings about a change in something else
o The imposition of harsh taxes was the CATALYST that finally brought on the revolution.
· CAUSTIC: biting in wit
o Dorothy Parker gained her reputation for CAUSTIC wit from her cutting, yet clever, insults.
· CHAOS: great disorder or confusion
o In many religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from CHAOS.
· CHAUVINIST: someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs
o The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male CHAUVINISTS.
· CHICANERY: deception by means of craft or guile
o Dishonest used car salespeople often use CHICANERY to sell their beat-up old cars.
· COGENT: convincing and well reasoned
o Swayed by the COGENT argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
· CONDONE: to overlook, pardon, or disregard
o Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as CONDONING an air of lawlessness.
· CONVOLUTED: intricate and complicated
o Although many people bought A Brief History of Time few could follow its CONVOLUTED ideas and theories.
· CORROBORATE: to provide supporting evidence
o Fingerprints CORROBORATED the witness’s testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim’s apartment.
· CREDULOUS: too trusting; gullible
o Although some four-year-olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most CREDULOUS nine-year-olds still believe in him.
· CRESCENDO: steadily increasing volume or force
o The CRESCENDO of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
· DECORUM: appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
o The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the DECORUM appropriate for a visit to the palace.
· DEFERENCE: respect, courtesy
o The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost DEFERENCE.
· DERIDE: to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock
o The awkward child was often DERIDED by his “cooler” peers.
· DESICCATE: to dry out thoroughly
o After a few weeks of lying on the desert’s baking sands, the cow’s carcass became completely DESICCATED.
· DESULTORY: jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
o Diane had a DESULTORY academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in three years.
· DIATRIBE: an abusive, condemnatory speech
o The trucker bellowed a DIATRIBE at the driver who had cut him off.
· DIFFIDENT: lacking self-confidence
o Steve’s DIFFIDENT manner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.
· DILATE: to make larger; to expand
o When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes DILATE to let in more light.
· DILATORY: intended to delay
o The congressman used DILATORY measures to delay the passage of the bill.
· DILETTANTE: someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic
o Jerry’s friends were such DILETTANTES that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
· DIRGE: a funeral hymn or mournful speech
o Melville wrote the poem “A DIRGE for James McPherson” for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864.
· DISABUSE: to set right; to free from error
o Galileo’s observations DISABUSED scholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the Earth.
· DISCERN: to perceive; to recognize
o It is easy to DISCERN the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
· DISPARATE: fundamentally different; entirely unlike
o Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are DISPARATE.
· DISSEMBLE: to present a false appearance; to disguise one’s real intentions or character
o The villain could DISSEMBLE to the police no longer—he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the body of the old man.
· DISSONANCE: a harsh and disagreeable combination, often of sounds
o Cognitive DISSONANCE is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
· DOGMA: a firmly held opinion, often a religious belief
o Linus’s central DOGMA was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded.
· DOGMATIC: dictatorial in one’s opinions
o The dictator was DOGMATIC—he, and only he, was right.
· DUPE: to deceive; a person who is easily deceived
o Bugs Bunny was able to DUPE Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit.
· ECLECTIC: selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
o Budapest’s architecture is an ECLECTIC mix of Eastern and Western styles.
· EFFICACY: effectiveness
o The EFFICACY of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug completely eliminated almost all bacterial infections for which it was administered.
· ELEGY: a sorrowful poem or speech
o Although Thomas Gray’s “ELEGY Written in a Country Churchyard” is about death and loss, it urges its readers to endure this life and to trust in spirituality.
· ELOQUENT: persuasive and moving, especially in speech
o The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments but also because of its ELOQUENT words.
· EMULATE: to copy; to try to equal or excel
o The graduate student sought to EMULATE his professor in every way, copying not only how she taught but also how she conducted herself outside of class.
· ENERVATE: to reduce in strength
o The guerrillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would ENERVATE the regular army.
· ENGENDER: to produce, cause, or bring about
o His fear and hatred of clowns was ENGENDERED when he witnessed the death of his father at the hands of a clown.
· ENIGMA: a puzzle; a mystery
o Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation as something of an ENIGMA.
· ENUMERATE: to count, list, or itemize
o Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commandments were ENUMERATED.
· EPHEMERAL: lasting a short time
o The lives of mayflies seem EPHEMERAL to us, since the flies’ average life span is a matter of hours.
· EQUIVOCAL: open to more than one interpretation; misleading
o Asked a pointed question, the politician nevertheless gave an EQUIVOCAL answer.
· EQUIVOCATE: to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead
o When faced with criticism of her policies, the politician EQUIVOCATED and left all parties thinking she agreed with them.
· ERRATIC: wandering and unpredictable
o The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of ERRATIC turns that surprised the audience.
· ERUDITE: learned, scholarly, bookish
o The annual meeting of philosophy professors was a gathering of the most ERUDITE, well-published individuals in the field.
