GRE Words Of The Day


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Learn GRE Words with Mnemonics and Cartoons!

Below, you'll find a list of about 44 previous GRE words of the day, along with simple definitions, clever mnemonics, and example sentences. It's a great way to memorize vocabulary, since it gives your brain a "hook" to associate the definition of a word with.

If you like this learning style, make sure to check out my GRE vocab cartoons app, which illustrates 1359 words and word roots with funny cartoons like this:


Download Vince's GRE Vocab Cartoons for iPhone / iOS here and download for Android here, or use the buttons below.




GRE Vocabulary Pictures on Quizlet (free!)

Don't feel like shelling out 3 bucks for my app? I also posted all of these GRE vocab cartoons on Quizlet - for free The main drawback of Quizlet is that it lacks the app's spaced repetition algorithm, but otherwise, the flashcards are the same. Quizlet also, not surprisingly, has a quiz feature that you might enjoy.


GRE Vocabulary Quiz

BTW, I post vocabulary cartoons on my Instagram (@GRE_vocab_cartoons) along with fun vocab quizzes each week! Test your vocab skills and reinforce the meaning of the words with my vocab cartoons. This is a fun, low-key way to learn GRE words if you're just starting to study for the GRE. If you follow me, feel free to slide into my DMs and say hi. Below is a screen from one of my Instagram story GRE vocabulary quizzes.


vocabulary quizzes


GRE Vocabulary Videos

I've also made a bunch of GRE vocabulary videos in the form of YouTube shorts - each short is about 8 seconds long. The link is to my YouTube short playlist. It's another entertaining way to learn new GRE vocabulary words. These are all hand-drawn! 


(Above: My YouTube vocabulary short for the word "abject".)


I also made a video of me narrating a bunch of my favorite vocabulary flashcards. Just click on psycho Tom Cruise there to check it out. I promise some of these will make you laugh!


(Above: Vince narrates 93 GRE vocab cartoons.)


GRE Word Of The Day: Scrupulous

Scrupulous cartoon

scrupulous (adjective): having integrity; being exact.

Think: scrape the poop

If you were scrupulous, you would have scraped the poop from your dog off my lawn without my asking.

Synonyms: principled, conscientious, conscionable


GRE Word Of The Day: Recapitulate

Recapitulate cartoon

recapitulate (verb): to summarize.

Think: recap

The recap on the nightly news recapitulated the major events of the day.

Synonyms: encapsulate, epitomize, synopsize

GRE Word of the Day: Querulous

Querulous cartoon

querulous (queer-yuh-lus) (adjective): whiny.

Think: quarrel with us.

We’d hang out with you more, but you’re so querulous that you always want to quarrel with us!

GRE Word of the Day: Partisan

Partisan cartoon

partisan (adjective): having allegiance to a particular side or cause, usually without question.

Think: party’s son.

The chairman of the Democratic party’s son was unsurprisingly partisan in his political views.

GRE Word of the Day: Nascent

Nascent cartoon

nascent (adjective): recently formed or developed.

Think: new car scent.

I jumped into the nascent BMW that had just come off the assembly line and smelled the bestnew car scent I’d ever smelled.

Synonyms: incipient, budding

GRE Word of the Day: Minatory

Minatory cartoon

minatory (adjective): threatening.

Think: Minotaur.

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur – a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man – was minatory because it ate people.

synonyms: baleful, foreboding, portentous, dire

Want more GRE vocab cartoons?

Try my app or Instagram

GRE Word of the Day: Lachrymose

lachrymose (lack-kruh-mos) (adjective): tearful; mournful.

Think: lack Christmas.

If you lack Christmas presents, I don’t blame you for being lachrymose.

Fun fact: your tear ducts are your lacrimal glands.

GRE Word of the Day: Inculcate

inculcate (in-cull-kate) (verb): to teach by constant repetition and warning.

Think: in cult.

In the cult of Scientology, they inculcated Tom Cruise until he was brainwashed.

