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Top 52 GRE Vocabulary Words
You will see GRE® vocabulary on test day in a variety of ways. Your verbal score is generated from your answers to 40 questions that are split up among two separate sections of 20 questions each. You will have 30 minutes to complete each section, so be ready to tackle Sentence Equivalence , Text Completion , and Reading Comprehension questions.
[ RELATED: GRE Vocabulary – Using Root Words ]
Knowing how to decipher difficult vocabulary by using the context is extremely helpful in maximizing your GRE verbal score . Take the quiz below to test your understanding of some of the 52 top GRE vocabulary words, and then review the examples and definitions of each word at the bottom of the page.
Top 52 GRE Words Definitions and Examples
- The student’s poor performance on the latest test was an anomaly since she had previously earned excellent grades.
- Politicians have been known to provide equivocal answers to reporters’ questions.
- The lecture was lucid and straightforward, allowing the students to fully grasp the concepts presented.
- Unforeseen costs can precipitate a budget crisis.
- A massage can assuage the soreness in your muscles.
- High school students often struggle with novels that are more erudite than they are entertaining.
- Medical jargon includes many opaque terms like macrosomic, which describes a newborn who weighs more than 4,000 grams.
- The prodigal prince bought lavish gifts and planned expensive events.
- Scientists continue to research cancer to solve the enigma of its primary cause, which will hopefully lead to a cure.
- The child showed a fervid fascination for superheroes, pouring over comic books for hours.
- A parent may decide to placate a baby with a pacifier.
- The great emperor’s crusading zeal led him to conquer many lands.
- Doctors encourage their patients to abstain from smoking cigarettes.
- The new CEO pursued audacious initiatives to save the company from bankruptcy. / The student’s audacious remark earned her a seat in afternoon detention.
- The heat and energy from the sun can desiccate even the most hearty plants.
- The gullible little boy gave his older sister all of his allowance because she told him she would buy a pony for him.
- Providing affordable healthcare for all citizens is a laudable goal.
- Professor Blackwell, a well-known pedant , required his pre-med students to speak in Latin throughout the entire semester.
- Undergraduate students often vacillate among various majors before deciding which degree to pursue.
- Many chefs use fresh produce and refuse to adulterate their dishes with canned ingredients.
- The capricious supervisor would hand out raises one day and fire his entire staff the next.
- Political debates can engender controversy regarding the subjects discussed.
- There are very few truly homogenous cultures since social diversity is increasingly widespread.
- The loquacious professor was known for his five-hour lectures.
- A pragmatic approach to legislation can be difficult given the complexities of politics.
- It is possible for a country’s political climate to remain volatile for decades.
- Political parties try to engage young voters who are more prone to apathy than older citizens.
- The scientist was able to corroborate his hypothesis with data gathered from multiple sources.
- An ephemeral moment of victory may last mere seconds, but it can remain as a triumphant memory for decades.
- The student’s laconic response suggested that she did not know very much about the topic the professor was discussing.
- We want to mitigate students’ GRE stress by offering helpful study tools.
- The students were instructed to behave with the utmost propriety while on their class field trip.
- The governor chose to advocate for a higher minimum wage rather than a tax incentive.
- The cacophony of the middle school band warming up was nearly unbearable for the audience.
- The boxer used a swift left uppercut to the jaw to enervate his opponent.
- The scam artist preyed on ingenuous nursing home residents.
- The neighborhood misanthrope surrounded his yard with barbed wire to keep people away.
- The fact that the retired teacher claimed to hate all pets but adopted seven cats is an intriguing paradox .
- To venerate the fire chief’s forty years of service, the department held a special banquet.
- The students voiced their antipathy for homework very loudly.
- The unreasonable supervise was known to deride his employees on a daily basis.
- The rabbi’s eulogy was both heartfelt and inspiring.
- It’s not uncommon to feel lethargic for weeks or even months after major surgery.
- The obdurate three-year-old refused to eat any vegetables, no matter how they were prepared.
- The students were grateful to receive financial support from philanthropic organizations that promote education.
- Some citizens vote solely along party lines and never waver in their political decisions.
- The prosecutor worked to find evidence that would bolster her case against the defendant.
- The school board’s meeting lasted for hours due to the length debate fueled by dissonance among opinions.
- The garrulous hair stylist talked to each customer for hours at a time.
- Children’s moods are often malleable since children are greatly affected by their surroundings.
- Owning a mansion doesn’t imply ostentation , but traveling exclusively by private jet certainly can.
- During the trial, the lead witness was willing to prevaricate in order to protect his friend.
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Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words
- Last Updated: January 14, 2023
It’s no secret that the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE contains a myriad of challenging vocabulary words that are sure to confound even the most ardent logophiles (n. lover of words). But with so many words to learn, where should you begin?
If you’re looking to solidify your understanding of some of the most common GRE vocabulary words, we’ve got your list. Continue reading to discover some of the high frequency words you could expect to find on the GRE come exam day.
How We Organized This Essential GRE Word List
After perusing (v. to examine carefully or at length) the frequent GRE vocabulary word lists provided by the top-rated prep courses , we selected frequently missed words that were common across providers to form our essential GRE vocabulary list. While we don’t intend for this list to be comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, we do hope it can be a good place to start for you to learn some of the most common GRE vocabulary words.
At the end of this post you can find a list of free resources that will help you take your vocab game up to the next level. Happy studying.
For this list, we’ll introduce a word and its definition prior to occasionally making a comment on why some students frequently miss the respective word. Please note that when a word has more than one definition, we’ve chosen the version most frequently tested on the GRE.
Prosaic : (adj.) Something that is prosaic is dull, commonplace, or unimaginative. Students sometimes incorrectly associate this word with bucolic (adj. Referring to an idyllic rural life). Prosaic contains the same root as the word prose (n. Ordinary or commonplace writing).
Quotidian : (adj.) While it’s somewhat in the same cluster as prosaic , quotidian includes a more temporal facet and refers to a daily, usual, or customary occurrence of something. If you see both quotidian and prosaic paired together as an answer choice, and the question refers to something happening on a daily basis, quotidian will be the correct choice.
Restive : (adj.) Restive typically means restless or uneasy. It can also mean stubborn and refusing to move forward (kind of like my miniature dachshund puppy). This word trips up a lot of students given its similarity to the words restful and rest . So, keep in mind that restive is actually quite the opposite of restful.
Pernicious : (adj.) Pernicious means causing a subtle or gradual type of harm. The key here is the subtle or gradual nature of it. Experiencing a car crash isn’t pernicious, but getting all your news from TikTok might be.
Diffident : (adj.) Diffident is used to describe a type of personality, referring to a lack of confidence or self-worth. A diffident individual may be overly restrained and perhaps reluctant or even timid.
Equivocal : (adj.) Equivocal means allowing for the possibility of multiple meanings, often with an intent to deceive or be deliberately ambiguous. Students sometimes incorrectly assume this word shares a similar meaning with equivalence .
Erudite : (adj.) Erudite means having or showing great knowledge. Example: The erudite student, no stranger to the library, achieved a top percentile score on the GRE.
Prodigal : (adj.) Prodigal means wasteful or extravagant in a reckless manner. Students occasionally incorrectly assume prodigy and prodigal are synonymous due to the phrase “prodigal son”. However, a prodigal son is not necessarily an impressive young person. Rather, a prodigal son is one who spends money wastefully (perhaps on six-figure crypto kitties).
Laudable : (adj.) Laudable means to be deserving of praise or commendation. Some students incorrectly associate laudable with a negative connotation due to the phrase “less laudable”. So, be sure to recall that laudable, when used without a modifier, means praiseworthy.
