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Hard Words to Spell: 200+ Good Words to Know

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Writing is one of my several hobbies, and lists like the one below help me with writer's block every now and again.

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A Hard Spelling Words List For Your Viewing Pleasure

There are a lot of hard words to spell in this world, and I'm not talking about those words that no one ever uses or maybe uses just once or twice in a lifetime. If you want to focus on improving your overall vocabulary, then learning the definition of and how to spell words that you don't use that much is a great way to do so. There's absolutely no need to focus on really hard spelling words that are two inches long.

Alright, so below you're going to find a list of spelling words ranging from medium-hard to really hard, but I'm only going to try to include words that people can use in everyday conversations. Some of the words will have definitions with them, while others won't (because most people already know the definition). I hope you'll find the list useful, and I hope you'll be ready if anyone ever challenges you to a spelling contest. Enjoy!

Spelling Words for Adults

  • Aberration: different from the norm
  • Archetype: a very straight forward example of a certain person or thing
  • Audacious: a person or people who are willing to take a bold risk
  • Camaraderie: a familiarity between people
  • Debacle: a sudden disaster
  • Disingenuous: a person who is not being honest or sincere with another
  • Hindrance: a thing that slows or obstructs something or someone
  • Licentious: having low or no morals when it comes to matters related to sex
  • Maelstrom: a powerful circular currant of water
  • Malleable: something or someone that can be shaped into something else
  • Omnibus: a collection of novels or stories that were previously published separately
  • Rescind: to officially cancel or stop a certain matter
  • Tangential: superficial or not lasting
  • Vindictive: a person who has a strong desire for revenge
  • Zephyr: a slight wind a little stronger than a breeze

Let's Have A Spelling Contest

Who would've thought that one of the funniest lines in the whole movie would be about spelling and come out of the mouth of the notorious gunfight Doc Holiday. If you're interested in skipping the setup, then you can fast forward to about the 1:20 mark, but I would highly recommend for you to watch the whole scene as it is really good. A word of warning, though, it's not wise to try this little trick on a real person, as they will probably take it as an insult.

Commonly Misspelled Words

calendar

noticeable

acquire

breathe

license

February

accommodate

optimistic

foreign

recommend

restaurant

experience

vengeance

millennial

recollection

tendency

separate

Wednesday

indispensable

definitely

jealous

consensus

independent

appearance

hypocrite

category

maintenance

interrupt

chronological

asylum

acknowledgement

persistent

lacrosse

relevant

genuine

unforeseen

absence

receive

committee

underrate

copyright

colleague

privilege

glamorous

successful

More Hard-To-Spell Words

  • Acquiesce: to accept defeat reluctantly but without putting up a fight
  • Ambiguous: having more than one possible meaning
  • Catalyst: something that helps start a certain action or event
  • Denizen: an occupant of a particular place
  • Emulate: trying to imitate someone's actions
  • Labyrinth: a complicated network of passages where the possibility of getting lost is very high
  • Melancholy: a feeling of intense sadness, typically with no apparent reason
  • Melee: a chaotic, often bloody battle
  • Mercenary: someone who is willing to do just about anything for money; soldier for hire
  • Myriad: a very large number
  • Obfuscate: to make unclear
  • Promiscuous: having lots of casual sexual encounters
  • Syllabus: an outline or summary of key points
  • Ultimatum: a final demand, which if not accepted will result in retaliation of some kind
  • Whimsical: a playful or appealing way of acting
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Read More From Owlcation

Spelling Is Hard

  • Ambivalence: having mixed feelings about someone or something
  • Arbitrary: an action based on random choice or without reasoning
  • Caveat: an exception about a particular statement that should be heeded
  • Eclectic: a variety of ideas or styles
  • Evanescent: short lived
  • Formidable: someone who is feared or respected due to their physical, mental or intellectual prowess
  • Gobbledygook: slang for "nonsense"
  • Nefarious: of a wicked or criminal nature
  • Reminisce: an enjoyable recollection of things one has experienced in the past
  • Shrewd: one who showcases a keen intellect or judgement
  • Sycophant: some one who constantly tries to get on the good side of someone in charge; a suck-up
  • Tryst: a secret romantic meeting with someone you shouldn't be alone with
  • Ubiquitous: to be everywhere at once
  • Vamoose: make a fast exit
  • Vernacular: the common language of a certain country or region

