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Spelling Bee Lists for Upper Grades

8th Grade Spelling Bee Words

Are you a teacher looking for spelling bee lists to use in your next classroom competition? Or perhaps you're a parent or student trying to "study ahead" on some typical spelling bee words. Either way, this list should help! I've carefully compiled this list after researching a number of online and in-print resources. 

This page features 120 spelling bee words for  8th grade. It's a great study list for students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Use the links below to find my lists for other grades.

Printable spelling bee list for 8th grade

         1        budget

         2        corral

         3        inept

         4        dilemma

         5        frostbitten

         6        mayhem

         7        parachute

         8        voucher

         9        meteor

       10       statute

       11       acoustics

       12       gymnasium

       13       behavior

       14       gnarled

       15       horrific

       16       scholar

       17       stampede

       18       newsstand

       19       observatory

       20       crevice

       21       desirable

       22       villain

       23       integrity

       24       professional

       25       accuracy

       26       legitimate

       27       sieve

       28       brilliance

       29       luncheon

       30       withhold

       31       berserk

       32       hospitality

       33       neutral

       34       obstinate

       35       collateral

       36       pageant

       37       impassable

       38       luxurious

       39       abalone

       40       mosaic

       41       efficiency

       42       concocted

       43       fiasco

       44       biographical

       45       haphazard

       46       calamity

       47       optimism

       48       endeavor

       49       diagnosis

       50       epidemic

       51        frivolous

       52        multitude

       53        rehearsal

       54        colleague

       55        inauguration

       56        confiscate

       57        precipice

       58        symmetrical

       59        dialogue

       60       abbreviate

     61        innumerable

     62        critique

     63        discrepancy

     64        mathematician

     65        successor

     66        grotesque

     67        accelerate

     68        familiarity

     69        cocoon

    70       negligence

    71       subtlety

    72       avalanche

    73       recuperate

    74       amateur

    75       treacherous

    76       equilibrium

    77       anecdote

    78       misdemeanor

    79       quadrilateral

    80       perseverance

    81       piccolo

    82       susceptible

    83       mythological

    84       chameleon

    85       lieutenant

    86       aerial

    87       unconscious

    88       chandelier

    89       erroneous

    90       apostrophe

    91       psychiatrist

    92       simultaneous

    93       pneumonia

    94       acquisition

    95       penitentiary

    96       variegated

    97       reservoir

    98       accommodations

    99       synchronize

    100       quantifiable

    101       acknowledging

    102       proprietor

    103       espionage

    104       undecipherable

    105       mischievous

    106       schizophrenic

    107       unanimous

    108       pseudonym

    109       accompaniment

    110       blasphemous

    111       eccentric

    112       anonymous

     113       incalculable

    114       loathsome

     115       magnanimous

    116       coalesce

    117       continuum

    118       dossier

    119       restaurateur

    120       boutonniere

Note: You may wish to adjust this list for your group of students. Feel free to substitute a few easier words or insert some more difficult words. 

Important Tips

hand holding a microphone

1. Give students lots of practice in oral spelling before competitions. Ask students to spell words frequently aloud, even from their seats, for a bit of "performance" practice.

2. Be sure to use spelling bee words in sentences when quizzing students. For instance, bizarre, should be clarified so it won't be confused with bazaar:  The dog's behavior was so bizarre, the veterinarian knew it was gravely ill.

3. One set of tricky spelling words may be those that contain "extra" vowels, vowels that form their own syllable, or vowels that are frequently replaced with incorrect vowels. Troublesome words include: 'ancient

  • coupon
  • disastrous
  • familiar
  • marriage
  • separate
  • temperature
  • vacuum
  • vegetable

One of the best ways to learn some of these these words is to over-emphasize the problematic vowel when pronouncing the words. For instance, teach your student to say: 

  • vegetable:  Say  "vej-EH-tuh-buhl"
  • familiar: Say  "fuh-mil-E-yer"   or  "fuh-mil-I-yer"
  • vacuum: Say "vac-you-oo-um" 

We also have spelling bee lists for:

Spelling Bee Words List with pronunciations and meanings from www.spelling-words-well.com

NEW! Spelling Bee Words List - 25 Challenging Spelling Bee Words with Pronunciations and Meanings! Teachers, use these for classroom warm-ups or competitions. Students, learn these before your next competition! 

You may also enjoy this list of 50 Hard Spelling Bee Words and Definitions. This is required learning for anyone who wants to excel in an upper grade spelling competition. Please take time to learn the word meanings, along with the spellings!

Worksheets for More Spelling & Vocab Practice

Silhouette of a salute

At-TEN-tion!  Complete the spellings of words with the letters TEN on this fun English worksheet. Great vocabulary and spelling practice! For grades 4-8. 

Croaky the frog

Croaky Meets the Plumber and Extra Letters Worksheets: Students chose the correctly spelled words to complete an interesting story or eliminate extra letters to solve a word puzzle. Based on our sixth grade spelling word list.

Armadillo 8th grade puzzle worksheet

8th Grade Worksheet featuring an ARMADILLO! Students must form a word for each clue using only the letters in ARMADILLO, then place the words correctly into the diagram. Great vocab and spelling practice!

Wacky Weather Cryptogram Worksheet: Puzzle page for upper grades. Includes instructions so students, parents or teachers can make more cryptogram puzzles with any word list. Grades 6-9.

Teachers: Need Another Spelling Bee List?

The Spelling Bee Toolbox eBooks

Our Spelling Bee Toolbox eBooks are comprehensive resources for anyone who wants a simple way to put together a classroom, all-school or multi-school spelling bee. 

Each eBook contains 600 words and sentences, rules, award certificates, organizational tips, student helps and much more. We also offer additional sets of 600 spelling bee words and sentences for those who don't need all the other bells and whistles. Also, see our 100 Difficult Words for Spelling Bees that includes definitions, pronunciations, sentences and more.

The Colossal Spelling Bee Word List for Grades 3-5

Or use our Monumental Bee Word Lists, if you're holding a competition in which you require definitions, parts of speech, language of origin and sentences. In each eBook, you'll find 400 all-new words!


open dictionary page

If you're looking for more words to study, see our list of frequently misspelled words. Or take our Dictionery/dictionary quiz!


Q: Where can I find high-quality spelling bee lists?

A: Scripps Spelling Bee has resources at https://spellingbee.com/. Many more free spelling bee lists can be found here at https://www.spelling-words-well.com/  At this site, lists for grades 2-8 are compiled by a veteran teacher and educational author.

Q: What tips can I give students who are preparing to compete in spelling bees?

A:  1) Students should have lots of practice spelling orally.

2) Students should learn words in context. They should listen carefully as words are used in sentences so they can distinguish between the words "capital" and "capitol" for example.

3) Students should practice challenging words: those with troublesome vowel combinations, silent consonants, and unfamiliar words.

Q: Are there any FUN ways to practice spelling bee words?

A: YES! Students can play spelling bee games, and solve crosswords, word scrambles, cryptograms and almost any kind of word play game. All of these will help kids learn and remember how to spell tricky words!

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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.

  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. Bee Words
  3. 8th Grade Spelling Bee Words


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