Top 1000 Vocabulary Words That Everyone Should Know
Page 5 - 401 to 500 Words
The top 1,000 vocabulary words have been carefully chosen to represent difficult but common words that appear in everyday academic and business writing. These words are also the most likely to appear on the SAT, ACT, GRE, and ToEFL.
To create this list, we started with the words that give our users the most trouble and then ranked them by how frequently they appear in our corpus of billions of words from edited sources. If you only have time to study one list of words, this is the list.
parry, practitioner, ravel, infest, actuate, surly, convalesce, demoralize, devolve, alacrity, waive, unwonted, seethe, scrutinize, diffident, execrate, implacable, pique, mite, encumber, uncouth, petulant, expiate, cavalier, banter, bluster, debase, retainer, subjugate, extol, fraught, august, fissure, knoll, callous, inculcate, nettle, blanch, inscrutable, tenacious, thrall, exigency, disconsolate, impetus, imposition, auspices, sonorous, exploitation, bane, dint, ignominious, amicable, onset, conservatory, zenith, voluble, yeoman, levity, rapt, sultry, pinion, axiom, descry, retinue, functionary, imbibe, diversified, maraud, grudging, partiality, philology, wry, caucus, permeate, propitious, salient, propitiate, excise, betoken, palatable, upbraid, renegade, hoary, pedantic, coy, troth, encroachment, belie, armada, succor, imperturbable, irresolute, knack, unseemly, accentuate, divulge, brawn, burnish, palpitate, promiscuous
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
Example Sentence: The boys asked a few guarded questions, but gained no information whatever, their questions being parried in every instance.
—Mears, James R.
someone who practices a learned profession
Example Sentence: In particular, modern medical practitioners are coming around to the idea that certain illnesses cannot be reduced to one isolatable, treatable cause.
—Nature (Dec 21, 2011)
Example Sentence: Overcasting is done by taking loose stitches over the raw edge of the cloth, to keep it from ravelling or fraying.
—Ontario. Ministry of Education
occupy in large numbers or live on a host
Example Sentence: Many lived in dilapidated apartments with leaky pipes, broken windows, rooms full of mold, and walls infested with cock roaches and rats.
—New York Times (Jul 28, 2011)
give an incentive for action
Example Sentence: He knew that men were actuated by other motives, good and bad, than self-interest.
—Blease, Walter Lyon
inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace
Example Sentence: But Blake, being surly and quarrelsome even when sober, gave the lapel a savage jerk , and reached out with his other hand.
—Chisholm, A. M. (Arthur Murray)
get over an illness or shock
Example Sentence: Patients convalescing from pneumonia were evacuated to England or given Base Duty.
—Jahns, Lewis E.
lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
Example Sentence: The storm clobbered many communities still recovering from the flooding two months ago caused by Hurricane Irene, leaving weary homeowners exhausted and demoralized.
—Washington Post (Nov 1, 2011)
Example Sentence: As the rhetoric heated up inside, the violence outside devolved into chaos.
—Time (Feb 13, 2012)
liveliness and eagerness
Example Sentence: Every one exerted himself not only without murmuring and discontent, but even with an alacrity which almost approached to cheerfulness.
do without or cease to hold or adhere to
Example Sentence: Low rates have also led retail brokerages to waive fees on money market funds to avoid negative returns for their clients.
—Reuters (Jan 13, 2012)
out of the ordinary
Example Sentence: He must rush off to see his people, who no doubt were quite confounded by his unwonted energy.
be in an agitated emotional state
Example Sentence: Outwardly quite calm and matter-of-fact, his mind was in a seething turmoil.
to look at critically or searchingly, or in minute detail
Example Sentence: Fans and commentators are scrutinizing every blemish: his turnovers, his weak left hand, his jump shot.
—New York Times (Mar 5, 2012)
Example Sentence: Shyly diffident in the presence of strangers, her head was lowered.
—Packard, Frank L. (Frank Lucius)
curse or declare to be evil or anathema or threaten with divine punishment
Example Sentence: When all Great Britain was execrating Napoleon, picturing him as a devil with horns and hoofs, Byron looked upon him as the world's hero.
incapable of being placated
Example Sentence: This man was a savage in his implacable desire for revenge.
—Kelly, Florence Finch
a sudden outburst of anger
Example Sentence: A talented youngster who smashes his guitar in a fit of pique finds it magically reassembled just in time for a crucial concert.
