English Common Verbs

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choose not to consume or take part in (particularly something enjoyable)
Considered a health nut; Jessica abstained from anything containing sugar--even chocolate.
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to warn strongly; even to the point of reprimanding
Before the concert began; security personel admonished the crowd not to come up on stage during the performance.
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make something bad better
Three Cups of Tea tells the story of western man who hopes to ameliorate poverty and the lack of education in Afghanistan.
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pacify by acceding to the demands of
Neville Chamberlain; the British prime minister during WWII; tried to appease Hitler and in doing so sent a clear message: you can walk all over us.
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to give a false representation to; misrepresent
The smile on her face belies the pain she must feel after the death of her husband.
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to reveal or make known something; usually unintentionally
With the gold medal at stake; the gymnast awaited his turn; his quivering lip betraying his intense emotions.
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support and strengthen
The case for the suspect's innocence was bolstered considerably by the fact that neither fingerprints nor DNA were found at the scene. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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grow and flourish
China's housing market is burgeoning; but some predict that the growth is merely a bubble and will burst much like the U.S. real estate bubble of 2008.
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to reprimand harshly
Drill sergeants are known to castigate new recruits so mercilessly that the latter often break down during their first week in training.
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to express strong disapproval
After being caught in bed with a mistress; the mayor was quickly censured by the city council.
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to reprimand harshly
Though chastised for his wanton abuse of the pantry; Lawrence shrugged off his mother's harsh words; and continued to plow through jars of cookies and boxes of donuts.
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to chuckle; laugh merrily
Walking past the bar; I could hear happy; chortling people and the blast of horns from a jazz band.
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restrict or confine
Their tour of South America was circumscribed so that they saw only popular destinations and avoided the dangerous parts of cities. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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cleverly find a way out of one's duties or obligations
One way of circumventing the GRE is to apply to a grad school that does not require GRE scores.
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give over; surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another
The Spanish were forced to concede much of the territory they had previously conquered.
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mistake one thing for another
Americans often confound sweet potatoes with yams; and refer to both vegetables by the same name.
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interpreted in a particular way
The author's inability to take a side on the issue was construed by both his opponents and supporters as a sign of weakness.
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to pull off a plan or scheme; usually through skill or trickery
Despite a low GPA; he contrived to get into college; going so far as to write his own glowing letters of recommendation. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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reach the highest or most decisive point
Beethoven's musical genius culminated in the 9th Symphony; which many consider his greatest work.
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describe in detail
After a brief summary of proper swimming technique; the coach delineated the specifics of each stroke; spending 30 minutes alone on the backstroke.
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to object or show reluctance
Wallace disliked the cold; so he demurred when his friends suggested they going skiing in the Alps.
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charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone
Count Rumford denigrated the new theory of heat; demonstrating that it was wholly inadequate to explain the observations.
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be a sign or indication of; have as a meaning
"Even if the text is not visible; the red octagon denotes ""stop"" to all motorists in America."
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reason by deduction; establish by deduction
From the multiple set of footprints in the living room; the investigator derived an important clue: Sheila was not alone in the room at the time of the murder.
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cause to become widely known
Before the effects of anaethesia were disseminated; patients had to experience the full pain of a surgery.
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call forth (emotions; feelings; and responses)
Just smiling--even if you are depressed--can elicit feelings of pleasure and happiness.
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make clearer and easier to understand
Youtube is great place to learn just about anything--an expert elucidates finer points so that even a complete novice can learn.
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to sap energy from
John preferred to avoid equatorial countries; the intense sun would always leave him enervated after he'd spent the day sightseeing.
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give rise to
The restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles were so severe that they engendered deep hatred and resentment in the German people.
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to completely destroy
I tried eradicating the mosquitos in my apartment with a rolled up newspaper; but there were too many of them.
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avoid and stay away from deliberately; stay clear of
Politicians are the masters of eschewing morals; academics are the masters of eschewing clarity.
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to adopt or support an idea or cause
As a college student; Charlie espoused Marxism; growing his beard out and railing against the evils of the free-market.
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make worse
Her sleeplessness exacerbated her cold--when she woke up the next day; her sinuses were completely blocked.
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praise or glorify
The teenagers exalted the rock star; covering their bedrooms with posters of him.
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pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
The document clearly indicated that Nick was out of the state at the time of the crime; and so served to exonerate him of any charges.
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add details or explanation; clarify the meaning; state in depth
The CEO refused to expound on the decision to merge our department with another one; and so I quit.
