The Graduate School Information Channel, Sponsored by:
GRE Vocab Wednesday: “Mmmm” Words
(full story below)
By Chris Lele

There are myriad ‘M’ words on the GRE. From maudlin to mellifluous, multifaceted to myrmidon (the last of these words I define below). Sadly, I’m limited here, but for ‘M’ words on a past Vocabulary Wednesday, google “Dial ‘M’ for Vocabulary”.


The mountebank took advantage of the public’s penchant to believe that anything in pill form must confer health; he started a website where he passed off mere vitamins as a panacea for chronic ailments.

This word comes from the Italian Renaissance, when itinerants would come to town—or village—hawking phony medicines. They would stand on, or mount, a banco, an old school bench, the crowd encouraging them to mount en banco (get up on the bench!) Had the crowd been aware of the deceit and fraud pulled by these mountebanks, they would probably have pulled the bench from underneath a mountebank’s feet.


As strongly as Larry felt about human rights, he was not about to make himself a martyr at the hands of the totalitarian government—he promptly retracted his incriminating article.

This is a word that is quite common (“to die a martyr”, “don’t die a martyr”), yet one that people struggle to define exactly. A martyr is one who dies for a cause, typically religious or political. The word has taken on a broader—and humorous—connotation, describing anybody who exaggerates physical discomfort or stress in order to get sympathy or attention.


Though as a child Kara dreaded her piano teacher, who was such a martinet that he demanded she practice scales four hours a day, she was thankful that she was able to play with great facility as an adult.

Martinet comes down to us via a 17th century French drillmaster, known for being a rigid disciplinarian. Today, anyone who is extremely strict can be described as a martinet. But don’t worry: we’re not martinets here at Magoosh. So if you don’t learn for your vocab today, we won’t force you to do push-ups.


At first none of the other dogs minded Chester, the tiny Pomeranian, but after a month he had recruited a German shepherd and a Doberman pinscher, his myrmidons who carried out his every whim with ruthless canine efficiency.

All of these words seem to have a historical tie, and myrmidon is no exception. During the Trojan War, Achilles had these followers who would execute his every order—no questions asked. Today, the definition of this word means any henchman or follower who unquestioningly carries out the order of their superior. Myrmidons are the big scary guys in the action movie who say nothing but when the crime boss needs some limbs broken, they spring to action.
Check Out More Graduate School Articles & Content
Top 10 Tips For Students Preparing For ICSE/ISC Examinations
Fellowships for 1st or 2nd Year of Graduate Study
Weekend Reading – Doing it Wrong Edition
Getting married in grad school?
Quick Content Search
Search Grad School Content:
Enter keywords below to see a list of Graduate School related articles on our site!  
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinics
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinic is an innovative course offering students a chance to work closely on pro bono cases with a practicing lawyer. Students are often invited to work on these cases in the practitioner's office off campus, and the Clinics are offered as two credits with an evening classroom component.
Visit Site >
Florida Coastal Law Offers LLM & Certificate in Logistics & Transportation
Florida Coastal Law is the first law school in the U.S. to offer an online LL.M. Degree or Certificate in Logistics & Transportation. Students in the 24-credit LL.M. or 12-credit Certificate program gain expertise in global logistics and transportation law through cutting-edge courses taught by attorneys and industry professionals online.
Visit Site >
Share Graduate School Content!
Got info to share with the community? Post Graduate School content here!
Post Content>
Interested In Grad School? Questions?
Graduate School Interest:
Enter your name and email address to have a representative contact you with graduate school information!
First Name:
Last Name:
Sponsored Content Create an Ad
Follow Us!
Link To Us!
Do you have a website? Link to HBCU Connect!