2003 Scripps Howard National Spe

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					         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

kudize                                 laccate                                  lacrosse
v                                      adj                                      n
/ Sk(y)VTdIz /                         / SlaTkCt /                              / lESkrOs /
Gk                                     L + Ecf                                  F
grant honors to : praise.              having a varnished or lacquered          a game that is played on a turfed
The planning committee had a           appearance.                              field by two teams of ten players,
luncheon to kudize Mr. Blalock,        The leaves of some tropical              each of whom uses a long-handled
who donated 100 acres of land for      evergreens have a laccate surface.       stick with which the ball is caught,
the city park.                                                                  carried, and thrown, with the object
                                       lacerate                                 being to throw the ball into the
kudos                                                                           opponents’ goal.
n pl                                   laceration                               Curious about lacrosse, Pamela
/ Sk(y)VTdPz /                         n                                        signed up for a college intramural
Gk                                     / TlasESrCshEn /                         team.
praises given for achievement.         L>F
Daphne received many kudos from        a wound made by tearing or               lacteal
the drama coach after her              rending roughly.                         adj
performance in the school play.        Forty stitches were required to          / SlaktGEl /
                                       close the laceration in Jeremy’s         L + Ecf
kudzu                                  scalp.                                   relating to, consisting of,
n                                                                               producing, or resembling milk.
/ SkUd(T)zV /                          lachrymose                               Liz was surprised to learn that her
Jpn                                    adj                                      lacteal drink was made from
a vine of China and Japan that is      / SlakrETmPs /                           soybeans.
used widely in the southern United     L
States for erosion control and soil    dismal, melancholy.                      ladle
improvement.                           The lachrymose play ruined
Along many highways of the deep        Samantha’s weekend.                      laggardly
South, kudzu covers the roadside
like drapery.                          lackadaisical                            lagniappe
labefaction                            / TlakESdCzDkEl /                        lagomorph
                                       E + Ecf                                  n
laboratory                             lacking life, spirit, or zest : devoid   / SlagETmOrf /
                                       of energy or purpose.                    Gk > L
laborious                              John’s piano teacher criticized him      [Note: Could be confused with
adj                                    for his lackadaisical performance        Lagomorpha.] any of several
/ lESbPrGEs /                          in the recital.                          gnawing animals (as hare, rabbit, or
L                                                                               pika) resembling the rodents.
involving much work : tiresome.        laconic                                  A lagomorph has well-developed
Restoration of the mansion will        adj                                      incisors to help it sever plant stems
require laborious effort.              / lESkBnik /                             and gnaw on bark.
                                       Gk > L
labyrinth                              spoken, written, or expressed            lallation
n                                      briefly or tersely : pithy.
/ SlabETrin(t)th /                     Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s laconic speaking      laloplegia
Carian? > Gk > L > E                   style was quite popular with her         n
a structure full of intricate          students.                                / TlalESplGj(G)E /
passageways that make it difficult                                              Gk
to find the way from the interior to                                            paralysis of the muscles involved in
the entrance or from the entrance to                                            speech.
the interior.                                                                   Since Uncle Harry’s stroke caused
Lost in the labyrinth of passages                                               laloplegia, he had to communicate
beneath the castle, the invaders                                                with pencil and paper.
gave up the attack plan and instead
concentrated on finding a way out.


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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

lamasery                                landau                                 lantern
n                                       n                                      n
/ SlBmETserG /                          / SlanTdaU /                           / SlantErn /
Tibetan > F + Per > F                   G geog name                            Gk > L > F > E
a monastery of Tibetan Buddhist         a four-wheeled covered carriage.       a portable lamp.
monks or priests.                       People who cannot picture what a       The red light in the distance came
Xiang returned from the lamasery a      landau looks like should think of      from a lantern that hung from the
wiser and more introspective man.       Cinderella’s carriage.                 last car of the train.

