English Words in Action, Group G

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

glib (GLIB) (adjective), glibber, glibbest
1. A reference to something which is said or done too easily or carelessly and showing little preparation or thought: The salesman had a glib answer for every question the customer asked him about the new clothing styles.

There are people who need to do more than simply provide some glib answers to difficult questions.

2. Relating to speaking in a smooth, easy way which is usually not sincere: There are just too many glib politicians who cause people to mistrust them.
3. Etymology: from Middle Low German glibberich, "slippery" and glib means being smooth or slippery in talk or manner than sincere.
Pertaining to being easy, shallow, and fluent in speech and writing, but not sincere.
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glibly (adverb), more glibly, most glibly
Having a ready flow of words but usually not being accurate or understandable: People with extremely facile and ready tongues can glibly talk about all kinds of things even when they don't know what they are talking about.
glitch (s) (noun), glitches (pl)
1. A difficulty or problem typically not of major significance: There are some glitches in the old computer software which are causing some problems.

Glitches in the speaker's schedule caused some delays in his arrival at the press conference.

2. A sudden unwanted electronic signal; such as, from a power surge or a temporary irregular over-supply of power: The neighborhood had a spike or a glitch with the voltage in their electrical current during the night as a result of the lightening storm.

It is possible that there is a glitch in the computer program which may cause the hardware to malfunction or there might be a glitch in the computer itself.

A mishap or an error which is usually not a major problem.
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glitch (verb), glitches; glitched; glitching
To experience an occasional or unexpected malfunction of equipment: Madeline's computer keeps glitching and then after a few hours it just reboots without any warning.

Bill's computer glitched again last night and then it was normal again in the morning when he restarted it.

Tom's job includes troubleshooting when customers' computer systems glitch or don't function as they should.

gloat (verb), gloats; gloated; gloating
1. To exhibit a conspicuous and sometimes malevolent pleasure or sense of self-satisfaction, often at an adversary's misfortune: After a difficult campaign, the winners were gloating over their victory of the election.
2. To triumph, to relish, to revel in: When Sam won the tennis championship, he gloated about it in front of the loser.
To regard with excessive pleasure or satisfaction.
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glower (GLOU uhr) (s) (verb), glowers; glowered; glowering
To look at someone or something in an angry way: The librarian glowered at the boys when she heard them laughing.

Art's teacher was glowering at him when she saw him looking at his cell phone while he was taking the chemistry test.

To stare angrily at someone who is apparently doing something wrong.
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To scowl or stare with annoyance.
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goad (s) (noun), goads (pl)
1. A pointed stick or rod which is used to make animals move forward: The shepherd rarely had to use a goad on his sheep because his dogs were trained to make sure the animals moved where he wanted them to go.
2. Anything that urges, or forces, people to respond: The threat of some kind of legal action is a strong goad for companies to follow government regulations.
goad (verb), goads; goaded; goading
1. To urge or to force someone to do something: Andre was goaded on to complete his military assignment as a sense of duty.
2. Etymology: from Old English gad of Germanic origin, "spearhead" or a "spiked or sharp pointed stick which was used to drive cattle, sheep, etc.; however, people can be poked or provoked into doing something with words, too; for example, a parent can goad a child into washing his or her hands before coming to the dinner table.
To urge on or to prod into action.
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gobbledygook, gobbledegook (GAHB uhl dee gook") (s) (noun); gobbledygooks, gobbledegooks (pl)
1. An English term used to describe nonsensical language, or sounds that resemble language but have no meaning; encrypted text: When she was first learning to talk, Sally uttered a lot of gobbledygook.
2. Something that is being expressed in an overly complicated manner: In an effort to sound very intellectual, the professor included a lot of gobbledygook in his lectures.
3. Unintelligible, inflated language; usually the hallmark of many government agencies: Having waded through the gobbledygook of the government documents, Mildred decided not to apply for the grant.
4. Involved, pedantic, repetitious, and pompous jargon, relying heavily upon Latinized expressions and meaningless clichés; applied especially to the written and spoken language of bureaucrats and professional politicians: The doctors attempted to impress each other by quoting a lot of gobbledygook about their theories and discoveries.
5. Etymology: coined by Texas Congressman, Maury Maverick, U.S. Congressman and chairman of the Smaller War Plant Corporation, in a 1944 memo after attending a wordy committee meeting. He is said to have vehemently denounced the long-winded, pretentious speech of his colleagues and other government spokespeople.

