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Academic Word Bank Exercise

This exercise is meant to daily increase your ability to use more advanced English words, especially in an academic setting. This exercise is meant to be completed before an English class period and then briefly performed. If you are teaching yourself, it is best to do this exercise with a native speaker to give you feedback.


  1. Choose (or have your teacher choose) three words that you do not know from the bank of words at the bottom of this page.
  2. Find
    • The dictionary definition of the word (with pronunciation).
    • An example of the word being used in a book, article, website, or video of some kind. You can use Google to find this, and Google News may be especially helpful for the search.
  3. Prepare
    • A spoken definition of the word that you will perform.
    • A spoken example of how the word was used in a book, article, etc.
    • A sentence using the word that makes its meaning clear in context. This needs to be written by you and will also be spoken aloud. This sentence can be a question.
      • For example: “I wore anĀ opaque mask over my eyes so that the light would not disturb my sleep.” This sentence is better than a sentence like “The paint was opaque” because it shows what the word means in context.

Word Bank:

abolish abridge abstract acclaim accommodate accord adamant advent adversary adversity aesthetic affiliation affirmation affliction aftermath aggravation ambidextrous ambiguous anecdote anguish animated annihilate anonymous apprehensive apprentice aptitude arbitrary arid artifact aspiration assent assertive audacious augment auxiliary avert belligerent benevolent benign bestow bewilder boisterous breach brevity calligraphy cavernous chaotic charisma choreography chronicle chronological circumstantial clientele coalition coerce collaborate collateral colossal commandeer commemorate communal competent concede concentric concise concurrent condemnation condole conglomerate conjecture conscientious consensus constrain contemplate contemporary contrary convene conventional convergent cordial cornucopia credible cynical decipher deficit denounce deprivation derivative designation desolate despicable deterrent deviate dilemma dire discern discrepancy disentangle dismantle dispel disposition dissension distortion divergent diversion dominion dormant dreary dubious eccentric eclipse ecstatic egotistical eloquent embark emphatic encompass eradicate erratic excise exclusion excruciating excursion exemplify expansive facilitate fanaticism fidelity flaunt fluctuate formative formulate fortification fossilized frivolous fruitless futile generic genre gingerly gratification gullible harmonious havoc hindrance homage homogeneous hypocritical hypothetical illustrious impediment impending impenetrable imperative implicit imposition impoverished improvise impulsive inanimate inaugural incarcerate incompatible inconceivable inconclusive inconsequential indispensable induce ineffectual inference infiltrate ingenuity ingrained inherent inhibit initiate innovation instigate integral interim intricate introvert irrelevant jargon jeopardy judicious kinetic laborious lattice lavish longevity luminous luxuriant malice malignant mediocre melancholy memorandum metaphor metropolitan moderation monotonous monumental morale naive nocturnal norm notorious novice nurture objective obliterate ominous omnipotent omniscient parable paradox paramount paraphrase patronize perennial perilous periphery pervasive piety placid plight porous posterity potency preamble predecessor predicament predominant procrastinate procure prophetic protocol proximity purge quarantine ransack ratification rationale ravage ravenous rectify referendum refrain refurbish regime rehabilitate reimburse relinquish reminiscent remnant renovate repercussion replenish repulsive requisite resolve retaliate retort reversion rhetoric rubble rustic sabotage saga sanction satire seasoned secular sedentary senile serene sinister skeptic sovereign spatial squander stagnant stature statutory stereotype strife stupendous subdue subterranean subtle subversive succumb superficial superlative supplement surge susceptible synthesis temperance tenacious tentative terrestrial torrential tranquil traverse trifle trivial turmoil unanimous undermine unison unprecedented unquenchable unrestrained unsightly unsurpassed vengeful versatile viable vibrant vicious vile vintage vogue wary wholesome abrasive abstinence accentuate accolade acme adage adept adherent adjunct admonish adulterate advocate affinity affluence aggregate alleviate aloof amass amenable amenity amicable amnesty amorphous anarchy anoint antagonist antiquated apathy apex appease apportion appraisal arbiter archaic articulate assimilate astute atrocious austere autonomous avarice aversion banter barrage belittle bequeath bereaved besiege bigotry blight bolster boon buttress cadence caliber callous captivate caricature catalyst centenary