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500 Hard GRE Words 1

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This list is of hard GRE words for students who are working for higher scores or better graduate schools. If you think the 600 words in basic list are easy, don't stop. You have chance to do much greater. This list is for people like you who are in deeper GRE preparation.


abate: subside; decrease; become less in amount or intensity

abjure: renounce upon oath; abandon forever

accretion: growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion

advanced: improved; highly developed or complex; ahead of the times; progressive

amalgamate: combine; unite in one body; mix or alloy a metal with mercury

ambidextrous: capable of using either hand with equal ease

anachronistic: having time error in story; erroneous in date; in wrong time

anodized: electroplated; coated with thin layer of metal

aphoristic: expressed tersely

archetype: prototype; original model or type after which other similar things are patterned

archives: public records; place where public records are kept

articulate: expressing oneself easily in clear and effective language

artifice: subtle but base deception; trickery; cleverness or skill; ingenuity

artisan: manually skilled worker; craftsman, as opposed to artist

ascetic: leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial; austere

assiduous: constant in application or attention; diligent; unceasing or persistent

assuage: ease or lessen pain; satisfy or appease

astute: wise or keen; shrewd; with sharp intelligence

asylum: place of refuge or shelter; protection

atheist: nonbeliever; one who denies the existence of god

atrophy: wasting away; decrease in size; reduction in the functionality of an organ caused by disease

attenuate: make slender, fine, or small; weaken; lessen density of

augment: make greater, as in size, extent, or quantity

augury: sign of something coming; art or practice of foretelling events by signs or omens

auspicious: attended by favorable circumstances; marked by success; prosperous

austere: strict or severe in discipline; severely simple and unornamented

avaricious: greedy for money

aversion: firm dislike; turning away; avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior because of dislike

baleful: portending evil; harmful in intent or effect.

balk: stop short and refuse to go on; refuse obstinately or abruptly

banal: obvious and dull; commonplace; lacking originality

banality: ordinariness; dullness

bane: something causes misery or death; curse; fatal injury or ruin

bard: poet, especially lyric poet

bastion: fortress; projecting part of fortification; well-fortified position

befuddle: confuse thoroughly; becloud and confuse, as with liquor; make stupid with alcohol

begrudge: resent; give or expend with reluctance; be envious of

beguile: mislead; delude; deceive by guile

belabor: discuss repeatedly; attack verbally; work hard upon

beleaguer: besiege or attack; harass; surround with troops

belie: contradict; give a false impression

belittle: disparage or depreciate; put down

bellicose: warlike or hostile in manner or temperament; showing or having impulse to be combative

belligerent: inclined or eager to fight; aggressive

bemoan: regret strongly; express disapproval of

benevolent: generous in providing aid to others; charitable

benign: kindly; favorable; not malignant

benignity: compassion; gentleness; fondness

berate: rebuke or scold angrily and at length

beret: type of cap

bestial: beastlike; brutal; lacking in intelligence or reason

blandishment: flattery; speech or action expressive of affection or kindness, and tending to win the heart

boor: ill-mannered person

boycott: refrain from buying or using

canonical: orthodox

cardinal: chief; serving as an essential component

caret: punctuation mark signifying omission

chronic: lasting for long period; marked by frequent recurrence, as certain diseases

churlishness: rudeness; ill-mannered behavior

clemency: mildness, as of the weather; merciful, kind, or lenient act

cliché: overused expression; something unoriginal

clientele: clients of professional person; body of customers or patrons

coalesce: combine; fuse; grow together; come together so as to form one whole; unite

coddle: treat gently; cook in water just below boiling point

coerce: restrain by force, especially by law or authority; repress; curb

coercion: use of force to get someone to obey

cogent: reasonable and convincing; based on evidence; forcefully persuasive

cogitate: think earnestly or studiously; meditate; ponder; think deeply

colander: bowl-shaped strainer, used to wash or drain foods

collage: work of art put together from fragments

collate: examine in order to verify authenticity; arrange in order

colloquial: of informal spoken language or conversation; conversational or chatty

collusion: secret agreement for an illegal purpose; conspiracy

commandeer: force into military service; take for public use; seize for military use; take arbitrarily or by force

commensurate: of the same size, extent, or duration as another

complacent: self-satisfied; smug

compliant: yielding to request or desire; ready to accommodate; disposed or willing to comply

concatenate: link together

concatenation: linking into chains

conciliate: to bring together; end a dispute

concise: brief and compact; expressing much in few words

condescend: stoop or descend; let one's self down; submit; waive the privilege of rank or dignity

condone: tacitly support; overlook

condoning: overlooking; disregarding; ignoring

conflagration: large destructive fire; burning; large-scale military conflict

confound: cause to become confused or perplexed; fail to distinguish; mix up

congeal: to solidify

congenital: present at birth; inborn; innate

connoisseur: specialist; person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts

consecrate: dedicate

consensus: general agreement or accord; opinion reached by a group as a whole

conspicuous: noticeable; prominent; easy to notice; obvious

consummate: carried to the utmost extent or degree; of the highest quality; complete; perfect

contemporary: modern; belonging to the same period of time

contiguous: sharing an edge or boundary; touching; neighboring

contrite: sorry

contrition: sorrow and repentance

contumacious: stubborn

contusion: injury that doesn't break the skin

conundrum: riddle; difficult problem; dilemma

conventional: based upon tradition rules; formed by agreement or compact

corpulent: very fat; large in body; overweight

corrugated: wrinkled; shaped into alternating parallel grooves and ridges

culpability: guilt

cumbersome: heavy; difficult to handle because of weight or bulk

damp: humid; moist; slightly wet

deliberate: consider; think about carefully; weigh

demagogue: person who appeals to people's prejudice; false leader of people

dexterity: right-handedness; readiness and grace in physical activity; skill and ease in using the hands; expertness in manual acts

diaphanous: transparent; thin and delicate

discernment: judgment; perceptiveness

disinterested: not interested; indifferent; free of self-interest; impartial

disparage: belittle; speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; reduce in esteem or rank

disparity: difference; condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree

dispassionate: calm; impartial; unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice

dispatch: act of sending off something; property of being prompt and efficient; message usually sent in haste

disseminating: circulating; broadcasting; spreading (information)

diurnal: daily; relating to or occurring in a 24-hour period

divert: distract; withdraw money and move into a different location

docile: obedient; ready and willing to be taught; easily managed or handled

dogmatic: stubbornly adhering to insufficiently proven beliefs; inflexible, rigid

dolt: stupid person; person who is not very bright

dotard: foolish old man

drawl: speaking with slow and lingering utterance, from laziness, lack of spirit; lengthened, slow monotonous utterance

drivel: nonsense; silly, unmeaning talk; servant; slave

droll: queer; amusingly odd; comical

drone: idle person; male bee; someone who takes more time than necessary

dubious: questionable; filled with doubt

dupe: easily deceived person; duplicate of photographic image

dynamic: energetic; vigorously active

ebullient: showing excitement; overflowing with enthusiasm

eccentric: departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern

eclectic: composed of elements from a variety of sources

edifice: building, especially one of imposing appearance or size; a structure that has a roof and walls

efface: rub or wipe out; make indistinct as if by rubbing

effigy: crude figure or dummy representing a hated person or group; likeness or image, especially of a person

effrontery: shameless or brazen boldness; insolent and shameless audacity

effusive: pouring forth; uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm

egalitarianism: belief in equality

egregious: notorious; conspicuously bad or shocking

egress: act of coming or going out; emergence; right to leave; path or opening for going out

ellipsis: omission of words from text; mark or series of marks used in writing to indicate omission

eloquent: vividly or movingly expressive; persuasive

elucidate: make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify

elusive: difficult to describe; difficult to detect or grasp by mind

emaciated: very thin especially from disease or hunger

emancipate: free from bondage, oppression, or restraint; liberate

embezzle: steal or misappropriate money that one has been trusted with, especially to steal money from one's employer

embroil: involve in hostility or argument

emerge: come into prominence; spring up; appear

emulate: be a match or counterpart for; eager to equal or excel

encomium: high praise; formal expression of praise; tribute

endorse: acknowledge by signing a bill, draft, or other instrument; approve; support

endurance: perseverance; state or fact of persevering; continuing existence

enduring: lasting; surviving; long-suffering; patient

epistemology: theory of knowledge

equivocation: speaking ambiguously

extant: still in existence; not destroyed, lost, or extinct

extirpate: root out; eradicate, literally or figuratively; destroy wholly

extirpation: wiping out; complete destruction

feckless: without skill, ineffective; worthless; lacking purpose

feint: trick; any distracting or deceptive maneuver

flout: reject; mock; express contempt for rules by word or action; behave with contempt

flustered: worked-up; not calm

fly-by-night: unreliable; disreputable

foppish: behaving or dressing like a dandy; excessively concerned with fashion

forensic: relating to use of technology in investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in court by law

