Each week, “It’s not GREek!” will discuss a new word likely to appear on the GRE. We aim not only to give you a new word to memorize, but also to provide you with some background and etymological history to help you remember it. At the end of the post, we will also give you a sentence with a few other new words to add to your flash cards. By following this weekly series, you should be more prepared than ever to tackle the sentence completion, sentence equivalencies, and reading comprehension questions on test day.
This Week’s Word: Rapport
Rapport (pronounced: ra-pawr, -pohr, OR ruh-) is a harmonious connection or sympathetic relation; to have a rapport with someone is to have a connection or relation with that person, especially in the sense that one has or shares a sense of camaraderie with another. It is the feeling one develops through shared experiences or friendship, but does not necessarily require time to develop; you can develop an instant rapport with someone.
Etymologically, rapport is a derivative of the French verb rapporter, which means to bring back or report. The French rapporter is itself a derivative of the Latin apportāre, which has a similar meaning: to carry.
Rapport’s French pronunciation gives it an exotic flair that many essay graders may find alluring. Rapport’s foreign pronunciation also means that though many people may be familiar with it as a spoken word, many will also be unfamiliar with it when presented in writing; this makes it an excellent choice for test-makers to try and trick test-takers.