List 53

ASVAB Word Knowledge

The Word Knowledge section of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a vocabulary test that assesses word meanings, synonyms, and antonyms in a multiple-choice format. Practicing this list on will expand your word knowledge and hone your test-taking skills via a variety of contexts and question types.


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  1. abate

    become less in amount or intensity
    If the wind didn’t
    abate—and soon—the summit would be out of the question for all of us.Into Thin Air
  2. accord

    a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
    International monitors have recently raised the alarm about both sides violating peace
    accords by using heavy weaponry that was supposed to have been withdrawn.Seattle Times (Aug 3, 2016)
  3. admonish

    scold or reprimand; take to task
    The Hippocratic Oath
    admonishes doctors to keep secret what they “see or hear” from patients.Washington Post (Jul 28, 2016)
  4. advocate

    a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea
    That cumbersome process has drawn criticism from healthy food
    advocates who want ingredients derived from biotech crops flagged as explicitly as possible.Wall Street Journal (Aug 3, 2016)
  5. afflict

    cause physical pain or suffering in
    I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today
    afflicts our nation will soon come to an end.New York Times (Jul 22, 2016)
  6. alleged

    declared but not proved
    The police are already looking into "
    alleged financial irregularities" surrounding the loan, because the cash has gone missing.BBC (Jul 27, 2016)
  7. ambiguous

    having more than one possible meaning
    “Funk is a feeling. It’s rhythmic, it’s movement, it’s tone color. Everybody thinks they know what it is, but I like to leave it
    ambiguous.”Washington Post (Jun 24, 2016)
  8. amicable

    characterized by friendship and good will
    The exchange came to an
    amicable end, as each party leader wished the other an enjoyable holiday.BBC (Jul 21, 2016)
  9. antecedent

    a preceding occurrence or cause or event
    Chomsky has dismissed efforts to teach apes like Koko how to sign as revealing nothing about the
    antecedents of human language.The Guardian (Apr 20, 2016)
  10. apprehensive

    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    He didn’t know what to expect from the job and felt a bit
    apprehensive.Los Angeles Times (Jun 17, 2016)
  11. apprise

    make aware of
    Nicole kept the other sisters
    apprised of what was going on by phone.Washington Post (Jun 27, 2016)
  12. audacious

    disposed to venture or take risks
    An exploded bubble could very well mean that those “totally
    audacious” bets will go unfunded entirely.New York Times (May 10, 2016)
  13. austere

    severely simple
    With its granite and cream tiles and bare walls, the room exuded an
    austere aesthetic.New York Times (Apr 1, 2016)
  14. bibliophile

    someone who loves and usually collects books
    With a Kindle, the
    bibliophile in your life will be able to easily carry around their entire library wherever they go.Time (Dec 21, 2015)
  15. brusque

    rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner
    “He was passionate, opinionated, and sometimes
    brusque and rude,” she writes.Washington Post (May 10, 2015)
  16. caucus

    a closed political meeting
    Their nominating
    caucuses — which were informal meetings of congressmen — had picked the three previous presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.New York Times (Jul 20, 2016)
  17. cede

    relinquish possession or control over
    Self-driving cars can be ranked on how much control they
    cede to the vehicle.Seattle Times (Jul 9, 2016)
  18. chagrined

    feeling or caused to feel uneasy and self-conscious
    We are duly mortified,
    chagrined and abashed and apologize to our readers.Washington Post
  19. compel

    force somebody to do something
    With those simple words, her brother was gone — and she felt
    compelled to take control in the ensuing chaos.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2016)
  20. complacent

    contented to a fault with oneself or one's actions
    Surely he wasn’t
    complacent enough to put aside his teacher’s instinct just because of a test score.Ungifted
  21. comply

    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
    On its website, Niantic says users must
    comply with age restrictions and applicable laws to play its games.Reuters (Aug 1, 2016)
  22. conceit

    an artistic device or effect
    conceit visually articulates a metaphor: Despite conviction and courage, the play’s characters are foundering for lack of empathy.Washington Post (Jul 13, 2016)
  23. conceited

    having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    “She’s not stuck up or
    conceited or look down on us. I love her. She has a heart of gold.”New York Times (Jul 9, 2015)
  24. conscientious

