Visual dictionary and vocabulary for SAT GRE CAT GMAT BankPO MBA entrance exams

Toughest of the vocabulary explained visually from SKMClasses

Words starting with ” p ” for SAT, GRE, GMAT, CAT skmclasses Bangalore

pac man defense – a stratagem, to prevent a hostile takeover, by which the target company tries to acquire the bidder

pace (Latin) – with due deference to; used to acknowledge politely someone with whom the writer disagrees

Short Story describing the meaning of the word pace is at

pagan (etymology) – from Latin for villager, rustic. Tied to “nature worship” because conservative villagers clung to the old nature gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities. (alternate reason for that tie: ‘villager’ was Roman military-slang for an incompetent soldier, and the early church, with its military image, picked up this concept for “those outside the Church Militant”.)

pahoehoe – lava with a smooth, glassy or rippled surface

paint-by-numbers – depreciative: merely mechanical or formulaic (rather than imaginative, original, or natural)

palace revolution – overthrow of a ruler by those who are already in the ruling group


Palavering – Have a lengthy discussion, usually between people of different backgrounds

Palavering Speak about unimportant matters rapidly incessantly


Palfrey – a docile horse ridden especially by women

Palfrey horse docile for women

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Palfrey is at

Palimpsest – a manuscript on which more than one text has been written atop an earlier one which, incompletely erased, is visible; also, an object or a place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface

palindrome – a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward

Palladian – 1. relating to wisdom or study 2. of the neoclassical major architectural style that was extremely popular in 18th century Britain

Palladian relating to wisdom or study by men

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Palladian is at

Palliate – 1. to mitigate 2. to extenuate [i.e., 1. to make (pain or disease) less severe 2. to make fault or crime seem less severe, with excuses and apologies]

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Palliate is at

pallid – 1. of abnormally pale or wan complexion 2. lacking intensity of color or luminousness 3. [metaphorically] lacking radiance or vitality; dull:

pallid prose

palooka – slang: an incompetent or easily defeated athlete (esp. a prizefighter); also, a stupid or clumsy person.

palter – 1. to equivocate or prevaricate 2. (palter with) to trifle with.

paludal – 1. relating to swamps and marshes; palustrine. 2. malarial

palustrine – relating to swamps and marshes

panache – dashing or flamboyant in style

panama hat – toponym: (picture here) a man’s wide-brimmed hat of straw-like material

pandemic – affecting a large part of the population over a wide geographical area; epidemic over a wide geographical area (contrast endemic, epidemic)

pandemonium – 1. an utterly lawless, riotous place or assemblage; also, (by extension) wild uproar or noise. 2. the great hall or council chamber of demons or evil spirits. Coined by John Milton in “Paradise Lost” (1667) from Gk. pan- “all” + L.L. dæmonium “evil spirit”. Transferred sense “place of uproar” is from 1779.

pandit – a wise or learned man in India (often used as an honorary title) [An alternative form is pundit.]

pandora’s box – a source of many unforeseen troubles

panegyric – an oration or eulogy in praise of some person or achievement

panegyric elaborate and poetic compliment; eulogy; laudation

Short Story describing the meaning of the word ” Panegyric ” is at

Panglossian – eponym: blindly optimistic; of the view that “this is the best of all possible worlds”

panjandrum; grand panjandrum – an important person, or a pompously self-important person

panoply – a splendid or impressive array

Pantagruelian – eponym: coarsely and extravagantly satirical

pantile – a roofing tile with a S-shape; laid so that curves overlap

pantograph – a mechanical device for copying plans, diagrams, etc., on any desired scale. A stylus, tracing over the original, drives a pen that produces the copy.

papabile – [pl. papabili] a viable candidate to be elected pope, or for other high office

paparazzi (etymology) – from the surname of a character in Fellini’s 1959 film “La Dolce Vita.”

Papierkrieg – German: obsessively complicated paperwork, seemingly (or actually) designed to make you give up in frustration

parable (also here) – rhetoric: a story told to convey moral or religious lesson; an allegory

parabola – a certain geometrical curve (a thrown ball travels in a parabola as it rises and then falls to the ground)

paradiddle – drumming: a pattern of four basic beats, alternating sticks. One of the 26 rudiments of drumming.

