300 Common GRE words

3 min read
300 Common GRE words

A quick word about this list. It is not meant to be blindly memorized; instead, we encourage you to integrate it into your overall vocabulary preparation (refer to our previous post on tips to improve your vocabulary).

We have divided this list, for ease of learning, into basic and intermediate. Have your vocabulary book ready as you glance through each section. Which are the words you already confidently know, or still have a vague feeling about, or are completely unfamiliar with?

Basic words

300 Common GRE words

Abate acumen austere assuage artless antipathy appease apathy anomalous anarchy arduous alleviate abscond adulterate aesthetic aggregate ambiguous ambivalent analogous arcane apprise appraise amenable

Banal belie beguile burgeon

Cede connoisseur confound condone coagulate cogent commensurate complaisant complacent convoluted conciliatory contention confound contentious converge construe collude corroborate candid contemptuous capricious

Disinterested disseminate diffidence duplicity disabuse deterrent delineate desiccate deference default decorum daunt dupe dormant dissonance distil diverge divest disparate

Erratic esoteric equivocate ephemeral enhance emulate empirical embellish eclectic elegy efficacy elicit endemic extant eminent exacerbate


Gouge grandiloquent gregarious guileless gullible


Irresolute improbable insensible indeterminate incorporate inconsequential inadvertently implicit imperturbable impermeable impervious impair impassive impede ingenious ingenuous inept indict itinerant importune immanent imminent

Latent lethargic lucid luminous laudable

Magnanimity mundane mitigate metamorphosis malleable meticulous

Negate nascent

Polemical paradigm paragon partisan prosaic pervasive precarious prodigal



Tangential tenuous



Intermediate words

Intermediate words GRE

Abnegate attenuate assiduous ascetic approbation admonish abstemious alacrity abeyance amalgamate aberrant anachronism aver anoint avarice altercate abstruse


Castigate chicanery craven compendium contrite conundrum calumnious concomitant capacious compunction circumspect

Diatribe desultory deride denigrate distend dogmatic decrepit

Ebullient exigency exculpate enervate erudite equanimity excoriate ecumenical execrable engender effrontery egregious expurgate extenuate exigent

Feckless factious fractious fatuous felicitous facetious fallacious florid foment fervid

Gainsay garrulous galvanize goad


Insufferable impecunious inundate iconoclastic inchoate insipid impertinent indigent inimical innocuous insinuate indolent indigence implode incongruity implacable idolatry immutable impute inveigle inculpate impolitic irascible

Levity lionize loquacious laconic limpid

Mellifluous mollify maladroit morose malingerer munificent minatory misanthrope maverick mendacious

Obdurate ostentatious opprobrium objurgation onerous obsequious obviate occlude officious

Propitiate penurious ponderous prescient posturing paucity pedantic perspicacity phlegmatic pellucid prevaricate profligate proscribe promulgate precept precocious pugnacious perfunctory peremptory portentous

Repudiate reticence remonstrate rarefied recant recondite rescind

Solicitous sententious salubrious supplicate subterfuge sardonic stolid specious

Taciturn timorous truculent tendentious

Unpropitious unconscionable upbraid

Vestigial vociferous volition veracity voracity vituperative


Remember to learn these words as part of strategic vocabulary GRE

Remember to learn these words as part of a strategic vocabulary routine—some of you would already have noticed that many of these words can be grouped together and differentiated in terms of associated meanings (eg. mitigate vs attenuate), similar pronunciation (eg. eminent vs imminent) or similar spellings (eg. fractious vs factious).

Note that the list may have been alphabetically ordered for ease of categorization, but that should by no means by the way you learn them; aim to work through groups of words day by day according to your most effective learning method. For example, you may choose to concentrate on similar-sounding basic words today, and jump to intermediate words that you are vaguely familiar with the next day.

Lastly, remember to revise the usage of these words and keep up with your vocabulary practice! If you need supplementary material, feel free to browse through our archives for practice tests and sample questions (click here for a challenging SE question and here for a challenging TC question).