gre vocabulary using word roots

GRE Vocabulary: Using Word Roots

Vocabulary is tested in many ways on the GRE. During the Verbal section, your knowledge of vocabulary will be directly tested with Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, and Reading Comprehension questions. 

Many students find GRE Verbal to be one of the most challenging sections on the test because of the breadth of vocabulary tested. Good old fashioned memorization can be an effective strategy, but it’s time-consuming and may not be the most efficient course of action, especially if you only have a month or two until your GRE test date.

[ RELATED: How to Study for the GRE in Two Months ]

Knowing word roots can help you in two major ways on the GRE. First, instead of learning one word at a time, you can learn a whole group of words that contain a certain root. They’ll be related in meaning, so if you remember one, it will be easier for you to remember others. Second, roots can often help you decode an unknown GRE word. If you recognize a familiar root, you could get a good enough grasp of the word to answer the question. 

Keep reading for a list of word roots that will give you the component parts of many typical GRE vocabulary words. This list is a starting point and a quick review, not an exhaustive guide (though it is lengthy!). Roots are given in their most common forms, with their most common or broadest definitions; often, other forms and meanings exist. Similarly, the definitions for the words given as examples may be incomplete, and other senes of those words may exist. To boost your GRE Verbal prep, get in the habit of looking up unfamiliar words in a good, current dictionary—whether on paper or on the Internet—and be sure to check their etymologies while you’re there.  

[  RELATED: Top 52 GRE Vocabulary Words ]

 

GRE Vocabulary: Kaplan’s Root List

A

A/AN: not, without

agnostic: one who believes the existence of God is not provable

amoral: neither moral nor immoral; having no relation to morality

atrophy: the wasting away of body tissue

 

AB: off, away from, apart, down

abdicate: to renounce or relinquish a throne

abject: cast down; degraded

abstract: conceived apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances

abstruse: hard to understand; secret, hidden

 

ABLE/IBLE: capable of, worthy of

changeable: able to be changed

combustible: capable of being burned; easily inflamed 

 

AC/ACR: sharp, bitter, sour

acerbic: sour or astringent in taste; harsh in temper

acid: something that is sharp, sour, or ill-natured

acrimonious: caustic, stinging, or bitter in nature

acumen: mental sharpness; quickness of wit

 

ACT/AG: to do, to drive, to force, to lead

agile: quick and well-coordinated in movement; active, lively

pedagogue: a teacher

 

AD: to, toward, near (often the d is dropped and the first letter to which a is prefixed is doubled.)

accede: to yield to demand; to enter office

addict: to give oneself over, as to a habit or pursuit

adjoin: to be close or in contact with

 

AL/ALI/ALTER: other, another

alias: an assumed name

allegory: figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another

altruist: a person unselfishly concerned for the welfare of others

 

AM: love

amateur: a person who engages in an activity for pleasure rather than financial or professional gain

amity: friendship; peaceful harmony

amorous: inclined to love, esp. sexual love

 

AMBI/AMPHI: both, on both sides, around

ambidextrous: able to use both hands equally well

ambient: moving around freely; circulating

ambiguous: open to various interpretations

 

AMBL/ABUL: to go, to walk

ambulance: a vehicle equipped for carrying sick people (from a phrase meaning “walking hospital”)

ambulatory: of, pertaining to, or capable of walking

perambulator: one who makes a tour of inspection on foot

 

ANIM: of the life, mind, soul, breath

animosity: a feeling of ill will or enmity

equanimity: mental or emotional stability, especially under tension

magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury

 

ANNUI/ENNI: year

annals: a record of events, esp. a yearly record

annual: of, for, or pertaining to a year; yearly

perennial: lasting for an indefinite amount of time

 

ANT/ANTE: before

antecedent: existing, being, or going before

antedate: precede in time

antediluvian: belonging to the period before the biblical flood; very old or old-fashioned

 

ANTRHO/ANDR: man, human

androgen: any substance that promotes masculine characteristics

androgynous: being both male and female

misanthrope: a person who hates humans or humanity

 

APO: away

apocalypse: revelation; discovery; disclosure

apogee: the highest or most distant point

apostasy: a total desertion of one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc. 

