Difficult Words in English Vocabulary

The English language is enriched with more than a million words. There are numerous difficult words in English vocabulary. Learning an approximate count of 3000 words is enough for an individual to actively participate in an everyday English conversation. A rich vocabulary eases the trouble of expression, and it helps individuals improve their communication skills. The following article on difficult words in English will help you to build a wide and varied vocabulary.

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letters ‘A’ to ‘Z’

Are you thinking of a solution to enrich your English vocabulary? Practising difficult English words and using them frequently while communicating are the only solutions to enlarge our comprehensive knowledge of English. Use the comprehensive list of words given below to learn more hard words and improve your insight into the English language.

List of Difficult Words in English:

The following list of words will help you improve your reading comprehension, language knowledge, communication skills, and expression of ideas to others. Always keep in mind that everything is hard until it’s made easy.

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘A’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Abandon

cease to support or look after someone

Abolish

formally put an end to (a system, practice, or institution)

Abscond

leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection of or arrest for an unlawful action such as theft

Accelerate

(of a vehicle or other physical object) begin to move more quickly

Accretion

the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual accumulation of additional layers or matter

Acumen

the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain

Adamant

refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind

Adverse

preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable

Advocate

a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy

Affluent

  1. having a great deal of money; wealthy
  2. (of water) flowing freely or in great quantity

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘B’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Backbite

talk maliciously about someone who is not present

Baffle

totally bewilder or perplex

Ballad

a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas

Banish

send (someone) away from a country or place as an official punishment

Barbaric

savagely cruel; exceedingly brutal

Barren

too poor to produce much or any vegetation

Bedlam

a scene of uproar and confusion

Benefactor

a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause

Beseech

ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something

Blasphemy

the act or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘C’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Cajole

persuade (someone) to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery

Cannibal

a person who eats the flesh of other human beings

Charisma

compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others

Chasm

a deep crack or opening in the earth, rock, or another surface

Chauvinist

a person with a prejudiced belief in his own superiority

Cliche

a phrase or opinion that is overused

Contagion

the communication of disease from one person to another by close contact

Countenance

a person’s face or facial expression

Cringe

bend one’s head and body in fear or in a servile manner

Cue

a signal for action

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘D’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Dauntless

showing fearlessness and determination

Delicacy

fineness or intricacy of texture or structure

Delicate

very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality

Depict

show or represent by a drawing, painting, or other art form

Desolate

feeling or showing misery, unhappiness, or loneliness

Destitute

without the basic necessities of life

Devote

give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause)

Diabolical

disgracefully bad or unpleasant, characteristic of the Devil

Discrepancy

a lack of similarity between two or more facts

Dismantle

take (a machine or structure) to pieces

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘E’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Ecclesiastical

relating to the Christian Church or its clergy

Edifice

a building, especially a large, imposing one

Elegy

a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead

Endeavour

try hard to do or achieve something

Endure

suffer patiently

Enigma

a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand

Enslave

make (someone) a slave

Epitaph

a phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone

Extinction

the process of a particular thing ceasing to exist

Extricate

free (someone or something) from a constraint or difficulty

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘F’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Fasten

close or do up securely

Fathom

a unit of length equal to six feet (approximately 1.8 m), chiefly used in reference to the depth of water

Fete

a celebration or festival

Fidelity

faithfulness to a person

Flick

a sudden sharp movement

Flip

turn over with a sudden quick movement

Foresight

the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.

