450 terms

2012 School Spelling Bee Study List (450 Words)

Middle-school spelling bee study list
STUDY
PLAY
aboard
on a ship, train, plane or other vehicle
absorb
take up or in
accrued
to accumulate over time
acrobat
an entertainer who performs gymnastic feats
adequate
enough to meet a purpose
adolescence
the time period between the beginning of puberty and adulthood
afghan
a blanket knitted or crocheted in strips or squares
airborne
moved or conveyed by or through air
akimbo
with hands on hips and elbows extending outward
allergenic
something that makes you sneeze
allocation
a share set aside for a specific purpose
altogether
with everything included or counted
amphibian
cold-blooded vertebrate typically living on land but breeding in water
animation
a simulation of movement or the perception of motion created by the rapid display of a series of still images
annotate
provide interlinear explanations for words or phrases
antelope
graceful Old World ruminant with long legs and horns directed upward and backward
apron
a garment of cloth or leather or plastic that is tied about the waist and worn to protect your clothing
army
a permanent organization of the military land forces of a nation or state
assign
select something or someone for a specific purpose
astrophysicist
an astronomer who studies the physical properties of celestial bodies
audience
a gathering of spectators or listeners at a (usually public) performance
auditorium
the area of a theater or concert hall where the audience sits
axle
a shaft on which a wheel rotates
backpack
a bag worn on the back to carry things
bagpipe
a wind instrument
ballroom
large room used mainly for dancing
barracks
a building or group of buildings where the armed forces lived
basket
a container that is usually woven and has handles
batter
a flour mixture thin enough to pour or drop from a spoon
beaming
radiating or as if radiating light
beatific
experiencing or bestowing celestial joy
behemoth
someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
blatant
obvious
blessing
the act of praying for divine protection
blimp
a small nonrigid airship used for observation or as a barrage balloon
blissful
completely happy and contented
blizzard
A heavy snowstorm with strong winds
blooper
an embarrassing mistake
bolt
leave suddenly and as if in a hurry
bookworm
someone who spends a great deal of time reading
brace
a structural member used to stiffen a framework
brainstorm
try to solve a problem by thinking intensely about it
bristle
a stiff hair
broadcast
message that is transmitted by radio or television
brochure
a booklet or pamphlet that contains descriptive information or advertising
broth
a thin soup of meat or fish or vegetable stock
bunch
a grouping of a number of similar things
butterflies
insects with big colorful wings
cabinet
a cupboard-like repository or piece of furniture with doors and shelves and drawers
cakewalk
an easy accomplishment
calculator
a machine used to add, subtract, multiply, or divide
calzone
a stuffed italian role
Camelot
(Arthurian legend) the capital of King Arthur's kingdom
caper
a crime (especially a robbery)
carbohydrates
the starches and sugars present in foods
carefree
cheerfully irresponsible
carnage
large-scale slaughter or loss of life
carnival
a festival marked by merrymaking and processions
carpenter
a woodworker who makes or repairs wooden objects
cartilage
tough elastic tissue
cellophane
a transparent paper-like product that is impervious to moisture and used to wrap candy or cigarettes etc.
