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

pulchritudinous adjPhysically stunning.
prosaic adjCommonplace, mundane, hackneyed, trite, pedestrian.
gallimaufry nA confused mess; a hodgepodge.
sublimate vTo refine; to make pure; to rarefy.
hoary adjGray or white with old age.
spurious adjFalse; counterfeit; lacking authenticity.
stultify vTo make or cause to appear or become stupid or foolish; to frustrate; to hinder.
ligneous adjLike wood; having the characteristics of wood.
ensconce vTo settle comfortably; place in a secure place.
prate vTo talk idly; to jabber; to talk nonsensically; to boast.
putative adjSupposed; inconclusively accepted as true.
sesquipedalian adjTending to use long words; grossly wordy.
plight vTo pledge; to give one's honor; to commit to a future deed.
prolixity nTedious, unnecessary wordiness; diffuse.
contrite adjFilled with deep sorrow; expressing remorse.
ecdysiast nA prostitute; a stripper.
cunctation nProcrastination or delay; tardiness.
manumission nThe act of freeing from slavery.
piebald adjOf different colors; mottled; speckled.
strepitous adjNoisy, boisterous, clamorous.

*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.