Fancy Words for Advanced ESL Students

This is a personal list consisting of words that I should know but can't seem to remember. This list is alive and grows in time. I add words to this list regularly whenever I come across a nice word.


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definitions & notes
only words

  1. nonsensical

    having no intelligible meaning
    saçma sapan,mantık dışı
  2. reclusive

    withdrawn from society; seeking solitude
    inzivaya çekilmiş
  3. perpetually

    everlastingly; for all time
    sürekli olarak, daima
  4. quandary

    state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options
  5. lewd

    suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
  6. recluse

    one who lives in solitude
  7. conundrum

    a difficult problem
  8. mishap

    an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate
  9. depravity

    moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles
    ahlak bozukluğu, azgınlık
  10. flatulence

    a state of excessive gas in the alimentary canal
  11. impeccable

    without fault or error
  12. impromptu

    with little or no preparation or forethought
  13. tentative

    hesitant or lacking confidence; unsettled in mind or opinion
    kararsız/kesin olmayan,deneme niteliğinde
  14. effigy

    a representation of a person
    büst,temsili kukla
  15. ephemeral

    anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day
    çok kısa ömürlü
  16. rambunctious

    noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
    delişmen; ele avuca sığmaz
  17. quibble

    evade the truth of a point by raising irrelevant objections
    baştan savma cevap, kaçamaklı söz,lafı çevirmek
  18. trope

    language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
  19. dismal

    causing dejection
    kederli, neşesiz, kasvetli
  20. ineffable

    defying expression or description
    ağıza alınmaz; tarif olunamaz;kelimelerle ifade edilemez
  21. pinnacle

    a slender upright spire at the top of a buttress of tower
    zirve, doruk, tepe nokta
  22. incarnation

    act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas
    vücut bulma,canlı örnek
  23. deviant

    a person whose behavior does not conform to social norms
  24. inconsequential

    lacking worth or importance
  25. sectarian

    of or relating to a subdivision of a larger religious group
  26. inconspicuously

    in a manner intended to avoid attracting attention
  27. bereavement

    state of sorrow over the death or departure of a loved one
  28. disavow

    refuse to acknowledge
  29. jock

    a person trained to compete in sports
  30. transcend

    go beyond the scope or limits of
  31. vile

    morally reprehensible
  32. prophylactic

    preventing or contributing to the prevention of disease
  33. cataclysmic

    severely destructive
  34. abyss

    a bottomless gulf or pit
  35. backpedal

    reverse or retreat from one's position on an issue
  36. elongate

  37. farfetched

    highly imaginative but unlikely
  38. forthwith

    without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening
  39. corroborate

    give evidence for
  40. dismissal

    the sending away of someone
  41. pretentious

    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
  42. sustain

    lengthen or extend in duration or space
  43. contraband

    distributed or sold illicitly
  44. restitution

    the act of restoring something to its original state
  45. perennial

    lasting an indefinitely long time
  46. proponent

    a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
  47. demented

    affected with madness or insanity
  48. trite

    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
  49. invigorating

    imparting strength and vitality
  50. invigorate

    give life or energy to
  51. denounce

    speak out against
  52. precarious

    not secure; beset with difficulties
  53. decadent

    indulgent of your own appetites and desires
  54. decadent

    indulgent of your own appetites and desires
  55. facade

    the front of a building
  56. flophouse

    a cheap lodging house
  57. vial

    a small bottle that contains a drug
  58. conjure

    summon into action or bring into existence
  59. thrifty

    mindful of the future in spending money
  60. discourse

    an extended communication dealing with some particular topic
  61. callow

    young and inexperienced
  62. disdain

    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
  63. detractor

    one who disparages or belittles the worth of something
  64. delinquent

    a young offender
  65. disparaging

    expressive of low opinion
  66. disparage

    express a negative opinion of
  67. scion

    a descendent or heir
  68. volition

    the act of making a choice
  69. ensue

    take place or happen afterward or as a result
  70. dissemination

    the act of dispersing or diffusing something
  71. diffusion

    the act of dispersing something
  72. reek

    give off smoke, fumes, warm vapour, steam, etc.
  73. hoodwink

    conceal one's true motives from
  74. protagonist

    the principal character in a work of fiction
  75. nepotism

    favoritism shown to relatives or friends by those in power
  76. exegesis

    an explanation or critical interpretation
  77. steadfast

    marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable
  78. abominable

    unequivocally detestable
  79. distressed

    feeling general unhappiness
  80. contentious

    showing an inclination to disagree
  81. kindred

    group of people related by blood or marriage
  82. strident

    unpleasantly loud and harsh
  83. proponent

    a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
  84. hypochondriac

    a patient with imaginary symptoms and ailments
    hastalık hastası
  85. burlesque

