GRE Difficult Vocabulary Words, Randomly Selected

Here is a batch of randomly-selected difficult GRE Vocabulary Words*. To see more difficult words that tend to often appear on the GRE test, refresh this page. Study, review, and try to learn as many of these words as you can so that you can attain a high score on the verbal section of the exam.

However, as with all GRE vocabulary lists, memorizing words is not the best way to acquire and retain new vocabulary words. Instead, you should read critically, extensively, and often. And, use MyGRETutor's vocab tutor to keep track of the words that you have mastered, and to brush up on those words that you might have mastered in the past but might have slightly forgotten.

WordPart of Speech  Definition

martinet nSomebody who is overly strict; a ruthless ruler; a dictator; an ultimate autocrat who demands that rules be followed exactly.
desideratum nSomething that is highly desired; something that is absolutely necessary.
portent nAn omen of am impending important event.
sententious adjPithy; terse; short and concise; aphoristic; self-righteous; tending to be excessively moralizing.
anacoluthia nAn incorrect grammatical construction.
purloined adjStolen; embezzled.
cavil vTo quibble; to make frivolous objections; to find petty flaws.
tenon vTo join; to fasten securely.
satori nThe state in which a person suddenly acquires enlightenment.
persiflage nGood-natured talk; banter.
effluvium nA noxious, foul smelling odor; a harmful invisible gas.
supplicate vTo make a humble petition to; to pray humbly. 
disaffected adjRebellious; resentful of authority or of laws.
tract nA religious or political propaganda pamphlet.
patois nA local or provincial dialect.
officious adjMeddlesome; excessively pushy in offering one's services; domineering; nosy.
nestor nA senior; a leader in one's field; a wise old man.
lugubrious adjSorrowful; excessively sad; gloomy.
aplomb nPoise; composure; assurance.
ennui nBoredom; listlessness; dissatisfaction because of a lack of interest.

*We determine the difficulty of a word by keeping track of how many people get it right on the vocabulary tutor section of MyGRETutor. Easy words are those words whose definition, on average, is selected by at least 80% of users. Medium words are those words whose definition is, on average, correctly selected between 50 and 80 percent of the time, and difficult words are those words whose definition is correctly selected less than 50% of the time.