—The Guardian (May 31, 2010)
a slight but appreciable amount
Example Sentence: I never saw anybody so pleased with monkeys as she is, and not one mite afraid.
Example Sentence: Two others were making slower progress for the reason that each was encumbered by supporting a disabled man.
—Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
lacking refinement or cultivation or taste
Example Sentence: He had not stopped to consider her rough speech and uncouth manners.
—Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows)
easily irritated or annoyed
Example Sentence: The blackeyes emitted an angry flash, the voice that answered was sharp and petulant.
—Fleming, May Agnes
make amends for
Example Sentence: Wulphere was absolved on condition that he should expiate his crime by founding churches and monasteries all over his kingdom.
—Clifton, A. B.
given to haughty disregard of others
Example Sentence: Some would have given Nicklaus a cavalier response: polite nod while thinking, “Yeah, whatever.”
—New York Times (Jun 18, 2011)
light teasing repartee
Example Sentence: Our easy banter had suddenly been replaced by strained and awkward interaction.
—Slate (Feb 15, 2012)
act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner
Example Sentence: Slade, despite his swaggers and blustering, was at heart a coward.
corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
Example Sentence: Long oppression had not, on the whole, either blunted their intellects or debased their morals.
a person working in the service of another (especially in the household)
Example Sentence: This faithful and trusted retainer is greatly valued by his employers.
—Black , Helen C
make subservient; force to submit or subdue
Example Sentence: The Confederacy was led by thoroughgoing racists who wanted to keep blacks subjugated for all time because of the color of their skin.
—Slate (Apr 7, 2010)
praise, glorify, or honor
Example Sentence: How I praised the duck at that first dinner, and extolled Madame's skill in cookery!
filled with or attended with
Example Sentence: But the ocean remains an unpredictable place, fraught with hazards.
—Scientific American (Apr 5, 2012)
Example Sentence: At all times reserved in his manner and his bearing full of dignity, never before had she realized the majesty of General Washington’s august presence.
—Madison, Lucy Foster
a long narrow depression in a surface
Example Sentence: The brown bark is not very rough, though its numerous fissures and cracks give it a rugged appearance.
a small natural hill
Example Sentence: Opened in 2008, the park serves as a true public space; elderly couples stroll around the artificial lake as toddlers roll down grassy knolls.
—New York Times (May 7, 2010)
Example Sentence: Outwardly merry and good-humoured, he was by nature coldly fierce, calculating, callous.
teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
Example Sentence: But instruction in history has been for a long time systematically used to inculcate certain political sentiments in the pupils.
—Liebknecht, Karl Paul August Friedrich
cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
Example Sentence: Lincoln began these remarks by good-humored but nettling chaffing of his opponent.
turn pale, as if in fear
Example Sentence: He is silent, as if struck dumb, his face showing blanched and bloodless, while she utters a shriek , half terrified, half in frenzied anger.
of an obscure nature
Example Sentence: The fashion industry is notoriously opaque and often inscrutable for outsiders, even ones as well connected as him.
—Seattle Times (Oct 1, 2011)
Example Sentence: She was a tenacious woman, one who would even hold fast a thing which she no longer valued, simply because it belonged to her.
the state of being under the control of another person
Example Sentence: Then Kiss commenced in earnest, and quickly held his audience in thrall.
—Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold
a pressing or urgent situation
Example Sentence: The exigency of the situation roused Mr. Popkiss' sluggish faculties into prompt action.
sad beyond comforting; incapable of being consoled
Example Sentence: Was there a bereaved mother or disconsolate sister weeping over their dead?
—Steward, T. G. (Theophilus Gould)
a force that moves something along
Example Sentence: Critics say it has known mixed success at best, although supporters hope the U.S. drawdown could provide just the impetus it needs to thrive.
—Reuters (Jan 10, 2012)
an uncalled-for burden
Example Sentence: On that far-away day he had considered the little, lost girl a nuisance and an imposition.
—Chisholm, A. M. (Arthur Murray)
kindly endorsement and guidance
Example Sentence: In March 2009, negotiations between Israel and Hamas were held in Cairo, under the auspices of the Egyptian intelligence agency.
—New York Times (Nov 9, 2011)
full and loud and deep
Example Sentence: His voice rang out firmly now, a deep and sonorous bass.
an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly)
Example Sentence: In a scathing report released last year, Amnesty International found there was widespread exploitation of migrants in Malaysia.
