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100 ENGLISH WORDS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH

The American Heritage Dictionaries usually feature some 70,000 entries. They are excellent dictionaries that we strongly recommend in their different versions.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is an American English dictionary produced by the Boston publisher, Houghton Mifflin. The first edition was published in 1969. James Parton, the owner of the history magazine, American Heritage, did not agree with the permissiveness of the third edition of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1961). In his opinion it was reluctant to defend “standard English”. This is an exciting topic to be discussed in another post. Nevertheless,  for many of us, the “Webster” has been a veritable mine of knowledge and continues to enjoy our appreciation.

In November 2011, the highly anticipated fifth edition of The American Heritage® Dictionary of the Language was published. It contains 10,000 words and new meanings and more than 4,000 spectacular full-colour images, as well as updated contributions from the famous American Heritage® Usage Panel (https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/usagepanel.html), a team of experts and scholars who have reviewed thousands of definitions and updated geographical entries and maps. A real gem!

And among this vast amount of information, the publishers  have chosen the 100 words that any American high school student should know to feel at ease in English. A fun way to test our knowledge of English! Here’s the list:

  1. adversary
  2. aplomb
  3. apprehensive
  4. aptitude
  5. attentive
  6. banish
  7. barricade
  8. bluff
  9. brackish
  10. brandish
  11. circumference
  12. commotion
  13. concoction
  14. conspicuous
  15. contortion
  16. counter
  17. cunning
  18. debris
  19. defiance
  20. deft
  21. destination
  22. diminish
  23. disdain
  24. dismal
  25. dispel
  26. eavesdrop
  27. egregious
  28. ember
  29. emerge
  30. engross
  31. exasperation
  32. exhilarate
  33. falter
  34. foresight
  35. fragrance
  36. furtive
  37. grueling
  38. gusto
  39. habitation
  40. hasten
  41. headway
  42. ignite
  43. illuminate
  44. impending
  45. imperious
  46. jabber
  47. jargon
  48. jostle
  49. jut
  50. kindle
  51. knoll
  52. luminous
  53. malleable
  54. materialize
  55. meander
  56. meticulous
  57. misgiving
  58. momentum
  59. monotonous
  60. multitude
  61. muster
  62. narrate
  63. obscure
  64. ominous
  65. outlandish
  66. persistent
  67. pertinent
  68. plenteous
  69. potential
  70. precipice
  71. pristine
  72. quell
  73. recluse
  74. recuperate
  75. replenish
  76. repugnant
  77. restitution
  78. sabotage
  79. scarcity
  80. scurry
  81. serenity
  82. sociable
  83. somber
  84. specimen
  85. stamina
  86. subside
  87. swagger
  88. swarm
  89. tactic
  90. terse
  91. translucent
  92. uncanny
  93. unsightly
  94. versatile
  95. vigilant
  96. vulnerable
  97. waft
  98. waver
  99. weather

zeal

In a future post, we will explore whether there is a similar list in Spanish and check if there are “matches” in both languages, i.e. if they repeat in English and Spanish.

A clue to test your linguistic competence. According to this study, the easiest word would be WEATHER and the hardest APLOMB.
Would you agree?

Sirk Translations.