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Learn GRE Words with Mnemonics!
Below, you'll find examples of previous GRE words of the day, along with simple definitions, clever mnemonics, and example sentences.
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(Above: Vince narrates 93 GRE vocab cartoons.)
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GRE Word Of The Day: Scrupulous
scrupulous (adjective): having integrity; being exact.
Think: scrape the poop
If you were scrupulous, you would have scraped the poop from your dog off my lawn without my asking.
Synonyms: principled, conscientious, conscionable
GRE Word Of The Day: Recapitulate
recapitulate (verb): to summarize.
The recap on the nightly news recapitulated the major events of the day.
Synonyms: encapsulate, epitomize, synopsize
GRE Word of the Day: Querulous
querulous (queer-yuh-lus) (adjective): whiny.
Think: quarrel with us.
We’d hang out with you more, but you’re so querulous that you always want to quarrel with us!
GRE Word of the Day: Partisan
partisan (adjective): having allegiance to a particular side or cause, usually without question.
Think: party’s son.
The chairman of the Democratic party’s son was unsurprisingly partisan in his political views.
GRE Word of the Day: Nascent
nascent (adjective): recently formed or developed.
Think: new car scent.
I jumped into the nascent BMW that had just come off the assembly line and smelled the bestnew car scent I’d ever smelled.
Synonyms: incipient, budding
GRE Word of the Day: Minatory
minatory (adjective): threatening.
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur – a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man – was minatory because it ate people.
synonyms: baleful, foreboding, portentous, dire
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GRE Word of the Day: Lachrymose
lachrymose (lack-kruh-mos) (adjective): tearful; mournful.
Think: lack Christmas.
If you lack Christmas presents, I don’t blame you for being lachrymose.
Fun fact: your tear ducts are your lacrimal glands.
GRE Word of the Day: Inculcate
inculcate (in-cull-kate) (verb): to teach by constant repetition and warning.
Think: in cult.
In the cult of Scientology, they inculcated Tom Cruise until he was brainwashed.
Synonyms: imbue, ingrain, inoculate
GRE Word of the Day: Hidebound
hidebound (adjective): ultra-conservative; inflexible.
The Republican candidate’s views were so hidebound that a hide-bound caveman dressed in animal skins would probably vote for him.
GRE Word of the Day: Grandstand
grandstand (verb): to show off.
Be honest: if you’re doing a handstand, you’re doing it to grandstand.
GRE Word of the Day: Fecund
fecund (fee-cund) (adjective): fruitful; inventive.
Think: feces under.
Spreading manure, or feces, under your crops as fertilizer will lead to a more fecund harvest.
GRE Word of the Day: Ebullient
ebullient (e-bully-ent) (adjective): lively and cheerful.
Think: Red Bull
After I chugged a giant Red Bull, my fatigue lifted and I became ebullient.
Etymology: from the Latin ebullire – to bubble out.
GRE Word of the Day: Dilatory
dilatory (dill-a-tory) (adjective): slow to act.
If I have to write a paper, I’m dilatory and will delay starting it until the night before it’s due.
GRE Word of the Day: Celerity
celerity (sa-lear-ity) (noun): quickness
After Cee Lo switched to an all-celery diet, he lost 30 lbs. His celerity increased as did his ability to accelerate.
GRE Word of the Day: Baleful
baleful (bale-full) (adjective): threatening harm.
Think: Christian Bale.
I’m not a big Christian Bale fan – he always has a baleful look on his face – like he wants to fight you.
synonyms: pernicious, foreboding, minatory, portentous, dire
GRE Word of the Day: Acquisitive
acquisitive (ac-quis-i-tive) (adjective): eager to acquire and possess; greedy
The acquisitive billionaire wanted to acquire every company he saw.
Synonyms: mercenary; rapacious; avaricious
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Behemoth
behemoth (bee-HEE-muth) (noun): something huge
Think: beast mammoth
One really large beast was the woolly mammoth, a behemoth that lived during the ice age.
Synonyms: mastodon; dreadnought
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Wizened
wizened (wise-end) (adjective): shrunken and wrinkled, usually due to age
Wizards like Gandalf and Dumbledore are usually wizened since they’re really old.
Synonyms: withered; gnarled
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Vociferous
vociferous (vo-ci-fur-us)(adjective): loud
Think: voice for us
The announcer’s loud voice, for us, was too vociferous.
Synonyms: caterwauling; obstreperous; yawping
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Ubiquitous
ubiquitous (you-bick-quit-us) (adjective): existing everywhere
Think: you big quidditch
You big quidditch fans have made the Harry Potter sport ubiquitous on college campuses.
Synonyms: quotidian; universal
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Variegated
variegated (vary-ig-ated) (adjective): varied
The autumn leaves in Vermont are known for their variegated colors; last year, they varied from red to yellow to orange.
