Essential Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students: List 1

Whether you're hoping to improve your comprehension of reading assignments or simply looking to increase your word knowledge, our lists of essential, high-frequency words will put you on the path to vocabulary success.

Here are links to our lists for the collection: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4, List 5, List 6, List 7, List 8, List 9, List 10
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. adversary
    someone who offers opposition
    They hurled themselves upon the enemy, sparrows and shrews siding them against their larger adversaries.Redwall
  2. circumference
    the size of something as given by the distance around it
    She tries to gauge its trunk size by wrapping her arms around maybe a third of its circumference.Washington Post (Oct 23, 2017)
  3. commotion
    a disorderly outburst or tumult
    He told her he was buying meatballs outside his high-rise in Phnom Penh, the capital, when she heard a commotion, a series of bangs and shouts.Los Angeles Times (Dec 29, 2020)
  4. copious
    large in number or quantity
    Whatever the recipe, she shook in copious quantities of garlic powder and salt.Washington Post (May 3, 2019)
  5. exasperation
    a feeling of annoyance
    Ben threw up his hands in exasperation, almost despair.The Great Santini
  6. headway
    forward movement
    At times, you feel like you’re struggling to run forward, going through the motions but making no headway, frozen in place.Washington Post
  7. muster
    summon up, call forth, or bring together
    Fans chanted and hollered and enriched the arena with as much life as they could possibly muster.New York Times (Dec 10, 2014)
  8. serenity
    the absence of mental stress or anxiety
    A strange feeling of serenity and confidence was sweeping over her and all of a sudden she found that she was frightened by nobody in the world.Matilda
  9. stamina
    enduring strength and energy
    A 6-year-old might not want to walk the mile into Petra, but teenagers have enough physical and intellectual stamina to appreciate going to these places.­New York Times (Dec 5, 2014)
  10. translucent
    allowing light to pass through diffusely
    When in bloom, the plant produces long white petals and a translucent back lip that, when held up against a light, reveals intricate thread-like plant fibers.Washington Times (Jan 26, 2020)
Created on January 12, 2021 (updated January 13, 2021)

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