lambda                                  langlauf                               lapidary

lambent                                 langouste                              lapideous
                                        n                                      adj
lambrequin                              / lBMSgVst /                           / lESpidGEs /
n                                       L > OProv > F                          L
/ SlambE(r)kDn /                        spiny lobster.                         of the nature of stone.
D>F                                     Alicia ordered the langouste at the    Lapideous concretions that form in
a short decorative drapery for a        fancy seafood restaurant.              the bladder or kidneys can cause
shelf edge or for the top of a                                                 extreme pain.
window casing : valance.                language
An embroidered lambrequin hung          n                                      lapillus
over each of the mansion’s              / SlaNgwij /
windows.                                L>F>E                                  larcenous
                                        [Note: The definition provided is
lament                                  not the one most commonly              larceny
v                                       associated with this word.] the        n
/ lESment /                             inner tongue or flat plate opposite    / SlBrs(F)nG /
L                                       the mouth of an organ flue pipe.       L>F>E
express sorrow for : bewail, mourn.     A small chip in the organ’s smallest   the unlawful taking and carrying
Railroad buffs still lament the         language subtly affected its tone.     away of personal property without
demise of the steam locomotive.                                                the consent of its lawful possessor.
                                        languescent                            When Tina first saw Victor’s art
lampoon                                 adj                                    collection, she suspected him of
n                                       / laNSgwesFnt /                        larceny.
/ lamSpVn /                             L
F                                       becoming listless or fatigued.         lariat
a light mocking satire.                 The languescent ballerina              n
The new movie is a lampoon of the       struggled through the final scene.     / SlarGEt /
horror films that are made                                                     L > Sp
especially for teenagers.               languor                                a long light but strong rope used
                                                                               with a running noose for catching
lamprey                                 languorous                             livestock.
n                                                                              Jonathan watched in fascination as
/ SlamprG /                             languorously                           the cowboy demonstrated his skill
Gaulish? > L > F                        adv                                    with the lariat.
any of various freshwater and           / SlaN(g)(E)rEslG /
saltwater vertebrates that are          L + Ecff                               larigo
widely distributed in temperate and     in a manner characterized by           n
subarctic regions and resemble eels     listless indolence or sluggishness.    / SlBrDTgP /
but have a large circular jawless       After returning from work, Cora        Sp
suctorial mouth with numerous           reclined languorously on the sofa.     a ring at each end of the cinch of a
small conical teeth.                                                           western saddle through which the
A large lamprey slithered out of the    laniary                                straps pass.
underwater cave, startling the          adj                                    When Lynn investigated her loose
diver.                                  / SlCnGTerG /                          saddle, she found that a larigo had
                                        L                                      broken.
lancet                                  adapted for tearing.
                                        Laniary teeth are common in most

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

larithmics                                laterigrade                              laureation
n pl                                      adj                                      n
/ lESriLmiks /                            / SlaZErETgrCd /                         / TlOrGSCshEn /
Gk                                        L+L                                      L
the scientific study of the               running sidewise or characterized        an act of crowning with or as if
quantitative aspects of population.       by such running.                         with a wreath of leaves as a mark
In accordance with a principle of         The laterigrade movements of the         of honor or achievement.
larithmics, the emigration from the       crab delighted the children on the       At her laureation the recipient of
country was offset by an increased        beach.                                   the honorary degree paid tribute to
rate of population growth.                                                         her college professors.
larrigan                                  n                                        laurel
n                                         / SlCL /                                 n
/ SlarDgEn /                              E                                        / SlOrEl /
unknown                                   a machine in which work is rotated       L
an oil-tanned moccasin with legs          about a horizontal axis and shaped       [has homonym: loral] foliage used
that is used especially by loggers        by a fixed cutting tool while being      by the ancient Greeks to crown
and trappers.                             held in a chuck.                         victors in the Pythian games.
The statue of Paul Bunyan depicted        Chloe donned her safety glasses          The ancient statue of an unknown
him with an ax over his shoulder          before switching on the lathe.           athlete bore a carefully carved
and a hole in one larrigan.                                                        wreath of laurel.
laryngitic                                adj                                      lavash
adj                                       / TlaZESsif(E)rEs /                      n
/ TlarDnSjiZik /                          Gk? > L + Ecff                           / SlBTvBsh /
Gk                                        containing, bearing, or secreting        Armenian
affected with an inflammation of          latex.                                   a large thin crisp unleavened wafer
the upper part of the trachea             Some laticiferous tropical vines are     with a rough surface caused by air
containing the vocal cords.               good sources of rubber.                  bubbles during baking.
After a long day of pitching his                                                   Phil served lavash with goat
merchandise, the salesman                 latitude                                 cheese.
returned home exhausted and
laryngitic.                               latitudinous                             lavatory
                                          adj                                      n
laryngitis                                / TlaZEStVdFnEs /                        / SlavETtPrG /
                                          L                                        L
larynx                                    having breadth especially of             a room with conveniences for
n                                         thought or interpretation.               washing the hands and face and
/ SlariN(k)s /                            Poetry is a latitudinous category,       usually with one or more toilets.
Gk > L                                    ranging from the moralistic to the       All of the soap dispensers in the
the modified upper part of the            nihilistic.                              lavatory were empty.
respiratory passage of air-breathing
vertebrates bounded above by the          latkes                                   lavender
glottis and continuous below with
the trachea.                              laudatory                                layette
The vocal cords are situated within       adj
the larynx.                               / SlOdETtPrG /                           league
                                          L                                        n
lassitude                                 of, relating to, or containing praise.   / SlGg /
n                                         Seth made sure everyone saw his          Gaulish > L > E
/ SlasETtVd /                             laudatory telegram from the dean.        [Note: The definition provided is
L                                                                                  not the one most commonly
a condition of weariness or debility      laughter                                 associated with this word.] an
: fatigue.                                                                         English unit of distance of about 3
Lassitude is a symptom of many            launder                                  miles.
tropical diseases.                                                                 Long car rides seem shorter if you
                                                                                   figure them by the league instead of
latensify                                                                          by the mile.

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

leaky                                     lederhosen                             leisurable
                                          n pl                                   adj
leasable                                  / SlCdE(r)ThPzFn /                     / SlGzh(E)rEbEl /
                                          G                                      L>F>E
lease                                     knee-length leather trousers worn      proceeding deliberately without
                                          especially in Bavaria.                 haste.
leatherine                                All the men who volunteered to         The bikers made a leisurable tour
                                          work at Oktoberfest were asked to      of the campus.
leaven                                    wear lederhosen.
n                                                                                leisure
/ SlevEn /                                legacy
L>F>E                                     n                                      lemniscate
[has homonym and near                     / SlegEsG /
homonyms: levin and eleven,               L>F>E                                  lemonade
levan] a substance (as yeast) acting      money or property given to
or used to produce fermentation in        someone by direction of a will.        lemur
a dough or a liquid.                      Tim opened a small business with       n
Nina neglected to add the leaven          the legacy from his father.            / SlGmE(r) /
that causes the bread dough to rise.                                             L
                                          legerdemain                            any of numerous arboreal chiefly
lebkuchen                                 n                                      nocturnal mammals formerly
n                                         / TlejE(r)dESmCn /                     widespread but now largely
/ SlCpTkVKEn /                            F                                      confined to Madagascar that are
G                                         skill and dexterity in the             related to the monkeys.
a Christmas cookie usually made           performance of juggling or             The lemur is lower on the
with honey, brown sugar, almonds,         conjuring tricks.                      evolutionary scale and less
candied fruit peel, and spices.           The performer’s legerdemain            intelligent than the monkey.
Bart slipped a lebkuchen to the           included making a coworker
schnauzer.                                disappear from an enclosure.           length
lecithin                                  legerity                               / SleN(k)th /
n                                         n                                      E
/ SlesEthDn /                             / lDSjerEZG /                          the longer of the two straight-line
Gk                                        L>F                                    dimensions of a surface or plane or
a substance that is obtained in the       mental or physical agility and         the longest of the three straight-line
manufacture of soybean oil and that       quickness.                             dimensions of a solid : extent from
is used in foods (as margarine,           The gymnast performed on the           end to end.
chocolate, bakery products).              balance beam with remarkable           Marsha and her father frequently
Lecithin is used in the production        legerity.                              argue over the length of her skirts.
of caramel to make it smoother.
                                          leggieramente                          leniency
lectern                                                                          n
n                                         legibility                             / SlGnGEnsG /
/ SlektE(r)n /                                                                   L
L                                         legible                                the quality or state of being tolerant
a desk or stand with a sloping top                                               or merciful.
and usually a ledge at the bottom of      legislate                              At his sentencing the convicted
the slope designed to support a                                                  felon expressed remorse and
book or script in a convenient            legitimacy                             pleaded for leniency.
position for a reader standing
before it.                                leguminous                             lenient
Miguel clutched the lectern in an         adj
attempt to conceal his nervousness.       / lDSgyVmEnEs /
lectionary                                of, resembling, or consisting of
                                          peas or other vegetables.
lectotype                                 The only leguminous food that
                                          Mandy likes is peas.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

