Vocabulary Words Hard to Learn

 In Learn English

The number of vocabulary words in the English language is said to be about 800,000 – and counting! Fortunately, when it comes to learning English as a second language, linguists and scholars seem to agree that about 2,000 words is enough to get you understood by native English speakers! Having got to a point where you can converse with native speakers and you know how the language works, you will probably find it easier and easier to learn new words.

Vocabulary words that are hard to learn but useful to know

Although you don’t need thousands of words in English to attain a basic level of fluency, there are some vocabulary words that are difficult to learn but because they can be used appropriately in our daily conversations, it is worth focusing on some of them.

  1. Apprehension (noun): fear or anxiety about something
  2. Subtle (adjective): barely noticeable – a subtle change as opposed to a sudden change
  3. Fuming (verb): to be very angry
  4. Hypocritical (adjective): to say one thing is the correct way and behave in the opposite way
  5. Relegate (verb): to place in a lower position
  6. Inquisitive (adjective): curious and eager for knowledge
  7. Stroll (verb): to walk in a leisurely way, wander
  8. Contempt (noun): lack of respect accompanied by intense dislike
  9. Grovel (verb): to behave in a submissive and apologetic way
  10. Deem (verb): to believe or consider something in a specific way
  11. Impetuous (adjective): hasty, to act without thought of consequences
  12. Dossier (noun): a collection of documents about a person, event or subject.
  13. Scrumptious (adjective): extremely appetizing or delicious, very attractive
  14. Ceaseless (adjective): constant, unending
  15. Ebullient (adjective): cheerful, full of energy
  16. Poseur (noun): a person who behaves affectedly in order to impress others.
  17. Fickle (adjective): changing frequently especially regarding one’s loyalties or affections, unreliable
  18. Humdrum (adjective): boringly monotonous, lacking variety
  19. Aspirant (noun): someone who wants to achieve
  20. Wheedle (verb): to try persuading someone to do something
  21. Uncanny (adjective): strange or mysterious, difficult or impossible to explain
  22. Construe (verb): to interpret in a specific way
  23. Coercive (adjective): relating to or using force or threats
  24. Baffle (verb): to confuse, puzzled, difficult to understand or explain
  25. Fawning (adjective) : displaying exaggerated flattery or affection
  26. Pre-eminent (adjective): outstanding, superior, more important or powerful
  27. Insipid (adjective): lacking flavor, dull
  28. Palatable (adjective): pleasant, satisfactory or acceptable to taste
  29. Reverent (adjective): showing great respect and admiration
  30. Swindle (verb): to use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions.
  31. Dauntless (adjective): showing fearlessness and determination
  32. Maverick (noun): a person who thinks and acts in an independent way often behaving differently from the expected or usual way
  33. Nefarious (adjective): extremely wicked or villainous
  34. Dabble (verb): to immerse (one’s hands or feet) partially in water and move them around gently. Take part in an activity in a casual or non-serious way.
  35. Feisty (adjective): (of a person, typically one who is relatively small) lively, determined, and courageous.
  36. Vandalize (verb): to deliberately destroy or damage (public or private property)
  37. Impede (verb): to delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder.
  38. Adept (adjective): very skilled or proficient at something
  39. Deplore (verb): to feel or express strong condemnation of something
  40. Indulgent (adjective): having or indicating a readiness or over-readiness to be generous to or lenient with someone.
  41. Abstain (verb): to restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something.

If you are learning English as a second language and have been a student for some time here in the USA, these words will be familiar to you.  Either because of the way they are spelled, or that they are difficult to pronounce, you probably would have had some difficulty learning them.  But it’s worth it to have some of these words in your vocabulary as they will not only come in handy, but they will demonstrate that you have achieved an impressive level of fluency!!

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