—BBC (Apr 4, 2011)
something causing misery or death
Example Sentence: Knee pain is the bane of many runners, sometimes causing them to give up altogether.
—Seattle Times (Jun 7, 2010)
interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
Example Sentence: If only certain puzzles could be solved by dint of sheer hard thinking!
(used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
Example Sentence: The great Ottawa chief saw his partially accomplished scheme withering into ignominious failure.
characterized by friendship and good will
Example Sentence: After a short colloquy the two men evidently came to an amicable understanding, for they shook hands.
—Kraszewski, Jo?zef Ignacy
the beginning or early stages
Example Sentence: Thousands of families are living in makeshift camps as temperatures fall to freezing with the onset of winter.
—New York Times (Nov 10, 2011)
a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
Example Sentence: The young instrumental talent that is coming out of local music schools and conservatories is as amazingly good as you are going to find anywhere.
—Chicago Tribune (Jun 1, 2011)
the point above the observer that is directly opposite the nadir on the imaginary sphere against which celestial bodies appear to be projected
Example Sentence: In other words it never reaches the zenith, a point directly overhead.
—George H. Lowery.
marked by a ready flow of speech
Example Sentence: I find him charming: shy – yet easy to talk to – voluble and funny once he gets going.
—The Guardian (Aug 21, 2010)
in former times was free and cultivated his own land
Example Sentence: On one extreme was the well-to-do yeoman farmer farming his own land.
—Reilly, S. A.
a manner lacking seriousness
Example Sentence: The same balance of seriousness and levity runs through her plays, which put an absurdist spin on everyday problems.
—New York Times (May 7, 2010)
feeling great rapture or delight
Example Sentence: She was watching the development of the investigation with rapt, eager attention.
characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
Example Sentence: New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics arrive just as school sports ramp up in sultry August temperatures.
—Washington Post (Aug 9, 2011)
bind the arms of
Example Sentence: The prisoners having dismounted, were placed in a line on the ground facing the guillotine, their arms pinioned.
(logic) a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof; its truth is assumed to be self-evident
Example Sentence: The fundamental axiom of scientific thought is that there is not, never has been, and never will be, any disorder in nature.
—Huxley, Thomas H.
catch sight of
Example Sentence: Looking off seaward, I could descry no sails.
—Drake, Samuel Adams
the group following and attending to some important person
Example Sentence: Despite his retinue of security personnel, Atambaev had been poisoned during his short tenure as prime minister.
—Salon (Apr 9, 2010)
a worker who holds or is invested with an office
Example Sentence: He was the functionary of the assize court, impaneling its juries, bringing accused men before it, and carrying out its penalties.
—Reilly, S. A.
take in liquids
Example Sentence: "We're cornered at last," he said suddenly, as the old man set the bottle down after having imbibed the best half of its contents.
having variety of character or form or components; or having increased variety
Example Sentence: Funds in both categories tend to be highly diversified, typically with 100 or more stocks across at least 10 industries.
—Wall Street Journal (Feb 24, 2012)
raid and rove in search of booty
Example Sentence: Its reporter says armed gangs and looters are marauding the streets.
—BBC (Apr 8, 2011)
petty or reluctant in giving or spending
Example Sentence: Expect delays, scattered outages and surly, grudging customer service in the interim.
—Time (Aug 30, 2011)
a predisposition to like something
Example Sentence: She still showed a partiality for bright colors, by her gown of deep crimson.
the humanistic study of language and literature
Example Sentence: I had determined to study philology, chiefly Greek and Latin, but the fare spread out by the professors was much too tempting.
—Müller, F. Max (Friedrich Max)
humorously sarcastic or mocking
Example Sentence: She also has a very understated but very wry sense of humour; watch out for it.
—The Guardian (Oct 13, 2010)
meet to select a candidate or promote a policy
Example Sentence: Representative Ron Paul of Texas isn’t campaigning in Florida, instead focusing on Maine, which will caucus in late February.
—BusinessWeek (Feb 1, 2012)
spread or diffuse through
Example Sentence: Florida’s summertime heat permeates almost every scene, becoming something like a character.
—New York Times (Mar 13, 2012)
presenting favorable circumstances; likely to result in or show signs of success
Example Sentence: With the Athens stock market down nearly 30 percent so far this year, it would not seem a propitious time for initial public offerings.