 

ARCH/ARCHI/ARCHY: chief, principal, ruler

anarchy: a state or society without government or law

monarchy: a government in which the supreme power is lodged in a sovereign

oligarchy: a state or society ruled by a select group

 

ARD: to burn

ardent: burning; fierce; passionate

ardor: flame; passion

arson: the crime of setting property on fire

 

AUTO: self

autonomy: independence or freedom

autocrat: an absolute ruler

B

BE: about, to make, to surround, to affect (often used to transform words into transitive verbs)

belie: to misrepresent; to contradict

belittle: to make small; to make something appear smaller

bemoan: to lament; to moan for

 

BEL/BELL: beautiful

belle: a beautiful woman

embellish: to make beautiful; to ornament

 

BEN/BENE: good

benediction: act of uttering a blessing

benefit: anything advantageous to a person or thing

benign: having a kindly disposition 

 

BI/BIN: two

biennial: happening every two years

bilingual: able to speak one’s native language and another with equal facility

binocular: involving two eyes

 

BON/BOUN: good, generous

bona fide: in good faith; without fraud

bountiful: generous

 

BREV/BRID: short, small

abbreviate: to shorten

breviloquent: laconic; concise in one’s speech

brevity: shortness

 

BURS: purse, money

bursar: treasurer

bursary: treasury

disburse: to pay

C

CAD/CID: to fall, to happen by chance

cascade: a waterfall descending over a steep surface

coincidence: a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time, apparently by chance

recidivist: one who repeatedly relapses, as into crime

 

CAP/CIP/CEPT: to take, to get

capture: to take by force or stratagem

percipient: having perception; discerning; discriminating 

precept: a commandment or direction given as a rule of conduct

 

CAP/CAPIT/CIPIT: to head, headlong

capital: the city or town that is the official seat of government 

capitulate: to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms

precipice: a cliff with a vertical face

 

CARD/CORD/COUR: heart

concord: agreement; peace, amity

concordance: agreement, concord, harmony

discord: lack of harmony between persons or things

 

CED/CEED/CESS: to go, to yield, to stop

accede: to yield to a demand; to enter office

cessation: a temporary or complete discontinuance

incessant: without stop

 

CELER: speed

accelerant: something used to speed up a process

celerity: speed; quickness

 

CERN/CERT/CRET/CRIM/CRIT: to separate, to judge, to distinguish, to decide

certitude: freedom from doubt

discrete: detached from others, separate

hypocrite: a person who pretends to have beliefs that she does not

 

CHROM: color

chromatic: having to do with color

chromosome: genetic material that can be studied by coloring it with dyes

 

CHRON: time

anachronism: something that is out-of-date or belonging to the wrong time

chronic: constant, habitual

chronometer: a highly accurate clock or watch

 

CIRCU/CIRCUM: around

circuitous: roundabout, indirect

circumspect: cautious; watching all sides

 

CIS: to cut

exorcise: to seek to expel an evil spirit by ceremony

incisive: penetrating, cutting 

 

CLA/CLO/CLU: to shut, to close

claustrophobia: an abnormal fear of enclosed places

cloister: a courtyard bordered with covered walks, esp. in a religious institution

preclude: to prevent the  presence, existence, or occurrence of

 

CLAIM/CLAM: to shout, to cry out

clamor: a loud uproar

disclaim: to deny interest in or connection with

proclaim: to announce or declare in an official way

 

CLI: to lean toward

climax: the most intense point in the development of something

disinclination: aversion, distaste

Proclivity: inclination, bias

 

CO/COL/COM/CON: with, together

commensurate: suitable in measure, proportionate

conciliate: to placate, win over

connect: to bind or fasten together

 

CONTRA/CONTRO/COUNTER: against

contrary: opposed to; opposite

countermand: to retract an order

 

CORP/CORS: body

corps: a body (an organized group) of troops

corpulent: obese; having a lot of flesh

incorporation: combining into a single body

 

COSM: order, universe, world

cosmology: a theory of the universe as a whole 

cosmopolitan: worldly

microcosm: a small system that reflects a larger whole

 

COUR/CUR: running, a course

concur: to agree

cursory: going rapidly over something; hasty; superficial

incursion: a hostile entrance into a place, esp. suddenly 

 

CER/CRESC/CRET: to grow

accretion: an increase by natural growth

accrue: to be added a matter of periodic gain

excrescence: an outgrowth

 

