An Inspirational Back-to-School Word List

As you pack your backpack and sharpen your pencils, take a moment to sharpen your vocabulary! Here are ten words that can inspire you to take on the academic challenges of a new school year.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. potential
    the inherent capacity for coming into being
    Giving children a fair chance to achieve their dreams and reach their potential is everyone's responsibility.US News (Aug 29, 2016)
  2. inspiration
    arousal of the mind to unusual activity or creativity
    One young girl said: "Amy is an inspiration, she's shown us what can be done. She worked really hard, she deserves what she's got."BBC (Aug 24, 2016)
  3. achievement
    the action of accomplishing something
    “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of employees across the federal government,” Rice said.Time (Aug 29, 2016)
  4. rigor
    something hard to endure
    So Victor tries to do as much as a college junior immersed in the rigors of schoolwork and major-college football can do.Seattle Times (Aug 16, 2016)
  5. character
    attributes that determine one's moral and ethical actions
    “You wouldn’t see the rich, unique character that shines through.”Seattle Times (Aug 28, 2016)
  6. wisdom
    accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment
    But researchers pointed to some likely explanations -- including the perspective and " wisdom" that comes from life experience.US News (Aug 24, 2016)
  7. stamina
    enduring strength and energy
    Underwater for about two-thirds of each performance, synchronized swimmers require stamina, flexibility, endurance and, always, poise.New York Times (Aug 19, 2016)
  8. exuberance
    joyful enthusiasm
    There were historic performances by some of the world’s greatest athletes, cheered on – and sometimes booed – by crowds exhibiting Brazil’s characteristic exuberance.Los Angeles Times (Aug 21, 2016)
  9. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity
    “It just takes fortitude. It takes bravery,” Gatlin said of the young sprinters.Washington Post (Jul 8, 2016)
  10. reflection
    a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
    When they do something, whether it’s good or bad, they take time for reflection.Time (Aug 23, 2016)

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