Synonyms: imbue, ingrain, inoculate

GRE Word of the Day: Hidebound

hidebound (adjective): ultra-conservative; inflexible.

Think: hide-bound.

The Republican candidate’s views were so hidebound that a hide-bound caveman dressed in animal skins would probably vote for him.

GRE Word of the Day: Grandstand

grandstand (verb): to show off.

Think: handstand.

Be honest: if you’re doing a handstand, you’re doing it to grandstand.

GRE Word of the Day: Fecund

fecund (fee-cund) (adjective): fruitful; inventive.

Think: feces under.

Spreading manure, or feces, under your crops as fertilizer will lead to a more fecund harvest.

GRE Word of the Day: Ebullient

ebullient (e-bully-ent) (adjective): lively and cheerful.

Think: Red Bull

After I chugged a giant Red Bull, my fatigue lifted and I became ebullient.

Etymology: from the Latin ebullire – to bubble out.

GRE Word of the Day: Dilatory

dilatory (dill-a-tory) (adjective): slow to act.

Think: delay.

If I have to write a paper, I’m dilatory and will delay starting it until the night before it’s due.

GRE Word of the Day: Celerity

celerity (sa-lear-ity) (noun): quickness

Think: accelerate

After Cee Lo switched to an all-celery diet, he lost 30 lbs. His celerity increased as did his ability to accelerate.

GRE Word of the Day: Baleful

baleful (bale-full) (adjective): threatening harm.

Think: Christian Bale.

I’m not a big Christian Bale fan – he always has a baleful look on his face – like he wants to fight you.

synonyms: pernicious, foreboding, minatory, portentous, dire

GRE Word of the Day: Acquisitive

acquisitive (ac-quis-i-tive) (adjective): eager to acquire and possess; greedy

Think: acquire

The acquisitive billionaire wanted to acquire every company he saw.

Synonyms: mercenary; rapacious; avaricious

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Behemoth

behemoth (bee-HEE-muth) (noun): something huge

Think: beast mammoth

One really large beast was the woolly mammoth, a behemoth that lived during the ice age.

Synonyms: mastodon; dreadnought

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Wizened

wizened (wise-end) (adjective): shrunken and wrinkled, usually due to age

Think: wizard

Wizards like Gandalf and Dumbledore are usually wizened since they’re really old.

Synonyms: withered; gnarled

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Vociferous

vociferous (vo-ci-fur-us)(adjective):  loud

Think: voice for us

The announcer’s loud voice, for us, was too vociferous.

Synonyms: caterwauling; obstreperous; yawping

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Ubiquitous

ubiquitous (you-bick-quit-us) (adjective): existing everywhere

Think: you big quidditch

You big quidditch fans have made the Harry Potter sport ubiquitous on college campuses.

Synonyms: quotidian; universal

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Variegated

variegated (vary-ig-ated) (adjective): varied

Think: varied

The autumn leaves in Vermont are known for their variegated colors; last year, they varied from red to yellow to orange.

Synonyms: prismatic; multihued; polychromatic

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Trepidation

trepidation (treh-pid-a-shun) (noun): fear

Think: trap

The haunted house filled me with trepidation; I feared a trap would be sprung on me at any moment.

Synonyms: consternation; foreboding

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Solipsistic

solipsistic (soul-lip-sis-stick) (adjective): being extremely self centered

Think: sold lipstick

The model whose image sold lipstick became solipsistic due to all the compliments she received.

Synonyms: egocentric

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Repugnant

repugnant (re-pug-nant) (adjective): gross

Think: ugly pug

Although some people think pugs’ upturned faces and wheezing are cute, many find the breed to be repugnant.

Synonyms: abhorrent; odius; noisome

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Quiescent

quiescent (qui-es-sent) (adjective): at rest

Think: quiet

The hibernating bear was both quiet and quiescent.

Synonyms: torpid; inert

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Peripatetic

peripatetic (perry-pat-tet-ick) (adjective): wandering; traveling; constantly moving from place to place

Think: pitter-patter

The mouse in my house is peripatetic since I’m constantly hearing the pitter-patter of his little feet in the walls.