CRED: to believe, to trust

credo: any formula of belief

credulity: willingness to believe or trust too readily

 

CULP: fault, blame

culpable: deserving blame or censure

inculpate: to charge with fault

mea culpa: through my fault; my fault

D

DAC/DOC: to teach

didactic: intended for instruction

indoctrinate: to imbue a person with learning

 

DE: away, off, down, completely, reversal

defame: to attack the good name or reputation of

deferential: respectful; to yield to judgment

defile: to make foul, dirty, or unclean

 

DEM: people

democracy: government by the people

endemic: peculiar to a particular person or locality

pandemic: general, universal

 

DI: day

diurnal: daily

quotidian: everyday; ordinary

 

DI/DIF/DIS: away from, apart, reversal, not

diffuse: to pour out and spread, as in a fluid

dilatory: inclined to delay or procrastinate

dissipate: to scatter wastefully

 

DIGN: worth

condign: well deserved; fitting; adequate

dignitary: a person who holds a high rank or office

disdain:  to look upon or treat with contempt

 

DOL: to suffer, to pain, to grieve

doleful: sorrowful, mournful 

dolorous: full of pain or sorrow, grievous

indolence: a state of being lazy or slothful

 

DUB: doubt

dubiety: doubtfulness

dubious: doubtful

indubitable: unquestionable 

 

DULC: sweet

dulcet: sweet; pleasing

dulcified: sweetened; softened

dulcimer: a musical instrument

 

DYS: faulty, abnormal

dysfunctional: poorly functioning

dyspepsia: impaired digestion

dystrophy: faulty or inadequate nutrition or development

E

E/EX: out, out of, from, former, completely

efface: to rub or wipe out; surpass, eclipse

extricate: to disentangle, release

 

EPI: upon

epidermis: the outer layer of the skin

epigram: a witty or pointed saying tersely expressed

epilogue: a concluding part added to a literary word

 

EQU: equal, even

equation: the act of making equal

iniquity: gross injustice; wickedness

 

ERR: to wander

errant: wandering or traveling, especially in search of adventure

erratic: deviating from the proper or usual course in conduct

 

ESCE: becoming

convalescent: recovering from illness

obsolescent: becoming obsolete

 

EU: good, well

euphemism: pleasant-sounding term for something unpleasant

euphony: pleasantness of sound

F

FAB/FAM: to speak

affable: friendly, courteous

defame: to attack the good name of 

ineffable: too great for description in words; that which much not be uttered

 

FATU: foolish

fatuity: foolishness; stupidity

fatuous: foolish; stupid

infatuated: swept up in a fit of passion impairing one’s reason

 

FI/FID: faith, trust

affidavit: a written statement on oath

fiduciary: of a trust; held or given in trust

infidel: disbeliever in the supposed true religion

 

FLU/FLUX: to flow

confluence: merging into one

effluence: flowing out of (light, electricity, etc.)

mellifluous: pleasing, musical

 

FULG: to shine

effulgent: shining forth 

refulgent: radiant; shining

 

FUS: to pour

diffuse: to spread widely or thinly

profuse: lavish, extravagant, copious

suffuse: to spread throughout or over from within

G

GEN: birth, creation, race, kind

congenital: existing or as such from birth 

progeny: offspring, descendants 

 

GNI/GNO: to know

ignoramus: a person lacking knowledge, uninformed

prognosis: to forecast, especially of disease

 

GRAT: pleasing

gratuity: money given for good service

ingratiate: to bring oneself into favor

 

GREG: flog

aggregate: a number of things considered a collective whole

egregious: remarkably bad; standing out from the crowd

gregarious: sociable; enjoying spending time with others

H

HAP: by chance

haphazard: at random

hapless: without luck

 

HER/HES: to stick

adherent: able to adhere; believer or advocate of a particular thing

coherent: logically consistent; having waves in phase and of one wavelength

inherent: involved in the constitution or essential character of something

 

HOL: whole

catholic: universal

holograph: a document written entirely by the person whose name it’s in

holistic: considering something as a unified whole

 

HYPER: over, excessive

hyperactive: excessively active

hyperbole: purposeful exaggeration for effect

 

