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                                 Shorter Word List (3000 Words)

Welcome to my list of 3,000 essential English words for educated people to understand. I created this list by culling words from my huge list of more than 31,800 words elsewhere on this site. I don't give any words here that I would consider "easy," but each one has been selected  to open up new vistas into learning and into the English language. I hope this list will be useful for three types of people:  1) Those running and participating in spelling bees; 2) Those for whom English is not your native language but you want a good vocabulary list that will take you deeply into the language and into learning concepts in many fields; 3) Those native English speakers who want to hone and develop their own vocabulary. I have derived these words from a number of different sources: two or three different dictionaries, web sites of all kinds, especially those devoted to specialized subjects. Not everyone agrees on the spelling for each term, but the spelling I give is represented in at least one authoritative source. 

Along with this list are hundreds of scholarly definitions of these words. The definitions of these words are themselves mini-essays that explore the linguistic root of the word, how it has been used over time, and its current usage. I also try to give examples of proper use of each word. The first page of these definitions is here. An "x" before the following words means that I have written a mini-essay on it. As of March 19, 2020, I have posted about 100 definitions, about 3% of this list. A few of the definitions are of words only occurring on the huge word list.

Enjoy your learning, and please be in touch with me about your own thoughts, and especially if you think you would like to try your hand at composing a scholarly definition or two.

