Vocab Video Contest (2016) - List 4 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.
250 words 11 learners

Learn words with Flashcards and other activities

Full list of words from this list:

  1. jollity
    feeling jovial and full of good humor
  2. jovial
    full of or showing high-spirited merriment
  3. judicious
    marked by the exercise of common sense in practical matters
  4. junta
    a group of officers who rule a country after seizing power
  5. jurisprudence
    the branch of philosophy concerned with the law
  6. kernel
    a single whole grain of a cereal
  7. killjoy
    someone who spoils the pleasure of others
  8. kindred
    group of people related by blood or marriage
  9. kleptomaniac
    someone with an irrational urge to steal
  10. knead
    use the hands to mix and work something into a uniform mass
  11. knell
    the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death
  12. kudos
    an expression of approval and commendation
  13. labile
    liable to change
  14. laborious
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion
  15. laceration
    the act of tearing irregularly
  16. lagoon
    a body of water cut off from a larger body by a reef
  17. laity
    members of a religious community who are not clergy
  18. lampoon
    ridicule with satire
  19. lancet
    a surgical knife with a pointed double-edged blade
  20. languor
    inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy
  21. lank
    long and thin and often limp
  22. larder
    a small storeroom for storing foods or wines
  23. largess
    liberality in bestowing gifts
  24. lascivious
    driven by lust
  25. latent
    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
  26. laud
    praise, glorify, or honor
  27. lectern
    desk or stand with a slanted top used to hold a text
  28. legerdemain
    an illusory feat
  29. leniency
    a disposition to yield to the wishes of someone
  30. leonine
    of or characteristic of or resembling a lion
  31. levee
    an embankment built to prevent a river from overflowing
  32. levitate
    cause to rise in the air and float
  33. levy
    impose and collect
  34. lewd
    suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
  35. lexicographer
    a compiler or writer of a dictionary
  36. lexicon
    a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words
  37. liability
    the state of being legally obliged and responsible
  38. liaison
    a means of communication between groups
  39. libel
    a false and malicious publication
  40. libertine
    unrestrained by convention or morality
  41. licentious
    lacking moral discipline
  42. lien
    the right to take and hold the property of a debtor
  43. limber
    easily bent
  44. limpid
    clear and bright
  45. lineament
    the characteristic parts of a person's face
  46. linguistic
    consisting of or related to language
  47. litany
    a prayer led by clergy with responses from the congregation
  48. lithe
    moving and bending with ease
  49. litigation
    a legal proceeding in a court
  50. longevity
    the property of having lived for a considerable time
  51. lope
    run easily
  52. lout
    an awkward, foolish person
  53. lucid
    transparently clear; easily understandable
  54. lucre
    informal terms for money
  55. lugubrious
    excessively mournful
  56. lunar
    of or relating to or associated with the moon
  57. luster
    the property of something that shines with reflected light
  58. lustrous
    reflecting light
  59. luxuriate
    enjoy to excess
  60. macabre
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
  61. machination
    a crafty and involved plot to achieve your ends
  62. magisterial
    of or relating to a civil officer who administers the law
  63. magnanimity
    nobility and generosity of spirit
  64. maim
    injure or wound seriously and leave permanent disfiguration
  65. malcontent
    dissatisfied as toward authority
  66. malefactor
    someone who has committed a crime
  67. malfeasance
    wrongful conduct by a public official
  68. malicious
    having the nature of threatening evil
  69. malignant
    dangerous to health
  70. malingerer
    someone shirking duty by feigning illness or incapacity
  71. malleable
    capable of being shaped or bent
  72. malodorous
    having an unpleasant smell
  73. manifestation
    a clear appearance
  74. manumit
    free from slavery or servitude
  75. marital
    of or relating to the state of marriage
  76. maritime
    relating to ships or navigation
  77. marshal
    a military officer of highest rank
  78. marsupial
    a mammal the female of which has a pouch carrying the young
  79. masochist
    someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment
  80. masticate
    bite and grind with the teeth
  81. matriarch
    a female head of a family or tribe
  82. matriculate
    enroll as a student
  83. mealy-mouthed
    hesitant to state facts or opinions simply and directly as from e.g. timidity or hypocrisy
  84. meditation
    continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject
  85. megalomania
    a psychological state characterized by delusions of grandeur
  86. melee
    a noisy riotous fight
