300 Smart Words People should know

Here are 300 Smart Words that People should know:

  1. Abate – cause to become smaller or lessen intensity or widespread
  2. Aberrant – Deviating from what is considered proper, normal or typical
  3. Abeyance – temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension
  4. Abscond – to depart in a sudden and secret manner, especially to avoid capture and legal prosecution
  5. Abstemious – not self-indulgent, especially when eating and drinking
  6. Admonish – warn or reprimand someone firmly
  7. Adulterate – render something poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one
  8. Aesthetic – concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty
  9. Aggregate – a whole formed by combining several (typically disparate) elements
  10. Alacrity – brisk and cheerful readiness
  11. Alleviate – make less severe
  12. Amalgamate – combine or unite to form one organization or structure
  13. Ambiguous – unclear or inexact
  14. Ambivalence – the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone
  15. Ameliorate – make better
  16. Anachronism – a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned
  17. Analogous – comparable in certain respects
  18. Anomalous – deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected
  19. Antipathy – a deep-seated feeling of dislike
  20. Apathy – lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern
  21. Appease – pacify or relieve or prevent from happening
  22. Apprise – inform or tell someone
  23. Approbation – approval or praise
  24. Appropriate – suitable or proper in the circumstances (noun); designate (verb)
  25. Arduous – requiring much effort
  26. Artless – without guile or deception or effort
  27. Ascetic – a person who practices severe self-discipline and abstention.
  28. Assiduous – showing great care and perseverance
  29. Assuage – make an unpleasant feeling less intense
  30. Attenuate – reduce the force, effect, or value of
  31. Audacious – showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks
  32. Austere – severe or strict in manner
  33. Autonomous – acting independently
  34. Aver – state or assert to be the case
  35. Banal – so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring
  36. Belie – fail to give a true notion or impression of
  37. Beneficent – generous or doing good
  38. Bolster – support or strengthen
  39. Bombastic – high-sounding but with little meaning
  40. Boorish – rough and bad-mannered
  41. Burgeon – begin to grow or increase rapidly
  42. Burnish – polish by rubbing
  43. Buttress – increase the strength of or justification for
  44. Cacophonous – involving or producing a harsh
  45. Capricious – given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior
  46. Castigation – reprimand (someone) severely
  47. Catalyst – a person or thing that precipitates an event
  48. Caustic – sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way
  49. Chicanery – the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose
  50. Coagulate – change to a solid or semisolid state
  51. Coda-the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.
  52. Cogent- (of an argument or case) clear, logical, and convincing.
  53. Commensurate- corresponding in size or degree; in proportion
  54. Compendium- a collection of concise but detailed information about a particular subject, especially in a book or other publication.
