50 Difficult Words With Meaning (Essential for All Levels Students)

50 most diificult words in english language and their meaning

Whether in high school, college, or in one of these competitive exams to study abroad, a day will come when you’ll encounter words that you find hard to pronounce or understand the meaning. This demonstrates why learning difficult words is so important. By learning new words, you have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary and boost confidence in all areas related to academics. In this post, we have listed over 50 difficult words with their meaning for you to learn. 


Let’s go! 

What are Difficult Words

Difficult words are words that are hard to read, spell, or pronounce. Many students find these words difficult to understand or remember because of their complexity and unfamiliarity. For example, the word 'bureaucracy' was difficult for me to spell a few years ago, and there is a high chance that you’re experiencing the same difficulty right now because the word is hard to spell or pronounce without checking the dictionary. Therefore, to use, spell, and pronounce difficult words easily, you have to become familiar with many of them. That's why in this article, we provide more than 50 difficult words with their meaning. 

The Importance of Knowing Difficult Words 

As a student, there are several reasons why you should learn difficult words. 

1. Standardized examinations 

Study abroad exams like SAT, ACT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL have vocabulary sections to assess students’ English proficiency. For instance, the SAT exam isn’t majorly about matching isolated vocabulary definitions. But, it presents vocabulary within reading passages, allowing you to use context clues to understand their meanings. However, learning difficult words frequently can enhance your reading comprehension and boost your confidence during the SAT, as you won't struggle to understand unfamiliar words solely from context. Additionally, a broader vocabulary helps you read passages more quickly and effectively. 

2. Academic and vocabulary development

Learning difficult words before class activities can put you ahead of your colleagues. In class, you will encounter unfamiliar and hard to spell words in your texts and assignments.


Imagine that you’re asked to read the following sentences in class. 

1. The author published the book under a pseudonym.

2. The scientist's erudition impressed her colleagues at the conference.

There’s a high chance that you’ll find them hard to read and understand because of words like pseudonyms and erudition. But if you learn new difficult words frequently, most of these words won’t be a challenge when you find them in your texts. And this will boost your academic performance both in class and exams. 

Research consistently shows that knowing the meanings of words strongly correlates with reading comprehension. In other words, the more words a child is familiar with, the better they can understand a text.

Furthermore, learning new or difficult words is significant right from the beginning of a child's education. A study indicates that a child's vocabulary in first grade can predict their reading success in middle and high school which means that a strong vocabulary foundation is essential for your future academic achievement.

3. Cognitive purposes

Learning difficult words everyday automatically means you’re training your brain and sharpening your cognitive skills. Here’s how: 

When you learn new words, your brain goes through encoding, storing and retrieving, and this strengthens your memory. For example, you have the chance to understand a new concept about life and expand your knowledge. It also helps to sharpen your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and as a student, this can increase your intellectual growth. 

50 Difficult Words with Meaning 

The following is our big list of hardest words in English. Read, memorize and practice them. 

Difficult Words in English                       Synonyms & Meaning


A denial of desire or self-interest


To beat strongly or rapidly


Unable to move or act; inanimate



To be dishonest; someone whose sexual habit is not considered acceptable; to turn to another way


To speak ill of someone; to belittle through speech


Hard to see through, gloomy


To drive out an evil spirit from a person or thing, especially by an incantation or prayer.


A noisy, disorderly quarrel, fight, brawl, disturbance.


To decorate an interior space as a house, room, or office.


A sky blue, greenish-blue color


Relating to a grave or death; funeral


Merry, joyous, full of playful mischief


An elaborate, ornate creations


A sudden great irresistible descent or influx; a barrage


Insane or mentally ill


Very thin or transparent; unadulterated and unmixed



A distinctive atmosphere or quality is associated with something.


To be very hungry; grasping and having a strong desire for something


Huge, immense, and tremendous


An impending catastrophe happening; chaos.



To push or shake abruptly or roughly; to shock someone into taking action or being alert.


Gradually healing after illness or injury


To be chaffed or irritated; too angry or vexed



Act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow; faithlessness; treachery.



Expectancy; condition of ownership of the real property being undetermined.



An appalling version of something; a stylistic imitation like a parody.


Behaving as though affected by alcohol


Lacking enthusiasm, energy, or strength.


A state of balance, equilibrium, and stability.


Erroneous in date, not applicable to or not appropriate for the time.


The use of more words than necessary to express an idea.


One who destroys religious images or icons



A thing that is the most perfect example of its type; the most perfect embodiment of something; epitome, prototype.



