GRE Vocabulary Words

100 Most Common Vocab Words on the GRE Verbal Reasoning Test

gre-vocabulary-wordsThe GRE verbal reasoning exam tests your communication skills with a multitude of challenging, unusual, and difficult GRE vocab words. Candidates often get stumped by questions that are purposely confusingly worded.

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.

  1. Abasement – humiliate or degrade
  2. Abate – become less intense
  3. Accession – attain position of power
  4. Acerbic – sharp and forthright
  5. Acolyte – assistant in religious celebration
  6. Acumen – ability to make quick, good judgements
  7. Alacrity – brisk readiness
  8. Antipathy – deep-seated feeling
  9. Apostle – disciple of Jesus Christ
  10. Apprise – tell or inform
  11. Armada – fleet of warships
  12. Arson – criminally set fire to property
  13. Ascribe – attribute something to
  14. Banal – lacking originality to the point of being boring
  15. Barrage – concentrated artillery bombardment over a large area
  16. Bevy – large group of people
  17. Boor – ill-mannered person
  18. Bucolic – relating to the pleasant aspects of country living
  19. Canonical – according to the order of canon law
  20. Capricious – sudden change of mood
  21. Chauvinism – exaggerated patriotism
  22. Circumspect – unwilling to take risk
  23. Coalesce – come together to form one group
  24. Coffer – small box to hold valuables
  25. Condone – accept or allow
  26. Contrite – expressing remorse
  27. Credulous – having too great a readiness to believe things
  28. Demur – raise doubts
  29. Depravity – moral corruption
  30. Deride – express contempt for
  31. Endemic – found among people in a specific area
  32. Eulogy – speech praising someone highly
  33. Hegemony – leadership
  34. Inculpate – accuse or blame
  35. Ingenuous – innocent or unsuspecting
  36. Lethargic – sluggish
  37. Listless – lacking energy
  38. Livid – furiously angry
  39. Loll – sit in a relaxed fashion
  40. Lurid – vivid in color
  41. Mar – disfigure
  42. Mince – grind or cut up
  43. Minion – follower
  44. Mirth – amusement
  45. Misanthrope – a person who dislike humanity and avoids human society
  46. Modest – unassuming or moderate
  47. Morose – sullen
  48. Muse – daughter of Zeus
  49. Obdurate – stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion
  50. Oblique – neither parallel or at a right angle
  51. Opaque – not able to be seen through
  52. Overwrought – anxiety
  53. Paradox – statement despite sound reasoning leads to conclusion that seems senseless
  54. Paucity – the presence of something in small quantities
  55. Pertain – to be related to
  56. Philanthropic – seeking to promote the welfare of others
  57. Pine – evergreen tree
  58. Placate – make less angry
  59. Platitude – statement with moral content
  60. Plethora – excessive amount of something
  61. Posit – assume as fact
  62. Prodigal – spending resources wastefully
  63. Prophetic – accurately describing the future
  64. Purist – someone who insists on following the letter of the law
  65. Pyre – pile of combustible material
  66. Quack – sound make by a duck
  67. Reticence – not revealing one’s thoughts
  68. Rue – bitterly regret
  69. Ruminate – think deeply
  70. Specious – superficially plausible
  71. Stigma – mark of disgrace associated with an action
  72. Strut – rod forming part of a framework
  73. Sublime – of such excellence as to inspire others
  74. Surly – unfriendly
  75. Syncopation – displace downbeats or accents in musical composition
  76. Taunt – remark meant to provoke someone
  77. Tawdry – showy but cheap and of low quality
  78. Temperate – climate of mild temperatures
  79. Terse – sparing use of words, abrupt
  80. Tome – large, heavy book
  81. Torrid – very hot and dry
  82. Transgression – act that goes against the law
  83. Treacherous – guilt of betrayal
  84. Vapid – offering nothing that is challenging or stimulating
  85. Verbose – using or expressing in more words than are needed
  86. Venerate – regard with great respect
  87. Vestige – a trace of something that doesn’t exist
  88. Vilify – speak about in a disparaging manner
  89. Viscous – having this consistency
  90. Volatile – evaporate at normal temperatures
  91. Waffle – fail to make up one’s mind
  92. Waft – pass easily through the air
  93. Wanton – deliberate or unprovoked
  94. Waver – become unsteady or unreliable
  95. Whitewash – conceal mistakes
  96. Whittle – carve out of wood
  97. Winsome – attractive in appearance or character
  98. Wizened – wrinkled with age
  99. Wry – expressing dry, mocking, humor
  100. 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.

Write More

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 Exam Courses