                                                         Words A-G

Aardvark

x Abacus

x Abaddon

Abalone

x Abatement

x Abattoir

x Abaya

Abdominal

x Abecedarian

x Aberration

Abhorrence

x Abomination

x Abracadabra 

x Abscess

x Absinthe

x Abstemious

x Abutment

x Abysmally

Accelerate

Accessibility

x Accessory

Accommodation

Accompaniment

x Accoutrement

x Acetaminophen

Acknowledgment

x Acreage

x Acquiescence

x Acromegaly

x Acrylic

x Acuminate

Acyclovir

x Addled 

x Adductor

Adjacent

x Adjuvant 

Admittedly

x Adventitious

x Adze

x Aerate

x Aerie

x Aerodynamics

Aesop

x Affectation

x Affenpinscher

x Affluent

x Aficionado

x Agammaglobulinemia 

x Agapanthus 

x Ageism

x Aggiornamento 

x Agglutinative

x Aggrandize 

Agoraphobia

x Ailurophobia 

x Akhenaten 

x Alacrity

x Albatross

x Albumen

x Aleatory

x Algebraic

x Algorithm

x Alienation

x Aliphatic

x Aliquot

x Allargando

x Allay 

x Allegation

x Allemande

x Allotment

Alstroemeria

Altar

x Altricial

x Alzheimer's

Amandine

Amaryllis

x Amaurosis

x Ambulatory

x Amerindian

x Amniocentesis

Amorousness

Amoxicillin

Amphetamine

Amygdala

Amyotrophic

Anachronistic

Analogous

Anaphora

Anathematize

Androgynous

Anemone

Angelology

Anglicize

Anhidrosis

Anime

Ankh

Ankylosaur

Annatto

Annihilate

Annuity

Anodyne

Anomalous

Anonymity

Anopheles

Anorectic

Antediluvian

Anthracite

Anthropomorphism

Antidisestablishmentarianism

Antigen

Antihypertensive

Antimacassar

Antipasto

Antiphonal

Antiquarian

Antiretroviral

Anxiolytic

Apartheid

Apathy

Aperitif

Aphasia

Aphorism

Aphrodisiac

Apiarist

Apnea

Apocalypse

Apocryphal

Apoplectic

Aposematic

Apostate

Apotheosis

Appeasement

Appellation

Appendectomy

Appoggiatura

Apportion

Appraise

Apprise

Appropriation

Apropos

Apse

Aquaculture

Aquarius

Aquifer

Arachnophobia

Araucaria

Arbitrage

Archaeological

Archangel

Archetype

Archipelago

Arcturus

Arduous

Aretalogy 

Argumentative

Arirang

Armistice

Armoire

Aromatherapy

Arpeggio

Arraignment

Arrears

Arrhythmia

Arteriosclerosis

Arugula

Asbestosis

Asceticism

Ascorbic

Ashkenazi

Asiago

Aspartame

Asphodel

Asphyxiate

Assassination

Assbackwards

Assiduous

Assimilation

Astatine

Asterisk

Astragalus

Astronomical

Asymptomatic

Atelier

Atherosclerosis

Athleticism

Atonality

Atonement

Attrition

Aubade

Aucuba

Audad/Aoudad

Audubon

Aural

Auschwitz

Auslese

Australopithecine

Autistic

Autochthonous

Aver

Aviatrix

Avocet

Avoirdupois

Avuncular

Awestruck

Awning

Axel

Axiomatic

Ayatollah

Ayurveda

Azimuth

Azithromycin

Azulejo

Azure

Babel

Babesia

Baboon

Babushka

Babylon

Bacardi

Baccalaureate

Baccarat

Bacchanalia

Bacillus

Bacteriology

Bacteriophage

Badass

Badinage

Baedeker

Bagatelle

Bahasa

Bahuvriri

Baignoire

Bailiwick

Baklava

Baksheesh

Balaclava

Balalaika

Balderdash

Baleen

Balkanize

Ballet

Balloon

Ballyhoo

Balneotherapy 

Balsamic

Balustrade

Bambino

Bamboozle

Banderilla

Bandolier

Banister

Banns

Banshee

Bantling

Banzai

Baptistery

Barbarous

Barbate

Barbican

Barbiturate

Barbizon

Barcarolle

Barouche

Barratry

Barrenness

Barrette

Bartizan

Baryon

Basenji

Basilica

Basilisk

Bassinet

Bastille

Bastinado

Bathyscaphe

Batrachian

Battalion

Bauble

Bauhaus

Bauhinia 

Bauxite

Bavardage

Bayadere

Bayonet

Bayou

Bazillion

Bdellium

Beadle

Beaker

Béarnaise

Beatification

Beaucoup

Beaujolais

Beautician

Bebop

Beccafico

Becquerel

Bedaub

Bedevil

Bedizen

Bedraggled

Beelzebub

Beethovenian

Befitting

Beguilement

Behistun

Behoove

Beignet

Beijing

Beleaguer

