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

fiat nA command; an arbitrary order; a decree.
obloquy nSevere censure; overly sharp criticism, usually by many people.
quietus nA final acquittance from debt or an obligation; a rest.
ecdysiast nA prostitute; a stripper.
puissance nStrength; force; might.
coruscate vTo sparkle; to flash; to reflect brightly.
codicil nAn amendment to a will; a later addition to a will that adds or otherwise clarifies earlier provisions.
compunction nRemorse; uneasiness caused by guilt.
thew nMuscle or sinew (usually used in the plural); muscular power or strength.
pithy adjConcise and meaningful; substantial; meaty; containing ample substance in a compact form.
impecunious adjHaving little or no money; poverty- stricken.
putative adjSupposed; inconclusively accepted as true.
eschatological adjPertaining to end-matters; referring to the final state.
seine nA net for catching fish; a fishing net that hangs vertically when deployed in the water.
comeuppance nA well-deserved punishment or misfortune; a rebuke; a penalty.
horripilation nThe process by which hair bristles in response to cold weather or fear; often referred to as having goose flesh.
farraginous adjMiscellaneous
stultify vTo make or cause to appear or become stupid or foolish; to frustrate; to hinder.
dotage nSenility; a decline of mental abilities.
encomiastic adjPraising; eulogistic; flattering.

*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.