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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


Vocabulary from an Excerpt from the "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt is not the most prolific writer, having only written three books since her debut in 1992 . Each of her novels, however, has been an event. Her writing manages to accomplish what few...
clangor, probity, privation, austerity, avert, congenial, stark, more...
25 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Historical Documents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
Ever since College Board President David Coleman announced that the redesigned SAT would replace its testing of more obscure words such as mendacious or treacly with the analysis of more frequent, multiple-meaning words in context, educators have been fretting about what this may mean for the study of vocabulary and for the precision of the next generation of American students' English in general. Continue reading...
Talking about the Pulitzer Prizes awarded this week? Make sure you're up on these ten words. 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...
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