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GRE Vocab Wednesday: Writers in the Storm Part 3

This is the final batch of words from the article of the month. Yes, it was a long article in terms of vocabulary words. Hopefully, you remember the words from the other two batches.



Because Betty wanted to surprise her boyfriend for his birthday, she could not be forthcoming about the details of her afternoon without giving away the surprise.

Many know the first definition of the word—about to happen. The GRE definition, or at least the second definition, describes somebody who willingly coughs up information. For instance, if you ask a friend about their weekend and they just shrug saying they did nothing, they are being unforthcoming. If they tell you all about their trip to the beach and the movie they watched, they are being much more forthcoming than the first friend.


The first sighting of Haley’s comet is happily contemporaneous with the first advanced telescopes.

The word contemporary can be a little bit misleading. It can either describe something that is new (“contemporary televisions all tend to have flat screens containing more megapixels than there are atoms in the Milky Way”). But a contemporary can describe anybody living at the same time as another person (“Thomas Jefferson and Mozart were contemporaries”).

It is this second definition of contemporary to which contemporaneous refers. So if two things are contemporaneous, they exist at the same time.


Were we able to travel back in time to medieval times and tell those we encountered that sickness is caused by tiny germs in the body, they would likely be incredulous.

If you are incredulous you are unwilling to believe something. Eating this Himalayan banana berry can instantly make you lose weight and feel 15 years younger; we are only years away from having a fully formed colony on Mars—are both claims likely to leave you incredulous.



Davy thought his Basset hound’s most endearing feature was its pendulous jowls, which, when the dog ran, smacked against the ground.

Droopy and sagging—literally—is what pendulous means. Unlikely to be a correct answer on the GRE, but it might make a good distractor for those thinking (“Hmm…I’m looking for a word that means “it depends”—hey, look, it’s pendulous!).


The vagaries of life as a foreign diplomat were too much for Vincent, so after turning 50 he welcomed the routine life of a post office clerk.

From the Latin vagari-, which means ‘to wander’, vagaries are unexpected changes. The stock market, the weather, and people’s moods when they don’t have their daily cup of coffee are all examples of vagaries.



Gayle’s decision not to travel to the war torn region was premonitory; she just knew something bad would happen to her.

This word is simply the adjective form of the more common word premonition. A premonition is the sense that something bad is going to happen before it even happens. If you have a premonition that the stock market is going to crash (those vagaries!) and you sell all your stocks the day before it actually ends up crashing that is premonitory.


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5 Responses to GRE Vocab Wednesday: Writers in the Storm Part 3

  1. Maura July 31, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    Other words I found in this article:

    clout – having special advantage or influence

    abdicate – to give up authority or power

    presaged – foreboding

    sulllied – tarnished or casting doubt upon

    handmaiden – a subordinate position

    Definitions summarized from

    : ) I love GRE parlance

  2. Shivam February 13, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    I am a student of Bachlor in tech , Mechanical Engg from a private college affliated to PUNJAB TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY , India. I had scored 75% in 12th cbse and 8.2 CGPA in 10th. I had no research work published yet .
    Please , i beg u to tell me is it possible for me to do my MS from top American University like MIT , Stanford , CalTech , University of Texas , Harvard , Duke .

    Please give me a real answer not philosphy . I had asked many about this but all said marks are not appropriate but work hard . But please i trust u , tell me a direct and my clear chances

    If yes than please guide me the exact path and What should i do to achieve MIT and Stanford now. I will give GRE in 2018 .
    Please i know its gnna be long for to type me my queries . But please its my carrer issue . Please as a big brother guide me everything . I can do anything possible . Thank you. Shivam

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 15, 2016 at 2:59 am #

      Hi Shivam,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have nearly as much expertise and experience in graduate school admissions as we do with GRE prep, so I’m afraid we can’t be of much help. Here are a few blog posts to help you determine what scores are needed to get into the programs you’re interested in:

      What is a Good GRE Score?
      GRE Scores Infographic
      GRE Scores for Top Universities
      GRE Scores by Program Major

      Additionally, I’d recommend directly contacting the schools/programs you’re interested in to see if they can offer any insight, or check out the programs’ websites to see if they have any info! By starting your research now, you’re giving yourself ample time to come up with a solid plan to apply to grad school programs. 🙂

      I hope that helps at least a little!

      • Shivam February 16, 2016 at 7:09 am #

        really u sended me a benificial link….thank you
        but really tell me if i get a 330+ GRE score ….can i have surity of being selected in a mediocre and top college like MIT and Stanford for mechanical enggneering???,
        please …need it urgent sir
        thank you

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 16, 2016 at 10:35 am #

          Hi Shivam,

          I’m really sorry, but I have to reiterate that we don’t have much expertise regarding grad school admissions. The links from my previous comment are really all I can give you. I would advise you to contact the schools of your choice directly to learn more about their acceptance policies.

          Good luck!

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