115 Advanced Words in English (With Examples of Usage)

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Below you’ll find a list of 115 advanced words. I included examples for you to see the words in action.

This is a part of the language and vocabulary series which includes:

 

 

Learning vocabulary is my hobby. It’s amazing how many different meanings the word has, where it comes from and what it represents in a cultural context. The more words you know, the more things and experiences you can name. And that is helpful in communication – one of the top skills of any human being.

 

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”― Markus Zusak

 

The 115 word list (with examples of usage)

I suggest you read them out loud and try to create your own examples – this will dramatically increase retention and chances that you’ll use the word in a conversation.

1. Construe (verb)

interpret (a word or action) in a particular way.

Example: From her arguments, I construe she wants to turn the world into a place of chaos.

2. Peruse (verb)

a) read (something), typically in a thorough or careful way.
b) examine carefully or at length.

Example: He carefully perused the dusty bookshelves of the forgotten library.

3. Condone (verb)

a) accept (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive).
b) approve or sanction (something), especially with reluctance.

Example: For the last time, she condoned their egregious mistake.

4. Latent (adjective)

(of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed.

Example: There was a latent threat in his words.

5. Acrimonious (adjective)

(typically of speech or discussion) angry and bitter.

Example: She rejected his offer with an acrimonious sneer.

6. Indubitable (adjective)

impossible to doubt; unquestionable.

Example: His version of the account was indubitable.

7. Propitious (adjective)

giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable.

Example: He received a propitious message.

8. Tremulous (adjective)

a) shaking or quivering slightly
b) timid; nervous.

Example: She was tremulous with fear.

9. Masquerade (noun / verb)

a) noun – a false show or pretence.
b) verb – pretend to be someone one is not.

Example: The whole grand reception was a masquerade.

10. Salient (adjective)

most noticeable or important.

Example: The nose was the most salient feature of his face.

11. Embroil (verb)

involve (someone) deeply in an argument, conflict, or difficult situation.

Example: She was embroiled in the scheme and there was no way out.

12. Languish (verb)

(of a person, animal, or plant) lose or lack vitality; grow weak.

Example: They just languished there in the sun.

13. Aspersion (noun)

an attack on the reputation or integrity of someone or something.

Example: They hurled aspersions as she came along.

14. Sedulous (adjective)

(of a person or action) showing dedication and diligence.

Example: He was the most sedulous worker we ever had.

15. Pertinacious (adjective)

holding firmly to an opinion or a course of action.

Example: This guy is so pertinacious. He’ll never let it go.

16. Encumber (verb)

restrict or impede (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult.

Example: The thought of homework encumbered her mind for the rest of the day.

17. Effusion (noun)

a) an instance of giving off something such as a liquid or gas.
b) an act of talking or writing in an unrestrained or heartfelt way.

Example: There was an effusion of boisterous laughter as she cracked a joke.

18. Waffle (verb)

speak or write at length in a vague or trivial manner.

Example: Stop waffling about it or I’ll pull your tongue out!

19. Intrepid (adjective)

fearless; adventurous (often used for rhetorical or humorous effect).

Example: He was the most intrepid warrior in the kingdom.

20. Mores (noun)

the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a society or community.

Example: By not observing the mores, she put herself in trouble.

21. Disheveled (adjective)

untidy, disarranged

Example: The disheveled room had dirty socks and empty beer bottles on the floor.

22. Sumptuous (adjective)

splendid and expensive-looking

Example: They were regaled with sumptuous gifts and splendid food.

23. Reciprocate (verb)

respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one.

Example: The Moroccan trader gave him some tea, so he felt he had to reciprocate by buying something.

24. Infallible (adjective)

incapable of making mistakes or being wrong.

Example: When it comes to matters of money, he’s infallible.

25. Dissident (noun / adjective)

a) a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state.
b) in opposition to official policy.

Example: The government forces clashed with dissidents on Friday.

26. Dispatch (verb / noun)

a) send off to a destination or for a purpose.
b) the sending of someone or something to a destination or for a purpose.

Example: Troops were dispatched to quash the riot.

27. Intransigence (noun)

refusal to change one’s views or to agree about something.

Example: Her character was that of endless intransigence and pigheadedness.