HYPO: under, beneath, less than

hypochondriac: one affected by extreme depression of mind or spirits, often centered on imaginary physical ailments 

hypocritical: pretending to have beliefs one does not

hypodermic: relating to the parts beneath the skin

I

ICON: image, idol

iconic: being representative of a culture or movement

iconoclast: one who attacks established beliefs; one who tears down images

iconology: symbolism

 

IN/IM: in, into (often the m is dropped and the first letter to which i is prefixed is doubled)

incarnate: given a bodily, esp. a human, form

influx: the act of flowing in 

intrinsic: belonging to a thing by its very nature

 

IN/IM: not, without

indigent: poor, needy, lacking in what is needed

indolence: showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful

innocuous: not harmful or injurious

J

JECT: to throw, to throw down

abject: utterly hopeless, humiliating, or wretched

conjecture: formation of opinion on incomplete information

eject: to throw out, expel

 

JOC: joke

jocose: given to joking; playful

jocular: in a joking manner; funny

jocund: merry; cheerful

 

JUD: to judge

abjudicate: to act as a judge

judicious: having good judgment

 

JUR: law, to swear

abjure: to renounce an oath

adjure: to beg or command

perjury: willful lying under oath

L

LAUD: praise, honor

laudable: praiseworthy

laudatory: expressing praise

 

LAV/LAU/LU: to wash

ablution: act of cleansing

antediluvian: before the biblical flood; extremely old

deluge: a great flood of water

 

LEC/LEG/LEX: to read, to speak

legible: readable

lexicographer: a writer of dictionaries

lexicon: a dictionary

 

LECT/LEG: to select, to choose

eclectic: selecting ideas, etc. from various sources

predilection: preference, liking

 

LI/LIG: to tie, to bind

liable: legally responsible; bound by law

lien: the right to hold a property due to an outstanding debt

ligature: a connection between two letters; a bond

 

LIBER: free

liberality: generosity

libertine: one who follows one’s own path, without regard for morals or other restrictions

 

LITH: stone

acrolith: a statue with a stone head and limbs (but a wooden body)

lithography: a printing process that originally involved writing on a flat stone

lithology: the study of rocks and stones

megalith: a very big stone

 

LOC/LOG/LOQU: word, speech, though

colloquial: of ordinary or familiar conversation

elocution: art of clear and expressive speaking

grandiloquent: pompous or inflated in language

loquacious: talkative

 

LUD/LUS: to play

allude: to refer casually or indirectly

delude: to mislead the mind or judgment of, deceive

elude: to avoid capture or escape defection by

M

MACRO: great, long

macrobiotics: a system intended to prolong life

macrocephalous: having a large head

macrocosm: the universe; a large system that is reflected in at least one of its subsets 

 

MAG/MAJ/MAX: big, great

magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury

magnate: a powerful or influential person

maxim: an expression of general truth or principle 

 

MAL/MALE: bad, ill, evil, wrong

maladroit: clumsy; tactless

malapropism: humorous misuse of a word

malfeasance: a misconduct or wrongdoing often committed by a public official

malign: to speak harmful untruths about, to slander

 

MEGA: large, great

megapolis: a very large city

megaton: explosive power equal to 1000 tons of TNT

 

MICRO: very small

microbe: a very small organism

micron: a millionth of a meter

 

MIN: small

diminution: the act or process of diminishing

minutiae: small or trivial details

 

MIS: bad, wrong, to hate

misadventure: bad luck; an unlucky accident

misanthrope: one who hates people or humanity

mischance: bad luck; an unlucky accident

 

MIS/MIT: to send

emissary: a messenger or agent sent to represent the interests of another

remit: to send money

 

MOLL: soft

emollient: something that softens or soothes (e.g., a lotion)

mollify: sooth; soften; calm

 

MON/MONIT: to remind, to warn

admonish: to counsel against something; caution

premonition: forewarning, presentiment

remonstrate: to say or please in protest, object, or reproof

 

MON/MONO: one

monarchy: rule by a single person

monograph: a scholarly study of a single subject

monomania: an obsession with a single subject

 

MOR/MORT: death

immortal: not subject to death

moribund: dying, decaying

 

MORPH: shape

amorphous: without definite form; lacking a specific shape

anthropomorphism: attribution of human characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena 

 

MULT: many

multiplex: having many parts

multitudinous: very many; containing very many; having very many forms

 

