Vocab Video Contest (2016) - List 1

Vocabulary.com and the New York Times Learning Network have teamed up to launch a Vocabulary Video contest. Just create a short (15 seconds or less) video that defines or teaches any of the words in the Times' Word of the Day collection, post it online, and submit a link to your video in the comments section of the announcement. Click on these links to learn more about the eligible words: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4, List 5, and List 6.
Read more...

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. aberrant
    markedly different from an accepted norm
  2. abominable
    unequivocally detestable
  3. aboriginal
    having existed from the beginning
  4. abrasive
    causing irritation or erosion by friction
  5. abscond
    run away, often taking something or somebody along
  6. abstinence
    the trait of refraining from something, especially alcohol
  7. abysmal
    so deep as to be immeasurable
  8. accessory
    a supplementary component that improves capability
  9. acclimate
    get used to a certain environment
  10. accretion
    an increase by natural growth or addition
  11. acidulous
    being sour to the taste
  12. acme
    the highest point of something
  13. acoustics
    the study of the physical properties of sound
  14. acquittal
    a judgment of not guilty
  15. acrophobia
    a morbid fear of great heights
  16. actuarial
    relating to statistics to calculate insurance premiums
  17. acuity
    sharpness of vision
  18. addendum
    textual matter that is added onto a publication
  19. addiction
    being dependent on something habit-forming
  20. addled
    confused and vague; used especially of thinking
  21. adherent
    someone who believes and helps to spread a doctrine
  22. adjutant
    an officer who acts as an assistant to a more senior officer
  23. adulterate
    make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
  24. adventitious
    associated by chance and not an integral part
  25. aerie
    the lofty nest of a bird of prey, such as a hawk or eagle
  26. affidavit
    written declaration made under oath
  27. affliction
    a cause of great suffering and distress
  28. affluence
    abundant wealth
  29. agape
    with the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe
  30. agglomeration
    the act of collecting in a mass
  31. aggrandize
    embellish; increase the scope, power, or importance of
  32. agility
    the gracefulness of a quick and nimble person or animal
  33. agnostic
    a person who claims the existence of God is unknowable
  34. agog
    highly excited
  35. alchemy
    a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times
  36. alimentary
    of or providing nourishment
  37. allay
    lessen the intensity of or calm
  38. allegiance
    the act of binding yourself to a course of action
  39. allegory
    a short moral story
  40. alloy
    a mixture containing two or more metallic elements
  41. altruistic
    showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others
  42. amalgamate
    bring or combine together or with something else
  43. ambiguous
    having more than one possible meaning
  44. ambulatory
    able to walk about
  45. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
  46. amnesty
    a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
  47. amok
    wildly; without self-control
  48. amorally
    without regard for the distinction between right and wrong
  49. amphitheater
    an oval large stadium with tiers of seats
  50. amulet
    a trinket thought to be a magical protection against evil
  51. analogy
    drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
  52. anecdote
    short account of an incident
  53. anesthetic
    a drug that causes temporary loss of bodily sensations
  54. annex
    attach to
  55. annotate
    add explanatory notes to or supply with critical comments
  56. annul
    cancel officially
  57. anoint
    administer an oil or ointment to, often ceremonially
  58. anomalous
    deviating from the general or common order or type
  59. anomaly
    deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule
  60. anonymity
    the state of being unknown
  61. antagonism
    an actively expressed feeling of dislike and hostility
  62. anthem
    a song of devotion or loyalty
  63. anthropomorphic
    suggesting human features for animals or inanimate things
  64. antithesis
    exact opposite
  65. anvil
    a heavy block on which hot metals are shaped by hammering
  66. aphasia
    inability to use language because of a brain lesion
  67. apogee
    the farthest point in an orbit around the Earth
  68. apolitical
    neutral with regards to government policy
  69. apologist
    a person who argues to defend some policy or institution
  70. apostate
    not faithful to religion or party or cause
  71. apparition
    a ghostly appearing figure
  72. appurtenance
    equipment consisting of miscellaneous articles
  73. aquiline
    curved down like an eagle's beak
  74. arboretum
    a facility where trees and shrubs are cultivated
  75. argot