Synonyms: vagrant; ambulatory; gallivanting

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Obstreperous

obstreperous (ob-strep-er-is) (adjective): stubbornly resistant to control; noisy

Think: strep

The bacteria that cause strep throat are so obstreperous that many people take antibiotics for the condition.

Synonyms: caterwauling; vociferous; blatant

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Nugatory

nugatory (nugget-tori) (adjective): unimportant

Think: McNuggets

Eating chicken McNuggets is nugatory for good health; their health benefits could be said to be negative.

Synonym: piddling; futile

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Maelstrom

maelstrom (mail-strom) (noun): something violently powerful; a whirlpool

Think: mail-storm.

Spam emails flock to my inbox like a maelstrom; reading the mail storm would suck up all of my time.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Lurid

lurid (lure-id) (adjective): melodramatic; sensational; shocking.

Think: lure in.

The lurid neon silhouette of a naked woman was designed to lure in lonely gentlemen.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Jocose

jocose (joe-coase) (adjective): given to joking.

Think: joke coach.

The first thing I look for when I’m hiring a joke coach is a jocose personality.

Synonyms: jocund

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Importune

importune (im-poor-tune) (verb): to nag; to persistently insist.

Think: I’m poor tune.

The homeless man singing on the subway importuned us for money with his “I’m poor tune”.

synonyms: beseech, entreat, implore

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Hubris

hubris (hew-briss) (noun): excessive pride or self-confidence.

Think: huge breasts.

After getting implants, the girl developed hubris because her huge breasts attracted all kinds of attention.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Gumption

gumption (GUMP-shin) (noun): drive; initiative; courage

Think: Forrest Gump.

Forrest Gump showed gumption by playing football, starting a shrimp business, and running across the country.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Fastidious

fastidious (fass-TID-e-us) (adjective): difficult to please; having a meticulous attitude

Think: fast to tidy.

My fastidious roommate gets mad if I am not fast to tidy up after myself.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Eschew

eschew (ess-SHOE) (verb): to avoid.

Think: Ah-choo!

Eschew people who say “Ahchoo!” unless you want to catch a cold.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Diffident

diffident (DIFF-i-dent) (adjective): hesitant to speak due to lack of confidence

Think: difficult dentures

I’m only diffident because my difficult dentures make it hard to speak clearly.

synonyms: demure, retiring, self-effacing

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Cacophony

cacophony (cah-COUGH-o-knee) (noun): unpleasant, loud sounds.

Think: cough.

All the coughs from the tuberculosis ward formed a sickening cacophony.

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Badger

badger (BADGE-er) (verb): to annoy or pester

Think: bad jerk

Good jerks can get laughs, but a bad jerk will just badger you with his attempts at humor.

synonyms: harry, heckle, plague

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Aberration

aberration (ab-ur-A-shun) (noun): something unusual or unexpected

Think: a bare Asian

A bare Asian would be an aberration; Asians usually wear clothes.

synonyms: anomaly, oddity

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abate

abate (uh-BATE) (verb): to lessen or reduce.

Think: rebate

The mail-in rebate on my new mobile phone will abate the high cost.

synonyms: ebb, subside, wane

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abashed

abashed (uh-BASHED) (adjective): embarrassed.

Think: Bashful

Bashful the dwarf was so abashed when Snow White kissed him that he blushed.

synonyms: discomfited, disconcerted, fazed

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Abase

abase (uh-BASE) (verb): to degrade.

Think: a base

When making out with someone, if you give up a base too quickly then you just abase yourself.

synonyms: debase, lessen, vitiate

GRE Vocabulary Mnemonic of the Day: Clangorous

clangorous (CLANG-or-us) (adjective): noisy.

Think: clang

I love my son, but his third-grade orchestra is so clangorous that it sounds like they’re all just clanging on their instruments instead of playing the music.

synonyms: clamorous, clattering, uproarious


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