Select Page

notesenglishvocab

English vocabulary words, unique and seldom-used words


English vocabulary words:

A-A-A-A-A-A-A
• abash: make ashamed, embarrass
• abdicate: renounce or relinquish an office, power, or right
• aberrant: straying, wandering
• abet: encourage, aid, approve
• abeyance: temporary suspension, inactivity
• abject: hopeless, servile, despicable
• abjure: renounce, repudiate
• ablution: washing, cleansing
• abnegate: renounce, deny oneself
• abrogate: repeal or annul by decree
• abscond: hide, depart suddenly
• absolve: pardon, free from penalty
• abstemious: moderate, temperate
• abstruse: difficult to understand
• abysmal: deep, low
• acclivity: upward slope
• acolyte: novice, newcomer
• acquiesce: consent, agree
• acrid: sharp, biting, pungent
• acrimony: bitterness of temper or expression
• acumen: insight, keen perception
• affable: gracious, courteous
• alacrity: cheerful willingness, eager promptitude
• amicable: peaceable, harmonious
• amity: friendship
• anachronism: error in respect to historical dates
• anathema: a curse or denunciation
• animus: a grudge, animosity
• antipathy: dislike
• aplomb: self-confidence, self-assurance
• apocalypse: revelation
• apocryphal: of dubious authenticity, spurious
• apogee: point of greatest orbital distance from Earth
• apotheosis: glorification of a principle or idea
• approbation: approval, commendation
• arable: fit for plowing and tilling
• asperity: harshness of temper, severity
• assiduous: diligent, attentive, unremitting
• auspicious: well-omened, betokening success
• augury: divination, prophecy
• austere: severely simple, unadorned, stern, rigorous
• automaton: one who acts in a monotonous routine manner
• axiom: a self-evident proposition that needs no proof
B-B-B-B-B-B-B
• bailiwick: area of jurisdiction or influence
• balderdash: nonsensical jumble of words
• banal: commonplace, trite
• banshee: wailing spirit that heralds death
• bellicose: warlike, pugnacious
• bombast: high-sounding, stilted words
• boondoggle: useless, unproductive work
• bourgeois: middle-class, tradesman class
• brassy: impudent
• bravado: boastful truculence, swagger
• bromide: a trite remark, platitude
• bucolic: pastoral, rustic
• bumpkin: an awkward fellow
• bumptious: ebullient, brash
• burgeon: sprout buds
• buxom: plump, healthy
C-C-C-C-C-C-C
• cabal: a secret scheme, intrigue
• calumny: a false accusation
• canard: a false story, a hoax
• capacious: roomy
• captious: faultfinding, hypercritical
• castigate: criticize severely
• caveat: a warning, notice to suspend action
• certitude: certainty
• churlish: rude, surly
• clandestine: secret, covert, furtive
• cloying: offensively excessive, insincere
• cogent: convincing, forcible
• comeuppance: humiliating experience
• complicity: state of being an accomplice
• compunction: slight regret, prick of conscience
• concupiscence: sensual appetite or desire
• congruous: well-adapted, appropriate, consistent
• conjugal: pertaining to marriage, connubial
• connubial: pertaining to marriage, conjugal
• consanguinity: relationship by blood
• consummate: complete, perfect
• contumely: contemptuous abuse
• conundrum: a riddle or puzzle
• convivial: jovial, festive
• copious: abundant, plentiful
• coquette: a flirt
• corpulence: fatness, obesity
• coy: showing pretended shyness
• culpable: worthy or deserving of blame
• cupidity: greed, avarice
• curmudgeon: a churlish person
• cursory: hasty, superficial
D-D-D-D-D-D-D
• declivity: downward slope
• decorous: well-behaved, proper, seemly
• demagogue: an unprincipled leader
• demur: take exception, object
• demure: modest, prim, sedate
• denigrate: defame
• denizen: inhabitant
• deprecate: speak against, disapprove
• desultory: lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
• diabolic: devilish, infernal
• diadem: crown
• diametrical: absolute, complete
• diatribe: bitter denunciation
• didactic: instructive
• dilatory: given to delay, procrastinating
• diminutive: small, tiny
• disingenuous: insincere, dishonest, deceitful
• disparagement: slighting, disrespecting
• disparate: different, unequal
• doleful: sorrowful, sad
• dour: hard, inflexible, sour in mien
• doyen: dean, senior member
• draconian: harshly oppressive
• drivel: foolish talk
• dudgeon: resentment, anger
E-E-E-E-E-E-E
• ebullient: greatly excited
• eclectic: deriving from various sources
• effete: worn out, stale
• efficacious: effective, effectual
• effusive: gushing
• egregious: flagrant
• enigma: a riddle, a puzzle
• enmity: hostility, hatred
• ennui: boredom
• ensconce: cover, hide
• eructate: to belch
• erudite: learned
• erudition: learning, knowledge
• eschew: shun
• esoteric: secret, obscure
• euphemism: use of a mild word instead of an offensive one
• execrate: detest, abhor
• execration: denunciation
• exigency: urgency, need
• expunge: erase, destroy
• extirpate: eradicate
F-F-F-F-F-F-F
• factious: contentious
• fallacious: false, misleading, specious
• fastidious: hard to please, over-nice
• fatuous: silly, inane
• faux pas: false step, social blunder, gaffe
• fawning: obsequious, flattering
• fecund: fertile, prolific
• felonious: criminal
• fetid: having an offensive stench
• fiddle-faddle: nonsense, silliness
• filial: pertaining to a son or a daughter
• flippant: disrespectful, treating serious things lightly
• foible: a whimsy, a weakness
• fractious: cross, unruly, peevish
• frenetic: frantic, frenzied
• fulsome: offensively excessive, insincere
G-G-G-G-G-G-G
• gaffe: a social blunder, a faux pas
• gainsay: contradict, dispute
• germane: relevant, closely allied
• gobbledygook: nonsense, fiddle-faddle
• goldbrick: swindle, cheat
• gormandize: eat voraciously
• gregarious: sociable, fond of company
H-H-H-H-H-H-H
• hackneyed: trite, stale, overused
• harangue: tirade, long vehement speech
• haymaker: a knockout punch
• hector: to bully, tease, harass
• hedonism: the belief that pleasure is the highest good
• hegemony: leadership, predominance
• herculean: having or requiring prodigious strength
• horrific: arousing horror or terror
• horsefeathers: nonsense, poppycock
• hubris: arrogance, excessive pride
• hyperbole: exaggeration
I-I-I-I-I-I-I
• iconoclast: one who challenges cherished beliefs
• ignominious: causing or deserving disgrace and humiliation
• immolate: kill as a sacrificial victim
• impeccable: without fault, irreproachable
• impertinent: unmannerly, insolent
• impudent: insolent, saucy, rude
• inane: silly, foolish
• inchoate: rudimentary
• incorrigible: beyond reform
• indefatigable: tireless, not easily fatigued
• indolent: lazy, sluggish
• indomitable: impossible to suppress or discourage
• indurate: hardened
• ineffable: inexpressible, too sacred to speak of
• inexorable: unrelenting
• ingenuous: guileless, candid, sincere
• inimical: harmful, hostile
• importunate: pleading, begging
• innuendo: unfriendly hint, insinuation
• inscrutable: incomprehensible
• insidious: deceitful, treacherous
• insipid: uninteresting, dull
• insolent: rude, disrespectful, insulting
• insouciant: carefree, unconcerned
• insular: provincial, narrow-minded
• interloper: an intruder
• intestate: having made no will upon death
• invective: bitter denunciation, vituperation
• inveigh: make a bitter verbal attack
• inveigle: entice, lead astray
• inveterate: addicted by habit, hardened
• invidious: unfair, hateful, odious
• irascible: hot-tempered
J-J-J-J-J-J-J
• jabberwocky: nonsensical speech
• jackanape: impertinent or obstreperous fellow
• jetsam: goods thrown overboard to lighten a ship
• jocund: cheerful, merry
• juggernaut: an irresistible force
K-K-K-K-K-K-K
• ken: insight, knowledge
• knave: rascal, imp
L-L-L-L-L-L-L
• laconic: saying much with few words, pithy
• languid: sluggish, fatigued, listless
• largess: a liberal gift
• lascivious: lustful, wanton, lewd
• laudatory: praising, complimentary
• legerdemain: sleight of hand, trickery
• lexicon: dictionary
• libation: a ceremonial drink
• libertine: licentious, dissolute, lewd
• libidinous: lewd, lustful
• licentious: lewd, dissolute, immoral
• limpid: transparent, clear, lucid
• lissome: supple
• lithe: pliant, flexible, supple
• loquacious: talkative, verbose
• lugubrious: mournful, dejected, doleful
M-M-M-M-M-M-M
• Machiavellian: ruthless, unscrupulous
• machinate: to plot with evil intent
• magnanimous: generous, noble
• malfeasance: perform a wrongful act
• malinger: feign sickness
• melancholy: gloomy state of mind, depression
• mellifluous: smoothly and sweetly flowing
• mien: bearing, manner, appearance
• minion: obsequious follower, a subordinate
• mollycoddle: pamper
• morass: marsh, bog
• mordant: biting, sarcastic
• mores: customs of behavior
N-N-N-N-N-N-N
• narcissism: self-love, self-praise
• nark: an informer, a snitch
• nefarious: unspeakably wicked
• nepotism: undue favoritism toward relatives
• nonplussed: perplexed, confused
• noisome: ill-smelling, disgusting, injurious
• numinous: spiritually elevated
O-O-O-O-O-O-O
• obdurate: hardhearted, stubborn
• obfuscate: darken, obscure, bewilder
• obsequious: fawning, servile
• obstreperous: noisy, unruly
• odious: repugnant, hateful
• officious: meddling, obtrusive
• omnibus: comprising or providing for many varied interests
• opprobrious: abusive, insulting, vile, reproachful
• ostentation: a pretentious display
P-P-P-P-P-P-P
• palindrome: reading the same forwards and backwards
• panoply: a splendid array
• paradigm: a model or pattern
• paragon: a model of perfection
• parlance: a way of speaking, language
• parsimonious: stingy, greedy
• patronize: treat with condescension
• paucity: scarcity
• penchant: strong inclination, predilection
• penurious: stingy, miserly
• perfidy: treachery, a breach of faith
• perigee: orbital point nearest the earth
• perihelion: orbital point nearest the sun
• perquisite: extra pay, a tip
• perspicacious: mentally acute
• pertinacious: stubbornly holding to an opinion
• philanderer: a flirt
• phlegmatic: apathetic, unexcitable
• piker: a tinhorn, inveterate gambler who bets small amounts
• platitude: a trite, obvious remark
• platonic: solely spiritual, not sensual
• plebeian: pertaining to common people, vulgar
• plenary: full, unqualified, fully constituted
• plenitude: abundance, fullness
* plethora: superabundance
• polemic: argument about doctrine
• pompous: arrogant, prideful, vain
• poppycock: nonsense, vain talk
• portly: fat, stout
• posit: present as a fact, stipulate
• preconcerted: pre-arranged
• presentiment: a foreboding, a premonition
• prig: one who makes a show of virtue, or a thief (slang)
• prestidigitation: sleight of hand
• proclivity: an inclination or tendency
• prodigious: vast, huge
• propitious: kindly disposed, favorable
• pugilism: boxing
• pugnacious: given to fighting, quarrelsome
• pulchritudinous: beautiful
• pule: whine, whimper
• punctilious: scrupulously careful
• pundit: a learned man
• purloin: steal
• pusillanimous: mean-spirited, cowardly
• Pyrrhic victory: a victory gained at too great a cost
Q-Q-Q-Q-Q-Q-Q
• quintessence: the purest essence of anything, the perfect form
• quixotic: overly romantic or chivalrous, impractical
R-R-R-R-R-R-R
• rapacious: greedy, predatory
• recalcitrant: refusing to submit, refractory
• recondite: hard to understand, deep in meaning
• redoubtable: causing dread or respect, formidable
• repast: a meal
• reprehensible: highly blameworthy
• reprobate: unprincipled, wicked
• repugnant: highly distasteful, offensive
• respite: rest, relief, postponement
• reticent: silent, reserved
• ribald: coarsely humorous, vulgar
• rotund: round, obese, portly
• rue: regret, feel sorrow
S-S-S-S-S-S-S
• sacrosanct: exceedingly sacred
* sagacious: wise
• salacious: impure, obscene, lewd
* salubrious: beneficial to one’s health
• salutary: beneficial, helpful
• sanctimonious: hypocritically devout
• sanguine: hopeful, confident, cheerful
• sapient: wise
• sardonic: sneering, sarcastic
• sententious: moralizing in a pompous manner
• sentient: feeling, perceptive
• serendipity: an assumed talent for making accidental discoveries
• shiftless: lazy, indolent
• simony: the selling of ecclesiastical offices or indulgences
• specious: deceptive, misleading, false, fallacious
• squalid: dirty, filthy
• stilted: stiffly formal
• stolid: impassive, unemotional, unexcitable
• strident: harsh, grating
• sullen: morose, gloomy
• sully: stain, defile
• supercilious: haughtily contemptuous
• superfluous: more than is needed, extra
• supernal: lofty, celestial
• surcease: cessation, end
• surly: ill-humored, ill-tempered
• surreptitious: secret, clandestine
• swarthy: dark-complexioned
• sycophant: a toady, a fawning follower
T-T-T-T-T-T-T
• taciturn: saying little, reserved in speech
• tantamount: equivalent in value, force, or effect
• tautology: needless repetition of the same idea or thought
• tawdry: showy, gaudy, cheap
• temerity: boldness, rashness
• tenet: opinion, principle
• tinhorn: an inveterate gambler who bets small amounts, a piker
• titillate: arouse, excite, tantalize
• toady: a servile, fawning person, a sycophant
• tomfoolery: silly or prankish behavior
• transmogrify: transform as if by magic
• trite: stale, hackneyed
• trope: a figure of speech, a metaphor
• truculent: overbearing, cruel
• truncate: reduce in size by cutting off a part
• tryst: a secret meeting between lovers
• turpitude: wickedness, depravity
• twaddle: idle, senseless talk
U-U-U-U-U-U-U
• unctuous: oily, suave
• unflappable: not easily excited or confused
• usury: exorbitant interest charged or received
• uxorious: excessively fond of one’s wife
V-V-V-V-V-V-V
• vacuous: blank, empty, showing no intelligence
• vagary: a capricious or extravagant thought or action
• vapid: lacking animation or flavor
• veracity: truthfulness, accuracy
• verbose: wordy, chatty
• vicissitude: changing of condition or circumstance
• vilify: defame
• vitiate: make faulty or imperfect, contaminate, spoil
• vixen: a female fox, an ill-tempered woman
W-W-W-W-W-W-W
• waif: homeless person
• wanton: wild, reckless, unrestrained
• winsome: charming
• withal: considering everything
• woolgathering: having desultory thoughts that cause inattention
X-X-X-X-X-X-X
• xanthous: yellow, yellow-skinned
• xylography: wood engraving
Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y
• yen: yearning, desire
• yokel: country bumpkin, awkward person
Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z
• zither: a stringed musical instrument

Click here to return to iPhone notes index