    a characteristic language of a particular group
  76. aria
    an elaborate song for solo voice
  77. aristocracy
    a privileged class holding hereditary titles
  78. armada
    a large fleet
  79. arrhythmic
    lacking a steady beat or accent
  80. arrogance
    overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner
  81. arroyo
    a stream or brook
  82. arsenal
    all the weapons and equipment that a country has
  83. artifact
    a man-made object
  84. artifice
    the use of deception or trickery
  85. artless
    simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
  86. ashen
    pale from illness or emotion
  87. askance
    with suspicion or disapproval
  88. aspirant
    an ambitious young person
  89. assay
    a test of a substance to determine its components
  90. assumption
    the act of taking something for granted
  91. assurance
    a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
  92. asteroid
    a small celestial body composed of rock and metal
  93. astral
    being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars
  94. asunder
    into parts or pieces
  95. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
  96. asymmetric
    characterized by lack of balance in the arrangement of parts
  97. atavism
    a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
  98. atone
    turn away from sin or do penitence
  99. attentive
    taking heed
  100. atypical
    not representative of a group, class, or type
  101. audit
    examine carefully for accuracy
  102. austere
    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor
  103. authenticate
    establish the undisputed credibility of something
  104. authoritarian
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
  105. authoritative
    of recognized power or excellence
  106. automaton
    a mechanism that can move independently of external control
  107. autonomous
    existing as an independent entity
  108. auxiliary
    furnishing added support
  109. avenge
    take action in return for a perceived wrong
  110. aversion
    a feeling of intense dislike
  111. aviary
    a building where birds are kept
  112. avow
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
  113. awry
    turned or twisted to one side
  114. babble
    utter meaningless sounds
  115. bacchanalian
    used of riotously drunken merrymaking
  116. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals
  117. balk
    refuse to comply
  118. bandy
    discuss lightly
  119. bantering
    cleverly amusing in tone
  120. bard
    a lyric poet
  121. barefaced
    with no effort to conceal
  122. barrage
    the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area
  123. barrister
    a British lawyer who speaks in the higher courts of law
  124. bawdy
    humorously vulgar
  125. bedraggled
    limp, untidy, and soiled
  126. befuddle
    be confusing or perplexing to
  127. begrudge
    be envious of or feel annoyance toward
  128. beguile
    attract; cause to be enamored
  129. beholden
    under a moral obligation to someone
  130. behoove
    be appropriate or necessary
  131. bemoan
    regret strongly
  132. bemused
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
  133. bereaved
    sorrowful through loss or deprivation
  134. bereavement
    state of sorrow over the death or departure of a loved one
  135. berserk
    frenzied as if possessed by a demon
  136. besiege
    surround so as to force to give up
  137. bevy
    a flock of birds
  138. bicker
    argue over petty things
  139. bifurcate
    split or divide into two
  140. bifurcated
    divided into or made up of two parts
  141. bigotry
    intolerance and prejudice
  142. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
  143. blare
    make a loud noise
  144. blighted
    affected by something that prevents growth or prosperity
  145. blowhard
    a very boastful and talkative person
  146. bludgeon
    a club used as a weapon
  147. bluff
    a high steep bank
  148. bode
    indicate by signs
  149. bohemian
    a nonconformist who lives an unconventional life
  150. bolt
    a screw that screws into a nut to form a fastener
  151. bombastic
    ostentatiously lofty in style
  152. bountiful
    producing in abundance
  153. bovine
    any of various wild or domestic cattle
  154. bowdlerize
    edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
  155. braggadocio
    vain and empty boasting
  156. braggart
    a very boastful and talkative person
  157. brawn
    the trait of possessing muscular strength
  158. brazen
    unrestrained by convention or propriety
  159. brevity
    the attribute of being short or fleeting
  160. brindled
    having a gray or brown streak or a patchy coloring
  161. bristle
    a stiff hair
  162. brook
    a natural stream of water smaller than a river
  163. browse
    feed as in a meadow or pasture
  164. brunt
    the main part, especially of a force or shock
  165. buccaneer
    someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea
  166. buffoonery
    acting like a clown
  167. bugaboo
    an imaginary monster used to frighten children
  168. bureaucracy
    a government administered primarily by nonelective officials
  169. burnish
    polish and make shiny
  170. cabal
    a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue
  171. cacophonous
    having an unpleasant sound
  172. cadaverous
    of or relating to a corpse
  173. calorific
    heat-generating
  174. candor
    the quality of being honest and straightforward
  175. cant
    a slope in the turn of a road or track
  176. cantankerous
    stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
  177. canter
    a smooth three-beat gait
  178. capillary
    a minute blood vessel connecting arterioles with venules
  179. caprice
    a sudden desire
  180. caption
    brief description accompanying an illustration
  181. carafe
    a bottle with a stopper, for serving wine or water
  182. carapace
    hard outer covering or case of certain organisms
  183. carat
    a unit of measurement for the proportion of gold in an alloy
  184. caricature
    a representation of a person exaggerated for comic effect
  185. carnal
    of or relating to the body or flesh
  186. carnivorous
    relating to flesh-eating animals
  187. carouse
    engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
  188. carping
    persistent petty and unjustified criticism
  189. cartographer
    a person who makes maps
  190. cascade
    a small waterfall or series of small waterfalls
  191. caste
    a hereditary social class among Hindus
  192. catcall
    a cry expressing disapproval
  193. catechism
    an elementary book summarizing the principles of a religion
  194. cathartic
    emotionally purging
  195. caulk
    a waterproof filler and sealant used in building and repair
  196. causal
    involving an entity that produces an effect
  197. cauterize
    burn, sear, or freeze using a hot iron or electric current
  198. cede
    give over
  199. censor
    a person authorized to suppress unacceptable material
  200. censorious
    harshly critical or expressing censure
  201. centigrade
    temperature scale on which water freezes at 0 degrees
  202. centrifuge
    an apparatus that separates particles from a suspension
  203. centurion
    leader of soldiers in ancient Rome
  204. cerebration
    the process of using one's mind to consider something
  205. ceremonious
    characterized by pomp and stately display
  206. chafe
    become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
  207. champion
    someone who has won first place in a competition
  208. chaotic
    completely unordered and unpredictable and confusing
  209. chauvinist
    a person with a prejudiced belief in his own superiority
  210. cherubic
    having a sweet nature befitting an angel
  211. chide
    scold or reprimand severely or angrily
  212. chimerical
    like a grotesque product of the imagination
  213. chisel
    an edge tool with a flat steel blade with a cutting edge
  214. chivalrous
    attentive and honorable like an ideal knight
  215. chortle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
  216. circlet
    a small ring-shaped object
  217. circumlocution
    an indirect way of expressing something
  218. circumscribe
    draw a geometric figure around another figure
  219. clairvoyant
    someone who can perceive things not present to the senses
  220. clamor
    utter or proclaim insistently and noisily
  221. clandestine
    conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
  222. clangor
    a loud resonant repeating noise
  223. clarion
    loud and clear
  224. cleft
    a long narrow opening
  225. clientele
    customers collectively
  226. climactic
    consisting of or causing a decisive moment
  227. clime
    the weather in some location averaged over a period of time
  228. cloister
    residence that is a place of religious seclusion
  229. clout
    (boxing) a blow with the fist
  230. cloying
    overly sweet
  231. coagulate
    change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state
  232. coalition
    the union of diverse things into one body or form or group
  233. coddle
    cook in nearly boiling water
  234. codify
    organize into a system, such as a body of law
  235. coercion
    using force to cause something to occur
  236. cog
    tooth on the rim of gear wheel
  237. cogitate
    consider carefully and deeply
  238. cognate
    related by blood
  239. cognizance
    the state or act of having knowledge of
  240. cohabit
    share living quarters
  241. cohesion
    the state of sticking together
  242. cohort
    a band of warriors
  243. coiffure
    the arrangement of the hair
  244. coincidence
    the property of two things happening at the same time
  245. collate
    assemble in proper sequence
  246. collateral
    accompanying; following as a consequence
  247. collation
    assembling in proper numerical or logical sequence
  248. comatose
    in a state of deep and usually prolonged unconsciousness
  249. comely
    according with custom or propriety
  250. comestible
    suitable for use as food
Created on January 20, 2016 (updated January 25, 2016)

Sign up, it's free!

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