Laconic : (adj.) Laconic means using very few words, perhaps even expressing a lot in the process; concise. Unlike diffident (which can refer to a reluctance to speak up), laconic doesn’t imply any lack of confidence due to using few words.
In need of further GRE vocab help?
Enervate : (v.) Enervate means to sap energy from or weaken. Students often incorrectly equate enervate with invigorate when in reality they are basically antonyms. Example: Studying for too long without a break left the student enervated.
Ambivalence : (n.) Ambivalence means uncertainty or having mixed feelings, often due to an inability to decide or by a desire to do conflicting things. Students frequently mistake ambivalence for indifference . Indifference implies you have no particular feelings about something while ambivalence means you feel pulled in two directions about something and can’t decide.
Agog : (adj.) Agog means to be very excited about something with great eagerness, curiosity, or anticipation. Feeling as if she had aced the exam, the student was agog to find out her GRE score.
Artless : (adj.) Artless means free from deceit and without guile. Artless sometimes incorrectly gets a negative connotation, when in reality, it is purely positive.
Gossamer : (adj.) Gossamer is used to refer to something very light, thin, or delicate such as a veil. For a musical characterization of the word, please refer to the second studio album of American electro pop band Passion Pit.
Harangue : (n.) A harangue is a long and aggressive or vehement speech; tirade or rant.
Insipid : (adj.) Insipid means lacking interest or vigor. It can also mean boring, vapid, or dull. Students sometimes incorrectly associate insipid with a malicious intent perhaps due to another common GRE vocabulary word: insidious (adj. Working in a seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect).
Maudlin : (adj.) Maudlin means tearfully or weakly emotional. Side note, emerging artist and Columbia philosophy major, Maude Latour, has some killer indie pop/rock tracks (see the ‘Starsick’ EP). And, although you can’t spell Maude without maud-, I wouldn’t necessarily classify her tunes as maudlin.
Nonplussed : (adj.) Nonplussed means to be utterly perplexed or puzzled completely. Example: Upon seeing all available answer choices and not recognizing a single GRE vocabulary word, the student felt completely nonplussed.
Urbane : (adj.) Urbane refers to a person who is courteous and refined in manner.
Ersatz : (adj.) Ersatz typically refers to a substitute product, most often of inferior quality. Example: The cruise ship vacationer gleefully purchased an imitation designer Bvlgari watch at the flea market. Unfortunately, the ersatz product melted in the sun the very next day.
Anodyne : (adj.) Anodyne means not likely to cause controversy; weakened and made bland.
Euphony : (n.) Euphony means an agreeableness of sound, producing a pleasing effect to the ear. While it sounds similar to a melodious symphony, the word is often used to describe a pleasant combination or succession of words as with poetry.
Extant : (adj.) Extant means still in existence and surviving.
Lachrymose : (adj.) Lachrymose means mournful, tear inducing, and sad.
Munificent : (adj.) Munificent means immensely generous in an unusual way. Munificent should in no way be confused with maleficent (working to produce harm or evil).
Nadir : (n.) Nadir means the lowest point, often used to refer to a point of great despair or adversity.
Pellucid : (adj.) Pellucid means easily understood, clear, or lucid (clear and comprehensible) in meaning.
Philistine : (n.) A philistine is a person who is lacking in culture or hostile to the arts.
Polemic : (n.) A polemic is a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
Puerile : (adj.) Puerile means childishly silly and trivial.
Quixotic : (adj.) Quixotic means exceedingly idealistic, unrealistic, and impractical.
Raconteur : (n.) A raconteur is one who is skillful and gifted at storytelling. Example: Jack White, the musician, is quite the raconteur, having won multiple Grammy Awards.
Soporific : (adj.) Soporific means causing or tending to cause sleep. Example: The old professor failed to notice the soporific effect his lecture had on his students.
Belligerent : (adj.) Belligerent means eager or quick to argue and fight; aggressively defiant. Also, see truculent.
Tyro : (n.) Tyro means a beginner in learning something; novice. Example: Though early to her studies, the ambitious GRE tyro was fixated on achieving a top score.
Auspicious : (adj.) Auspicious means favorable, opportune, and promising of success. Example: Her life as a graduate student at Cornell University was off to an auspicious start.
Capricious : (adj.) Capricious means unpredictable or whimsical.
Inculpate : (v.) Inculpate means to charge with wrong-doing or accuse.
Specious : (adj.) Specious means superficially plausible but actually wrong or incorrect. Often used to describe an argument.
Banal : (adj.) Banal means lacking in originality; obvious and boring. Example: While some may argue that TikTok has ruined modern music by allowing for the rise of songs with banal, repetitive lyrics, the reality is that this claim has been made for decades following the introduction of new technologies.
Hegemony : (adj.) Leadership or dominance over a country or group.
Alacrity : (n.) Alacrity means an eager willingness to do something. Students often mistakenly assume alacrity has a negative connotation when in reality the word is actually quite positive. Example: Sarah studied with such alacrity that all of her classmates assumed she would ace the exam.
Paucity : (n.) Paucity means a lack of something. Example: With his car recently totaled, Thomas quickly discovered the paucity of reasonably priced used cars in his local area.
Innocuous : (adj.) Innocuous means harmless; not likely to produce any ill effects. Example: Dessert in moderation is more or less innocuous. Note, innocuous can also mean inoffensive.
Resources : Dictionary.com , Dictionary.cambridge.org , Merriam-Webster.com , Vocabulary.com
Free GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
When I was studying for the exam, I spent dozens of commutes and lunch breaks studying with Magoosh’s Free GRE Vocabulary Flashcards app. Their app is easily one of the most efficient and effective ways to master anywhere from 100 to 1,000 of the most important, high frequency GRE words for the exam.
Also, if you’re looking for a review course to help you ace the exam or meaningfully improve your score, check out our review of the Magoosh GRE prep course .
How to Improve GRE Vocabulary
Aside from purely direct study methods such as utilizing GRE vocabulary flashcards and following a well-structured review course, there are a number of other ways you can meaningfully improve your GRE vocabulary. See below for a list of our recommendations.
- Read challenging material from a wide variety of sources frequently. When you come across unfamiliar words, note them and look up their definitions.
- Use a mobile flashcard app such as AnkiApp to keep track of the words you’ve discovered on your own. This app makes creating your own flashcard decks quick and easy. It also incorporates a spaced repetition algorithm to improve your recall of hard GRE words. Work these decks into your standard vocabulary study routine.
- When you’re able to study alone, practice saying the vocabulary words out loud along with their definitions.
- Create your own visualizations and made-up anecdotes to help remember the words you continuously miss. The weirder and more individualized your visualizations the better.
- Try a well-structured review course with an emphasis on GRE vocabulary such as Achievable . It’s one of the best ways to learn tough GRE vocab that I’ve found.
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All the 600 GRE Words you MUST Know in 2023
by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad
In gre verbal.
What comes to your mind when you hear about the GRE? Of course, Vocabulary. But are GRE vocabulary words that important for doing well on the verbal section of the exam?
Yes. 50% of the GRE verbal section questions depend entirely on learning new words. If you don’t know any vocabulary, you can still get a decent verbal score of 155+. However, if you’re aiming for a 160+ verbal score, you’ll want to spend some time learning the most important and frequently tested GRE words.
In this post, I have compiled three separate lists of GRE words.
- Word List 1 contains 425 GRE words that have most frequently shown up on the exam in the last 3 months. Focus on this word list if you have less than 1 month to prepare for the exam.
