100 GRE vocabulary words you should know

By Edvoy• Last updated: Feb 15, 2024
100 GRE vocabulary words you should know
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The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a standardised test used by many graduate schools in the United States. 

It tests knowledge of math and verbal skills, as well as analytical writing abilities. One crucial component of this exam is GRE vocabulary. Knowing GRE vocabulary words can be the key to achieving a high score on the GRE.

In this guide, we have listed 100 of the most important GRE vocabulary words with definitions or meanings so that you can get a better understanding.

Top 100 GRE vocabulary words

GRE vocabulary words are typically made up of antonyms, synonyms, analogies, and sentence completion. 

Here are 100 GRE vocabulary words that you should know before taking the GRE:

  1. Abscond - To leave quickly and secretly
  2. Abstemious - Self-restraining; sparing in eating and drinking 
  3. Acerbic - Sour or acidic in taste; sharp in manner or tone
  4. Acumen - Quickness and accuracy of judgment; keen insight
  5. Admonish - To advise or caution against something
  6. Alacrity - Cheerful willingness, eagerness, or promptness
  7. Allegory - A form of extended metaphor in which objects, persons and actions in a narrative stand for ideas and values outside of the narrative itself
  8. Ameliorate - To make better or more tolerable
  9. Anomaly - Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected
  10. Aperture - An opening, usually a small one
  11. Arduous - Requiring great effort; strenuous
  12. Ascendancy - The state of being predominant or in control
  13. Assuage - To make something unpleasant less severe
  14. Austere - Severely simple or basic in style or appearance
  15. Avarice - Greed, especially for wealth
  16. Axiom - A statement accepted as true without proof
  17. Behemoth - An enormous creature; something immense and powerful
  18. Benign - Gentle, kind, and beneficent in disposition; charitable
  19. Bifurcate - To divide into two branches
  20. Bolster - To encourage or support something; to prop up
  21. Brevity - Concise and exact use of words in writing or speech
  22. Brevity - Shortness of duration; lasting a very short time
  23. Burgeon - To grow rapidly and abundantly
  24. Burgundy - A deep purplish-red colour
  25. Cajole - To persuade someone to do something by flattery or coaxing
  26. Candour- Honesty, directness of expression, and freedom from prejudice
  27. Candid - Openly straightforward and direct without secretiveness
  28. Canonical - Following the accepted rules or standards of a field
  29. Capricious - Impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance or whim rather than by necessity
  30. Circumlocution - A roundabout way of speaking to avoid or delay getting to the point
  31. Cogent - Logical and well-reasoned; convincing
  32. Conflagration - A large, destructive fire
  33. Contempt - Disregard for something considered beneath one’s dignity
  34. Conundrum - A difficult problem or question with no easy answer
  35. Cynical- Believing the worst of human nature and motives; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity
  36. Dabble - Work in an amateurish manner
  37. Decorum - Polite behaviour and propriety in social situations
  38. Deference - Respectful submission or yielding to the judgment of another person.
  39. Demagogue - A leader who appeals to popular passions and prejudices by exploiting fear and resentment
  40. Diffident - Lacking confidence or self-assurance
  41. Disparage - To express a low opinion of something or someone; to belittle
  42. Eccentricity - The quality of being peculiar or unusual; oddity
  43. Egalitarian - The belief that all people should have equal rights and opportunities
  44. Ensemble - A group of individuals who perform together
  45. Ephemeral - Lasting for a very short time
  46. Exacerbate - To make something worse or more severe
  47. Expedient - Desirable or advantageous, especially concerning practical consequences
  48. Fervour - Intensity of feeling; passion and enthusiasm
  49. Fatuous - Foolish, inane, or completely lacking good sense
  50. Garrulous - Talkative in a foolish or pointless way
  51. Halcyon - Calm and peaceful; tranquil
  52. Harbinger - Something that indicates what is to come; an omen
  53. Impetuous - Characterised by sudden and forceful energy or emotion; impulsive
  54. Inchoate - Just begun and so not fully formed or developed
  55. Incubus - A sense of great worry or stress
  56. Indigent - Lacking money and basic necessities of life; impoverished
  57. Insurgent - Rebelling against an established government or political system
  58. Intransigence- Refusal to change one’s views or to agree about something
  59. Jalopy - An old, broken-down car
  60. Labyrinthine - Complicated, intricate, and confusing in structure or arrangement
  61. Matriarch - A female leader or head of a family, tribe, or community
  62. Misnomer - An incorrect name for something
  63. Mundane - Commonplace and ordinary; not interesting
  64. Narcissism - Extreme self-centeredness or vanity
  65. Nebulous - Vague and unclear; hazy
  66. Nemesis - Someone whom one cannot defeat or conquer
  67. Obdurate - Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action
  68. Opulent - Lavishly wealthy and luxurious
  69. Pariah - A person who is rejected by society or a social group
  70. Palpable - Easily perceived; clearly apparent
  71. Pathos - A quality that evokes pity or sadness
  72. Precarious - Not securely held or in danger of falling or failing
  73. Querulous - Habitually complaining; peevish
  74. Ramification - A consequence, especially an unwelcome one
  75. Recant - To withdraw a statement or opinion, especially a previous one made publicly
  76. Repudiate - To reject the truth or validity of something; to refuse to accept it
  77. Respite - A pause from doing something difficult or unpleasant
  78. Saboteur - A person who intentionally destroys property to hinder an enemy’s effort
  79. Salubrious - Beneficial to health or well-being
  80. Shrewd - Having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute
  81. Solvent - Able to meet financial obligations; financially sound
  82. Somnolent - Inducing sleepiness
  83. Sporadic - Occurring at irregular intervals; intermittent
  84. Sterile - Unproductive, barren, or unable to reproduce
  85. Superfluous - Exceeding what is necessary or normal
  86. Sycophant - A servile flatterer who seeks favour by flattering powerful people
  87. Taciturn - Habitually untalkative; not inclined to speak much
  88. Tenacious - Persistent and determined
  89. Truculent - Feeling or showing ferocity; belligerent
  90. Ubiquitous - Existing or being everywhere simultaneously
  91. Usurp - To seize a position of power without legal authority
  92. Variegated - Made up of many different parts or colours
  93. Venerate - To regard with deep respect and reverence; to revere
  94. Voluble - Talkative, especially in an excessive way
  95. Wary - Suspicious or on guard against trickery, danger, or enemy attack
  96. Whet- To sharpen by honing; to stimulate someone’s interest
  97. Xenophobia - Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners
  98. Yoke - A pair of animals fastened together to work as a team
  99. Zealot - Someone who is passionate and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals
  100. Zest - energetic enjoyment or appetite; enthusiasm or excitement; flavour or aroma of citrus peel used as a food ingredient.

