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Vocabulary Lists

Test Prep

100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know

American Heritage Dictionaries normally feature about 70,000 entries. From that multitude, the editors have chosen 100 words that are neither obscure nor outlandish that could give middle schoolers...
adversary, aplomb, apprehensive, aptitude, attentive, banish, barricade, more...
100 words


"The Tale of Despereaux," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-15

The subtitle tells more about the Newbery Medal-winning tale by Kate DiCamillo: "Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread." This list tells even more about the desperate...
ordeal, diplomat, despair, shard, intent, sibling, scurry, more...
40 words

Morphology & Roots

More English Words that Derive from Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Here are 15 more common English words whose roots come from indigenous languages of the Americas. The fate of the people who spoke these languages varies greatly, from tribes lost to history that we...
ipecac, cashew, cayenne, pirana, cougar, Petunia, pecan, more...
15 words

Historical Documents

"While the World Watched," Vocabulary from the Introduction-Chapter 5

While the world watched, September 15, 1963 became a traumatic day that fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull (now also McKinstry) struggled to live past and understand. Read "While the World Watched: A...
inhumane, segregated, castrate, confrontation, ingrained, mandatory, racist, more...
35 words


Lincoln Inaugural Address (March 1861)

Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as the 16th President of the United States on March 4, 1861. Since his election the previous November Southern states had met and declared their intent to...
compliance, address, execution, administration, apprehension, accession, republican, more...
98 words

Just for Fun

Language: Similar Sounds, Different Meanings (a.k.a. Homophones)

aid, aide, altar, alter, aural, bait, bate, more...
87 words


The Measles Outbreak - What to Know

In the Chicago Tribune article "Doctors, Talk Tough on Measles," Cory Franklin traces the measles back to a nineteenth century outbreak in the South Pacific, discusses what this has in common with the...
affluent, devastate, epidemic, lack, missionary, eradication, vaccine, more...
15 words
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Vocabulary.com Blog
A new study of how word learning lights up reward centers in the brain shows that word learning makes us as happy as taking drugs or eating great food. It also helps to explain why our vocabulary game is so much fun. Continue reading...
To celebrate National Grammar Day today ("March Fourth/Forth"), the American Copy Editing Society's announced winning entries in a grammar haiku contest. Check them out and survey all the entries here. Continue reading...
An SAT tutor's story about how one motivationally challenged student was able to use list-building — as well as list-learning — to make words' meanings really stick in his brain. Continue reading...
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