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.
Substitute(n) — a replacement of equal worth or quality. There is no adequate substitute for the employee you are about to fire.
Superb (adj) — extremely good, excellent. The way you handled yourself in front of the press was superb.
Witness (v) — to see something happening in person. I wasn’t there to witness the events of that evening.
Apparent (adj) — evident, clear or obvious. It is apparent that there is a mistake in the document.
Punctuated by (phr) — alternating at frequent intervals. The next year was punctuated by constant visits of his mother
Inspiration (n) — something that stimulates your body or mind, esp. to do something creative. She often found her inspiration in taking early morning strolls down the shore.
Stunning (adj) — very attractive or impressive. The girl living next door has stunning looks.
Diversion (n) — (here) something that helps you distract yourself from business as a form of leisure; an amusing activity. A game of pool proved to be the perfect diversion for the tired executives.
Craze (n) — wild, exaggerated enthusiasm; a short-lived fashion. This summer’s craze is bright loose outfits.
Contemporary (adj) — living or existing in the same period of time. Hemingway and Fitzgerald were contemporary writes.
Reference (n) — a mention or an allusion. Modern TV shows are full of references to older shows and movies.
Domestic (adj) — referring to home (including your home country) or family. Domestic abuse is a serious issue — it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Complexity (n) — the state of being complex or intricate, complicated. Most reader will fail to appreciate the brilliant complexity of her new book.
Dawn (n) — the time of the day when the sun rises. It is also used figuratively as a synonym for ‘beginning’. Since the dawn of human race people have sought to be leaders rather than followers.
Evidence (n) — Proof of something. The police have no evidence to prove his guilt.
Intrinsic (adj) — characteristic or inherent, essential. Desire to learn is an intrinsic quality of any good student.
Utterly (adv) — an intensifier: extremely, to an extreme degree. Normally used to convey negative meaning. The new player in the team turned out to be utterly useless.
Cure (n) — something that helps overcome an illness. At present moment there is no cure for his disease.
Alleviate (v) — to make something unpleasant such as pain or sorrow more bearable. The insurance payments didn’t alleviate their grief.
Resign (from) (v) — to quit (e. g. a job). Due to the circumstances he had no choice but to resign.
Mind (v) — here: to be opposed to something, to be against it. I don’t mind if you help her with the school project.
Obliquity (n) — the state of being oblique (not straight). In the text it’s a book title, don’t bother memorising this word.
Collaboration (n) — a state or process of working together. The results of their collaboration were very fruitful — two new major contracts were signed.
Beehive (n) — a structure where bee colony resides. If you see a beehive in your neighbourhood it is better not to disturb it.
Vie (v) — to compete for something. They would vie for her attention for days on end.
Evaluate (v) — to try and assess or estimate the value of something. It would take a very experienced collector to evaluate the painting.
Ballot (n) — a vote, usually a secret one, done by writing one’s opinion on a piece of paper and placing it in a container. Having a ballot would be the best way to go about our disagreement.
Diversity (n) — the state of being heterogeneous, or being composed of different parts; not of the same kind. Enthnical diversity at the workplace seems to be top priority nowadays
Scrap (v) — throw away, decline, turn down. The initial plans to expand their venture had to be scrapped because of money issues.
Resilience (n) — endurance, willingness to continue despite hardships or difficulties. It takes great resilience to start a business from the ground up.
Ease (n) — noun formed from ‘easy’. He passed his final exams with surprising ease.
Pinpoint (v) — to precisely locate or identify. You will need a real professional to pinpoint the issue.
Retain (v) — to keep; not to loose. Despite defender’s attempts the attacker retained possession of the ball.
Maintain (n) — to keep something in working order; to keep in the same state. The company has to hire somebody to maintain all the computers in the building.
Decade (n) — Ten years. Two decades ago this town was flourishing, now it’s practically empty.
In retrospect (phr) — Looking back at something. In retrospect, all the decisions he had taken turned out to be the right ones.
Predict (v) — to tell something before it happens. Nowadays it has become quite easy to predict weather for days to come.
Disillusioned (adj) — state of being disappointed or having lost faith in something you previously believed. It is typical for people of your age to get disillusioned about life in general.
Distort (v) — To represent wrongly, to twist or pull out of shape. Alcohol often distorts your perception of life.
Output (n) — result or product of something. This factory has an output of 10 thousand vehicles a month.
Relentless (adj) — Knowing no mercy; tireless and sustained . It has been growing increasingly hard to repel relentless enemy attacks.
Transitory (adj) — temporary, passing, having short duration. This new fashion trend is only transitory.
Mediocrity (n) — state of being of average quality (usually has negative meaning). The drama class teacher said that he will not tolerate mediocrity on the stage.
Timing (n) — process of regulating action to happen in a certain succession or at one time. The timing was perfect — as soon as the teacher asked me to come to the board the class came to an end.
Consensus (n) — state of agreement, unison. The sides were unable to reach a consensus despite having spend over ten hours negotiating.
Prevail (v) — to win or dominate. Our school team prevailed in the finals.
Prophecy (n) — a message that is believed to tell the future. The events we saw had been described in an old prophecy.
Hail as (phr) — to acknowledge. Our school band is hailed as the best in the state.
Squeezed (adj) — packed tightly. Ten people squeezed into one small apartment was not the best of ideas.
Precocious (adj) — developed ahead of time. His precocious success was a pleasant surprise for all of us.
Prompt (v) — here: to provoke or trigger. Peter’s unusual views prompted a heated debate in class.
Pastel (adj) — calm and restrained; pale, delicate. Pastel paintings are not going to brighten up your flat’s bleak interior.
Early-blooming (adj) — developing quickly and at an early stage.
Relish (v) — to enjoy something. I relished the rare opportunity to go away from my colleagues.
Huddle (v) — to gather into a crowd. People huddled at a bus stop.
Inquiry (n) — a formal request for information; a question. .
Dissemination (n) — distribution. Dissemination of this knowledge is important if we want to reach our objectives.
Deem (v) — to believe or consider. The defendant’s arguments were deemed sufficient by the judge.
Peer (v) — person of the same age group. Children at school often feel important to seek approval of their peers.
Codify v) — to turn into a code or cypher.
Speculation (n) — a process of making assumptions not based on any confirmed facts or information. There’s a lot of speculation on whether the criminal is in fact guilty.
Imperative (adj) — necessary or important. It is imperative that you go to him immediately.
Empowered (adj) — given ability or right. Women of today feel more empowered because of the feminism trends.
Level (v) — make even or equal.
Gulf (n) — here: gap, empty space. The gulf between the rich and the poor is as wide as ever.
Tentative (adj) — experimental, careful. My tentative attempts at private teaching proved to be very fruitful.
Compelling (adj) — arousing strong interest. The reasons to start your own business can be quite compelling.
Controversy (n) — argument or debate, usually about something there is a strong disagreement about.
Gloss smth. over (phr) — If you gloss something over, you try to make it look better than it really is. The government is trying gloss over the current retirement fund shortage issues.
Bemoan (v) — to grieve over something, to mourn.
Disquieting (adj) — causing anxiety or uneasiness. Disquieting news of a war in the bordering country.
Intimidated by (v) — discouraged or frightened by something. You shouldn’t feel intimidated by the graduation exams.
Click to download this CAE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF