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.
deliquescent adjTending to melt.
raffish adjVulgar; base; tawdry.
endue vTo provide with some quality; to endow.
expiate vTo make amends; to correct; to atone.
logomachy nA verbal controversy; an argument about or over words.
doctrinaire adjFanatical; impractical; without regard to practical considerations.
nostrum nA quack medicine or remedy; an untested cure; a questionable medicine.
inveterate adjDeeply rooted; well established; habitual.
devolve vTo deputize; to pass duties on to somebody else.
turpitude nWickedness; shamefulness; a depraved act.
hirsute adjShaggy; hairy.
risible adjAmusing; comic; laughable.
shamble vTo walk awkwardly.
prevaricate vTo lie; to hide the truth; to stray from the right course.
ullage nThe amount of liquid that is needed to completely fill a container.
balneal adjPertaining to bathing; of, or relating to baths.
ligneous adjLike wood; having the characteristics of wood.
desultory adjAimless; haphazard; digressing at random; unsteady.
compunction nRemorse; uneasiness caused by guilt.

*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.