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High Frequency Word List: F-J | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT PDF Download

Word List: F

1. Fallacious (adjective): 

  • of a belief that is based on faulty reasoning 
  • Example: The widespread belief that Eskimos have forty different words for snow is fallacious, based on one false report.

2. Fastidious (adjective): 

  • overly concerned with details; fussy 
  • Example: Whitney is fastidious about her shoes, arranging them on a shelf in a specific order, each pair evenly spaced.

3. Flux (noun): 

  • a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) 
  • Example: Ever since Elvira resigned as the head of marketing, everything about our sales strategy has been in a state of flux.

4. Foment (verb): 

  • try to stir up public opinion 
  • Example: After having his pay cut, Phil spread vicious rumors about his boss, hoping to foment a general feeling of discontent.

5. Forlorn (adjective): 

  • marked by or showing hopelessness 
  • Example: After her third pet dog died, Marcia was simply forlorn: this time even the possibility of buying a new dog no longer held any joy.

6. Forthcoming (adjective): 

  • available when required or as promised 
  • Example: The President announced that the senators were about to reach a compromise, and that he was eager to read the forthcoming details of the bill.

7. Forthcoming (adjective): 

  • at ease in talking to others 
  • Example: As a husband, Larry was not forthcoming: if Jill didn't demand to know details, Larry would never share them with her.

8. Fortuitous (adjective): 

  • occurring by happy chance; having no cause or apparent cause 
  • Example: While the real objects are vastly different sizes in space, the sun and the moon seem to have the same fortuitous size in the sky.

9. Frivolous (adjective): 

  • not serious in content or attitude or behavior 
  • Example: Compared to Juliet's passionate concern for human rights, Jake's non-stop concern about football seems somewhat frivolous.

10. Frugal (adjective): 

  • not spending much money (but spending wisely) 
  • Example: Monte was no miser, but was simply frugal, wisely spending the little that he earned.

11. Frustrate (verb): 

  • hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of 
  • Example: I thought I would finish writing the paper by lunchtime, but a number of urgent interruptions served to frustrate my plan.

This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE

12. Furtive (adjective): 

  • marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed 
  • Example: While at work, George and his boss Regina felt the need to be as furtive as possible about their romantic relationship.

Word List: G

1. Gainsay (verb): 

  • deny or contradict; speak against or oppose 
  • Example: I can't gainsay a single piece of evidence James has presented, but I still don't trust his conclusion.

2. Gall (noun): 

  • the trait of being rude and impertinent 
  • Example: Even though Carly was only recently hired, she had the gall to question her boss's judgment in front of the office.

3. Gall (noun): 

  • feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will 
  • Example: In an act of gall, Leah sent compromising photos of her ex-boyfriend to all his co-workers and professional contacts.

4. Galvanize (verb): 

  • to excite or inspire (someone) to action
  • Example: At mile 23 of his first marathon, Kyle had all but given up, until he noticed his friends and family holding a banner that read, "Go Kyle"; galvanized, he broke into a gallop, finishing the last three miles in less than 20 minutes.

5. Garrulous (adjective): 

  • full of trivial conversation
  • Example: Lynne was garrulous: once, she had a fifteen minute conversation with a stranger before she realized the woman didn't speak English.

6. Gauche (adjective): 

  • lacking social polish
  • Example: Sylvester says the most gauche things, such as telling a girl he liked that she was much prettier when she wore makeup.

7. Germane (adjective): 

  • relevant and appropriate
  • Example: The professor wanted to tell the jury in detail about his new book, but the lawyer said it wasn't germane to the charges in the cases.

8. Glut (noun): 

  • an excessive supply
  • Example: The Internet offers such a glut of news related stories that many find it difficult to know which story to read first.

9. Glut (verb): 

  • supply with an excess of
  • Example: In the middle of economic crises, hiring managers find their inboxes glutted with resumes.

10. Gossamer (adjective): 

  • characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy
  • Example: The gossamer wings of a butterfly, which allow it to fly, are also a curse, so delicate that they are often damaged.