  55. Complaisant- willing to please others; obliging; agreeable
  56. Compliant- inclined to agree with others or obey rules, especially to an excessive degree
  57. Conciliatory- intended or likely to placate or pacify
  58. Condone- accept and allow (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive) to continue
  59. Confound-cause surprise or confusion in (someone), especially by acting against their expectations
  60. Connoisseur- an expert judge in matters of taste
  61. Cumbersome- large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy
  62. Debilitate- make (someone) weak and infirm
  63. Decorum- behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety
  64. Deduce- arrive at (a fact or a conclusion) by reasoning; draw as a logical conclusion
  65. Déjà vu- a feeling of having already experienced the present situation
  66. Deify- worship, regard, or treat (someone or something) as a god
  67. Delectable- (of food or drink) delicious
  68. Demure- (of a woman or her behavior) reserved, modest, and shy
  69. Deplorable- deserving strong condemnation
  70. Dialectic- the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.
  71. Dichotomy- a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different
  72. Eclectic- deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources
  73. Eccentric – (of a person or their behavior) unconventional and slightly strange
  74. Elicit- evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reaction to one’s own actions or questions
  75. Elusive- difficult to find, catch, or achieve
  76. Emanate- (of something abstract but perceptible) issue or spread out from (a source)
  77. Enigmatic- difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious
  78. En masse- in a group; all together
  79. Endemic- (of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area
  80. Eradicate- destroy completely; put an end to
  81. Evasive- tending to avoid commitment or self-revelation, especially by responding only indirectly
  82. Faux Pas- an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation.
  83. Fiasco- a thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way
  84. Futility- pointlessness or uselessness
  85. Fortuitous- happening by accident or chance rather than design
  86. Formidable- inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable
  87. Fractious- (typically of children) irritable and quarrelsome
  88. Funereal- having the mournful, somber character appropriate to a funeral
  89. Fledging- (of a young bird) develop wing feathers that are large enough for flight.
  90. Fidelity- faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support
  91. Flippant- not showing a serious or respectful attitude
  92. Galvanize- shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action
  93. Gamut- the complete range or scope of something
  94. Gargantuan- enormous
  95. Globular- globe-shaped; spherical.
  96. Gormandize- indulge in good eating; eat greedily.
  97. Grandeur- splendor and impressiveness, especially of appearance or style
  98. Gradation- a scale or a series of successive changes, stages, or degrees
  99. Gregarious- (of a person) fond of company; sociable
  100. Gratuitous- uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted
  101. Halcyon- denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful
  102. Haphazard- lacking any obvious principle of organization
  103. Hapless- (especially of a person) unfortunate
  104. Herculean- requiring great strength or effort
  105. Hiatus- a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process
  106. Ignoble- not honorable in character or purpose
  107. Ignominious- deserving or causing public disgrace or shame
  108. Illicit- forbidden by law, rules, or custom
  109. Impasse- a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock
  110. Impertinent- not showing proper respect; rude
  111. Jocular- fond of or characterized by joking; humorous or playful
  112. Jettison- throw or drop (something) from an aircraft or ship
  113. Jejune- naive, simplistic, and superficial
  114. Juxtapose- place or deal with close together for contrasting effect
  115. Jingoistic- extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy
  116. Kibosh- put an end to; dispose of decisively
  117. Kinetic- of, relating to, or resulting from motion
  118. Kudos- praise and honor received for an achievement.
  119. Keynote- a prevailing tone or central theme, typically one set or introduced at the start of a conference
  120. Kinesiology- the study of the mechanics of body movements.
  121. Laconic- (of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words
  122. Laggard- a person who makes slow progress and falls behind others
  123. Lascivious- (of a person, manner, or gesture) feeling or revealing an overt and often offensive sexual desire
  124. Latent- (of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden; concealed
  125. Lethargic- affected by lethargy; sluggish and apathetic
  126. Levity- humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect
  127. Liaison- communication or cooperation that facilitates a close working relationship between people or organizations
  128. Loquacious- tending to talk a great deal; talkative.
  129. Ludicrous- so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous
  130. Lucid- expressed clearly; easy to understand
  131. Malignant- (of a disease) very virulent or infectious.
  132. Maniacal- a person exhibiting extreme symptoms of wild behavior, especially when violent and dangerous
  133. Masticate- chew (food).
  134. Maverick- an unorthodox or independent-minded person
  135. Mawkish- sentimental in a feeble or sickly way
  136. Megalomania- obsession with the exercise of power, especially in the domination of others.
  137. Mendacious- not telling the truth; lying
  138. Mesmerize- hold the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else or so as to transfix them
  139. Misconstrue- interpret (something, especially a person’s words or actions) wrongly
