GRE word study for the visual learner - picture dictionary of GRE words. Click on the alphabetical list to see the complete list of words.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SANCTIMONY: "The quality of being hypocritically devout"

SALIENT: "Having a quality that thrusts itself into attention"

SALUTARY: "Tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health"

clipped from
Vienna Dioscurides
A tiny garden yields various and often salutary herbs

Whose value science acknowledges
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SALUTARY: "beneficial to health"

salutary \SAL-yuh-ter-ee\, adjective:
1. Producing or contributing to a beneficial effect; beneficial; advantageous.
2. Wholesome; healthful; promoting health.
Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed during his sojourn in this country that America was teeming with such associations -- charities, choral groups, church study groups, book clubs -- and that they had a remarkably salutary effect on society, turning selfish individuals into public-spirited citizens.
-- Fareed Zakaria, "Bigger Than the Family, Smaller Than the State", New York Times, August 13, 1995
Surviving a near-death experience has the salutary effect of concentrating the mind.
-- Kenneth T. Walsh and Roger Simon, "Bush turns the tide", U.S. News, February 28, 2000

And they washed it all down with sharp red wines, moderate amounts of which are known to be salutary.
-- Rod Usher, "The Fat of the Land", Time Europe, January 8, 2000

Salutary derives from Latin salutaris, from salus, salut-, "health."

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SALUTARY: "Tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health"

vitamin C ........., originally uploaded by hb19.

"the salutary influence of pure air"

SAGACIOUS: "Acutely insightful and wise; Skillful in statecraft or

Bearded and sagacious, originally uploaded by Forest Runner.

"observant and thoughtful, he was given to asking sagacious questions"

"an astute and sagacious statesman"

TAUTOLOGY: "(logic) a statement that is necessarily true; Useless repetition"

"the statement 'he is brave or he is not brave' is a tautology"

"to say that something is 'adequate enough' is a tautology"
clipped from
Examples of tautology
The British supermarket Tesco sells a brand of lemon thyme which it describes as having an "aromatic aroma".
"free gift" is tautologous because a gift, by definition, is something given without charge.
The Yogi Berra-esque statement "If you don't get any better, you'll never improve" is another example. A very frequently used tautologous phrases are "PIN number"- the "N" stands for number
Tautology in popular culture
Comedian Alan King used to tell this story: His lawyer asked him if he had ever drawn up a will. Alan said "No". The lawyer, in shock and horror, said, "If you died without a will, you would die intestate!" Alan looked up the word and found that it means "without a will". "In other words, if I die without a will, then I'll die without a will. This legal pearl cost me $500!"
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PLATITUDE: "A trite or obvious remark"

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RECALCITRANT: "Marked by stubborn resistance to authority"

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RECALCITRANT: "Stubbornly resistant to authority or control"

"the University suspended the most recalcitrant demonstrators"
recalcitrant \rih-KAL-sih-truhnt\, adjective:
Stubbornly resistant to and defiant of authority or restraint.
This recalcitrant fellow was the only dissenter in an otherwise unanimous recommendation.
-- Sherwin B. Nuland, "Indoctrinology", New Republic, February 19, 2001
If they lingered too long, Clarice hurried them along in the same annoyed way she rushed recalcitrant goats through the gate.
-- Kaye Gibbons, On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon
As Mr. Lincoln and his Union generals insisted on unconditional surrender, the end of slavery, and the specter of an egalitarian nation where race and class were in theory to be subordinate ideas, so recalcitrant Southerners by the summer of 1864 dug in deeper for their Armageddon to come.
-- Victor Davis Hanson, The Soul Of Battle
Recalcitrant derives from Latin recalcitrare, "to kick back," from re-, "back" + calcitrare, "to strike with the heel, to kick," from calx, calc-, "the heel."
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REVERENT: "Feeling or showing profound respect or veneration; Showing

Calling all Saints..., originally uploaded by carf.

LUGUBRIOUS: "sorrowful; excessively mournful"

, originally uploaded by sungazing.

LUGUBRIOUS: "Excessively mournful"

lugubrious \lu-GOO-bree-us; -GYOO-\, adjective:
1. Mournful; indicating sorrow, often in a way that seems feigned, exaggerated, or ridiculous.
2. Gloomy; dismal.
His patriarchy often seemed lugubrious; he would often have tears in his eyes when elucidating all my failings.
-- Richard Elman, Namedropping: Mostly Literary Memoirs
Oh yes, he says, and his lugubrious expression suggests that the loss afflicts him still.
-- Mary Riddell, New Statesman, September 19, 1997
Lugubrious comes from Latin lugubris, from lugere, to mourn.
Previous visits hadn't yielded this art-after-death aura, which had everything to do with two installations on display, work so lugubrious it cast a pall over . . . well, just over me, but dark clouds hovered above the city, and the gloomy weather might as well have emanated from the art.
-- Bernard Cooper, "The Uses of the Ghoulish", Los Angeles Magazine, February 2001
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ZEALOUS: "Marked by active interest and enthusiasm"

Zealous Mother, originally uploaded by bocavermelha-l.b..

