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

Word List: K

1. kowtow (verb): 

  • to bow or act in a subservient manner 
  • Example: Paul kowtowed to his boss so often the boss herself became nauseated by his sycophancy.

Word List: L

1. Laconic (adjective): 

  • one who says very few words
  • Example: While Martha always swooned over the hunky, laconic types in romantic comedies, her boyfriends inevitably were very talkative--and not very hunky.

2. Lambast (verb): 

  • criticize severely or angrily
  • Example: Showing no patience, the manager utterly lambasted the sales team that lost the big account.

3. Languid (adjective): 

  • not inclined towards physical exertion or effort; slow and relaxed
  • Example: As the sun beat down and the temperature climbed higher, we spent a languid week lying around the house.

4. Largess (noun): 

  • extreme generosity and giving
  • Example: Uncle Frank was known for his largess, so his nephew was sad when he did not receive a present for his birthday.

5. Laudable (adjective): 

  • worthy of high praise
  • Example: To say that Gandhi's actions were laudable is the greatest understatement; he overthrew an empire without violence.

6. Lionize (verb): 

  • assign great social importance to
  • Example: Students in the U.S. learn to lionize Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington because they are the founding fathers of the nation.

Word List: M

1. Magnanimous (adjective): 

  • noble and generous in spirit, especially towards a rival or someone less powerful
  • Example: He was a great sportsman: in defeat he was complementary and in victory he was magnanimous.

2. Maintain (verb): 

  • to assert
  • Example: The scientist maintained that the extinction of dinosaurs was most likely brought about by a drastic change in climate.

3. Maladroit (adjective): 

  • clumsy
  • Example: As a child she was quite maladroit, but as an adult, she has become an adept dancer.

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

4. Maverick (noun): 

  • someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
  • Example: Officer Kelly was a maverick, rarely following police protocols or adopting the conventions for speech common among his fellow officers.

5. Mawkish (adjective): 

  • overly sentimental to the point that it is disgusting
  • Example: The film was incredibly mawkish, introducing highly likeable characters only to have them succumb to a devastating illnesses by the end of the movie.

6. Mendacity (noun): 

  • the tendency to be untruthful
  • Example: I can forgive her for her mendacity but only because she is a child and is seeing what she can get away with.

7. Mercurial (adjective): 

  • (of a person) prone to unexpected and unpredictable changes in mood
  • Example: The fact that Ella's moods were as mercurial as the weather was problematic for her relationships--it didn't help that she lived in Chicago.

8. Meticulous (adjective): 

  • marked by extreme care in treatment of details
  • Example: The Japanese noodle maker was meticulous in making his noodles and would never let another person take over the task.

9. Misconstrue (verb): 

  • interpret in the wrong way
  • Example: The politician never trusted journalists because he though that they misconstrue his words and misrepresent his positions.

10. Mitigate (verb): 

  • make less severe or harsh
  • Example: I can only spend so much time mitigating your disagreements with your wife, and at certain point, you need to do it on your own.

11. Mitigate (verb): 

  • lessen the severity of an offense
  • Example: If it weren't for the mitigating circumstances, he would have certainly lost his job.

12. Mollify (verb): 

  • to make someone angry less angry; placate
  • Example: In the morning, Harriat was unable to mollify Harry, if he happened to become angry, unless he had his cup of coffee.

13. Mundane (adjective): 

  • repetitive and boring; not spiritual
  • Example: Nancy found doing dishes a thorougly mundane task, although Peter found a kind of Zen pleasure in the chore.

14. Mundane (adjective): 

  • relating to the ordinary world
  • Example: Though we think of the pope as someone always dealing in holy matters, he is also concerned with mundane events, such as deciding when to set his alarm each morning.

15. munificent (adjective): 

  • very generous
  • Example: Uncle Charley was known for his munificence, giving all seven of his nephews lavish Christmas presents each year.

16. Myopic (adjective): 

  • lacking foresight or imagination
  • Example: The company ultimately went out of business because the myopic managers couldn't predict the changes in their industry.

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

17. Myriad (noun): 

  • a large indefinite number
  • Example: There are a myriad of internet sites hawking pills that claim to boost energy for hours on end.

Word List: N

1. Negligible (adjective): 

  • so small as to be meaningless; insignificant
  • Example: The GRE tests cumulative knowledge, so if you cram the night before it is, at best, likely to only have a negligible impact on your score.

2. Nonplussed (verb): 

  • unsure how to act or respond
  • Example: Shirley was totally nonplussed when the angry motorist cut her off and then stuck his finger out the window.

3. Nuance (noun): 

  • a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
  • Example: Because of the nuances involved in this case, I hired an outside consultant to advice us and help.

Word List: O

1. Obscure (verb): 

  • make unclear
  • Example: On the Smith's drive through the Grand Canyon, Mr. Smith's big head obscured much of Mrs. Robinson's view, so that she only saw momentary patches of red rock.

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

2. Obscure (adjective): 

known by only a few

Example: Many of the biggest movie stars were once obscure actors who got only bit roles in long forgotten films.

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

3. Obsequious (adjective): 

  • attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
  • Example: The obsequious waiter did not give the couple a moment's peace all through the meal, constantly returning to their table to refill their water glasses and to tell them what a handsome pair they made.

4. Opaque (adjective): 

  • not clearly understood or expressed
  • Example: The meaning of the professor's new research was opaque to most people, so no one asked any questions.

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

5. Opulence (noun): 

  • wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
  • Example: Russian oligarchs are famous for their opulence, living in fancy homes and dining on expensive cavier.

6. Ostentatious (adjective): 

  • intended to attract notice and impress others; tawdry or vulgar
  • Example: Matt wanted to buy stone lions for front of the house, but Cynthia convinced him that such a display would be too ostentatious for a modest house in an unassuming neighborhood.

7. Ostracize (verb): 

  • exclude from a community or group
  • Example: Later in his life, Leo Tolstoy was ostracized from the Russian Orthodox Church for his writings that contradicted church doctrine.
The document High Frequency Word List: K-O | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC).
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