GRE Vocabulary List- The F-Word(s)


If someone is fractious, he/she is irritable and is likely to cause disruption.

We rarely invite my fractious Uncle over for dinner; he always complains about the food, and usually launches into a tirade on some touchy subject.

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Factions result when a large group splinters into smaller ones. Anything that causes factions is factious.

The controversial bill proved factious, as dissension even within parties resulted.


A tricky word, to say the least. When I preface a word by saying it’s tricky, you can bet that the word’s definition is not what you would expect. Factitious is no exception, in that it does not relate to fact. Indeed, factitious is almost the opposite of fact. Factitious means artificial, not natural. A laugh can be factitious. A gesture. Your alacrity on the first day of a new job.

Factitious can also be used literally to refer to something artificial. The houseplant that never needs watering, for instance. A good synonym for factitious—and a word people use frequently—is phony.

Committing these “F-Words” and their meanings to memory will be useful when tackling the GRE exam’s often confusing vocabulary.

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4 Responses to GRE Vocabulary List- The F-Word(s)

  1. Prasad N R March 30, 2018 at 6:27 am #

    I should be factious in my approach towards quotidian GRE verbal studies. I should not be overweening and fractious when someone offers me suggestions regarding GRE verbal. I should not be factitious in acknowledging their suggestions.

    I just made this up to help myself remember this.

  2. Chris Lele
    chris April 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    Definitely a great suggestion, Yogesh. In an earlier post, I extolled the virtues
    of mnemonics, so sorry to be remiss in practicing what I preach.

    For fractious, think of fractures. When you fracture a bone you break it. A person
    who is fractious tends to fracture, figuratively speaking, breaks everything around them.
    That is, there irritable, grumpy personality breaks up a good time.

    With factitious you can just think of it as fictitious.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Yogesh Pate April 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    If u give mnemonic then it will be much more easy to remember … just a thought .. !

    • hansoo April 21, 2011 at 12:56 am #

      Great suggestion, Yogesh! We’ll try to come up with some great mnemonics for future vocab words 🙂

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