National Spelling Bee '13: Prelims

Words from Round 2 and 3 of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. abbatial
    of or having to do with or belonging to an abbey or abbot, or abbess
  2. abeyance
    temporary cessation or suspension
  3. abnegation
    the denial and rejection of a doctrine or belief
  4. accommodate
    have room for; hold without crowding
  5. acedia
    apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue
  6. acetabulum
    the cup-shaped hollow in the hipbone into which the head of the femur fits to form a ball-and-socket joint
  7. acquittal
    a judgment of not guilty
  8. acuminate
    (of a leaf shape) narrowing to a slender point
  9. adenoidal
    of or pertaining to the adenoids
  10. adiabatic
    occurring without loss or gain of heat
  11. adipose
    composed of animal fat
  12. aggrandizement
    the act of increasing the prestige or power of something
  13. aggregate
    a sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together
  14. agoraphobia
    a morbid fear of open spaces
  15. Airedale
    breed of large wiry-coated terrier bred in Yorkshire
  16. akaryote
    a cell without a nucleus (as an erythrocyte)
  17. alcazar
    any of various Spanish fortresses or palaces built by the Moors
  18. algorithm
    a precise rule specifying how to solve some problem
  19. ameliorate
    to make better
  20. amphibious
    relating to vertebrates that live on land but breed in water
  21. anachronism
    something located at a time when it could not have existed
  22. apartheid
    a social policy of racial segregation
  23. apparatchik
    a communist who was a member of the administrative system of a communist party
  24. archipelago
    a group of many islands in a large body of water
  25. asana
    a posture or manner of sitting
  26. azimuth
    the azimuth of a celestial body is the angle between the vertical plane containing it and the plane of the meridian
  27. babka
    a coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds
  28. bacciferous
    producing or bearing berries
  29. Baedeker
    German publisher of a series of travel guidebooks
  30. balaclava
    a cap that is close-fitting and woolen and covers all of the head but the face
  31. balalaika
    a stringed instrument that has a triangular body and three strings
  32. baleen
    a horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales
  33. bandicoot
    any of various agile ratlike terrestrial marsupials of Australia and adjacent islands; insectivorous and herbivorous
  34. banzai
    a Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph
  35. bathyal
    relating to ocean depths between 200 and 2000 meters
  36. Bauhaus
    a German style of architecture begun by Walter Gropius in 1918
  37. Beelzebub
    chief spirit of evil and adversary of God
  38. Beethovenian
    of or relating to Ludwig van Beethoven or his music
  39. beleaguer
    annoy persistently
  40. bellicose
    having or showing a ready disposition to fight
  41. belligerent
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
  42. binturong
    arboreal civet of Asia having a long prehensile tail and shaggy black hair
  43. Bolshevik
    a Russian member of the left-wing majority group that followed Lenin and eventually became the Russian communist party
  44. borzoi
    tall fast-moving dog breed
  45. botryoidal
    resembling a cluster of grapes in form
  46. boudoir
    a lady's bedroom or private sitting room
  47. boulevardier
    a visitor of a city boulevard (especially in Paris)
  48. boysenberry
    cultivated hybrid bramble of California having large dark wine-red fruit with a flavor resembling raspberries
  49. braggadocio
    vain and empty boasting
  50. brilliantine
    a pomade to make the hair manageable and lustrous
  51. brouhaha
    a confused disturbance far greater than its cause merits
  52. brucellosis
    an infectious disease of domestic animals often resulting in spontaneous abortion; transmittable to human beings
  53. Buddha
    founder of Buddhism; worshipped as a god (c 563-483 BC)
  54. bumptiously
    in a bumptious manner
  55. bureaucracy
    a government administered primarily by nonelective officials
  56. cachet
    an indication of approved or superior status
  57. calypso
    rare north temperate bog orchid bearing a solitary white to pink flower marked with purple at the tip of an erect reddish stalk above 1 basal leaf
  58. camouflage
    an outward semblance misrepresenting the nature of something
  59. camphor
    a resin obtained from the camphor tree
  60. cappelletti
    small circular or square cases of dough with savory fillings
  61. capricious
    determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
  62. carafe
    a bottle with a stopper, for serving wine or water
  63. cecity
    the state of being blind or lacking sight
  64. chagrin
    strong feelings of embarrassment
  65. chalcopyrite
    a yellow copper ore made up of copper and iron sulfide
  66. charlatan
    a flamboyant deceiver
  67. chassis
    the skeleton of a motor vehicle