· ESOTERIC: known or understood by only a few
o Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the ESOTERIC world of particle physics.
· ESTIMABLE: admirable
o Most people consider it ESTIMABLE that Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India.
· EULOGY: speech in praise of someone
o His best friend gave the EULOGY, outlining his many achievements and talents.
· EUPHEMISM: use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one
o The funeral director preferred to use the EUPHEMISM “sleeping” instead of the word “dead.”
· EXACERBATE: to make worse
o It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; instead of providing relief, the drug will only EXACERBATE the problem.
· EXCULPATE: to clear from blame; prove innocent
o The adversarial legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and to EXCULPATE those who are innocent.
· EXIGENT: urgent; requiring immediate action
o The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was EXIGENT to stop the source of the bleeding.
· EXONERATE: to clear of blame
o The fugitive was EXONERATED when another criminal confessed to committing the crime.
· EXPLICIT: clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression
o The owners of the house left a list of EXPLICIT instructions detailing their house sitter’s duties, including a schedule for watering the house plants.
· FANATICAL: acting excessively enthusiastic; filled with extreme, unquestioned devotion
o The stormtroopers were FANATICAL in their devotion to the emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him.
· FAWN: to grovel
o The understudy FAWNED over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis.
· FERVID: intensely emotional; feverish
o The fans of Maria Callas were unusually FERVID, doing anything to catch a glimpse of the great opera singer.
· FLORID: excessively decorated or embellished
o The palace had been decorated in a FLORID style; every surface had been carved and gilded.
· FOMENT: to arouse or incite
o The protesters tried to FOMENT feeling against the war through their speeches and demonstrations.
· FRUGALITY: a tendency to be thrifty or cheap
o Scrooge McDuck’s FRUGALITY was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with money.
· GARRULOUS: tending to talk a lot
o The GARRULOUS parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
· GREGARIOUS: outgoing, sociable
o She was so GREGARIOUS that when she found herself alone, she felt quite sad.
· GUILE: deceit or trickery
o Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to GUILE in an effort to trap his enemy.
· GULLIBLE: easily deceived
o The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool GULLIBLE bank customers into giving him their account information.
· HOMOGENEOUS (or HOMOGENOUS): of a similar kind
o The class was fairly HOMOGENEOUS, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors.
· ICONOCLAST: one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions
o His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an ICONOCLAST.
· IMPERTURBABLE: not capable of being disturbed
o The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she seemed IMPERTURBABLE, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
· IMPERVIOUS: impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
o A good raincoat will be IMPERVIOUS to moisture.
· IMPETUOUS: quick to act without thinking
o It is not good for an investment broker to be IMPETUOUS, since much thought should be given to all the possible options.
· IMPLACABLE: unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
o His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained IMPLACABLE for weeks.
· INCHOATE: not fully formed; disorganized
o The ideas expressed in Nietzsche’s mature work also appear in an INCHOATE form in his earliest writing.
· INGENUOUS: showing innocence or childlike simplicity
o She was so INGENUOUS that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploited when she visited the big city.
· INIMICAL: hostile, unfriendly
o Even though the children had grown up together, they were INIMICAL to each other at school.
· INNOCUOUS: harmless
o Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are INNOCUOUS and pose no danger to humans.
· INSIPID: lacking interest or flavor
o The critic claimed that the painting was INSIPID, containing no interesting qualities at all.
· INTRANSIGENT: uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled
o The professor was INTRANSIGENT on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time.
· INUNDATE: to overwhelm; to cover with water
o The tidal wave INUNDATED Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
· IRASCIBLE: easily made angry
o Attila the Hun’s IRASCIBLE and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives.
· LACONIC: using few words
o She was a LACONIC poet who built her reputation on using words as sparingly as possible.
· LAMENT: to express sorrow; to grieve
o The children continued to LAMENT the death of the goldfish weeks after its demise.
· LAUD: to give praise; to glorify
o Parades and fireworks were staged to LAUD the success of the rebels.
· LAVISH: to give unsparingly (v.); extremely generous or extravagant (adj.)
o She LAVISHED the puppy with so many treats that it soon became overweight and spoiled.
· LETHARGIC: acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner
o The clerk was so LETHARGIC that, even when the store was slow, he always had a long line in front of him.
· LOQUACIOUS: talkative
o She was naturally LOQUACIOUS, which was a problem in situations in which listening was more important than talking.
· LUCID: clear and easily understood
o The explanations were written in a simple and LUCID manner so that students were immediately able to apply what they learned.
· LUMINOUS: bright, brilliant, glowing
o The park was bathed in LUMINOUS sunshine, which warmed the bodies and the souls of the visitors.
· MALINGER: to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill
o A common way to avoid the draft was by MALINGERING—pretending to be mentally or physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the Army.
