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GRE Vocab Wednesday: Vocab from the Magoosh Product

This title might seem misleading. After all, don’t I include many Magoosh vocabulary words as part of Vocab Wednesday? Indeed, I do, but often from chance. That is, I don’t specifically choose words because they are in our product; I choose words because they are high-frequency GRE words that fit a certain theme—and many happen to be in our product.

Today, I’m taking words that you can find in our Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions. These words, for the most part, are high-frequency words that have yet to make it into Vocab Wednesday. For variety, I’m also breaking the words into three groups: easy, medium, and difficult.




Anemia is a condition in which a person lacks sufficient red blood cells. As a result, that person feels weary. Not surprisingly, anemic means weak and insubstantial. However, it doesn’t just apply to one’s energy level. Writing that lacks vitality could be described as anemic prose.



Originally, the Epiphany was when Jesus presented himself to the Gentiles, or the non-believers. Today, epiphany can mean the appearance of any supernatural being, but is more typically used to describe any sudden revelation or insight. As in, today I was walking down the street and had this sudden realization—that is, an epiphany—that I should do such and such with my life.




To cede means to surrender or give it, and is usually applied to land or power. For example, upon Hitler’s death, Germany had to cede back much of the territory it had acquired during WWII.



This is a really interesting looking word (and a great word to make in Scrabble!). To juxtapose two things is to place them side by side, usually for a desired effect. Usually those two things are very different.

The photographer juxtaposed stark, barren landscapes and rubenesque woman, to contrast aridity with fertility.




Puissant sounds like piss-ant, a mean thing to say to somebody who is weak. Puissant actually comes from Old French for power. In it’s modern GRE incarnation, puissant is just that: it used to describe something powerful. A related word is impuissant. It means weak, lacking power.



Okay, this one definitely isn’t a common GRE word. Numinous is probably one of the most uncommon (though not obscure) words in the Magoosh product—though it is by no means obscure the way absquatulate is (don’t worry, that won’t show up on the GRE).

Numinous means supernatural. It does not relate to number or counting (so don’ t let that ‘num’- throw you off). Supernumerary, on the other hand, does relate to number, as in too much of something, excessive. Supernumerary just sprung to mind; it is not a word that is in our product. Though it is difficult, and could show up on the GRE.


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

7 Responses to GRE Vocab Wednesday: Vocab from the Magoosh Product

  1. Muhammad December 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Dear Chris,

    You are awesome
    I love vocab Wednesday and your wit, expressions and vivid examples makes them easy to grasp. Thanks man

    All the VW videos should it be great for GRE prep?

  2. shafi July 7, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    Hello Chris,

    Thank you so much for letting me know about the you tube videos ( vocab wed).Keep it up, Magoosh is doing excellent job.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      You are welcome!

  3. shafi July 4, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Wednesday Vocabulary is wonderful.I love it.Would it be possible to compile the Wednesday Vocabulary e book? That would be a great help.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoy Vocab Wednesdays — I enjoy recording them :)!

      I don’t know if they can really be put in ebook form, but one thing I’ve noticed on youtube is students putting their favorite Vocab Wed. on one playlist. That way you can watch most of the popular videos, one after the other.

      Hope that helps!

    • Joanne July 6, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      I totally agree with shafi, A vocabulary wednesday ebook would be fantastic!

      • Chris Lele
        Chris Lele July 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

        Glad to hear that you guys are enjoying vocab. wednesday :)!

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