chronic circumvent clique cognitive cohesive commendation complacent complement compliant compulsion condescend condone conducive confidant confound congenial conjure connoisseur contemptible contentious contingent contrived copious correlate corrugated cosmopolitan covert crescendo culinary curtail deadlock decadent decimate definitive defunct deluge demarcation demented demise demographic deplete derogatory destitute detrimental devoid dilapidated directive disarray disdain disillusion disincentive disinterested dispersal disseminate dissident dissipate dissuade distraught dupe duplicity dwindle edict edifice efficacy elicit elude emanate embankment embodiment emigrate empathy emulate ensue enthrall epitaph epitome errant esoteric euphoria exasperate exemplary exorbitant expedient expedite explicate exposition extravaganza exuberance facade facet fallacy fathom fiasco figurative fissure flagrant flamboyant fleeting forage forlorn formidable frugal gaunt genteel gradient grandiose granule gravity gregarious grotesque haggard hallmark hallowed harrowing heretic heterogeneous hierarchy illusory immaculate imminent impassioned impeccable impervious impetus implausible impromptu imprudent incessant incoherent incongruous incumbent indelible indifferent indigenous indignant indoctrinate inept inert inestimable infallible infamous infirmity inflammable infringe infusion ingrate injunction innate inquisitive insurrection interminable intermittent intertwine intrinsic intrusive invulnerable ironic irrefutable irrevocable jaded jostle jovial labyrinthine lethargic liaison liquidate loathsome lucid lucrative ludicrous lustrous malevolent mandate meander medley melodramatic mercenary metamorphosis meticulous misgiving momentous monochrome mundane neurotic nominal noncommittal nonconformist nostalgic noxious nullify oblique oblivious obstinate omnipresent opaque oppress ornate outlay paltry pandemonium panoramic pantheon paranoia paraphernalia pare parody patriarch pedigree penance pensive permeate perpetrate perpetuate perplexed pestilence philanthropy pinnacle pivotal plagiarism plunder poignant pompous posthumous pragmatic precarious preclude preconception precursor predispose pretentious primeval pristine profusion progeny prolific prone propensity proponent propriety protagonist protrude proverbial provincial provisional pseudonym pugnacious punctuate pungent quell quorum radical ramble ramification rampant rant rapport raucous rebuke reciprocate redundant regression regurgitate reinstate reiterate rejuvenate remedial renounce repertoire repose repository reprieve reprimand residual resonate resounding respite resurgence retention retribution reverent revulsion rudimentary sanctity scaffolding scant scourge scuttle sedate skirmish spontaneity sporadic staid stalwart steadfast stifle stigma stipulate strata stringent strut suave subjective subside subsistence substantive suffrage sumptuous superfluous superimpose supersede surmise sustenance symposium taint tangible tedium temperamental tether thwart topical topography transcribe translucent transpose treatise ubiquitous uncanny unfeasible unilateral unlettered unorthodox unparalleled unrelenting unscathed unwarranted unwieldy usurp utilitarian vainglorious validate vanguard vehement veneer veracity verbatim veritable vigilant vivacious volatile voracious wane watershed waver wayward whimsical wile zealous zenith abandon abate abdicate aberrant abet abhor abject abominate abortive abscond absolve abstruse abysmal acclimate accost accrue acquiesce acrid acuity addendum adjudicate adulation affable agnostic agrarian alienate allay allude altruistic amalgamate amatory ambient ambivalent ambulatory amity anachronism analogous ancillary anomaly apparition approbation arcane archetype archipelago arduous assay attrition auspices autocratic awry axiom baroque bastion bedeck bedevil bedlam beget beguile behest beholden bellicose bemused benefaction berate bourgeois brazen bristling broach buoyant cadre cajole camaraderie candor capricious cardinal carnage caustic cavalier cede censure cessation chaff chagrin chastise chivalrous circuitous circumscribe clandestine clarion clemency cloister coalesce cogent commune compendium concerted confluence congenital connive connote consign consternation consummate contagion contiguous contravene convalescent convoluted corporeal corroborate covet craven credence crestfallen crux cull culminate curative curio cursory dapper daunt dearth debacle debunk decry defile deft degenerate delectable deliberate delusive demeanor demure denigrate deportment deprecate derelict derision despondent despot diabolical dictum digress disconcert discordant disparate disparity disposed dissolution dissonance diurnal divest divulge docile dogmatic domicile ebullient echelon ecumenical effigy elocution elucidate embellish emissary empirical enclave encroachment encumber endemic engender enigmatic entourage enunciate envisage ephemeral eschew espouse ethereal eulogy evocation exacting exalt exonerate expatriate expound extraneous extricate exude exult facile farce felicity fester fiat fiduciary filial finesse fledgling flippant foible forte fortitude fracas fruition fugue furtive gargantuan garish gentry gestation gilded glib gradation gratuitous gubernatorial harbinger heinous hiatus hindsight humdrum hyperbole idiosyncratic idolatry imbibe imbue immutable impasse impassive imperceptible impertinent impinge implacable impregnable impudence impunity impute inadvertent inalienable inane incendiary inception incipient incisive incommunicado inconsolable inconspicuous incorrigible incursion indiscreet indomitable indulgent infinitesimal inflection inimical inimitable iniquity innocuous inopportune inscrutable insidious insipid insular intelligentsia interject intersperse intractable intrepid introspective inundate irreconcilable itinerant juggernaut lamentable languid lexicon limber lithe litigate liturgy livid loquacious malady malign malleable matriarch maverick maxim meritorious mesmerize meteoric microcosm milieu minuscule misapprehension misconstrue misnomer mitigate mollify monastic monolith morose myriad nebulous nemesis nettle nomenclature nonchalant notional nuance obsolescent obtuse obviate odious onerous opine opulent oscillate ostentatious overt palatable palatial pallid palpable pandemic pander paragon parenthetical parry pastoral pathogen pathological pecuniary pedagogy penchant pernicious personify peruse petulant pillage pique pithy pittance plethora plummet polarization ponderous potable prattle precept precipitous precocious preponderance prerogative presumptuous primordial profundity propagate propitious protege prowess punitive quagmire qualm quandary quaver quintessential rambunctious rancid rebuff recant recluse recompense recoup recrimination redress relegate remission remuneration renege replete reprisal repute requiem rescind resilience retinue retrograde retrospect revelry reverberate reverie revile rife ruse salient sanguine sardonic saunter schism scrupulous sedition semblance serpentine servile shard skittish slovenly sojourn soliloquy sonorous sordid spate spurious squalor squeamish stasis stolid stricture strident stupor sublime subservient succinct succulent sundry supine supplant surmount surrogate sylvan synchronous synergy tacit tactile talisman tangential tantalize taxonomy tempestuous temporal tenet tenuous tepid terse timorous tirade torrid torsion tortuous transfuse transmute travail trepidation tribulation trite truncate tumultuous ulterior ultimatum unassuming unbridled uncouth undulate unfounded unkempt unnerve unobtrusive unsavory unwitting vacuous vantage vaporous variegated vassal vendetta venerable verbiage verbose verity vernacular vernal vicarious vilify vindictive virtuoso virulent volition voluminous vortex wallow wanton wastrel whet wistful woebegone writ abase abeyance abjure abut accede accretion acerbic acolyte acumen adduce adroit affront agglomerate alacrity allegorical alliteration altercation ameliorate anathema animus antecedent anthropomorphic antipathy antithesis aphorism aplomb apogee appellation apprise appropriate apropos arboreal ardor arraign artifice artless aspirate assiduous assignation assuage astringent atrophy attenuate august auspicious aver avocation baleful banal bandy bane beatific behemoth beleaguer belie beset bevy bifurcate blithe bohemian bombastic brackish braggadocio bravado brusque burgeon burnish cachet calumny canard canonize cantankerous capacious capitulate carapace carp castigate cataclysm catharsis cauterize cavort charlatan chauvinism choleric circumspect clairvoyant coagulate cogitate collate collude comely commiserate commodious commutation complicity comport concatenate conciliation conclave concomitant conflagration congeal conjugal conscript conundrum convivial corpulent countenance countermand credulous culpable dank debility debonair deference defoliate deify deign deleterious delineate demagogue denizen denude depravity depredation desecrate diadem diatribe dichotomy diffident diffuse diminution diorama disburse disconsolate discrete discursive disingenuous disparage disquiet dour draconian droll duress ecclesiastical eclectic edification efface effervescent effusive egregious egress elegy emaciated ensconce epiphany erudite euphemism exacerbate exhort exhume exponent expropriate expunge extemporaneous extol extradite facetious factitious fallow fastidious fealty feign feint fervid fete fetter figurehead florid flout foist fortuitous frenetic functionary fusillade galvanize gambit gamut garrulous germane gesticulate gloss grandiloquent grouse guttural hackneyed halcyon hapless hedonism heuristic homologous idyll ignominy imperious imperturbable impetuous incognito inculcate indefatigable indemnify indigent indolent inductive inebriated ineffable inexorable inordinate insinuation interdict interlocutor interloper interpolate interpose interstitial invective inveterate irascible iridescent irresolute jaundiced jettison jocular juxtaposition lackadaisical lackey largess latent latitude levity lien listless litany luminary macabre maelstrom magnanimity magnate malaise malfeasance maudlin megalomania melee mendacious mercurial mettle minion misogynist missive modicum moratorium moribund motley nadir nascent neophyte nepotism nexus nondescript obfuscate occlude officious olfactory omnibus opus orthography ossify ostensible ostracize panacea panache paradigm pariah parlance parochial paucity pedantic peremptory peripatetic permutation philistine piquant plastic plaudit politic polyglot pontificate portent poseur postulate preen presage prescient probity prodigal prodigious proffer progenitor proletarian promontory promulgate prophylactic prosaic protuberance provenance providential putative putrid quaff quiescence quixotic rapprochement rapt recalcitrant recapitulate rectitude recumbent regale rejoinder remonstrate reprehensible repudiate repugnance resplendent restitution reticent riposte rubric ruminate sacrilegious sacrosanct sapient satiate scintillating sectarian segue seminal sentient sequester serendipity sidle sinuous smorgasbord solicitous solvency somatic somnolent sophistry stoic stratagem stymie subjugate subsume suffuse supplicant surreptitious swarthy taciturn tantamount tawdry temerity tensile tertiary touchstone travesty tremulous tutelage unflagging unflappable unrequited unseemly urbane vagary vaunted venal verdant vertigo vestige vignette vindicate visage visceral vociferous voluble windfall winsome yokel abash ablation ablution abnegation abrogate abstemious acquisitive acrimonious addle adjure adumbrate adventitious aegis aggrandize aliment annular anodyne antediluvian antipodal apocryphal apostate apotheosis apposite appurtenance aquiline arch argot arrogate aspersion atavism augury avuncular badinage bagatelle bailiwick besmirch bilious blandishment bowdlerize bravura bucolic bumptious cabal callow captious catatonic cavil celerity chary cherubic chicanery chimerical churlish circumlocution cloy codicil colloquy comestible complaisant compunction condign confute consanguinity contrite contumacious convoke coterie crepuscular cynosure decorous decrepitude demur denouement desiccate desultory detritus devolve dialectic diaphanous didactic dilatory dilettante dirge disabuse disaffected discombobulated discomfit disinter dissemble distend dolorous dross dulcet effete effrontery effulgent egalitarian emollient emolument encomium enervate ennui enormity entropy epicurean epigram epithet epochal equanimity equivocate ersatz escarpment euphony evanescent evince excoriate exculpate execrate exegesis exigent exiguous expatiate expiate expostulate expurgate extant extenuate extirpate factious farrago fatuous febrile feckless fecundity fetid flaccid foment fractious fulminate fulsome fungible gainsay gambol gauche genuflect gerrymander glutinous gossamer harangue hegemony hermetic heterodox histrionic homily hubris iconoclast imbroglio immanent impecunious imprimatur impugn inchoate incommensurate incontrovertible ineluctable ingenuous ingratiate ingress insouciance internecine interregnum intone intransigent inveigh inveigle invidious irreproachable jejune kitsch lachrymose laconic lacuna lassitude laudatory legerdemain leviathan limpid lineament lionize lissome littoral lugubrious machination macrocosm malapropism manacle martinet mawkish melange mellifluous mendicant meretricious miasma misanthrope moiety mountebank multifarious munificent myopic nefarious neologism noisome nonpareil obdurate obeisance obsequious obstreperous obtrude obverse opprobrium overweening paean palliative panegyric panoply paroxysm parsimonious pastiche patina patois peccadillo pellucid penury peregrination perfidious perfunctory peroration perquisite perspicacity pertinacious phlegmatic picayune pillory plaintive platitude plenary plenipotentiary polemic potentate predilection prefatory prevaricate privation proclivity profligate prognosticate prolix propinquity propitiate proscribe proselytize protean puerile pulchritude punctilious purgative purloin purvey purview pusillanimous putrefy querulous raconteur rapacious rapscallion rarefy recognizance recondite reconnoiter redolent redoubtable redound refractory refulgent remiss reprobate restive retrench rotund saccharine sagacious salubrious salutary sanctimonious sartorial saturnine savant scurrilous sedulous senescent sententious serried simulacrum sinecure sobriquet soiree solecism soporific specious stentorian striation stultify suborn subterfuge superannuated supercilious surfeit svelte sybarite sycophant synoptic tautology temporize tenable tendentious titular toothsome torpor traduce trammel transfix transience trenchant triptych troglodyte trope truculent tryst turgid turpitude tyro umbrage unconscionable unctuous unguent unsullied untoward vacillate vapid venial verisimilitude vicissitude viscid vitiate vitriolic vituperative welter winnow wizened

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