  140. Mnemonic- a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.
  141. Narcissistic- having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance
  142. Narcolepsy- a condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.
  143. Nascent- (especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential
  144. Nefarious- (typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal
  145. Ne plus ultra- the perfect or most extreme example of its kind; the ultimate
  146. Noblesse Oblige- the nobility.
  147. Nocturnal- done, occurring, or active at night
  148. Nom de guerre- an assumed name under which a person engages in combat or some other activity or enterprise.
  149. Nonchalance- the state of being nonchalant
  150. Non sequitur- a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.
  151. Oblivious- not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one
  152. Obsequious- obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree
  153. Obsolete- no longer produced or used; out of date
  154. Onus- used to refer to something that is one’s duty or responsibility
  155. Optimal- best or most favorable; optimum
  156. Opus- any artistic work, especially one on a large scale
  157. Onerous- (of a task, duty, or responsibility) involving an amount of effort and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome
  158. Ostensibly- apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually
  159. Ostracize- exclude (someone) from a society or group
  160. Onomatopoeia- the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named
  161. Pacify- quell the anger, agitation, or excitement of
  162. Pandemic- (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.
  163. Paradigm- a typical example or pattern of something; a model
  164. Paragon- a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality
  165. Paroxysm- a sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity
  166. Paucity- the presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity
  167. Peccadillo- a small, relatively unimportant offense or sin.
  168. Pedantic- of or like a pedant
  169. Penultimate- last but one in a series of things; second to the last
  170. Perennial- lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring
  171. Perpetuate- make (something, typically an undesirable situation or an unfounded belief) continue indefinitely
  172. Peruse- read (something), typically in a thorough or careful way
  173. Pervasive- (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people
  174. Picayune- petty; worthless
  175. Pinnacle- the most successful point; the culmination
  176. Placid- (of a person or animal) not easily upset or excited
  177. Platonic- (of love or friendship) intimate and affectionate but not sexual
  178. Plethora- a large or excessive amount of (something)
  179. Polarize- divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs
  180. Polemics- a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something
  181. Portend- be a sign or warning that (something, especially something momentous or calamitous) is likely to happen
  182. Posit- assume as a fact; put forward as a basis of argument
  183. Potable safe to drink; drinkable
  184. Pragmatic- dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations
  185. Precarious- not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse
  186. Precedent- an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances
  187. Precocious- (of a child) having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual
  188. Preemptive- serving or intended to preempt or forestall something, especially to prevent attack by disabling the enemy
  189. Pretense- an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true
  190. Primordial- existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval
  191. Pristine- in its original condition; unspoiled
  192. Prodigal- spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant
  193. Procrastinate- delay or postpone action; put off doing something
  194. Proliferate- increase rapidly in numbers; multiply
  195. Promiscuity- the fact or state of being promiscuous
  196. Protégé- p a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person
  197. Protocol- the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions
  198. Proverbial- (of a word or phrase) referred to in a proverb or idiom
  199. Prudent- acting with or showing care and thought for the future
  200. Pulchritude- beauty
  201. Raconteur- r a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way
  202. Raillery- good-humored teasing
  203. Raiment- clothing
  204. Raison d’être- r the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence
  205. Rambunctious- uncontrollably exuberant; boisterous.
  206. Ramification- a consequence of an action or event, especially when complex or unwelcome
  207. Rancor- r bitterness or resentfulness, especially when long-standing
  208. Rapacity- aggressive greed
  209. Rapprochement- (especially in international relations) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations
  210. Ratiocinate- form judgments by a process of logic
  211. Recalcitrant- having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline
  212. Recant- say that one no longer holds an opinion or belief, especially one considered heretical
  213. Recapitulate- summarize and state again the main points of
  214. Reciprocity- the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
  215. Recriminate- make counteraccusations
  216. Rectitude- morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness
  217. Redact- edit (text) for publication.
  218. Redolent- strongly reminiscent or suggestive of (something)
  219. Reflexive- denoting a pronoun that refers back to the subject of the clause in which it is used
  220. Rejoinder- a reply, especially a sharp or witty one
  221. Salacious- treating sexual matters in an indecent way and typically conveying undue interest in or enjoyment of the subject
