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

plenary adjAttended by all qualified members.
lugubrious adjSorrowful; excessively sad; gloomy.
crepuscular adjPertaining to the time when day is changing into night or night into day; not bright.
escutcheon nA ceremonial shield; a coat of arms; a protective, ornate plate.
pastiche nA literary or musical composition imitating a previous artist, often with a satirical undertone.
rake nA debauched, dissolute person.
bowdlerize vTo modify; to clean up; to amend by removing certain parts.
scurf nScaly skin; dead epidermis matter that is shed.
pulchritudinous adjPhysically stunning.
eructation nThe act of belching; a belch.
venal adjWilling to be dishonest; willing to be bribed.
sedition nConduct or language inciting rebellion; act of rebellion; an act of resistance to authority.
fungible adjFreely exchangeable; pertaining to goods that are freely interchangeable with another in satisfying an obligation.
logomachy nA verbal controversy; an argument about or over words.
obsequious adjSlavishly attentive; servile.
venial adjForgivable; trivial; minor; fleeting and/or momentary.
parsimony nStinginess; excessive frugality.
calumny nA false misrepresentation; slander; aspersion.
orotund adjFull; strong; bombastic; pompous; pretentious.
toady adjObsequious; overly flattering.

*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.