Some Moderately Hard Spelling Words

bureaucracy

rhythm

cathedral

champagne

fisticuffs

unnecessary

conscience

masseuse

siege

incandescent

curio

arcane

unanimous

liquefy

pronunciation

supremacy

apparent

Pterodactyl

flimsy

coincidence

fracas

broccoli

villain

embarrass

mezzanine

enormous

ordinance

disembowel

weird

squadron

parallel

javelin

harassment

handkerchief

chivalry

acceptable

dilemma

extracurricular

pragmatic

mastodon

nauseous

maneuver

occurrence

deductible

solitaire

Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.

— Mark Twain

Hard Words to Spell

  • Acumen: being able to make quick decisions while using good judgement, usually in a particular area of expertise
  • Antithesis: the exact opposite
  • Cantankerous: bad tempered and argumentative
  • Clairvoyant: someone who can see events that haven't happened yet
  • Derogatory: having a disrespectful attitude towards someone
  • Exacerbate: to make a situation worse than it already is
  • Fortuitous: lucky
  • Hiatus: a pause or gap
  • Leery: being cautious due to suspicious feelings
  • Mischievous: causing trouble in a harmless way
  • Neophyte: a newcomer to an activity
  • Paladin: a knight known for their heroism and chivalry
  • Quintessential: representing a near-perfect example of a certain class or type of person
  • Talisman: an object that is believed to have supernatural powers and bring good luck
  • Trepidation: a feeling of unease about something that may or may not happen
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Sometime the Most Difficult Words to Spell Are the Ones You Think Are the Easiest

cayenne

vacuum

Neapolitan

abominable

stirrups

curiosity

misspell

orangutan

kaleidoscope

bizarre

persuasive

gruesome

withhold

papyrus

vacancy

quarantine

ballistic

acoustic

assassination

tomahawk

Triceratops

fluorescent

confiscate

chlorophyll

salivate

kindergarten

necessary

ferocious

unfortunately

knowledge

colossal

eczema

anonymity

January

questionnaire

Chihuahua

truly

croissant

publicly

cemetery

phlegm

bologna

nostalgia

molasses

limousine

reckless

conceit

subliminal

More Words to Make You Sound Smart

  • Avant-garde: someone who is ahead of the times with new and experimental ideas, especially in the arts
  • Connoisseur: an expert in matters of taste, but not necessarily food
  • Digress: a way of leaving the main subject during a conversation
  • Eerie: strange or frightening
  • Entrepreneur: owner of a small business; someone who starts a business
  • Fallacy: a mistaken belief usually based on an flimsy argument
  • Harbinger: something or someone that signals the coming of another
  • Idiosyncrasy: a very distinctive feature or characteristic relating to a particular individual (sometimes a thing or place)
  • Machiavellian: cunning, strategic and devious
  • Maverick: someone who has an independent nature
  • Miscellaneous: an assorted group of items or people; a mix from different sources
  • Preponderance: being greater in number or importance
  • Ruminate: to deeply think about something important
  • Spontaneous: something that happens without forethought or planning
  • Supersede: to take the place of

Funny Spelling Mistakes

Spelling mistakes can happen everywhere and in the most unlikeliest of places. It's not all really all that surprising if you think about it, as all it takes is someone who is just a little too tired or in a little bit too much of a hurry. One letter missed or put in the wrong place can really create an awkward situation. The funny thing is that most of the the misspelled words are left as is because it's too much trouble to correct it. This can create some very interesting photo ops, so be sure to keep an eye out.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Don

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