—New York Times (Jun 2, 2010)
having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
Example Sentence: Bullying has become an increasingly salient problem for school-age children, and in rare cases has ended tragically with victims committing suicide.
—Reuters (Feb 8, 2012)
make peace with
Example Sentence: King Edward, having subdued the Welsh, “endeavoured to propitiate his newly acquired subjects by becoming a resident in the conquered country.
—Frith, William Powell
remove by cutting
Example Sentence: Wielding a razor, Jefferson excised all passages containing supernaturalistic elements from the gospels, extracting what he took to be Jesus's pure ethical teachings.
—The Guardian (Apr 8, 2011)
be a signal for or a symptom of
Example Sentence: The haggard face and sombre eyes betokened considerable mental anguish.
—Young, F.E. Mills
acceptable to the taste or mind
Example Sentence: If nicely cooked in this way, cabbage is as palatable and as digestible as cauliflower.
express criticism towards
Example Sentence: When Kahn warned of a serious economic "depression", he was upbraided by the White House for using such language.
—The Guardian (Jan 12, 2011)
someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
Example Sentence: If he went off to another people he lost all standing among the Sioux and was thereafter treated as an outlaw and a renegade.
Example Sentence: The device of the trapped young person saved by books is a hoary one, but Ms. Winterson makes it seem new, and sulfurous.
—New York Times (Mar 8, 2012)
marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects
Example Sentence: The reader is treated to pedantic little footnotes, and given a good deal of information which is either gratuitous or uninteresting.
showing marked and often playful or irritating evasiveness or reluctance to make a definite or committing statement
Example Sentence: It was funny watching such a solid person, based in faith and education, grow a trifle coy about the year of his birth.
—New York Times (Jul 11, 2010)
a solemn pledge of fidelity
Example Sentence: She had pledged to him her troth, and she would not attempt to go back from her pledge at the first appearance of a difficulty.
entry to another's property without right or permission
Example Sentence: The move may mark yet another attempt by France to rein in what it sees as the encroachment of online services on the country's culture.
—BusinessWeek (Jan 8, 2010)
be in contradiction with
Example Sentence: "It is a fine morning," he said, taken aback by my sudden movement, but affecting an indifference which the sparkle in his eye belied.
—Weyman, Stanley John
a large fleet
Example Sentence: An armada of three hundred ships manned by eighteen thousand marines assembled in the bay on their way to the conquest of Algiers.
assistance in time of difficulty
Example Sentence: Given his health woes, succession worries and persistent isolation, Mr. Kim may simply be seeking succor from what may be his last friend on earth.
—New York Times (May 5, 2010)
not easily perturbed or excited or upset; marked by extreme calm and composure
Example Sentence: Ordinarily imperturbable, even in the face of unexpected situations, he was now visibly agitated.
—Griggs, Sutton E. (Sutton Elbert)
uncertain how to act or proceed
Example Sentence: I stood for a moment before I entered on my arduous undertaking, irresolute and hesitating, swayed by two conflicting impulses.
—Waugh, Joseph Laing
a special way of doing something
Example Sentence: He had a special knack of hunting out farm houses, engaging madame in conversation, and coming away with bread, eggs, or cheese in his knapsack .
not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
Example Sentence: The square mile's upbeat mood may strike some as unseemly at a time of national gloom.
—The Guardian (Jan 1, 2011)
to stress, single out as important
Example Sentence: This sparkling marvel lies modestly nestled among the law courts, whose plainer modern buildings serve but to accentuate its wonderful beauty.
—Sherrill, Charles Hitchcock
make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
Example Sentence: She hectors her children not to divulge personal information like phone numbers online.
—Seattle Times (Nov 15, 2011)
possessing muscular strength
Example Sentence: He believes Hollywood has often have had an over-reliance on physical brawn as the deciding factor for portraying a strong man.
—Reuters (Jul 9, 2010)
polish and make shiny
Example Sentence: Great cleanliness is enforced in all that belongs to a lighthouse, the reflectors and lenses being constantly burnished, polished, and cleansed.
Example Sentence: After supper my heart started racing, palpitating like a tick.
—Isaacson, Lauren Ann
not selective of a single class or person
Example Sentence: A promiscuous assembly had gathered there—men of all creeds and opinions—and an "open-air" meeting was in progress.
—Whitney, Orson F.