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GRE Confusing Words - Let's Enlist them here!

Question asked by Ankita Katdare in #ExamPrep on Jun 13, 2011
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jun 13, 2011
Rank A1 - PRO

Following are some of the easily confusable words on the GRE Word list:

  1. ambiguous and ambivalent
  2. emulate and imitate
  3. descry and decry
  4. engender and endanger
  5. deprecation and depreciation
  6. fission and fusion
  7. extant and extent
  8. corroborate and collaborate
  9. endemic and epidemic
  10. dissemble and disassemble
  11. indigenous and indigent
  12. ingenuous and ingenious
  13. infer and imply
  14. insensible and insensitive
  15. effect and affect
  16. viscous and vicious


Could someone explain the difference in the meanings of the words in above pairs?

Posted in: #ExamPrep
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jun 17, 2011
Rank A1 - PRO
Ambiguous: unclear, double meaning
Ambivalent: Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone

emulate: match or surpass (a person or achievement), typically by imitation.
imitate: Take or follow as a model

descry: catch sight of, to discover by careful observation
decry: denounce publicly

engender: to bring into existence
endanger: to expose to danger/harm
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
deprecation: the act of expressing disapproval (especially of yourself)
depreciation: a decrease in price or value, "depreciation of the dollar against the yen", a communication that belittles somebody or something

fission: a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
fusion: the act of fusing (or melting) together, correction of an unstable part of the spine by joining two or more vertebrae; usually done surgically but sometimes done by traction or immobilization
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
extant: still in existence; not extinct or destroyed or lost
extent: the distance or area or volume over which something extends

corroborate: establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
collaborate: work together on a common enterprise of project
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
endemic: a plant that is native to a certain limited area
epidemic: a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time

dissemble: make believe with the intent to deceive
disassemble: take apart into its constituent pieces
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
indigenous: originating where it is found
indigent: poor enough to need help from others
Something Sounding Similar: indecent: not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society

ingenuous: characterized by an inability to mask your feelings; not devious
ingenious: showing inventiveness and skill
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
infer: believe to be the case
imply: express or state indirectly

insensible: incapable of physical sensation
insensitive: not responsive to physical stimuli

effect: an outward appearance
affect: the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion

viscous: having the sticky properties of an adhesive
vicious: marked by deep ill will; deliberately harmful
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jun 21, 2011
Rank A1 - PRO

Confusing GRE Words - Enlist them here - 2

  1. Viscous, Vicious
  2. Restive, Restful
  3. Indigenous, Indigent, Ingenious
  4. Insensible, Insensitive
  5. Elusive, Effusive
  6. Corroborate, Collaborate
  7. Endemic, Epidemic
  8. Dissemble, Disassemble
  9. Deprecate, Depreciate
  10. Extant, Extent
  11. Incredulous, Incredible
  12. Descry, Decry
  13. Flaunt, Flout

Write the difference in the meanings of above words in this thread.

Whats In Name
Whats In Name · Jun 21, 2011
Rank B3 - LEADER
Re: Confusing GRE Words - Enlist them here - 2

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Viscous: Thick and sticky.
Eg:: Dark,Viscous blood.
Vicious: Violent and cruel.
Eg:: He suffered a vicious attack.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Restive: Impatient,bored or dissatisfied.
Eg:: The audience grew restive.
Restful: Calm and Relaxed.
Eg:: Adjust the lighting so it is soft and restful.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elusive: Difficult to find,describe,remember or achieve.
Eg:: Elusiveness of her character.
Effusive: To express pleasure,gratitude,or approval in a very enthusiastic way.
Eg:: She greeted them effusively.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dissemble: To hide real emotions or intentions.
Eg:: Henry was not slow to dissemble when it served his purposes.
Disassemble: To take it to pieces.
Eg:: Disassemble the drill.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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Source::Collins Cobuild Advanced Dictionary of English
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Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jun 29, 2011
Rank A1 - PRO
Re: Confusing GRE Words - Enlist them here - 2

@WIN: That's nice. Why don't other CEans complete the full list? 😀
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
Re: Confusing GRE Words - Enlist them here - 2

We already had another 2-set words by AKD right??? Can we merge both these threads?
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jun 29, 2011
Rank A1 - PRO
@Praveen: Threads Merged. 👍
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Jan 23, 2020
Rank A1 - PRO

Here are a few more to add to this list for anyone preparing for GRE vocabulary's most confusing words:

  1. aberrant vs abhorrent
  2. adduce vs deduce
  3. afflict vs inflict
  4. allude vs elude
  5. amend vs emend
  6. amoral vs immoral
  7. appraise vs apprise
  8. biannual vs biennial
  9. complacent vs complaisant
  10. ingenious vs ingenuous
  11. tortuous vs torturous
  12. venal vs venial
  13. ascent vs assent
  14. connote vs denote
  15. deprecate vs depreciate

Does anyone here want to try and explain the different between the meaning of these easily confused words?

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