The 15 GRE Words of the Day - Day 3
- antagonism (noun) Hostility, conflict, opposition.
Witnesses at Columbine high School spoke of a lingering antagonism between
nerds and jocks. antagonistic (adjective), antagonize (verb).
- antipathy (noun) A long-held feeling of dislike or
aversion. Jazz musicians often have an antipathy for country music.
Do country musicians have similar feelings about jazz?
- apprehension (noun) A feeling of fear or foreboding;
an arrest. The apprehension was noticiable in the line of students waiting
to take the GRE. I was surprised to turn on Cops and see an
apprehension of Jim. Why didn't he get his face fuzzed out? apprehend
- arabesque (noun) Intricate decorative patterns involving
intertwining lines and sometimes incorporating flowers, animals and fruits.
The dominant art-form in the middle east has long been caligraphy and due
to prosperity in the region, for a long time, everything was inscribed. So
you can go through the British Museum and see mosaics covered with arabesque,
surrounding religious quotations.
- arbitrary (adjective) Based on random or merely personal
preference. the highschool dresscode, which banned camoflague patterns and
jeans of certain colors, was widely considered by the students to be fully
- archaic (adjective) Old-fashioned, obsolete. For years,
macintosh users bragged that their GUI replaced the archaic command-line
system used by DOS users. Now they brag about their BSD-based system
with it's terminal windows. archaism (noun).
- ardor (noun) A strong feeling of passion, energy
or zeal. The "primative" ardor that Stravinsky poured into
Rite of Spring was so strong and unexpected by his contemporaries,
that a riot broke out after just the first movement during the first
performance. (true story). ardent (adjective)
- arid (adjective) Very dry; boring and meaningless.
Visitors to Death Valley are advised to take a few gallons of water
apiece so they can survive the arid conditions. Only after everyone
listening to me excitely talking about the Hundred Years War fell asleep,
did I realize that some might find French military history to be an arid
subject. aridity (noun)
- articulate (adjective) To express oneself clearly and
effectively. After listening to the republicrats speak, it's exciting
to listen to someone as articulate as Nader and that green guy whose running
for govenor who everyone should vote for because he's soooo much better t
han Davis or Simon.
- asperity (noun) Harshness, severity. Pelican
bay prison is built on the insane idea that the way to lower recidivism
rates is to treat the prisoners with asperity, instead of preparing them
to return to the community.
- assail (verb) To attack with blows or words.
when Ari Fleisher attemtped to state Bush's war plans, he was assailed
by thinking people in the audience. assailant (noun).
- assay (verb) To analyze for particular components;
to determine weight, quality, etc We assayed spam and discovered that
it does contain meat products, epsecially from the snout region.
- assimilate (verb) To absorb into a system or culture.
A goal of Ellis Island was to convince immigrants to Americanize
their names and ideas so they would more quickly assimilate into
- assimilated (adjective) The decendants of Irish
immigrants have fully assimilated into mainstream white society, but,
because of the legacy of slavery and lingering racism, the decendants
of African immigrants have not assimilated to the same degree.
- assuage (verb) To easy, to pacify. Hearing that
her brother was fine after surgery did not assuage Katie, only seeing
him awake and talking did.
I heard a shout down the hallway, "Resistance is futile! You will
"My god, is it the borg?" I asked.
"No, my darling," Shiela said, trying to assuage me,
"it's the new homeland security forces working with the INS to process
green card applicants."
"How archaic!" I looked around, "We must have made
the wrong turn and gotten into the federal building."
"Oh no, my darling," she said in a voice that filled me with
apprehension, "they work everywhere."
Shelia could stand to be more articulate at times,
but she does know what's going on and besides that, she dresses up
my arm very nicely. I motioned that we should duck into a
sidehallway. There are some standing warrants for my arrest
and an aprehension was not on my agenda for the
"We should move from here, my darling." shelia whispered in my
ear. I misread her ardor and kissed her passionately,
when I was suddenly assialed from behind. I was out
faster than an incandescent lightbulb in a power surge, but apparently
Shelia put up quite a fight. I came to in a bare concrete room with a
bare lightbulb overhead, the very image of asperity,
but there was more in store.
"where am I?" I asked, before I got my bearings.
"Ah," an unknown voice said, "your antipathy toward
the law finally caught up with you, Mr. Anderson."
I sat up. "Look, you've got the wrong guy. I'm not even a guy. I'm
just Jane Smith, like it says on my drivers liscence."
"One of you many aliases, Mr Anderson." the voice spat out with heavy
antagonism. I could just make out the speaker standing
in the shadows of the room.
"Where's Shelia?" I demanded.
A shadow next to the speaker moved suddenly and he collapsed to the
ground. shelia stepped out of the shadows.
"What took you so long?" I asked as she took my cuffs off
"I was waiting for you to inquire after me."
I assayed myself, checking for injury. "That's
a pretty arbitrary time to come to the rescue."
"I had to make sure they didn't assimilate you. The
door is this way."
As I wondered what was going on, she led me out into an utterly
arid desert. Fortunately there was a dune
buggy parked there, because it would be a long, waterless walk
"Can you explain what's going on? just start from the top." I
said after we hotwired the buggy and started acorss the sands.
She was driving so she gestured towards her purse. Inside
was a document, whose edges were handpainted with intriquite
arabesque but whose content was utterly arid.
"It's all in there." she said.
I read the whole thing. "My god!" I said, "this sinister plot must be stopped!"
Shelia handed me my revolver.
Day 2 . Day 4