Hard Words with Meaning and Sentence

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 2024 Hot Words and Phrases

Do you want to learn hard words from mainstream media's hot topics? You may be interested in some word lists here that our tutors daily select from Economist, BBC, New York Times, and other sources.

If you are preparing SAT or ACT, these popular words in recent reports are deserved to view and learn. They are critical in the reading section.If your GRE test is near, this difficult vocabulary list with sentences will give you clues of both hot words topics. It's an ideal supplement to enhance vocabulary.
Examples of Hot Difficult Words in Sentences:
Approaching its eastern side and landing on a soft white-sand beach lapped by turquoise water, the island looked surprisingly tranquil.
turquoise   Speak
n. a greenish-blue color
tranquil   Speak
a. free from disturbance; calm
It was carved out into caves and skinny sea stacks and constantly circled by shrieking kittiwakes.
sea stack   Speak
n. a tall piece of rock sticking out of the sea near the coast
shriek   Speak
v. utter a high-pitched piercing sound or words
It was a sobering thought as I watched the little bright-beaked bird on the vertiginous sea stack, next to the monochrome guillemots and razorbills.
sobering   Speak
a. creating a more serious, sensible, or solemn mood
vertiginous   Speak
a. causing or experiencing the feeling that everything is spinning around
monochrome   Speak
a. of, relating to, or made with a single color or hue
We live communally, so we all pitch in and cook meals together; it's a bit like being a family.
communally   Speak
ad. by a group of people rather than an individual
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 Hard Words with Meaning and Sentence
Difficult Words with Meaning and Sentence
Vocabulary is the core of English study. To master difficult words, you need to know definitions and meanings, as well as sentences and examples. The list of 200 hard words with meaning and sentence offers excellent contexts for each word to enrich your vocabulary skill. Especially for SAT or ACT test-takers, these hard words and sentences are a great resource to enhance college admission test skills.

Vocabulary capability plays a vital role in all English language tests. No matter what sort of questions, either reading or writing, a high score relies on strong vocabulary skills. It may not ensure a good score, but the reverse is true: a weak vocabulary will lead to a bad result. So don't miss this difficult word list.

Students have various ways to study difficult words. One method is to learn new words from sentences and contexts. When you study or review difficult words, good example sentences help very much. These sentences not only let you understand new words precisely but also push you to use new words confidently.

Here we list 200 hard words with meaning, sentence, and practice. Most of the sentences are from the media or the Internet. The real and alive English sentences give you actual context meanings, which help to memorize difficult words by context and to trigger inspiration to use them in writing.
1. Handy Tools to Study Words when sentences
The high light of this small difficult word list is its sentences, which are excellent examples to demonstrate word's meaning. As long as you bind words with their context sentences, both words and sentences can improve your performance in all aspects of English; especially these sentences should be a handy resource in writing. In addition, we build some handy tools to help you getting