11. Gregarious (adjective): 

  • to be likely to socialize with others
  • Example: Often we think that great leaders are those who are gregarious, always in the middle of a large group of people; yet, as Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown us, leaders can also be introverted.

12. guileless (adjective): 

  • free of deceit
  • Example: At first I thought my niece was guileless, but I then found myself buying her ice cream every time we passed a shop.

Word List: H

1. Hackneyed (adjective): 

  • lacking significance through having been overused
  • Example: Cheryl rolled her eyes when she heard the lecturer's hackneyed advice to "be true to yourself."

2. Haphazard (adjective): 

  • marked by great carelessness; dependent upon or characterized by chance
  • Example: Many golf courses are designed with great care, but the greens on the county golf course seem entirely haphazard.

3. Harangue (noun): 

  • a long pompous speech; a tirade
  • Example: Dinner at Billy's was more a punishment than a reward, since anyone who sat at the dinner table would have to listen to Billy's father's interminable harangues against the government.

4. Harangue (verb): 

  • to deliver a long pompous speech or tirade
  • Example: Tired of his parents haranguing him about his laziness and lack of initiative, Tyler finally moved out of home at the age of thirty-five.

5. Harried (adjective): 

  • troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
  • Example: With a team of new hires to train, Martha was constantly harried with little questions and could not focus on her projects.

6. Haughty (adjective): 

  • having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
  • Example: The haughty manager didn't believe that any of his subordinates could ever have an insight as brilliant his own.

7. Hegemony (adjective): 

  • dominance over a certain area
  • Example: Until the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1587, Spain had hegemony over the seas, controlling waters stretching as far as the Americas.

8. Heretic (noun): 

  • a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
  • Example: Though everybody at the gym told Mikey to do cardio before weights, Mikey was a heretic and always did the reverse.

Word List: I

1. Iconoclast (noun): 

  • somebody who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions
  • Example: Lady Gaga, in challenging what it means to be clothed, is an iconoclast for wearing a "meat dress" to a prominent awards show.

2. Iconoclastic (adjective): 

  • defying tradition or convention
  • Example: Jackson Pollack was an iconoclastic artist, totally breaking with tradition by splashing paint on a blank canvas.

3. Idiosyncrasy (noun): 

  • a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
  • Example: Peggy's numerous idiosyncrasies include wearing mismatched shoes, laughing loudly to herself, and owning a pet aardvark.

4. Ignoble (adjective): 

  • dishonorable
  • Example: In the 1920s, the World Series was rigged--an ignoble act which baseball took decades to recover from.

5. Ignominious (adjective): 

  • (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
  • Example: Since the politician preached ethics and morality, his texting of revealing photographs was ignominious, bringing shame on both himself and his party.

6. Immutable (adjective): 

  • not able to be changed
  • Example: Taxes are one of the immutable laws of the land, so there is no use arguing about paying them.

7. Impartial (adjective): 

  • free from undue bias or preconceived opinions 
  • Example: The judge was not impartial since he had been bribed by the witness's family.

8. Impertinent (adjective): 

  • being disrespectful; improperly forward or bold
  • Example: Dexter, distraught over losing his pet dachshund, Madeline, found the police officer's questions impertinent--after all, he thought, did she have to pry into such details as to what Madeline's favorite snack was?

9. Implacable (adjective): 

  • incapable of making less angry or hostile
  • Example: Win or lose, the coach was always implacable, never giving the athletes an easy practice or a break.

10. Implausible (adjective): 

  • describing a statement that is not believable
  • Example: The teacher found it implausible that the student was late to school because he had been kidnapped by outlaws on horseback.

11. Imprudent (adjective): 

  • not wise
  • Example: Hitler, like Napoleon, made the imprudent move of invading Russia in winter, suffering even more casualties than Napoleon had.

12. Impudent (adjective): 

  • improperly forward or bold
  • Example: In an impudent move, the defendant spoke out of order to say terribly insulting things to the judge.