· MALLEABLE: capable of being shaped
o Gold is the most MALLEABLE of precious metals; it can easily be formed into almost any shape.
· METAPHOR: a figure of speech comparing two different things; a symbol
o The METAPHOR “a sea of troubles” suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
· METICULOUS: extremely careful about details
o To find all the clues at the crime scene, the investigators METICULOUSLY examined every inch of the area.
· MISANTHROPE: a person who dislikes others
o The character Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is such a MISANTHROPE that even the sight of children singing makes him angry.
· MITIGATE: to soften; to lessen
o A judge may MITIGATE a sentence if she decides that a person committed a crime out of need.
· MOLLIFY: to calm or make less severe
o Their argument was so intense that it was difficult to believe any compromise would MOLLIFY them.
· MONOTONY: lack of variation
o The MONOTONY of the sound of the dripping faucet almost drove the research assistant crazy.
· NAIVE: lacking sophistication or experience
o Having never traveled before, the elementary school students were more NAIVE than their high school counterparts on the field trip.
· OBDURATE: hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion
o The president was completely OBDURATE on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.
· OBSEQUIOUS: overly submissive and eager to please
o The OBSEQUIOUS new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor’s tie and agree with him on every issue.
· OBSTINATE: stubborn, unyielding
o The OBSTINATE child could not be made to eat any food that he disliked.
· OBVIATE: to prevent; to make unnecessary
o The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which OBVIATED the need for a bridge.
· OCCLUDE: to stop up; to prevent the passage of
o A shadow is thrown across the earth’s surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is OCCLUDED by the moon.
· ONEROUS: troublesome and oppressive; burdensome
o The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved ONEROUS to the team in charge of it.
· OPAQUE: impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light
o The heavy buildup of dirt and grime on the windows almost made them OPAQUE.
· OPPROBRIUM: public disgrace
o After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter OPPROBRIUM.
· OSTENTATION: excessive showiness
o The OSTENTATION of the Sun King’s court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles.
· PARADOX: a contradiction or dilemma
o It is a PARADOX that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
· PARAGON: model of excellence or perfection
o She is the PARAGON of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking, and just.
· PEDANT: someone who shows off learning
o The graduate instructor’s tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a PEDANT.
· PERFIDIOUS: willing to betray one’s trust
o The actress’s PERFIDIOUS companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist.
· PERFUNCTORY: done in a routine way; indifferent
o The machinelike bank teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a PERFUNCTORY smile.
· PERMEATE: to penetrate
o This miraculous new cleaning fluid is able to PERMEATE stains and dissolve them in minutes!
· PHILANTHROPY: charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness
o New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the PHILANTHROPY of private collectors who willed their estates to the museum.
· PLACATE: to soothe or pacify
o The burglar tried to PLACATE the snarling dog by saying “Nice doggy,” and offering it a treat.
· PLASTIC: able to be molded, altered, or bent
o The new material was very PLASTIC and could be formed into products of vastly different shapes.
· PLETHORA: excess
o Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a PLETHORA of excuses.
· PRAGMATIC: practical as opposed to idealistic
o While daydreaming gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, PRAGMATIC gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
· PRECIPITATE: to throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation
o Upon learning that the couple married after knowing each other only two months, friends and family members expected such a PRECIPITATE marriage to end in divorce.
· PREVARICATE: to lie or deviate from the truth
o Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee PREVARICATED and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
· PRISTINE: fresh and clean; uncorrupted
o Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological site was still PRISTINE when researchers arrived.
· PRODIGAL: lavish, wasteful
o The PRODIGAL son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
· PROLIFERATE: to increase in number quickly
o Although she only kept two guinea pigs initially, they PROLIFERATED to such an extent that she soon had dozens.
· PROPITIATE: to conciliate; to appease
o The management PROPITIATED the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members.
· PROPRIETY: correct behavior; obedience to rules and customs
o The aristocracy maintained a high level of PROPRIETY, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
· PRUDENCE: wisdom, caution, or restraint
o The college student exhibited PRUDENCE by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her résumé.
· PUNGENT: sharp and irritating to the senses
o The smoke from the burning tires was extremely PUNGENT.
· QUIESCENT: motionless
o Many animals are QUIESCENT over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
· RAREFY: to make thinner or sparser
o Since the atmosphere RAREFIES as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
· REPUDIATE: to reject the validity of
o The old woman’s claim that she was Russian royalty was REPUDIATED when DNA tests showed she was of no relation to them.
· RETICENT: silent, reserved
o Physically small and RETICENT in her speech, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those upon whom she was reporting.
· RHETORIC: effective writing or speaking
o Lincoln’s talent for RHETORIC was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address.
· SATIATE: to satisfy fully or overindulge
o His desire for power was so great that nothing less than complete control of the country could SATIATE it.
