High School Vocabulary

The page provides online resources to build vocabulary for students of high school, from 9th grade to 12th grade, which includes spelling words, academic words, and words related to literature reading. Besides, we have developed lots of interactive and printable exercises and encourage students to play them either alone or guided by tutors and parents.

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Collegiate School, New York, NY
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 High School Vocabulary Resources
Difficult Words with Meaning and SentenceDifficult Words with Sentence
1000 Basic SAT ACT Words1000 Basic SAT ACT Words
SAT ACT Vocabulary Flash CardSAT ACT Vocabulary Flash Card
 Complete Word
Some high school students still like the tool to review known words; the interactive game is to fill in 3 or more missing letters to complete a word. Each set has 12 words with hints of definition and pronunciation, and you will fail the word after three wrong guessings.
Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
Complete words
 Get Word List by Grade
High school (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade) students usually have to spend lots of time building vocabulary, especially those planning to test the SAT or ACT. (Some students' grade 9 is in junior high school or middle school, starting high school from 10th grade. In this scenario, please take tasks from your actual class.)

In general, high school words are in three groups:

  • Spelling words: know them and can spell them correctly to express ideas
  • Academic words: used in classes for all subjects, must understand them to get good scores in non-language subjects
  • Literature words: selected from classics that are recommended to students of the grades, nice to know them
We provide a relatively difficult spelling words list, 500 words for each grade. It's for high school students to evaluate and enhance English vocabulary skills. Besides, we offer another harder word list in the Academic Arts section as a supplement for those planning to pursue further academic careers.

We organize word lists by grades at first. You can get spelling words, academic words (for Arts), and literature words in each grade accordingly. Tutors and parents can get word lists for separate grades and subjects here.

Because some high school subjects aren't set by particular grades, we will list academic words (for social studies, science, and math) by subjects, not by grades.

Please focus on Spelling Words and Arts of Academic if you are new here. They are core in high school students' vocabulary.

However, what you get isn't only a set of high school words. It's an all-in-one tool to study high school vocabulary; it tells you what to learn, when, and how to learn. It also integrates with lots of interactive tests and exercises and printable worksheets. It's handy for students to access anywhere and anytime through the Internet.

Considering the attributes of different word lists, we have developed various study and exercise tools, such as online cards, interactive exercises, printable cards, and printable quizzes. We show some samples here.
Word List sample online card sample Spelling sample Quiz sample
Although we encourage high school students to manage their studying activities, tutors and parents can also produce printable worksheets dynamically to help students warm up, review, or quiz.
Quick Access High School Vocabularies
9th Grade
Spelling words: Spelling 1 Spelling 2 Spelling 3 Spelling 4 Spelling 5 Spelling 6 Spelling 7 Spelling 8
Academic words: Difficult Words 1 Difficult Words 2

10th Grade
Spelling words: Spelling 1 Spelling 2 Spelling 3 Spelling 4 Spelling 5 Spelling 6 Spelling 7 Spelling 8
Academic words: Difficult Words 1 Difficult Words 2

11rd Grade
Spelling words: Spelling 1 Spelling 2 Spelling 3 Spelling 4 Spelling 5 Spelling 6 Spelling 7 Spelling 8
Academic words: Difficult Words 1 Difficult Words 2

12rd Grade
Spelling words: Spelling 1 Spelling 2 Spelling 3 Spelling 4 Spelling 5 Spelling 6 Spelling 7 Spelling 8
Academic words: Difficult Words 1 Difficult Words 2
100 Hard English Words for 12th Grader
As we present in 10 Questions about K12 Spelling Words, in general, the average active vocabulary of an adult English speaker is around 20,000 words. If plus passive vocabulary, the total is around 40,000 words. For students who are leaving high school for college, these 100 hard English words are a quick tool to evaluate vocabulary skills. A 12 grader may not know each of them but should comprehend most of them. 
abjure: Speak
abrogate: Speak
abstemious: Speak
acumen: Speak
antebellum: Speak
auspicious: Speak
belie: Speak
bellicose: Speak
bowdlerize: Speak
chicanery: Speak
chromosome: Speak
churlish: Speak
circumlocution: Speak
circumnavigate: Speak
deciduous: Speak
deleterious: Speak
diffident: Speak
enervate: Speak
enfranchise: Speak
epiphany: Speak
equinox: Speak
evanescent: Speak
expurgate: Speak
fatuous: Speak
feckless: Speak
fiduciary: Speak
filibuster: Speak
gamete: Speak
gauche: Speak
gerrymander: Speak
hegemony: Speak
hemoglobin: Speak
homogeneous: Speak
hubris: Speak
hypotenuse: Speak
impeach: Speak
incognito: Speak
incontrovertible: Speak
inculcate: Speak
infrastructure: Speak
interpolate: Speak
irony: Speak
jejune: Speak
kinetic: Speak
kowtow: Speak
laissezfaire: Speak
lexicon: Speak
loquacious: Speak
lugubrious: Speak
metamorphosis: Speak
mitosis: Speak
moiety: Speak
nanotechnology: Speak
nihilism: Speak
nomenclature: Speak
nonsectarian: Speak
notarize: Speak
obsequious: Speak
oligarchy: Speak
omnipotent: Speak
orthography: Speak
oxidizeparabola: Speak
paradigm: Speak
parameter: Speak
pecuniary: Speak
photosynthesis: Speak
plagiarize: Speak
plasma: Speak
polymer: Speak
precipitous: Speak
quasar: Speak
quotidian: Speak
recapitulate: Speak
reciprocal: Speak
reparation: Speak
respiration: Speak
sanguine: Speak
soliloquy: Speak
subjugate: Speak
suffragist: Speak
supercilious: Speak
tautology: Speak
taxonomy: Speak
tectonic: Speak
tempestuous: Speak
thermodynamics: Speak
totalitarian: Speak
unctuous: Speak
usurpvacuous: Speak
vehement: Speak
vortex: Speak
winnow: Speak
wrought: Speak
xenophobe: Speak
yeoman: Speak
ziggurat: Speak
Want to study or practice them? Please get Hard words for 12th-graders