WORD LISTS

Challenge, List 9

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!
centripetal
Traveling feet-first along the ladder, he soon had to grip it in earnest as the centripetal force of the rotating ship took hold.
coda
The massive, funereal finale and coda were symphonic in scope and bracing sound.
convoluted
Other passages were so full of confusing, convoluted words that she ground her teeth at her own uselessness and skipped to something simpler.
discrete
My uncle had two discrete eyebrows—not a single connecting hair between them—which was deeply reassuring, because I had always worried about growing a Persian Unibrow.
explication
Only scripture inspires this kind of extreme explication, the sense that every aspect of the text most certainly “means” something, even on the most meta levels.
extrinsic
Democracy has intrinsic value, but also offers extrinsic benefits: better education, more transparency, more public goods, lower emissions, less violent conflict, better health outcomes and superior economic growth.
iconoclastic
In 1794, in an iconoclastic frenzy, French revolutionaries took the host from its shrine and burned it.
implausible
Believing Diego liked me and wanted to be with me seemed more implausible than being abducted by aliens who wanted me to decide whether to save the world.
inchoate
This requires us to squint back almost four billion years, to the time when life on Earth was just emerging from an inchoate cookery of long molecules, simpler organic compounds, and energy.
jaundiced
Black men, white men, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Jews, Poles, whatever—all were inadequate and weak, all came under their jaundiced eyes and were the recipients of their disinterested wrath.
kudos
The World Dog Awards are the latest in a series of canine kudos weaving their way into Hollywood's human awards landscape.
lambaste
Critics lambasted the new film, a shocking development given that they usually fall over themselves to praise Pixar movies.
Machiavellian
The film portrays the president's top adviser as a Machiavellian politician who orders the killings of those who get in his way.
mendacious
“The tactic is not really to engage with the facts. It’s pushing a certain narrative, deflecting questions. It seems so mendacious in the face of the very real suffering and very real pain being caused.”
paleontologist
Finding the fossils of a large duck-billed dinosaur in southern Missouri is exciting enough, but a paleontologist who helped lead the dig thinks there are many more in the same area.
permeable
But they also need to stay alive, and that requires them to be permeable enough to absorb oxygen, nutrients from our tears, and other substance, while rejecting dust and bacteria.
platonic
For the most part, she was careful to keep her letters platonic, calling him a “dear good friend,” a “Dear boy,” and “one of the truest friends I’ve ever had.”
sidereal
However, astronomers also use a sidereal day, which is defined in terms of the rotation period of Earth with respect to the stars.
soporific
I discovered Emerson’s soporific qualities the hard way, by falling asleep with my face in the book, drooling all over an essay called “Self-Reliance” and having the vending-machine dream for the sixth time that week.
torque
My steps slowed down, and I came to a dead stop, frozen there like a windup toy that had run out of torque.

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