    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    “It’s almost a lost art. He’s very
    conscientious about his work. He’ll stick with it until it’s done right.”Washington Times (May 23, 2016)
  25. conspicuous

    obvious to the eye or mind
    You want to be visible, but you don’t want to be
    conspicuous.Slate (Jun 28, 2016)
  26. corporeal

    having material or physical form or substance
    Maybe it’s unfair to compare a
    corporeal creature with a cartoon caricature, but today, that’s what I'm doing.The Verge (Mar 6, 2016)
  27. coup

    a sudden and decisive change of government by force
    “We have such a strong economy that we overcome this
    coup with small scratches,” Mr. Yildirim said.New York Times (Aug 2, 2016)
  28. decorum

    propriety in manners and conduct
    He allowed that he had been taken aback by how disrespectfully they had greeted him, and by the lack of “
    decorum” and “civilized debate.”The New Yorker (Jun 23, 2016)
  29. defensive

    intended or appropriate for deterring aggression or attack
    Most of the public discussion has been about
    defensive measures, such as how to protect networks of the government and the private sector from attack.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2016)
  30. deference

    a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
    Most clerics kept quiet out of
    deference to the king.New York Times (Jul 10, 2016)
  31. deferential

    showing courteous regard for people's feelings
    Throughout the season, Porzingis has been unfailingly
    deferential to Anthony — an approach that Anthony clearly appreciates.New York Times (Jan 17, 2016)
  32. deploy

    use or distribute systematically or strategically
    deployed in the field, the new tool could help medical professionals detect infected patients more quickly.The Verge (Aug 1, 2016)
  33. diffidence

    lack of self-assurance
    He wears baggy white overalls that drown his frame and a shy smile that speaks of his
    diffidence.Slate (Jun 26, 2015)
  34. disapprobation

    pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable
    The social
    disapprobation against being rude and demeaning completely enrages them.Salon (Nov 24, 2015)
  35. discredit

    reject as false; refuse to accept
    The allegations were later
    discredited and convictions overturned, but the actions damaged morale and fueled resentment.Reuters (Jul 17, 2016)
  36. efficacy

    capacity or power to produce a desired result
    That vaccine had an
    efficacy of 31%, which was too low to license it for general use.Economist (Jul 21, 2016)
  37. ellipsis

    omission or suppression of parts of words or sentences
    ellipsis indicates that something has been omitted.The New Yorker (Dec 16, 2015)
  38. ensconce

    fix firmly
    She often seemed at ease, he said, only when she and her husband were
    ensconced in safe surroundings.Los Angeles Times (Mar 11, 2016)
  39. equable

    not varying
    "What happens is, I'm pretty
    equable and pretty much the same most of the time," he says with a shrug.The Guardian (May 30, 2014)
  40. evident

    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    “It is not their presence which is troubling but the danger, which is now more
    evident than before,” he said.New York Times (Jul 25, 2016)
  41. execrate

    curse or declare to be evil or anathema
    He was found out, and
    execrated by all--for he had been false to all--he fled for his life.Weyman, Stanley John
  42. explicate

    make plain and comprehensible
    Then, there's the tone of exposition, of a story
    explicated rather than told.Los Angeles Times (Feb 27, 2015)
  43. feign

    give a false appearance of
    I could no longer
    feign being outdoorsy, so I made the only contribution I could: I became an Amazonian homemaker.New York Times (Jul 22, 2016)
  44. fidelity

    accuracy with which a system reproduces its input signal
    This promised to be a lot better than my cheapo earplugs, with a bonus of better
    fidelity to the actual sounds I’d hear.The Verge (May 10, 2016)
  45. fraught

    marked by distress
    But the conductor generates a sense of calm that permeates the room, no matter how
    fraught he might be feeling.BBC (Jul 28, 2016)
  46. gainsay

    take exception to
    My evaluation process would be a lot simpler and less anxiety-ridden if I knew I would never be
    gainsaid by any student.Salon (May 25, 2013)
  47. gouge

    make a groove in
    The bite marks could have been chiselled out, so deep are they cut into the metal, with whole chunks
    gouged from the frame.The Guardian (Jun 3, 2016)
  48. grudging

    petty or reluctant in giving or spending
    While change is coming, it is
    grudging and slow.New York Times (Jul 5, 2016)
  49. hardship

    something difficult to endure
    But after the
    hardships they endured early in life, this challenge isn’t that scary.Seattle Times (Jul 29, 2016)
  50. impurity