  87. memorialize
    be or provide a monument to a person or an event
  88. mendacious
    given to lying
  89. mendicant
    a pauper who lives by begging
  90. mercantile
    relating to or characteristic of trade or traders
  91. mercurial
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
  92. metaphysical
    pertaining to the philosophical study of being and knowing
  93. miasma
    an unwholesome atmosphere
  94. migrant
    traveler who moves from one region or country to another
  95. militate
    have force or influence; bring about an effect or change
  96. mimicry
    imitative behavior
  97. minatory
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
  98. mincing
    affectedly dainty or refined
  99. minuscule
    very small
  100. mirage
    optical illusion in which hot air distorts distant objects
  101. misadventure
    an instance of misfortune
  102. misapprehension
    an understanding of something that is not correct
  103. miserly
    characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity
  104. mishap
    an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate
  105. misogynist
    a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular
  106. missile
    a weapon that is forcibly thrown or projected at a target
  107. missive
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
  108. mite
    small arachnid that infests animals, plants, or stored foods
  109. mnemonic
    of or relating to the practice of aiding the memory
  110. modish
    in the current fashion or style
  111. molecule
    the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
  112. mollify
    cause to be more favorably inclined
  113. molt
    cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers
  114. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  115. monastic
    relating to life in an isolated religious community
  116. monolithic
    imposing in size or bulk or solidity
  117. monotheism
    belief in a single God
  118. monotony
    the quality of wearisome constancy and lack of variety
  119. monumental
    of outstanding significance
  120. moodiness
    a sullen gloomy feeling
  121. mortician
    one whose business is the management of funerals
  122. mosaic
    design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
  123. mote
    a tiny piece of anything
  124. motility
    ability to move spontaneously and independently
  125. mountebank
    a flamboyant deceiver
  126. muddle
    make clouded as with sediment
  127. muggy
    hot or warm and humid
  128. multiform
    occurring in or having many shapes or appearances
  129. multilingual
    using or knowing more than one language
  130. multiplicity
    the property of having more than one part or entity
  131. musty
    covered with or smelling of mold
  132. mutability
    the quality of being capable of change
  133. mutinous
    characterized by a rebellion against authority
  134. myopic
    unable to see distant objects clearly
  135. narcissist
    someone who is excessively self-centered
  136. natty
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
  137. navigable
    able to be sailed on or through safely
  138. nebulous
    lacking definite form or limits
  139. negligence
    failure to act with the prudence of a reasonable person
  140. neologism
    a newly invented word or phrase
  141. nepotism
    favoritism shown to relatives or friends by those in power
  142. nettle
    plant having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation
  143. nexus
    the means of connection between things linked in series
  144. nicety
    conformity with some standard of correctness or propriety
  145. niggle
    worry unnecessarily or excessively
  146. nirvana
    the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation
  147. nocturnal
    belonging to or active during the night
  148. noisome
    causing or able to cause nausea
  149. nomenclature
    a system of words used to name things in a discipline
  150. nonchalance
    the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care
  151. noncommittal
    refusing to bind oneself to a particular course of action
  152. notoriety
    the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality
  153. nullify
    declare invalid
  154. nutrient
    any substance that can be metabolized to give energy
  155. oaf
    an awkward, foolish person
  156. obese
    excessively large
  157. obfuscate
    make obscure or unclear
  158. objective
    the goal intended to be attained
  159. oblique
    slanting or inclined in direction or course or position
  160. oblivion
    the state of being disregarded or forgotten
  161. obsequious
    attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
  162. obsessive
    characterized by an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation
  163. obtuse
    of an angle, between 90 and 180 degrees
  164. occult
    supernatural forces and events and beings collectively
  165. odorous
    having a characteristic aroma
  166. offensive
    unpleasant or disgusting especially to the senses
  167. offhand
    with little or no preparation or forethought
  168. officious
    intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
