By Mary Dapin

IELTS Writing: 100 Hard Words

IELTS writing relies on your vocabulary skill, especially in the academic writing test. Study shows that your vocabulary range and accuracy impact at least 25% writing band. So writing vocabulary is very important to prepare for the IELTS writing test.

Task 2 essay usually is around 300 words. If you want to have a good score, you cannot use generic or basic words thoroughly. Try to highlight your idea with 5-7 hard or low-frequency words, which are similar to the following 100 words, which will impress the examiners, like you own an edge vocabulary skill.

You may think it's too short. However, writing isn't like reading; in reading tests, you cannot choose words, but in writing tests, you can select words by yourself. So these 100 words can play a significant role in your writing. Of course, you can also prepare other high score words for Task 2 writing.


Word List


aberration: something that differs from the norm

abhor: fill with horror and loathing; horrify; hate

acquiesce: assent; agree without protesting

alacrity: cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness

amiable: good-natured and likable; lovable; warmly friendly

appease: bring peace, quiet, or calm to; satisfy or relieve

arcane: secret; mysterious; known only to the initiated

avarice: greediness for wealth; insatiable desire of gain

brazen: having loud, usually harsh, resonant sound; shameless

brusque: abrupt and curt in manner or speech; rudely abrupt, unfriendly

cajole: influence or urge by gentle urging or flattering

callous: emotionally hardened; unfeeling

candor: frankness; quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech

chide: scold mildly so as to correct or improve; express disapproval

circumspect: carefully aware of all circumstances; cautious

clandestine: secret; conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods

coerce: restrain by force, especially by law or authority; repress; curb

coherent: adhesive; cohesive; sticking together ; logical; sound; capable of thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner

complacency: feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble

confidant: a person entrusted with secrets

connive: to plot, scheme

cumulative: increasing by successive addition

debase: reduce in quality or value; lower in esteem; degrade

decry: express strong disapproval of; disparage

deferential: showing deference; respectful and considerate

demure: modest and reserved in manner or behavior

deride: ridicule; make fun of; laugh at with contempt

despot: tyrant; harsh, authoritarian ruler; eastern Orthodox bishop

diligent: assiduous; industrious; hard-working

elated: overjoyed; extremely happy and excited

eloquent: vividly or movingly expressive; persuasive

embezzle: appropriate fraudulently to one's own use, as property entrusted to one's care; apply to one's private uses by a breach of trust

empathy: understanding and entering into another's feelings

enmity: ill will; hatred; quality or state of being hostile

erudite: learned; scholarly, with emphasis on knowledge gained from books

extol: praise highly; glorify; celebrate

fabricate: build; put together out of components or parts

feral: not domestic; wild; existing in wild or untamed state

flabbergasted: astonished; appalled, amazed, or stunned

forsake: leave someone who needs or counts on you

fractious: inclined to make trouble; disobedient; irritable

furtive: marked by quiet and caution and secrecy

gluttony: excess in eating; extravagant indulgence of the appetite for food; voracity

gratuitous: given freely; unwarranted; granted without recompense; unearned

haughty: high; lofty; bold; arrogant; overbearing

hypocrisy: act or practice of a hypocrite

impeccable: faultless; incapable of sin or wrongdoing

impertinent: improperly forward or bold; rude

implacable: incapable of being pacified; not to be relieved;

impudent: casually rude, insolent, impertinent

incisive: penetrating, clear, and sharp, as in operation or expression

indolent: lazy; slow to heal, grow, or develop; inactive

inept: lacking of judgment, sense, or reason; unsuited; inappropriate; foolish

infamy: notoriety, extreme ill repute

inhibit: restrain; prevent or forbid; hold back

innate: possessed at birth; inborn

insatiable: not easily satisfied; impossible to satiate or satisfy; greedy

insular: of isolated people, especially having a narrow viewpoint

intrepid: fearless; indicating or springing from courage

inveterate: deep-rooted; firmly and long established; habitual

jubilant: happy; merry; joyful and proud especially because of triumph or success

knell: the solemn sound of a bell, often indicating a death

lithe: flexible; moving and bending with ease

lurid: causing shock or horror; gruesome

maverick: one that refuses to abide or be independent; an unbranded range animal

maxim: proverb; formulation of fundamental principle or general truth

meticulous: excessively careful; marked by extreme care in treatment of details

modicum: limited quantity; small or moderate amount; any small thing

morose: ill humored; sullen; depressingly dark; gloomy; persistent

myriad: of very large or indefinite number; of ten thousand

nadir: lowest point; point on sphere opposites zenith diametrically

nominal: in name only; insignificantly small

novice: beginner; person new to a field or activity

nuance: subtle or slight degree of difference

oblivious: inattentive or unmindful; lacking all memory; forgetful

obsequious: slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

obtuse: lacking in insight or discernment; stupid

panacea: remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all

parody: work or performance that imitates another work or performance with ridicule or irony; make fun of

penchant: strong inclination; definite liking

perusal: a careful examination, review

plethora: excess; overfullness in any respect; superabundance

predilection: condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; preference

quaint: odd; old-fashioned; picturesque; unfamiliar or unusual in character

rash: hasty, incautious

repudiate: disown; refuse to acknowledge; reject validity or authority of

rife: excessively abundant or numerous; in widespread existence, practice, or use

salient: prominent or protruding; projecting outwardly; moving by leaps or springs

serendipity: gift for finding valuable or desirable things by accident; accidental good fortune or luck

staid: sober; serious, organized, and professional; characterized by dignity and propriety

superfluous: being beyond what is required or sufficient

sycophant: one who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people; bootlicker; yes man

taciturn: silent or reserved in speech; saying little; not inclined to speak or converse

tefurbish: to restore, clean up

truculent: disposed to fight; belligerent; aggressively hostile

umbrage: resentment, offence

venerable: deserving high respect; impressive by reason of age; profoundly honored

vex: annoy; disturb, especially by minor irritations; be a mystery or bewildering to

vociferous: offensively loud; noisy; making outcry

wanton: unrestrained; willfully malicious; immoral or unchaste

zenith: point directly overhead in sky; summit
Spelling Exercise
Read [Esc] (1) something that differs from the norm


Spelling Word: aberration
Read [Esc] (2) fill with horror and loathing; horrify; hate


Spelling Word: abhor
Read [Esc] (3) assent; agree without protesting


Spelling Word: acquiesce
Read [Esc] (4) cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness


Spelling Word: alacrity
Read [Esc] (5) good-natured and likable; lovable; warmly friendly


Spelling Word: amiable
Read [Esc] (6) bring peace, quiet, or calm to; satisfy or relieve


Spelling Word: appease
Read [Esc] (7) secret; mysterious; known only to the initiated


Spelling Word: arcane
Read [Esc] (8) greediness for wealth; insatiable desire of gain


Spelling Word: avarice
Read [Esc] (9) having loud, usually harsh, resonant sound; shameless


Spelling Word: brazen
Read [Esc] (10) abrupt and curt in manner or speech; rudely abrupt, unfriendly


Spelling Word: brusque
Read [Esc] (11) influence or urge by gentle urging or flattering


Spelling Word: cajole
Read [Esc] (12) emotionally hardened; unfeeling


Spelling Word: callous
Read [Esc] (13) frankness; quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech


Spelling Word: candor
Read [Esc] (14) scold mildly so as to correct or improve; express disapproval


Spelling Word: chide
Read [Esc] (15) carefully aware of all circumstances; cautious


Spelling Word: circumspect
Read [Esc] (16) secret; conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods


Spelling Word: clandestine
Read [Esc] (17) restrain by force, especially by law or authority; repress; curb


Spelling Word: coerce
Read [Esc] (18) adhesive; cohesive; sticking together ; logical; sound; capable of thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner


Spelling Word: coherent
Read [Esc] (19) feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble


Spelling Word: complacency
Read [Esc] (20) a person entrusted with secrets


Spelling Word: confidant
Read [Esc] (21) to plot, scheme


Spelling Word: connive
Read [Esc] (22) increasing by successive addition


Spelling Word: cumulative
Read [Esc] (23) reduce in quality or value; lower in esteem; degrade


Spelling Word: debase
Read [Esc] (24) express strong disapproval of; disparage


Spelling Word: decry
Read [Esc] (25) showing deference; respectful and considerate


Spelling Word: deferential
Read [Esc] (26) modest and reserved in manner or behavior


Spelling Word: demure
Read [Esc] (27) ridicule; make fun of; laugh at with contempt


Spelling Word: deride
Read [Esc] (28) tyrant; harsh, authoritarian ruler; eastern Orthodox bishop


Spelling Word: despot
Read [Esc] (29) assiduous; industrious; hard-working


Spelling Word: diligent
Read [Esc] (30) overjoyed; extremely happy and excited


Spelling Word: elated
Read [Esc] (31) vividly or movingly expressive; persuasive


Spelling Word: eloquent
Read [Esc] (32) appropriate fraudulently to one's own use, as property entrusted to one's care; apply to one's private uses by a breach of trust


Spelling Word: embezzle
Read [Esc] (33) understanding and entering into another's feelings


Spelling Word: empathy
Read [Esc] (34) ill will; hatred; quality or state of being hostile


Spelling Word: enmity
Read [Esc] (35) learned; scholarly, with emphasis on knowledge gained from books


Spelling Word: erudite
Read [Esc] (36) praise highly; glorify; celebrate


Spelling Word: extol
Read [Esc] (37) build; put together out of components or parts


Spelling Word: fabricate
Read [Esc] (38) not domestic; wild; existing in wild or untamed state


Spelling Word: feral
Read [Esc] (39) astonished; appalled, amazed, or stunned


Spelling Word: flabbergasted
Read [Esc] (40) leave someone who needs or counts on you


Spelling Word: forsake
Read [Esc] (41) inclined to make trouble; disobedient; irritable


Spelling Word: fractious
Read [Esc] (42) marked by quiet and caution and secrecy


Spelling Word: furtive
Read [Esc] (43) excess in eating; extravagant indulgence of the appetite for food; voracity


Spelling Word: gluttony
Read [Esc] (44) given freely; unwarranted; granted without recompense; unearned


Spelling Word: gratuitous
Read [Esc] (45) high; lofty; bold; arrogant; overbearing


Spelling Word: haughty
Read [Esc] (46) act or practice of a hypocrite


Spelling Word: hypocrisy
Read [Esc] (47) faultless; incapable of sin or wrongdoing


Spelling Word: impeccable
Read [Esc] (48) improperly forward or bold; rude


Spelling Word: impertinent
Read [Esc] (49) incapable of being pacified; not to be relieved;


Spelling Word: implacable
Read [Esc] (50) casually rude, insolent, impertinent


Spelling Word: impudent
Read [Esc] (51) penetrating, clear, and sharp, as in operation or expression


Spelling Word: incisive
Read [Esc] (52) lazy; slow to heal, grow, or develop; inactive


Spelling Word: indolent
Read [Esc] (53) lacking of judgment, sense, or reason; unsuited; inappropriate; foolish


Spelling Word: inept
Read [Esc] (54) notoriety, extreme ill repute


Spelling Word: infamy
Read [Esc] (55) restrain; prevent or forbid; hold back


Spelling Word: inhibit
Read [Esc] (56) possessed at birth; inborn


Spelling Word: innate
Read [Esc] (57) not easily satisfied; impossible to satiate or satisfy; greedy


Spelling Word: insatiable
Read [Esc] (58) of isolated people, especially having a narrow viewpoint


Spelling Word: insular
Read [Esc] (59) fearless; indicating or springing from courage


Spelling Word: intrepid
Read [Esc] (60) deep-rooted; firmly and long established; habitual


