100 Words You Should Know To Expand Your Vocabulary


These days a lot of people don’t even know the difference between “their” and “there”.

People are using sources like urban dictionary more often than a real dictionary. With new words like “bae”, “ratchet” and “fleek” in our vocabulary, the written English language has degraded itself to a colloquial form of expression worsened by the usage of the internet. We wouldn’t say we’re experts on vocabulary, but just like any other form of art, your English needs to be built upon year after year. There’s never a point where you just stop learning.

When you were a kid, did you ever read a book that was too difficult for you? Did you stop to look up the words in the dictionary and henceforth on you began to use it in your daily vocabulary to make yourself sound smarter? This is what we’re encouraging you to do again. Pick a few words a day, and add it into your daily vocab. If you overcome the assiduous workload of learning, you will reap the rewards years down the road. (See what we did there?)

Come on a journey with us and save the English language. If you’re a passionate reader, you should know that languages need to be preserved. Years down the road we don’t want to be resorting to books such as “Twilight” to teach to our future generation.

Here’s what you do, take one or two words from the vocabulary list below and memorize their meanings. Try to use it in your speech or your writing at least once or twice! Don’t underestimate your memory when you’re young — when you’re older it will get a lot harder.

100 words you should know to save the English language

  1. abjure(v.)
    to reject, renounce (To prove his honesty, the president abjured the evil policies of his wicked predecessor.)
  2. abscond(v)
    to leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection of or an arrest for an unlawful action such as theft (she absconded with the remaining thousand dollars)
  3. acumen(n.)
    keen insight (Because of his mathematical acumen, Larry was able to figure out in minutes problems that took other students hours.)
  4. adumbrate(v.)
    indicate faintly; report or represent in outline (James Madison adumbrated the necessity that the Senate be somewhat insulated from public passions)
  5. alacrity(n.)
    eagerness, speed (For some reason, Chuck loved to help his mother whenever he could, so when his mother asked him to set the table, he did so with alacrity.)
  6. anathema(n.)
    a cursed, detested person (I never want to see that murderer. He is an anathema to me.)
  7. assiduous(adj.)
    hard-working, diligent (The construction workers erected the skyscraper during two years of assiduous labor.)
  8. burnish(v.)
    to polish, shine (His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.)
  9. cajole(v.)
    to urge, coax (Fred’s buddies cajoled him into attending the bachelor party.)
  10. captious(adj.)
    Intended to entrap or confuse; marked by a disposition to find fault (John was a captious scholar that wanted nothing but perfection from his students)
  11. clemency(n.)
    mercy (After he forgot their anniversary, Martin could only beg Maria for clemency.)
  12. cogent(adj.)
    intellectually convincing (Irene’s arguments in favor of abstinence were so cogent that I could not resist them.)
  13. contrite(adj.)
    penitent, eager to be forgiven (Blake’s contrite behavior made it impossible to stay angry at him.)
  14. credulity(n.)
    readiness to believe (His credulity made him an easy target for con men.)
  15. cursory(adj.)
    brief to the point of being superficial (Late for the meeting, she cast a cursory glance at the agenda.)
  16. deleterious(adj.)
    harmful (She experienced the deleterious effects of running a marathon without stretching her muscles enough beforehand.)
  17. deprecate(v.)
    to belittle, depreciate (Always over-modest, he deprecated his contribution to the local charity.)
  18. desiccated(adj.)
    dried up, dehydrated (The skin of the desiccated mummy looked like old paper.)
  19. diffident(adj.)
    shy, quiet, modest (While eating dinner with the adults, the diffident youth did not speak for fear of seeming presumptuous.)
  20. discursive(adj.)
    rambling, lacking order (The professor’s discursive lectures seemed to be about every subject except the one initially described.)
  21. dissemble(v.)
    to conceal, fake (Not wanting to appear heartlessly greedy, she dissembled and hid her intention to sell her ailing father’s stamp collection.)
  22. ebullient(adj.)
    extremely lively, enthusiastic (She became ebullient upon receiving an acceptance letter from her first-choice college.)
  23. effrontery(n.)
    impudence, nerve, insolence (When I told my aunt that she was boring, my mother scolded me for my effrontery.)
  24. egregious(adj.)
    extremely bad (The student who threw sloppy joes across the cafeteria was punished for hisegregious behavior.)
  25. evanescent(adj.)
    fleeting, momentary (My joy at getting promoted was evanescent because I discovered that I would have to work much longer hours in a less friendly office.)
  26. expiate(v.)
    to make amends for, atone (To expiate my selfishness, I gave all my profits to charity.)
  27. extol(v.)
    to praise, revere (Violet extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet to her meat-loving brother.)
  28. fastidious(adj.)
    meticulous, demanding, having high and often unattainable standards (Mark is so fastidious that he is never able to finish a project because it always seems imperfect to him.)
  29. fatuous(adj.)
    silly, foolish (He considers himself a serious poet, but in truth, he only writes fatuous limericks.)
  30. fetid(adj.)
    having a foul odor (I can tell from the fetid smell in your refrigerator that your milk has spoiled.)
  31. fractious(adj.)
    troublesome or irritable (Although the child insisted he wasn’t tired, his fractious behavior—especially his decision to crush his cheese and crackers all over the floor—convinced everyone present that it was time to put him to bed.)
  32. garrulous(adj.)
    talkative, wordy (Some talk-show hosts are so garrulous that their guests can’t get a word in edgewise.)
  33. hapless(adj.)
    unlucky (My poor, hapless family never seems to pick a sunny week to go on vacation.)
  34. harangue.
    (n.) a ranting speech (Everyone had heard the teacher’s harangue about gum chewing in class
    (v.) to give such a speech (But this time the teacher harangued the class about the importance of brushing your teeth after chewing gum.)
  35. iconoclast(n.)
    one who attacks common beliefs or institutions (Jane goes to one protest after another, but she seems to be an iconoclast rather than an activist with a progressive agenda.)
  36. imperious(adj.)
    commanding, domineering (The imperious nature of your manner led me to dislike you at once.)
  37. impertinent(adj.)
    rude, insolent (Most of your comments are so impertinent that I don’t wish to dignify them with an answer.)
  38. impetuous(adj.)
    rash; hastily done (Hilda’s hasty slaying of the king was an impetuous, thoughtless action.)
  39. impudent(adj.)
    casually rude, insolent, impertinent (The impudent young man looked the princess up and down and told her she was hot even though she hadn’t asked him.)
  40. indefatigable(adj.)
    incapable of defeat, failure, decay (Even after traveling 62 miles, the indefatigable runner kept on moving.)
  41. inimical(adj.)
    hostile (I don’t see how I could ever work for a company that was so cold and inimical to me during my interviews.)
  42. insidious(adj.)
    appealing but imperceptibly harmful, seductive (Lisa’s insidious chocolate cake tastes so good but makes you feel so sick later on!)
  43. intransigent(adj.)
    refusing to compromise, often on an extreme opinion (The intransigent child said he would have 12 scoops of ice cream or he would bang his head against the wall until his mother fainted from fear.)
  44. inveterate(adj.)
    stubbornly established by habit (I’m the first to admit that I’m an inveterate coffee drinker—I drink four cups a day.)
  45. juxtaposition(n.)
    the act of placing two things next to each other for implicit comparison (The interior designer admired my juxtaposition of the yellow couch and green table.)
  46. languid(adj.)
    sluggish from fatigue or weakness (In the summer months, the great heat makes people languid and lazy.)
  47. largess(n.)
    the generous giving of lavish gifts (My boss demonstrated great largess by giving me a new car.)
  48. licentious(adj.)
    displaying a lack of moral or legal restraints (Marilee has always been fascinated by the licentious private lives of politicians.)
  49. maelstrom(n.)
    a destructive whirlpool which rapidly sucks in objects (Little did the explorers know that as they turned the next bend of the calm river a vicious maelstrom would catch their boat.)
  50. malediction(n.)
    a curse (When I was arrested for speeding, I screamed maledictions against the policeman and the entire police department.)
  51. maudlin(adj.)
    weakly sentimental (Although many people enjoy romantic comedies, I usually find them maudlin and shallow.)
  52. mendacious(adj.)
    having a lying, false character (The mendacious content of the tabloid magazines is at least entertaining.)
  53. modicum(n.)
    a small amount of something (Refusing to display even a modicum of sensitivity, Henrietta announced her boss’s affair in front of the entire office.)
  54. nadir(n.)
    the lowest point of something (My day was boring, but the nadir came when I accidentally spilled a bowl of spaghetti on my head.)
  55. natter
    (v)talk casually, especially about unimportant matters; chatter.
    (n) a casual and leisurely conversation
  56. neophyte(n.)
    someone who is young or inexperienced (As a neophyte in the literary world, Malik had trouble finding a publisher for his first novel.)
  57. obdurate(adj.)
    unyielding to persuasion or moral influences (The obdurate old man refused to take pity on the kittens.)
  58. obfuscate(v.)
    to render incomprehensible (The detective did not want to answer the newspaperman’s questions, so he obfuscated the truth.)
  59. odious(adj.)
    instilling hatred or intense displeasure (Mark was assigned the odious task of cleaning the cat’s litter box.)
  60. opulent(adj.)
    characterized by rich abundance verging on ostentation (The opulent furnishings of the dictator’s private compound contrasted harshly with the meager accommodations of her subjects.)
  61. palliate(v.)
    to reduce the severity of (The doctor trusted that the new medication would palliate her patient’s discomfort.)
  62. paucity(adj.)
    small in quantity (Gilbert lamented the paucity of twentieth-century literature courses available at the college.)
  63. pejorative(adj.)
    derogatory, uncomplimentary (The evening’s headline news covered an international scandal caused by a pejorative statement the famous senator had made in reference to a foreign leader.)
  64. perfidious(adj.)
    disloyal, unfaithful (After the official was caught selling government secrets to enemy agents, he was executed for his perfidious ways.)
  65. petulance(n.)
    rudeness, irritability (The nanny resigned after she could no longer tolerate the child’spetulance.)
  66. platitude(n.)
    an uninspired remark, cliché (After reading over her paper, Helene concluded that what she thought were profound insights were actually just platitudes.)
  67. plethora(n.)
    an abundance, excess (The wedding banquet included a plethora of oysters piled almost three feet high.)
  68. precocious(adj.)
    advanced, developing ahead of time (Derek was so academically precocious that by the time he was 10 years old, he was already in the ninth grade.)
  69. promulgate(v.)
    to proclaim, make known (The film professor promulgated that both in terms of sex appeal and political intrigue, Sean Connery’s James Bond was superior to Roger Moore’s.)
  70. protean(adj.)
    able to change shape; displaying great variety (Among Nigel’s protean talents was his ability to touch the tip of his nose with his tongue.)
  71. pugnacious(adj.)
    quarrelsome, combative (Aaron’s pugnacious nature led him to start several barroom brawls each month.)
  72. prurient(adj.)
    having or encouraging an excessive internet in sexual matters (she was completely turned off by his prurient remarks)
  73. quagmire(n.)
    a difficult situation (We’d all like to avoid the kind of military quagmire characterized by the Vietnam War.)
  74. quixotic(adj.)
    idealistic, impractical (Edward entertained a quixotic desire to fall in love at first sight in a laundromat.)
  75. recalcitrant(adj.)
    defiant, unapologetic (Even when scolded, the recalcitrant young girl simply stomped her foot and refused to finish her lima beans.)
  76. redolent(adj.)
    strongly reminiscent or suggestive of (something); strong or sweet smelling (names redolent of history and tradition)
  77. repudiate(v.)
    to reject, refuse to accept (Kwame made a strong case for an extension of his curfew, but his mother repudiated it with a few biting words.)
  78. ribald(adj.)
    coarsely, crudely humorous (While some giggled at the ribald joke involving a parson’s daughter, most sighed and rolled their eyes.)
  79. rife(adj.)
    abundant (Surprisingly, the famous novelist’s writing was rife with spelling errors.)
  80. scurrilous(adj.)
    vulgar, coarse (When Bruno heard the scurrilous accusation being made about him, he could not believe it because he always tried to be nice to everyone.)
  81. solicitous(adj.)
    concerned, attentive (Jim, laid up in bed with a nasty virus, enjoyed the solicitous attentions of his mother, who brought him soup and extra blanket
  82. somnolent(adj.)
    sleepy, drowsy (The somnolent student kept falling asleep and waking up with a jerk.)
  83. staid(adj.)
    sedate, serious, self-restrained (The staid butler never changed his expression no matter what happened.)
  84. surreptitious(adj.)
    stealthy (The surreptitious CIA agents were able to get in and out of the house without anyone noticing.)
  85. sycophant(n.)
    one who flatters for self-gain (Some see the people in the cabinet as the president’s closest advisors, but others see them as sycophants.)
  86. tacit(adj.)
    expressed without words (I interpreted my parents’ refusal to talk as a tacit acceptance of my request.)
  87. temerity(n.)
    audacity, recklessness (Tom and Huck entered the scary cave armed with nothing but their own temerity.)
  88. timorous(adj.)
    timid, fearful (When dealing with the unknown, timorous Tallulah almost always broke into tears.)
  89. trenchant(adj.)
    effective, articulate, clear-cut (The directions that accompanied my new cell phone weretrenchant and easy to follow.)
  90. turgid(adj.)
    swollen, excessively embellished in style or language (The haughty writer did not realize how we all really felt about his turgid prose.)
  91. unctuous(adj.)
    smooth or greasy in texture, appearance, manner (The unctuous receptionist seemed untrustworthy, as if she was only being helpful because she thought we might give her a big tip.)
  92. vacillate(v.)
    to fluctuate, hesitate (I prefer a definite answer, but my boss kept vacillating between the distinct options available to us.)
  93. vacuous(adj.)
    lack of content or ideas, stupid (Beyoncé realized that the lyrics she had just penned were completely vacuous and tried to add more substance.)
  94. venerate(v.)
    to regard with respect or to honor (The tribute to John Lennon sought to venerate his music, his words, and his legend.)
  95. verdure(n.)
    Lush green vegetation; a condition of freshness. (Even the air has a pale-green cast: the moisture suspended in it picks up the pervasive glow of the verdure.)
  96. vicissitude(n.)
    event that occurs by chance (The vicissitudes of daily life prevent me from predicting what might happen from one day to the next.)
  97. vitriolic(adj.)
    having a caustic quality (When angry, the woman would spew vitriolic insults.)
  98. wanton(adj.)
    undisciplined, lewd, lustful (Vicky’s wanton demeanor often made the frat guys next door very excited.)
  99. winsome(adj.)
    charming, pleasing (After such a long, frustrating day, I was grateful for Chris’s winsome attitude and childish naivete.)
  100. zephyr(n.)
    a gentle breeze (If not for the zephyrs that were blowing and cooling us, our room would’ve been unbearably hot.)

Tell us…

How many words in this list did you know?

Republished by Blog Post Promoter


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  13. “These days a lot of people don’t even know the difference between “their” and “there”.

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