cement
a building material that is a powder made of a mixture of calcined limestone and clay
channel
a television station and its programs
chapter
a subdivision of a written work
chef
a professional cook
cherry
fruit used to top an ice cream cone
chickabiddy
term of affection,fondness, or love for a child
cholera
an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food
choreographer
someone who creates new dances
chorus
a group of people assembled to sing together
chowder
a thick soup or stew made with milk and bacon and onions and potatoes
chromosome
a threadlike body in the cell nucleus that carries the genes in a linear order
church
a place for public (especially Christian) worship
circumlocution
roundabout way of speaking
clarinet
a single-reed instrument with a straight tube
cleave
separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
clemency
leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice
clinic
a healthcare facility for outpatient care
closet
a small room (or recess) or cabinet used for storage space
commute
travel back and forth regularly, as between one's place of work and home
compact
closely and firmly united or packed together
compass
navigational instrument for finding directions
competently
adv. with reasonable skill
compromise
an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
condiment
a preparation (a sauce or relish or spice) to enhance flavor or enjoyment
confection
something sweet to eat
conjure
evoke or call forth, with or as if by magic
consider
judge or regard
controversy
a public dispute that arouses strong feelings
cornea
the clear tissue that covers the front of the eye
correspondence
communication by exchange of letters
crabby
easily annoyed by unimportant things
cram
crowd or pack to capacity
crate
a rugged box (usually made of wood)
cricket
a jumping insect that is somewhat like a grasshopper
crisis
a situation that suddenly becomes very dangerous or difficult
crutch
a wooden or metal staff that fits under the armpit and reaches to the ground
cub
the young of certain carnivorous mammals such as the bear or wolf or lion
curtain
hanging cloth used as a blind (especially for a window)
cusp
small elevation on the grinding surface of a tooth
damageable
breakable
dare
a challenge to do something dangerous or foolhardy
debris
the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
decide
to make up your mind about something
defiantly
boldly resistant or challenging
defunct
no longer in force or use
delighted
greatly pleased
delved
searched
demanding
requiring more than usually expected or thought due
desperately
with great urgency
dilemma
state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
disappearance
the state of having vanished
disappoint
fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
disgust
strong feelings of dislike
dismal
depressing in character or appearance
doze
a light fitful sleep
dramaturgy
the art of writing and producing plays
drawer
a boxlike container in a piece of furniture
dreadful
exceptionally bad or displeasing
drifting
aimless wandering from place to place
drill
a tool with a sharp point and cutting edges for making holes in hard materials (usually rotating rapidly or by repeated blows)
drizzle
very light rain
droll
comical in an odd or whimsical manner
dryness
the condition of not containing or being covered by a liquid (especially water)
duress
compulsory force or threat
easily
without problems or difficulties
echoed
repeated a sound
eclipse
one celestial body obscures another
ecosystem
a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
ecstatic
feeling great rapture or delight
elegant
refined or imposing in manner or appearance
embryo
an animal organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation that in higher forms merge into fetal stages but in lower forms terminate in commencement of larval life
emphasize
to stress, single out as important
ensemble
a group of musicians playing or singing together
envoy
someone sent on a mission to represent the interests of someone else
epilepsy
a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions
episode
installment
even
symmetrically arranged
evidence
proof
exaggerate
overstate; go beyond the limits of the actual truth; magnify
exotic
being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world
explore
to search for or travel for the purpose of discovery; to investigate carefully
expressionism
an art movement early in the 20th century
extemporaneous
with little or no preparation or forethought
extraordinarily
notably; exceptionally
extrapolate
To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information
eyelet
a small hole (usually round and finished around the edges) in cloth or leather for the passage of a cord
facade
the face or front of a building
faithful
a group of people who adhere to a common faith and habitually attend a given church
fajitas
a marinated strip usually of beef or chicken grilled or broiled and served usually with a flour tortilla and various savory fillings —usually used in plural
fanzine
a fan magazine
fascinating
capable of arousing and holding the attention
fashion
the latest and most admired style in clothes and cosmetics and behavior
fate
an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
fedora
felt hat with a creased crown
feeble
lacking strength
feign
make believe with the intent to deceive
file
a steel hand tool with small sharp teeth on some or all of its surfaces
firefly
nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
flannel
a soft light woolen fabric
fleet
a group of warships organized as a tactical unit
flock
a group of birds
fluoride
helps strengthen bones and teeth
folly
foolish or senseless behavior
foreground
the part of a scene that is near the viewer
format
the general appearance of a publication
fragrance
a pleasingly sweet olfactory property
freckle
a small brownish spot (of the pigment melanin) on the skin
Friday
the sixth day of the week
frivolous
not serious in content or attitude or behavior
fronds
fern leaves
frugal
thrifty
garnish
any decoration added as a trimming or adornment
gasp
a short labored intake of breath with the mouth open
genesis
the first book of the Old Testament: tells of creation
genius
someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality
giggle
to laugh in a silly or uncontrolled way
ginger
perennial plants having thick branching aromatic rhizomes and leafy reedlike stems
gleeful
full of high-spirited delight
glimpse
a quick look
gloaming
the time of day immediately following sunset
gossip
light informal conversation for social occasions
gouge
an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
gourmet
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
grapevine
gossip spread by spoken communication
gravy
the juices that drip from cooking meats
grumpy
perversely irritable
gulp
a large and hurried swallow
hamper
a basket usually with a cover
handcuffs
shackle that consists of a metal loop that can be locked around the wrist
hangnail
a loose narrow strip of skin near the base of a fingernail
harassment
the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
harmless
not threatening to life or health
harmonious
friendly; amicable
harsh
severe
helmet
a protective headgear made of hard material to resist blows
herbs
a plant or a part of a plant that is used as medicine or to give flavor to food
heroic
showing extreme courage
hexameter
a verse line having six metrical feet
homework
preparatory school work done outside school (especially at home)
hospice
a program of medical and emotional care for the terminally ill
hostile
very unfriendly
hula
a Polynesian rain dance performed by a woman
humane
marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering
hurriedly
in a big rush
hydrogen
a nonmetallic univalent element that is normally a colorless and odorless highly flammable diatomic gas
imitate
make a reproduction or copy of
immaculate
free from stain or blemish
impel
cause to move forward with force
impenetrable
impossible to understand
incidental
not of prime or central importance
inflammable
possible to burn
ingredient
a component of a mixture or compound
insulation
the act of protecting something by surrounding it with material that reduces or prevents the transmission of sound or heat or electricity
intense
in an extreme degree
intercept
to stop or seize something while it is on its way somewhere
interpret
make sense of a language
intrigue
a crafty and involved plot to achieve your (usually sinister) ends
intruder
someone who trespasses
irritability
a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger
jambalaya
spicy Creole dish of rice and ham, sausage, chicken, or shellfish with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and celery
jazz
a style of dance music popular in the 1920s
jealousy
a feeling of envy of what a person has or can do
jewel
adorn or decorate with precious stones
jitterbug
a jerky American dance that was popular in the 1940s
journal
a daily written record of (usually personal) experiences and observations
jubilant
joyful and proud especially because of triumph or success
jumbo
of great mass
juvenile
a youthful person
keyhole
the opening in a lock
kidney
either of two bean-shaped excretory organs that filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them and water in urine
kindergarten
a preschool for children age 4 to 6 to prepare them for primary school
kitchen
a room equipped for preparing meals
laborious
characterized by toilsome effort to the point of exhaustion
laconic
brief and to the point
larceny
the act of taking something from someone unlawfully
large
big
leftovers
food remaining from a previous meal
leisure
freedom to choose a pastime or enjoyable activity
leniency
lightening a penalty or excusing from a chore by judges or parents or teachers
lightning
abrupt electric discharge from cloud to cloud or from cloud to earth accompanied by a flash
linguistically
with respect to language
literati
collectively, the educated, or well-lettered, members of society; scholarly people
livelihood
The means of supporting oneself
loathe
to hate
lobby
a large entrance or reception room or area
locker
a storage compartment for clothes and valuables
lonely
Being by yourself and feeling sad
lots
a large number or amount
lullaby
a quiet song that lulls a child to sleep
luxurious
rich and superior in quality
major
the principal field of study of a student at a university
malevolent
wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
mallet
a tool resembling a hammer but with a large head (usually wooden)
manifestation
an appearance in bodily form (as of a disembodied spirit)
marshmallow
soft, white candy covered with powdered sugar
matrimony
the ceremony or sacrament of marriage
mess
difficult situation, fix, jam, muddle, pickle
mezzanine
intermediate floor just above the ground floor
microphone
device for converting sound waves into electrical energy