13. Incisive (adjective): 

  • having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
  • Example: The lawyer had an incisive mind, able in a flash to dissect a hopelessly tangled issue and isolate the essential laws at play.

14. Incongruous (adjective): 

  • lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness 
  • Example: The vast economic inequality of modern society is incongruous with America's ideals.

15. Incorrigible (adjective): 

  • impervious to correction by punishment
  • Example: Tom Sawyer seems like an incorrigible youth until Huck Finn enters the novel; even Sawyer can't match his fierce individual spirit.

16. Indecorous (adjective): 

  • not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
  • Example: Eating with elbows on the table is considered indecorous in refined circles.

17. Indifference (noun): 

  • the trait of seeming not to care 
  • Example: In an effort to fight indifference, the president of the college introduced a new, stricter grading system.

18. Inexorable (adjective): 

  • impossible to stop or prevent
  • Example: The rise of the computer was an inexorable shift in technology and culture.

19. Ingenuous (adjective): 

  • to be naïve and innocent
  • Example: Two-years in Manhattan had changed Jenna from an ingenuous girl from the suburbs to a jaded urbanite, unlikely to fall for any ruse, regardless of how elaborate.

20. Ingratiate (verb): 

  • gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
  • Example: Even though Tom didn't like his new boss, he decided to ingratiate himself to her in order to advance his career.

21. Inimical (adjective): 

  • hostile (usually describes conditions or environments)
  • Example: Venus, with a surface temperature that would turn rubber to liquid, is inimical to any form of life.

22. Innocuous (adjective): 

  • harmless and doesn"t produce any ill effects
  • Example: Everyone found Nancy's banter innocuous--except for Mike, who felt like she was intentionally picking on him.

23. Inscrutable (adjective): 

  • not easily understood; unfathomable
  • Example: His speech was so dense and confusing that many in the audience found it inscrutable.

24. Insidious (adjective): 

  • working in a subtle but destructive way
  • Example: Plaque is insidious: we cannot see it, but each day it eats away at our enamel, causing cavities and other dental problems.

25. Insolent (adjective): 

  • rude and arrogant
  • Example: Lilian could not help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen's shoes were showing too much toe.

26. Intimate (verb): 

  • to suggest something subtly
  • Example: At first Manfred's teachers intimated to his parents that he was not suited to skip a grade; when his parents protested, teachers explicitly told them that, notwithstanding the boy's precocity, he was simply too immature to jump to the 6th grade.

This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE

27. Intransigent (adjective): 

  • unwilling to change one's beliefs or course of action
  • Example: Despite many calls for mercy, the judge remained intransigent, citing strict legal precedence.

28. Intrepid (adjective): 

  • fearless
  • Example: Captain Ahab was an intrepid captain whose reckless and fearless style ultimate leads to his downfall.

29. Inveterate (adjective): 

  • habitual
  • Example: He is an inveterate smoker and has told his family and friends that there is no way he will ever quit.

30. Involved (adjective): 

  • complicated, and difficult to comprehend
  • Example: The physics lecture became so involved that the undergraduate's eyes glazed over.

31. Irrevocable (adjective): 

  • incapable of being retracted or revoked
  • Example: Once you enter your plea to the court, it is irrevocable so think carefully about what you will say.

32. Itinerant (adjective): 

  • traveling from place to place to work
  • Example: Doctors used to be itinerant, traveling between patients' homes.

Word List: J

1. Jingoism (noun): 

  • fanatical patriotism
  • Example: North Korea maintains intense control over its population through a combination of jingoism and cult of personality.

2. Jovial (adjective): 

  • full of or showing high-spirited merriment
  • Example: The political candidate and his supporters were jovial once it was clear that she had won.

3. Jubilant (adjective): 

  • full of high-spirited delight because of triumph or success
  • Example: My hardwork paid off, and I was jubilant to receive a perfect score on the GRE.

4. Juxtapose (verb): 

  • place side by side
  • Example: The meaning of her paintings comes from a classical style which juxtaposes modern themes.
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