GRE Vocabulary

Though you may be ambivalent to the soporific task of studying GRE vocabulary, any pragmatic and fastidious student would find it auspicious to do so. Translation: study GRE vocab! You'll improve your score.

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Ask and you shall receive! Based on the many requests from our students (thank you, as always, for your suggestions!), we’ve compiled the best of our word lists into a free GRE resource. This one-stop vocabulary resource for the GRE in eBook form will help you get ready for the GRE Verbal anytime, anywhere. Our […]

Most Recent GRE Vocabulary

Today’s installment of GRE Vocab Wednesday is a text-only post — but don’t worry! We’ll be back next Wednesday with another video for you. Stay tuned. 🙂 Typically speaking, an idiom is an expression peculiar to a certain language. When you translate it word-by-word you get some unintended—and often very funny—imagery. A few include the […]

Usually I focus on words that have surprising second definitions—definitions you would never be able to guess based on the original definition. Today, I’ve chosen words that have a second definition that is loosely related to the original definition.   Mushroom You might be thinking truffles, cremini, and chanterelle—and you’re not too far off. All […]

Mnemonics are memory devices that help you remember words. Essentially, you want to come up with a visual association with the word, or a creative way to remember the word based on its structure. To give you an example of the latter case, take ‘loathe’, which means to hate. If you the last four letters. […]

To anyone studying vocabulary, it should hardly be news that Latin has strongly influenced English. But there are also Latin phrases that pepper more academic writing. These phrases are sometimes italicized, and must be treated as inviolable whole, something you cannot just take apart. Meaning if you drop the ‘grata’ from ‘persona non grata’, you […]

Some words masquerade—hiding behind a false appearance, ready to deceive and lead us astray. I’m not talking about words that look like other words (e.g., loath and loathe) but words whose definitions themselves speak of duplicity and the counterfeit. 1. Mountebank 150 years ago, about the time that Wyatt Earp was corralling the bad guys, […]

An eponym is any word that is derived from a person’s name. In the past, I’ve mentioned how English is the most promiscuous of languages, absorbing languages as unrelated as Sanskrit and Finnish into its bulging lexicon. By extension, I’ve also mentioned how relying on Latin/Greek roots can oftentimes cripple your word detective skills. Thwarting […]

Not even the 3,500-list can help you here. Idioms are expressions, turns of phrases, or a grammatical construction that carry their own peculiar meanings. These words show up often on the Revised GRE, especially in the Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence questions. If you do not know the meaning of these words/phrases you are likely […]

English is truly the global mutt of languages. Indeed, centuries of colonization and commerce has had the curious effect of both making English the global language and swelling the pages of English dictionaries with such loanwords as sauna and safari. (Sauna comes by way of Finland; safari comes via African-rooted Arabic and, somewhat inexplicably, means […]

Sometimes, but not often, Latin phrases make their way into the English language. Many of these phrases are seldom used, often for rhetorical effect. Other phrases tend to be far more common, and are important for anyone who wants to develop a college-level vocabulary. They don’t come up too often on the GRE, but they […]