Belleek

Belletrist

Bellicose

Bellwether 

Belvedere

Benedictine

Benzodiazepine

Berceuse

Bergamot

Berserk

Beryllium

Besmirch

Bestiary

Betelgeuse

Betimes

Beurre

Beveled

Bewussteinslage

Bezel

Bezoar

Bhagavad

Bhakti

Bhutanese

Bibelot

Bicameral

Bicentennial

Bicephalous

Bidet

Biennially

Bildungsroman

Bilharzia
Bilingual

Billabong

Bimetallic

Bioengineering

Birefringence

Biretta

Biscotti

Bismuth

Bizarrerie

Blagueur

Blancmange

Blastomycosis

Blepharoplasty

Blesbok

Blitzkrieg

Bludgeon

Bluesy

Boatswain

Bobolink

Bocaccio

Bodacious

Bodhisattva

Bodice

Boeuf

Bogatyr

Bohemia

Boiserie

Bologna

Bombazine

Bondieuserie

Bonhomie

Bonkers

Booboisie

Boolean 

Borborygmus

Bordelaise

Borscht

Bottomry

Boudoir

Bouffant

Bougainvillea

Bouillabaisse

Boulangerie

Bouleversement

Bouquiniste

Bourgeoisie

Boutonniere

Bovine

Bowdlerize

Brachiosaurus

Bracketology

Bradykinin

Braeburn

Braggadocio

Braille

Brasserie

Bravura

Breathalyzer

Breccia

Bremsstrahlung

Brewski

Bricolage

Brie

Brioche

Broccoli

Bromance

Bromide

Bronchitis

Brucellosis

Bruxism

Bryology

Bubonic

Buffoonery

Bulimic

Bumptious

Bundestag

Bungee

Bupkis

Bureaucracy

Buttinsky

Byzantine

Cabaletta

Caballero

Cabernet

Cabochon

Caboodle

Cacciatore

Cacophony

Cadaverous

Cadeau

Cadenza

Caecum

Caesarean

Caesura

Cahoots

Caipirinha

Caliginous

Calliope

Calomel

Calumny

Camaraderie

Camembert

Campanula

Cancellation

Candidiasis

Cannabinoid

Cannelloni

Cantatrice

Caoutchouc

Cappelletti

Cappuccino

Capybara

Carafe

Caratenoid

Carborundum

Carcinomatous

Cardiomyopathy

Carillonneur

Carrefour

Cartilaginous

Cartonnage

Caseation

Cashew

Castilian

Casuistry

Catachresis

Catafalque

Catamaran

Catarrhine

Catastrophism

Catechism

Catechumen

Caterwauling

Cauliflower

Cauterize

Cayenne

Cedilla

Cenozoic

Certiorari

Cervantes

Cetacean

Ceviche

Chablis

Chaconne

Chalcedony

Chalazion

Champignon

Chansonnier

Chaparajos

Chardonnay

Chartreuse

Chassepot

Chatoyant

Chechnya

Chelicera

Cheongsam

Chernobyl

Cherubim

Chianti

Chifforobe

Chiliasm

Chimerical

Chinoiserie

Chipotle

Chlorofluorocarbon

Chocolatier 

Cholesterol

Choreographer

Chorizo

Choucroute

Chrestomathy

Chrismation

Christology

Chromosome

Chronicity

Chrysanthemum 

Chrysoprase

Chthonic

Churrigueresque

Ciabatta

Cicatrix

Cinematography

Cinquefoil

Ciprofoxacin

Circumambulation

Circumscissile

Cirrhosis

Clafoutis

Clairvoyance

Claustrophobia

Clematis

Clepsydra

Clerestory

Climatologist

Clinquant

Clitoridectomy

Cloisonne

Clotrimazole 

Cnidarian 

Coalescence

Coccyx

Cochineal

Cockalorum

Cockamamie

Cognac

Coiffure 

Colander

Colonel

Colonoscopy

Coloratura

Colosseum

Comeuppance

Commiserate

Complaisant

Complementarity

Compline

Concatenate

Concessionaire

Conchoidal 

Concupiscence

Condign

Confucianism

Congeal

Coniferous

Conjunctivitis

Connoisseur

Conquistador

Consanguinity

Consigliere
Contemptuous

Contrariety

Contretemps

Conundrum

Copacetic 

Coquettish

Corbel

Cordillera

Coronavirus

Correlate

Corsage

Corydalis

Cotoneaster

Countervailing

Couscous

Craquelure

Creatinine

Crepuscular

Crescendo

Croissant

Crucifer

Crustacean

Cryonics

Cumulonimbus

Cuneiform

Curmudgeon

Cutaneous

Cyanide

Cynosure

Cytokine

Dachsund

Dactylic

Daedalus

Daguerreotype

Daiquiri

Damascene

Damoclean

Darjeeling

Darmstadtium

Dashiki

Deaccession

Debacle

Debridement

Decaffeinate

Déclassé

Decolletage

Defibrillator

Deglutition

Deleterious

Demagoguery

Demure

Dengue 

Denkmal

Depilatory

Derailleur

Desaparecido

