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

valetudinarian nA physically weak person who is overly -- and often morbidly -- concerned about his health.
pertinacious adjAdhering tenaciously to an action; stubborn; resolute.
palimpsest nA parchment or piece of writing material used for a second time after the original writing has been erased.
apotheosis nAn ideal example of something.
eructation nThe act of belching; a belch.
cadge vTo beg; to acquire by begging.
incubus nBurden; very worrisome problem; a concern; a nightmare.
appellation nA name; a designation; the words by which someone or something is classified.
purloined adjStolen; embezzled.
xanthic adjYellowish; of yellow pigmentation.
iniquitous adjWicked; perceived to be immoral.
cite vTo seize the property of a person so as to compel and force the payment of a debt.
tonsure vThe act of shaving one's head, especially by persons who are entering a religious order.
effulgent adjBrilliant; sparkling; shining brightly.
recondite adjAbstruse; not easily understood; profound; secret.
mufti nCivilian clothes.
stentorian adjLoud; extremely powerful.
spurious adjFalse; counterfeit; lacking authenticity.
foray nA blitz raid; a quick military advance.
sedulous adjDiligent; assiduous; persevering.

*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.