- Word List 2 contains 600 GRE words that have shown up repeatedly in the last 6 months. Focus on this word list if you have 1-2 months to prepare for the exam.
- Word List 3 contains 1000 GRE words that have repeatedly shown up in the last 12 months. Focus on this word list if you have more than 2 months to prepare for the exam.
Like I said before, half of your GRE verbal section is Vocabulary based. So do not even think of skipping learning vocabulary.
You must know the meanings of these words and their usage as well. Therefore, these words will show up as options for half of the verbal questions on the test day.
In this Article
Word List 1: 425 GRE Vocab Words
Word list 2: 600 gre vocab words, word list 3: 1000 gre vocab words, how is vocabulary tested on the gre, what do gre vocabulary questions look like, should you use these words on the gre essay writing, how to properly learn gre words .
Let’s go over the 425 words and definitions I suggest memorizing if you want to aim for at least a 155 on the GRE.
Below, I give each word and its definition that is most used in the GRE contextual usage.
You can also download the Vocabulary in pdf format.
All words are listed in alphabetical order.
Let’s go over the 600 words and definitions I suggest memorizing if you want to aim for at least a 160 on the GRE.
Let’s go over the 1000 words and definitions I suggest memorizing if you want to aim for at least a 164 on the GRE.
To compile these lists, I have used all the official GRE preparation material, including their official questions, practice tests, past papers, and any free/paid material that ETS shares publicly. I have not used, or copied words from other word lists like Manhattan’s, Magoosh’s, Barron’s, etc.
If you can memorize and retain 80% of these words, you should be all good for the exam day. But make sure that 80% of the words are at your fingertips. You should be able to recall them in a split second.
The GRE underwent a complete overhaul in 2011, and since then, Vocabulary has become a far less important part of the test. For example, when I took my GRE in 2007, I had to learn over 3500 words, but since 2011, GRE has emphasized far fewer words. The new GRE focuses on just 600 or so words.
All GRE words are tested as options in the text completion and sentence equivalence questions. The words sometimes show up as Vocabulary in the reading passages as well. However, the chances of that are low.
Contextual usage of words is equally important as knowing their literal meanings. A lot of times, you would find a literal meaning slightly different than its usage. For example, the word inaccessible means “unable to be reached.” But on the GRE, it is commonly used to denote something that is ‘difficult to understand.’
Another word is insurmountable, which means “too great to overcome.” Again, this word is contextually used to represent something that is ‘hard to grasp/understand.’
This makes vocab particularly hard since you can get stuck if you know the literal meanings of the words but don’t know their usage.
Purely vocabulary-based questions make up 10 out of the 20 questions in the verbal section. Out of those, four questions are sentence equivalence, which asks you to choose two words that are similar in meaning/usage. Another six questions are text completions, which require you to choose one vocabulary word for each blank in a given sentence(s).
For these ten questions, you’ll need to know the literal meanings and the usage of the words given in the options.
Moreover, GRE has this habit of tricking students with completely unknown words that are not covered in the 600-word list or any other word list. GRE does that deliberately since they want you to use the process of elimination to arrive at the correct word.
There are two essays that you need to write on the GRE. Each essay is around 600-650 words, and many students wonder if it is essential to use these words in the essays.
The answer is: You won’t get any additional points for using these words. Nor will any points be deducted for not using these words.
The GRE essay only focuses on your topic analysis and your knowledge of grammar, transitions, and tense.
Now that you’ve got the 600 words that will most likely show up on the exam day, what’s the best way to learn them? Here I will share a few tips to help you memorize these words.
Make your Flashcards and learn 15-20 words per day.
I strongly recommend making your flashcards since students tend to learn a lot of the words while they put effort into creating their flashcards.
Flashcards are a time-tested way to learn anything that involves rote learning. They help you force your mind to recall the meaning of the words without directly looking at the meanings.
Moreover, the best way to use flashcards is to make your own.
Every day you should make 15-20 flashcards of random words and try to learn them.
Once you’ve made your flashcards, divide them into two groups. Group 1 and Group 2.
For the words you know in the first attempt, put them in group 1 . For the words you don’t know, put them in group 2 .
The next day, you must revise the words from group 2 before creating new flashcards. If you can recall these words, move them to group 1; else, they stay in group 2. After revisions, create your new set of 15-20 flashcards.
Repeat this process of daily picking up words from group 2 and going through each card.
After every week, revise all the words from group 1 as well. If you can’t recall a word from group 1, move it to group 2.
In summary, you must revise all the words in group 2 daily. For the words in group 1, you must revise them once every week.
If you’re a digital nomad, use a flashcard app like Anki . It is free, and you can use it to make your flashcards. Also, the Anki software will automatically create the groups I discussed above; you don’t need to worry about it. It uses a machine learning algorithm that deploys spaced repetition to show you difficult cards more often than you know.
Another helpful tip for learning GRE words is to put your vocabulary knowledge to the test by attempting actual GRE questions. This will allow you to understand the subtle variations in the contextual usage of these words and to see whether you truly know the meanings of the words.
Many students focus too much on learning words and not applying what they have learned. There is an adage: practice makes perfect. This applied to GRE vocabulary as well.
While practicing, if you forgot the meaning of a word, go back over the GRE vocab flashcards you made and put that word in group 2 so that you can practice that word regularly.
Overall, Vocabulary plays a massive role in the GRE. That said, you can still get a good score by focusing on reading comprehension and skipping Vocabulary.
The best way to learn GRE vocabulary is to make flashcards and use the grouping method. This ensures you focus on words you don’t know instead of aimlessly learning words.
Never learn words in alphabetical order – always mix them up. Moreover, make a daily routine of learning no more than 15-20 words daily. You should learn new words five days a week and take a rest for two days. Otherwise, you will soon burn out.
You can either make a paper flashcard or go for digital flashcards. It entirely depends on your preference.
In the end, make sure that you test yourself on what you’ve learned by doing actual GRE vocabulary-based questions. All the 600 words in the list above come from official GRE questions, so you’re guaranteed to see them on the exam day.
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PrepScholar GRE Prep
Gre prep online guides and tips, the 357 best gre vocabulary words: complete list.
You probably know that the Verbal section of the GRE has a lot of complex vocabulary. But how do you know which words you need to know? If you’ve been looking for the best GRE vocabulary list out there, look no further—we’ve got it!
What makes this list the best one around? It strategically synthesizes the best expert GRE lists with words from official GRE practice material. We’ll let you in on the whole process and then present the 357 GRE words you need to know.
How We Made This GRE Word List
Well, first we opened our magical GRE grimoire. Just kidding! First, we combed through all available official GRE practice material and flagged all the words that might slip a student up. All of those words were pulled into their own list. Words that appeared at least twice were automatically pulled into the final vocab list.
Then, we found GRE vocabulary lists from major test prep companies and sites—Barron’s, Magoosh, Kaplan, Manhattan GRE, and the Princeton Review. We combined all of those lists with our own GRE word list from the practice material. Finally, all words that appeared 3+ times across the test prep lists and GRE practice material were pulled into the final vocabulary list. Then we defined them in clear, to-the-point ways.
This left us with 357 battle-tested GRE vocabulary words, ready for you to study!
Quick side note: we've created the world's leading online GRE prep program that adapts to you and your strengths and weaknesses. Not sure what to study? Confused by how to improve your score? We give you minute by minute guide.
You don't NEED a prep program to get a great GRE score. But we believe PrepScholar is the best GRE prep program available right now , especially if you find it hard to organize your study schedule and don't know what to study .
