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GRE Vocab Wednesday: Magoosh Sentence Equivalence

Here’s this week’s GRE Wednesday!


Teenagers across the United States are assiduously copying Stephen Curry’s shooting style, hoping that a careful analysis of his every move will help them drill long-distance jump shots.

You can be lax about something, putting very little effort into it. Or, you can take the other extreme: carefully and persistently doing something. If that’s the case assiduous is the word for you. It’s also a word for almost any world class athletes and musicians. For despite the seemingly effortless panache in which these extraordinary individuals can kick a soccer ball or play a Beethoven concerto, years and years of assiduous practice are necessary.


The candidate was keenly aware that just one unpleasant comment would lead his opponents to besmirch him relentlessly; he, therefore, behaved very diplomatically till election day.

To besmirch is to dirty and ruin. This word usually describes a person’s reputation. Unsurprisingly, it pops up in political contexts. If one person tries to besmirch another’s reputation, he or she looks at any rumor or unseemly event that can be used. Of course, anyone can besmirch anyone, whether you are a politician or not.


The state test had undergone significant revisions, so the creators of the test, to avoid any criticism, carefully promulgated the changes, publishing them in newspapers and magazines across the country.

You can make it known that you really don’t like broccoli. But this is not the same as to promulgate. Though promulgate does mean to make known, it always refers to an official context. A governing body–whether it be a king or a small business–has to be making something officially known. In America, whenever the government overhauls something important, the president will usually promulgate the changes in his much-watch state-of-the-union speech.


The championship cycler’s medal was rescinded by the racing committee when it had determined that the rider had used performance enhancing drugs long banned by the sport.

To officially cancel something is to rescind it. If you speed or get hundreds of parking tickets your license might very well be rescinded. If you cheat on a test–hopefully that’s a big ‘if’!–those scores will likely be rescinded. Like promulgate, the context is usually official. So if you cancel your cable subscription don’t use the word rescinded. Rescind should only be used when an important privilege is removed.

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4 Responses to GRE Vocab Wednesday: Magoosh Sentence Equivalence

  1. Frank Adu June 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    I want more updates on how to learn vocabulary

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback. These posts really to help our students a lot! Vocab Wednesdays— and vocab posts in general– are something I’d definitely love to see more of too. I’ll pass this request on to the blog team here at Magoosh GRE, and we’ll see what we can do. 🙂

  2. Sungkyung Kim May 30, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    Wow, Chris, you indeed explain the words in convivial manner.
    It was helpful to remember the meaning of each words.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 31, 2016 at 1:57 am #

      On behalf of Chris, you’re very welcome! 😀

      Happy studying 🙂

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