An act of being stubbornly persistent, generally in wrongdoing.


Making or characterized by a noisy outcry; clamorous


To deceive or delude; to charm, delight, or captivate.


Rigorous self-denial or self-discipline.


A broad, well-paved, and landscaped thoroughfare.


Domination, influence, or authority over another.



To make better, or improve something perceived to be in a negative condition.


To involve in immoral acts such as alcohol; to morally corrupt


A subordinate; is someone of a lower rank or position; to be inferior or secondary.


A silly idle talk or writing; nonsense, rubbish.


A strong, unpleasant smell; to have an unpleasant smell.


One who rules in place of a monarch, especially because the monarch is too young or disabled. 



To ring a bell slowly, especially for a funeral; to summon by ringing a bell


A pale purple or violet color


Composed of inherently different or distinct elements.


When someone intends to attract notice.


Using as few words as possible, concise

10 Difficult Words with Meaning for Class 5 

Are you a class 5 student? This list of hard words is for you. 

1. Analyze

2. Complicated

3. Absorb

4. Artificial

5. Critical

6. Efficient

7. Exaggerate

8. Convince

9. Evaluate

10. Approximate

10 Difficult Words for Class 6 

If you’re in class six, we provide a list of 10 hard words you can learn and memorize for your academics.

1. Convey

2. Debate

3. Deliberate

4. Deteriorate

5. Aloof

6. Distort

7. Emphasize

8. Exquisite

9. Facilitate

10. Imminent

20 Most Common Hardest Words in English 

As a bonus to the 50 difficult words and meaning above, this section lists 20 of the common difficult words in the English language. 

1. Aberration: To deviate from what is considered normal or acceptable (His sudden burst of laughter during the somber funeral was an aberration). 

2. Acrimony: Bitterness or sharpness in speech or behavior (Their acrimony towards each other was evident in the way they exchanged glances across the room).

3. Banal: Lacking in originality; trite; commonplace (The actor's banal performance failed to capture the audience's attention).

50 difficult words with meaning

4. Cacophony: A harsh, discordant mixture of sounds. (The cacophony of car horns and construction noise outside his window made it difficult for him to concentrate).

5. Circumlocution: The use of unnecessarily wordy language to express an idea (Instead of addressing the issue directly, he resorted to circumlocution, and left everyone confused about his intentions). 

6. Xenophobia: Dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries (The rise of xenophobia in the country was evident in the recent increase in hate crimes). 

7. Ephemeral: Lasting for a very short time (The ephemeral beauty of the sunset painted the sky with hues of pink and gold before fading into darkness). 

8. Facetious: Treating serious issues with inappropriate humor (Her facetious comments about the serious topic offended some of the audience members). 

9. Garrulous: Excessively talkative, especially about trivial matters (The garrulous tour guide regaled us with stories about the history of the city, but we were more interested in seeing the sights). 

10. Hapless: Unfortunate; unlucky (The hapless kitten got stuck in the tree, and no one noticed until it was too late). 

11. Ineffable: Too great or extreme to be expressed in words (The ineffable beauty of the sunrise took her breath away, leaving her speechless). 

12. Juxtaposition: The act of placing two things close together for contrasting effect (The juxtaposition of the old, dilapidated house next to the modern skyscraper highlighted the city's stark contrast between past and present). 

13. Labyrinthine: Complicated and confusing, like a labyrinth (Navigating the labyrinthine corridors of the abandoned mansion was like wandering through a maze). 

14. Nefarious: Wicked or criminal in nature (The nefarious scheme to defraud investors was finally uncovered by the authorities). 

15. Obfuscate: To make something unclear or difficult to understand (The politician's attempt to obfuscate the truth only served to deepen the public's mistrust). 

16. Reticent: Reserved or reluctant to speak; not revealing one's thoughts readily (Despite repeated questioning, he remained reticent about his past). 

17. Vicissitude: A change of circumstances, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant (The vicissitudes of life had taught her to appreciate the good times and endure the bad). 

18. Whimsical: Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way (The whimsical illustrations in the children's book captivated readers of all ages). 

19. Serendipity: The occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way (Their meeting was pure serendipity and it led to a lifelong friendship). 

20. Ubiquitous: Present, appearing, or found everywhere (Smartphones have become ubiquitous in today's society, with almost everyone owning one). 

How to Memorize Difficult Words and Their Meanings 

Whether it is common, basic, or difficult words, there are several ways you can learn and memorize new words faster. 

