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How to Improve your Vocabulary

100 words to Impress a Native Speaker of English!

Here is the second part of our 100 advanced words which should impress even the most educated of native speakers! Perfect if you want to impress the examiner in examinations like: SAT, IELTS, TOEFL and Cambridge CAE and CPE. If you are really serious about having an extensive and impressive vocabulary, try learning these and then try these advanced vocabulary tests.

Part ONE / Part TWO



(adj.) extremely joyful, happy (The crowd was jubilant when the firefighter carried the woman from the flaming building.)


(n.) the solemn sound of a bell, often indicating a death (Echoing throughout our village, the funeral knell made the grey day even more grim.)


(adj.) graceful, flexible, supple (Although the dancers were all outstanding, Joannaís control of her lithe body was particularly impressive.)


(adj.) ghastly, sensational (Barryís story, in which he described a character torturing his neighbour's tortoise, was judged too lurid to be published on the English Library's website.)


(n.) an independent, nonconformist person (John is a real maverick and always does things his own way.)


(n.) a common saying expressing a principle of conduct (Ms. Stoneís etiquette maxims are both entertaining and instructional.)


(adj.) extremely careful with details (The ornate needlework in the brideís gown was a product of meticulous handiwork.)


(n.) a small amount of something (Refusing to display even a modicum of sensitivity, Magda announced her bossís affair to the entire office.)


(adj.) gloomy or sullen (Davidís morose nature made him very unpleasant to talk to.)


(adj.) consisting of a very great number (It was difficult to decide what to do on Saturday night because the city presented us with myriad possibilities for fun.)


(n.) the lowest point of something (My day was boring, but the nadir came when my new car was stolen.)


(adj.) trifling, insignificant (Because he was moving the following week and needed to get rid of his furniture more than he needed money, Kim sold everything for a nominal price.)


(n.) a beginner, someone without training or experience (Because we were all novices at archery, our instructor decided to begin with the basics


(n.) a slight variation in meaning, tone, expression (The nuances of the poem were not obvious to the casual reader, but the teacher was able to point them out.)


(adj.) lacking consciousness or awareness of something (Oblivious to the burning smell emanating from the kitchen, my father did not notice that the rolls in the oven were burned until much too late.)


(adj.) excessively compliant or submissive (Donald acted like Susanís servant, obeying her every request in an obsequious manner.)


(adj.) lacking quickness of sensibility or intellect (Political opponents warned that the prime ministerís obtuse approach to foreign policy would embroil the nation in mindless war.)


(n.) a remedy for all ills or difficulties (Doctors wish there was a single panacea for every disease, but sadly there is not.)


(n.) a satirical imitation (A hush fell over the classroom when the teacher returned to find Magdalena acting out a parody of his teaching style.)


(n.) a tendency, partiality, preference (Fionaís dinner parties quickly became monotonous on account of her penchant for Indian dishes.)


(n.) a careful examination, review (The actor agreed to accept the role after a three-month perusal of the movie script.)


(n.) an abundance, excess (The wedding banquet included a plethora of oysters piled almost three feet high.)


(n.) a preference or inclination for something (James has a predilection for eating toad in the whole with tomato ketchup.)


(adj.) charmingly old-fashioned (Mary was delighted by the quaint bonnets she saw in Romania.)


(adj.) hasty, incautious (Itís best to think things over calmly and thoroughly, rather than make rash decisions.)


(v.) to restore, clean up (After being refurbished the old Triumph motorcycle commanded the handsome price of $6000.)


(v.) to reject, refuse to accept (Tom made a strong case for an extension of his curfew, but his mother repudiated it with a few biting words.)


(adj.) abundant (Surprisingly, the teacherís writing was rife with spelling errors.)


(adj.) significant, conspicuous (One of the salient differences between Alison and Helen is that Alison is a couple of kilos heavier.)


(n.) luck, finding good things without looking for them (In an amazing bit of serendipity, penniless Mark found a $50 bill on the back seat of the bus.)


(adj.) sedate, serious, self-restrained (The staid butler never changed his expression no matter what happened.)


(adj.) exceeding what is necessary (Samantha had already won the campaign so her constant flattery of others was superfluous.)


(n.) one who flatters for self-gain (Some see the people in the cabinet as the Prime Ministerís closest advisors, but others see them as sycophants.)


(adj.) not inclined to talk (Though Magda never seems to stop talking, her brother is quite taciturn.)


(adj.) ready to fight, cruel (This club doesnít really attract the dangerous types, so why was that bouncer being so truculent?)


(n.) resentment, offence (He called me a lily-livered coward, and I took umbrage at the insult.)


(adj.) deserving of respect because of age or achievement (The venerable High Court judge had made several key rulings in landmark cases throughout the years.)


(v.) to confuse or annoy (My boyfriend vexes me by pinching my bottom for hours on end.)


(adj.) loud, boisterous (Iím tired of his vociferous whining so Iím breaking up with him.)


(adj.) undisciplined, lewd, lustful (Joannaís wanton demeanor often made the frat guys next door very excited.)


(n.) the highest point, culminating point (I was too nice to tell Emily that she had reached the absolute zenith of her career with that one top 10 hit of hers.)

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