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Hard Spelling Bee Words
and Definitions

big red chrysanthemum

Hard spelling bee words are challenging -- and FUN -- to learn! We have lots on our website. Start with this list of 50 words and meanings, then check out the links at the bottom of the page to find more. 

50 Hard Spelling Bee Words & Meanings

Yellow question markquestionnaire

1. questionnaire - noun: a list of questions; survey

2. unconscious - adjective: not conscious; without awareness

3. precocious - adjective: unusually mature, especially in mental development

4. liaison - noun: a person who maintains a connection between people or groups

5. surveillance - noun: continuous observation of a person, place, or activity in order to gather information

red chrysanthemumchrysanthemum

6. chrysanthemum - noun: a widely cultivated plant with brightly-colored showy flower heads

7. idiosyncrasy - noun: a tendency, habit or mannerism that is peculiar to an individual; a quirk

8. chauffeur - noun: a person hired to drive a private automobile or limousine

9. onomatopoeia - noun: the formation of a word by imitation of a sound of the noise or action described, such as hiss, honk, or meow.

10. conscientious- adjective: careful, particular, taking great care


11. demitasse -  noun: small coffee cup

12. vengeance - noun: punishment inflicted for a wrong done to oneself or another person; revenge

13. prospicience - noun: the act of looking forward; foresight

14. acquiesce - verb: to accept as inevitable; to comply passively

15. malfeasance -  noun: conduct by a public official that violates the public trust or is against  the law

16. irascible adjective: irritable, quick-tempered

17. antediluvian - adjective: 1. of or relating to the period before the Biblical flood  2. old-fashioned; antiquated

18. foudroyant - adjective: sudden and overwhelming; stunning

19. eudemonic - adjective: pertaining to conducive to happiness

20. logorrhea - noun: excessive and often incoherent talkativeness


21. pterodactyl - noun: any of various extinct flying reptiles, having no feathers

22. stichomythia - noun: dialogue, especially a dispute, delivered in alternating lines

23. feuilleton - noun: part of a European newspaper or magazine with content designed to entertain the reader

24. milquetoast  - noun: a timid, unassertive, or apologetic person

25. chrematistic - adjective: of or relating to making money

Cappuccinno in a cupcappuccino

26. cappuccino – a hot beverage made of espresso and foamed milk, often served with cinnamon and whipped cream

27. bologna – noun; a large seasoned sausage made from beef, pork and/or veal

28. abecedarian – noun; a person who is learning the fundamentals of something, especially the letters of the alphabet

29. nauseous – adjective; affected with nausea, an involuntary urge to vomit

30. restaurateur – noun; the owner or operator of a restaurant

31. effervescent – adjective; having the property of forming bubbles, or expressing a lively quality  

32. quintessential  - adjective; perfectly representative of a specific kind of person or thing


33. acacia - noun; a small tree or shrub of the mimosa family, with clusters of small yellow flowers

34. obstreperous – adjective; resistant to control; noisy and unruly

35.  reparation – noun; the making of amends or satisfying a wrong or injury

36.  loquacious – adjective; wordy; overly talkative 

37. indubitably – adverb; certainly; unquestionable; without a doubt

38. absenteeism – noun; prolonged or habitual absence from school, work, etc.

Binoculars with eyes looking outreconnaissance

39.  reconnaissance – noun; surveillance for purposes of gathering information, especially for military uses 

40. camaraderie – noun: a spirit of friendship, trust and goodwill

41. egregious – adjective; especially bad; flagrant

42.  quixotic – adjective; extravagantly romantic; foolishly impractical

43. panache – noun; a grand or flamboyant manner

butter in dishbutyraceous = like butter

44. butyraceous – adjective; having the qualities of butter  

45.  fricassee – noun; meat or vegetables stewed in stock and served in a white sauce

46. raconteur – noun; a person who excels in telling interesting anecdotes and stories

47. stymie – verb; to hinder, impede, or block 

48. froideur – noun; extreme reserve in manner; cool superiority

49. synonymous – adjective; alike in meaning or significance; having the character of a synonym

50. terpsichorean – adjective; pertaining to dancing

If you're ready for more hard spelling words...

100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words in 2 volumes

...then please check out my collections of 100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words and definitions! These are perfect for adult spelling bees or the final words of school competitions. Read all the details!

More Spelling Bee Word Lists

bee surrounded by letters SPELLING

You may also be interested in these spelling bee word lists:

2nd grade           3rd grade         4th grade        

5th grade          6th grade           7th grade        8th grade

Here are more lists that you can use when compiling your own list of hard spelling bee words:

7th grade spelling words - 300 words that provide practice in important grade-level words.

8th grade spelling words - 250 challenging words for the growing vocabularies of junior high students

9th grade spelling words - 200 words, tough enough to challenge most adults!

See all the word lists on this page of Difficult English Spelling Words.

Author Ann Richmond Fisher

Ann Richmond Fisher is a longtime published educational writer, a former classroom teacher and a former homeschool teacher. Ann's spelling bee resources, graded spelling word lists, spelling games, worksheets, and other language arts resources have become respected around the globe since she launched Spelling-Words-Well in 2010.

Ann is also the creator of www.word-game-world.com.


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