Spelling Word: inveterate
Read [Esc] (61) happy; merry; joyful and proud especially because of triumph or success


Spelling Word: jubilant
Read [Esc] (62) the solemn sound of a bell, often indicating a death


Spelling Word: knell
Read [Esc] (63) flexible; moving and bending with ease


Spelling Word: lithe
Read [Esc] (64) causing shock or horror; gruesome


Spelling Word: lurid
Read [Esc] (65) one that refuses to abide or be independent; an unbranded range animal


Spelling Word: maverick
Read [Esc] (66) proverb; formulation of fundamental principle or general truth


Spelling Word: maxim
Read [Esc] (67) excessively careful; marked by extreme care in treatment of details


Spelling Word: meticulous
Read [Esc] (68) limited quantity; small or moderate amount; any small thing


Spelling Word: modicum
Read [Esc] (69) ill humored; sullen; depressingly dark; gloomy; persistent


Spelling Word: morose
Read [Esc] (70) of very large or indefinite number; of ten thousand


Spelling Word: myriad
Read [Esc] (71) lowest point; point on sphere opposites zenith diametrically


Spelling Word: nadir
Read [Esc] (72) in name only; insignificantly small


Spelling Word: nominal
Read [Esc] (73) beginner; person new to a field or activity


Spelling Word: novice
Read [Esc] (74) subtle or slight degree of difference


Spelling Word: nuance
Read [Esc] (75) inattentive or unmindful; lacking all memory; forgetful


Spelling Word: oblivious
Read [Esc] (76) slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery


Spelling Word: obsequious
Read [Esc] (77) lacking in insight or discernment; stupid


Spelling Word: obtuse
Read [Esc] (78) remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all


Spelling Word: panacea
Read [Esc] (79) work or performance that imitates another work or performance with ridicule or irony; make fun of


Spelling Word: parody
Read [Esc] (80) strong inclination; definite liking


Spelling Word: penchant
Read [Esc] (81) a careful examination, review


Spelling Word: perusal
Read [Esc] (82) excess; overfullness in any respect; superabundance


Spelling Word: plethora
Read [Esc] (83) condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; preference


Spelling Word: predilection
Read [Esc] (84) odd; old-fashioned; picturesque; unfamiliar or unusual in character


Spelling Word: quaint
Read [Esc] (85) hasty, incautious


Spelling Word: rash
Read [Esc] (86) disown; refuse to acknowledge; reject validity or authority of


Spelling Word: repudiate
Read [Esc] (87) excessively abundant or numerous; in widespread existence, practice, or use


Spelling Word: rife
Read [Esc] (88) prominent or protruding; projecting outwardly; moving by leaps or springs


Spelling Word: salient
Read [Esc] (89) gift for finding valuable or desirable things by accident; accidental good fortune or luck


Spelling Word: serendipity
Read [Esc] (90) sober; serious, organized, and professional; characterized by dignity and propriety


Spelling Word: staid
Read [Esc] (91) being beyond what is required or sufficient


Spelling Word: superfluous
Read [Esc] (92) one who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people; bootlicker; yes man


Spelling Word: sycophant
Read [Esc] (93) silent or reserved in speech; saying little; not inclined to speak or converse


Spelling Word: taciturn
Read [Esc] (94) to restore, clean up


Spelling Word: tefurbish
Read [Esc] (95) disposed to fight; belligerent; aggressively hostile


Spelling Word: truculent
Read [Esc] (96) resentment, offence


Spelling Word: umbrage
Read [Esc] (97) deserving high respect; impressive by reason of age; profoundly honored


Spelling Word: venerable
Read [Esc] (98) annoy; disturb, especially by minor irritations; be a mystery or bewildering to


Spelling Word: vex
Read [Esc] (99) offensively loud; noisy; making outcry


Spelling Word: vociferous
Read [Esc] (100) unrestrained; willfully malicious; immoral or unchaste


Spelling Word: wanton
Read [Esc] (101) point directly overhead in sky; summit


Spelling Word: zenith