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

exegesis nAn explanation of a text; a critical analysis.
sesquipedalian adjTending to use long words; grossly wordy.
usufruct nThe right to use something that usually belongs to somebody else; the legal right of enjoying the profits of something that belongs to somebody else.
tenon vTo join; to fasten securely.
puissance nStrength; force; might.
tocsin nA warning signal; a bell that is used to sound an alarm.
doctrinaire adjFanatical; impractical; without regard to practical considerations.
tendentious adjPromoting a particular point of view; biased; having a definite purpose.
parvenu nSomebody who has just become wealthy; a newly rich person.
sibylline adjProphetic; oracular.
recondite adjAbstruse; not easily understood; profound; secret.
nevus nA birthmark; a blemish.
hale adjHealthy and strong; full of stamina.
tittup nA lively movement; a prance.
thrall nA slave; a serf; a person in bondage.
moue nA grimace, indicating displeasure; a facial expression made by somebody who is pouting.
scurvy adjContemptible; mean.
trumpery adjDecorative; of little value; worthless.
tutelary nCustodial; protective.
convalesce vTo recuperate from an illness; to recover.

*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.