leoncito                                leptocercal                             lettuce
n                                       adj                                     n
/ TlCEnSsG(T)tP /                       / TleptESsErkEl /                       / SleZDs /
Sp                                      Gk + Gk                                 L>F>E
a lion monkey; any of several           tapering off to a long slender          a common garden vegetable with
South American marmosets.               point—used of the tail of a fish.       succulent leaves that are often used
The leoncito has a mane of fur          The scuba diver showed Jane his         in salads.
around its head like a lion.            scar from a wound he received           Rosemarie prefers romaine lettuce
                                        when whipped by the leptocercal         for her salads.
leonine                                 tail of a stingray.
adj                                                                             leucitite
/ SlGETnIn /                            lesion
L                                       n                                       leucoryx
resembling or suggesting that of a      / SlGzhEn /                             n
lion.                                   L>F>E                                   / SlVkE(T)riks /
Portraits of Beethoven and Einstein     [has near homonym: legion] an           Gk
always depict them with leonine         abnormal change in structure of an      a large chiefly pale brownish
hairstyles.                             organ or part due to injury or          antelope of North Africa.
                                        disease.                                The horns of the leucoryx are
leopardess                              Sarah had Dr. Kendall treat the         evenly curved backwards.
                                        lesion on her shin.
leotard                                                                         levade
n                                       lethal                                  n
/ SlGETtBrd /                           adj                                     / lESvBd /
F name                                  / SlGJEl /                              F>G
a close-fitting garment for the torso   L                                       a show-ring movement in which a
that is worn for practice or            of, relating to, or causing death.      horse raises the forequarters, brings
performance by dancers and              The lethal fire spread through the      the hindquarters under him, and
acrobats.                               Riggs Building rapidly.                 balances with haunches deeply bent
In modern dance, performers often                                               and forelegs drawn up.
wear a very simple leotard.             lethargic                               When a horse’s body is at a less-
                                        adj                                     than-45-degree angle with the
lepidopterist                           / lDSthBrjik /                          ground, the movement is called a
n                                       Gk > L > F                              “levade.”
/ TlepESdBptErDst /                     slow-moving, sluggish.
Gk                                      Rhea’s dry throat and lethargic         levanter
a specialist in the study of            disposition warned her that a cold      n
butterflies and moths.                  was coming.                             / lDSvantE(r) /
Judy was well on her way to                                                     L > F > E + Ecf
becoming a lepidopterist; she           lethargy                                a strong easterly Mediterranean
already had her own butterfly net.      n                                       wind.
                                        / SlethE(r)jG /                         When the levanter hits the Rock of
leprosy                                 Gk                                      Gibraltar, it soars up 1,400 feet,
n                                       the quality or state of being lazy or   and its vapor becomes a dense
/ SleprEsG /                            indifferent : lassitude, apathy.        white cloud.
Gk > L                                  The hot, humid air of the tropics
a progressive infectious disease that   spreads a feeling of lethargy over      levee
affects the skin and nerves and         everyone.                               n
causes lumps, ulcers, white scaly                                               / SlevG /
patches, deformities, and eventual      letteret                                L>F
loss of sensation.                                                              [has homonym: levy] an
Even though approximately 270                                                   embankment built alongside a body
cases of leprosy are diagnosed in                                               of water to prevent flooding of
the United States each year,                                                    nearby land.
effective medications have made                                                 The city plans to construct a levee
the existence of leper colonies                                                 to prevent flooding from the river.

