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

lucifugous adjAvoiding light.
limn vTo depict verbally or through the use of pictures.
patois nA local or provincial dialect.
crepuscular adjPertaining to the time when day is changing into night or night into day; not bright.
bandy vTo discuss lightly or glibly; to pass back and forth; to circulate.
sibylline adjProphetic; oracular.
argosy nA rich supply.
portent nAn omen of am impending important event.
pertinacious adjAdhering tenaciously to an action; stubborn; resolute.
lurid adjWild; sensational.
inveterate adjDeeply rooted; well established; habitual.
nestor nA senior; a leader in one's field; a wise old man.
obsequious adjSlavishly attentive; servile.
hackney nA horse that is used for pulling a light carriage or for riding.
wangle vTo acquire by cleverness or deception; to trick.
quotidian adjBanal; ordinary; conventional.
asperity adjSharpness; severity; acerbity.
contumely nContemptuous treatment; harsh language.
macaronic adjDerived from or composed of a mixture of languages; composed of or characterized by Latin words mixed with vernacular words.
unwonted adjRare and unaccustomed; unusual.

*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.