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GRE Vocabulary Wednesday: “G” Words

Note from Margarette: We’re a day late this week, sorry! So it’s technically a Vocab Thursday :). Also, it is Chris Lele’s birthday today! 🙂

There aren’t too many GRE words that begin with ‘G’. Beyond garrulous and gregarious, we oftentimes have difficult thinking of any others. Nonetheless, there are still some high-frequency ‘G’RE words.


I know what you’re probably thinking: This relates to the restaurant bill. And that’s just what the GRE wants you to think. Gratuitous, however, has nothing to do with gratuity—or the tip you pay on a restaurant bill. Gratuitous means uncalled for given the situation. If you are hanging out with your friends, and you suddenly start dropping GRE words into the conversation, they will probably find that gratuitous. Or if somebody curses for no good reason (maybe just to come off as cool), his or her profanity is gratuitous.



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Gambit sounds like “gamble”, and indeed there is an element of risk involved. A gambit is a move in which you risk something up front in the hopes of future gain. The word comes from a play in chess, in which you give up an early pawn so that you can better gain a position. More generally, gambit can be used to describe political maneuvers or just about any situation where a person is trying to gain an upper hand, but first risks something.



If a person is friendly and cheerful, he or she is genial. In this sense, the word is very similar to congenial (minus the con-, of course). Genial can also describe an environment that is pleasant, usually as far as weather goes. So if you live on the East Coast of the United States, the climate is not very genial, especially in the winter (unless you are like my colleague Mike who wears shorts even when the mercury has dipped below freezing).



To glower is to look at someone in a hostile way. Basically, if someone is glowering at you, that person intends to harm you. An informal way of saying this is “to give someone a dirty look.”



One definition of grouse is a large game bird. That won’t help you much on the GRE, which would only test the second definition: to complain or grumble, usually about something unimportant. Not happy that your work is no longer subsidizing sodas for 50 cents a pop, so to speak? Instead of standing up and the weekly meeting and delivering an impassioned harangue, you will most likely grouse to coworkers sitting across from you (who will either concur or avoid the grousing party by bringing in their own 12-pack of soda).



Gestation is that period we’ve all gone through: from conception to birth, during our time in a womb with no view. The word gestate can also refer to an idea that grows in the mind over a period of time (think of the brain as a womb).

Though Einstein’s theory of relativity seemed to come to him in a flash, the idea had gestated in his mind for years.

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26 Responses to GRE Vocabulary Wednesday: “G” Words

  1. Shweta October 9, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Belated Birthday WIshes Chris. And thanks a lot for providing us with great material 🙂

  2. Sid October 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Chris , belated happy birhday god bless u loads!

  3. nazmul September 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    belated happy birthday 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm #


      • lewis September 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

        Happy birthday! Thanks so much for all of your help and the Magoosh team. I learned two of these from Magoosh, but I am glad to add a few more. 🙂 Thanks again!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele September 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

          You are welcome! I’m happy you are getting to learn new words :).

      • lewis September 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

        I also just wanted to also say thanks so much for the videos and explanations for verbal problems. Your excitement with your work, keeps me enthralled and encourages me to keep studying. Thanks so much!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele September 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

          Thanks for the positive words! At Magoosh, we all enjoy what we do, and I’m happy it comes across in the videos :).

  4. shree September 24, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Happy Bday Chris!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Thank you :)!

  5. Aswin September 24, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Belated birthday wishes Chris! Your vocab sessions are very helpful! A special thanks for that 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks Aswin :).

  6. Umair Umer September 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    belated happy birthday Chris Lele…
    God bless you.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Thank you!

  7. Akshay September 22, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    This idea of a gratuitous comment had gestated in mind for sometime . However , I have so far refrained from using this gambit as a means to improve my vocabulary , for the best occasion could only be on the birthday of the ever genial Chris. I hope this comment is not glowered upon and thought as a pedantic grouse.

    Happy Birthday Chris ! 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Hello Akshay,

      Don’t worry — no glowering just smiling over here. And I’m sure you’re no pedantic grouse :).

  8. jayshri September 22, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    🙂 Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chris!!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you 🙂

  9. ashok September 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    belated happy birthday chris

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      thanks, Ashok!

  10. siddharth diwanji September 20, 2013 at 11:16 am #


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 20, 2013 at 11:43 am #


  11. kumar sourav September 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Happy birthday chris 🙂 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 20, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Thank you!

      • silpa September 21, 2013 at 11:47 am #

        Belated Many Many Happy Returns Of The Day Chris.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

          Thanks Silpa :)!

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