MUT: to change

commute: to substitute; exchange; interchange

immutable: unchangeable, invariable

N

NAT/NAS/NAI/GNA: birth

cognate: related by blood; having a common ancestor

nascent: starting to develop

 

NIHIL: nothing, none

annihilate: wipe out; reduce to nothing

nihilism: denial of all moral beliefs; denial that existence has any meaning

 

NOC/NOX: harm

innocuous: not harmful or injurious

noxious: injurious or harmful to health or morals

 

NOCT/NOX: night

noctambulant: walking at night; sleepwalking

nocturne: a dreamlike piece of music; a painting set at night

 

NOM/NYM/NOUN/NOWN: name

nomenclature: a system of names; systematic naming

nominal: existing in name only; negligible 

renown: fame; reputation

 

NON: not

nonentity: something that doesn’t exist; something that isn’t important

nonpareil: something with no equal

 

NOV/NEO/NOU: new

neologism: a newly coined word, phrase, or expression

neophyte: a beginner; a new convert; a new worker

neoplasm: a new growth in the body; a tumor

O

OB: toward, to, against, over

obfuscate: to render indistinct or dim; darken

obsequious: overly submissive

obstinate: stubbornly adhering to an idea, inflexible

obstreperous: noisily defiant, unruly

 

OMNI: all

omnibus: an anthology of the works of one author or of writings on related subjects

omnipotent: all powerful

omnipresent: everywhere at one time

 

ONER: burden

onerous: burdensome; difficult

onus: a burden; a responsibility

P

PAC/PEAC: peace

appease: to bring peace to

pacify: to ease the anger or agitation of

 

PALP: to feel

palpable: capable of being felt; tangible

palpate: to feel; to examine by feeling

palpitate: to beat quickly, as the heart; to throb 

 

PAN/PANT: all, everyone

panegyric: formal or elaborate praise at an assembly

panoply: a wide-ranging and impressive array or display

 

PAR: equal

disparage: to belittle, speak disrespectfully about

parity: equally, as in amount, status, or character

 

PARA: next to, beside

paragon: a model of excellence

parody: to imitate for purpose of satire

 

PAU/PO/POV/PU: few, little, poor

paucity: smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness

pauper: a person without any personal means of support

puerile: childish, immature

pusillanimous: lacking courage or resolution

 

PEC: money

impecunious: having no money; penniless

peculation: embezzlement

pecuniary: relating to money

 

PED/POD: foot

antipodes: places that are diametrically opposite each other on the globe

impede: to retard progress by means of obstacles or hindrances

 

PEL: to drive, to push

dispel: to drive away; to disperse

impel: to force; to drive forward

 

PER: completely

perforate: to make a way through or into something 

perfunctory: performed merely as routine duty

pertinacious: resolute, persistent

 

PET/PIT: to go, to seek, to strive

impetuous: characterized by sudden or rash action or emotion

petulant: showing sudden irritation, esp. over some annoyance

 

PHIL: love

bibliophile: one who loves or collects books

philatelist: one who loves or collets postage stamps

 

PHON: sound

euphony: the quality of sounding good

polyphony: the use of simultaneous melodic lines to produce harmonies in musical compositions

 

PLAC: to please

complacent: self-satisfied, unconcerned

complaisant: inclined or disposed to please

implacable: unable to be pleased

 

POLY: many

polyandry: the practice of having multiple husbands 

polyglot: someone who speaks many languages

 

POT: to drink

potable: drinkable; safe to drink; a drink

potation: drinking; a drink

 

PRI/PRIM: first

primal: original; most important

primeval: ancient; going back to the first age of the world

 

PROB: to prove, to test

approbation: praise, consideration

opprobrium: the disgrace incurred by shameful conduct

probity: honesty, high-mindedness

 

PROP/PROX: near

proximate: nearby; coming just before or just after

proximity: nearness; distance

 

PROT/PROTO: first

protagonist: the main character in a play or story

prototype: the first version of an invention, on which later models are based

 

PUG: to fight

impugn: to challenge as false

pugilist: a fighter or boxer

pugnacious: to quarrel or fight repeatedly

 

PUNC/PUNG/POIGN: to point, to prick, to pierce

compunction: a feeling of uneasiness for doing wrong

expunge: to erase, eliminate completely

punctilious: strict or exact in the observance of formalities

 