Fragile

easily broken or damaged

Franchise

an authorization granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities

Futile

incapable of producing any useful result

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘G’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Gale

a very strong wind

Gallant

brave

Gambit

a device, action, or opening remark, typically one entailing a degree of risk, that is calculated to gain an advantage

Gamble

play games of chance for money; bet

Garment

an item of clothing

Gastronomy

the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food

Gaze

a steady intent look

Genial

friendly and cheerful

Genre

a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterised by similarities in form, style, or subject matter

Gibberish

meaningless speech or writing, nonsense

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘H’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Habitual

done or doing constantly or as a habit

Hail

call out to (someone) to attract attention

Harbinger

a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another

Haughty

arrogantly superior and disdainful

Havoc

widespread destruction

Heathen

a follower of a polytheistic religion

Hegemony

leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others

Hinder

create difficulties for (someone or something), resulting in delay or obstruction

Holocaust

destruction or slaughter on a mass scale

Hostile

unfriendly; antagonistic

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘I’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Iconoclast

a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions

Idiosyncrasy

a mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual

Idle

lazy

Imbibe

drink

Imperative

of vital importance; crucial

Impetus

the force or energy with which a body moves

Incarnate

embodied in flesh; in human form

Indigenous

originating or occurring naturally in a particular place

Inevitable

certain to happen; unavoidable

Insane

mentally illness

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘J’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Jabber

talk rapidly and excitedly but with little sense

Jargon

special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand

Jaunt

a short journey for pleasure

Jolly

happy and cheerful

Jovial

cheerful and friendly

Judicious

having, showing, or done with good judgement or sense

Juncture

a particular point in events or time

Junk

old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value

Jurisdiction

the territory within which power can be exercised

Juxtapose

place or deal with close together for contrasting effect

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘K’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Kalopsia

the state in which everything, and everyone, looks beautiful

Keen

having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm

Keystone

the central principle on which all else depends

Kickoff

the start of an event or activity

Kindle

light or set on fire

Kinesis

movement; motion

Kinship

blood relationship

Kleptomania

a recurrent urge to steal, typically without regard for need or profit

Knight

a man who served his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armour

Kudos

praise and honour received for an achievement

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘L’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Labyrinth

a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze.

Lacuna

an unfilled space or interval; a gap

Lampoon

publicly criticise by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm

Languid

pleasantly lazy and peaceful

Languish

lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble.

Leverage

the exertion of force by means of a lever

Leviathan

a sea monster

Libidinous

showing excessive sexual drive

Luminary

a person who inspires or influences others

Lunatic

a mentally ill person

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘M’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Macrocosm

the whole of a complex structure

Magnanimous

generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or less powerful person

Malapropism

the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one

Mandarin

a powerful official or senior bureaucrat

Manifestation

an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, especially a theory or an abstract idea

Manoeuvre

a movement or series of moves requiring skill and care

Matriarchy

a system of society or government ruled by a woman or women

Mediocre

of only moderate quality; not very good

Merchandise

goods to be bought and sold

Mundane

lacking interest or excitement

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘N’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Narcissist

a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves

Nemesis

the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall

Neophyte

a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief

Nepotism

the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

Niche

a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment

Nihilism

the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless

Nirvana

a state of perfect happiness

Nocturnal

done, occurring, or active at night

Nomenclature

the devising or choosing of names for things, especially in a science or other discipline

Nullify

invalidate

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘O’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Oblivion

the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening.

Oblivious

not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one

Obscure

uncertain

Obsolete

no longer produced or used; out of date.

Odour

a distinctive smell, especially an unpleasant one

Omen

an event regarded as a portent of good or evil

Omnipotent

having unlimited power

Omnipresent

common or widespread

Omniscient

knowing everything

Overwhelm

defeat completely

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘P’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Pandemonium

uproar

Paramount

supreme

Paranoia

suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification

Patriarchy

a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it

Perplex

confuse

Petrify

make someone so frightened that they are unable to move

Pinnacle

the most successful point

Preamble

an introduction

Protocol

the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions

Pseudonym

a false name

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘Q’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Quadrilateral

a four-sided figure

Qualitative

relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity

Quandary

uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation

Quantitative

relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality

Quantum

the smallest amount or unit of something

Quarantine

a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed

Quench

satisfy one’s thirst by drinking

Querulous

complaining in a weak high voice

Quibble

a slight objection or criticism about a matter of little value

Quintessence

the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘R’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Rampant

Getting worse quickly in an uncontrolled way

Realm

a kingdom

Rebuke

express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone because of their behaviour or actions