The printable PDF worksheets are common tools to study vocabulary. We offer nice PDF format to export words, meanings, and sentences as word list and cards. Click below picture to print your own PDF files.
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2. Definitions in ESL Users' Home Language
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3. Sample Difficult Words
The hard list has 200 words, below 50 words and their definitions and examples are from Group 2.
obdurate/'ɒbdjʊrɪt/;/'ɑbdərɪt/ a. Syn. stubborn; inflexible
hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; not giving in to persuasion
He was obdurate in his refusal to listen to our complaints.
obfuscate/'ɒbfʌskeɪt/ v. Syn. confuse; muddle
confuse; muddle; cause confusion; make needlessly complex
Was the president's spokesman trying to clarify the Whitewater mystery, or was he trying to obfuscate the issue so the voters would never figure out what went on?.
oblique/ə'bli:k/ a. Syn. inclined
having slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined
Casting a quick, oblique glance at the reviewing stand, the sergeant ordered the company to march.
obsequious/əb'si:kwɪəs/ a.
slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
Helen liked to be served by people who behaved as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk.
obstreperous/əb'strɛpərəs/ a.
noisily aggressive; making great noise or outcry
What do you do when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen goes carousing through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?.
obtuse/əb'tju:s/;/əb'tu:s/ a. Syn. stupid
lacking in insight or discernment; stupid
What can you do with somebody who's so obtuse that he can't even tell that you're insulting him?.
odious/'oʊdɪəs/ a. Syn. hateful; vile
hateful; arousing strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure
Cinderella's ugly stepsisters had the odious habit of popping their zits in public.
officious/ə'fɪʃəs/ a.
marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others
Judy wanted to look over the new computer models on her own, but the officious salesman kept on butting in with "helpful" advice until she was ready to walk out of the store.
ostensible/ɒ'stɛnsɪb(ə)l/ a. Syn. apparent
put forth or held out as real, actual, or intended; proper or intended to be shown
Although the ostensible purpose of this expedition is to discover new lands, we are really interested in finding new markets for our products.
palliate/'pælɪeɪt/ v.
lessen violence of disease; moderate intensity; gloss over with excuses
Not content merely to palliate the patient's sores and cankers, the researcher sought a means of wiping out the disease.
pallid/'pælɪd/ a. Syn. pale; wan
abnormally pale; lacking intensity of color or luminousness
Because his job required that he work at night and sleep during the day, he had an exceptionally pallid complexion.
panacea/pænə'sɪə/ n.
remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all
The rich youth cynically declared that the panacea for all speeding tickets was a big enough bribe.
paragon/'pærəgən/;/'pærəgɒn/ n. Syn. model
model of excellence or perfection; peerless example
Mr. Brumby's paragon is shocked at the other's inaptitude for examination.
pariah/'pærɪə/ n. Syn. untouchable
social outcast; person who is rejected from society or home
Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry Finn, son of the town drunkard.
parsimony/'pɑrsɪmənɪ/;/-moʊnɪ/ n.
extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily
Because her father wouldn't let her buy a new iPhone, Annie accused him of parsimony.
pathos/'peɪθɒs/ n. Syn. pity
tender sorrow; pity; quality in art or literature that produces these feelings
The quiet tone of pathos that ran through the novel never degenerated into the maudlin or the overly sentimental.
paucity/'pɔ:sɪtɪ/ n. Syn. scarcity
scarcity; smallness of number; fewness
They closed the restaurant because the paucity of customers made it uneconomical to operate.
pejorative/pɪ'dʒɒrətɪv/ a.
tending to make or become worse; disparaging or belittling
Instead of criticizing Clinton's policies, the Republicans made pejorative remarks about his character.
pellucid/pɪ'lju:sɪd/ a. Syn. transparent; limpid
transparent; limpid; easy to understand
After reading these stodgy philosophers, I find Bertrand Russell's pellucid style very enjoyable.
perfidious/pə'fɪdɪəs/ a. Syn. treacherous; disloyal
tending to betray; disloyal; faithless
When Caesar realized that Brutus had betrayed him, he reproached his perfidious friend.
perfunctory/pə'fʌŋktərɪ/ a. Syn. superficial
done routinely and with little interest or care; acting with indifference; showing little interest or care
I introduced myself, and at my name his perfunctory manner changed; I knew he heard me before.
pernicious/pə'nɪʃəs/ a. Syn. deadly
very destructive; tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly
Crack cocaine has had a pernicious effect on urban society: it has destroyed families, turned children into drug dealers, and increased the spread of violent crimes.
pertinacious/pɜrtɪ'neɪʃəs/;/-tn'eɪʃəs/ a. Syn. stubborn; persistent
stubbornly or perversely persistent; unyielding; obstinate
He is bound to succeed because his pertinacious nature will not permit him to quit.
pithy/'pɪθɪ/ a. Syn. concise
precisely meaningful; forceful and brief
While other girls might have gone on and on about how un-cool Elton was, Liz summed it up in one pithy remark: "He's bogus!"
platitude/'plætɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n.
dullness; insipidity of thought; commonplace statement; lack of originality
In giving advice to his son, old Polonius expressed himself only in same platitude; every word out of his mouth was a commonplace.