PYR: fire

pyre: a bonfire, usually for burning a dead body

pyrosis: heartburn

Q

QUAD/QUAR/QUAT: four

quadrille: a square dance involving four couples

quart: one-fourth of a gallon

 

QUIE/QUIT: quiet, rest

acquiesce: to comply, give in 

quiescence: the condition of being at rest, still, inactive

 

QUIN/QUINT: five

quinquennial: a five-year period

quintuple: five times as many

R

RACI/RADI: root

deracinate: to uproot

radish: a root vegetable

 

RAMI: branch

ramiform: branchlike

 

RECT: straight, right

erect: upright; starting up straight

rectitude: moral uprightness; moral straightness

 

REG: king, rule

interregnum: a period between kings 

regent: one who serves on behalf of a king; one who rules

regicide: killing a king; one who kills a king

 

RETRO: backward

retroactive: extending to things that happened in the past

retrofit: to install newer parts into an older device or structure

 

RUB/RUD: red

rubella: German measles; a disease marked by red spots

rubicund: reddish; rosy-cheeked

 

RUD: crude

rude: uncivilized; impolite

rudimentary: undeveloped

S

SACR/SANCT: holy

sacrament: something regarded as possessing sacred character

sacrilege: the violation of anything sacred

sanctify: to make holy

 

SAG/SAP/SAV: taste, thinking, discerning

sagacious: perceptive; discerning; insightful

sage: wise

sapient: wise

savant: a learned person

 

SAL/SIL/SAULT/SULT: to leap, to jump

assault: a sudden or violent attack

exult: to show or feel triumphant joy

 

SALU: health

salubrious: healthful

salutary: healthful

 

SALV: to save

salvage: to save; something saved or recovered

salvation: being saved

savior: one who saves

 

SAN: healthy

sane: mentally healthy

sanitarium: a place of healing

 

SANG: blood

consanguinity: being related by blood

sanguinary: bloody; bloodthirsty

 

SAT: enough

dissatisfied: feeling that one does not have enough

sate: to fill

saturate: to fill completely; to entirely satisfy

 

SCI: to know

conscience: the inner sense of what is right or wrong, impelling one toward right action

omniscient: knowing everything

prescient: having knowledge of things before they happen

 

SE: apart, away

secede: to withdraw formally from an association

sedition: incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government

 

SEC/SEQU/SUE/SUI: to follow

non sequitur: an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises

obsequious: fawning

 

SED/SESS/SID: to sit, to settle

assiduous: diligent, persistent, hardworking (literally, “sitting down” to business)

insidious: intended to entrap or beguile; lying in wait to entrap

 

SEMI: half

semicircle: half a circle

semiconscious: only partly conscious; half awake

 

SEN: old

senate: the highest legislative body (from “council of elders”)

senescent: getting old

senile: relating to old age; experiencing memory loss or other age-related mental impairments

 

SENS/SENT: to feel, to be aware

dissent: to differ in opinion, esp. from the majority

insensate: without feeling or sensitivity

presentiment: a feeling that something is about to happen

 

SOL: alone

desolate: deserted; laid waste; left alone

isolate: to set apart from others

soliloquize: talk to oneself; talk onstage as if to oneself

solipsism: the belief that the only thing that really exists, or can really be known, is oneself

 

SOL: to loosen, to free

absolution: forgiveness for wrongdoing

dissolute: indifferent to moral restraints

 

SOL: sun

parasol: an umbrella that protects from the sun

solarium: a sunroom; a room with windows for taking in the sun

 

SOMN: sleep

somnambulist: a sleepwalker

somniferous: sleep-inducing

somniloquist: one who talks while asleep

somnolent: sleep-inducing; sleepy; drowsy

 

SOPH: wisdom

philosopher: one who studies logic, beauty, truth, etc.; one who seeks wisdom

sophisticated: complex; worldly; experienced

 

SOURC/SURG/SURRECT: to rise

insurgent: rising up in revolution; rushing in

insurrection: rising up in armed rebellion

surge: to rise up forcefully, as ocean waves

 

SPEC/SPIC: to look, to see

circumspect: watchful and discreet, cautious

conspicuous: easily seen or noticed; readily observable

specious: deceptively attractive

 

