Top ACT Words

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!

  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!

  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes
only words

  1. abbreviate

    It is one thing to
    abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off.Webster, Noah
  2. abstinence

    the trait of refraining from something, especially alcohol
    The modern fasting men, and the Hindoo fasters, only show that under very abnormal conditions, long
    abstinence from food is possible.Bradlaugh, Charles
  3. adulation

    exaggerated flattery or praise
    Around him gamboled the mob, screaming blessings and
    adulations, strewing his bearers' way with masses of wilted flowers, filched from the halls.Terhune, Albert Payson
  4. adversity

    a state of misfortune or affliction
    Both Sullinger and Robinson are great college basketball players, but on this night the two had remarkably different responses to
    adversity.New York Times (Apr 1, 2012)
  5. aesthetic

    characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste
    Was Mrs. Gingrich interested in switching stylists, and perhaps going for a softer, more touchable, more Laura Bush
    aesthetic?New York Times (Feb 10, 2012)
  6. amicable

    characterized by friendship and good will
    After his parents divorced — an
    amicable parting — Trayvon served as a liaison between them, "sending little messages back and forth between us," says Martin.
  7. anachronism

    locating something at a time when it couldn't have existed
    Despite stunning aerial scenes and good intentions, the George Lucas-produced "Red Tails" is grounded by clumsy dialogue, a meandering plot and the occasional jarring
    anachronism.Seattle Times (Jan 18, 2012)
  8. anecdote

    short account of an incident
    Most of these letters contain interesting
    anecdotes or references touching the past.Denny, Emily Inez
  9. anonymous

    having no known name or identity or known source
    Many airlines also have
    anonymous phone lines for crew members to report suspicious behavior to professional standards committees.New York Times (Mar 28, 2012)
  10. antagonist

    someone who offers opposition
    Hood hurled a great rock at his
    antagonist; but, falling short of the mark, the rock demolished the bridge instead.Lyman, William Denison
  11. arid

    lacking sufficient water or rainfall
    arid climate prevents radio signals from being absorbed by water droplets.New York Times (Apr 7, 2012)
  12. assiduous

    marked by care and persistent effort
    The chickens hatched by Gilly found a loving and
    assiduous foster-mother.Hope, Anthony
  13. asylum

    a shelter from danger or hardship
    Otis subsequently became insane and while confined in an
    asylum met his death, being struck by a bolt of lightning.Stark, James H.
  14. benevolent

    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
    The expression of his face was serene and
    benevolent.Clark, Ellery H.
  15. camaraderie

    the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
    “People know where you are coming from,” said Mr. Connell, who developed a quick
    camaraderie with his seven other classmates.New York Times (Feb 29, 2012)
  16. censure

    harsh criticism or disapproval
    censure has never gone farther than that.Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, Baron
  17. circuitous

    deviating from a straight course
    Having procured their release, he took a
    circuitous route home, getting up meetings and petitions on the tour.Stanton, Henry B.
  18. clairvoyant

    someone who can perceive things not present to the senses
    A private
    clairvoyant fell in a trance and described not only the clothing of the bride and bridegroom, but many other spirits present.Helleberg, C. G. (Carl Gustaf)
  19. collaborate

    work together on a common enterprise or project
    But Saudi Arabia and the United States continue to
    collaborate in areas like counterterrorism.New York Times (Dec 29, 2011)
  20. compassion

    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
    New York City already has its annual Respect for All week to encourage
    compassion and educate students about bullying.New York Times (Apr 12, 2012)
  21. compromise

    an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
  22. condescending

    characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance
  23. condition

    a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing
  24. conformist

    someone who follows established standards of conduct
  25. congregation

    the act of assembling
  26. convergence

    the act of coming closer
  27. deleterious

    harmful to living things
  28. demagogue

    a leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions
  29. digression

    a message that departs from the main subject
  30. diligent

    quietly and steadily persevering in detail or exactness
  31. discredit

    the state of being held in low esteem
  32. disdain

    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
  33. divergent

    tending to move apart in different directions
  34. empathy

    understanding and entering into another's feelings
  35. emulate

    strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
  36. enigma

    something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained
  37. enhance

  38. ephemeral

    anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day
  39. evanescent

    short-lived; tending to vanish or disappear
  40. exasperation

    actions that cause great irritation
  41. exemplary

    worthy of imitation
  42. extemporaneous

    with little or no preparation or forethought
  43. florid

    elaborately or excessively ornamented
  44. fortuitous

    lucky; occurring by happy chance
  45. frugal

    avoiding waste
  46. hackneyed

    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
  47. haughty

    having or showing arrogant superiority
  48. hedonist

    someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures
  49. hypothesis

    a tentative insight that is not yet verified or tested
  50. impetuous

    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
  51. impute

    attribute or credit to
  52. incompatible

    not in harmonious or agreeable combination
  53. inconsequential

    lacking worth or importance
  54. inevitable

    incapable of being avoided or prevented
  55. integrity

    an undivided or unbroken completeness with nothing wanting
  56. intrepid

    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
  57. intuitive

    spontaneously derived from or prompted by a natural tendency
  58. jubilation

    a feeling of extreme joy
  59. loquacious

    full of trivial conversation
  60. facetious

    cleverly amusing in tone
  61. longevity

    the property of having lived for a considerable time
  62. mundane

    found in the ordinary course of events
  63. nonchalant

    marked by casual unconcern or indifference
  64. novice

    someone new to a field or activity
  65. opulent

    rich and superior in quality
  66. orator

    a person who delivers a speech
  67. ostentatious

    intended to attract notice and impress others
  68. parched

    dried out by heat or excessive exposure to sunlight
  69. precocious

    characterized by exceptionally early development
  70. pretentious

    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
  71. procrastinate

    postpone doing what one should be doing
  72. prosaic

    lacking wit or imagination
  73. prosperity

    the condition of having good fortune
  74. provocative

    serving or tending to excite or stimulate
  75. prudent

    marked by sound judgment
  76. omit

    leave undone or leave out
  77. rancor

    a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
  78. reclusive

    withdrawn from society; seeking solitude
  79. reconciliation

    the reestablishment of cordial relations
  80. renovate

    restore to a previous or better condition
  81. resilient

    recovering readily from adversity, depression, or the like
  82. restrained

    under control
  83. reverence

    a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
  84. sagacious

    acutely insightful and wise
  85. scrutinize

    examine carefully for accuracy
  86. spontaneity

    the quality of coming from feelings without constraint
  87. submissive

    inclined or willing to give in to orders or wishes of others
  88. substantiate

    establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
  89. subtle

    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
  90. superficial

    of, affecting, or being on or near the surface
  91. superfluous

    more than is needed, desired, or required
  92. tactful

    having a sense of what is considerate in dealing with others
  93. tenacious

    stubbornly unyielding
  94. transient

    lasting a very short time
  95. venerable

    profoundly honored
  96. vindictive

    disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge
  97. wary

    marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
  98. unanimous

    in complete agreement
  99. protagonist

    the principal character in a work of fiction
  100. utopia

    ideally perfect state
Created on April 12, 2012
(updated April 17, 2012)