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

mettle nEndurance or courage; boldness. 
traduce vTo expose to slander; to speak poorly of.
proscenium nThe part of a stage that is front of curtain.
gravid adjPregnant; enlarged or burdened with something.
vituperative adjAbusive; scolding; defamatory.
sophistry nFallacious reasoning; an invalid logical argument meant to mislead.
glean vTo collect in small quantities; to gather over time.
effulgent adjBrilliant; sparkling; shining brightly.
deliquescent adjTending to melt.
bandy vTo discuss lightly or glibly; to pass back and forth; to circulate.
sesquipedalian adjTending to use long words; grossly wordy.
manumit vTo emancipate; to free from slavery or bondage.
zaftig adjPleasantly plump; having a full body.
prate vTo talk idly; to jabber; to talk nonsensically; to boast.
aquiline adjCurved and/or hooked, like an eagle's beak.
pelf nCurrency; wealth; riches, especially if acquired illegally or unscrupulously.
sunder vTo separate; to part; to cleave or sever.
cadge vTo beg; to acquire by begging.
refractory adjUnmanageable; grossly disobedient and stubborn.
apotheosis nAn ideal example of something.

*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.