Click here to learn how you can improve your GRE score by 7 points, guaranteed .
The 357 Best GRE Vocab Words
Without further ado, I present the 357 best GRE vocabulary words, in alphabetical order. Definitions begin with part of speech. Additional definitions go on a second line.
What Should I Do With This GRE Vocabulary List?
The first thing to do with this list is to look it over to identify any words you don’t know or are confused by. If you aren’t 100% confident that you can use a word correctly in a sentence, study it! Of course, you don’t need to study words that you are already totally solid on. That would be a waste of time.
Once you know which words you don’t know, you need to learn them! We provide quick and easy definitions for memorization purposes. And the best way to memorize a lot of vocab words is to make flashcards! Luckily, we’ve made them for you . If you’d rather study your flashcards online, I recommend Quizlet . You can make a free account and use various tools to study your own flashcard sets.
However, while a level of rote familiarity with the words is important, knowing how the words are actually deployed in context will help you on the test. To help with this, try reading publications with lots of GRE vocabulary, like The Atlantic , the New York Times , and The Economist . This will help you see how lots of words are deployed in actual writing. You can also use a plug-in for your browser that highlights GRE vocabulary words, like Pervasive GRE for Chrome .
So, once you know which words from the list you still need to know, you have two necessary prongs of attack. On one hand, you need to memorize the words and definitions with flash cards. On the other hand, you need to make sure you know how the words are used in context by finding articles where the words are deployed. In the next section, we’ll discuss the best way to study vocabulary flashcards.
How Do I Study All These Flashcards?
Now that you have the goods, how do you get them to deliver for you? Once you print out the flashcards, we advise using the waterfall method to study.
Let’s say that you have 100 flashcards in a pile.
You’ll go through the cards one by one. For each card where you know the definition easily, you’ll put it in your “Know It” pile. If you don’t know the definition, put it in your “Struggled” pile.
When you’ve gone through all the words, pick up the “Struggled” pile. Next you’ll go through this pile. For words where you know the definition, place them in a second “Know It” pile next to but not combined with the first “Know It” pile. For words you don’t know, make a new “Struggled” pile.
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Repeat this process, placing new “Know It” piles in a row from left to right. This creates your “waterfall.” Repeat this until the “Struggled” pile only has 4-5 words.
Now, you’ll move back up the waterfall. Start with the last “Struggled” pile and go through it repeatedly until you know all the words in the pile. Then, add the most recent (the rightmost) “Know It” pile.
Go through those words. If you miss any, go through the entire pile again until you get all of them right.
Seems brutal, but it will guarantee that you learn those words! Continue this process until you get all the way back up the waterfall. This means you know all the words!
This is the best method to drill vocab flashcards because you study the words you don’t know as well much more than if you just studied the entire stack over and over. For more details on the waterfall method and using flashcards to study, check out our complete guide to GRE vocab flashcards .
Key Takeaways: Learning GRE Vocab Words
GRE words can make a real difference in your Verbal score: studying our GRE word list of these 357 essential GRE vocab words will help you be fully prepared for success on the test!
The first step is to look through our list and identify all the words you aren’t 100% solid on. Then, make sure you both know those words in context and study them as flashcards.
To memorize the words in flashcards, use the waterfall method. You’ll have a GRE-ready vocabulary in no time!
Try our GRE flashcards or our GRE PDFs for more great vocabulary practice!
Have more questions about the GRE? Get a complete guide to the GRE format , check out an expert guide to what’s covered on the GRE , and learn how the GRE is really scored !
If you need more resources for prepping, get a list of the best GRE prep books , the four best GRE question of the day sites , and all the complete official ETS practice tests !
Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?
Author: Ellen McCammon
Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert. She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon
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Top 101 High Frequency GRE Words
By Jitta Raghavender Rao • GRE Vocabulary
When you think about the GRE verbal section, what comes to mind?
Obscure vocabulary, right?
Fortunately though, the new GRE is definitely less dependent on vocabulary than the old GRE. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t depend on vocabulary at all.
To score well on the verbal section, you should have a sound knowledge of vocabulary and must know how and when to use words. So, knowing the contextual usage of words is the key to score well on the verbal section.
Preparing for the GRE verbal section can be cumbersome, especially when the time required to build a strong vocabulary is considered. There are various GRE word lists out there which have words anywhere from 333 to 3500.
But to score well, should you learn all the 3500 GRE words in those lists?
Not at all.
In fact, the questions on the new GRE rely often on the same words, and these frequently reappearing words provide you with a smaller subset of words to study.
101 High Frequency GRE Words
There are countless GRE word lists and flashcards out there already. Why did we create one?
Simple! A lot of students have asked us over and over again that if we could send them a concise list of important GRE words that they can learn in a week or two. That’s when we realized how big a problem this is for many students who are running short of prep time.
You should accept the fact that you cannot master the 1000+ words GRE word list in a week. But does this mean you should skip learning vocabulary altogether!
That’s not an option! So what can you do?
Below you will find an ultimate list of high frequency words that appear on the GRE. And unlike every other list you will see, there aren’t 1000 words on the list; just about 100.
Knowing these 101 most common GRE words can improve your chance of scoring high on the test day. On the other hand, not knowing these GRE words will only hurt your chances.
This list is a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be used by anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are taking your GRE test within the next couple of weeks, or if your exam in a few months away. If you are not sure about your vocabulary, and like several thousands of international students who are a bit concerned about the verbal section, you should start off with this list. Learn every word perfectly, along with its contextual usage, and then do some practice questions, and trust me, you will be off to a great start.
Hands down, the most concise high frequency GRE word list!
Laconic (adj.) – brief and to the point; effectively cut short
Jessica is so talkative that her sister thought the situation warranted conciseness, and her being laconic.
Insipid (adj.) – lacking taste or flavor
Too much sugar tends to make this otherwise delightful fruit pie insipid.
Pragmatic (adj.) – concerned with practical matters
After five years of war, both sides have found pragmatic ways to make peace with one another, as the bloodshed has grown viscous and brutal.
Iconoclast (noun) – someone who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions
Irrespective of his actuating motives, his deeds as an iconoclast will be treated harshly and is answerable in court.
Arduous (adj.) – difficult to accomplish, hard to endure
James and Mathew are planning to leave for the states next week for their masters, following months of arduous GRE preparation.
Profligate (adj.) – recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources
The senate is particularly perturbed over our profligate use of natural resources such as forest, oil, water, energy, land and minerals.
Prosaic (adj.) – not challenging; dull and lacking excitement
The project was full of prosaic ideas, such as using sand and stone to raise natural walls around monuments built in honor of the late president.
Ameliorate (v.) – make, become better
Increase in penalties and effective awareness programs would ameliorate the growing pollution levels and there by global warming it may have generated.
Obsequious (adj.) – obedient or attentive to an excessive degree
It was evident that the manager was flattering – from his obsequious manner in receiving his boss.
Capricious (adj.) – given to sudden behavior change
The recent recession is yet another example of how making rules without forethought and acting without taking the arbitrary and capricious effects these changes in policies have on our economy.
Fortuitous (adj.) – happening by accident or chance
The alignment timing proved to be scientifically fortuitous for planetary astronomers, who already have a orbital satellite stationed around the moon.
Orthodox (adj.) – Conforming to all the traditional beliefs, and religious practices
Alice describes her childhood in a conservative Orthodox community in Iraq, keeping to traditional religious beliefs.
Alacrity (noun) – lively and cheerful readiness
After marriage, Jenny rushed off with excitement to visit her parents, but her father did not accept their marriage with equal alacrity.
