offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.
Sign up or log in to Magoosh GRE Prep.

GRE Vocab Wednesday: Qu Words

Oh, big round ‘Q’, how I love your rotundity. Even more, it tickles me how lonely you are. For without your sidekick the ‘u’ you would only be of use in Scrabble. So maybe I should have entitled this post ‘Qu’- words. Regardless, there are many important ‘Q’ words you have to know for the GRE. So don’t quail when you see the ‘Qu’-.



Are you in a state of uncertainty? Maybe you are not sure whether you want to apply to grad school, or whether you should take the GRE now or prepare for few months. If so, you are in a quandary: a state of uncertainty regarding a tough situation. Speaking of which, for any GRE quandary just direct it my way.



You’ve had them before. Perhaps it was this very morning when you ran a red-light and in the pit of your stomach welled up that uneasy feeling, “What if the camera got me.” Or maybe you promised yourself you would study GRE vocabulary, but instead you’ve joined some friends for a fun evening out…except you cannot get rid of that feeling that maybe you should be home studying. If so, you’re experiencing the case of the qualms: an uneasy feeling because you feel guilty about something.



Sure, you probably know the bird…but I’m not talking about the avian here, or even the noun. To quail is a very meaning to show signs of fear or apprehension. As in, “He quailed at the 5,000 GRE word list, but then remember that the GRE was more about learning words in context (though he still shuddered at the thought of learning hundreds of unfamiliar words).



Ever been given lousy customer service, or perhaps been treated snobbishly at a restaurant? Most likely, you’ve stormed home revved up the laptop (or picked up the phone) and left an unpleasant review on-line. Your tone—as you lament the way the staff treated you like a 13th century peasant, while putting on airs fit for Versailles—is querulous. You are whiny and petulant, hoping that the world will commiserate with your unfair treatment.



This word does not relate to ‘equip’ – it’s far more fun than that! To quip is to make a funny, witty comment.  Now of course is the time where I am supposed to make a witty comment and say oh what a clever quip that was…unfortunately, I have stage fright and can think of nothing witty to say.



Long past his prime, gray grizzled hair dotting his wiry beard, he ventured forth across the land on a quest of momentous import. He was a knight errant, battling the evil forces of the world. He was Don Quixote. He was also nuts. At the very least, he was highly idealistic and impractical. And it is this latter definition in which this curious eponym has come to us today. To be quixotic is to be extremely idealistic.

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

5 Responses to GRE Vocab Wednesday: Qu Words

  1. Brinda October 31, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Amazing videos on Vocab Wednesdays Chris!
    Can watch them all day!
    Hats off and thanks a lot !! 🙂

    Panegyric much? 😉

  2. Aga October 23, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Hi Chris,

    It’s my first vocab Wednesday, I love the way you are explaining the meaning of the words.
    I’m still in a quandary 😉 regarding the best strategy for me to study for GRE but hope that joining Magoosh was the right choice:)

    And by the way, by quip you wrote: “it’s far more fun then that” – typo? should’t it be “than” instead of “then” ? 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Hi Aga,

      Thanks for the kudos, and thanks for catching that pesky ‘then’ :).

      Yes, I think joining Magoosh will be of great help. It will help resolve your quandary :).

  3. Chinki October 18, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Thank you Chris. Loved the ‘Qu’ words. Stumbled upon ‘Quail’, got confused with the ‘Quell’.

    Also, tried something,

    Ab initio, I was in quandary about GRE test. I will always have qualm about the mock tests and quailed whenever I had to give one. My friends quipped and declared I am querulous about the intensity of the test.

    I hope the context is proper. Thanks again, I try not to miss your VWs . 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Chinki,

      Glad you are enjoying VW :).

      And I do like your example sentence. Each word fits the context perfectly :).

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply