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

sartorial adjPertaining to tailors or tailoring; pertaining to clothing.
cant nInsincere talk that is often hypocritical.
inveterate adjDeeply rooted; well established; habitual.
carillon nA set of stationary bells that are enervated by the application of mechanical machinery.
macerate vTo soften by soaking in liquid; to waste away or to grow thin.
anacoluthia nAn incorrect grammatical construction.
exiguity adjScanty; small; a dire lack.
nevus nA birthmark; a blemish.
profligate adjWasteful and licentious; extravagant and possibly immoral.
escutcheon nA ceremonial shield; a coat of arms; a protective, ornate plate.
rake nA debauched, dissolute person.
plucky adjExhibiting spirit and heart in the face of unfavorable odds.
droll adjQueer; amusing; waggish.
stygian adjDark; gloomy; black. 
votary nA regular; a stout worshiper; a person who is bound by a religious vow.
valetudinarian nA physically weak person who is overly -- and often morbidly -- concerned about his health.
scuttle vTo sink a ship; to scrap or to discard and do away with.
ecdysiast nA prostitute; a stripper.
bilk vTo cheat; to swindle; to haggle unscrupulously.
bluster vTo bully; to threaten; to domineer.

*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.