Unusual But Useful Words You Might Not Know (But Should)


Replace multiple words or communicate your idea with greater accuracy with one of these words. These are definitely words you’ll want to learn, remember, and use.

Abetto help, encourage, or support someone in a criminal act4
Acumenkeen insight; shrewdness5
Algorithmset or rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps9
Anachronismsomething or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time8
AnthropogenicCaused or produced by humans.6
Antipodalrelating to or situated on the opposite side of the earth6
Apricitythe warmth of the sun in winter2
AsceticExtreme self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.8
AssentTo agree, as to a proposal; concur.5
BehooveIt is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something7
BravadoA bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.
Bylinea line in a newspaper naming the writer of an article6
CharlatanA person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.8
CognateRelated in origin; A word related to one in another language.9
Commensuratecorresponding in amount or magnitude. Proportionate; Adequate6
Convivial(of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable.
(of a person) cheerful and friendly; jovial
Coprolitea piece of fossilized dung2
Deliriumconfused mental state due to fever or illness; state of wild excitement and great happiness6
Depredationact of attacking or plundering4
Dossiergroup of papers that contain detailed info about someone or something8
DundridgeA bureaucrat who heartlessly enforces the rules, regardless of how stupid or harmful they are in the circumstances.8
EdificationIntellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement; enlightenment.6
EschatologyThe part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.4
EschewDelibrately avoid using7
Fecklesslacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible5
Fulminateexpress vehement protest6
GaietyThe state or quality of being lighthearted or cheerful4
Grokto understand thoroughly and intuitively; to communicate sympathetically5
Harborageshelter, harbor1
Heuristicpractical method for solving problem that is not optimal or perfect but sufficient for the immediate goals9
HistoricityHistorical authenticity; fact.7
Idempotent(math) element of a set that is unchanged in value when multiplied or otherwise operated on by itself9
Indeliblemaking marks that cannot be erased, removed, or forgotten8
Indignationstrong displeasure at something considered unjust or offensive7
Indolenceavoidance of activity or exertion; laziness5
Ingratiatingcharming; pleasing6
Initialismabbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. FBI)7
Jadedfeel lack of interest and excitement caused by overindulgence9
KakistocracyGovernment by the worst men9
Kitschthings (movies, works of art...) that are low quality but many people might find amusing or enjoyable9
Lexicon1. The vocabulary of a particular language, field, social class, person, etc.
2. A wordbook or dictionary, especially of Greek, Latin, or hebrew.
3. Inventory or record:
Lionizeto treat someone as a celebrity; pursue celebrities7
Malapropismthe mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect9
MemeAn element of culture or behavior (video, pic, fad, etc.) that is passed from one to another through non-genetic means.6
Modernitythe quality of being current or of the present5
MyopicNearsightedness; Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning9
Neeborn (placed after name of a married woman to introduce her maiden name)5
Nixiea letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of a faulty or illegible address6
ObfuscateTo obscure, bewilder, confuse9
OdiousExtremely unpleasant; repulsive.7
OntologyThe branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.7
Ortscrap or morsel of food left at a meal5
Orthographythe methodology of writing a language including rules of spelling, punctiation, etc.7
Ostensibleoutwardly appearing as such; professed; apparent or evident7
Panto criticize severely, as in a review of a play7
PareidoliaA psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.

Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.
ParsimonyExtreme unwillingness to spend money or use resources.3
Paucitythe presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity7
PedantA person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.6
Pedantic1. ostentatious in one's learning.
2. overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching.
Pejorativehaving a derogatory or belittling effect or force8
Penultimatesecond to last6
perspicaciousability to notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious8
PhilistineA person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.8
PithyPrecisely meaningful; forceful and brief.7
Platitudedull or trite remark, especially if intended to be profound9
PolysemyHaving or characterized by many meanings7
Pratfalla fall onto ones buttocks, usually humorously7
Preemptto acquire before someone else; prevent something by acting first7
Pretextsomething put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; misleading appearance. A reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something9
PrevaricateSpeak or act in an evasive way8
ProletariatThe working class, the lower class people.8
Pusillanimousshowing a lack of courage or determination; timid.4
Reifyregard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing8
RetroactiveTaking effect from a date in the past.9
Ripostea quick clever reply to an insult or criticism.8
Sanctimonypretended or hypocritical religious devotion or righteousness9
Saporthe quality in a substance that affects the sense of taste; flavor6
SesquipedalianGiven to using long words, words with a lot of syllables.6
Smarmyexcessively flattering, especially insincerely9
Subterfugedeceit used in order to achieve one's goal6
Succorassistance and support especially in times of hardship and distress.6
SyncretizeTo attempt to combine or unite, as different or opposing principles, parties, etc.6
Teetotaladvocating or pledged to total abstinence from drinking (alcohol)4
Teleology1. The study of design or purpose in natural phenomena.
2. The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining phenomena.
Troll(Internet Slang) One who posts inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community (a forum, chat room, blog...) with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.7
Unequivocalleaving no doubt; unambiguous.7
Unexceptionablenot open to objection4
Untenableincapable of being defended, vindicated, or maintained against attack.7
Verisimilitudequality of seeming real; appearance of truth or likelihodd8
VisceralComing from strong emotions and not from logic or reason. Not intellectual.9
Wangleobtain (something that is desired) by persuading others to comply or by manipulating events.8
Wherewithalthe means or supplies for the purpose; the funds required5
Yawpto make a raucous noise; squawk or clamor6
YowlA loud wailing cry, esp. one of pain or distress.5
Drollcurious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement7