Start learning with an activity...
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!
Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly.
Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly.
the sound made by a duckA family of ducks were slowly paddling about in front of me, making little furrows in the quiet water and giving an occasional placid
quack.Arnim, Elizabeth von
a four-sided polygonIt is
quadrilateral in shape, consisting of four unequal sides flanked by towers and built round a courtyard.Various
an animal especially a mammal having four limbsIn a moment they were on all fours, hopping about like so many
quadrupeds.Patchin, Frank Gee
swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draughtGareth gave it to him, and
quaffed deeply of the refreshing draught, for he was burning with thirst.Morris, Charles
a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfootThe heavy rain had reduced this low-lying ground to a veritable
quagmire, making progress very difficult even for one as unburdened as he was.Putnam Weale, B. L. (Bertram Lenox)
attractively old-fashionedShe lives in a
quaint old-fashioned house with casement windows and deep window seats, old oak staircase and panelled rooms.Strang, Mrs. Herbert
meeting the proper standards and requirements for a taskAll schools need administrators who are highly
qualified, dedicated to the profession and not hired due to political connections.Washington Post (Aug 22, 2011)
prove capable or fit; meet requirementsThe housing bust wiped away $7 trillion in household equity, leaving many homeowners with too much debt to
qualify for new loans.Wall Street Journal (May 9, 2012)
involving distinguishing attributesQualitative research can help entrepreneurs to understand their customers' or clients' feelings, values, and perceptions of a particular product or service.
uneasiness about the fitness of an actionKenneth had no
qualms about asking a neighboring table at the country club to stop cussing with his daughters in earshot.
a situation from which extrication is difficultColleges and universities are in a
quandary: Spending cuts, combined with a freeze on tuition, mean fewer teachers and the closing of certain programs.New York Times (Feb 20, 2012)
expressible as an amount that can be measuredAgencies have not traditionally hired for skills like “number crunching, data visualization,
quantitative analysis,” Mr. Neumann said.New York Times (Oct 30, 2011)
how much there is or how many there are of somethingProducing big
quantities in America has become harder, as the authorities have cracked down on bulk purchases of the ingredients.
the smallest discrete quantity of some physical propertyPhysicists have used all manner of
quantum objects to store qubits—electrons, atomic nuclei, photons and so on.Scientific American (Apr 11, 2012)
isolation to prevent the spread of infectious diseaseThe exact time when it is safe for a person to come out of
quarantine and resume ordinary life varies in different diseases.Cross, American Red
an angry disputeThe slightest
quarrel, the most commonplace street brawl are pretexts for rival factions to come out in battle array.Bastide, Charles
a surface excavation for extracting stone or slateBut what about
quarries from which are taken building stone, salt, kaolin or clay?Hoskin, Arthur J.
put down by force or intimidationMore than 500 people are thought to have been killed since mid-March as the security forces try to
wharf usually built parallel to the shorelineThe harbour accommodation is extensive and excellent, large new docks and
quays having been recently built, and other works being under construction or contemplated.Various
feeling nauseaThe ground still shook under his feet, and his insides were producing the
queasy symptoms of motion sickness.Goodwin, Harold L. (Harold Leland)
suppress or crush completelyBurned cars and tires littered a street as police used tear gas to
quell demonstrators who threw rocks and small explosives, local TV footage showed.
put out, as of fires, flames, or lightsNo fire was visible anywhere; every bit had been
quenched by the flood which came in after Lutchi propped up the sky.Curtin, Jeremiah
habitually complainingIn the first place, she is not rich; I could tell that by the
querulous complaints of her middle‑class mother.Du Maurier, George
pose a question"How can such things be?"
queried Reuben, stroking his beard in perplexity.Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows)
the act of searching for somethingIn the never-ending
quest to cut costs and increase money paid out of pocket by customers, airline perks have been disappearing for years.
form a line or stand in lineVoters
queued up in orderly lines in Taipei and other cities islandwide after polls opened at 8 a.m.
argue over petty thingsPhilosophy, Sports People often dismiss philosophical disputes as mere
quibbles about words. New York Times (Mar 16, 2012)
being quiet or still or inactiveUnder normal conditions, only a fraction of these blood-forming stem cells are active; the rest are deeply
quiescent – asleep.
a state of peace and quietShe took the vacant seat with a sort of frozen
quietude, and her limbs seemed to settle themselves rigidly into positions where they remained immovable.Ritchie, Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt
the most typical example or representative of a typeThis composition, in many ways the most wonderful single piece we have from Chopin, is the
quintessence of his genius.Spalding, Walter Raymond
witty remarkWhen Turkle said she had been at funerals where people checked their iPhones, Colbert
quipped: "We all say goodbye in our own way."
a strange attitude or habitThere are a few annoying
quirks: For example, the PlayBook took a long time when scrolling through long documents or Web pages.Seattle Times (Apr 16, 2011)
strikingly unconventionalQuirky experiences abound: A vintage clothing store in a double-decker bus!
someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying forceNaturally enough, the attitude taken up by the Christians earned them fresh attacks from the
Quisling followers.Snoek, Johan Martinus
shake with fast, tremulous movementsHis last words had scarcely rung out when my horse began to
quiver under me and sway backward and forward.Weyman, Stanley John
not sensible about practical mattersGranted, Latin American integration is an elusive if not
quixotic goal: the region stretches farther than Africa, and its nations' interests are just as balkanized.
playfully vexing, especially by ridiculeNot too long ago, wearing Chicago Blackhawks gear would earn you
quizzical looks or jokes about being the last of the team's fans.Seattle Times (Jun 1, 2010)
a gathering of the minimal number of members of a groupWithout a
quorum of four, the commission was unable to do even basic things such as approving public funding for presidential candidates.Slate (Jan 25, 2011)
a passage or expression that is cited“Better fifty years of Europe Than a cycle of Cathay,” murmured Dick, yielding once more to his chronic habit of
quotation.Duffield, J. W.
found in the ordinary course of eventsMore seriously, plenty of
quotidian consumer staples, such as children's clothes, come from China.
(updated August 11, 2014)