Advanced Word List – 21

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.
Level 1: Let’s get warmed up
Ascertain: Be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
Try to ascertain what services the bank is offering before opening an account.
Charisma: A personal attractiveness or interestingness that enables you to influence others
He does not have the charisma to inspire people.
Decapitate: Cut the head of
The colonel ordered his men to decapitate the prisoners.
Derived: Obtain
He derives a lot of pleasure from gardening.
Emissary: Someone sent on a mission to represent the interests of someone else
The President sent a special emissary for the riot victims.
Rift: A gap between cloud masses
The sun shone through a rift in the clouds.
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Level 2: Let’s take it up a notch
Appalled: Struck with fear, dread, or consternation
We are all appalled that these stale items are still on sale.
Burgeoned: Grow and flourish
Online business is burgeoning these days.
Dearth: An acute insufficiency
They suffer from a dearth of resources and experienced men.
Disseminate: Cause to become widely known
It took years to disseminate information about Aids.
Dormant: Inactive but capable of becoming active
The hamster lapses into a dormant state in cold weather.
Factitious: Not produced by natural forces
Brokers created a fictitious demand for stocks.
Genocide: Systematic killing of a racial or cultural group
They have alleged that acts of genocide and torture have been carried out in their city.
Inquisitive: Inquiring or appearing to inquire
The police are proverbially inquisitive.
Kingpin: The most important person in a group or undertaking
The pious old man was the kingpin behind the robberies.
Pillory: Expose to ridicule or public scorn
He resigned after being pilloried by the press.
Taut: Pulled or drawn tight
The clothes line is pulled taut and secured.
Yen: A yearning for something or to do something
The small child had a yen to learn cycling.
Level 3: Time to be a master
Bagatelle: A light piece of music for piano
That bagatelle is a delight to hear.
Callow: Young and inexperienced
Although he is 25, he still behaves like a callow youth in some ways.
Dolorous: Showing sorrow
The dolorous mourners followed the procession.
Encomium: A formal expression of praise
The piece is an encomium to God and his creation.
Hyperbole: Extravagant exaggeration
The debate was carried on with increasing rhetorical hyperbole.
Impudent: Marked by casual disrespect
The student was not allowed in the class for his impudent behaviour.
Internecine: within a group or organization
The fight amongst the staff has turned attention to the internecine strife here.
Livid: Anaemic looking from illness or emotion
His face was livid with shock on learning of the loss of her savings.
Martinet: Someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms
He is a retired lieutenant and a bit of a martinet.
Munificent: Very generous
He gave a munificent donation to the old age home.
Nepotism: Favouritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power
They protested at what they described as nepotism and corruption in the government.
Obloquy: State of disgrace resulting from public abuse
His political opinions have attracted obloquy.
Penchant: A strong liking
He had a penchant for playing jokes on people.
Potentate: A ruler who is unconstrained by law
The rich Eastern potentate took good care of his subjects.
Prerogative: A right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group
It is the principal’s prerogative to suspend any student.
Prevarication: A statement that deviates from or perverts the truth
After months of prevarication, a decision has been made.
Raconteur: A person skilled in telling anecdotes
He spoke eight languages and was a noted raconteur.
Ruminate: Reflect deeply on a subject
I had time to ruminate as I drove along on what to do next in life.
Sophistry: A deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone
She understood that the consolation being offered was mere sophistry.
Sullen: Showing a brooding ill humour
She worked with a sullen face throughout the day.
Termagant: A scolding nagging bad-tempered woman
The magic of money turned the termagant into a docile and attentive nurse.
Tyro: Someone new to a field or activity
He was still a tyro when he set out sailing.
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