Pellucid (adj.) – translucently clear
The river water was so pellucid that Mary could see clearly that it swarmed with countless small fishes and loaves.
Corroborate (v.) – confirm or give support to
The police officials said, allegations of misconduct by the officer have been corroborated by video from closed circuit cameras.
Magnanimous (adj.) – very generous or forgiving
Jaqueline’s magnanimous generosity and limitless loyalty towards her nation and its people is heart touching and is appreciated beyond words.
Scrupulous (adj.) – diligent, thorough, and extremely careful
The health inspector during his usual visit found pests in the restaurant’s kitchen and hence ordered the owner to observe scrupulous hygiene to stop spreading illness or would issue a immediate closure notice.
Prolific (adj.) – fruitful, present in large number
Ryan is furiously prolific, releasing albums on Maple, Mr. Siebel’s label, as well as his own metallic label, Metalloid.
Dogmatic (adj.) – dictatorial, opinionated
Most Americans have less dogmatic, more open-ended views and would ignore such a request but Mr. John didn’t hesitate and removed his coat immediately.
Placate (v.) – make (someone) less angry or hostile
Sam has to double stock divided last quarter and started working at an unsustainable pace in order to placate the company investors and shareholders.
Mercurial (adj.) – subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood, temperamental
The mercurial senator, who retained office for more than 25 years, has frequently gone back and forth on his resignation.
Exacerbate (v.) – infuriate, make worse
Hummingbird declines have been connected to a lack of appropriate habitat so increasing the number of Washington’s hives could exacerbate the issue.
Redundant (adj.) – redundant, superfluous
At first, taking a standardized test may seem redundant to existing skill metrics such as GPA, certifications, but the GRE is necessary for the college admissions to sort applicants.
Hackneyed (adj.) – unoriginal and trite
Girls dreaming their way to a wonderland to marry a prince and live happily ever after was already a hackneyed notion by the time Alice in the Wonderland was written.
Prudent (adj.) – acting with or showing care and thought
When the food manufacturer discovered toxins in a product sample case of one of its containers, it made a prudent decision to destroy all the boxes from the shipment.
Belie (v.) – disguise or contradict
Joe’s cheerful tone belies the grim nature of life in the Indian Countryside and her desperate desire to escape those suffocating circumstances.
Esoteric (adj.) – mysterious, obscure
A couple of months ago, Mr. Niobe submitted a thesis with his analysis and computations — a fairly esoteric mathematical dissent about how best to gather rational generalizations on the origin of the universe theory.
Cacophony (noun) – a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
The cacophony surrounding the multi-billion dollar buyout of leading messaging service by a social networking company shook the whole tech industry.
Impetuous (adj.) – acting or done quickly and without thought or care
Michael is methodical, barely the impetuous kind, and he has had ample time to come to a consolidated opinion of the university he wishes to apply for.
Idiosyncrasy (noun) – a way of thought peculiar to an individual
Modern technologies are a lot more expensive than their existing alternatives and each has its own idiosyncrasies that be conquered.
Extant (adj.) – in existence; surviving
Several works produced by Shakespeare during his later years are yet extant at Rome; and far surpassing the rest is his tale of two young lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
Obscure (adj.) – not discovered or known about; uncertain
Apple maps give such obscure directions that even after roaming around for hours, Derek couldn’t reach the new church that opened in the town.
Didactic (adj.) – intended to teach, educational
Though more didactic, Rama’s story of the triumph over evil and of a king’s dharma and nobility is quite powerful and enchanting.
Pithy (adj.) – brief, to the point
The professor was not known for talking much, but what he did say was always pithy.
Copious (adj.) – abundant in supply or quantity
Mathew insisted that Sophie track all her household expenditures, including every penny spent for hair clips, in copious account books.
Ostentation (adj.) – pretentious and vulgar display intended to impress, show off
The movie celebrity is not having a good day because he got another ticket for speeding only two over and driving ostentatiously in his new, cherry-red sports car.
Adulterate (verb) alter or debase, often for profit
Of all teas, I love green tea the most and would never adulterate it with sweeteners; even a pitch of sugar would be a desecration.
Vociferous (adj.) – loud and clamorous
The protesters were vociferous in their demands as they screamed outside of the mayor’s house.
Taciturn (adj.) – reserved or uncommunicative in speech
Over the past 50 years, as a recruiter, Yuri has come across different types of candidates, some of them speak a lot while some stay taciturn.
Obdurate (adj.) – refuse to change one’s opinion; stubborn
The teacher couldn’t stand the obdurate student as he yelled at anyone who dared to disagree with his opinions during the debate.
Garrulous (adj.) – excessively talkative
Though not garrulous by nature, Ryan seems to be comfortable with the diverse audiences at the education conference and managed to have conversations with several of them.
Misanthrope (noun) – person who hates others
People thought the old woman was a misanthrope since she wouldn’t talk to any of her neighbors let alone help them but they realized how much she loved them when she put a huge bag of candy out at Halloween.
Lionize (verb) – treat someone as a celebrity
The retired lieutenant is being lionized as a paragon of integrity for standing up against corruption.
Imminent (adj.) – about to happen
Some people thought it was outrageous when the media predicted the imminent death of the drug-addicted actress.
Frivolous (adj) – trivial, silly
Ram was passionate and serious about collecting coins but his friends thought it was a frivolous activity.
Benign (adj.) – gentle, kindly
Even though the advertisements claim the energy drink is benign, customers may experience some unwanted side effects after consuming.
Dissonance (noun) – lack of harmony, disagreement
There is a great deal of dissonance between the conflicting evidences produced by both the parties and hence the judge had to close the case on account of lack of sufficient evidence.
Inculpate (verb) – accuse or blame
Although the killer successfully disposed of the murder weapon, his friends provided evidence that could actually inculpate both the killer and the people who tried to cover up the killing.
Docile (adj.) – compliant, submissive
Although a trained lion appears docile during the circus acts, it is really a fierce animal when not controlled by a trainer.
Sporadic (adj.) – occurring at irregular intervals; scattered or isolated
The doctors are finding it difficult to identify the cause of Tom’s heartaches because of his sporadic heartbeat.
Prevaricate (verb) – deceive; stretch the truth
Aria does not take bad news well and hence her brother always prevaricates when telling her something she does not want to hear.
Chicanery (noun) – deception, trickery
The judge has plenty of reason to suspect chicanery because the lawyer has a reputation of aggressively defending his clients and of getting verdicts of innocence on guilty Policemen.
Gainsay (verb) – deny or contradict
Some of the officers were about to reject the project, but it had come from them, they could not well gainsay it.
Eulogy (noun) – praise, exclamation
Public officials and her friends joined in a chorus of eulogy and remembrances for many days afterward as Michelle signs on the human rights doctrine.
Belligerent (adj.) – hostile and aggressive
Russia’s public statement has been belligerent, menacing military action against the United States.
Dispassionate (adj.) – unfeeling, impartial
The heart of the ruthless monarch seems dispassionate to the plight of those people suffering in his kingdom.
Providential (adj.) – lucky, occurring at a favorable time; opportune
Sam’s dangerous and providential escape, made her tremble; and so pale did he still look, that she could scarcely believe he was uninjured.
Diffidence (noun) – hesitancy; lack of confidence
A lot of sportsmen attain prominence before they know what to do with it; others put across a diffidence to fame while secretly craving it; and some just don’t treasure their moments in the spotlight.
Fractious (adj.) – irritable and quarrelsome
Third world powers are hesitant about sending arms to aid the war, partially due to the fractious politics of the hostile political group abroad.