  • Use New Words in Conversations: Add new vocabulary in daily conversations. Read and spell the new words at the end of each week, and use them as often as possible.

  • Spell the Letters Aloud: Saying the letters out loud helps in remembering the word and writing it correctly.

  • Learn with Others: Learning in a group can be more enjoyable and effective. Find friends who are also interested in learning English. You can join our English learning class below. 

  • Use a Voice Recorder: Record yourself spelling and saying new words. Listen to these recordings frequently, whether you're on the go or doing other tasks.

  • Keep a List: Write down unfamiliar words, leaving space to add more information later. Include the part of speech, different forms of the word, and a sentence using the word.

  • Use Flashcards: Stick flashcards with new words around your environment. Placing them on relevant objects, like kitchen tools, helps reinforce learning.

  • Engage Your Hands: Keep your hands busy by tracing words, rewriting sentences, or typing them on a computer to enhance learning through touch.

  • Use Flashcards and Mnemonics: Writing out flashcards and physically flipping them engages multiple brain areas. Mnemonic devices like songs or rhymes also help with retention.

  • Take Breaks and Walk around: Kinesthetic learners benefit from frequent breaks and movement. Walking while studying can help reinforce memory and maintain focus. 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Words

In this section, we discuss common errors students make when writing. This is to help you understand how to use even the simplest words in English correctly. 

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is a basic yet crucial rule in English grammar that is often overlooked by students. It requires that the subject (the doer of the action) and the verb (the action or state) must match in number. This means that a singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb.

For singular subjects, verbs typically end in “s.” As for plural subjects, you don’t have to add this suffix.


Singular verb agreement 

Incorrect: She walk to school every day. 

Correct: She walks to school every day. 

Plural verb agreement 

Incorrect: My friends enjoys the movie. 

Correct: My friends enjoy the movie.

As a student, if you understand this rule, it will help in communicating well, writing clear and correct English sentences and as easy as a,b,c, when you come across it in tests. 

Incorrect Plural Noun

When you pluralize a noun properly, it helps readers understand whether you're talking about one item or several. Incorrect pluralization can cause confusion and affect clarity. For example, saying “I have two dog” instead of “I have two dogs” can confuse the listener. In professional settings, accurate pluralization is also important for maintaining credibility, especially in fields where precision matters.


Incorrect: She bought three tomato. Correct: She bought three tomatoes.

Incorrect: The bookshelf is full of book. Correct: The bookshelf is full of books.

These examples highlight the importance of knowing the correct plural forms of nouns for accurate English communication. Many nouns have irregular plural forms that need to be memorized to avoid misunderstandings.

Misuse of Countable and Uncountable Nouns

As a student, it's essential to understand the difference between countable and uncountable nouns and how they interact with articles, quantifiers, and verbs. Countable nouns refer to items or concepts that can be counted and have both singular and plural forms.

For instance, “book” can become “books” to indicate more than one. In contrast, uncountable nouns like “milk,” “sugar,” or ”happiness” cannot be counted individually and usually refer to substances, concepts, or collective categories. 


Countable Nouns:

Incorrect: I saw many bird in the park. Correct: I saw many birds in the park.

Uncountable Nouns:

Incorrect: She gave me some milks. Correct: She gave me some milk.

These examples illustrate common mistakes where uncountable nouns are incorrectly treated as countable. However, recognizing and applying the rules of countability in English grammar is crucial for clear and accurate communication.

Misuse of preposition

Choosing the right preposition in English is one of the major mistakes students make when writing. Prepositions like “at,” “in,” “on,” and “by” express different types of relationships, such as location, time, and method. Context is key: “at” indicates specific points (at noon, at the airport), “in” is used for enclosed spaces or periods (in the garden, in December), “on” denotes surfaces or specific days (on the floor, on Tuesday), and “by” shows a method or proximity (by train, by the beach).


Incorrect: She arrived in 7 AM. Correct: She arrived at 7 AM.

Incorrect: The book is on the bag. Correct: The book is in the bag.

If you understand this relationship, you will be far away from misusing prepositions in sentences. 

20 Hard Words in English (Bonus)

20 hard words

Which Word Seems the Most Difficult for You? 

Now that you’ve looked through our list of 50 difficult words with meaning, it’s time to start practicing. Start by learning the meaning of each word thoroughly, or make use of them in sentences. Put yourself to test yourself to see if you can get their synonyms right in an exam. We encourage you to use our memorizing tips above to memorize each of them. And if you’re still worried about not getting them, join our “learn English for fun” class.

In all, we wish you the best champ. 

Happy learning.


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