College-Level English Vocabulary (G-Pe)

gadfly
nuisance, irritating criticism; a goad or one that acts as a provocative stimulus
gaff
a large iron hook attached to a pole or handle to land a large fish; harshness of treatment; abuse
gainsay
to declare false, deny; to oppose especially by contradiction
galleon
large three-masted sailing ship with a square rig and usually two or more decks
galvanize
to stimulate or shock with an electric current; to arouse to awareness or action, spur; to coat with rust-resistant zinc

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gambit
maneuver, stratagem or ploy used at an initial stage; remark intended to open a conversation
gambol
to leap about playfully, frolic
gamut
complete range or extent; entire series of recognized notes
garish
gaudy, marred by strident color or excessive ornamentation; loud and flashy
garrulity
loquaciousness; excessive talkativeness
gasconade
boastfulness; bravado
gauche
lacking social polish; tactless
gelid
extremely cold
geniality
pleasantness, friendliness; of or relating to marriage, nuptial
genuflect
to bend the knee or touch one knee to the ground as in worship; to grovel
germane
being both pertinent and fitting, relevant
germinal
occurring in the earliest stages of development
gerrymander
to divide into voting districts differing widely in size and population; to give an unfair advantage to one party
gibber
to prattle and chatter unintelligibly
gibbet
an instrument of execution consisting of a wooden frame from which condemned persons are executed by hanging; to expose to infamy or public ridicule
glutinous
resembling glue, sticky
gluttonous
excessive indulgence–especially food or drink; voracious
halcyon
idyllically calm and peaceful; tranquil; calm; golden; the kingfisher–a fabled bird that calmed the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice
harbinger
forerunner; presage to signal the approach of
harrow
farm implement used to plow; to inflict distress, torment; to plunder, sack
hauteur
arrogance, haughtiness in bearing and attitude
hilarity
great merriment, mirth
hireling
one who works solely for compensation especially a person willing to perform (for a fee) tasks considered menial or offensive
hortatory
marked by exhortation or strong urging; ANTONYM=dissuading
hostelry
an inn, hotel
hoyden
high-spirited, boisterous girl; heathen
husbandry
the act or practice of cultivating crops and raising livestock; economy
hustings
a place where political campaign speeches are made; activities involved in political campaigning
hyperborean
Arctic, cold, frigid
hypothecate
to pledge as security for a debt without transfer of title possession; to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
iconoclast
one who destroys sacred religious images, overthrows traditional or popular ideas or institutions
ideology
the body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, a group, class, or culture; a set of doctrines or beliefs
idiosyncrasy
structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group
igneous
relating to fire; rock formed by molten slate
ignoble
not noble in quality, character or purpose; low, base
imbroglio
difficult or intricate situation; entanglement; disagreement, tangle
ignominious
marked by shame or disgrace; despicable, degrading, debasing
imbrue
to stain (in a negative sense)
imbue
to inspire, permeate (in a positive sense)
immolate
To kill as a sacrifice especially by fire
immure
to confine within or as if within walls; imprison; entomb in a wall
impecunious
lacking money; penniless; poor
impenitent
unrepentant, not penitent
imperious
arrogantly domineering or overbearing; urgent, pressing
impervious
incapable of being penetrated
impetuous
characterized by sudden and forceful energy or emotion; impulsive and passionate
impetus
an impelling force, an impulse; a stimulus
impiety
undutifulness; unrighteousness by virtue of lacking respect for a god
impious
lacking piety or reverence for a god
implacable
unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
impolitic
not wise or expedient
imponderable
a factor whose effects cannot be accurately assessed
importunate
persistent
improbity
dishonesty; lack of integrity
imprecate
to invoke evil upon; curse
impregnable
impossible to capture or enter by force; difficult or impossible to attack
imprimatur
official approval or license to print or publish; to sanction
improvident
not providing for the future; thriftless; rash or incautious
impugn
to attack as false or questionable; challenge in argument
impunity
exemption from punishment, penalty or harm
imputation
attribution, charged with fault; accreditation
inalienable
that which cannot be transferred to another or others
incarnadine
flesh-colored; blood-red; redden
inchoate
initial or early stage; incipient; imperfectly formed or developed
incipient
beginning to exist or appear
incisive
penetrating, clear, sharp as to operation as expression
inclement
stormy; showing no clemency; unmerciful
incommodious
inconvenient or uncomfortable
incorporeal
lacking material form or substance; immaterial; intangible as a right or patent
incubus
an evil spirit believed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep; nightmare; oppressive burden
inculcate
to impress upon the mind of another by frequent instruction, repetition; to instill; to teach by frequent repetition
indemnify
to protect against damage, loss, or injury; to insure; to make compensation to for damage
