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

gelid adjWintry; very cold; icy.
foray nA blitz raid; a quick military advance.
execrable adjExtremely bad; detestable; abominable.
putative adjSupposed; inconclusively accepted as true.
umbrage nOffense; resentment.
alluvial adjReferring to soil deposits left by running water.
purloin vTo steal; to pilfer.
conflate vTo combine; to fuse.
coruscate vTo sparkle; to flash; to reflect brightly.
lissome adjLimber; flexible; supple.
stygian adjDark; gloomy; black. 
natation nThe process of swimming.
redoubtable adjArousing respect; evoking fear or reverence.
tittup nA lively movement; a prance.
fractious adjComplaining; bad-tempered; readily angered; peevish; irritable; quarrelsome.
agog adjEager and excited; driven by anticipation.
espy vTo see unexpectedly; to suddenly notice.
defalcate vTo misuse monetary funds; to embezzle.
pelf nCurrency; wealth; riches, especially if acquired illegally or unscrupulously.
shamble vTo walk awkwardly.

*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.