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.
Typeface (n) — a collection of letters and numbers written in a certain way; a font. Times New Roman and Arial are the most well-known typefaces.
Handout (n) — here: additional materials, usually print on a piece of paper. I think I have forgotten the handouts we were given in our last class.
Ink (n) — fluid used for writing or printing. Our printer is going to run out of ink pretty soon – there’s a warning on the display.
Enormous (adj) — very large or great. Our last play was had enormous success.
Paddle (n) — a piece of wood with flattened end used to row, e.g. when sailing a small boat. Because of the violent storm I lost my paddle.
Upright (adj) — standing straight, vertically. We managed to make the drunken man stand upright.
Reassure (v) — to make someone stop worrying, to give them confidence. She tried to reassure her parents about her exam results.
Attitude(n) — opinion or feeling about something; way of behaving. What’s her attitude to open relationship?
Literate (adj) — having knowledge about something. Her teacher of English is not very grammar literate.
Numeracy (n) — see previous: being literate in numbers, e.g. maths. Unfortunately my numeracy leaves much to be desired.
Loathe (v) — to dislike something very much, to hate. Love it or loathe it, but this new band is getting more popular with each passing day.
Founder (n) — the person who starts something, e.g. a business. Colonel Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Instigate (v) — to make something happen, to provoke something by performing certain action. Russia is believed to have instigated unrest in the Ukraine.
Cheery (adj) — happy, bright and cheerful. A cheery greeting from one of the colleagues.
Hollow (adj) — empty inside, without any substance; not true or sincere. It was a hollow attempt – you didn’t stand a chance to dance her at the prom night.
Diverse (adj) — different to each other or including a lot of different things or people. My employer’s prime goal at the moment seems to make the workplace as diverse as it can be.
Workload (n) — amount of work done or to be done, usually in a certain period of time. Our workload increased dramatically after Chris had quit his job.
Notion (n) — an idea or a belief. His notion of being a good guest is an odd one: he never eats or drinks anything.
Compound (v) — to make something bad even worse. My nervousness and anxiety before the exam were compounded by having been fired from my part-time job recently.
Gossip (n) — unkind or untrue secretive talk about other people’s lives. Celebrity gossip is one of the things selling glossy magazines
Statutory (adj) — controlled by law. Statutory requirements for foster parents.
Guideline (n) — a set of instruction on how do to something or how something should be. School behaviour guidelines.
Obsolete (adj) — something no longer in use and replaced by something newer or better. He liked to drive his obsolete car around town.
Blur (v) — make something or someone difficult to see clearly. The internet blurs distinction between various nations and cultures, thus expediting the process of globalisation.
Reconcile (v) — to make two things or people coexist or agree despite their differences. It was almost impossible to reconcile two of my drunk friends.
Outmoded (adj) — no longer needed or useful. See obsolete. The management methods they employ are outmoded.
Corollary (n) — a result of something. The lack of teachers our nation is facing right now is a corollary of low salaries in the education sector.
Feasible (adj) — something that can be done or achieved. Marketing strategy suggested by the management doesn’t seem feasible to me – it will take too much funding to launch it.
Scrutiny (n) — close, careful examination. After recent fraud accusations our company has come under scrutiny by the police.
Disabuse (v) — to stop someone having the wrong idea. Most prefer would rather not get disabused of their ideas about global warming. Few people are ready to accept that the planet really is getting hotter.
Engaging (adj) — pleasant and attractive. Susan’s birthday had a number of engaging activities to keep the guests entertained.
Misconception (n) — a wrong idea about something. You would be surprised by the amount of misconceptions hold as truths nowadays.
Immense (adj) — extremely large; extremely good. Going to the opera is an acquired taste, but they say eventually you get immense pleasure from the performances.
Recollection (n) — memory of something, e.g. some event. I have absolutely no recollection of yesterday’s night.
Self-indulgence (n) — allowing yourself anything you enjoy. My two weeks holiday turned into never-ending self-indulgence.
Restrained (adj) — controlling oneself, controlled. A diplomat should always be restrained in both his words and actions.