SUA: sweet, pleasing, to urge

assuage: to make less severe, ease, relieve

suave: smoothly agreeable or polite; sweet

 

SUB/SUP: below, under

subliminal: existing or operating below the threshold of consciousness

subsidiary: serving to assist or supplement

suppose: to put down as a hypothesis; to use as the underlying basis of an argument; to assume

 

SUMM: highest, total

consummate: highly qualified; complete; perfect

summit: highest point

 

SUPER/SUR: over, above

supercilious: arrogant, haughty, condescending

superfluous: extra, more than necessary

 

SYM/SYN: together

symbiosis: living together in a mutually beneficial relationship

symposium: a meeting at which ideas are discussed

T

TAC/TIC: to be silent

reticent: disposed to be silent or not to speak freely

tacit: unspoken understanding

taciturn: uncommunicative

 

TEND/TENS/TENT/TENU: to stretch, to thin

attenuate: to weaken or reduce in force

extenuating: making less serious by offering excuses

 

THEO: god

apotheosis: glorification, glorified ideal

theocracy: a form of government in which a deity is recognized as the supreme ruler

 

THERM: heat

thermal: relating to heat; retaining heat

thermonuclear: relating to a nuclear reaction that takes place at high temperatures

 

TOR/TORQ/TORT: to twist

contort: to twist; to distort

distort: to pull out of shape, often by twisting; to twist or misrepresent facts 

extort: to wring money, property, or services out of somebody using threats or force

 

TORP: stiff, numb

torpid: numbed; sluggish

torpor: numbness; listlessness; apathy

 

TOX: poison

antitoxin: an antibody that counteracts a given poison

toxic: poisonous

 

TRANS: across, beyond

intransigent: refusing to agree or compromise

transcendent: going beyond ordinary limits

transgress: to violate a law, command, or moral code

U

ULT: last, beyond

penultimate: second-to-last 

ulterior: beyond what is immediately present; future; beyond what is stated; hidden

ultimate: last; final

 

UMBR: shadow

adumbrate: to foreshadow; to sketch; to overshadow

penumbra: a shaded area between pure shadow and pure light

umbrage: shade; shadow; displeasure; resentment

 

UN: not

unseen: not seen

unusual: not usual; exceptional; strange

 

UND: wave

abound: to be plentiful; to overflow (from water flowing in waves)

inundate: to flood

undulate: to move in a wavelike way

 

UNI/UN: one

unanimous: of one mind; incomplete accord

uniform: of one kind; consistent

 

US/UT: to use

abuse: to use wrongly or improperly

usurp: to seize and hold

utilitarian: efficient, functional, useful

V

VAIL/VAL: strength, use, worth

ambivalent: being caught between contradictory feelings of equal power or worth

avail: to have force; to be useful; to be of value

convalescent: recovering strength; healing

 

VEN/VENT: to come or to move toward

adventitious: accidental contravene: to come into conflict with

convene: to assemble for some public purpose

 

VER: truth

aver: to affirm, to declare to be true

veracious: habitually truthful

verisimilitude: the appearance or semblance of truth

 

VERB: word

proverb: an adage; a byword; a short, commonly known saying

verbatim: exactly as stated; word-for-word

verbiage: excessive use of words; diction

 

VERD: green

verdant: green with vegetation; inexperienced

verdure: fresh, rich vegetation

 

VI: life

convivial: sociable

viable: capable of living

vivacity: the quality of being lively, animated, spirited

 

VIL: base, mean

revile: to criticize with harsh language

vile: loathsome, unpleasant

vilify: to slander, to defame

 

VIRU: poison

virulent: acrimonious; very bitter; very poisonous

viruliferous: containing a virus

 

VOC/VOK: call, word

advocate: to support or urge by argument

convoke: to call together

vocabulary: the stock of words used by or known to a particular person or group

vociferous: crying out noisily

 

VOL: wish

benevolent: characterized by or expressing goodwill

malevolent: characterized by or expressing bad will

volition: free choice, free will; act of choosing

 

VOLU/VOLV: to roll, to turn

convolution: a twisting or folding

voluble: easily turning; fluent; changeable

 

VOR: to eat

carnivorous: meat-eating

omnivorous: eating or absorbing everything

voracious: having a great appetite