WORD LISTS

Challenge, List 7

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!
abscission
From M. Guizot Val Richer, March 4th.—Your sad predictions were well founded; the painful abscission has been made; we bore it at least with good sense and dignity.
accretion
Two wings had been added to accommodate the yearly accretions of Marine children who came into town as Ravenel Air Base expanded.
anodyne
They provided us deep pleasure, an anodyne to the squalor and clutter of the street.
atavism
They think illiberal authoritarianism — “made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science,” to quote Winston Churchill — is the wave of the future, not an atavism from the past.
cantankerous
Both artists, difficult personalities to begin with, were becoming more cantankerous with age and failing health.
chicanery
Phenomena that Western culture classifies as chicanery or nonsense, like magic arts, voodoo, and sorcery, are considered normal in other cultures.
demotic
His street photography of the early 1960s consists of fluent, if unexceptional, shots of a demotic New York: passengers on a ferry, apartment dwellers sitting in window sills, a painted sign for a Spanish-language church.
diaphanous
Her palm was pale, almost diaphanous, and he could see the greenish criss-cross of her veins.
disabuse
I was full of misery at my lie, but I found I could not disabuse him of it—I could conjure no words sufficient.
factotum
Your new phone, like your old one, will become your constant companion and trusty factotum—your teacher, secretary, confessor, guru.
impecunious
Japanese war crimes victims agitated for compensation; Third World governments begged for overseas development aid; foreign shysters and conmen offered an exotic panoply of dud investments; impecunious American universities pressed for endowments.
internecine
He reports from an ant battlefield near San Diego where supercolonies of Argentine ants clash in internecine warfare that leaves an estimated 30 million dead every year, a casualty a second.
labile
He’s reactive rather than active, a labile, intensely emotional man who is shredded by his own inability to discern what’s real.
olfactory
It came to my olfactory sense, full and fresh, overwhelming: the smell of vegetation.
ornithologist
The ornithologist David Sibley says that in Cape May, New Jersey, he once spotted a bird in flight from two hundred yards away and knew, instantly, that it was a ruff, a rare sandpiper.
plutocracy
But that doesn't stop him from chasing "the green light" of wealth and status, the dangled promise of power that can only create a corrupt plutocracy shored up by vast social inequality.
reprise
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touts this summer’s Games as a springboard to reprising Japan’s 1960s boom, but the nation 56 years on is very different.
salubrious
In general, people who take up one healthy habit, such as working out, tend to practice other salubrious habits, a phenomenon known as habit clustering.
Stygian
Crossing a walled river of Stygian sludge, we entered a district of factories and workhouses, of smokestacks belching black stuff into the sky, and this is where we found Wakeling Street.
timbre
They hear the movement of pitches, the content of rhythms, the movement of meter, and explore the timbre of whatever instrument or voice with which they have access.

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