April 11, 2009

Vocab Time!

I've been studying GRE practice vocabulary. I want to get as quick as possible with them. So, out of my 501 study words, I've identified the ones that are giving me the most trouble; words I can get from context but cannot quickly define outside of context.

To help me remember, I'm going to list them here where I can easily scan them. I thought a bunch of vocabulary words might be mildly interesting to one or two other people out there.

When Chuck and I worked together, we used to each choose a few new-to-us words to put up on the white-board. We'd spend the week trying to use the words in conversation so that we'd remember them. This is like that, except with a lot more words.

For fun, cover up the right column and define the words in the left column without peeking. I'm sure you will know many of these words, if not all of them. Of the 501 words I've been studying, I found that I knew many of them but in my case I was missing precise meanings. If you can define all of them precisely without peeking, you win an imaginary prize. But your real prize is knowledge!

Burgeon to grow and flourish
Garrulous tending to talk a lot
Meretricious gaudy; falsely attractive
Peripatetic wandering from place to place; especially on foot
Contumacious rebellious
Panegyric elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise
Cupidity greed; strong desire
Pusillanimous cowardly; without courage
Dictum authoritative statement
Exculpate to clear from blame; to prove innocent
Arrogate to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right
Obdurate resistant to persuasion; hardened in feeling
Imprecation a curse
Salubrious healthful
Calumny a false and malicious accusation; a misrepresentation
Wanton undisciplined; unrestrained
Opprobrium public disgrace
Desultory jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
Inchoate not fully formed; disorganized
Diffident lacking self-confidence
Mendicant beggar
Inexorable inflexible; unyielding
Bombastic pompous in speech or manner
Ardor intense and passionate feeling
Florid excessively decorated or embellished
Propitiate to conciliate; to appease
Lugubrious sorrowful; mournful
Impecunious poor; having no money
Encomium warm praise
Phlegmatic calm and unemotional in temperament
Probity complete honesty and integrity
Abjure to reject or repudiate
Inimical hostile; unfriendly
Abase to humble or disgrace
Lissome easily flexed; limber; agile
Perspicacious shrewd; astute; keen-witted
Sinecure a well-paying job or office that requires little or no work
Sybarite a person devoted to pleasure or luxury; a hedonist
Vicissitude a change or variation; ups and downs
Exigent urgent
Investiture ceremony conferring authority
Effrontery impudent boldness; audacity
Tyro a novice
Voluble talkative; glib
Irascible easily angered
Intransigent uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled
Rebarbative causing annoyance or irritation
Posted by James at April 11, 2009 10:04 AM
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Fun! I knew most of them but needed a reminder on a few (exigent, rebarbative...). Those two years of high school Latin have served me well.

Posted by: Karen at April 11, 2009 11:52 AM

I like vocabulary!

After I posted this, I had my daughter quiz me and I got nearly all of them right. So, it definitely is serving its purpose. I only have a couple of words I'm confusing, and a few not on this list that I keep forgetting.

"Desultory" and "diffident" are two which don't stick in my mind (yet). "Précis" keeps slipping away.

Focusing on the quantitative stuff now, which is just a matter of avoiding stupid mistakes. Nothing there particularly challenging, but it can be easy to get flustered or make careless errors.

Posted by: James at April 11, 2009 1:38 PM

Uhhh...yeah...I need to study.

Posted by: Bull at April 11, 2009 9:53 PM

About 25% of the words I'm studying are words I just don't see used. Perhaps if I read more fiction I'd encounter them.

For reading technical and scientific papers you rely even less on your vocabulary. however, I always feel that it "pays to increase your word power."

I love using words with nuance. But you have to be exposed to them regularly, either in your study, your work, or in your pleasure reading, else they don't stay on the tip of your tongue.

Posted by: James at April 12, 2009 6:35 PM

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