English Common Nouns

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a deviation from what is normal or expected
Aberrations in climate have become the norm: rarely a week goes by without some meteorological phenomenon making headlines.
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an award or praise granted as a special honor
Jean Paul-Sartre was not a fan of accolades; and as such; he refused to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964.
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bitterness and ill will
The acrimonious dispute between the president and vice-president sent a clear signal to voters: the health of the current administration was imperiled.
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one who professes great sensitivity to the beauty of art and nature
A true aesthete; Marty would spend hours at the Guggenheim Museum; staring at the same Picasso.
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a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.
The artist operated according to a peculiar aesthetic; not considering any photograph to be worth publishing unless it contained a marine mammal.
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a mixture of multiple things
The band's music was an amalgam of hip-hop; flamenco and jazz; blending the three styles with surprising results.
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something that is not normal; standard; or expected
After finding an anomaly in the data; she knew that she would have to conduct her experiment again.
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an intense feeling of dislike or aversion
Maria had an antipathy for tour groups; often bolting to the other side of the museum as soon as she saw a chaperone leading a group of wide-eyed tourists.
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an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
Widespread apathy among voters led to a very small turnout on election day.
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one who practices great self-denial
Historically; ascetics like Ghandi are often considered wise men partially because of their restraint.
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aggressive boldness in social situations
She surprised her colleagues by having the audacity to publically criticize the findings of an distinguished scientist.
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a trite or obvious remark
Herbert regarded the minister's remark as a mere banality until Sharon pointed out profound implications to the seemingly obvious words.
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" making of a false statement meant to injure a person""s reputation"
With the presidential primaries well under way; the air is thick with calumny; and the mud already waist- high.
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being a part of a whole
The constituents of the metal alloy are nickle; copper; and tin.
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a gathering of persons representative of some larger group
A small contingent of those loyal to the king have gathered around the castle to defend it.
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the feeling of remorse or guilt that comes from doing something bad
Those who show contrition during their prison terms--especially when under review by a parole board-- often get shortened sentences.
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a state of guilt
Since John had left his banana peel at the top of the stairwell; he accepted culpability for Martha's broken leg.
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propriety in manners and conduct
You will obey the rules of decorum for this courtroom or spend the night in a jail cell; said the judge to the prosecutor.
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an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge
Fred has no formal medical training; while he likes to claim authority on medical issues; he is little more than a dilettante
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compulsory force or threat
The witness said he signed the contract under duress and argued that the court should cancel the agreement.
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a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event)
Ever since Elvira resigned as the head of marketing; everything about our sales strategy has been in a state of flux.
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feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
In an act of gall; Leah sent compromising photos of her ex-boyfriend to all his co-workers and professional contacts.
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an excessive supply
The Internet offers such a glut of news related stories that many find it difficult to know which story to read first.
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a long pompous speech; a tirade
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.
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a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
Though everybody at the gym told Mikey to do cardio before weights; Mikey was a heretic and always did the reverse.
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somebody who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions
"Lady Gaga; in challenging what it means to be clothed; is an iconoclast for wearing a ""meat dress"" to a prominent awards show."
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a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
Peggy's numerous idiosyncrasies include wearing mismatched shoes; laughing loudly to herself; and owning a pet aardvark.
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the trait of seeming not to care
In an effort to fight indifference; the president of the college introduced a new; stricter grading system.
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excessive patriotism
North Korea maintains intense control over its population through a combination of jingoism and cult of personality.
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extreme generosity and giving
Uncle Frank was known for his largess; so his nephew was sad when he did not receive a present for his birthday.
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someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
Officer Kelly was a maverick; rarely following police protocols or adopting the conventions for speech common among his fellow officers.
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the tendency to be untruthful
I can forgive her for her mendacity but only because she is a child and is seeing what she can get away with.
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a large indefinite number
There are a myriad of internet sites hawking pills that claim to boost energy for hours on end.
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a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
Because of the nuances involved in this case; I hired an outside consultant to advice us and help.
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wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
Russian oligarchs are famous for their opulence; living in fancy homes and dining on expensive cavier.
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distinctive and stylish elegance
Jim; with his typical panache; came to the wedding reception with a top hat; a cane; and a long cape covered in sequins.
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an act of deliberate betrayal; a breach of a trust
The lowest circles in Dante's Inferno were for those who had practiced perfidy; and among these; the very lowest was for those; such as Judas; who had been treacherous to one of their benefactors.
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a trite or obvious remark
The professor argued that many statements regarded as wise in previous times; such as the Golden Rule; are now regarded as mere platitudes.
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a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
The professor launched into a polemic; claiming that Freudian theory was a pack of lies that absolutely destroyed European literary theory. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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a strong liking
Monte had a predilection for the fine things in life: Cuban cigars; 200 dollar bottles of wine; and trips to the French Riviera.
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the power to foresee the future
Baxter's warnings about investing in technology stocks seemed like an act of prescience after the whole market declined significantly.
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someone who spends money recklessly or wastefully
Most lottery winners go from being conservative; frugal types to outright profligates who blow millions on fast cars; lavish homes; and giant yachts.
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someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
Steven Pinker's credentials are unquestioned as a pundit; he has taught at MIT and Stanford; teaches at Harvard; and has published a number of influential books on cognition; language; and psychology.
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a legal penalty for a forbidden action
International sanctions have been placed on certain shipping lanes that were thought to be involved in human trafficking.
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a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
The CEO was unaware of the damaging consequences of his choices; largely because he surrounded himself with sycophants who would never dare criticize him.
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the trait of avoiding excesses
Welles wasn't known for his temperance--he usually ate enough for two and drank enough for three.
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inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy
After work; I was expecting my colleagues to be enthusiastic about the outing; but I found them in a state of complete torpor.
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an absurd presentation of something; a mockery
What I expected to be an intelligent; nuanced historical documentary turned out to be a poorly-produced travesty of the form.
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the condition of being susceptible to bribes or corruption
Even some of the most sacrosanct sporting events are not immune to venality; as many of the officials have received substantial bribes to make biased calls.
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the quality of talking or writing easily and continuously
The professor's volubility knows no bounds; he could talk through a hurricane and elaborate a point from one St. Patrick's Day to the next.

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