100 GRE words and their synonyms

Yes, a word cloud of the 100 words

On a chilly Friday morning, I forcefully hit one key after the other on my laptop keyboard, hoping the strokes would be loud enough to prevent my eyelids from drooping. It was my daily commute to work on the Caltrain. I closed the laptop as my destination approached and looked up to notice a student seated across from me. He was intently trying to memorize flashcards for GRE.

“Are you preparing for the GRE?”, I asked.

“Yeah.”, he replied.

“You know what, I have a word list I compiled of difficult words along with their synonyms. I can send it to you.”

“Oh yeah, that’d be great!”

“Yeah, maybe I should just upload it online for others to use too. Good luck!”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Apologies for you having to go through a short story before getting to the meat of the article — the word list. Somehow it didn’t feel right to just give the word list without any context. So here are 100 words along with their synonyms to use for your GRE (and potentially other standardized tests) preparation. I’ve tried to include at least one commonly used word as a synonym for each of the words. Hope this helps. Good luck! :)

1. Astute — shrewd

2. Abeyance — temporary suspension

3. Abstemious — temperance in indulgence, ascetic

4. Abstruse — difficult to understand, inscrutable, enigmatic, obfuscated, recondite

5. Alacrity — liveliness, eagerness

6. Ameliorate — make better

7. Apocryphal — of questionable authority

8. Apprise — inform

9. Approbation — official approval

10. Awe-inspiring — redoubtable

11. Banal — familiar by overuse, trite, vapid, hackneyed

12. Belittle — disparage

13. Betray — perdify

14. Calumny — make false statement to injure reputation, denigrate, polemic (attack), vilify

15. Canonical — traditional, probity

16. Cautious — chary

17. Circumscribed — limited

18. Condone — make exception

19. Contrite — feeling/expressing pain

20. Cogent — compelling, convincing

21. Complaisant — willing to help others

22. Conscientious — meticulous, sedulous

23. Cowardly — craven

24. Credulous — gullible, imprudent, amenable, tractable

25. Curio — small article of interest, is unusual

26. Debauchery — hedonistic, self-indulgence

27. Deceive — chicanery, subterfuge

28. Demur — object, show reluctance

29. Denouement — finale, climax, outcome

30. Disaffected — discontented

31. Egregious — stand out negatively, shockingly bad

32. Elegy — dirge

33. Enervate — sap energy from, pine, torpor(inactivity), weaken, undermine, tenuous, phlegmatic

34. Engender — give rise to

35. Exacerbate — worsen

36. Exculpate — absolve, vindicate, disabuse, exonerate

37. Extant — existent

38. Fearless — intrepid, not timorous

39. Favourable — propitious, efficacious (intended)

40. Felicitous — apt, pleasing, bucolic(of country)

41. Florid — fancy, rosy

42. Fortuitous — by happy chance, no apparent cause

43. Gainsay — deny, speak against

44. Germane — apt

45. Gossamer — light, delicate

46. Guilt — contrition

47. Habitual — inveterate

48. Harangue — tirade, diatribe, long pompous speech

49. Hate — odious

50. Hostile- inimical, virulent

51. Humorous — facetious

52. Impertinent — disrespectful, gall, impudent, presumptuous, effrontery

53. Impulsive — capricious

54. Incisive — able to draw fine distinctions, trenchant

55. Ingenuous — naïve, innocent

56. Ingratiate — gain favour deliberately, obsequious, inveigle (obtain by)

57. Insidious — subtly destructive, pernicious

58. Mislead — dissemble

59. Mockery — travesty

60. Mollify — appease, assuage, emollient

61. Moribund — stagnant, dying

62. Opprobrium- harsh censure, public disgrace from shameful conduct, ignominious (person)

63. Parochial — narrow in outlook

64. Parsimonious — extremely frugal, miserly, penurious

65. Perfunctory — cursory

66. Pertinacious — obstinate, headstrong, perverse, tenacious, refractory, intransigent, recalcitrant

67. Petulance — bad-tempered, pique

68. Pithy — terse, laconic

69. Plebiscite — referendum, poll

70. Poor — impecunious

71. Precipitous — hastily

72. Preclude — make impossible

73. Prevaricate — speak evasively

74. Prevent — frustrate, stymie, occlude

75. Prodigal — rashly/wastefully extravagant

76. Provincial — not sophisticated, gauche, quixotic

77. Pugnacious — belligerent, truculent, contentious

78. Qualify — limit, make less severe, mitigate, abate, attenuate

79. Querulous — habitually complaining

80. Rapacious — ravenous, greedy, avaricious

81. Recidivism — tendency to relapse

82. Reproach — upbraid, chastise, castigate, lambaste, admonish, pejorative, askance, astringent, vituperate

83. Renegade — one who abandons a group

84. Reserved — taciturn

85. Rest — quiescent, halcyon, phlegmatic

86. Rudimentary — inchoate

87. Solicitous — attentive, eager

88. Spurious — specious, plausible but false, mendacious (tendency)

89. Superficial — glib

90. Unaffected — inure, impunity (immunity from), phlegmatic

91. Unavoidable — inexorable

92. Underscore — give extra weight

93. Underwrite — financially support, solvent

94. Unnecessary — obviate

95. Urgent- exigent

96. Vaunt — exult, boast

97. Venal — corruption-susceptible

98. Volubility — talk/write easily, loquacious

99. Widespread — ubiquitous

100. Zealot — fanatic