Desiccation

Desquamation

Destrier

Desuetude

Desultory

Detritus

Deuterocanonical

Deutzia

Devanagari

Dhyana

Diaconate

Diapason

Diaphanous

Diaphoresis

Diarrhea

Diazepam

Dickcissel

Didgeridoo

Dieffenbachia

Dilettante

Dimwit

Diocesan

Dionysian

Diphtheria

Diptych

Discrete

Disembogue

Dishabille

Disingenuous

Distaff

Distelfink

Diverticulitis

Doronicum

Doublet

Doubloon

Douceur

Douchebag

Douroucouli

Dracaena

Draught

Dreidel

Dubiety

Dudgeon

Duende

Dulcimer

Dummkopf

Dungeness

Duodenum

Durchkomponiert

Duxelles

Dybbuk

Dyscrasia

Dyspepsia

Earwig

Ebullient

Ecchymosis

Echeveria

Echinacea

Echolalia

Eclaircissement

Eclat

Eclecticism

Ecossaise

Ectomorphic

Eczema

Edelweiss

Edentulous

Eeyore

Effendi

Effervescent

Efflorescence

Egad

Eglantine

Eidetic

Electroencephalogram

Electrophoresis 

Eleemosynary

Elegiac

Elision

Emaciate

Embonpoint

Embouchure

Embrasure

Eminent

Emoji

Emollient

Emolument

Empanada

Emphysema

Empyrean

Enceinte

Encephalopathy

Enchiridion

Encoignure

Encryption

Encyclopedic

Endometriosis

Enfeoffment

Enfleurage

Engrossing

Enjambment

Enneagram

Ensign

Entablature

Entomophagous

Entrapment

Entrepreneurial

Eocene

Ephedrine

Ephemeral

Epidemiology

Epiphyte

Epithalamium

Epizootic

Eponymous

Equanimity

Equestrienne

Ericaceous

Erogenous

Erotomania

Ersatz

Erysipelas 

Escabeche

Eschatology

Escritoire

Escrow

Esophageal

Espadrille

Esthetician

Estoppel

Estuary

Eugenics

Euphemism

Eurhythmy

Eustachian

Euthanize

Evanescent

Eviscerate

Ewer

Exaggeration

Excalibur

Excelsior

Exfoliate

Exigent

Exiguous

Exocrine

Exoneree

Expiatory

Extenuate

Extraordinaire

Exuviate

Fabled

Facetious

Factotum

Faena

Fahrenheit

Faience

Faineant

Fajita

Falchion

Fallopian

Fanaticism

Fanfaronade

Fasciculation

Fascism

Fatshedera

Fatwa

Fauces

Fauteuil

Fauvism

Feasibility

Febrifuge

Fecundity

Feint

Felicitation

Felon

Feng-shui

Fennec

Fentanyl

Feral

Ferrule

Fescennine

Festoon

Fetid

Fettuccine

Feudalism

Feuilleton

Fibonacci

Fillip

Finagle

Finicky

Fioritura

Fissiparous

Flageolet

Flamboyant

Flatulent

Fleishig

Flirtatious

Flocculent

Flotilla

Flue

Flummox

Fluorescent

Focaccia

Foehn

Foofaraw

Foreboding

Foreordain
Foreword 

Forfeiture

Formaldehyde

Forsythia

Fortissimo

Fourragère

Fragility

Francophone

Frangipane

Frappuccino

Frequentative

Fricassee

Frisson

Frittata

Frivolity

Frontispiece

Fugue

Fuliginous

Funambulist

Funereal

Fuselage

Fusillade

Fylfot

Gabardine

Gadarene

Gaelic

Gaffe

Gaijin

Galactic

Galapagos

Gallimaufry

Galoot

Gambol

Gambrel

Gamelan

Ganache

Gancho

Ganciclovir

Gaping

Gargantuan

Gargoyle

Garrulous

Gastrocnemius

Gateau

Gaucherie

Gavotte

Gawp

Gazetteer

Gazpacho

Gedankenexperiment

Gegenschein

Gehenna

Geisha

Gelatinous

Gematria

Gendarme

Genealogy

Genuflect

Gerbil

Geriatric

Germaphobic

Gesso

Gestapo

Gesundheit

Gethsemane

Gherkin

Ghoulish

Gibberish

Gibbous

Gigabyte

Gigue

Gila

Ginseng

Girandole

Glabrous

Gladiolus

Glaive

Glissando

Glockenspiel

Glyph

Gnathion

Gnocchi

Gnosticism

Gnu

Gobsmacked

Goji

Golem

Golgi

Gomorrah

Gondolier

Gonfalon

Gorgonzola

Gossamer

Gossypol

Gouache

Gourami

Gracility

Graffiti

Grallator

Grandiosity

Graupel

Gravure

Greaves

Gregarious

Grimalkin

Grimoire

Grippe

Grisaille

Grommet

Grotesquerie

Gruel

Gruyere

Guacamole

Guerrilla

Guignol

Guignolet

Guillemet

Guillemot

Guillotine

Guimpe

Guipure

Gumption

Gunwale

Gyascutus

Gynecologist

Gyrfalcon

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