He later said the word just came to him, but perhaps he was thinking of the turkey gobblers back in his native Texas and of the "gobbledygobbling" sound they made while strutting so pompously, and that their gobbling ended in a "gook" sound.

Gobbledygook was just a continuation of the New Deal's bureaucratic officialese, which delighted in such terms as "activation, clearance, coordinator, implementation, objective, to process", and "roll-back".

By the 1950s, such talk, or writing, was also called "bafflegab" and by the early 60s, "Pentagonese"; and even now, "whitehallese".

Also known as, "bureaucratese", or the legalistic, wordy style of communication often characteristic of government announcements.

—Primarily compiled from information located at Words about Words by David Grambs;
McGraw-Hill Book Company; New York; 1984; pages 152-153.
Verbose or words that are unclear and full of jargon.
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gorge (s) (noun), gorges (pl)
1. A narrow valley between hills or mountains, a ravine; usually with steep rocky walls and a stream running through them: Marge and Fred enjoyed seeing the gorges in Arizona and New Mexico during their summer vacation.

During Mark's tour of the national park, he was able to see the waterfall at the far end of the gorge.

2. The throat or esophagus: Mack's dog had a chicken bone caught in its gorge but it was able to cough it up.
3. Etymology: the term goes back to Latin gurges, "whirlpool".
gorge (verb), gorges; gorged; gorging
1. To eat a large amount of something with greed; to fill oneself with food or drink: Al and Maude used to go to fast food places to gorge themselves on hamburgers and milkshakes.
2. Etymology: from Middle English and from Old French gorger; from gorge, "throat"; based on Latin gurges, "whirlpool".
gorgonize (verb), gorgonizes; gorgonized; gorgonizing
1. To paralyze or to petrify with fear: People or animals can be gorgonized by something that scares them so much that they lose all control of their senses and can't move.
2. Etymology: from Gorgon in the Greek myths consisting of three sisters having snakes for hair and faces so horrible that anyone who looked at them turned to stone out of terror.
To have a paralyzing effect as a result of extreme fear.
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To stupefy or petrify with a look.
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gormandize (verb), gormandizes; gormandized; gormandizing
1. To eat food in a gluttonous way: When Mark was in a restaurant, he noticed that there was one guy, a few tables away, who was gormandizing his food as if he hadn't eaten for days.
2. Etymology: from French gourmandise, "gluttony"; from gourmand, "eating excessively" or "gobbling food".
Eating like a hog or in a greedy way.
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gormless (adjective), more gormless, most gormless
Stupid or lacking intelligence: The gormless student failed all of his high school classes because he made no effort to do his homework or to study for the final exam.

The term gormless is used primarily in British English.

greed (noun), greeds (pl)
1. An overwhelming desire to have more of something; such as, a greater amount of money than is actually needed: Theodore's boss was a ruthless businessman who seemed to be motivated by an inordinate greed for wealth regardless of how it could be accomplished.
2. A craving or acquisitiveness that has been taken to the extreme; especially, regarding material wealth: Goldie made no effort to conceal her greeds for money and power.
3. Etymology: from Old English grædig, "voracious"; also, "covetous"; from Proto-Germanic grædagaz (hypothetical prehistoric ancestor of all Germanic languages, including English).

In Greek, the word was philargyros; literally, "money-loving".

Greed is from a 1609 back-formation. A German word for it is habsüchtig, from haben, "to have" + sucht, "sickness, disease"; with the sense of tending toward "a passion for".

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.