indict
accuse formally of a crime
indite
produce a literary work; to compose, write
indolence
laziness, sloth
indomitable
impossible to subdue; unconquerable
indubitably
too apparent to be doubted; unquestionable
inductive
using logical induction; causing or influencing
indurate
to make hard; inure; to make callous or obdurate
ineffable
incapable of being expressed; unutterable; indescribable; taboo
inertia
resistance to change
inexorable
not capable of being persuaded by entreaty; relentless
ingenue
artless, innocent girl; guileless
ingenuous
lacking in sophistication or worldliness; artless; frank; candid; naive
ingrate
an ungrateful person
inimical
injurious or harmful in effect; unfriendly, hostile
iniquitous
wickedness; gross immorality or injustice
innuendo
indirect or subtle derogatory implication; insinuation; parenthetic explanation
inordinate
exceeding reasonable limits; immoderate, excessive; disorderly
inscrutable
difficult to fathom or understand; impenetrable; mysterious
insensate
without compunction or human feeling; unconscious; inanimate; unfeeling; witless
insinuate
to introduce or otherwise convey gradually or insidiously; to suggest
insipid
lacking flavor or zest; not tasty; lacking excitement, stimulation
insolent
presumptuous and insulting in manner or speech; arrogant; audaciously rude or disrespectful; impertinent
insouciant
marked by blithe unconcern, nonchalant
insular
relating to an island; circumscribed or detached in outlook and experience; narrow, provincial
insuperable
impossible to overcome; insurmountable
intelligentsia
intellectual elite
inter
to bury or place in a grave or tomb
intercalate
to insert a day or month in a calendar; to interpose, insert or interpolate
interdict
to prohibit or place under an ecclesiastical or legal sanction; to forbid or debar; to censure
interlocutory
pronounced or decided during a course of action or suit and temporary or provisional in nature
interment
the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave
interminable
tiresomely long; endless; wearisome
internecine
relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group; ruinous or fatal to both sides
interstices
a space, especially a small or narrow one between things
intransigence
uncompromising; refusing to moderate a position
intrepid
resolutely courageous; fearless, brave
inured
to habituate to something undesirable; to accustom
invective
denunciatory or abusive language; vituperative
inveigh
protest vehemently; angry disapproval
inveigle
to win over by coaxing flattery or artful talk; to obtain by cajolery
inveterate
firmly and long established; deep-rooted habitual; endurance
invidious
tending to rouse ill will, animosity, resentment;
iota
very small amount, a bit; 9th letter of Greek alphabet
irascible
easily angered, prone to outbursts of temper
iridescent
brilliant; lustrous
irrefragable
impossible to refute or controvert; indisputable
irremediable
impossible to remedy, correct, repair; incurable; irreparable
itinerant
traveling from place to place especially to perform work
jejune
immature, childish; dull, uninteresting; lacking in nutrition, empty
jeremiad
a literary work or speech expressing a bitter lament or righteous prophecy of doom
jingoism
extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy
jocose
given to joking; merry; humorous
jocular
characterized by jokes and good humor
jocund
full of or showing high-spirited merriment
junta
a group of military officers who rule a country after seizing power
ken
range of what one can know or understand; perception, understanding
kismet
fate, fortune
kith
one’s friends and acquaintances
knell
the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something
knoll
a small natural hill
laconic
brief and to the point; concise, terse
(GREEK Laconia area of Sparta known for brevity of speech)
lagniappe
a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)
laity
laypeople considered as a group
lambent
softly bright or radiant; flickering lightly over or on a surface; luminous
lapidary
a skilled worker who cuts and engraves precious stones; conciseness, precision, refinement, delineation
largess
liberality in bestowing gifts; generosity (sometimes in a lofty or condescending manner)
lassitude
a state or feeling of weariness; diminished energy; listlessness
lave
to wash, bathe; to refresh or soothe (FRENCH)
libertine
a dissolute person; one who acts without moral restraint; freethinker
limn
make a portrait of; to represent
lissome
gracefully slender; limber; lithe
lithe
gracefully slender; marked by effortless grace
litotes
understatement for rhetorical effect–especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary
lode
metalliferous ore that fills a fissure in a rock formation; a vein of mineral ore deposited between clearly demarcated layers; source or supply
lubricity
quality or condition of being lubricious; slippery, smooth
lucent
giving off light, luminous; translucent, clear
lucre
money or profits; (LATIN lucrum)
lugubrious
mournful, dismal, or gloomy
lurid
shining with an unnatural red glow as of fire seen through smoke; causing shock or horror, gruesome; marked by sensationalism; ghastly pale, pallid
macerate
soften, usually by steeping in liquid, and cause to disintegrate as a result
maelstrom
whirlpool; turbulence; agitated state of mind
magnanimous
generous and understanding and tolerant; unselfish
magniloquent