Malign (adj.) – hurtful, injurious
Often, people suffering psychological disorders are considered by their families to be under the influence of malign spirits, or showing sign of a physical confliction.
Disparate (adj.) – essentially different in kind, not allowing comparison
Chief Puritan and songwriter James Rhodes has led his band through six very disparate albums united by their subtle indifference for listener accessibility.
Plausible (adj.) – seeming reasonable or probable
Astronomers received data from the unexplored planet which indicates that the possibility of life, at least in the ancient past, is at least plausible.
Sanguine (adj.) – optimistic or positive
Among those who remain sanguine about the nation’s economic revival, there is always the lively topic of tax reduction policies, the remedy to deflationary recession in the United States.
Venerate (v.) – regard with great respect
In a nod to the religious customs of the Vatican, which popes here venerate, there are plans for a cathedral between the St. Peter’s Square and Mount Street.
Trite (adj.) silly, commonplace
Of these athletes, only Mr. Johnson delivered movements with any firmness; and even he was moving with such a professional awe that rendered everything trite.
Succinct (adj.) brief, to the point
Perhaps the most succinct equations of wave theory come closest in mathematics to defining probability, but chemistry can fairly lay claim to these equations.
Ingenious (adj.) – clever, original, and inventive
No matter how ingenious a thesis or an analysis may be, it will be quickly invalidated if appropriate field experts haven’t been engaged in the process for feedback.
Meticulous (adj.) – very careful and precise
Queen Cleopatra did beautiful architectural drawings on monuments built around the pyramids, the result of years of obsessive and meticulous hard work by numerous artists and builders.
Erudite (adj.) – well-educated, cultured
Consuming the books her father supplied, Miss. Jane, who grew up in near poverty, became an erudite, self-educated woman and loves sharing her knowledge with others.
Bolster (v.) – support or strengthen
Students having trouble paying college tuition fee may be relieved to hear that the Academic Council has launched new policies that will bolster borrower protections for student education loans.
Anachronism (noun) – error in time placement
With the rate of economic growth in the western countries at its lowest rate in nearly a century, the power wielded by the United Nations can seem like an anachronism.
Trivial (adj.) – of little value or importance
Evidently, $10 was a trivial amount for the wealthy business man, but no one wants to be embarrassed in front of his or her fellow associates.
Advocate (noun) – person supporting an idea or cause publicly
Mr. Sam who is a leading GRE test prep expert advocates strong basics and ample practice to be the key to succeed on the exam.
Conspicuous (adj.) – obvious, easily seen
Taxes on the corporates encourage investment and growth, instead of conspicuous consumption. The rich will always be wealthy. It’s the middle class that needs help.
Innocuous (adj.) – harmless and inoffensive
Companies that track their visitor’s online behavior have long claimed that the data they collect is anonymous, and therefore innocuous. But the interpretation of the word “anonymous” has changed over time in the online world.
Audacious (adj.) – reckless, daring
Jim is known for his adventurous style and audacious nature for when he is inside the ring, his audiences would jump off their seats to watch him play with the lion.
Tumultuous (adj.) – confused, or disorderly
During the recent riots, the crowd was tumultuous and went berserk as the police arrest their leader, washing away all that impeded it.
Reticent (adj.) – secretive, quiet
The usually reticent Swiss bank acknowledged the policy quandary at an International Monetary Fund meeting in New York this month.
Fervid (adj.) – intensely enthusiastic or passionate
During political debates, the candidates hurl fervid accusations at each other while justifying their positions on national issues.
Enervate (verb) – weaken, wear out
The blazing heat in mid-June caused dehydration and enervated the shipwrecked crew, leaving them almost too weak to hail the passing vessel.
Prodigal (adj.) – wastefully extravagant
Scott had been prodigal of all his energy, money and resources and innovative stratagems and loving kindness.
Auspicious (adj.) – conducive to success; favorable
The Australian skipper considered the sunny forecast to be an auspicious sign that his team would win tomorrow’s cricket match.
Soporific (adj.) – tending to induce drowsiness or sleep
The reality shows aired on TV tend towards the soporific; by contrast, the coverage of soccer game in newspapers is more fun because the pictures counted for everything.
Engender (verb) – cause or give rise to
The new technology has engendered great hope for the potential development of preventive methods for lethal genetic and severe chronic diseases such as glaucoma and cancer.
Loquacious (adj.) – tending to talk a great deal; talkative
Julie and Katie were not being loquacious with the other guests because they were too busy making long conversations with their other friends.
Equivocate (verb) – to avoid giving a clear or direct answer to a question
When I asked Rachel if the suit looks good on me, she equivocated a response, avoiding the question by saying she needed it to be somewhere else.
Inimical (adj.) – tending to obstruct or harm
Though Sarah’s husband is an inimical person who often beats her for trivial reasons, she has always tried to be nice to him.
Superfluous (adj.) – extra, unnecessary
Massive marketing budgets may seem superfluous when revenues are hard to come by, but it’s indispensable to have them in place in order to get substantial funding and to stay capital efficient.
Fastidious (adj.) – very careful and attentive
After the party, Jenny and her brother were fastidious in their efforts to clean up the mess because they knew their parents were on their way home.
Recalcitrant (adj) – disobedient, uncontrollable
Recalcitrant politicians, in interviews on TV and newspaper, raised their concerns over the party’s national policies publicly and were consequently punished for their disobedience.
Ephemeral (adj.) – momentary, passing
Sophie always knew the relationship with Haden would be ephemeral; she just didn’t expect they would breakup so soon.
Pusillanimous (adj.) – lacking courage, fearful
Despite the opportunity for heroism, the captain led his soldiers into a pusillanimous retreat and since then the man has been rated as a coward.
Vacillate (verb) – go back and forth, be indecisive
Since his term exams were round the corner, Adam vacillated between going on the family vacation and staying back at home to study.
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Ambivalent (adj.) – having mixed feelings, conflicting
My feelings about Shelly are ambivalent because on one hand she is a loyal friend, but on the other, she is a cruel and vicious thief.
Enigma (adj.) – difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious
Bruce Wayne was an enigmatic businessman; no one could ever guess what goes through the master tactician’s mind.
Euphoric (adj.) – intense excitement and happiness
The Australian cricket players were all euphoric when the Government declared a bonus pay to each of them as bring the world cup home.
Pedant (noun) – a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details
The senior professor was obviously a pedant since she persistently focuses on mediocre details and keeps interrupting me to point out my imperfect pronunciation and grammar usage without letting me make my argument.
Profound (adj.) – very great or intense; thoughtful
The realities are forcing a profound reassessment of how the Nile, Africa’s only major river, can continue to slake the thirst of one of the continent’s fastest-growing regions.
Inchoate (adj.) – undeveloped, beginning
Just after the big bang explosion, before the universe expanded to the gigantic distances, it was an inchoate assemblage of elemental matter.
Lethargic (adj.) – lazy, sluggish
In Asia, data on Tuesday showed that Japan’s economy contracted in the three months to September, as exports and domestic consumer spending remain lethargic
Deride (adj.) – make fun of; insult
When United States briefly considered withdrawing their forces completely out of Iraq in 2009, several patriots in public conversations derided the idea as a big mistake.
That’s About It.
So, those are the most frequent vocab words you will see on the GRE. I hope you got some value from these 101 most important GRE words. If you want to learn them regularly, save them in a doc, or print them and stick them somewhere in your study room.
To make it easy for you, we converted this post into a PDF so you can print it out later. Download the PDF now!
