Difficult words starting with A

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. accost
    speak to someone
  2. acute
    ending in a sharp point
  3. abstain
    choose not to consume
  4. allegory
    a short moral story
  5. artless
    simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
  6. analgesia
    absence of the sense of pain without loss of consciousness
  7. attrition
    the act of rubbing together
  8. aria
    an elaborate song for solo voice
  9. aquiline
    curved down like an eagle's beak
  10. annals
    a chronological account of events in successive years
  11. absolve
    grant remission of a sin to
  12. apocryphal
    being of questionable authenticity
  13. antediluvian
    of or relating to the period before the biblical flood
  14. animus
    a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility
  15. avarice
    reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth
  16. appall
    strike with disgust or revulsion
  17. ambrosia
    the food and drink of the gods
  18. austral
    of the south or coming from the south
  19. abject
    of the most contemptible kind
  20. affable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
  21. axiom
    a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof
  22. alms
    money or goods contributed to the poor
  23. arcade
    a structure composed of arches supported by columns
  24. accretion
    an increase by natural growth or addition
  25. aloft
    at or on or to the masthead or upper rigging of a ship
  26. abysmal
    resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be immeasurable
  27. ambulatory
    able to walk about
  28. acclivity
    an upward slope or grade, as in a road
  29. acclimate
    get used to a certain environment
  30. amorous
    inclined toward or displaying love
  31. argot
    a characteristic language of a particular group
  32. accede
    yield to another's wish or opinion
  33. alimony
    support paid by one spouse to another after separation
  34. abdicate
    give up, such as power, as of monarchs and emperors
  35. acerbic
    sour or bitter in taste
  36. austere
    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor
  37. acrid
    strong and sharp, as a taste
  38. antecedent
    a preceding occurrence or cause or event
  39. arbitrate
    act between parties with a view to reconciling differences
  40. abate
    become less in amount or intensity
  41. abeyance
    temporary cessation or suspension
  42. accomplice
    a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan
  43. abode
    any address at which you dwell more than temporarily
  44. aspersion
    a disparaging remark
  45. abash
    cause to be embarrassed
  46. ardor
    feelings of great warmth and intensity
  47. ascetic
    someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline
  48. allegiance
    the act of binding yourself to a course of action
  49. acumen
    shrewdness shown by keen insight
  50. alliteration
    use of the same consonant at the beginning of each word
  51. agape
    with the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe
  52. avant-garde
    radically new or original
  53. amphitheater
    an oval large stadium with tiers of seats
  54. apothegm
    a short pithy instructive saying
  55. adage
    a condensed but memorable saying embodying an important fact
  56. abrogate
    revoke formally
  57. amulet
    a trinket thought to be a magical protection against evil
  58. anarchy
    a state of lawlessness and disorder
  59. arroyo
    a stream or brook
  60. aphasia
    inability to use language because of a brain lesion
  61. apologist
    a person who argues to defend some policy or institution
  62. affluence
    abundant wealth
  63. actuate
    put in motion
  64. accentuate
    to stress, single out as important
  65. abjure
    formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief
  66. arduous
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion
  67. ameliorate
    to make better
  68. assiduous
    marked by care and persistent effort
  69. atrocity
    an act of shocking cruelty
  70. approbation
    official approval
  71. allure
    the power to entice or attract through personal charm
  72. acrimonious
    marked by strong resentment or cynicism
  73. abridge
    lessen, diminish, or curtail
  74. amazon
    a large, strong, and aggressive woman
  75. aghast
    struck with fear, dread, or consternation
  76. apiary
    a shed containing a number of beehives
  77. aviary
    a building where birds are kept
  78. amok
    wildly; without self-control
  79. anneal
    bring to a desired consistency by heating and cooling
  80. authoritarian
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
  81. avocation
    an auxiliary activity
  82. antagonism
    an actively expressed feeling of dislike and hostility
  83. acclaim
    enthusiastic approval
  84. acme
    the highest point of something
  85. acidulous
    being sour to the taste
  86. admonish
    scold or reprimand; take to task
  87. auroral
    characteristic of the dawn
  88. amity
    a state of friendship and cordiality
  89. alacrity
    liveliness and eagerness
  90. azure
    of a deep somewhat purplish blue color
  91. askew
    turned or twisted to one side
  92. askance
    with suspicion or disapproval
  93. anthology
    a collection of selected literary passages
  94. avuncular
    being or relating to an uncle
  95. ascendancy
    the state when one person or group has power over another
  96. avalanche
    a sudden appearance of an overwhelming number of things
  97. aureole
    the outermost region of the sun's atmosphere
  98. apogee
    the farthest point in an orbit around the Earth
  99. artifice
    a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture
  100. aplomb
    great coolness and composure under strain
  101. adjuration
    a solemn and earnest appeal to someone to do something
  102. advert
    a public promotion of some product or service
  103. annotate
    add explanatory notes to or supply with critical comments
  104. anoint
    administer an oil or ointment to
  105. annuity
    income from capital investment paid regularly
  106. abstruse
    difficult to penetrate
  107. aseptic
    free of pathological microorganisms
  108. arcane
    requiring secret or mysterious knowledge
  109. amenities
    things that make you comfortable and at ease
  110. artisan
    a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft
  111. accolade
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
  112. atrophy
    a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse
  113. avow
    to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
  114. allege
    report or maintain
  115. archaic
    so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period
  116. adjunct
    something added to another thing but not essential to it
  117. appellation
    identifying words by which someone or something is called
  118. astute
    marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
  119. armada
    a large fleet
  120. acrophobia
    a morbid fear of great heights
  121. apparition
    a ghostly appearing figure
  122. amble
    walk leisurely
  123. alcove
    a small recess opening off a larger room
  124. adept
    having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
  125. adventitious
    associated by chance and not an integral part
  126. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
  127. annul
    cancel officially
  128. apposite
    being of striking appropriateness and pertinence
  129. anvil
    a heavy block on which hot metals are shaped by hammering
  130. acquiesce
    to agree or express agreement
  131. archipelago
    a group of many islands in a large body of water
  132. aegis
    armor plate that protects the chest
  133. atavism
    a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
  134. apoplexy
    a loss of consciousness from the lack of oxygen in the brain
  135. assay
    a test of a substance to determine its components
  136. arsenal
    all the weapons and equipment that a country has
  137. amiable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
  138. agnostic
    a person who claims the existence of God is unknowable
  139. aberrant
    markedly different from an accepted norm
  140. astral
    being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars
  141. augment
    enlarge or increase
  142. abortive
    failing to accomplish an intended result
  143. agglomeration
    the act of collecting in a mass
  144. august
    profoundly honored
  145. abyss
    a bottomless gulf or pit
  146. amenable
    disposed or willing to comply
  147. antecede
    be earlier in time; go back further
  148. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
  149. awl
    a pointed tool for marking surfaces or for punching holes
  150. ascribe
    attribute or credit to
  151. anticlimax
    a disappointing decline after a previous rise
  152. apotheosis
    model of excellence or perfection of a kind
  153. aloof
    remote in manner
  154. arid
    lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless
  155. aboriginal
    having existed from the beginning
  156. apostate
    not faithful to religion or party or cause
  157. asperity
    harshness of manner
  158. abhor
    find repugnant
  159. affront
    a deliberately offensive act
  160. archetype
    something that serves as a model

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.