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

leverage                                  libretto                                 liege
                                          n                                        adj
leviathan                                 / lDSbre(T)ZP /                          / SlGj /
adj                                       L                                        L>F>E
/ lDSvIEthEn /                            the text of a work (as an opera) for     having the right to feudal
Heb > L > E                               the musical theater.                     allegiance and service.
of enormous size.                         Michelle bought a dual-language          The serf bowed low before his liege
The ore was hauled away in                edition of the libretto of Tosca for a   lord.
leviathan trucks.                         quarter at a garage sale.
levity                                    licensable
n                                                                                  lienholder
/ SlevEZG /                               licentiate                               n
L                                         n                                        / SlGnThPldEr /
excessive or unseemly frivolity :         / lISsenchGDt /                          L>F+E
lack of fitting seriousness.              L                                        one having a valid mortgage.
The minister’s levity during the          an academic degree ranking below         When she returned from vacation,
eulogy was inappropriate.                 that of a doctor given by some           Iris was mortified to find a stack of
                                          European institutions of higher          letters from her lienholder.
lexicography                              education.
                                          After two years’ study, Reverend         lieu
liability                                 Pease received a licentiate in           n
                                          canon law.                               / SlV /
liable                                                                             L>F
                                          lichen                                   [has homonym: loo] place, stead.
liaison                                   n                                        Miss Woodhouse had many
                                          / SlIkDn /                               acquaintances, but not one among
libel                                     Gk > L                                   them could be accepted in lieu of
                                          [has homonym: liken] any of              her best friend Miss Taylor for even
liberalize                                numerous complex plants that are         half a day.
                                          made up of an alga and a fungus
librarian                                 growing in symbiotic association         lieutenancy
n                                         on various solid surfaces (as rocks      n
/ lISbrerGEn /                            or the bark of trees).                   / lVStenEnsG /
L                                         Sean used a mixture of green paint       L>F>E
one whose vocation is working             and sawdust to simulate lichen on        the term of a commissioned officer
with collections of books,                his model train layout.                  in the army, air force, or marine
manuscripts, or other literary                                                     corps ranking below a captain.
materials kept for study or reading.      lichenified                              During his lieutenancy, Lionel
Juan asked the librarian for the key                                               served in Guam.
to the rare-book cabinet.                 lichenophagous
library                                   licit                                    n
n                                         adj                                      / lVStenEnt /
/ SlITbrerG /                             / SlisDt /                               L>F>E
L                                         L                                        a military officer in the army, navy,
a room or section of a building or a      not forbidden by law : lawful.           air force, or marine corps.
building itself given over to books,      Even licit drugs can be dangerous        At the end of the novel, the young
manuscripts, or other literary and        if not used as directed by a             naval hero was finally promoted to
sometimes artistic materials usually      physician.                               lieutenant.
kept in some convenient order for
use but not for sale.                     lidocaine
Stella owns many books and plans
to convert a spare bedroom to a

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

ligament                                lilliputian                            limnology
n                                       adj                                    n
/ SligEmEnt /                           / TlilDSpyVshEn /                      / limSnBlEjG /
L                                       imaginary geog name + Ecf              L + Gk
something that ties or unites one       extremely small.                       the scientific study of physical,
thing or part to another.               The lilliputian furniture and          chemical, meteorological, and
International law is considered by      fixtures in the dollhouse astounded    biological conditions in fresh
some to be the ligament of              and delighted the museum visitors.     waters especially of ponds and
mankind.                                                                       lakes.
                                        limb                                   An expert in limnology testified that
ligature                                n                                      pollution is reducing the fish
n                                       / Slim /                               population in Crystal Lake.
/ SligEchE(r) /                         E
L>F>E                                   [Note: The definition provided is      limousine
something that is used to bind;         not the one most commonly              n
specifically : a thread, wire, or       associated with this word. In          / SlimETzGn /
other material used in surgery.         addition, word has homonym:            F geog name
Dr. Adams removed the ligature          limn.] the outer edge of the           a small bus (as for transporting
that had held the vein closed during    apparent disk of a celestial body or   passengers to and from an airport).
the operation.                          a portion of the edge.                 Mrs. Waldrupe was disappointed
                                        Teresa spied a crater directly on      that her airport limousine was a
lightning                               the Moon’s limb.                       ramshackle van.
/ SlItniN /                             limbiferous                            linctus
E                                       adj
[has near homonym: lightening]          / limSbif(E)rEs /                      lineament
moving with or having the speed         L+L
and suddenness of lightning.            having a border or margin.             linear
The lightning rapidity of Mr.           Mr. Lovejoy told his pupils that       adj
Julia’s jargon and wit is a tool of     they would be expected to use          / SlinGE(r) /
his trade as an auctioneer.             limbiferous paper for all their        L
                                        assignments.                           involving a single dimension : not
ligniperdous                                                                   square or cubic.
adj                                     limby                                  The micrometer caliper is an
/ TlignESpErdEs /                                                              instrument for making precise
L+L                                     limerick                               linear measurements of dimensions
destructive to wood.                    n                                      such as diameters, thicknesses, and
The house had to be inspected for       / Slim(E)rik /                         lengths.
any ligniperdous insects before it      Irish geog name
could be sold.                          a light verse form of five anapestic   linen
lilac                                   Noel composed a funny limerick         lingerie
                                        about his teacher.
liliaceous                                                                     linguist
adj                                     limitrophe                             n
/ TlilGSCshEs /                         adj                                    / SliNgwDst /
L                                       / SlimETtrPf /                         L
of, relating to, or resembling any of   L + Gk                                 a student of or expert in languages.
numerous erect perennial leafy-         situated on a border or frontier :     The famous linguist described how
stemmed bulbous herbs.                  adjacent, neighboring.                 many tribal languages are
Deb’s curtain material has a            The geography teacher asked the        becoming extinct.
colorful liliaceous pattern.            class to name all the countries that
                                        are limitrophe to Russia.              linguistically