plethora/'plɛθərə/ n. Syn. excess; overabundance
excess; over-fullness in any respect; superabundance
She offered a plethora of excuses for her shortcomings.
portent/'pɔ:tɛnt/ n. Syn. sign; omen; forewarning
omen; forewarning; something that portends an event about to occur, especially unfortunate or evil event
He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil.
precocious/prɪ'koʊʃəs/ a.
advanced in development; appearing or developing early
Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was.
primeval/praɪ'mi:v(ə)l/ a. Syn. ancient; primitive
ancient; primitive; belonging to the first or earliest age; original or ancient
The archaeologist claimed that the skeleton was primeval origin, though in fact it was the remains of a modern day monkey.
proclivity/prə'klɪvɪtɪ/ n. Syn. inclination
inclination; natural tendency; readiness; facility of learning
Watching the two-year-old boy voluntarily put away his toys, I was amazed by his proclivity for neatness.
promulgate/'prɒməlgeɪt/ v. Syn. announce
proclaim doctrine or law; make known by official publication
During an interview with ABC News, Barack Obama said Republican attempted to promulgate, falsely, his Muslim connections.
propensity/prə'pɛnsɪtɪ/ n. Syn. tendency; predilection
natural inclination; tendency or preference; predilection
Convinced of his own talent, Sol has an unfortunate propensity to belittle the talents of others.
propitious/prə'pɪʃəs/ a. Syn. favorable; fortunate; advantageous
presenting favorable circumstances; fortunate; advantageous
Chloe consulted her horoscope to see whether Tuesday would be a propitious day to dump her boyfriend.
prosaic/proʊ'zeiɪk/ a. Syn. factual
dull and unimaginative; matter-of-fact; factual
Though the ad writers came up with an original way to publicize the product, the head office rejected it for a more prosaic, ordinary slogan.
proscribe/proʊ'skraɪb/;/proʊ-/ v. Syn. banish; outlaw
command against; banish; outlaw
Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus united to proscribe all those who had conspired against Julius Caesar.
protean/'proʊtɪɛn, 'proʊti:n/ a. Syn. versatile
versatile; able to take on many shapes; readily taking on varied shapes
A remarkably protean actor, Alec Guinness could take on any role.
prurient/'prʊərɪənt/ a.
having or causing lustful thoughts and desires; having eager desire for something
Aroused by his prurient impulses, the dirty old man leered at the sweet young thing and offered to give her a sample of his "prowess.".
puerile/'pjʊəraɪl/;/-rəl/ a. Syn. childish
childish; belonging to childhood; immature
His puerile pranks sometimes offended his more mature friends.
pulchritude/'pʌlkrɪtju:d/ n. Syn. beauty; comeliness
great physical beauty and appeal; attractive moral excellence; moral beauty
I do not envy the judges who have to select this year's Miss America from this collection of female pulchritude.
punctilious/pʌŋk'tɪlɪəs/ a.
marked by precise accordance with details
Percy is punctilious about observing the rules of etiquette whenever Miss Manners invites him to stay.
quagmire/'kwɒgmaɪə(r)/ n.
soft wet boggy land; complex or dangerous situation from which it is difficult to free oneself
Up to her knees in mud, Myra wondered how on earth she was going to extricate herself from this quagmire.
querulous/'kwɛrʊləs/ a. Syn. fretful; whining
habitually complaining; expressing complaint or grievance
Even the most agreeable toddlers can begin to act querulous if they miss their nap.
quixotic/kwɪk'sɒtɪk/ a.
idealistic without regard to practicality
Constantly coming up with quixotic, unworkable schemes to save the world, Simon has his heart in the right place, but his head somewhere in the clouds.
rancor/'ræŋkə(r)/ n. Syn. enmity; hatred
bitter, long-lasting resentment; deep-seated ill will; hatred
Thirty years after the war, she could not let go of the past but was still consumed with rancor against the foe.
rebuke/rɪ'bju:k/ v. Syn. admonish; scold
scold harshly; criticize severely
No matter how sharply I rebuke Huck for his misconduct, he never talks back but just stand there like a stump.
recalcitrant/rɪ'kælsɪtrənt/ a.
obstinately stubborn; determined to resist authority
Which animal do you think is more recalcitrant, a pig or a mule?.
rectitude/'rɛktɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. Syn. uprightness
uprightness; moral virtue; correctness of judgment
The Eagle Scout was a model of rectitude.
replete/rɪ'pli:t/ a.
filled to brim or to point of being stuffed; abundantly supplied
The movie star's memoir was replete with juicy details about the love life of half of Hollywood.
reprobate/'rɛproʊbeɪt/ n.
person hardened in sin; person without moral scruples
I cannot understand why he has so many admirers if he is the reprobate you say he is.
reprove/rɪ'pru:v/ v. Syn. censure; rebuke
voice or convey disapproval of; rebuke; find fault with
The principal would severely reprove the students whenever they talked in the halls.

4. Other Difficult Words Resources
Learn difficult vocabulary by both definition and example sentence may cost more time; however, it sharpens your reading and writing, kills two birds with one stone.

A list of 200 words is relatively small. It's far away from any test demand. None can rely on such a shortlist only to pass SAT, ACT, or similar test. Tutors and students usually use it to evaluate vocabulary level quickly. Some also use it as a supplement material in short training.

For those who prefer to read ebooks, we have some vocabulary ebooks to recommend:

3000 Common SAT Vocabulary List
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5000 GRE Words
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