  222. Salient- most noticeable or important
  223. Salubrious- health-giving; healthy
  224. Sangfroid- composure or coolness, sometimes excessive, as shown in danger or under trying circumstances
  225. Sapient- wise, or attempting to appear wise
  226. Sardonic- grimly mocking or cynical
  227. Sartorial- of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress
  228. Satiety- the feeling or state of being sated.
  229. Saturnine- slow and gloomy
  230. Satyr- a man who has strong sexual desires.
  231. Savoir faire- the ability to act or speak appropriately in social situations.
  232. Scintilla- a tiny trace or spark of a specified quality or feeling
  233. Scion- a descendant of a notable family
  234. Secular- denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis
  235. Sedentary- tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive
  236. Serendipity- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
  237. Sinecure- a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.
  238. Sojourn- a temporary stay
  239. Spurious- not being what it purports to be; false or fake
  240. Supercilious- behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others
  241. Tabula Rasa- an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate
  242. Taciturn- (of a person) reserved or uncommunicative in speech; saying little.
  243. Tangential- of, relating to, or along a tangent
  244. Tantamount- equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as
  245. Tautology- the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style
  246. Teleological- the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes
  247. Temerity- excessive confidence or boldness; audacity
  248. Temper- a person’s state of mind seen in terms of their being angry or calm
  249. Tempestuous- characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion
  250. Tenet- a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy
  251. Tendentious- expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one
  252. Tenacious- tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely
  253. Tete-a-tete- a private conversation between two people
  254. Thaumaturge- a worker of wonders and performer of miracles; a magician
  255. Titular- holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority
  256. Toothsome- temptingly tasty
  257. Tractable- easy to control or influence
  258. Transient- lasting only for a short time; impermanent
  259. Tryst- a private, romantic rendezvous between lovers
  260. Tumid- swollen
  261. Ubiquitous- present, appearing, or found everywhere
  262. Umbrage- offense or annoyance
  263. Unassuming- not pretentious or arrogant; modest
  264. Unbridled- uncontrolled; unconstrained
  265. Unceremonious- having or showing a lack of courtesy; rough or abrupt
  266. Unctuous- excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; oily
  267. Ungainly- awkward; clumsy
  268. Unilateral- performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a particular situation, without the agreement of another or the others
  269. Unimpeachable- not able to be doubted, questioned, or criticized; entirely trustworthy
  270. Unsavory- disagreeable to taste, smell, or look at.
  271. Vacuous- having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence; mindless
  272. Vagary- an unexpected and inexplicable change in a situation or in someone’s behavior
  273. Vainglorious- inordinate pride in oneself or one’s achievements; excessive vanity.
  274. Vapid- offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging
  275. Vanguard- a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas
  276. Vehement- showing strong feeling; forceful, passionate, or intense
  277. Venal- showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery
  278. Venial- denoting a sin that is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace. Often contrasted with mortal
  279. Veracity- conformity to facts; accuracy
  280. Verdant- green with grass or other rich vegetation.
  281. Vers libre- another term for free verse
  282. Vignette- a brief evocative description, account, or episode.
  283. Vociferous- (especially of a person or speech) vehement or clamorous
  284. Wanderlust- a strong desire to travel
  285. Wane- (of the moon) have a progressively smaller part of its visible surface illuminated, so that it appears to decrease in size.
  286. Wanton- (of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked
  287. Watershed- an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.
  288. Wayfaring- (of a person) traveling on foot
  289. Weltschmerz- a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.
  290. Wherewithal- the money or other means needed for a particular purpose
  291. Xanadu- an idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty
  292. Xenophile- an individual who is attracted to foreign peoples, manners, or cultures.
  293. Yahoo- a rude, noisy, or violent person.
  294. Xenophobic- having or showing an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries
  295. Yawnful- causing or arousing yawns, especially as the result of boredom, tedium, or the like
  296. Za-zen- meditation in a prescribed, cross-legged posture.
  297. Zeitgeist-the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time
  298. Zest- great enthusiasm and energy
  299. Zenith- the highest point reached by a celestial or other object
  300. Yammer- loud and sustained or repetitive noise

Sources: New Oxford American Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Brittanica Dictionary


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