Archives for category: Vocabulary


Above, by Jeff Brechlin, is the winning entry from a Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit “instructions” for something in the style of a famous person.

The Shakespearean version contains some antiquated words that wouldn’t appear on the GRE (“anon” means soon, quickly), but also some very excellent GRE words, such as:

Lithe – bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible: the lithe body of a ballerina.

Wanton – Done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably (a wanton attack; wanton cruelty); without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless; sexually lawless or unrestrained (wanton lust); extravagantly or excessively luxurious (Kanye West’s Tweets about how fur pillows are actually hard to sleep on might indicate a wanton lifestyle). Basically, wanton can mean lacking restraint in a number of ways.

Read the entire article on the Manhattan Prep blog!


When writing the Manhattan Prep’s 500 Essential Words and 500 Advanced Words GRE flashcard sets, we wanted to make sure that everyone could get something out of every card — even if you already know the word on the front. So, you may know paradox, but do you know enigma, conundrum and doctrinaire?

Want to adopt 1,000 new flashcards? Visit the Manhattan Prep store here.

Cheerful; confident: “Her sanguine attitude put everyone at ease.”

(Sangfroid (noun) is a related French word meaning unflappibility. Literally, it means cold blood)

I watched as this young man, having regained his sangfroid, scrawled “Ludvig Steinberg” in indelible ink on the woman’s prodigious left biceps.*

“Now everybody out,” I said. It was just another day in the office of Jennifer Dziura, Private Eye.

Did you know that when you sign up for a 9 session GRE class at Manhattan Prep, you’ll receive emails with weekly vocabulary words used in proper context? And sometimes, those emails take the forms of private detective stories? It’s true! Read the whole email here, and sign up for classes here.

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Did you know that countenance is both a noun and a verb?

Take a sneak peek into Manhattan Prep’s 500 Essential Words and 500 Advanced Words GRE flashcard sets here!

Concerned with facts; practical, as opposed to highly principled or traditional. (n: pragmatism)

“His pragmatic approach often offended idealists.”

via GRE Vocabulary

Here’s a helpful list of prefixes, suffixes, and roots. How many do you already know? How many are brand new to you?

Common Prefixes: Prefixes are syllables that precede the root or stem of a word and change or refine its meaning.

ab, abs: from, away from
ambi: both
an, a: without
ante: before
anti: against, opposite
arch: chief, first
bi: two
cata: down
circum: around
com (co, col, con, cor): with, together
contra, contro: against
de: down, away
di: two
dia: across
dis: not, apart
dys: faulty, bad
ex, e: out
extra, extro: beyond, outside
hyper: above; excessively
hypo: beneath; lower
in (il, im, ir): not
in (il, im, ir): in, on, upon
inter: between, among
intra, intro: within
macro: large, long
mega: great, million
meta: involving change
micro: small
mis: bad, improper
mis: hatred
mono: one
multi: many
neo: new
non: non
pan: all, every
per: through, completely
peri: around, near
poly: many
post: after
pre: before
prim: first
pro: forward, in favor of
proto: first
pseudo: false
re: again, back
retro: backwards
se: away, aside
semi: half, partly
sub (suc, suf, sug, sup, sus): under, less
super, sur: over, above
syn: (sym, syl, sys): with, together
tele: far
trans: across
ultra: beyond, excessive
un: not
under: below
uni: one
vice: in place of
with: away, against

Common Suffixes: Suffixes are syllables that are added to a word. Occasionally, they change the meaning of the word; more frequently, they serve to change the grammatical form of the word (noun to adjective, adjective to noun, noun to verb).

able, ible: capable of (adjective suffix)
ac, ic: like, pertaining to (adjective suffix)
acious, icious: full of (adjective suffix)
al: pertaining to (adjective or noun suffix)
ant, ent: full of (adjective or noun suffix)
ary: like, connected with (adjective or noun suffix)
ate: to make (verb suffix)
ation: that which is (noun suffix)
cy: state of being (noun suffix)
eer (er, or): person who (noun suffix)
escent: becoming (adjective suffix)
fic: making, doing (adjective suffix)
fy: to make (verb suffix)
iferous: producing, bearing (adjective suffix)
il, ile: pertaining to, capable of (adjective suffix)
ism: doctrine, belief (noun suffix)
ist: dealer, doer (noun suffix)
ity: state of being (noun suffix)
ive: like (adjective suffix)
ize, ise: make (verb suffix)
oid: resembling, like (adjective suffix)
ose: full of (adjective suffix)
osis: condition (noun suffix)
ous: full of (adjective suffix)
tude: state of (noun suffix)