fortitude: bravery; force; power to attack or to resist attack

fortuitous: accidental; by chance; coming or occurring without any cause

fractious: inclined to make trouble; disobedient; irritable

fraudulent: cheating; deceitful; planning or using fraud; given to practice of fraud

frivolous: lacking in seriousness; not serious; relatively unimportant

froward: stubborn; wayward; disobedient

frugal: sparing; economical; costing little; inexpensive

furrow: trench in the earth made by a plow; any trench, channel, or groove, as in wood or metal; wrinkle on the face

furtive: marked by quiet and caution and secrecy

futile: useless; having no useful result; vain

gaffe: socially awkward or tactless act; foolish error, especially one made in public

galleon: large sailing ship, usually having two or more decks and carrying guns

gambol: dance and skip about in sport; leap playfully

garble: distort; confuse; muddle

garish: over-bright in color; tastelessly showy

garner: gather; store up; amass; acquire

garrulous: talking much and repetition of unimportant or trivial details

gaunt: very thin, especially from disease or hunger or cold; barren

genre: type or class; a kind of literary or artistic work

germane: related to the topic being discussed or considered; appropriate or fitting; relevant

germinal: containing seeds of later development; creative

gibbering: making meaningless noises

glacial: like a glacier; extremely cold; lacking warmth and friendliness

glib: performed with a natural or offhand ease

goad: urge with a long pointed stick; give heart or courage to

grate: make a harsh noise; have an unpleasant effect; shred

gratis: free, without charge; costing nothing

gratuitous: given freely; unwarranted; granted without recompense; unearned

gravity: seriousness; solemn and dignified feeling; natural force between two massive bodies

gregarious: sociable; seeking and enjoying the company of others

gritty: coarse; granular

guffaw: loud, rude burst of laughter; horse-laugh

guile: skillful deceit; disposition to deceive or cheat; disguise cunningly

guileless: free from deceit; sincere; honest

gullibility: unwariness; trustfulness; being easily fooled

gullible: easily deceived or cheated; easily tricked because of being too trusting

gustatory: relating to sense of taste; relating to gustation

hackneyed: repeated too often; over familiar through overuse

halcyon: idyllically calm and peaceful; marked by peace and prosperity

hallowed: associated with a divine power; made holy; worthy of religious veneration

hortatory: encouraging; exhorting

idyll: story or incident in peaceful or ideal setting

imperturbability: quality of being calm and not easily disturbed

impugned: challenged; called into question

inchoate: recently begun; imperfectly formed or developed; elementary

incise: cut; carve

ingénue: naïve, unsophisticated person

ingrate: unthankful; ungrateful; one who rewards favors with enmity

inimical: unfriendly; hostile; harmful; detrimental

iniquitous: wicked or sinful; immoral; unrighteous

innate: possessed at birth; inborn

innocuous: having no adverse effect; harmless

innovate: change or alter by bringing in something new

inscrutable: impenetrable; not readily understood; mysterious

insentient: unfeeling

insipid: lacking flavor or zest; not tasty; dull

instigate: goad or urge forward; provoke; incite

instigator: troublemaker; person who entices others to do something

insurgent: rising in revolt against established authority; rebelling against leadership of political party

interminable: being or seeming to be without an end; endless; tedious; continual

intermittent: periodic; on and off; stopping and starting at intervals

interregnum: temporary halting of usual operations of government or control; time between two reigns

intransigence: refusal of any compromise; stubbornness

intransigent: stubborn; unyielding

intrepid: fearless; indicating or springing from courage

inured: accustomed; made tough by habitual exposure

inveigle: coax; cajole; wheedle; entice

inveterate: deep-rooted; firmly and long established; habitual

invidious: designed to create ill will or envy

inviolable: secure from corruption, attack, or violation; unassailable

irascible: irritable; easily angered; excited by or arising from anger

ire: anger; wrath; keen resentment; irritate

irksome: causing annoyance, weariness, or vexation; tedious

ironic: humorously sarcastic or mocking

irrational: illogical; lacking reason; insane

irreproachable: perfect or blameless in every respect; faultless; impeccable

irrevocable: unalterable; irreversible; impossible to retract or revoke

itinerant: wandering; traveling place to place, especially to perform work or duty

jaded: fatigued dulled by surfeit; exhausted; worn out; wearied

jargon: language used by a special group; technical terminology; nonsensical or meaningless talk

jaundiced: prejudiced; affected by jaundice which causes yellowing of skin; yellow or yellowish

jaunt: short trip or excursion, usually for pleasure; short journey

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