WORD LISTS

Challenge, List 4

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!
abstemious
The advice to omit needless words should not be confused with the puritanical edict that all writers must pare every sentence down to the shortest, leanest, most abstemious version possible.
ambivalent
The time of action is upon us, but I remain ambivalent as to what action I should take.
behemoth
They saw no hulking behemoth capable of the enormous sound they had heard.
captious
“I wish you’d learn to put the caps back on things properly when you’re finished using them,” she said in a tone she fully meant to sound captious.
disingenuous
Pretending to be happy about it compounds my irritation and makes me feel disingenuous.
doggerel
Some of the verse is patriotic doggerel in a variety of languages, with translations in English that mock supernationalist silliness.
ebullient
The game was resumed the next day and Bobby, feeling ebullient because he was in a winning position, agreed to play on the main stage.
effete
Subtle thought and fine manners — powerful tools no matter to what ends they are put — are still dismissed as unnecessary refinement, effete and pretentious.
endemic
There were two or three varieties, but each subtype was markedly distinct, and each was endemic to one particular island.
exculpate
No evidence emerged linking the man to the crime at the school in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw, and some testimony exculpated him.
fracas
Many players jumped into the fracas and even more punches were thrown.
fulsome
He turned away few requests and received fulsome gratitude in return.
maelstrom
They battled across the green Abbey lawns, right through the center of the maelstrom of warring creatures.
modicum
During the 1980s Fischer made a number of impressive ascents that earned him a modicum of local renown, but celebrity in the world climbing community eluded him.
nonplussed
Perplexed, Harry looked to Hermione for help, but she shook her head, apparently as nonplussed as he was.
rebus
“Well, my uncle gave me Mr. Lemoncello’s Phenomenal Picture Word Puzzler for Chanukah and I can’t figure out this one rebus.”
recondite
In any case the data are often expressed in so mathematically recondite a form that they are unintelligible to the majority of historical profession.
rubric
Last revised in 2016, the document offers a rubric for what science the biomedical community agrees is worthy, and which projects are off-limits.
saturnine
The man who glowered before him conformed to the classic stereotype of Marine barber Ben had envisioned in his mind: the face was saturnine, pock-marked, and the mouth was grim.
zealot
Season 1’s Klingons, obsessed with maintaining purity and dominating other worlds, were written to resemble a certain strain of political zealot.

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