  169. ogle
    stare or look at, especially with amorous intentions
  170. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
  171. omnipotent
    having unlimited power
  172. omnipresent
    existing everywhere at once
  173. onomatopoeia
    using words that imitate the sound they denote
  174. opaque
    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
  175. opiate
    a narcotic drug
  176. opportunist
    a person who places expediency above principle
  177. optician
    a worker who makes glasses for remedying defects of vision
  178. optional
    possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
  179. opulence
    wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
  180. orator
    a person who delivers a speech
  181. ordination
    the act of conferring holy orders
  182. ornithologist
    a scientist who studies birds
  183. orthodox
    adhering to what is commonly accepted
  184. oscillate
    move or swing from side to side regularly
  185. outspoken
    given to expressing yourself freely or insistently
  186. outstrip
    go far ahead of
  187. outwit
    beat through cleverness
  188. overblown
    puffed up with vanity
  189. overwrought
    deeply agitated especially from emotion
  190. ovoid
    rounded like an egg
  191. pacifist
    someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes
  192. pacify
    ease the anger, agitation, or strong emotion of
  193. palate
    the surface of the mouth separating oral and nasal cavities
  194. palatial
    relating to or being a large and stately residence
  195. paleontology
    the earth science that studies fossil organisms
  196. palette
    a board on which an artist mixes paints
  197. palimpsest
    a manuscript on which more than one text has been written
  198. pall
    burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped
  199. pallet
    a hand tool with a flat blade for mixing and shaping clay
  200. palliate
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
  201. pallid
    pale, as of a person's complexion
  202. pandemic
    existing everywhere
  203. panegyric
    formally expressing praise
  204. parable
    a short moral story
  205. paradigm
    a standard or typical example
  206. paradox
    a statement that contradicts itself
  207. parallelism
    similarity by virtue of corresponding
  208. paranoia
    a mental disorder characterized by delusions of persecution
  209. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
  210. parasite
    an animal or plant that lives in or on a host
  211. parlance
    a manner of speaking natural to a language's native speakers
  212. parley
    a negotiation between enemies
  213. parry
    impede the movement of
  214. partial
    being or affecting only a segment
  215. partiality
    an inclination to favor one group or view over alternatives
  216. partition
    separation by the creation of a boundary that divides
  217. passive
    lacking in energy or will
  218. pathos
    a quality that arouses emotions, especially pity or sorrow
  219. patois
    a regional dialect of a language
  220. pauper
    a person who is very poor
  221. pedantic
    marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
  222. pediatrician
    a medical specialist in the care of children
  223. pell-mell
    in a wild or reckless manner
  224. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
  225. penury
    a state of extreme poverty or destitution
  226. peon
    a laborer who is obliged to do menial work
  227. perceptive
    of or relating to awareness via the senses
  228. percussion
    the act of exploding a detonator that explodes when struck
  229. peregrination
    traveling or wandering around
  230. peremptory
    putting an end to all debate or action
  231. perfidious
    tending to betray
  232. perforate
    make a hole into or between, as for ease of separation
  233. peripheral
    on or near an edge or constituting an outer boundary
  234. peroration
    the concluding section of a rhetorical address
  235. pervasive
    spreading or spread throughout
  236. pessimism
    a general disposition to expect the worst in all things
  237. petulant
    easily irritated or annoyed
  238. philanderer
    a man who likes many women
  239. philatelist
    a collector and student of postage stamps
  240. philology
    the humanistic study of language and literature
  241. phoenix
    a legendary bird that burned to death and emerged reborn
  242. piecemeal
    one thing at a time
  243. piety
    righteousness by virtue of being religiously devout
  244. pigment
    dry coloring material
  245. pitfall
    an unforeseen or unexpected or surprising difficulty
  246. pithy
    concise and full of meaning
  247. pivotal
    being of crucial importance
  248. placebo
    an innocuous or inert medication
  249. plagiarize
    take without referencing from someone's writing or speech
  250. plait
    a hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
Created on January 20, 2016 (updated January 25, 2016)

Sign up now (it’s free!)

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, can put you or your class on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.