Synonyms: prismatic; multihued; polychromatic
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Trepidation
trepidation (treh-pid-a-shun) (noun): fear
The haunted house filled me with trepidation; I feared a trap would be sprung on me at any moment.
Synonyms: consternation; foreboding
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Solipsistic
solipsistic (soul-lip-sis-stick) (adjective): being extremely self centered
Think: sold lipstick
The model whose image sold lipstick became solipsistic due to all the compliments she received.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Repugnant
repugnant (re-pug-nant) (adjective): gross
Think: ugly pug
Although some people think pugs’ upturned faces and wheezing are cute, many find the breed to be repugnant.
Synonyms: abhorrent; odius; noisome
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Quiescent
quiescent (qui-es-sent) (adjective): at rest
The hibernating bear was both quiet and quiescent.
Synonyms: torpid; inert
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Peripatetic
peripatetic (perry-pat-tet-ick) (adjective): wandering; traveling; constantly moving from place to place
The mouse in my house is peripatetic since I’m constantly hearing the pitter-patter of his little feet in the walls.
Synonyms: vagrant; ambulatory; gallivanting
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Obstreperous
obstreperous (ob-strep-er-is) (adjective): stubbornly resistant to control; noisy
The bacteria that cause strep throat are so obstreperous that many people take antibiotics for the condition.
Synonyms: caterwauling; vociferous; blatant
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Nugatory
nugatory (nugget-tori) (adjective): unimportant
Eating chicken McNuggets is nugatory for good health; their health benefits could be said to be negative.
Synonym: piddling; futile
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Maelstrom
maelstrom (mail-strom) (noun): something violently powerful; a whirlpool
Spam emails flock to my inbox like a maelstrom; reading the mail storm would suck up all of my time.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Lurid
lurid (lure-id) (adjective): melodramatic; sensational; shocking.
Think: lure in.
The lurid neon silhouette of a naked woman was designed to lure in lonely gentlemen.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Jocose
jocose (joe-coase) (adjective): given to joking.
Think: joke coach.
The first thing I look for when I’m hiring a joke coach is a jocose personality.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Importune
importune (im-poor-tune) (verb): to nag; to persistently insist.
Think: I’m poor tune.
The homeless man singing on the subway importuned us for money with his “I’m poor tune”.
synonyms: beseech, entreat, implore
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Hubris
hubris (hew-briss) (noun): excessive pride or self-confidence.
Think: huge breasts.
After getting implants, the girl developed hubris because her huge breasts attracted all kinds of attention.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Gumption
gumption (GUMP-shin) (noun): drive; initiative; courage
Think: Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump showed gumption by playing football, starting a shrimp business, and running across the country.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Fastidious
fastidious (fass-TID-e-us) (adjective): difficult to please; having a meticulous attitude
Think: fast to tidy.
My fastidious roommate gets mad if I am not fast to tidy up after myself.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Eschew
eschew (ess-SHOE) (verb): to avoid.
Eschew people who say “Ah–choo!” unless you want to catch a cold.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Diffident
diffident (DIFF-i-dent) (adjective): hesitant to speak due to lack of confidence
Think: difficult dentures
I’m only diffident because my difficult dentures make it hard to speak clearly.
synonyms: demure, retiring, self-effacing
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Cacophony
cacophony (cah-COUGH-o-knee) (noun): unpleasant, loud sounds.
All the coughs from the tuberculosis ward formed a sickening cacophony.
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Badger
badger (BADGE-er) (verb): to annoy or pester
Think: bad jerk
Good jerks can get laughs, but a bad jerk will just badger you with his attempts at humor.
synonyms: harry, heckle, plague
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Aberration
aberration (ab-ur-A-shun) (noun): something unusual or unexpected
Think: a bare Asian
A bare Asian would be an aberration; Asians usually wear clothes.
synonyms: anomaly, oddity
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abate
abate (uh-BATE) (verb): to lessen or reduce.
The mail-in rebate on my new mobile phone will abate the high cost.
synonyms: ebb, subside, wane
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abashed
abashed (uh-BASHED) (adjective): embarrassed.
Bashful the dwarf was so abashed when Snow White kissed him that he blushed.
synonyms: discomfited, disconcerted, fazed
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abase
abase (uh-BASE) (verb): to degrade.
Think: a base
When making out with someone, if you give up a base too quickly then you just abase yourself.
synonyms: debase, lessen, vitiate
GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Clangorous
clangorous (CLANG-or-us) (adjective): noisy.
I love my son, but his third-grade orchestra is so clangorous that it sounds like they’re all just clanging on their instruments instead of playing the music.
synonyms: clamorous, clattering, uproarious
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