· SOPORIFIC: causing sleep or lethargy
o The movie proved to be so SOPORIFIC that soon loud snores were heard throughout the theater.
· SPECIOUS: deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious
o The student’s SPECIOUS excuse for being late sounded legitimate but was proved otherwise when her teacher called her home.
· STIGMA: a mark of shame or discredit
o In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was required to wear the letter A on her clothes as a public STIGMA for her adultery.
· STOLID: unemotional; lacking sensitivity
o The prisoner appeared STOLID and unaffected by the judge’s harsh sentence.
· SUBLIME: lofty or grand
o The music was so SUBLIME that it transformed the rude surroundings into a special place.
· TACIT: done without using words
o Although not a word had been said, everyone in the room knew that a TACIT agreement had been made about which course of action to take.
· TACITURN: silent, not talkative
o The clerk’s TACITURN nature earned him the nickname “Silent Bob.”
· TIRADE: long, harsh speech or verbal attack
o Observers were shocked at the manager’s TIRADE over such a minor mistake.
· TORPOR: extreme mental and physical sluggishness
o After surgery, the patient experienced TORPOR until the anesthesia wore off.
· TRANSITORY: temporary; lasting a brief time
o The reporter lived a TRANSITORY life, staying in one place only long enough to cover the current story.
· VACILLATE: to sway physically; to be indecisive
o The customer held up the line as he VACILLATED between ordering chocolate chip or rocky road ice cream.
· VENERATE: to respect deeply
o In a traditional Confucian society, the young VENERATE their elders, deferring to the elders’ wisdom and experience.
· VERACITY: truthfulness; accuracy
o She had a reputation for VERACITY, so everyone trusted her description of events.
· VERBOSE: wordy
o The professor’s answer was so VERBOSE that his student forgot what the original question had been.
· VEX: to annoy
o The old man who loved his peace and quiet was VEXED by his neighbor’s loud music.
· VOLATILE: easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive
o His VOLATILE personality made it difficult to predict his reaction to anything.
· WAVER: to fluctuate between choices
o If you WAVER too long before making a decision about which testing site to register for, you may not get your first choice.
· WHIMSICAL: acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable
o The ballet was WHIMSICAL, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpredictable sets.
· ZEAL: passion, excitement
o She brought her typical ZEAL to the project, sparking enthusiasm in the other team members.
COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS
· ALREADY: by this or that time, previously
o He already completed his work.
· ALL READY: completely prepared
o The students were all ready to take their exam.
· ALTOGETHER: entirely; completely
o I am altogether certain that I turned in my homework.
· ALL TOGETHER: in the same place
o She kept the figurines all together on her mantle.
· CAPITAL: a city containing the seat of government; the wealth or funds owned by a business or individual; resources
o Atlanta is the capital of Georgia.
o The company’s capital gains have diminished in recent years.
· CAPITOL: the building in which a legislative body meets
o Our trip included a visit to the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
· COARSE: rough, not smooth; lacking refinement
o The truck’s large wheels enabled it to navigate the coarse, rough terrain.
o His coarse language prevented him from getting hired for the job.
· COURSE: path; series of classes or studies
o James’s favorite course is biology.
o The doctor suggested that Amy rest and let the disease run its course.
· HERE: in this location
o George Washington used to live here.
· HEAR: to listen to or to perceive by the ear
o Did you hear the question?
· ITS: a personal pronoun that shows possession
o Please put the book back in its place.
· IT’S: the contraction of “it is” or “it has”
o It’s snowing outside.
o It’s been too long.
· LEAD: to act as a leader, to go first, or to take a superior position
o The guide will lead us through the forest.
· LED: past tense of “lead”
o The guide led us through the forest.
· LEAD: a metal
o It is dangerous to inhale fumes from paint containing lead.
· LOOSE: free; to set free; not tight
o She always wears loose clothing when she does yoga.
· LOSE: to become without
o Use a bookmark so you don’t lose your place in your book.
· PASSED: the past tense of pass; a euphemism for someone dying
o We passed by her house on Sunday.
· PAST: that which has gone by or elapsed in time
o In the past, Abby never used to study.
o We drove past her house.
· PRINCIPAL: the head of a school; main or important
o The quarterback’s injury is the principal reason the team lost.
o The principal of the school meets with parents regularly.
· PRINCIPLE: a fundamental law or truth
o The laws of motion are among the most important principles in physics.
· STATIONARY: fixed, not moving
o Thomas rode a stationary bicycle at the gym.
· STATIONERY: paper used for letter writing
o The principal’s stationery has the school’s logo on the top.
· THEIR: possessive of “they”
o Paul and Ben studied for their test together.
· THERE: a place; in that matter or respect
o There are several question types on the GRE.
o Please hang up your jacket over there.
· THEY’RE: contraction of “they are”
o Be careful of the bushes, as they’re filled with thorns.