TIRADE: "A speech of violent denunciation"

A Lamp Unto My Feet, originally uploaded by digitalgrace.


vocabulary build-up, originally uploaded by wuddup_smuggle.

LUBRICIOUS: "Oily or slippery; prurient; lustful; salacious"

Lubricious desires, originally uploaded by Mnemonix.


more words., originally uploaded by WiseDestiny.


Liable to sudden unpredictable change
"mercurial twists of temperament"

"mercurial preparations"; "mercurial sore mouth"

—Synonyms 1. inconstant, indecisive. 2. spirited.
—Antonyms 1. constant, steady. 2. phlegmatic.



words., originally uploaded by WiseDestiny.

An expert able to appreciate a field; especially in the fine arts

1.An intricate and confusing interpersonal or political situation
2. A very embarrassing misunderstanding

A petty misdeed; a "little sin"

Confidently optimistic and cheerful
Inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life

A blood-red color

"a fresh and sanguine complexion"

EXCURSUS: "A message that departs from the main subject"


EXCORIATE: "Express strong disapproval of; Tear or wear off the skin or

excoriate, originally uploaded by Mnemonix.


Vocabulary Buttons, originally uploaded by WiseDestiny.

using too many words

"verbose speakers"
"verbose and ineffective instructional methods"

Unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
"the unctuous Uriah Heep"

Having or showing profound knowledge

"an erudite professor"

Full of trivial conversation

MERETRICIOUS: "Tastelessly showy; Based on pretense; deceptively

meretricious, originally uploaded by Mnemonix.

"a meretricious yet stylish book"
"meretricious praise"; "a meretricious argument"

CONCATENATION: "linked together as in a chain"

concatenation, originally uploaded by Mnemonix.

"it was caused by an improbable concatenation of circumstances"
"a complicated concatenation of circumstances"


GRE Words, originally uploaded by ShinyCrazyDiamond.

Demanding attention---
"regarded literary questions as exigent and momentous"
Requiring precise accuracy ---
"became more exigent over his pronunciation"

Pronounce not guilty of criminal charges


Specious and fallacious arguments

A list of fallacious arguments (

Logical fallacies (

Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies (

Propaganda Techniques Related to Enviromental Scares by Paul R. Lees-Haley

Fallacies (Nizkor Project) by Michael C. Labossiere (

Use and Abuse of Argument (

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SPECIOUS: "Plausible but false; Based on pretense; deceptively pleasing"

"a specious claim"

SYNONYM: Meretricious
specious \SPEE-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Apparently right; superficially fair, just, or correct, but not so in reality; as, "specious reasoning; a specious argument."
2. Deceptively pleasing or attractive.
A specious theory is confuted by this free and perfect experiment.
-- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Specious is from Latin speciosus, from species, "appearance," from specere, "to look at."
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TIMOROUS: "fearful"

Worried, originally uploaded by hkvam.

MALEVOLENT clown. "Wishing or appearing to wish evil to others; arising

Don't Be Scared, originally uploaded by laanba.

TIMOROUS: "Timid by nature or revealing timidity"

"timorous little mouse"; "in a timorous tone"

timorous \TIM-uhr-uhs\, adjective:
1. Full of apprehensiveness; timid; fearful.
2. Indicating, or caused by, fear.

Girls, allegedly so timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and even in debating clubs.
-- Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys

The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life.
-- Seamus Heaney, "Elegy"

The source of timorous is Latin timor, "fear."

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SPURIOUS: "Plausible but false; Intended to deceive"

Some of these graves are clearly spurious and were manufactured by nineteenth-century royalists who wanted evidence of an unbroken 2,000-year-old imperial line.
-- Gale Eisenstodt, "Behind the Chrysanthemum Curtain", The Atlantic, November 1998

Well, setting aside the sentimental nostalgia that elevates the "good old days" to a spurious perfection . . . the fact remains that Nellie Melba was a unique vocal phenomenon.
-- Tim Page, "For Melba a Well-Deserved Toast", Washington Post, February 9, 2003

Spurious comes from Latin spurius, "illegitimate, hence false, inauthentic."
clipped from
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
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TEMERARIOUS: "recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash"

temerarious \tem-uh-RAIR-ee-uhs\, adjective:
Recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash.

Becket's slayers insist that the king had indeed authorized or directed murder, an interpretation fortified by Henry's known enmity toward the temerarious priest for protesting the subordination of ecclesiastical to secular authority.
-- Bruce Fein, "Free speech or call to violence?", Washington Times, April 10, 2001

Temerarious comes from Latin temerarius, "rash," from temere, "rashly, heedlessly."
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SERAPHIC: "Having a sweet nature befitting an angel or cherub"

My Sweetheart, originally uploaded by Meghna Sejpal.

SERAPHIC: "Of or relating to an angel of the first order"

Everything Dies And That's A Fact, originally uploaded by Zen Cat.

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