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

spate nA large number; a sudden, unexpected rise.
fungible adjFreely exchangeable; pertaining to goods that are freely interchangeable with another in satisfying an obligation.
rebus nThe representation of words in the form of pictures or symbols; a puzzle where a player must decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and word.
fatuous adjSmug, and unconsciously foolish; unreal.
apse nA semicircular domed projection of a building, most often a church.
sedition nConduct or language inciting rebellion; act of rebellion; an act of resistance to authority.
exegesis nAn explanation of a text; a critical analysis.
raffish adjVulgar; base; tawdry.
sibylline adjProphetic; oracular.
balneal adjPertaining to bathing; of, or relating to baths.
stentorian adjLoud; extremely powerful.
sylvan adjRelated to the woods or the forest; composed of branches, roots, leaves, bark, etc.
eidetic adjHaving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall of visual images.
preclude vTo make impossible; to prevent or prohibit.
abjure vPromise or swear to give up; to renounce upon oath.
cloture nAn official procedure in which debate is stopped and a vote is taken.
hackney nA horse that is used for pulling a light carriage or for riding.
apotheosis nAn ideal example of something.
tutelary nCustodial; protective.
opprobrious adjShowing scorn or reproach; outrageous; shameful.

*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.