GRE Words List: Complete GRE Vocabulary

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 02, 2023 5:46 PM IST

Are you preparing for the GRE Verbal Reasoning section? Check out this page highlighting the ‘words list’ for GRE exams. Since there are thousands of words in the English language that you need to learn in order to expand your vocabulary for GRE exams, we have created a ‘words list’ for the GRE exam that would popularly be used during the test.

It should be noted that the ‘words list’ for GRE exams that have been highlighted on this exam page should be used only for reference purposes. In fact, it is advisable to expand your vocabulary by engaging in conversations in the English language, not only in a professional or academic setting but also in social settings as well.

GRE Word List: Is it Important?

A GRE word list, also known as the GRE vocabulary is one of the more crucial steps to acing the GRE verbal sections. As the name suggests, it is a list of important words often used in the GRE tests, evaluating various aspects of their communication and language skills in different environments.

In short, the major reason why a GRE word list is important is for the simple reason of acing the tests. The grasp of your vocabulary along with your ability to use them correctly in properly structured sentences will confirm top scores in the verbal sections of the GRE exam. Being a standardised test used for admissions to highly selective graduate schools, some of the words used can be difficult for a candidate to understand.

On this page, we will discuss everything you need to know about GRE word lists and how you can best optimise your preparation for the GRE exam.

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When and How Vocabulary is Tested on the GRE?


Surprisingly, the GRE words list is only examined in the GRE Verbal Reasoning section. The Verbal section has three types of questions, all of which are multiple-choice:

  • Reading Comprehension, which entails reading a piece and responding to a series of questions about it.

  • Sentence Equivalence, in which you read a statement with a blank and choose between two response options that give the sentence the same meaning.

  • Text Completions, in which you read a statement with one, two, or even three blanks and submit the best option or options for the context.

The vocabulary-testing Reading Comprehension questions (Meaning-in-Context questions) are more concerned with how you utilise context clues to find ‘less-common interpretations of regularly used vocabulary terms’ than with how vast your vocabulary is.

Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion are the sections of the GRE exam where your knowledge of the GRE words list (vocabulary) will be most useful. Given that these question categories account for over half of the GRE Verbal exam, having a strong GRE vocabulary cannot be stressed.

Ways to Build Your GRE Vocabulary

One of the best ways to improve your overall GRE score is to improve your vocabulary for the test. Study abroad experts have all outlined different ways to improve your GRE vocabulary. However, here we will list down the tried and tested strategies that can potentially improve your chances of getting into one of the top universities in the world.

“Practice makes Perfect”: This age-old statement sparks true even in the case of enhancing your GRE Vocabulary. However, practice here refers to reading more and more texts and snippets to help ensure that you come across as many new words as possible.

Use the Dictionary: One of the common steps you will witness is your constant need to look up the meanings of different words. With the help of the internet, there are many reliable dictionaries that you can visit to find out the definitions of different words in different contexts as well. Or you can buy one of the many dictionaries available on the market and search for the required words by yourself.

Strategise Your Learning: When learning new words and learning their corresponding definitions, it is important to understand the words and their meanings as well. Now learning new words and definitions will be a daunting task for anyone, however, you can reach out to study-abroad professionals who have helped many study-abroad aspirants to ace the tests.

Create Your Own GRE Word List: Whenever you come across a word that you are not familiar with, you can list them down along with the right definitions and use this list as a key material for revision. One of the ways you can learn new words is by attempting GRE practice tests and listing down the words that you found difficult to understand.

Use Word Roots: In other words, list down all the words with the same, similar or related definitions and club them together. Once you are able to remember the root words, you will find it easier to remember the words included in the root words. Thus, when decoding words during the test, you will end up saving a lot of time while retaining a lot of information at the same time.

Use New Words: When communicating or carrying out your daily tasks, try and use the new words you may have picked up, each day. This will further help you to properly understand the word and subsequently, enhance your vocabulary not only for the day of the test but for the rest of your life.

Speak New Words out Loud: In addition to the above-mentioned point, one of the more recommended methods of remembering new words is to speak the new words out loud. This is another method that has proven to help many students remember the words better.

GRE Word List: Nouns

Check out the table below to find the important GRE word lists for nouns that may be used in the verbal sections of GRE exams this year.




Anything that is unusual, peculiar, odd or does not fit in


A person/thing that is of puzzling or contradictory character or is difficult to understand.


An eager desire or fervour for a person, thing or cause, usually motivates one to complete assigned tasks or actions.


Any person who makes an excessive display of learning, overemphasises rules or adheres strictly to book without using common sense.


A lack of interest, passion, or enthusiasm


Adherence to proper and good societal behaviour and manners


Keen judgment, insight and perception


Someone who pleads, speaks or writes in support/defence of a cause or person.


