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

potentate nA monarch; a sovereign; a ruler.
obsequious adjSlavishly attentive; servile.
fungible adjFreely exchangeable; pertaining to goods that are freely interchangeable with another in satisfying an obligation.
quisling nA traitor who aids invading forces.
salutary adjTending to improve; beneficial; wholesome; promoting well-being.
macaronic adjDerived from or composed of a mixture of languages; composed of or characterized by Latin words mixed with vernacular words.
ligneous adjLike wood; having the characteristics of wood.
crepuscular adjPertaining to the time when day is changing into night or night into day; not bright.
aspersion nSlander; a damaging remark.
recreant adjCraven; disloyal; cowardly.
eidetic adjHaving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall of visual images.
upbraid vTo scold; to reproach. 
fritter vTo waste; to reduce or to throw away; to squander.
felicitous adjApt; well chosen; appropriate to the situation at hand.
escutcheon nA ceremonial shield; a coat of arms; a protective, ornate plate.
caducity nThe state of old age; senility.
tonsure vThe act of shaving one's head, especially by persons who are entering a religious order.
martinet nSomebody who is overly strict; a ruthless ruler; a dictator; an ultimate autocrat who demands that rules be followed exactly.
bolide nA large meteor; a fireball that eventually explodes.
peregrination nA trip; a travel; an excursion.

*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.