28. Pastoral (adjective / noun)

a) (of land) used for the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle.
b) a work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life.

Example: The light pastoral depicted children strolling through meadows among the cattle.

29. Concede (verb)

a) admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.
b) surrender or yield (a possession, right, or privilege).

Example: After repeated requests from the bureaucrats, he finally conceded.

30. Manifold (adjective)

many and various

Example: There are manifold forms of life in the universe.

31. Punitive (adjective)

inflicting or intended as punishment.

Example: Punitive actions were taken against the delinquents.

32. Nonplus (noun / verb)

a) surprise and confuse (someone) so much that they are unsure how to react.
b) a state of being very surprised and confused.

Example: They were nonplused by the stupidity of his remark.

33. Salacious (adjective)

a) having or conveying undue or indecent interest in sexual matters.

Example: The salacious dog had to be restrained.

34. Behoove (verb)

a) it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something.
b) it is appropriate or suitable; it befits.

Example: It behooves us to act like decent people in this situation.

35. Vulpine (adjective)

a) relating to a fox or foxes.
b) crafty; cunning.

Example: Her vulpine ways made him confused and thirsty for answers.

36. Premise (noun)

a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion.

Example: I will allow selling the property on the premise that you’ll pay the agreed price in cash.

37. Demise (noun)

a person’s death.

Example: The sudden fall led to his demise.

38. Megalomania (noun)

a) obsession with the exercise of power.
b) delusion about one’s own power or importance (typically as a symptom of manic or paranoid disorder).

Example: Megalomania was the worst, among his many negative qualities.

39. Asinine (adjective)

extremely stupid or foolish.

Example: Bringing a knife to a gunfight? You’re asinine.

40. Surfeit (noun / verb)

a) an excessive amount of something.
b) cause (someone) to desire no more of something as a result of having consumed or done it to excess.

Example: They were surfeited with the chocolate pancakes.

41. Reputable (adjective)

having a good reputation.

Example: I’ll give you a recommendation for a reputable psychologist.

42. Oblique (adjective)

a) neither parallel nor at right angles to a specified or implied line; slanting.
b) not expressed or done in a direct way.

Example: His oblique explanations didn’t bring any light to the matter.

43. Jeopardize (verb)

put (someone or something) into a situation in which there is a danger of loss, harm, or failure.

Example: By divulging secret information, he jeopardized the whole operation.

44. Impudence (noun)

the quality of being impudent; impertinence.

Example: Her impudence was the main reason she wasn’t promoted.

45. Desolate (adjective / verb)

a) (of a place) uninhabited and giving an impression of bleak emptiness.
b) make (a place) appear bleakly empty.

Example: Two weary cloaked travelers passed through this gloomy and desolate land.

46. Ballast (noun / verb)

a) heavy material, such as gravel, sand, or iron, placed in the bilge of a ship to ensure its stability.
b) give stability to (a ship) by putting a heavy substance in its bilge.

Example: Drop the ballast or we’re going under!

47. Disperse (verb / adjective)

a) distribute or spread over a wide area.
b) denoting a phase dispersed in another phase, as in a colloid.

Example: They dispersed the bug-killer over the field.

48. Faze (verb)

disturb or disconcert (someone).

Example: He wasn’t fazed by their threats.

49. Compunction (noun)

a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad.

Example: She showed no compunction for the grisly crime she committed.

50. Complacency (noun)

a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.

Example: Dwelling in complacency is how you lose the endgame.

51. Caliber (noun)

a) the quality of someone’s character or the level of their ability.
b) the internal diameter or bore of a gun barrel.

Example: They needed a person of high caliber to complete this assignment.

52. Entreat (verb)

ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something.

Example: She wouldn’t listen to entreating children surrounding her.

53. Dissection (noun)

a) the action of dissecting a body or plant to study its internal parts.
b) very detailed analysis of a text or idea.

Example: He dissected the paragraph with such precision that even the distinguished professors were amazed.

54. Antiquated (adjective)

old-fashioned or outdated.

Example: Stop using antiquated phrases.

55. Anguish (noun / verb)

a) severe mental or physical pain or suffering.
b) be extremely distressed about something.

