Advanced Word List – 23

A good vocabulary is crucial to acing Verbal section in GRE, CAT, SAT and other such exams. In this series of articles, we have compiled 1000 words that frequently feature in competitive exams.Spread over 25 lists of 40 words, these lists offer you a chance to learn the most essential English words.
Each word in the list is accompanied with its meaning and followed by a usage example. The words are categorized on three levels: 1, 2 and 3, according to the degree of difficulty. Go through the word lists and strengthen your vocabulary database.
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Level 1: Let’s get warmed up
Cumbersome: Difficult to handle or use especially because of size or weight
He hit his ankle on a cumbersome piece of furniture.
Deter: Prevent; show opposition to
Capital punishment does not deter crime.
Divulge: Make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
He was charged with divulging state secrets.
Evolve: Undergo development
Mankind has been under the constant process of evolution in last 23000 years.
Fluctuate: Cause to fluctuate or move in a wavelike pattern
Body temperatures can fluctuate when you are ill.
Interrogate: Pose a series of questions to
The police spent five hours in interrogating the prisoner.
Site: The piece of land on which something is located
He has got a job on a building site.
Level 2: Let’s take it up a notch
Allay: Lessen the intensity of or calm
He did what he could to allay his wife’s fears.
Bridle: A curb or a check.
One’s anger should be bridled.
Commodious: Large and roomy
The hotel rooms were very commodious.
Façade: The face or front of a building
The ornamental facade was very pleasing to the eyes.
Hulk: A very large person; impressive in size or qualities
The Hulk is a character one should not mess with, his name is the perfect representation of his qualities.
Incarcerated: Jailed
Criminals need to be incarcerated to keep the society safe.
Parable: A short moral story
Sufi stories are filled with parables and tales that carry a deeper moral meaning.
Propensity: An inclination to do something
She hadn’t reckoned on his propensity for violence when she took him in as a tenant.
Tonsure: The act of shaving the head or part of the head.
Heads are tonsured at various temples as a mark of respect for the temple god.
Unkempt: Not properly maintained or cared for
The garden looked unkempt due to the overgrown weeds
Unmitigated: Not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity; sometimes used as an intensifier
She leads a life of unmitigated misery due to her impoverished circumstances.
Vigil: A purposeful surveillance to guard or observe
The bat was on a midnight vigil.
Wary: Marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
My mother always told me to be wary of strangers.
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Level 3: Time to be a master
Antiquated: So extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period
The factory is so antiquated, it isn’t worth saving.
Asinine: Devoid of intelligence
I have never heard such an asinine discussion.
Au Courant: Being up to particular standard
He was wonderfully au courant with the European scene.
Calumny: An abusive attack on a person's character or good name
He alleges he was a victim of calumny and dirty tricks.
Connoisseur: An expert able to appreciate a field; especially in fine arts
He was a connoisseur of fine wines.
Convoluted: Having numerous overlapping coils or folds
Snakes can convolute themselves easily.
Countenance: The appearance conveyed by a person's face
He met each enquiry with an impassive countenance.
Dishevelled: In disarray; extremely disorderly
She arrived looking flushed and dishevelled at the party venue.
Fastidious: Giving attention to detail
He was very fastidious about his appearance.
Grimace: Contort the face
She started to sit up, grimaced with pain and sank back.
Indolent: Lazy
Indolent kids can be hard to manage.
Inebriation: State of being drunk
One has got to be careful in parties; one never knows when one will be down with inebriation.
Lampoon: Ridicule with satire
He was lampooned for his short stature and political views.
Nemesis: A source/enemy that cannot be beaten
Unquestionable trust can be one’s biggest nemesis.
Noisome: Offensively malodorous
Noisome vapours arose from the mud left on the docks.
Pittance: An inadequate payment
Her secretaries work tirelessly for a pittance.
Sanctimonious: Excessively or hypocritically pious
He writes smug sanctimonious rubbish for the newspapers.
Surly: Ill-natured
The surly waiter spilled the dishes on the floor.
Tenacious: Stubbornly unyielding
He is regarded as a persistent and tenacious interviewer.
Whimsical: Determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
He had an offbeat whimsical sense of humour.
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