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Vocabulary Lists

Test Prep

Jim Burke's Academic Vocabulary List

A thorough survey of various textbooks, assignments, content area standards, and examinations yields the following list of words compiled by Jim Burke . You cannot expect to succeed on assignments if...
abbreviate, abstract, according, acronym, address, affect, alter, more...
358 words


"The Milagro Beanfield War," Vocabulary from the Prologue-Part 1

As you read John Nichols' "The Milagro Beanfield War," learn these word lists for the novel: Prologue-Part 1 , Part 2 , Parts 3-4 , Part 5-Epilogue
untenable, befuddled, tintinnabulation, germane, peon, remuneration, malevolent, more...
35 words

Morphology & Roots

Latin Love, Vol II: cadere

Falling under this category of words that derive from the Latin root "cadere," meaning "to fall," are some surprises: "incident," "accident," and all of those "-cide" words having to do with killing....
casualty, deciduous, cataract, catalogue, category, cascade, cadence, more...
13 words

Historical Documents

Lee Surrenders to Grant (1865)

On April 9, 1865, after a final battle that failed to break through Union forces, Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia. As a brigadier general and secretary to Ulysses...
correspondence, toilsome, improvise, provisions, effusion, reciprocate, scant, more...
40 words


Elie Wiesel's "Hope, Despair and Memory" (1986)

Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his lifetime struggle against indifference, which he sees as synonymous to the struggle for peace. As an author, philosopher, and humanist, Wiesel...
beset, fervent, opaque, distorted, despair, passivity, aberration, more...
25 words

Just for Fun

Beyond Embiggen: Real Words "The Simpsons" Used Well

"The Simpsons" has been justifiably celebrated for the new words and memorable phrases it has given English during its impressive run on the air. What is sometimes lost in a sea of "Embiggen"s and...
satiety, specious, pungent, puerile, construe, skeptic, dubious, more...
10 words


A Quick Current Events Quiz: Pulitzer Prizes in the News

Talking about the Pulitzer Prizes awarded this week? Make sure you're up on these ten words essential for talking about the forces shaping our culture. We publish this ten-word list drawn from news...
wry, lyric, compensate, rectify, deftly, subsequent, empathetic, more...
10 words
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Vocabulary.com Blog
Talking about the Pulitzer Prizes awarded this week? Make sure you're up on these ten words essential for talking about the forces shaping our culture. Continue reading...
Although the hero of Richard Wright's classic tale of the African American experience has a hard time coming up with words, Wright never falters. Continue reading...

Blog Excerpts

"Staycation," "Bleisure," and Other Made-Up Travel Words

Is the travel industry particularly susceptible to making up words like "bleisure" (combining "business" and "leisure") and "staycation" (for a stay-at-home vacation)? Associated Press travel reporter Beth J. Harpaz investigates — with help from our own Ben Zimmer, who says that such neologisms "come in handy in a business sector where there's often a need to come up with clever marketing spin." Read the AP article here.
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