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

panoply nA magnificent array; a display; an ostentatious exhibition.
anneal vTo increase the integrity of; to make more hard by repeated heating and cooling.
cavil vTo quibble; to make frivolous objections; to find petty flaws.
insouciant adjUnconcerned; without anxiety; indifferent.
millinery nA shop or store that sells hats for women.
ennui nBoredom; listlessness; dissatisfaction because of a lack of interest.
tonsure vThe act of shaving one's head, especially by persons who are entering a religious order.
parse vTo examine closely; to separate into lots.
sedulous adjDiligent; assiduous; persevering.
invidious adjCreating ill will or envy; tending to rouse ill will or envy.
aubade nA song sung at dawn, greeting the morning.
tocsin nA warning signal; a bell that is used to sound an alarm.
foudroyant adjStudding; dazzling; having a grossly mesmerizing effect.
compunction nRemorse; uneasiness caused by guilt.
defenestrate vTo throw out the window.
asperity adjSharpness; severity; acerbity.
imprecation nAn invocation of an evil curse.
spate nA large number; a sudden, unexpected rise.
macerate vTo soften by soaking in liquid; to waste away or to grow thin.
samovar nA metal urn; a teakettle.

*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.