The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech (see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.
And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.
Instigate (v) — to provoke, to urge something to happen. One of the countries instigated a conflict on the border which turned into a full-scale war.
Litter (n) — garbage or trash, usually used when it’s lying around. The poor area had its streets filled with litter.
Ingrain (v) — to establish something in a very form way that is unlikely to change in the future. Her parents tried their best to ingrain their own ideals in her.
Appreciable (adj) — amount of something that is large enough to be significant or have an impact. An appreciable amount of my tuition fees is paid by the government.
Disgust (n) — strong disapproval to the point of physical discomfort. Disgust is all I could read on her face.
Significance (n) — importance or some special meaning. Her family failed to appreciate the significance of academic achievements.
Foundation (n) — here: to be without foundation means to be untrue, be false. The recent rumours of the company’s boss retirement were not without foundation – he was due to stop working next month.
Exaggeration (adj) — making something seem larger or more important than it really is. Exaggeration in tabloid headings on their front pages is a common practice to increase sales.
Venomous (adj) — containing poison. Venomous animals in tropical jungles are in abundance.
Vague (adj) — uncertain, unclear. When it comes to World War 2 period, my knowledge of history becomes very vague.
Slouch (v) — to bend your shoulders and head slightly forward, as if you are tired. If you slouch your height seems to be lower.
Hindsight (n) — a look at the past events with the knowledge of what had happened. In hindsight we never should have agreed to go camping – the weather was terrible.
Summit (n) — top of a mountain. Having reached the summit, the climbers were finally able to get some much sought-for rest.
Misalignment (n) — incorrect position of one thing in relation to another. If you misalign one of the car wheels it may become very dangerous to drive.
Strain (n) — if something is under strain, then pressure is applied to it, for reasons like misalignment or discomfort. I can feel strain in my back muscles.
Venue (n) — a place where a certain event takes place. Picking the right venue for a wedding can either make or break it.
Rundown (adj) — neglected, in poor condition. This town’s infrastructure is poor, scarce and rundown.
Knock-on effect — something that triggers something else, makes something else take place. Presidential election usually has a knock-on effect on our city – roads get repaired, old buildings renovated.
Incur (v) — to have bad consequences of something that has been done. The penalty incurred by an illegal foreign trade.
Awkward (adj) — here: not easy to do, complicated. He handles his business in a somewhat awkward manner.
Legacy (n) — part of one’s history, something that is left after you die. Young people rarely think about their legacy.
Showcase (v) — to show good sides and strengths of something, to present in the most favourable light. It is a good idea to showcase your skills at interviews you go to.
Vibrant (adj) — exciting, rich in energy. Vibrant Spanish festivals.
Crucial (adj) — extremely important. Our boss believes crucial meetings to be crucial to his business’s success.
Detrimental (adj) — harmful, causing damage. Detrimental effects of chain-smoking.
Implication (n) — an effect that the action will have in the future. Choosing not to do your academic assignments in time may have serious implications.
Incentive (n) — an encouragement or a reason to do something. Parents may often use pocket money as an incentive for their children to do better at school.
Intangible (adj) — non-material or impossible to touch. Feelings are intangible.
Spinoff (n) — something produced as addition to the main thing. Better Call Saul – a spinoff show of Breaking Bad proved to be as successful as the original TV series.
Grassroots (adj) — at a base level, at the very beginning. Grassroots investment is not only profitable but can help a good cause.
Glitzy (adj) — looking new and fashionable in order to attract attention, flashy. Glitzy designer clothes.
Resentment (n) — angry feeling coming from being forced something you do not like. I couldn’t help feeling resentment being forced to do housework.
Plundering (ger) — act of stealing something or robbing someone, usually in a violent way. The surplus of food supplies was distributed among the homeless.
Discard (v) — to throw something away or to reject something because it is useless or unworthy. I had to discard my old clothes – it was cheaper to buy new things rather than to repair old ones.
Revenue (n) — income that is received regularly. My company’s revenue went up 352% last year.
Manpower (n) — the amount of people able to perform work (or to fight, when talking about an army). The company’s manpower is decreasing due to uncompetitive salaries and general decline.
Glimpse (n) — a brief look at something. To catch a glimpse of something is to see something for a very short moment. So we went to that live Killers concert and after the show caught a glimpse of Brandon Flowers!
Convincing (adj) — persuading, reasonable and easy to believe in. A convincing argument.
Prompt (v) — to make or encourage something to happen, to incite. Vast amount of money invested in agriculture prompted fast development of the industry.
Peppered with — to be covered or hit by something, as if by pepper. Here: full of. The magazine was peppered with useful information on self-defence.
Insight (n) — an idea, a piece of mind that is related to deep understanding of something. In this book the author shares his insights into chemistry.
Get go grips with —to understand something well enough to deal with it efficiently. I think I finally got to grips with this school’s math course.
Withdrawal (n) — if you withdraw from something, you stop taking it. Used mostly with harmful substances such as drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. My first week of withdrawal was especially difficult to go through – I couldn’t thinking about anything but smoking.
Messy (adj) — untidy and unpleasant. Her hair was messy and her dress creased, but I liked her anyway.
Atomised (adj) — separated from others, with no connection to the rest. Our society is becoming increasignly atomised.
Assertiveness (n) — confidence and courage to speak one’s mind. A leader with no assertiveness will never command any respect.
Glut (n) — an amount of something that is higher than can be used or sold. After Christmas was over the shops had a glut of cakes at discounted prices.
Persist (v) — to keep doing or trying to do something despite anything, often unreasonably. Jack persisted to try to win the girl over.
Woe (n) — a serious problem or sadness. In the past, her life was full of woes and misery.
Prolific (adj) — able to produce a lot of work. A prolific writer is not necessarily a good or a bad one, they just write a lot of books.
Strive (for) (v) — to try to achieve something ,especially for a long period of time and despite any difficulties. For many years they strived to make the model successful on the market.
Swelling (adj) — here: increasing, growing. The market for mid-size crossovers in the US keeps on swelling.
Facile (adj) — simple and not thought-through. I think that your business model if facile and is sure to fail.