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

legerdemain nDexterity of hand; the use of skillful tricks in an attempt to entertain, baffle, and amuse.
base adjMorally bad; characterized by a lack of human decency.
pied adjMulti-colored; having patches of different colors.
venial adjForgivable; trivial; minor; fleeting and/or momentary.
cloying adjExcessively distasteful; overly rich and sweet.
panjandrum nA person who believes that he is important; a pretentious official.
paregoric adjA soothing medicine;
propitiate vTo appease; to conciliate.
deliquesce vTo melt; to become liquid.
sesquipedalian adjTending to use long words; grossly wordy.
factotum nA handyman; a person who is skilled at and who can perform a wide range of jobs.
fusty adjMoldy; characterized by an unpleasant smell; musty; sickly with neglect.
imbroglio nAn embarrassing incident; a complication that gives rise of arguing or a misunderstanding.
stultify vTo make or cause to appear or become stupid or foolish; to frustrate; to hinder.
posterity nThe future populace or people.
pharisaical adjExcessively pious; hypocritical.
usufruct nThe right to use something that usually belongs to somebody else; the legal right of enjoying the profits of something that belongs to somebody else.
scurf nScaly skin; dead epidermis matter that is shed.
primiparous adjBearing a first offspring; a woman who has borne but one child or who is pregnant for the first time.
germane adjPertinent; bearing upon the case at hand; appropriate; related to the subject at hand.

*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.