Advanced Word List – 20

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 lizts 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.
Level 1: Let’s get warmed up
Criterion: The ideal in terms of which something can be judged
The criterion for admission to business school is academics plus interview.
Devout: Earnest
She gave her devout wishes for their success.
Futility: Uselessness as a consequence of having no practical result
A sense of emptiness and futility of life pervaded him.
Nullify: Declare invalid
He used his broad executive powers to nullify the decision of the committee.
Plaintiff: A person who brings an action in a court of law
Plaintiffs and defendants are both litigants.
Reputed: Look on as or consider
He is a reputed scientist.
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Level 2: Let’s take it up a notch
Benevolent: Intending or showing kindness
He was a very benevolent employer.
Brigand: An armed thief who is (usually) a member of a band
He looked like a scruffy brigand.
Cynic: Someone who is critical of the motives of others
A cynic might see this as simply a ploy to make us part with some money but we know he is in genuine need for it.
Defamatory: Harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit
The article was highly defamatory.
Deluge: An overwhelming number or amount
The maintenance office was deluged with complaints.
Deranged: Driven insane
He was deranged by the loss of his family in the car-crash.
Diminutive: Very small
A diminutive figure stood at the entrance of the magnificent hall.
Frail: Physically weak
She lay in bed looking particularly frail after her illness.
Guise: An artful or simulated semblance
The police were huddled in the street in the guise of beggars to catch the offenders.
Potent: Having great influence
The lawyer gave potent arguments.
Pragmatic: Concerned with practical matters
She suggested a pragmatic solution to the problem.
Rail: A barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports
He leant on the rails to bid her goodbye at the shipyard.
Repent: Feel remorse for; feel sorry for
He repented for his intemperate behaviour.
Level 3: Time to be a master
Aloof: Remote in manner
He stood apart with aloof dignity.
Canard: A deliberately misleading fabrication
Canards can fall apart pretty quickly; one has to be careful with them.
Carnage: The savage and excessive killing of many people
Their peaceful protest ended in carnage.
Corpulent: Excessively fat
His corpulent figure betrayed his self-indulgent lifestyle.
Deprecate: Belittle
The boss deprecated his junior’s behaviour and subjected him to some harsh criticism.
Dulcet: Pleasing to the ear
The dulcet tones of the cello were admired by the audience.
Excoriate: Express strong disapproval of
The editorial excoriated the administration for its reaction.
Impromptu: An extemporaneous speech or remark
They put up an impromptu concert for the visitors.
Iniquity: Absence of moral or spiritual values
He rails against the iniquities of capitalism.
Largess: A gift or money given
The president has been travelling around the world distributing largesse.
Libel: Print slanderous statements against
The news magazine was accused of libelling him.
Malevolent: Wishing or appearing to wish evil to others; arising from intense ill will or hatred
Her stare was malevolent, her mouth a thin line while staring at the beggars.
Mercenary: Marked by materialism
Despite his mercenary motives he is not a cynic.
Mollify: Make more temperate, acceptable.
She managed to mollify the angry customers.
Pariah: A person who is rejected
I was treated like a pariah for the rest of the journey.
Profuse: Produced or growing in extreme abundance
The plant produces profuse bright blue flowers.
Raiment: Especially fine or decorative clothing
The lady was robed in raiment of beauty, made by the artisans of Benares.
Subservient: Serving or acting as a means or aid
Her willingness to be subservient to her children isolated her.
Unctuous: Oily, creamy, greasy
Goose fat gives the most unctuous flavour.
Vestige: An indication that something has been present
She had lost every vestige of her puppy fat.
Wistful: Showing pensive sadness
The dog looked into the butcher’s window with a wistful expression in his eyes.
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