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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 the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)

Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez died on April 17, 2014. A novelist, short story writer and poet of boundless imagination, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Here is a list...
sequester, lucid, oblige, abject, artifice, decrepitude, lethargy, more...
10 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Historical Documents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


Chief Joseph's Words to Washington D.C. (1879)

Chief Joseph, also known as In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat (which means "Thunder-Traveling-to-Loftier-Mountain-Heights"), surrendered on October 5, 1877 in Idaho. Realizing his Nez Perce tribe could not keep...
disgrace, deserts, despise, scheme, caution, annuity, council, more...
20 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
In an editorial for the Chicago Tribune yesterday, columnist Eric Zorn took issue with the College Board's inclusion of obsequious in a list of "low-frequency words that would be unlikely to be assessed directly as words-in-context questions on the redesigned SAT." Continue reading...
It's William Shakespeare's 450th birthday today. What better way to celebrate than with a whole host of learning resources focused on his words? Continue reading...
Take a closer look at how Donna Tartt's word choices help her conjure up a place and wrap the reader in memory with 25 words from the Pulitzer-prize winning The GoldfinchContinue reading...
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