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try to stir up public opinion
After having his pay cut; Phil spread vicious rumors about his boss; hoping to foment a general feeling of discontent.
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hinder or prevent (the efforts; plans; or desires) of
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
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deny or contradict; speak against or oppose
I can't gainsay a single piece of evidence James has presented; but I still don't trust his conclusion.
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to excite or inspire (someone) to action
"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."
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supply with an excess of
In the middle of economic crises; hiring managers find their inboxes glutted with resumes.
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to deliver a long pompous speech or tirade
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.
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gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
Even though Tom didn't like his new boss; he decided to ingratiate himself to her in order to advance his career.
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to suggest something subtly
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 wor
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place side by side
The meaning of her paintings comes from a classical style which juxtaposes modern themes.
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criticize severely or angrily
Showing no patience; the manager utterly lambasted the sales team that lost the big account.
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assign great social importance to
Students in the U.S. learn to lionize Jefferson; Franklin; and Washington because they are the founding fathers of the nation.
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to assert
The scientist maintained that the extinction of dinosaurs was most likely brought about by a drastic change in climate.
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interpret in the wrong way
The politician never trusted journalists because he though that they misconstrue his words and misrepresent his positions.
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lessen the severity of an offense
If it weren't for the mitigating circumstances; he would have certainly lost his job.
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to make someone angry less angry; placate
In the morning; Harriat was unable to mollify Harry; if he happened to become angry; unless he had his cup of coffee.
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unsure how to act or respond
Shirley was totally nonplussed when the angry motorist cut her off and then stuck his finger out the window.
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make unclear
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
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exclude from a community or group
Later in his life; Leo Tolstoy was ostracized from the Russian Orthodox Church for his writings that contradicted church doctrine.
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cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
I was able to placate the angry mob of students by promising to bring cookies on Monday.
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assume as fact
Initially; Einstein posited a repulsive force to balance Gravity; but then rejected that idea as a blunder.
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keep from happening or arising; make impossible
The manager specified that all other gates be locked; to preclude the possibility of persons without tickets entering the arena undetected.
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to speak in an evasive way
"The cynic quipped; ""There is not much variance in politicians; they all seem to prevaricate""."
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to make less severe; to limit (a statement)
Chris qualified his love for San Francisco; adding that he didn't like the weather as much as the weather in Los Angeles.
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criticize severely or angrily; censure
The police chief rebuked the two officers whose irresponsible decisions almost led to the deaths of seven innocent by-standers.
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make (one thing) compatible with (another)
Peggy was unable to reconcile her kind friend Jane with the cruel and merciless character Jane played on television.
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prove to be false or incorrect
No one could refute his theories or propositions; and that is why he was esteemed by all his colleagues in the philosophy department.
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to express criticism towards
At first; Sarah was going to yell at the boy; but she didn't want to reproach him for telling the truth about the situation.
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reject as untrue or unfounded
Many in the public believed the rumors of a UFO crash outside town; so the chief of police did everything he could to repudiate the rumors.
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cancel officially
The man's driver's license was rescinded after his tenth car accident; which meant he would never be allowed to legally drive again.
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give authority or permission to
The authorities have sanctioned the use of the wilderness reserve for public use; many expect to see hikers an campers enjoying the park in the coming months.
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consider (an instance of something) as part of a general rule or principle
Don Quixote of La Mancha subsumes all other modern novels; demonstrating modern literary devices and predating even the idea of a postmodern; metanarrative.
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take the place or move into the position of
For many; a cell phone has supplanted a traditional phone; in fact; most 20-somethings don't even have a traditional phone anymore.
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reduce the length of something
The soccer game was truncated when the monsoon rain began to fall.
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underscore Englisch
give extra weight to (a communication)
While the hiking instructor agreed that carrying a first aid kit could be a good idea under certain circumstances; he underscored the importance of carrying enough water.
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to reproach; to scold
"Bob took a risk walking into the ""Students Barbershop""--in the end he had to upbraid the apparently drunk barber for giving him an uneven bowl cut."
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be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action
Some students vacillate between schools when deciding which to attend; while others focus only on one school. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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to respect deeply
The professor; despite his soporific lectures; was venerated amongst his colleagues; publishing more papers yearly than all of his peers combined.
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spread negative information about
Todd was noble after the divorce; choosing to say only complimentary things about Barbara; but Barbara did not hesitate to vilify Todd.
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to clear of accusation; blame; suspicion; or doubt with supporting arguments or proof
Even seven Tour de France wins cannot vindicate Lance Armstrong in the eyes of the public--that the athlete used performance enhancing drugs invalidates all those wins.

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