Also read: Best ways to prepare for GRE Exam

Getting ready to study abroad?
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How to build a strong GRE vocabulary

Building GRE vocabulary is essential for success on the GRE exam. There are several tactics you can use to build GRE vocabulary.

One way to build GRE vocabulary is by studying word lists. GRE word lists can familiarise you with frequently-used words that appear on the GRE. When studying these lists, understand how each word is used in a sentence and practice using them in context.

Another way to build GRE vocabulary is by reading extensively and regularly. Reading challenging texts allows you to encounter new words, learn their meanings, and practice using them correctly in context. 

Furthermore, reading helps improve your English language comprehension and writing skills, two important components of the GRE.

Flashcards are also a great way to build GRE vocabulary. Make sure your flashcards include the definition of each word, how it is used in a sentence, and its part of speech. Additionally, try using different colours and symbols to enhance the memorability of each card. Regularly review these cards until you can remember their meanings easily.

Finally, get creative with GRE vocabulary-building activities. Create crossword puzzles or play hangman with GRE words to help reinforce your understanding of them. Being creative will make GRE vocabulary-building more enjoyable and engaging for you!

By utilising these tactics, you can gain the GRE vocabulary skills needed for success on the GRE.

Also read: Daily used English words


These GRE vocabulary words are just a sample of what you should know before taking the GRE. You must continually review these words and practice using them in sentences to ensure success on this standardised test. Doing so will help set you up for academic success.

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