The Star-Spangled Banner

The American National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, is sung at assemblies, before sporting events, and it has even been sung before all the presidential debates this year. The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the war of 1812. Key's words embody a spirit of perseverance that has become essentially linked to the idea of American character and identity. Here are fifteen vocabulary from the entire Star-Spangled Banner, including words from the little-known three additional verses.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. spangled
    covered with beads or jewels or sequins
    The Star-Spangled Banner
    First Verse:
    Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
    Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
  2. hail
    greet enthusiastically or joyfully
    Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
  3. gleaming
    bright with a steady but subdued shining
    Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
  4. perilous
    fraught with danger
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
  5. rampart
    an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
  6. gallantly
    in a heroic or brave manner
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
  7. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    Second Verse:
    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
  8. dread
    fearful expectation or anticipation
    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
  9. repose
    lean in a comfortable resting position
    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
  10. steep
    a place (as on a hill) having a sharp inclination
    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses
  11. vauntingly
    in a boastful manner
    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more!
    Third Verse:
    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more!
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave'
    From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
  12. havoc
    violent and needless disturbance
    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more!
  13. refuge
    a safe place
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave'
    From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
  14. hireling
    a person who works only for money
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave'
    From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
  15. desolation
    sadness resulting from being forsaken or abandoned
    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
    Fourth Verse:
    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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