A large-scale exhibition: a detailed explanation


Someone who distrusts/dislikes/hates humanity; Someone who is antisocial, unfriendly or cynical


Popularity or fame for being notorious, negative or criminal behaviour


Adherence to truth and factual accuracy


Someone who is servile or self-seeking flatterer


The ability to communicate effectively; study the effective use of language


The smallness of a number or quantity; scarcity

GRE Word List: Verbs

Here is a table of the popular verbs that can be used during the GRE verbal sections this year.




To facilitate/cause/hasten an occurrence


To soothe or calm someone; to appease or satisfy a person


To bring into existence, produce or cause something


To certify, confirm or make more certain


To plead or speak in favour or support of a cause, person or thing


To reduce or make less severe the pain, wrath, harshness, grief


To make someone feel drained or exhausted of energy or strength; to weaken someone


To treat/regard someone/something at great respect or reverence.


To mock, ridicule or scorn at a person, cause or thing or express contempt


To grow, bloom, flourish or develop quickly; to be bursting or brimming


To dry something out of moisture or dehydrate; to become completely dried up


To try and become equal or excel; imitate with a motive or become equal or surpass


To find fault, scold or criticise;


To pass an official law/rule/permission; impose a penalty for action; to confirm or ratify


To penetrate, diffuse or pass-through

GRE Word List: Adjectives

Looking for the popular adjectives commonly used during the GRE exam’s verbal sections? Check out the table below:




Undetermined, of doubtful nature or character; not easily explained or understood


Showing intense enthusiasm or spirit;


Showing extreme boldness; Keen on taking bold steps


Being practical, or relating to a practical point of view


Deviating from the standard, original or normal


Having contradictory or mixed feelings/opinions about a person or thing; inability to choose between two options


Known by a select group, secret or mysterious.


Being devoid of originality or freshness; boring


Being extremely sarcastic or critical; Being able to corrode or destroy


Of equal measure; proportional; of the same magnitude, degree or amount


Unoriginal; uninspiring imitation of another work


Being inclined to teach or lecture too much; instructive; often intended to teach a moral lesson


Being made up of the best of different sources; selecting or choosing from various sources


Being challenging and demanding; Of needing close attention or application


Being excessively critical, particular or demanding; meticulous


Being run-of-the-mill, monotonous, boring; Dull or prosaic


Superficially good and right but lacks merit; deceptive


Of intending to overthrow, destroy or subvert an established system or organisation


Of being unchangeable or changeless


Of being fickle, volatile, erratic and flighty; 

How to Learn GRE Words List?

The key to remembering new vocabulary—or anything else—is to be active rather than passive. Do not just go through a GRE word list of unfamiliar words.

Why? Our minds learn by being challenged. You are not genuinely taxing your intellect when you merely read each word and then the definition. So here are a few pointers to help you remember the new GRE words list more effectively:

  • Concentrate on High-Frequency Words: While you practise for the GRE, keep track of which terms appear more frequently and which appear less frequently; prioritise thoroughly remembering high-frequency words before conquering low-frequency phrases.

  • Make GRE Vocabulary Memorization a Game: Make use of flashcards and quizzes (more on this below) and devise mnemonics to help you recall more difficult terms.

  • Look for Words in Your Daily Life: Look for them while you read (and make sure you read a lot!). Using your newly taught terms, mentally describe situations or thoughts you encounter. Or discover methods to incorporate them into your everyday writing or conversations—if you have worked out how to do so without seeming arrogant.

Books to Improve Vocabulary for GRE

Most GRE test takers ignore the vocabulary section of the exam as something to consider later. After all, mastering mathematical thinking appears to be the most difficult task.

It's been suggested that vocabulary may make or break your GRE score. As a result, we have produced a selection of the best GRE Prep books to assist you in developing your own GRE words list for the exam.

The Vocabulary Builder Workbook (Editor's Choice)

The Vocabulary Builder Workbook, written by a Magoosh Review Expert, is the first on our list. The book has a large collection of words, far more than the other vocabulary reference resources indicated below. Besides a plethora of new vocabulary, the Vocabulary Builder Workbook also provides helpful hints on how to interpret unfamiliar vocabulary. Prepared by a renowned specialist for Magoosh, we believe you will find precise descriptions of vocabulary terms that may appear on the GRE.

GRE Power Vocab

The GRE Power Vocabulary takes pride in its engaging material, which our research has proved to be a huge benefit for students. After all, preparing for a large test like the GRE can seem daunting and monotonous, and having a pleasant book to help you learn is a benefit. The book includes a diagnostic exam, a constantly updated vocabulary list, and an ordered framework.

