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Vocabulary Lists

Test Prep

100 SAT Words Beginning with "A"

Find lists of SAT words organized by every letter of the alphabet here: A , B , C , D , E , F , G , H , I , J, K & L , M , N , O , P , Q , R , S , T , U , V , and W, X, Y & Z .
abase, aberration, abhor, abject, abrasive, abstain, abstract, more...
100 words


Vocabulary from the Wisdom and Work of Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)

Nadine Gordimer died on July 13, 2014 at the age of 90. A novelist and activist, Gordimer wrote powerfully about South Africa during Apartheid and after, about what had changed, and what still had yet...
indifferent, puritan, utopia, heretical, abstraction, archaic, inextricable, more...
15 words

Morphology & Roots

Some Obscure Eponyms

When something is named after a person or a place or a company, we call that name an eponym . If you know anyone who says "Get me a Kleenex" instead of "Get me a tissue," they are using an eponym...
saxophone, bougainvillea, braille, bloomers, chauvinism, Cyrillic, diesel, more...
20 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Historical Documents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


Starting Your New Life: Inspiring Words from Commencement Speeches

Spring is in the air. So are graduation caps and words of wisdom. See how notable speakers from various fields (including a cartoonist, scientist, and president) have inspired the rising of new...
indispensable, untouchable, audacity, improvisation, inevitable, determine, indulge, more...
20 words

Just for Fun

Elaine Stritch's Show Tune Vocabulary

Elaine Stritch died on July 17, 2014 at the age of 89. A legendary Broadway and cabaret performer, Stritch was one of those actresses who simply commanded the stage and made the parts she played her...
accrue, misconstrue, passe, eclectic, platitude, cavil, grim, 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
I've been a fan of Lexicon Valley, Slate's podcast about language, since it began a couple of years ago, and so I was honored when Mike Vuolo, who hosts the show with Bob Garfield, asked if I'd like to be featured regularly on it. Together, we decided on a format that would be fun for us, as well as, we hope, the listeners: I would come prepared with a mystery word, and Mike and Bob would have to guess the word itself and its origins. Continue reading...
"A breath of fresh air." "Few and far between." "At the end of the day." These are just a few of the clichés examined by Orin Hargraves, an experienced lexicographer and one of our regular contributors, in his new book It's Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches. In this excerpt, Hargraves explains how to "free your speech and writing of unneeded and detrimental clichés." Continue reading...
It's summer reading season, a great time for vocabulary growth. One summer reading option, Carol Weston's Ava and Pip, a novel for young readers, takes engagement with words to a new level, introducing the concept of words as toys to be taken apart and shaken around before being put back together. Continue reading...
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