Also, don’t forget to come back to this list in a few days, and quiz yourself to see how many of these 101 high frequency GRE words you can recall. Remember, unless you revise on newly learned material, you are likely to forget it sooner than you think.
Did we miss any important GRE word?
We created this list with a lot of care and effort so that students who are short on time don’t have to skip learning vocabulary entirely and we really hope this serves as a reference point to you.
Also, we want you to remember that the GRE doesn’t rely on any word lists. The words can come from anywhere. From yesterday’s newspaper, online journals, history articles etc.
That’s why we’d love to hear your insights.
Any words that you learned that you didn’t see here? How about a word that you’ve also seen first-hand? Or maybe there’s a word you think should be on this list? Either way, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Download your free 101 high frequency GRE word list:
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43 Comments to “Top 101 High Frequency GRE Words”
I want to get 150+ in verbal but I am struggling with vocabulary. Please help!
Let us know what exactly you’re struggling with in verbal. Send an email to [email protected] , and we’ll get back with a detailed answer. It’s rather difficult to post it here. Happy Studying! 🙂
Thanks for tips, and the PDF file. I’m saving it. 🙂
Awesome, Hursh! Let us know how it goes. 🙂
Hey I plan to give my gre in end september and want to join in fall 2015 will i get late for applications. I am really nervous for the exam.
Hope your GRE prep is going great! 🙂
I wouldn’t call September-end for fall 2015 admissions late but the thing with college admissions is the sooner you send the application, the better.
Just make sure the colleges you are planning to apply still have their funding window open till September-end. Most colleges usually would have their windows open, but you don’t want to take any chance, do you? So visit their websites right now and check their application window.
Helpful 🙂 Thanks Sachin
Glad to know that, Atul! 🙂
Can anyone mail me the 101 high frequency words PDF?
You can download the CrunchPrep 101 High Frequency GRE Words PDF here . Let me how it goes. Happy studying! 🙂
Thank you so much, Raghavender! 🙂
Glad I could help! 🙂
Cool bro. Helps a lot for people who have less time for exam 🙂
Glad you like it, Sairam! We aim to please. 🙂
Hi , its really helpful for those who have less time for preparing… you people are helping uncountable people.
Im planning for Fall 2015 and I need time for preparation , as Im working women Im not able to find free time after my office hours but now I have decided to start my preparation and give the exam, So can you please help me ,Is it ok if I take my exam in the month of december ??? or will I miss any universities with the deadlines if I take the exam in the dec??
please help me
Hi Arshritha, thank you for the kind words. We are glad to help you 🙂
To answer your question, you will first need to come up with at least two or three universities you will be applying to because you see, the deadlines for the universities vary from one to another. I suggest you visit the shortlisted university websites and look at the deadlines and then book a slot for the test. Usually, a lot of universities close their applications on December 31st or January 1st. But check their official websites just to be sure.
Hey Jitta! Great product 🙂
I am writing GRE in 3 days. But scared about the results. If it does not turn up as expected can I give another exam after 21 days? Or is it too late to apply for 2015 fall?
Hi Yazhini! GRE is definitely not very hard but the fear of it will only lessen your chances to score higher. Fear and stress take away most of your test time. I once took the GRE when I was sick and though the pains were bearable, I didn’t know if I could pull it off and this mere doubt in myself cost me 5 points on the exam. So, just don’t let the fear take over you. It’s just an exam and all you need to do is perform your best. I am sure you will do great. Just believe in yourself! 🙂
Just in case you don’t do well, you can definitely take the test again after 21 days. But only if you feel that you can improve your score and can bear the test fee. Also, it usually won’t be late for your admissions. To be sure, check the University websites for the official deadlines. All the best.
Hi Jitta, just found this amazing preparation kit. Thank you so much!
Priya, glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback.
Ah My God ! I finally found a great list of words I’ve been looking for ! And these are the words that i see during my mock tests and Official GRE guide ! They really are the Real Gre Words ! Hands down to this list ! I have already crossed 150 in practice tests! I wish this will further help me in gaining more points ! Thanks again !
Gurkaranveer, glad you found the list helpful and thanks for taking your time to let me know that it’s working for you. I truly hope to see you cross the 160 mark.
Let me know if you need any help along the way. Happy Studying 🙂
Just starting the prep and found the list to be a good benchmark. Thank you!
Great list of words for students like me who have very few days for exam i revised it so fast and helpful.
wanted to know that do we have verbal practice section which covers almost the 101 Vocabulary words . Its just that if in case we could have them , students will be able to understand these words more properly with their applications.however must these words are just life saver. Thank you so much.
Hey Moni! Yes we do have verbal practice questions that cover all these and other important high frequency words. We also have flashcards that will make it much easier to remember high frequency GRE words. You can sign up here to access them: https://gre.crunchprep.com . 🙂
I really wish I had come across this page earlier, but never too late right? This is by far the most friendliest GRE prep page I’ve seen, makes me feel a lot more positive and confident! So thank you! 🙂
Hey Stephina! Glad to know we could be of help. Wish you good luck with your GRE prep! Let us know how it goes for you. 🙂
Hey ! This word list is really great and comprehensive. I believe you guys can devise a list of 250 words using similar strategy and would suggest to do that asap ! 🙂 It will really help.
I’m happy to know you found the list helpful, Shahnawaz! We actually have a comprehensive list of 1000 high frequency words in our Flashcards. You can study them here . Hope that helps! 🙂
Hi Jitta! May I know what are the other materials you provide???(other than 101 words)
Hey Saikiran! You can find some of our best free material here. Hope that helps! 🙂
I am finding it hard to relate the words with the sentences. I am not an avid reader. Will this be a problem for me to get high scores in GRE
Its Really awesome. Found it very useful. Thanks for sharing.
Just memorized it in 4 days the whole thing. Boom.
Very helpful as I suddenly planned on taking GRE next month.
Really nice list!
Thank you so very much for such an awesome website!
You guys are really doing a great job.
Here are some words I think can be added 1) Contrition – sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation 2) Ossified – set in rigidly conventional patterns or beliefs 3) Sullen – showing ill humour 4) Hard-pressed – experiencing financial trouble or difficulty
Hello, This is a fantastic post, thank you for the detailed and great blog post. 🙂
I like your blog design and your content. Thanks!
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- Table of Contents
- What is the GRE?
- GRE Scores & Admissions
- How the GRE CAT Works
- GRE Tips & Strategies
- Reading Intro
- 1. Passage Classification
- 2. Analyzing Paragraphs
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GRE Vocabulary Words
100 Most Common Vocab Words on the GRE Verbal Reasoning Test
Remember, GRE questions are designed to confuse you with tricky vocab words that you aren’t familiar with. Don’t let these words fool you.
The best way to ace the GRE Verbal Reasoning test is to improve your understanding and use of the most popular GRE vocabulary words. This way you will be prepared for your test date and won’t get tripped up on uncommon words.
100 Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words List
Here is a list of the most common GRE vocabulary words that appear on Verbal Reasoning. Test your knowledge and ability to communicate.