Essential Words for the GRE

This GRE vocabulary book contains extensive GRE practice exams and a lower price than the last two listed. Users have praised the book's broad content and the applicability of the examples. The tasks are extremely intriguing, and answering the entire book takes significantly longer than the other two. If you do not have the luxury of studying only the GRE vocabulary portion, this may not be the best option for you.

GRE Master Word List

The fifth instalment in Test Prep's GRE vocabulary series is GRE Master Wordlist: 1535 Words For Verbal Mastery. According to Test Prep, this vocabulary book was created by professionals with over ten years of experience in the subject, providing you with rigorous study and relevant content. It is always being updated with new terms and definitions. The book offers not only the top 1535 words most likely to occur on the GRE, but also antonyms, synonyms, context, and pronunciation. When it comes to verbal skills, this is a massive boon.

QuickStudy | GRE Vocabulary Laminated Study Guide

QuickStudy GRE Vocabulary Laminated Study Guide is the least expensive option on this list. The vocabulary study guide features over 800 GRE vocabulary terms on 6 laminated sheets. The vocabulary is alphabetically sorted by word root and comprises all of the top GRE vocabulary terms. Another noteworthy feature is the lightweight nature of this lexical guide

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FAQs on GRE Words List

Do I need to study all the words in the dictionary for GRE exam?

No, there is no need for you to study the entire dictionary for the GRE exam this year, however, keeping a good dictionary at hand when practising and preparing for the test will help you improve your GRE vocabulary. Additionally, you can create your own GRE word list using the dictionary, singling out words used in GRE practice tests and learning the definitions and usages in different contexts.

Are there a lot of words in the GRE word list?

Depending on your grasp of the English language and how vast your English vocabulary is, the number of words in the GRE word list that you will use for the exam this year will vary. Moreover, there are several GRE word lists online that you can refer to, or seek expert guidance from our team of study abroad experts who can create a unique GRE word list that you will find useful for this year’s GRE word list.

Are GRE word lists necessary and useful?

Yes, GRE word lists are necessary and useful if you are planning to attempt the exam this year, then it is important to use GRE word lists to enhance your vocabulary. The better your GRE word list is, the better your vocabulary and chances of success will be. You can refer to GRE word lists online, or talk to experienced study abroad counsellors by registering with us now!

How many words should I remember for GRE exams?

Depending on your bandwidth and how much you are capable of memorising, it is advisable to push your limits in working towards remembering as many GRE words as possible. However, experts suggest practising around 1000 words in total. However, the best way to remember GRE words is to connect with experienced study abroad faculty who can help you with the best tips and tricks for GRE vocabulary.

Is GRE vocabulary difficult?

Among all the sections of the test, the GRE vocabulary is one of the more difficult aspects of the test. However, the difficulty of GRE vocabulary will vary between different test-takers and their proficiency in the English language. Moreover, since this practising GRE vocabulary requires candidates to memorise, the difficulty level can increase slightly. Register and connect with experienced GRE faculty to enhance your vocabulary.

How can I study GRE Vocabulary?

There are several different ways to improve your vocabulary, reading a lot of books, magazines and journals, making use of the dictionary and reading all the definitions of a word, making your own GRE vocabulary list, practise new words by saying them out loud and using them in real-life conversations, using GRE flashcards offered by popular GRE guide books, understanding root words, among other techniques.

What are the best books for GRE Vocabulary?

There are no best books to study GRE vocabulary, however, GRE test-takers and study abroad experts suggest a few GRE flashcards that are used for GRE preparation across the globe. Some of the popular GRE vocabulary flashcards include Barron’s GRE Flashcards, Kaplan’s GRE Flashcard, The Princeton Review Flashcards, Manhattan Prep Essential and Advanced Flashcards and Magoosh’s Free Flashcard.

Is memorising 500 words for GRE enough?

Study abroad experts and GRE faculty all claim different numbers of words that test-takers should memorise, however, the true numbers as to how many words you should memorise depends on how proficient you are in the English language. If you have a good grasp of the language, then memorising 500 words would be enough, while, memorising more words would be ideal for someone with lower proficiency in the language.

What are GRE root words?

GRE root words usually refer to more basic and smaller words or word patterns that are usually further modified by suffixes and prefixes to make complex words. The reason for using GRE roots words is simple, instead of memorising every single word, you can memorise root words, suffixes and prefixes along with their meaning, allowing you to combine the parts into complex words while expanding your vocabulary as well.

Is there an official GRE word list?

No, ETS does not offer a GRE word list for candidates to practice and improve their vocabulary for the GRE exam verbal section. However, major GRE exam experts have listed down some of the popular GRE word lists that test-takers must refer to enhance their vocabulary. Through such GRE word lists, you can improve your chances of scoring high on the GRE exams this year.

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