WORD LISTS

Challenge, List 1

November 30, 2022
This list of challenge words features some of the hardest words that you will encounter in the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE. These are words that typically appear less frequently across different academic disciplines, so you are less likely to have encountered them before. Master these difficult words and watch your GRE score soar!
ambrosia
Mercury brought Psyche into the palace of the gods, and Jupiter himself gave her the ambrosia to taste which made her immortal.
blandishment
No amount of wheedling and blandishment would cause the cynical badger to change her mind.
coagulate
Criminologists had come to understand that blood coagulates at the lowest point of a body after death, producing dark splotches on the skin.
conundrum
But the real conundrum that heredity solves is much more general: What is the nature of instruction that allows an organism to build a nose—any nose—in the first place?
effervescent
Jenny beamed at her as she said something that Dimple was sure were effervescent compliments, but every time Jenny opened her mouth, all Dimple could hear were beeps.
euphemism
Time and again, though, Manifest Destiny was revealed as little more than a euphemism for the violent appropriation of Native American land for the benefit of white settlers.
geniality
We joked about everyday topics and his geniality didn't stop once we boarded the plane.
lascivious
Obnoxiously giggling and firing off crude and lascivious remarks, the nocturnal fishermen had kept a light on the petrified lovers for at least thirty seconds before hee-hawing back into the blackness.
loquacious
I mean, I wouldn't normally talk at such length and be so loquacious, but I'm going to give you material, you know.
metamorphose
It’s rare in history to be able to see a city grow and metamorphose like a stop-motion flower unfolding or a landscape changing before our eyes.
mnemonic
Mrs. Harper told us that when she was younger and Pluto was still a planet, the mnemonic device they used was “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.”
necromancy
And then there are Qyburn’s experiments in necromancy, which brought back The Mountain from the dead.
neophyte
“These are far from neophytes. These are sophisticated, savvy art world veterans.”
penchant
He’s called the Doorman because from a very early age he had a strong penchant for sitting by the front door.
pusillanimous
A courageous scoundrel is far worse than a pusillanimous one.
quagmire
As the Korean Bar Association has noted, “South Koreans, who publicly cherish the virtue of brotherly love, have been inexplicably stuck in a deep quagmire of indifference.”
tenuous
The bizarre, tenuous nature of their connection struck him with new force—that a moth should be their only link.
vacillating
The nearly inevitable result was that federal policy looked vacillating, or indecisive, further undermining northern support for Reconstruction policy.
vacuous
There was something vacuous and stupid about it, flapping out there in the middle of nowhere, something empty, banal, brutish.
vertigo
The thought of falling induced a kind of vertigo in Lyra, and she swayed.

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