lofty in style; extravagant
maim
to disable or disfigure by depriving use of limb; defective, impair
maladroit
marked by lack of adroitness; inept, awkward
manifold
many and varied, multiple
manumit
free from slavery or servitude; to emancipate
martinet
someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms; rigid disciplinarian
maudlin
effusively or insincerely emotional; sappy
maunder
to talk incoherently or aimlessly; to wander
mausoleum
a large burial chamber, usually above ground
mawkish
effusively or insincerely emotional
melange
a motley assortment of things
melee
a noisy riotous fight; brawl
mellifluous
pleasing to the ear; sweetness of voice
mendacious
given to lying; untruthful; false, dishonest
mendicant
practicing beggary; depending on alms; forbidden from owning property
mercurial
volatile
meretricious
tastelessly showy; vulgar; relating to prostitutes
metaphysical
highly abstract and over-theoretical; immaterial, incorporeal, abstruse
mete
a line that indicates a boundary; to allot, distribute as if by measure
mettle
the courage to carry on; fortitude
mews
street lined with buildings that were originally private stables but have been remodeled as dwellings; cage for hawks; secret place or hidaway
miasma
an unwholesome atmosphere; poisonous, putrid
mien
dignified manner or conduct
minatory
threatening
misanthrope
someone who hates or mistrusts humankind
miscegenation
mixture of different races, cohabitation; marriage involving different races
miscellany
a collection of various items, parts, or ingredients; diverse literary works
miscreant
evildoer, villain; infidel, heretic
misogynist
hater of women
modicum
small, moderate token or amount
mollify
ease, pacify, lessen; ANTONYM=intensify
moiety
part, petition, share
moot
hypothetical case argued by law students as an exercise; no practical importance, irrelevent
moratorium
authorization to a debtor, such as a bank or nation, permitting temporary suspension of payments; delay
mordant
harshly ironic or sinister; incisive and trenchant; corrosive substance used in etching
mordent
An ornament in which the written note is played, followed by the note below the written note and the written note again
mores
accepted traditional customs and usages of a particular group; moral attitudes; manners, ways
morganatic
(of marriages) of a marriage between one of royal or noble birth and one of lower rank
moribund
approaching death, about to die; obsolete
mote
small particle or speck
motley
heterogeneous, having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly; great variety
mountebank
a flamboyant deceiver; charlatan; a hawker who uses stories, jokes, or tricks to sell quack medicines
mulct
money extracted as a penalty; fine; to defraud or swindle (noun or verb)
multiform
occurring in or having many forms or shapes or appearances
murrain
any plaguelike disease of domestic animals (e.g. anthrax)
musky
resembling the odor of musk from deer; perfumy
natation
act of skill of swimming
neap
a less than average high tide occurring at the first and third quarters of the moon
necrology
a list of people who died recently; obituary
necromancy
conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying
nepotism
favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)
nettle
any of numerous plants having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact (especially of the genus Urtica or family Urticaceae)
nexus
a connected series or group
nib
horny projecting mouth of a bird; the writing point of a pen, especially a quill pen; sharp point or tip
noisome
offensively malodorous; not fragrant
non prosequitur
a judgment entered in favor of the defendant when the plaintiff has not continued his action (e.g., has not appeared in court)
non sequitur
an inference that does not follow from the facts or evidence as stated
nonpareil
a flat disk of chocolate covered with beads of colored sugar; , model of excellence or perfection of a kind
nonplus
VERB to put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do; bewilder
NOUN perplexity, confusion, bewilderment
nosegay
a small bunch of flowers
nugatory
of no real value; trifling; invalid
numismatist
a collector and student of money (and coins in particular)
obdurate
showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings; hardened
obeisance
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame (e.g. curtsy)
obelisk
a stone pillar having a rectangular cross section tapering towards a pyramidal top; the dagger sign used especially as a reference mark
obfuscate
make obscure or unclear
objurgate
censure severely; to berate, scold, or rebuke harshly
oblique
indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; indirect or evasive, devious, misleading, dishonest
obloquy
a malicious attack; abusively detractive language or utterance; calumny; vilification
obsequious
attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
obsidian
A usually black or banded, hard volcanic glass that displays shiny, curved surfaces when fractured and is formed by rapid cooling of lava
obstreperous
boisterously and noisily aggressive
obtrude
thrust oneself in as if by force; to impose with undue insistence
obtuse
slow to learn or understand; not sharp
obviate
prevent the occurrence of; render unnecessary
oculist
a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of diseases of the eye
odium
hate coupled with disgust; aversion, contempt; ANTONYM=infatuation
