Here’s what a typical GRE Antonym question looks like:

Directions: The question below consists of a word printed in capital letters, followed by five words or phrases. Choose the word or phrase that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.

Since some of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure to consider all of the choices before deciding which one is best.

(A) profound
(B) devilish
(C) reticent
(D) courteous
(E) distressed
The word in capital letters is the one you need to find an antonym for, and it will most likely be a noun, verb, or adjective. The choices may be single words, or they may be phrases. We’ll return to the example above in the practice set at the end of the chapter.
There is one small qualification to note: The test makers go out of their way to warn you that these questions deal with “fine shades of meaning,” which means you need to consider the words very carefully before settling on a choice. In a booklet of sample questions published by ETS, they go even further by saying that some words used in the questions do not have precise opposites, reiterating that you’ll have to look for “the answer choice that expresses a concept most nearly opposite to that of the given word.” This means that you have to stay on your toes. A choice that may not seem like the exact opposite of the given word may still be the best of the bunch. Not to worry. This chapter will ensure you know how to successfully tackle GRE Antonyms, regardless of the subtleties.
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