Example: To his anguish, she said they will never meet again.

56. Effeminate (adjective)

(of a man) having characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; unmanly.

Example: His effeminate nature was unattractive to most women.

57. Enmity (noun)

a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility.

Example: After the unfortunate event, a bitter feeling of enmity emerged between the two camps.

58. Epoch (noun)

a) a particular period of time in history or a person’s life.
b) the beginning of a period in the history of someone or something.

Example: It was in the epoch of Socrates and Plato that ideas of afterlife first took hold over the European psyche.

59. Intrinsic (adjective)

belonging naturally; essential.

Example: His talent for public speaking was an intrinsic part of his personality.

60. Quotidian (adjective)

of or occurring every day; daily.

Example: After struggling with the quotidian tasks, she was finally able to go to sleep.

61. Hazardous (adjective)

risky; dangerous.

Example: They started out on their hazardous mission to Mars.

62. Peregrination (noun)

a journey, especially a long or meandering one.

Example: After many peregrinations, she finally settled in Jordan.

63. Attenuate (verb)

a) reduce the force, effect, or value of.
b) reduce in thickness; make thin.

Example: Medical cannabis attenuated the pain of the cancer patient.

64. Unravel (verb)

untangle something.

Example: He was able to unravel the intricacies of the ancient language.

65. Behemoth (noun)

a) a huge or monstrous creature
b) something enormous, especially a large and powerful organization.

Example: This tank was a behemoth, crushing everything on its way.

66. Impeccable (adjective)

in accordance with the highest standards; faultless.

Example: His reputation was impeccable among his peers.

67. Jaded (adjective)

a) bored or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something.
b) physically tired; exhausted.

Example: The privileged kids were jaded with another birthday party.

68. Figurative (adjective)

departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical.

Example: He was a master of pithy, figurative expressions.

69. Relic (noun)

a) an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest.
b) a part of a deceased holy person’s body or belongings kept as an object of reverence.

Example: Holy Grail is one of the most famous relics of all time.

70. Wreak (verb)

a) cause (a large amount of damage or harm).
b) inflict (vengeance).

Example: They wreaked vengeance on those who crossed them.

71. Utopia (noun)

an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.

Example: A harmonious republic was a utopia – impossible to conceive in the current political situation.

72. Vegetate (verb)

live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way.

Example: They vegetated in the neighborhood for years before they finally moved out.

73. Infringe (verb)

a) actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).
b) act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.

Example: He infringed on their agreement by opting out just after twenty days into the contract.

74. Subtlety (noun)

a) the quality or state of being subtle.
b) a subtle distinction, feature, or argument.

Example: His paintings contained many subtleties and eclectic elements.

75. Epitaph (noun)

a phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone.

Example: “Always in our hearts,” said his tombstone.

76. Grisly (adjective)

causing horror or disgust.

Example: This grisly murder was depicted in graphic detail by the newspaper.

77. Libido (noun)

a) sexual desire.
b) the energy of the sexual drive as a component of the life instinct.

Example: Even the sleeping pills were not able to restrain her libido. She was a true nymphomaniac!

78. Epitome (noun)

a) a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type.
b) a summary of a written work; an abstract

Example: The president was an epitome of imbecility.

79. Topple (verb)

a) overbalance or cause to overbalance and fall.
b) remove (a government or person in authority) from power; overthrow.

Example: After drinking ten shots in a row, he tried to dance, but quickly toppled on the dance-floor.

80. Morose (adjective)

a) sullen and ill-tempered.

Example: His morose mood was a turn-off for everyone he met.

81. Impalpable (adjective)

a) unable to be felt by touch.
b) not easily comprehended.

Example: There was an impalpable sense of dread hanging in the air. Then they heard something behind the wall.

82. Gratuitous (adjective)

a) done without good reason; uncalled for.
b) given or done free of charge.

Example: His gratuitous remark met with scorn from his companions.

83. Opaque (adjective)

not able to be seen through; not transparent.

Example: He couldn’t see anything through the opaque glass of the jail cell.

84. Postmortem (noun)

an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.

Example: The postmortem proved the hunch of the inspector to be true: the victim was strangled.