midday
the middle of the day
midriff
the middle area of the human torso (usually in front)
migrate
move from one country or region to another and settle there
militant
engaged in war
mimic
imitate (a person, a manner, etc.), especially for satirical effect
mischief
Behavior that causes harm or trouble
miscible
(chemistry, physics) capable of mixing
mixer
a party of people assembled to promote sociability and communal activity
mortar
a muzzle-loading high-angle gun with a short barrel that fires shells at high elevations for a short range
mortgage
a long-term loan extended to someone who buys property
mumble
talk indistinctly
mumps
an acute contagious viral disease characterized by fever and by swelling of the parotid glands
munchkin
An extremely short person
municipal
relating to local government
mural
a painting that is applied to a wall surface
murmur
a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone
muscular
having or suggesting great physical power or force
muse
reflect deeply on a subject
mustard
a pungent yellow powder of the seeds of any of several common plants used as a condiment or a medicine
nacho
a tortilla chip topped with cheese and chili-pepper and broiled
nephew
a son of your brother or sister
next
immediately following in time or order
niagara
a river flowing from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario
nibble
a small byte
niche
a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it
nocturnal
of or relating to or occurring in the night
nugget
a solid lump of a precious metal (especially gold) as found in the earth
oasis
a fertile tract in a desert (where the water table approaches the surface)
onslaught
(military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
panickiness
excessive worry
parasite
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant)
parody
humorous or satirical mimicry
patriot
one who loves and defends his or her country
perky
characterized by liveliness and light-heartedness
perseverance
continued efforts in spite of difficulties
perturb
throw into great confusion or disorder
peruse
examine or consider with attention and in detail
philosophize
to theorize
phylum
(biology) the major taxonomic group of animals and plants
pill
a dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet
pitcher
an open vessel with a handle and a spout for pouring
pituitary
the master gland of the endocrine system
plague
any epidemic disease with a high death rate
polenta
a thick mush made of cornmeal boiled in stock or water
polyglot
a person who speaks more than one language
ponder
reflect deeply on a subject
posthumous
occurring or coming into existence after a person's death
posture
position or arrangement of the body and its limbs
potassium
a light soft silver-white metallic element of the alkali metal group
praise
express approval of
prevail
use persuasion successfully
prism
optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz
pristine
immaculately clean and unused
proud
having or displaying great dignity or nobility
pudding
any of various soft sweet desserts thickened usually with flour and baked or boiled or steamed
pugilist
someone who fights with his fists for sport
punctual
acting or arriving or performed exactly at the time appointed
pungent
sharp biting or acrid especially in taste or smell
pupil
a young person attending school (up through senior high school)
puree
food prepared by cooking and straining or processed in a blender
pursuit
a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
pyramid
a massive memorial with a square base and four triangular sides
quarrel
an arrow that is shot from a crossbow
question
uncertainty about the truth or factuality of existence of something
quote
a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
rabies
an acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal)
racial
of or related to genetically distinguished groups of people
rainy
what weather conditions can be expected when a barometer is falling.
rake
a long-handled tool with a row of teeth at its head
ransom
payment for the release of someone
rascal
one who is playfully mischievous
realty
property consisting of houses and land
reason
the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
reckon
expect, believe, or suppose
recruit
any new member or supporter (as in the armed forces)
referendum
a legislative act is referred for final approval to a popular vote by the electorate
reflect
to bend or throw back light or heat; to fold or turn back
reimbursable
work expenses
relish
vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
reminiscent
reminding of the past
remorseful
feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
replete
fill to satisfaction
residue
something left after other parts have been taken away
resuscitable
to revive, bring back to consciousness or existence
retrospect
contemplation of things past
romaine
lettuce with long dark-green leaves in a loosely packed elongated head
rugged
sturdy and strong in constitution or construction
salt
white crystalline form of especially sodium chloride used to season and preserve food
scan
to examine closely; to look over quickly but thoroughly; to analyze the rythm of a poem; an examination
scent
any property detected by the olfactory system
schooner
a ship with two or more masts
scoop
a large ladle
scramble
bring into random order
screenplay
a script for a film including dialogue and descriptions of characters and sets
scythe
an edge tool for cutting grass
