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). Sentencesin 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.
Unadulterated (adj) — pure, unaltered. Circus performances are still good old unadulterated fun.
Shortcoming (n) — downside, defect, imperfection. Every person has their own shortcomings.
Admire (v) — to have a strong feeling of respect towards someone or something.
Implication (n) — something that is not evident at first, hidden. There are some implications concerning your new position in this company. You are expected to work at least 60 hours a week.
Display (n) — act of exhibiting (showing) something. The way the government deals with rioters is a good display of police state methods.
Acknowledge (v) — recognise existence of something/someone. He acknowledged my professionalism only after I managed to deal with the issue he himself couldn’t.
Enviable (adj) — causing envy, fortunate. Your record of service is quite enviable!
Susceptible to (adj) — vulnerable or easily affected by something. Young people are susceptible to new short-term trends otherwise known as ‘fads’.
Effortless (adj) — not requiring much physical or mental power to accomplish.
Grace (n) — elegance or beauty of movement. Cats are animals that have a lot of grace about them.
Artistry (v) — artistic ability or great skill. The person who made this carpet no doubt has a great deal of artistry.
Conversely (adv) — on the contrary/opposite; on the other hand. My brother hates gym classes. Conversely, I genuinely enjoy them.
Fatigued (adj) — tired, exhausted.
Stiff (adj) — rigid or lacking flexibility. Strained. My roommate is really stiff — it takes a lot of effort to change his mind.
Denote (v) — to mean something, to serve as a sign for something. His shaking hands denote his nervousness.
Founder (n) — person who established an institution, company or anything else. The original owner. The founder of Facebook social network is now one of the richest people on Earth.
Destiny (n) — Fate or fortune, the future destined for someone or something. Your destiny is to make this country great again.
Distraught (adj) — distracted, nervous or mad. A distraught woman ran into the shop and asked to use the phone.
Dismissive (adj) — not willing to accept something. Women are usually dismissive of my attempts to approach them.
Avuncular (adj) — helpful and friendly in a way your uncle would be.
Knack for (n) — a talent for something, especially intuitive one. Their kids have a knack for playing instruments.
Wary of (adj) — cautious or alert of something. Be wary of him, he is known to deceive people.
Supplant (v) — to take somebody else’s place, by force or trickery. Advanced machinery threats to supplant human labour force in the nearest future.
State-of-the-art (adj) — the newest, most advanced. Our institute has recently got a shipment of state-of-the-art computers.
Unprepossessing (adj) — unattractive, not creating a good impression. Being unprepossessing as a teacher can seriously hurt your student’s desire to study.
Rouse (v) — to bring out of sleep; to stir, to excite, to arouse.
Rigidity (n) — the state of being rigid — very strict, stern and inflexible.
Deaden (v) — to make less sensitive or intense, to make dull. The announcement that the school festival is cancelled really deadened our enthusiasm.
Indoctrination (n) — forcibly giving a point of view, usually done by a person in power (e.g. the government, teachers).
Herd together (v) — to gather in one group, usually used when talking of cattle. He herded the calves together to drive them inside the pen.
Compliance (n) — quality of being obedient, willing to obey. Employees are expected to display diligence and compliance at work.
Ratio (n) — proportion. A teacher to student ratio of 1 to 10 means there is one teacher for every ten students.
Fallacy (n) — a misleading or incorrect idea. The more money you have the happier you are is a very common fallacy, especially among not so well-off people.
Riveting (adj) — fascinating or exciting.
Patch together (phr v) — combine, usually in an uneven or careless manner. We didn’t have much time to prepare thoroughly so we just patched the video footage together hoping that it’ll work out. It didn’t, our performance flopped.
Convincing (adj) – persuasive or credible. Professional speechwriters know how to make a text convincing.
Modest (adj) — humble, reserved or shy.
Contemporary (adj) — referring or living at the same time. Famous contemporary writers of the same genre tend to be good friends.
Polarise (v) — to cause people have the opposite opinion about something. New president’s political views polarised the country’s opinion.
Shuffle (v) — to change position of something quickly (e.g. cards). Louis shuffled the deck.
Stature (n) — height, greatness or general physical form.
Imply (v) — to say something indirectly. He implied that I might get promoted next month.
Haunting (adj) — persistent or poignant. Usually refers to memory.
Pierce (v) — to punch a hole in something using a sharp object such as a needle.
Authenticity (n) — the state of being authentic — of real origin. These authenticity of these Indian vases is undisputed.
Sprightly (adj) — lively, full of life. The school was full of sprightly young children.
Burglary (n) — crime consisting of entering a building illegally to steal or commit any other crime. This is a pretty quiet town — we haven’t heard of burglaries for years!
Robust (adj) — strong in constitution, full of health and vigour.
Imperious (adj) —arrogant, dominating, giving orders. A typical old-school teacher is an imperious tyrant everybody is afraid of.
Larky (adj) — good-natured, disposed to joking. Our boss is an old, larky individual.
Beady (adj) — (here) sharp, observant.
Gruesome (adj) — inspiring horror or repulsion.
Dull (adj) — boring, lacking in colour. Her days in Paris were dull and uneventful.
Adorn (v) — to decorate. The house walls adorned with flowers and Christmas lights.
Stag (n) — a male deer.
Antlers (n) — Horns of a deer.
Bangle (n) — a bracelet worn around one’s arm or ankle. There were some rings and a bangle in her cabinet.
Pin (n) — a thin piece of metal with one end pointy and the other having a flattened end or a ball.
Bespoke (adj) — made to customer’s specification. Bespoke clothing is expensive but you should get it provided you can afford spending that much money.
Font, typeface (n) — a set of type of one size and style. Times New Roman is the default font for Windows applications.
Coincide (v) — take place at the same time.
Detract (v) — to take away a part from the whole. To diminish.
Peripatetic (adj) — wandering, travelling. A peripatetic life is not an easy or predictable one.
Stint (n) — a fixed amount of work one has to do.
Click to download this CAE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF