Essential Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students, List 3

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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definitions & notes only words
  1. apprehensive
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    She looks apprehensive, twisting her fingers and avoiding making eye contact.Water for Elephants
  2. concoction
    an occurrence of an unusual mixture
    Mr. T let us feed our plant any concoction we wanted to over the course of a week.Because of Mr. Terupt
  3. disdain
    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
    The eyes of the other sailors are on me, and I can’t tell if their stares hold approval or disdain.Challenger Deep
  4. falter
    be or become weak, unsteady, or uncertain
    Just as they were approaching stability, winning four of five in a stretch that began with a Week 10 victory against Seattle, they faltered at home against the winless Jets.New York Times (Dec 27, 2020)
  5. malleable
    capable of being shaped or bent
    She made the decorated pins herself, melting and molding malleable plastic into interesting shapes, seated at a picnic table in her backyard a few weekends ago.Saints and Misfits
  6. materialize
    come into being; become reality
    “For sure,” Mapper said, narrowing his eyes at the drawing as if a master attack plan would materialize if he just squinted it into existence.Dactyl Hill Squad
  7. obscure
    make unclear or less visible
    The explanation for the declines — mostly high housing costs because of severe limits on new construction — obscures other forces that were destabilizing the traditional office market.New York Times (Jan 4, 2021)
  8. omniscient
    knowing, seeing, or understanding everything
    His omniscient, controlled voice felt godlike and all-knowing, free from authorial editorializing.The Guardian (Aug 5, 2020)
  9. somber
    grave or even gloomy in character
    He sounded unhappy, and there was a somber look on his face.The Chosen
  10. unsightly
    unpleasant to look at
    Despite its passing resemblance to the lobster, it should on no account be eaten, as its flesh is unfit for human consumption and will result in a high fever and an unsightly greenish rash.Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Created on January 12, 2021 (updated January 13, 2021)

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