Reconnaissance

preliminary surveying or research

Reiterate

say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity

Rejuvenate

give new energy or vigour to

Relegate

consign or dismiss to an inferior rank

Reminiscent

tending to remind one of something

Remorse

deep regret for a wrong committed

Renaissance

a revival of or renewed interest in something

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘S’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Sagacious

having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgement

Sarcasm

the use of irony to mock or convey contempt

Satire

the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to criticise people’s stupidity or vices

Scornful

feeling or expressing contempt or derision

Scrutinise

examine or inspect closely and thoroughly

Seditious

inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch

Semantics

the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning

Seminal

strongly influencing later developments

Serendipity

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way

Solace

comfort in a time of distress

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘T’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Taboo

a prohibited social practice

Tactful

sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues

Tactical

relating to or constituting actions carefully planned

Tangible

perceptible by touch, real

Tantamount

equivalent to

Taunt

a remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone

Tenet

a principle or belief

Tenuous

very weak or slight

Termination

the action of bringing something to an end

Threshold

a point of entry or beginning

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘U’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Ubiquitous

found everywhere

Unanimous

a decision held or carried by everyone involved

Unbiased

showing no prejudice for or against something

Undaunted

not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty

Unilateral

performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a particular situation, without the agreement of another or the others

Unravel

undo

Upheaval

a violent or sudden change or disruption to something

Utility

the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial

Utopian

a state in which everything is perfect; idealistic

Utterance

a spoken word, statement, or vocal sound

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘V’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Valediction

the action of saying farewell

Valiant

showing courage or determination

Valour

great courage in the face of danger

Vengeance

punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong

Vernacular

the language spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region

Versatile

able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities

Versification

the making of poetry

Vertigo

a sensation of whirling and loss of balance

Vigilante

a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate

Vigorous

strong, healthy, and full of energy

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘W’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Wanderlust

a strong desire to travel

Wardrobe

a tall cabinet in which clothes may be hung or stored

Wayfarer

a person who travels on foot

Whimsical

playfully quaint or fanciful

Winsome

appealing in appearance or character

Wither

cease to flourish

Wizard

a man who has magical powers, especially in legends and fairy tales.

Wrangle

a long argument

Wrath

extreme anger

Wretched

in a very unhappy or unfortunate state

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘X’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Xenophobia

dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries

Xerox

photocopy

Xylography

the art of making woodcuts or wood engravings, especially by a relatively primitive technique

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘Y’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Yank

pull with a jerk

Yankee

a person who lives in, or is from, the US

Yatter

endless talk

Difficult Words in English Vocabulary Starting with the Letter ‘Z’

Difficult Words

Meanings

Zeal

great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective

Zest

great enthusiasm and energy

Zippy

bright, fresh, or lively

How Can We Learn Tough English Words?

Have you heard the term ‘Semantics’ before? Semantics is the study of meanings. English is not our mother tongue, so it requires effort to learn. There are numerous difficult words in the English language. It is hard to acquire knowledge and apply it in day to day conversations. But by practising semantics, even the most difficult words in English can be learnt quickly. Mastering the English language will not be a Himalayan task if you are ready to learn new vocabulary on a regular basis. Start practising on simpler words and gradually step into difficult vocabulary words. Prepare a list of complex words with meaning and try to learn at least five new words from the list regularly to improve your wisdom in the English language.

Frequently Asked Questions on Difficult Words

List 20 hard words in English.

Labyrinth
Nirvana
Nomenclature
Pandemonium
Patriarchy
Pseudonym
Malapropism
Omniscient
Rejuvenate
Sagacious
Serendipity
Solace
Tangible
Tenet
Unbiased
Unilateral
Utopian
Valediction
Overwhelm
Whimsical
Xenophobia

List 10 difficult words starting with the letter ‘I’.

Iconoclast
Idiosyncrasy
Idle
Imbibe
Imperative
Impetus
Incarnate
Indigenous
Inevitable
Insane

What is semantics?

Semantics is the study of meanings.

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