sequel
a part added to a book or play that continues and extends it
serenade
a musical composition in several movements
serious
of great consequence
shamrock
clover native to Ireland with yellowish flowers
shawl
cloak consisting of an oblong piece of cloth used to cover the head and shoulders
shears
(usually plural) large scissors with strong blades
shine
the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
shovel
a machine for excavating
shuffle
walking with a slow dragging motion without lifting your feet
siege
the surrounding of a place in order to force it to surrender
simmer
temperature just below the boiling point
simulcast
a broadcast that is carried simultaneously by radio and television (or by FM and AM radio)
sinus
any of various air-filled cavities especially in the bones of the skull
skillet
a pan used for frying foods
slantindicular
somewhat oblique
sniff
sensing an odor by inhaling through the nose
solve
find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
sourly
in an unpleasant way
sparkle
brightness and animation of countenance
spinal
cavity surrounded by the backbone
steam
water at boiling temperature diffused in the atmosphere
stellar
being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars
stench
stink
stern
the rear part of a ship
stew
cook slowly and for a long time in liquid
stomach
elastic, muscular sac where some chemical and some mechanical digestion take place
stratosphere
the layer of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer; temperature increases as you go up
stroganoff
hot dish consisting of meat in a sauce that contains sour cream
strong
having strength or power greater than average or expected
study
learn by reading books
sunflower
any plant of the genus Helianthus having large flower heads with dark disk florets and showy yellow rays
surrealist
art or writing characterized by fantastic imagery
swallow
pass through the esophagus as part of eating or drinking
sweet
the property of containing sugar
syllable
a unit of spoken language larger than a phoneme
syringe
a medical instrument used to inject or withdraw fluids
systematic
characterized by order and planning
tableau
any dramatic scene
tack
sew together loosely, with large stitches
talons
claws
tangy
tasting sour like a lemon
target
a reference point to shoot at
technician
someone known for high skill in some intellectual or artistic technique
telepathic
communicating without apparent physical signals
tentativeness
unsure; uncertain; not definite or positive;
terrific
extraordinarily good
therapy
treatment, healing
thermos
vacuum flask that preserves temperature of hot or cold drinks
thermostat
a device that regulates temperature
thoroughbred
a racehorse belonging to a breed that originated from a cross between Arabian stallions and English mares
timorously
Showing or suffering from nervousness, fear, or a lack of confidence
tiring
producing exhaustion
tissue
a soft thin (usually translucent) paper
title
the name of a work of art or literary composition etc.
toilsome
Involving hard work; difficult
tongs
any of various devices for taking hold of objects
tough
very difficult
tourism
the business of helping people travel on vacations
treadmill
an exercise device consisting of an endless belt on which a person can walk or jog without changing place
trespass
entry to another's property without right or permission
trio
a musical composition for three performers
trunk
a long flexible snout as of an elephant
turkey
large gallinaceous bird with fan-shaped tail
tutelage
Instruction, protection, or guardianship
twice
two times
twig
small branch or division of a branch
twinkly
smiling with happiness or optimism
twirl
the act of rotating rapidly
twitter
make high-pitched sounds, as of birds
ugliness
qualities that do not give pleasure to the senses
ulterior
lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed (especially being kept in the background or deliberately concealed)
uniform
clothing of distinctive design worn by members of a particular group as a means of identification
unreadable
ilegible, incomprehensible
upright
in a vertical position
vegetarian
eater of fruits and grains and nuts
vehemence
intensity or forcefulness of expression
veil
a garment that covers the head and face
virtue
the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
vital
performing an essential function in the living body
waiver
A decision by an administrative agency granting some other part permission to violate a law or rule that would otherwise apply to it.
wallet
a pocket-size case for holding papers and paper money
wardrobe
collection of clothing belonging to one person
weasel
small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body and neck
weigh
to find out how heavy something is
whimsical
determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
whisk
a small short-handled broom used to brush clothes
widget
a device that is very useful for a particular job
windchill
the apparent or sensed temperature on the body as cold air blows across a surface absorbing energy and causing evaporation
wingspan
linear distance between the extremities of an airfoil
witness
someone who sees an event and reports what happened
wizard
one who practices magic or sorcery
wombat
burrowing herbivorous Australian marsupials about the size of a badger
wooden
lacking ease or grace
wreck
a serious accident (usually involving one or more vehicles)
wriggle
to twist to and fro; to squirm