    the condition of having extraneous elements
    New methods could scrub
    impurities from recycled steel to make products for the aerospace and car industries, he said.BBC (Apr 15, 2016)
  51. inadvertently

    without knowledge or intention
    Before reading each story, some students first read a paragraph that appeared to
    inadvertently spoil the outcome of the story.Salon (Jul 30, 2016)
  52. inept

    revealing lack of perceptiveness or judgment or finesse
    The defense lawyer was either
    inept or trying, actively, to throw the case.The New Yorker (Jun 8, 2016)
  53. infallible

    incapable of failure or error
    Furthermore, journal peer review is not
    infallible: poor science routinely slips through the net.Economist (Mar 17, 2016)
  54. insinuate

    suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand
    It also
    insinuates that you must remain cheerful and uncomplaining in the face of unimaginable pain and fatigue.New York Times (Jul 31, 2016)
  55. insurgent

    a member of an irregular force that fights a stronger force
    Party stalwarts insisted that the
    insurgents won’t win their fight.Washington Times (Jul 14, 2016)
  56. intend

    have in mind as a purpose
    “Because of its
    intended use, fenders will get damaged and sometimes do fall off the walls and subsequently are replaced.”New York Times (Jul 30, 2016)
  57. intrepid

    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
    Despite such warnings, one
    intrepid fan who did make the journey was impressed.The Guardian (Jun 3, 2016)
  58. irate

    feeling or showing extreme anger
    Irate students circulated petitions, wrote editorials and posted social-media tirades.Wall Street Journal (Jun 3, 2016)
  59. lethargic

    deficient in alertness or activity
    Their speech was slurred and their movements were
    lethargic.The Guardian (May 27, 2016)
  60. lucidity

    freedom from obscurity of expression; comprehensibility
    But at several moments, he produces lines of epigrammatic clarity that echo the
    lucidity of his photographs.New York Times (Jun 28, 2016)
  61. malevolent

    wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
    Some speculate on the arrival of
    malevolent robots that through conscious volition harm the human race.Forbes (Feb 24, 2015)
  62. mar

    cause to become imperfect
    Pacific Coast Highway remained open Wednesday, but its signature views were
    marred by a dark haze.Seattle Times (Jul 28, 2016)
  63. meticulous

    marked by precise accordance with details
    She is a
    meticulous thinker who almost never leaps before looking.Washington Post (Jul 24, 2016)
  64. minute

    infinitely or immeasurably small
    Corkin knew Henry intimately, spending decades gathering the most
    minute details of his strengths and his deficits.New York Times (Aug 3, 2016)
  65. neglected

    "We have been
    neglected and ignored by all the powers in the region."US News (Aug 3, 2016)
  66. nexus

    the means of connection between things linked in series
    “It’s the
    nexus of things like big data, social networks and mobility, and the next big thing, which is artificial intelligence.”New York Times (Jul 24, 2016)
  67. nicety

    a subtle difference in meaning, opinion, or attitude
    A good-hearted curmudgeon, he had no social
    niceties and told it like it was much to my grandmother's embarrassment.BBC (Jun 27, 2016)
  68. pastoral

    devoted to raising sheep or cattle
    Increased construction of wind turbines and solar panels and transmission lines will turn
    pastoral areas into an extended substation.Wall Street Journal (Dec 4, 2015)
  69. pendulous

    hanging loosely or bending downward
    Some eggplants are long, lean and
    pendulous, like smooth-skinned cucumbers.Scientific American (Sep 3, 2013)
  70. pivotal

    being of crucial importance
    He said the role would be "
    pivotal" and the chair would play an important part in deciding who else would be on the board.BBC (Aug 1, 2016)
  71. placate

    cause to be more favorably inclined
    “We are all working very hard to get you to a safe place,” Gabriel says, desperately attempting to
    placate Martha.Los Angeles Times (Apr 21, 2016)
  72. pork barrel

    appropriations designed to ingratiate constituents
    Lawmakers use
    pork barrel money to finance projects for their constituencies, aiding their re-election.Reuters (Aug 23, 2013)
  73. pragmatic

    concerned with practical matters
    The argument against it is as much
    pragmatic as moral: If we can use it on them, they can use it on us.Los Angeles Times (Jul 8, 2016)
  74. precept

    a doctrine that is taught
    It’s a
    precept she learned as a girl on her family’s estate in Venezuela.New York Times (May 27, 2016)
  75. privation

    a state of extreme poverty
    privation is a result of artificially holding down prices, which creates shortages.Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2016)
  76. proscribe

    command against
    The alleged offences include murder, directing terrorism, membership of a
    proscribed organisation and robbery.BBC (Feb 14, 2015)
  77. punctually

    at the proper time
    punctually for a job, day in and day out, demonstrates an ability to manage your time well.US News (Aug 18, 2014)
  78. pusillanimous

    lacking in courage, strength, and resolution
    The “cowardly man” meaning is derived from another source entirely, the Latin
    pusillanimous.Slate (Aug 28, 2012)
  79. refractory

    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
    In process of time, Parliament and public opinion brought these
    refractory landlords to their senses.Stanton, Henry B.
  80. reign

    rule or have supreme power
    Here she is with Gabby Douglas, the
    reigning all-around champion from 2012.Time (Aug 2, 2016)
  81. required

    necessary by rule
    The students are
    required to wear jackets and ties to school.Washington Post (Aug 2, 2016)
  82. scabbard

    a sheath for a sword or dagger or bayonet
    The strange horseman drew an enormous, curved sword from a
    scabbard mounted on his saddle.The Alchemist
  83. stalwart

    Without the involvement of these
    stalwarts, the spirit of party unity was hard to manifest.US News (Aug 2, 2016)
  84. stentorian

    very loud or booming
    He had a deep sonority on the baritone, softening the instrument’s
    stentorian brawn with a smooth, almost velvety tone.New York Times (May 19, 2016)
  85. stolid

    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
    The child’s perfection was not just physical either — he also had a steady mind: "on the whole
    stolid and unemotional."The Verge (May 20, 2015)
  86. subordinate

    lower in rank or importance
    Executive service appointees, on the other hand, are agency heads who are
    subordinate to the mayor and serve at her pleasure.Washington Post (Jul 1, 2016)
  87. succinct

    briefly giving the gist of something
    I promised to be
    succinct, so let's not belabor this further.US News (Apr 12, 2016)
  88. superannuated

    old; no longer valid or fashionable
    This artfully staged show brings a fresh vibe to a genre that has come to seem prematurely
    superannuated.New York Times (Dec 5, 2013)
  89. supersede

    take the place or move into the position of
    VCRs were introduced in the 1970s but were
    superseded by DVD technology.BBC (Jul 21, 2016)
  90. surreptitious

    marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
    But with the ubiquity of camera phones,
    surreptitious photography is harder to spot, Ms. Worth said.New York Times (Mar 6, 2016)
  91. tenacious

    stubbornly unyielding
    Still, Mann is known as a
    tenacious sort, one who doesn't back down even in the face of long odds.Los Angeles Times (Jan 6, 2016)
  92. tractable

    readily reacting to suggestions and influences
    The diversity of the two parties made their disagreements more
    tractable.The Verge (Aug 20, 2014)
  93. treacherous

    dangerously unstable and unpredictable
    During the most
    treacherous part of Juno’s journey to Jupiter, orbit insertion, the camera and all of the craft’s instruments were turned off.National Geographic
  94. upbraid

    express criticism towards
    Some letters
    upbraid us, some update and some amuse.Nature (Dec 16, 2015)
  95. vain

    having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    “He’s kind of
    vain . . . he thinks he’s this dashing, romantic, swashbuckling adventurer . . . but he’s flawed.”Washington Post (Jul 21, 2016)
  96. venerate

    regard with feelings of respect and reverence
    It is one of the most
    venerated names in high-end sports cars, having drawn the affection of car aficionados for decades.New York Times (Oct 20, 2015)
  97. vicissitude

    a variation in circumstances or fortune
    As a result, they have little protection against both life's
    vicissitudes and volatile home prices.US News (Oct 22, 2015)
  98. warble

    sing or play with trills
    And maybe doing just a little bit of wistful
    warbling, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down . . . “Seattle Times (Jun 1, 2016)
  99. yeoman

    a free man who cultivates his own land
    "His name was Clement," and foreseeing the next question, "he was a
    yeoman at Easthope."Weyman, Stanley J.
  100. yield

    the income or profit arising from a transaction
    The U.S. stock market has remained largely resilient as investors have favored equities in the face of low
    yields from other investments.Wall Street Journal (Aug 2, 2016)
Created on August 3, 2016
(updated February 16, 2021)

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