Common Roots and Stems: Roots are basic word elements that have been carried over into English. Stems are variations of roots brought about by change in declension or conjugation.

ac, acr: sharp
aev, ev: age, era
ag, act: do
agog: leader
agri, agrari: field
ali: another
alt: high
alter: other
am: love
anim: mind, soul
ann, enn: year
anthrop: man
apt: fit
aqua: water
arch: ruler, first
aster: star
aud, audit: hear
auto: self
belli: war
ben, bon: good
biblio: book
bio: life
breve: short
cad, cas: to fall
cap (capt, cept, cip): to take
capit, capt: head
carn: flesh
ced, cess: to yield, to go
celer: swift
cent: one hundred
chron: time
cid, cis: to cut, to kill
cit, cita: to call, to start
civ: citizen
clam, clamat: to cry out
claud claus, clos, clud): to close
cognosc, cognit: to learn
cord: heart
corpor: body
cred, credit: to believe
cur: to cure
curr, curs: to run
deb, debit: to owe
dem: people
derm: skin
di, diurn: day
dic, dict: to say
doc, doct: to teach
domin: to rule
duc, duct: to lead
dynam: power, strength
ego: I
erg, urg: work
err: to wander
eu: good, well, beautiful
fall, fals: to deceive
fer, lat: to bring, to bear
fid: belief, faith
fin: end, limit
flect, flex: bend
fort: luck, chance
fort: strong
frag, fract: break
fug: flee
fus: pour
gam: marriage
gen, gener: class, race
grad, gress: go, step
graph, gram: writing
greg: flock, herd
it, itiner: journey, road
jac (jact, ject): to throw
jur, jurat: to swear
labor, laborat: to work
leg (lect, lig): to choose, to read
leg: law
liber, libr: book
lber: free
log: word, study
loqu, locut: to talk
luc: light
magn: great
mal: bad
man: hand
mar: sea
mater, matr: mother
mit, miss: to send
mob (mot, mov): move
mon, monit: to warn
morit, mort: to die
morph: shape, form
mut: chance
nat: born
nav: ship
neg: deny
nomen, nomin: name
nov: new
omni: all
oper: to work
pac: peace
pass: feel
pater, patr: father
path: disease, feeling
ped, pod: foot
ped: child
pel, puls: to drive
pet, petit: to seek
phil: love
pon, ponsit: to place
port, portat: to carry
poten: able, powerful
psych: mind
put, putat: to trim, to calculate
que (ques, quir, quis): to ak
reg, rect: rule
rid, ris: to laugh
rog, rogat: to ask
rupt: to break
sacr: holy
sci: to know
scop: watch, see
scrib, script: to write
sect: cut
sed, sess: to sit
sent, sens: to think, to feel
sequi (secut, seque): to follow
solv, solut: to loosen
somn: sleep
soph: wisdom
spec, spect: to look at
spir: breath
string, strict: bind
stru, struct: build
tang (tact, ting): to touch
tempor: time
ten, tent: to hold
term: end
terr: land
therm: heat
tors, tort: twist
tract: drag, pull
trud, trus: push, shove
urb: city
vac: empty
vad, vas: go
veni (vent, ven): to come
ver: true
verb: word
vers, vert: turn
via: way
vid, vis: to see
vinc (vict, vanq): to conquer
viv, vit: alive
voc, vocat: to call
vol: wish
volv, volut: to roll

via Educare Tutorial

Here are a few Zuckerberg-worthy GRE words:

Hubris: Excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance. (Adjective: hubristic)

Overweening: presumptuously conceited, overconfident, or proud.

Oh snap! See the rest of the words that apply to Mark Zuckerberg on the Manhattan Prep blog.

The Texts from Hillary meme began when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was photographed sending a text, wearing sunglasses, while sitting in a G-6.

Find GRE Vocabulary words in the Texts from Hillary meme here!