85. Eclectic (adjective / noun)

a) deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
b) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Example: His eclectic interests made him a peerless raconteur.

86. Delve (verb)

reach inside a receptacle and search for something.

Example: She delved deeply into the details of the business deal.

87. Studious (adjective)

a) spending a lot of time studying or reading.
b) done deliberately or with a purpose in mind.

Example: His studious ejaculations obscured their view of reality.

88. Impel (verb)

a) drive, force, or urge (someone) to do something.
b) drive forward; propel.

Example: He impelled the soldiers to face the enemy.

89. Mannered (adjective)

a) behaving in a specified way.
b) (of behavior, art, or a literary style) marked by idiosyncratic or exaggerated mannerisms; artificial.

Example: She answered in a mannered, slightly cocky way.

90. Peevish (adjective)

having or showing an irritable disposition.

Example: Don’t be so peevish! I just said: “you’re an asshole”.

91. Stickler (noun)

a person who insists on a certain quality or type of behavior

Example: She’s such a stickler for keeping the floor free of dirty socks.

92. Adulterate (verb)

render (something) poorer in quality by adding another substance.

Example: The adulterated vodka gave them a huge hangover.

93. Deplete (verb)

a) use up the supply or resources of.
b) diminish in number or quantity.

Example: All our resources are being depleted.

94. Nadir (noun)

the lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation.

Example: Even the best of us reach a nadir at some point in our lives.

95. Prelude (noun)

a) an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.
b) an introductory piece of music, most commonly an orchestral opening to an act of an opera, the first movement of a suite, or a piece preceding a fugue.

Example: Bathing in coconut milk was just a prelude to a long and complicated cosmetic procedure.

96. Curtail (verb)

reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on.

Example: He curtailed his late trips into the night.

97. Tacit (adjective)

understood or implied without being stated.

Example: Her nod was a sign of a tacit agreement.

98. Abstruse (adjective)

difficult to understand; obscure.

Example: His philosophy was abstruse.

99. Placate (verb)

make (someone) less angry or hostile.

Example: She placated the poor bastard by buying him another drink.

100. Fathomless (adjective)

unable to be measured or understood; extremely deep.

Example: The fathomless expanding cosmos.

101. Iconoclastic (adjective)

criticizing or attacking cherished beliefs or institutions.

Example: He said that Mother Theresa was evil. He likes this iconoclastic approach.

102. Antithesis (noun)

a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.

Example: She’s an antithesis of a good musician.

103. Magniloquent (adjective)

using high-flown or bombastic language.

Example: His magniloquent speech didn’t impress anyone.

104. Deference (noun)

polite submission and respect.
Example: He conceded with the request out of deference to the old man.

105. Unwitting (adjective)

a) (of a person) not aware of the full facts.
b) not done on purpose; unintentional.

Example: His unwitting involvement in the crime ultimately put him in jail.

106. Mutinous (adjective)

a) (of a soldier or sailor) refusing to obey the orders of a person in authority.
b) willful or disobedient.

Example: The mutinous sailors threw the captain over the board.

107. Craven (adjective / noun)

a) contemptibly lacking in courage; cowardly.
b) a cowardly person.

Example: The craven fool wouldn’t get out of hiding to save his wife.

108. Luminary (noun)

a person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere.

Example: The luminaries slowly stepped on stage to converse about celestial bodies.

109. Homage (noun)

special honor or respect shown publicly.

Example: She played an exquisite song in homage to her master.

110. Cupidity (noun)

greed for money or possessions.
Example: Cupidity left him with a lot of money, but no friends.

111. Syllogism (noun)

an instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises)

Example: He amazed the audience and other debaters by employing brilliant syllogisms.

112. Facetious (adjective)

treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

Example: Don’t be facetious! It’s a serious matter!

113. Martinet (noun)

a person who demands complete obedience; a strict disciplinarian.

Example: In the army, we soldiered under a hell of a martinet.

114. Irksome (adjective)

irritating; annoying.
Example: His continuous questions were irksome.

115. Defalcate (verb)

embezzle (funds with which one has been entrusted).

Example: The embezzled the Jones family for one million dollars.

Please let me know how you liked the word list in the comments. Please submit some of your own favorite lexica.

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