You are here: Quizzes - Word Meanings

50 Words and Meanings

Words that adults should have in their vocabulary. Handy for a word quiz.

Words - Meanings

  1. Anachronism - something that belongs to the past rather than the present.
  2. Anathema - something or someone detested or shunned.
  3. Antithesis - a thing or person that is the direct opposite of something or someone else.
  4. Bourgeoisie - the middle class, typically with reference to a class oriented to materialism.
  5. Bellicose - demonstrating willingness to fight and aggression.
  6. Capricious - displaying sudden changes of mood or behaviour.

  7. Circumspect - unwilling to take risks; wary.
  8. Colloquial - words or expressions used in ordinary language by common people.
  9. Connotation - the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning.
  10. Crepuscular - resembling or relating to twilight.
  11. Didactic - intended or designed to teach.
  12. Disingenuous - dishonest or misleading.
  13. Enfranchise - to set free.
  14. Exponential - the non-mathematics use of this word implies rapidly increasing growth.
  15. Facetious - flippant; treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour.
  16. Filibuster - political procedure in which one or more members of a legislative body use time-wasting tricks to delay or entirely prevent decision.
  17. Infamous - having a reputation of the worst kind.
  18. Hegemony - dominance or leadership, especially by one social group or state over others.
  19. Hubris - excessive self-confidence or pride that could lead to terrible consequences.
  20. Ingrate - a very ungrateful person.
  21. Incongruous - out of place; inappropriate; unbecoming.
  22. Lionize - to treat as an object of great interest or importance.
  23. Magnanimous - a form of generosity that isn’t necessary, but shows kindness and usually, a refusal to be petty.
  24. Mellifluous - having a pleasant and smooth sound.
  25. Nefarious - extremely wicked or criminal.
  26. Nemesis - a long-standing rival or arch-enemy.
  27. Nihilism - the rejection of all moral and religious principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.
  28. Obfuscate - make unclear, obscure, or unintelligible.
  29. Obsequious - attentive or obedient to a serville or excessive degree.
  30. Onomatopoeia - the formation of a word that phonetically imitates or resembles the sound that it describes (for example, cuckoo).
  31. Oxymoron - a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear together.
  32. Paradigm - a distinct set of thought patterns or concepts.
  33. Pedantic - overscrupulous; excessively concerned with minor details or rules.
  34. Pedagogy - an old-fashioned word for teaching; a pedagogue is a teacher.
  35. Pejorative - expressing disapproval or contempt.
  36. Perfunctory - carried out without real feeling, interest, or effort.
  37. Perusal - the action of examining or reading something.
  38. Plagiarism - taking someone else's ideas or work and preenting them as your own.
  39. Platitude - a saying or phrase that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
  40. Plethora - a large or excessive amount of something.
  41. Proletariat - working-class people; a society whose only economic value is their labour power (often used with reference to Marxism).
  42. Sardonic - grimly mocking or cynical.
  43. Sanguine - upbeat, optimistic and positive, especially in a difficult situation.
  44. Soliloquy - speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself, widely used by a character in a play.
  45. Tautology - expression or phrase that says the same thing twice, just in different words.
  46. Temerity - audacity; excessive boldness or confidence.
  47. Twighlight - the period (or the light) from the sky between sunset and full night or between full night and sunrise.
  48. Ubiquitous - seeming to be seen everywhere; constantly encountered.
  49. Vernacular - the language spoken by the ordinary people in a particular region or country.
  50. Unctuous - excessively flattering; full of praise that's obviously insincere.