Vivid (adj) — about memories, descriptions and so on: producing clear images in one’s mind; bright in colour. Matthew’s description of the football match was very vivid and pleasant to listen to.
Narrative (n) — a story or a description of events. The book I have just finished has the most amazing first-person narrative!
Testimony (n) — here: something used a proof to confirm something. Her biography is a testimony that anything can be achieved with enough effort and determination.
Sizeable (adj) — of considerable, large size. The most sizeable donation was anonymous.
Take up (phr v) — to become interested in something, to do it. I took up football in my senior year at school.
Weariness (n) — loss of energy, boredom or tiredness . Weariness is the only thing I could read on his old, wrinkled face.
Concise (adj) — short but clear and easy to understand. Hemingway is known for his concise prose.
Necessitate (v) — to require or to make needed. This government’s new policy will necessitate a lot of taxpayer’s money.
Dismantling (ger) — disassembling, putting apart so that it no longer works; getting rid of something. At the end of every superhero movie the good guys usually manage to dismantle the villain’s master plan.
Specimen (n) — a typical example. And now you can see a fine cheetah specimen in its natural habitat.
Joint (n) — something that connects two parts, e.g. a join in human body connects two bones next to each other. Joints seem to be one of the bigger concerns for the elderly.
Fossil (n) — shape of an animal, a fish, or a bird that remained in rock or other mineral after many years. There are numerous sites in Northern Africa known for fossil excavations.
Cast (n) — a copy of something (in this case a bone fragment) made out of cast – material, used to wrap broken limbs to keep them from moving. This small statue is made of cast.
Vertebra (n) — one of the many small bones that make backbone. The skeleton we dug out yesterday has one damaged vertebra.
Cross-section (n) — something that is cut in order to see the inside of that cut. Tree trunk’s cross-section allows us to learn about its age.
Shoulder blade(n) — flat bones in the back of each of your shoulders. The boy was so thin you could see his shoulder blades protrude.
Severity (n) — seriousness. The doctor’s haven’t yet determined the severity of his injury.
Jaw (n) — a U-shaped bone, lower part of your face that moves when you talk or open your mouth. Boxers often have their jaws broken.
Distortion (n) — a change of shape or the original meaning of something. Through a number of distortions his original idea was turned into the exact opposite.
Chunk (n) — a large piece of something. Meat chunks should be stored in the freezer so that they don’t spoil.
Endeavour (n) — an attempt in something. Through a series of endeavour the scientists have come up with the solution of the global warming issue.
Decade (n) — ten years. It took the company two decades to restore the historical building to its original shape.
Resemble (v) — to look like or be like something. A mountain that resembles a camel.
Trashy (adj) — having low quality or value. Trashy Bollywood movies.
Masterpiece (n) — a work of art such a painting, a movie or a piece of music made with great skill and talent. Apocalypse Now is one of many Coppola’s masterpieces.
Pin down (phr v) — here: to find the source of reason of something. It is difficult to pin down the exact reason for your academic failures.
Appeal (n) — quality that makes something or someone interesting and attractive. I could never understand Dubai as a holiday destination – the climate just isn’t right for me.
Indefinable (adj) — impossible to explain or define. None of my friends like that girl but she just had some indefinable attraction I just couldn’t explain.
Seduce (v) — to make someone feel attracted to you in a sexual way. The teacher was sentenced to two years probation for seducing one of her younger students.
Patchy (adj) — here: not thorough or complete. George’s knowledge of world history is somewhat patchy.
Evaluate (v) — to determine the quality or price of something. This car model is very rare and it is going to be difficult to evaluate its price accurately.
Retain (v) — to hold intact, to secure, to keep. A company will have a hard time retaining its reputation in view of recent scandals.
Fine-tune (v) — to adjust carefully and precisely. Jessica had to fine-tune her guitar right before the performance.
Anew (adv) — once again, often in a different way. Even though her business model collapsed she mustered up courage to start anew.
Outlook (n) — here: a person’s view on things. Peter’s outlook on life is rather grim – he always sees the negative side of things.