- Abasement – humiliate or degrade
- Abate – become less intense
- Accession – attain position of power
- Acerbic – sharp and forthright
- Acolyte – assistant in religious celebration
- Acumen – ability to make quick, good judgements
- Alacrity – brisk readiness
- Antipathy – deep-seated feeling
- Apostle – disciple of Jesus Christ
- Apprise – tell or inform
- Armada – fleet of warships
- Arson – criminally set fire to property
- Ascribe – attribute something to
- Banal – lacking originality to the point of being boring
- Barrage – concentrated artillery bombardment over a large area
- Bevy – large group of people
- Boor – ill-mannered person
- Bucolic – relating to the pleasant aspects of country living
- Canonical – according to the order of canon law
- Capricious – sudden change of mood
- Chauvinism – exaggerated patriotism
- Circumspect – unwilling to take risk
- Coalesce – come together to form one group
- Coffer – small box to hold valuables
- Condone – accept or allow
- Contrite – expressing remorse
- Credulous – having too great a readiness to believe things
- Demur – raise doubts
- Depravity – moral corruption
- Deride – express contempt for
- Endemic – found among people in a specific area
- Eulogy – speech praising someone highly
- Hegemony – leadership
- Inculpate – accuse or blame
- Ingenuous – innocent or unsuspecting
- Lethargic – sluggish
- Listless – lacking energy
- Livid – furiously angry
- Loll – sit in a relaxed fashion
- Lurid – vivid in color
- Mar – disfigure
- Mince – grind or cut up
- Minion – follower
- Mirth – amusement
- Misanthrope – a person who dislike humanity and avoids human society
- Modest – unassuming or moderate
- Morose – sullen
- Muse – daughter of Zeus
- Obdurate – stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion
- Oblique – neither parallel or at a right angle
- Opaque – not able to be seen through
- Overwrought – anxiety
- Paradox – statement despite sound reasoning leads to conclusion that seems senseless
- Paucity – the presence of something in small quantities
- Pertain – to be related to
- Philanthropic – seeking to promote the welfare of others
- Pine – evergreen tree
- Placate – make less angry
- Platitude – statement with moral content
- Plethora – excessive amount of something
- Posit – assume as fact
- Prodigal – spending resources wastefully
- Prophetic – accurately describing the future
- Purist – someone who insists on following the letter of the law
- Pyre – pile of combustible material
- Quack – sound make by a duck
- Reticence – not revealing one’s thoughts
- Rue – bitterly regret
- Ruminate – think deeply
- Specious – superficially plausible
- Stigma – mark of disgrace associated with an action
- Strut – rod forming part of a framework
- Sublime – of such excellence as to inspire others
- Surly – unfriendly
- Syncopation – displace downbeats or accents in musical composition
- Taunt – remark meant to provoke someone
- Tawdry – showy but cheap and of low quality
- Temperate – climate of mild temperatures
- Terse – sparing use of words, abrupt
- Tome – large, heavy book
- Torrid – very hot and dry
- Transgression – act that goes against the law
- Treacherous – guilt of betrayal
- Vapid – offering nothing that is challenging or stimulating
- Verbose – using or expressing in more words than are needed
- Venerate – regard with great respect
- Vestige – a trace of something that doesn’t exist
- Vilify – speak about in a disparaging manner
- Viscous – having this consistency
- Volatile – evaporate at normal temperatures
- Waffle – fail to make up one’s mind
- Waft – pass easily through the air
- Wanton – deliberate or unprovoked
- Waver – become unsteady or unreliable
- Whitewash – conceal mistakes
- Whittle – carve out of wood
- Winsome – attractive in appearance or character
- Wizened – wrinkled with age
- Wry – expressing dry, mocking, humor
- Zeal – get enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause
Free GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
One of the best ways that you can improve your vocabulary is to use GRE vocabulary flashcards . They are easy to use, you can bring them anywhere, and are insanely useful. These cards help develop your understanding of the confusing words that are likely to show up on the test.
There are several sources to find free GRE vocabulary flashcards, but one of the best is the Magoosh Free GRE Vocabulary Flashcards app. You can install this on your iPhone or Android phone and practice your vocab anywhere. Even if you don’t think you’ll use it that much, it’s worth downloading. It’s free!
Vocab Tip : One of the best ways to remember vocab words is to make your own flashcards. I know it can be time consuming, but you remember things much better when you are forced to physically write them down. It sounds weird, but it works. Make a set of GRE vocab flashcards out of 3×5 cards and you will remember these tricky words much better.
How to Improve GRE Vocabulary
There are several strategies to improving your GRE vocab skills that many students don’t know about. Some of these are simple tips while others come down to hard work and repetition.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your GRE vocabulary skills :
Make Your Own Flashcards
I know I just mentioned this in the last section, but it’s that important. Make your own flashcards! I can’t tell you how useful they are to remembering tough and confusing words.
Read Challenging Books
A great way to increase your vocabulary skills is to challenge yourself by reading unusual books. These could be textbooks, novels, or source materials. Anything with more obscure words will help you increase your vocab.
A good source of challenging reading material is pretty much any book written by William F. Buckley. He was a logophile that loved to include his vast lexicon in his writing. Look him up.
Many people think the only way to improve their vocabulary is to simply read and memorize lists of words. That’s imply not true.
A great way to learn new words is to write more frequently. Every time you write an essay or short story, you are using new words. Challenge yourself to work on your writing.
Plus, you will need to work on your writing skills in the Analytical Writing GRE test anyway.
GRE Word of the Day
Create a GRE word of the day calendar that lists a new word each day for you to implement into your conversations that day. You are likely to remember words more easily if you use them more often.
It’s a good idea to do this for every day that you study for the test. So if you plan on studying for two months, take a few minutes and write out vocab words and definitions on a calendar for the next two months. Then everyday you can implement the next word of the day.
Start Studying Today!
Don't put off preparing for the GRE Test. Start studying today and improve your score!
GRE Word Lists
Make a commitment to learn one list a week. Go through each list and test yourself (or, better still, get a friend to test you) one week later to reinforce your learning.
Remember - work on vocabulary is never a waste of time. It pays dividends in terms of your final GRE score .
Basic GRE Words
- Word list 1 [pdf]
- Word list 2 [pdf]
- Word list 3 [pdf]
- Word list 4 [pdf]
- Word list 5 [pdf]
- Word list 6 [pdf]
- Word list 7 [pdf]
- Word list 8 [pdf]
- Word list 9 [pdf]
- Word list 10 [pdf]
Advanced GRE Words
- Word list 11 [pdf]
- Word list 12 [pdf]
- Word list 13 [pdf]
- Word list 14 [pdf]
- Word list 15 [pdf]
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Top 52 GRE Words Definitions and Examples · anomaly – noun – something that is unusual or unexpected · equivocal – adj. · lucid – adj. · precipitate
Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words · Prosaic: (adj.) Something that is prosaic is dull, commonplace, or unimaginative. · Quotidian: (adj.) While
Should you use these words on the GRE Essay Writing? How to Properly Learn GRE Words; Conclusion. Word List 1: 425 GRE Vocab Words. Let's go over
The 357 Best GRE Vocab Words ; astonishment, n. total surprise, shock ; audacious, adj. very bold or presumptuous ; austere, adj. severe, unadorned.
Here are the top 30 common GRE words that you must be familiar with: · Arduous (adj.) – difficult to accomplish, hard to endure · Anachronism (
Top 101 High Frequency GRE Words ; Laconic (adj.) – brief and to the point; effectively cut short ; Insipid (adj.) – lacking taste or flavor ; Pragmatic (adj.) –
GRE VOCABULARY LIST ; abate, to lessen, subside ; abdication, formal relinquishing of power or authority; resignation ; aberration, straying away from what is
100 Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words List · Abasement – humiliate or degrade · Abate – become less intense · Accession – attain position of power · Acerbic – sharp
Each of the 15 wordlists contains 100 important words. The words in each list are arranged in 10 easy-to-learn groups. Within each group the words are
see how important vocabulary is on the revised GRE. ... This essay is so diffuse it is difficult to follow its central argument.