offal
rubbish, waste parts
officious
intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
ominous
presaging ill-fortune; menacing, threatening; minatory
onerous
troublesome or oppressive; burdensome
onus
difficult or disagreeable responsibility or burden; stigma, blame
opalescent
having a play of lustrous rainbow-like colors; milky iridescence like an opal
opaque
impenetrable by light; obscure, unintelligible
opportune
at a convenient or suitable time; unawkward
opprobrium
a state of extreme dishonor; ignominy; disgrace
orison
prayer
orotund
sonorous, full in sound; pompous and bombastic
orthography
correct spelling; spelling system
paddock
pen where racehorses are saddled and paraded before a race; fenced area used for grazing horses; an area where cars are prepared before a race
paean
a formal expression of praise; song of joyful praise or exultation; fervent expression of joy or praise; thanksgiving prayer
palaver
loud and confused and empty talk; idle chatter
palimpsest
a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible; an object place or area that reflects its history
palliate
to make seem less serious; extenuate; mitigate; relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder
panacea
remedy for all diseases, evils, difficulties; cure-all
pander
to act as a go-between or liaison in sexual intrigues; function as a procurer; to cater to the lower tastes and desires of others
panegyric
a formal eulogistic composition intended as a public compliment; elaborate praise, laudation; encomium
panoply
splendid or striking array; something that covers and protects (e.g. porcupine quills); arms and armor of a warrior
paramour
lover
parapet
a low wall along the edge of a roof or balcony
pariah
a person who is rejected (from society or home)
parity
functional equality; having given birth
parlance
particular manner of speaking; speech
parley
a negotiation between enemies; conference
parlous
fraught with danger; perilous, dangerous
parry
a return punch (especially by a boxer); avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues); impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball); block
parsimonious
frugal, stingy
parvenu
a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class
pastiche
a musical, dramatic, or literary composition consisting of pieces from various sources; hodgepodge
patent
exclusive right or title; obvious, plain, apparent; not blocked, open, expanded
patina
a fine greenish coating of oxide on the surface of a metal; change in appearance produced by long-standing behavior
patois
regional dialect, especially one without a literary tradition
peccadillo
a petty misdeed; small sin or fault
peculate
to embezzle
pecuniary
money, relating to money
pedagogue
someone who educates young people; dull schoolmaster
pedant
a formalist or precisionist in teaching; unimaginative; one who unduly emphasizes the minutiae
pedantic
narrow; unimaginative; pedestrian; ostentatiously learned
pediment
a triangular gable between a horizontal entablature and a sloping roof; decoration
pejorative
expressing disapproval; negative connotations; tending to disparage or belittle, depreciatory
pelf
informal terms for money, riches
pell-mell
mingled confusion or disorder; haste
pellucid
admitting maximum passage of light without diffusion or distortion; easy to understand
penance
voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some wrongdoing
pendant
hanging ornament; secondary or supplementary, suspended or undetermined; pending
pennate
having feathered wings
penumbra
shaded region surrounding a full shadow, fringe; surrounding; shrowd
penurious
extremely poor; stingy, mean
penury
severe poverty
perdition
loss, destruction, eternal damnation; hell
peregrination
to walk; to travel by foot; to traverse
peremptory
putting an end to all debate or action; no contradiction; not open to appeal or challenge; brusque; imperious
perfidious
faithless, tending to betray; disloyal
perfidy
treachery, disloyalty, faithlessness
perforce
by necessity (ADVERB); by force of circumstances
perfunctory
mechanical, routine
perigee
the point in the orbit of an object orbiting nearest to the center of the Earth
pernicious
deadly, wicked; working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
peripatetic
itinerant; walking or traveling; lack of subordination, preferring coordination in sentence structure
peristyle
a colonnade surrounding a building or enclosing a court
peroration
(rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
perquisite
a right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group (especially a hereditary or official right)
persiflage
light teasing; frivolous bantering talk; light raillery
perspicacious
mentally acute or penetratingly discerning; keen, shrewd
perspicuity
clarity, plain to understanding
pert
saucily free and forward; flippantly cocky and assured; trim and chic; jaunty; piquantly stimulating; lively and vivacious
pertinacious
obstinate, persistent, adhering resolutely to an opinion
pervious
accessible; permeable
pestilential
deadly, pernicious, vexation, annoyance, irritating
petulant
insolent or rude in speech or behavior, peevish; capricious ill humor
hierophant
supporter
immanent
inherent
infrangible
unbreakable
judicious
sensible
monolithic
massive
numinous
spiritual
otiose
useless
palpable
noticeable
nescience
ignorance
osculate
kiss
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