    a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor
  86. indulgent

    given to yielding to the wishes of someone
  87. indulge

    yield to; give satisfaction to
  88. simpleton

    a person lacking intelligence or common sense
  89. finicky

    fussy, especially about details
  90. sanctimonious

    excessively or hypocritically pious
  91. commiseration

    feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others
  92. prominent

    conspicuous in position or importance
  93. solitary

    not growing or living in groups or colonies
  94. tart up

    dress up in a cheap and provocative way
  95. disillusioned

    freed from false ideas
  96. homebody

    a person who seldom goes anywhere
  97. pecuniary

    relating to or involving money
  98. deposition

    the act of putting something somewhere
  99. arbiter

    someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue
  100. preeminent

    greatest in importance, degree, or significance
  101. ameliorate

    make better
  102. amity

    a state of friendship and cordiality
  103. solidarity

    a union of interests or purposes among members of a group
  104. rift

    a narrow fissure in rock
  105. impasse

    a situation in which no progress can be made
  106. inadvertently

    without knowledge or intention
  107. demarche

    a move or step or maneuver in political or diplomatic affairs
  108. perpetrate

    perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
  109. entrenched

    dug in
  110. naivety

    lack of sophistication or worldliness
  111. recalcitrance

    the trait of being unmanageable or uncooperative
  112. collectively

    in conjunction with; combined
  113. contingent

    determined by conditions or circumstances that follow
  114. esoteric

    understandable only by an enlightened inner circle
  115. complicity

    guilt as a confederate in a crime or offense
  116. indelible

    not able to be removed or erased
  117. mortify

    cause to feel shame
  118. malfeasance

    wrongful conduct by a public official
  119. palpable

    capable of being perceived
  120. omniscient

    knowing, seeing, or understanding everything
  121. apprehensive

    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
  122. haughty

    having or showing arrogant superiority
  123. cantankerous

    stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
  124. waver

    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
  125. abase

    cause to feel shame
  126. abnegate

    deny or renounce
  127. allot

    give out
  128. conscientious

    characterized by extreme care and great effort
  129. deluge

    a heavy rain
  130. deprave

    corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
  131. effulgent

    radiating or as if radiating light
  132. feigned

    not genuine
  133. impetuous

    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
  134. pantomime

    a performance using gestures and movements without words
  135. recuse

    disqualify oneself as a judge in a particular case
  136. rhetorical

    relating to using language effectively
  137. stern

    serious and harsh in manner or behavior
  138. exhort

    spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
  139. parlance

    a manner of speaking natural to a language's native speakers
  140. scrupulous

    characterized by extreme care and great effort
  141. penance

    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
  142. portent

    a sign of something about to happen
  143. bawdy

    humorously vulgar
  144. impassioned

    characterized by intense emotion
  145. profess

    confess one's faith in, or allegiance to
  146. teetotaler

    someone who abstains from drinking alcoholic beverages
  147. zit

    a small inflamed elevation of the skin
  148. sycophant

    a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage
  149. swindle

    deprive of by deceit
  150. tripe

    lining of the stomach of a cow (used as food)
  151. entourage

    the group following and attending to some important person
  152. acquiesce

    agree or express agreement
  153. indoctrinate

    teach uncritically
  154. concoct

    make something by mixing
  155. tutelage

    attention and management implying responsibility for safety
  156. folly

    the trait of acting stupidly or rashly
  157. toil

    work hard
  158. buffoon

    a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
  159. futility

    uselessness as a consequence of having no practical result
  160. respite

    a pause from doing something
  161. admonition

    a firm rebuke
  162. rebuke

    an act or expression of criticism and censure
  163. grace

    elegance and beauty of movement or expression
  164. repudiate

    refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid
  165. intrepid

    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
  166. impeccable

    without fault or error
  167. sycophant

    a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage
  168. taciturn

    habitually reserved and uncommunicative
  169. ricochet

    spring back; spring away from an impact
  170. indignant

    angered at something unjust or wrong
  171. insinuation

    an indirect (and usually malicious) implication
  172. belie

    be in contradiction with
  173. conjecture

    believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
Created on March 3, 2012
(updated April 17, 2013)