WORD LISTS

Challenge, List 5

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!
accrued
Flush with government payments and, in many cases, savings accrued from working at home and from stock-market gains, people in rich countries were sitting on larger piles of cash and spending a lot of it.
antediluvian
One newspaperman described the megalosaurus, the greatest of the “ antediluvian monsters,” as a scaly dragon with the “head of a gryphon” and an “eye as big as a cheese-cake.”
bombastic
But rather than try to rival those artists with bombastic, big-scale pictures of tremendous mountains, terrific storms and exotic climes, he favored a comparatively modest scale and relatively peaceful, close-to-home subjects.
boorish
“To begin with, I could teach these boorish ogres how to eat properly.”
bucolic
She walked in the direction of the song, following it till she found a small, bucolic waterfall that fed into a turquoise pond.
denouement
Once upon a time fans didn’t want their favorite series to end; now audiences clamor for a denouement they can debate forever.
diatribe
He burned most of his professional bridges with angry calls and late-night diatribes to his editors and publishers.
entomologist
“The greatest single factor in preventing insects from overwhelming the rest of the world is the internecine warfare which they carry out among themselves,” said the entomologist Robert Metcalf.
heterodox
But giving heterodox views a hearing only works if the people seeking advice are themselves open-minded thinkers, willing to put in the hard work of understanding opposing views and assessing the evidence.
igneous
As lava cools, it crystallizes into igneous rock, freezing electrons within iron-bearing minerals into patterns that could reveal a magnetic field’s traits, such as its orientation.
impinge
State legislators did not look kindly on government regulations they felt would impinge on personal freedoms.
limn
So here, in limning her portrait, must I paint her as she was, a girl of little more than my own age now.
microcosm
The physics that works for falling bodies and pirouetting ice skaters down here in the microcosm of the Earth makes galaxies up there in the macrocosm of the universe.
nexus
She was the nexus of all the connections his brain made—the wheel's hub.
overweening
“His overweening arrogance was breathtaking at times. All his staff were treated like servants and everybody treated him like a prince. If he said it was raining outside, it was definitely raining.”
paean
Beethoven originally intended the “Eroica” as a paean to Napoleon, but when Napoleon crowned himself emperor, the composer recast the work as a portrait of an idealized hero who would fight tyranny.
paucity
The other major obstacle to the development of food production in Australia was the paucity of domesticable wild plants.
sextant
Before we left the relative safety of earth orbit, we wanted to make sure that our navigational equipment was working properly, and that meant using our sextant to sight on two stars.
vendetta
Quarrels, murders, feuds, forays, vendettas, assassinations, tortures and abominations, all these were in their repertory of human accomplishments; but they did not go to war.
vivisection
An ambitious self-promoter, he revelled in anatomical demonstrations on animals, including gruesome public vivisections of live Barbary macaques to demonstrate the function of nerves.

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