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

pertinacious adjAdhering tenaciously to an action; stubborn; resolute.
refractory adjUnmanageable; grossly disobedient and stubborn.
remonstrate vTo protest; to object.
fungible adjFreely exchangeable; pertaining to goods that are freely interchangeable with another in satisfying an obligation.
rakish adjStylish in a sporting, hip way; dashing; smart.
effulgent adjBrilliant; sparkling; shining brightly.
adjure vTo entreat; to command earnestly.
spurious adjFalse; counterfeit; lacking authenticity.
hortatory adjGiving strong encouragement; encouraging.
shamble vTo walk awkwardly.
mordant adjBiting; sarcastic; hateful; stinging; cutting.
pelf nCurrency; wealth; riches, especially if acquired illegally or unscrupulously.
callow adjYouthful; immature.
rebus nThe representation of words in the form of pictures or symbols; a puzzle where a player must decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and word.
voluble adjCharacterized by a constant speech; fluent.
fulminate vTo thunder; to explode; issue a severe denunciation.
ululate vTo howl; to wail.
orotund adjFull; strong; bombastic; pompous; pretentious.
arenaceous adjContaining or derived from sand.
seamy adjSordid; unpleasant; filthy or base.

*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.