  68. chauvinism
    fanatical patriotism
  69. clerihew
    a witty satiric verse containing two rhymed couplets
  70. coadjutor
    an assistant to a bishop
  71. coati
    omnivorous mammal of Central America and South America
  72. coloratura
    singing with florid ornamentation
  73. commensurate
    corresponding in size or degree or extent
  74. commissar
    an official of the Communist Party who was assigned to teach party principles to a military unit
  75. conquistador
    an adventurer
  76. corpuscle
    an unattached cell such as a red or white blood cell
  77. corrigenda
    a list of printing errors in a book along with their corrections
  78. crescendo
    a gradual increase in loudness
  79. Croesus
    last king of Lydia (died in 546 BC)
  80. cyanosis
    a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes
  81. cynosure
    something that provides guidance
  82. dahlia
    any of several plants of or developed from the species Dahlia pinnata having tuberous roots and showy rayed variously colored flower heads; native to the mountains of Mexico and Central America and Colombia
  83. debenture
    the ability of a customer to obtain goods before payment
  84. detente
    the easing of tensions or strained relations
  85. dichotomy
    a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
  86. diphthong
    a sound consisting of two vowel sounds
  87. discrete
    constituting a separate entity or part
  88. doctrinaire
    a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions
  89. dowager
    a widow holding property received from her deceased husband
  90. dressage
    maneuvers of a horse in response to body signals by the rider
  91. dudgeon
    a feeling of intense indignation
  92. dyslexia
    impaired ability to learn to read
  93. echt
    not fake or counterfeit
  94. ecru
    a very light brown
  95. edelweiss
    alpine perennial plant native to Europe having leaves covered with whitish down and small flower heads held in stars of glistening whitish bracts
  96. egregious
    conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
  97. eiderdown
    down of the eider duck
  98. einsteinium
    a radioactive transuranic element produced by bombarding plutonium with neutrons
  99. eland
    either of two large African antelopes of the genus Taurotragus having short spirally twisted horns in both sexes
  100. entourage
    the group following and attending to some important person
  101. Eocene
    from 58 million to 40 million years ago
  102. epenthesis
    the insertion of a vowel or consonant into a word to make its pronunciation easier
  103. ephemeral
    anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day
  104. equilibrium
    a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
  105. equipoise
    equality of distribution
  106. erudite
    having or showing profound knowledge
  107. escargot
    edible snails
  108. euphemism
    an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one
  109. euthanasia
    the act of killing someone painlessly
  110. exacerbate
    make worse
  111. examen
    a detailed inspection of your conscience
  112. exaugural
    occurring at or marking the close of a term of office
  113. facetious
    cleverly amusing in tone
  114. Fahrenheit
    of or relating to a temperature scale proposed by the inventor of the mercury thermometer
  115. fastidious
    giving careful attention to detail
  116. febrility
    a rise in the temperature of the body
  117. fibrinogen
    a protein present in blood plasma
  118. flabbergast
    overcome with amazement
  119. flense
    strip the blubber or skin from (a whale or seal)
  120. fomentation
    deliberate and intentional triggering
  121. forsythia
    any of various early blooming oleaceous shrubs of the genus Forsythia; native to eastern Asia and southern Europe but widely cultivated for their branches of bright yellow bell-shaped flowers
  122. Fraulein
    a German courtesy title or form of address for an unmarried woman
  123. fuselage
    the central body of an airplane holding crew and passengers
  124. fusillade
    rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms
  125. gadgeteer
    a person who delights in designing or building or using gadgets
  126. garibaldi
    a loose high-necked blouse with long sleeves
  127. gauche
    lacking social polish
  128. gendarme
    a French policeman
  129. genre
    a kind of literary or artistic work
  130. Geronimo
    Apache chieftain who raided the white settlers in the Southwest as resistance to being confined to a reservation (1829-1909)
  131. gigot
    lamb leg suitable for roasting
  132. gingham
    a clothing fabric in a plaid weave
  133. ginglymus
    a freely moving joint in which the bones are so articulated as to allow extensive movement in one plane
  134. glasnost
    a policy of the Soviet government allowing freer discussion of social problems
  135. glazier
    someone who cuts flat glass to size
  136. glockenspiel
    a percussion instrument consisting of a set of metal bars
  137. guillotine
    instrument of execution used for beheading people
  138. gymkhana
    a meet at which riders and horses display a range of skills and aptitudes
  139. gynarchy
    a political system governed by a woman
  140. gypsum
    a white or colorless mineral used in cements and plasters
  141. halal
    conforming to dietary laws
  142. hamartia
    the character flaw or error of a tragic hero
  143. hartebeest
    a large African antelope with lyre-shaped horns that curve backward
  144. heifer
    young cow
  145. heinousness
    the quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane
  146. heliacal
    pertaining to or near the sun
  147. Hemerocallis
    east Asian rhizomatous clump-forming perennial herbs having flowers on long leafless stalks; cosmopolitan in cultivation: day lilies; sometimes placed in subfamily Hemerocallidaceae
  148. hereditament
    any property that can be inherited
  149. herpetology
    the branch of zoology concerned with reptiles and amphibians
  150. hierarchy
    a series of ordered groupings within a system
  151. hippopotamus
    massive thick-skinned herbivorous animal living in or around rivers of tropical Africa
  152. hollandaise
    eggs and butter with lemon juice
  153. hyperbole
    extravagant exaggeration
  154. hypocrisy
    pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not have
  155. Ibsenian
    of or relating to or in the manner of the playwright Henrik Ibsen
  156. imago
    an adult insect produced after metamorphosis
  157. indigenous
    originating where it is found
  158. ingenue
    an artless innocent young girl
  159. innocuous
    not injurious to physical or mental health
  160. intaglio
    a printing process that uses an etched or engraved plate
  161. ipecac
    a medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting
  162. iridectomy
    an eye operation that treats closed-angle glaucoma by surgical removal of part of the iris of the eye
  163. isinglass
    any of various minerals consisting of hydrous silicates of aluminum or potassium etc. that crystallize in forms that allow perfect cleavage into very thin leaves; used as dielectrics because of their resistance to electricity
  164. jacamar
    tropical American insectivorous bird having a long sharp bill and iridescent green or bronze plumage
  165. jambeau
    armor plate that protects legs below the knee
  166. japery
    acting like a clown or buffoon
  167. jejunely
    in an immature manner
  168. jeremiad
    a long and mournful complaint
  169. jonquil
    widely cultivated ornamental plant native to southern Europe but naturalized elsewhere having fragrant yellow or white clustered flowers
  170. juggernaut
    a massive inexorable force
  171. karaoke
    singing popular songs accompanied by a recording
  172. keeshond
    a spitz-like dog having a shaggy greyish coat and tightly curled tail originating in Holland
  173. kirtle
    a garment resembling a tunic that was worn by men in the Middle Ages
  174. kishke
    (Judaism) roasted fowl intestines with a seasoned filling of matzo meal and suet
  175. koan
    a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution
  176. kohlrabi
    plant cultivated for its enlarged fleshy turnip-shaped edible stem
  177. labyrinthine
    resembling a labyrinth in form or complexity
  178. lassitude
    a feeling of lack of interest or energy
  179. legato
    connecting the notes; in music
  180. levanter
    an easterly wind in the western Mediterranean area
  181. lieutenant
    a commissioned military officer
  182. luthier
    a craftsman who makes stringed instruments
  183. maelstrom
    a powerful circular current of water
  184. mahout
    the driver and keeper of an elephant
  185. maraschino
    distilled from fermented juice of bitter wild marasca cherries
  186. maxilla
    the jaw in vertebrates that is fused to the cranium
  187. mayonnaise
    egg yolks and oil and vinegar
  188. mediocre
    moderate to inferior in quality
  189. meiosis
    cell division in sexually reproducing organisms
  190. melange
    a motley assortment of things
  191. melee
    a noisy riotous fight
  192. menhaden
    shad-like North American marine fishes used for fish meal and oil and fertilizer
  193. mercerize
    treat to strengthen and improve the luster
  194. merganser
    large crested fish-eating diving duck having a slender hooked bill with serrated edges
  195. Michaelmas
    honoring the archangel Michael
  196. mihrab
    a design in the shape of niche in a Muslim prayer rug
  197. misogynist
    a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular
  198. mistletoe
    Old World parasitic shrub having branching greenish stems with leathery leaves and waxy white glutinous berries; the traditional mistletoe of Christmas
  199. mnemonic
    of or relating to the practice of aiding the memory
  200. moussaka
    casserole of eggplant and ground lamb with onion and tomatoes bound with white sauce and beaten eggs
  201. mozzarella
    mild white Italian cheese
  202. muishond
    southern African weasel
  203. mussitation
    a low continuous indistinct sound
  204. mycology
    the branch of botany that studies fungi and fungus-caused diseases
  205. myocarditis
    inflammation of the myocardium
  206. mystique
    an aura of heightened interest surrounding a person or thing
  207. narcissistic
    having an inflated idea of one's own importance
  208. neuropathy
    any pathology of the peripheral nerves
  209. Nisei
    a person born in the United States of parents who emigrated from Japan
  210. notochord
    a flexible rodlike structure that forms the supporting axis of the body in the lowest chordates and lowest vertebrates and in embryos of higher vertebrates
  211. novillero
    a bullfighter who is required to fight bulls less than four years of age
  212. Occident
    the countries of Europe and North America and South America
  213. ocelot
    nocturnal wildcat of Central America and South America having a dark-spotted buff-brown coat
  214. oligarchic
    of or relating to or supporting or characteristic of an oligarchy
  215. opossum
    nocturnal arboreal marsupial having a naked prehensile tail found from southern North America to northern South America
  216. oriel
    a projecting bay window corbeled or cantilevered out from a wall
  217. ostentatious
    intended to attract notice and impress others
  218. paparazzo
    a freelance photographer who pursues celebrities
  219. paradigm
    a standard or typical example
  220. pasteurize
    heat food in order to kill harmful microorganisms
  221. peccadillo
    a petty misdeed
  222. peculate
    appropriate fraudulently for one's own use
  223. pekoe
    a superior grade of black tea
  224. pelycosaur
    large primitive reptile having a tall spinal sail
  225. Pembroke
    the smaller and straight-legged variety of corgi having pointed ears and a short tail
  226. perennial
    lasting an indefinitely long time
  227. perestroika
    an economic policy adopted in the former Soviet Union
  228. periphery
    the outside boundary or surface of something
  229. pernicious
    exceedingly harmful
  230. pessimum
    of an organism's environment; least favorable for survival
  231. philanthropy
    the act of donating money or time to promote human welfare
  232. philately
    the collection and study of postage stamps
  233. philhellenism
    admiration for Greece and the Greeks and Greek customs
  234. philippic
    a speech of violent denunciation
  235. phlox
    any polemoniaceous plant of the genus Phlox
  236. picaresque
    (of fiction) involving clever rogues or adventurers
  237. pickelhaube
    a spiked helmet worn by German soldiers
  238. pilaster
    a rectangular column that usually projects about a third of its width from the wall to which it is attached
  239. pizzicato
    with a light plucking staccato sound
  240. pneumatic
    relating to or using air or a similar gas
  241. pogrom
    organized persecution of an ethnic group, especially Jews
  242. poignant
    keenly distressing to the mind or feelings
  243. poinsettia
    tropical American plant having poisonous milk and showy tapering usually scarlet petallike leaves surrounding small yellow flowers
  244. portcullis
    an iron or wooden grating hanging in the entry to a castle
  245. precipice
    a very steep cliff
  246. precocious
    characterized by exceptionally early development
  247. prerogative
    a right reserved exclusively by a person or group
  248. presbytery
    building reserved for the officiating clergy
  249. prevaricate
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
  250. prosciutto
    Italian salt-cured ham usually sliced paper thin
  251. protege
    a person who receives support from an influential patron
  252. Proteus
    a prophetic god who served Poseidon
  253. psalmody
    the act of singing psalms or hymns
  254. punctilio
    a fine point of etiquette or petty formality
  255. pyrope
    a deep red garnet used as a gemstone
  256. Qatari
    of or concerning Qatar or its inhabitants
  257. quiddity
    the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is
  258. quinine
    a bitter alkaloid extracted from chinchona bark
  259. quisling
    someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force
  260. rabbinic
    of or relating to rabbis or their teachings
  261. raconteur
    a person skilled in telling anecdotes
  262. raita
    an Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices
  263. rapscallion
    one who is playfully mischievous
  264. ratafia
    sweet liqueur made from wine and brandy flavored with plum or peach or apricot kernels and bitter almonds
  265. recalcitrant
    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
  266. recidivist
    someone who lapses into undesirable patterns of behavior
  267. reconcilable
    capable of being reconciled
  268. Rembrandt
    influential Dutch artist (1606-1669)
  269. Renaissance
    period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages
  270. rendezvous
    a meeting planned at a certain time and place
  271. repertoire
    the range of skills in a particular field or occupation
  272. rococo
    having excessive asymmetrical ornamentation
  273. Rottweiler
    German breed of large vigorous short-haired cattle dogs
  274. rubicelle
    a yellow or orange variety of ruby spinel
  275. sabot
    a shoe carved from a single block of wood
  276. saboteur
    someone who commits sabotage or deliberately causes wrecks
  277. saccadic
    of or related to the rapid movement of the eyes between points of fixation
  278. sacerdotal
    associated with the priesthood or priests
  279. sachem
    a chief of a North American tribe or confederation
  280. salaam
    a deep bow; a Muslim form of salutation
  281. salve
    a preparation applied externally as a soothing remedy
  282. samara
    a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple
  283. samovar
    a metal urn with a spigot at the base
  284. sarsaparilla
    any of various prickly climbing plants of the tropical American genus Smilax having aromatic roots and heart-shaped leaves
  285. sassafras
    yellowwood tree with brittle wood and aromatic leaves and bark; source of sassafras oil; widely distributed in eastern North America
  286. sauerbraten
    pot roast marinated several days in seasoned vinegar before cooking; usually served with potato dumplings
  287. Schadenfreude
    delight in another person's misfortune
  288. scherzo
    a fast movement (usually in triple time)
  289. schipperke
    breed of small stocky black dogs originally used as watchdogs on boats in the Netherlands and Belgium
  290. schottische
    a German round dance resembling a slow polka
  291. sebaceous
    containing an unusual amount of grease or oil
  292. segue
    proceed without interruption, in music or talk
  293. slumgullion
    a thin stew of meat and vegetables
  294. soilure
    the act of soiling something
  295. soliloquy
    speech you make to yourself
  296. solon
    a man who is a respected leader in national or international affairs
  297. springbok
    a South African gazelle noted for springing lightly into the air
  298. styptic
    checking bleeding by contracting tissues or blood vessels
  299. subaqueous
    growing or remaining under water
  300. succotash
    fresh corn and lima beans with butter or cream
  301. surveillance
    close observation of a person or group
  302. susceptible
    yielding readily to or capable of
  303. sylph
    a slender graceful young woman
  304. synchronous
    occurring or existing at the same time
  305. syndic
    one appointed to represent a city or university or corporation in business transactions
  306. tachometer
    measuring instrument for indicating speed of rotation
  307. tachycardia
    abnormally rapid heartbeat (over 100 beats per minute)
  308. tarragon
    aromatic perennial of southeastern Russia
  309. taupe
    a greyish brown
  310. tchotchke
    (Yiddish) an inexpensive showy trinket
  311. telencephalon
    the anterior division of the forebrain
  312. temblor
    shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity
  313. temerarious
    presumptuously daring
  314. terrapin
    any of various edible North American web-footed turtles living in fresh or brackish water
  315. tertiary
    coming third in position
  316. thalassic
    relating to the seas, especially smaller or inland seas
  317. tiramisu
    an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked with coffee and brandy or liqueur layered with mascarpone cheese and topped with grated chocolate
  318. toboggan
    a long narrow sled without runners
  319. tokamak
    a doughnut-shaped chamber used in fusion research
  320. tomography
    (medicine) obtaining pictures of the interior of the body
  321. totipotency
    the ability of a cell to give rise to unlike cells and so to develop a new organism or part
  322. troika
    a Russian carriage pulled by three horses abreast
  323. tuckahoe
    perennial herb of the eastern United States having arrowhead-shaped leaves and an elongate pointed spathe and green berries
  324. ululation
    a long, loud, emotional howl or cry
  325. vaccinee
    a patient who has been vaccinated
  326. vaquero
    local names for a cowboy
  327. verboten
    forbidden or prohibited
  328. virgule
    a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information
  329. visceral
    relating to or affecting the internal organs
  330. viscount
    a British peer who ranks below an earl and above a baron
  331. vivace
    lively, in music
  332. wainscot
    wooden panels that can be used to line the walls of a room
  333. Weimaraner
    large breed of hound having a smooth greyish coat
  334. Wiccan
    of or relating to Wicca
  335. wiesenboden
    a dark meadow soil rich in organic material
  336. witloof
    widely cultivated herb with leaves valued as salad green
  337. xerostomia
    abnormal dryness of the mouth resulting from decreased secretion of saliva
  338. zephyr
    a slight wind
  339. zucchini
    marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small

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