paradigm – linguistic sense: a list of word forms (a nominal paradigm is usually called a declension and a verbal paradigm a conjugation)

paradigm – something that serves as a model, example, or pattern

paradigm we are all tied to our own boxes

paralambdacism – a speech disorder involving underuse of the l-sound (contrast lambdacism)

paralogism – an illogical argument, a fallacy, esp. one which the reasoner is unconscious of or believes to be logical (contrast sophism)

paramagnetic – very weakly attracted by a magnet, but not retaining any permanent magnetism (contrast ferromagnetic; see Curry point)

paramo – a high, bleak plateau or district, with stunted trees, and cold, damp atmosphere, as in the Andes

paranoia – any unjustified, excessive fear of the actions or motives of others (medical sense: a persistent delusional system, usually on the theme of persecution or exaggerated personal importance)

paranymph – 1. a best man, or groomsman, or a bridesmaid (term is gender-neutral) 2. one who woos or solicits for another; an advocate, spokesman, or orator, who speaks in behalf of another.

paraphernalia – miscellaneous articles, especially the equipment needed for a particular activity

Paraphilia – sexual perversions; sexual behavior generally considered unacceptable by society. Any abnormal sexual attraction

Paraphilia sexual perversions sexual behavior of women

paraplegia – paralysis of the legs, the lower body [The sufferer is a paraplegic.]

parapraxis – a Freudian slip; a minor error, such as a slip of the tongue, thought to reveal a repressed motive

paraschite (or pararschiste) – person hired to cut a body, for mummification

paraselene – see parhelion

parasite (etymology) – from Greek for “one eating at another’s table”

paraverbal – being nonverbal communication

pardoner – one licensed to sell papal pardons (theoretically to raise funds for the church)

paresthesia – an abnormal sensation, as prickling, itching, etc.

Pareto Principle (eponym), or 80/20 rule – often, 80% of the result comes from 20% of the work or other input

parhelion – a bright spot in the sky, often in pairs on either side of the sun, thus forming a “triple sun”. Caused by atmospheric ice crystals. ( A parhelion is also called a sun-dog. The same phenomenon with the moon is called a paraselene or moon dog.)

parishion – parishioner; a member of a parish. This word died out in the 16th century, but it is an answer to the quiz, “Name 3 words ending in – shion: cushion, fashion, and ____.” See also hushion, fushion.

Park Avenue – the world of those who are ultra-rich in both money and social standing

Parkinson’s Law – eponym: the principle, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Parnassus – 1. the world of poetry or poets: a rhymester striving to enter Parnassus 2. a center of poetry or artistic activity 3. a collection of poems

parody – a literary composition imitating (and esp. one satirizing) another work. Also, by extension: a poor or feeble imitation; a travesty

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Parody is at

paronomasia – punning. more specifically, the form of pun based on using two different words of same or similar sound. (contrast antanaclasis, syllepsis, zeugma)

parricide – the killing of [or the killer of] one’s own parent – usually the father – or other near relative

parsimonious – excessively sparing or frugal

parthenian – virginal

parthenogenesis – the ability of unfertilized eggs to develop into embryos without sperm. Very common in snails and water fleas, but not in higher vertebrates.

parturient – in labor; about to give birth (parturition – the action of giving birth; childbirth)

paruresis – “bashful kidney”

pashmina – mountain goats in the Himalayas; also, the fine wool from them, used for pashmina scarves and shawls

pasquinade – eponym: a satire or lampoon, esp. one ridiculing a specific person. verb: to ridicule with a pasquinade

passacaglia – an old Italian or Spanish dance tune in ¾ measure, like a chaconne but slower

passe-partout – a master key. by extension: something that allows one to pass or go at will

passerine – (of birds) with feet adapted to perching (technically, of a particular order of perching birds)

pasteurize – [eponym] to partially sterilize (esp. milk or other liquid) by heat to destroy germs without a major chemical change in the substance

pastille – a troche; that is, a medicated lozenge used to soothe the throat

pastinaceous – having to do with parsnips

patella – the bone on the knee [from Latin for “pan,” its shape]

patent troll – a company that purchases a patent simply to sue another, claiming infringement

pathoctonus – the ebbing of passion; self-restraint (The Word Lover’s Dictionary)

patois – a regional dialect, especially without a literary tradition

patronymic – adj. and noun: of a name derived from one’s father or paternal ancestor

pavilion – (originally, a butterfly) a large and ornate tent. But more commonly applied structures of greater permanence, as a light roofed structure ( picnic pavilion), a solid but temporary structure ( a pavilion at the World’s Fair), a sports/entertainment arena, or a building within a complex (as a hospital).

Yoked to music at Picnic 🙂

Yoked to music play

pavlovian – eponym: being or expressing a conditioned or predictable reaction; automatic

pavonine – with the iridescence of a peacock’s tail. (also, “peacock-like”, in the manner of such words as canine, feline, etc.)

pawl [pronounced like pall] – a hinged bar whose free end engages the teeth of a ratchet wheel, allowing it to turn in one direction only

pawn – a person without real power, used (manipulated) by others for their own purposes [term evolved from the game of chess]

paxwax – the neck tendon (properly, the nuchal ligament)

peccadillo – a small sin or fault

pecksniffian – eponym: hypocritically benevolent; sanctimonious.

peculation – embezzlement

pecunious – abounding in money; wealthy; rich

pedant – a person who overrates, or over-displays, book-learning or technical knowledge

pedantic – exaggeratedly, unseasonably, or absurdly learned

pedigree – literally “foot of a crane”. On a genealogical chart, the group of lines branching from a person to his or her descendants looks rather like the footprint of a crane.

peeping Tom – eponym: a voyeur

pelagic – relating to open ocean or sea

pellucid – transparently clear, either literally (as with glass) or figuratively (as with prose writing)

pelota – 1. the game of jai alai 2. the ball used

peloton – competitive cycling: a densely packed group of riders, sheltering in each others’ draft. In a mass-start race, most riders ride in one large

peloton for most of the race.

pendulous – hanging down; drooping

penetrance – the likelihood that a gene will lead to a trait or disease. (That is, the frequency with which a genotype will manifest itself in a phenotype.)

pensile – hanging loosely; suspended: pendulous; the pensile nest of the Baltimore oriole

pentimento – a visible trace of the artist’s earlier version, showing through when the upper layers of the paint have become translucent with age. ( In effect, the “painting behind the painting”, showing where the artist “changed his mind” and changed his work.)

penultimate – next-to-last

penumbra – 1. a partial shadow (blocked from some but not all light sources and their parts) between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination
2. figurative extension:
a. an adjoining region in which something shades off into lessened intensely [the penumbra of the downtown]
b. something that partially covers, surrounds, or obscures

peony shell – fireworks: a spherical burst firework, in which the stars do not leave a trail

perambulate – to walk or travel from place to place

percipient – adj.: 1. perceiving 2. having perception; discerning; discriminating (noun: one who receives a telepathic impulse or message)

perdurable – extremely durable and long-lasting; also, permanent; everlasting

perdure – to continue, endure; to persist; to last forever

peregrinate – to travel, esp. on foot. peregrination – travel, esp. by foot; a wandering

perfecta – a bet where the bettor must name the top two finishers, in order (also called exacta)

pergola – a frame structure with a latticework roof, to support climbing plants

periclitate – to endanger

periscian – an inhabitant of either of the polar regions

peristerophily – love of, or collecting of, pigeons [not in OED; in Mrs. Bryne and some other private dictionaries]

peroration – the concluding part of an oration; especially, a final summing up of an argument. perorate – to so conclude a speech; also, to speak at great

length, esp. in a grandiloquent manner

perse – dark grayish blue

perseity – medieval philosophy: the quality of having substance independently of any real object

persiflage – friendly banter or frivolous conversation (persifleur – one who indulges in persiflage; a banterer) [From French, but there it means to mock, to ridicule. The root is siffler, to hiss, akin to sibilant.]

perspicacious – having penetrating mental discernment, keen understanding (contrast perspicuous)

perspicuous – clearly expressed; easy to understand (contrast perspicacious)

peruse – to read thoroughly [but often misused to mean “to glance over; to skim”]

petcock – a small valve on the bottom (e.g., of an automobile radiator), to drain or relieve pressure

peter pan – eponym: an adult who hangs on to adolescent interests and attitudes

Peter Pan collar – eponym: a small, flat collar with rounded ends meeting in front

Peter Principle – eponym; coinage: the principle that those in a hierarchy are promoted until they reach the level at which they are no longer competent (at which point promotion ceases). Thus each position is eventually filled by an incompetent.

peterman – a safebreaker

petitio principii – the logical fallacy of assuming in the premises what one wishes to prove in the conclusion

petrel – a type of seabird

petticoat government – rule by, or undue predominance or influence of women in domestic, political, or public life

pettifoggery – quibbling; argument over petty points

phaeton – eponym: a touring car

phalacrosis – typical male pattern baldness

phantasmagoria – a fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as in a dreams; a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage

pharisee – a self-righteous or sanctimonious person

phat – excellent; first-rate: phat fashion; a phat rapper. (  it is well understood to have arisen as an acronym for Pretty Hot and Tempting [or “Tasty”.)

phatic – relating to speech used to share feelings or to establish a sociable mood, rather than to communicate information or ideas. “How are you? Lovely day, isn’t it?”