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

liniment                                  literate                               littoral
n                                         adj                                    adj
/ SlinEmEnt /                             / SliZErDt /                           / SliZErEl /
L>E                                       L                                      L
a liquid or semiliquid alcoholic,         able to read and write.                [has homonym: literal] of, relating
oily, or saponaceous preparation          The government’s goal for all adult    to, or being near a shore, especially
for application to the skin with          citizens to be literate in 20 years    of the sea.
friction.                                 needs a strategic plan.                Eduardo finally realized his dream
Winona delicately rubbed liniment                                                when he established a littoral
over her sore shoulder.                   literati                               nature preserve.
                                          n pl
linoleum                                  / TliZESrBZG /                         liturgical
n                                         L&It                                   adj
/ lDSnPlGEm /                             the educated class : intelligentsia.   / lDStErjDkEl /
L                                         The New York literati gathered at      Gk > L
a floor covering made by laying on        the book-signing party.                of, relating to, or having the
a cloth backing a mixture of                                                     characteristics of ceremonial or
solidified linseed oil and various        literature                             ritualistic worship.
solid particles and usually                                                      The priest donned his liturgical
pigments.                                 lithesome                              vestments before the mass.
The pattern in Sheena’s kitchen           adj
linoleum resembles inlaid pebbles.        / SlILsEm /                            liturgy
                                          E+E                                    n
liquefiable                               characterized by agile grace.          / SliZE(r)jG /
adj                                       Denise’s lithesome performance in      Gk
/ TlikwDSfIEbEl /                         her audition won her a place in the    a rite or series of rites, observances,
L                                         Royal Ballet.                          or procedures prescribed for public
capable of being reduced to a liquid                                             worship in the Christian church in
state.                                    lithochromy                            accordance with authorized or
Many familiar solid materials are         n                                      standard form.
easily liquefiable by heating.            / SlithETkrPmG /                       Since the Second Vatican Council,
                                          Gk                                     the use of the vernacular language,
liquescent                                the art of painting on stone.          rather than Latin, has become
adj                                       Arthur’s work in lithochromy           widespread in Catholic liturgy.
/ liSkwesFnt /                            earned him a commission to paint a
L                                         scene on the museum’s slate wall.      livelihood
being, becoming, or tending to
become liquid : melting.                  lithograph                             liveried
When a giant asteroid hits the
ground, it is transformed into a          litigation                             livid
liquescent mass that becomes a                                                   adj
fireball.                                 litotes                                / SlivDd /
                                          n                                      L>F
liqueur                                   / SlIZETtGz /                          discolored by or as if by bruising :
                                          Gk                                     black-and-blue.
liquidate                                 understatement in which an             The bicycle accident left a large
                                          affirmative is expressed by a          livid patch on Violet’s arm.
lisle                                     negative of the contrary (as in
                                          “He’s not a bad ball player”).
lisse                                     Rupert loved to use the litotes “not
                                          bad” to convey high praise.


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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

llama                                    locust                                  logomachy
n                                        n                                       n
/ SlBmE /                                / SlPkEst /                             / lPSgBmEkG /
Quechua > Sp                             L>E                                     Gk
[has homonym: lama] any of a             a grasshopper that frequently           a dispute over or about words.
genus of wild or domesticated cud-       travels in swarms.                      Behind the legislature’s logomachy
chewing mammals of South                 Cooper placed the captured locust       about what makes a Great Lake
America related to the camels but        in a mason jar.                         “great” lay political and economic
smaller and without a hump.                                                      motives.
The llama thrives in the Alpine          lodging
grasslands of Bolivia, Peru, Chile,      n                                       logorrhea
and Argentina.                           / SlBjiN /                              n
                                         E                                       / TlOgESrGE /
loam                                     a place to live : dwelling.             Gk
                                         After a fire destroyed their home,      pathologically excessive and often
loathsome                                the family depended on relatives        incoherent talkativeness.
                                         for temporary lodging.                  The patient’s logorrhea was
lobotomy                                                                         indicative of deep emotional
n                                        logarithm                               problems.
/ lPSbBZEmG /                            n
Gk                                       / SlOgETriLEm /                         loiter
incision into the brain to sever         Gk
nerve fibers for the relief of certain   the exponent that indicates the         longanimity
mental disorders and tension.            power to which a number must be         n
Lobotomy is no longer the                raised to produce a given number.       / TlBNgESnimEZG /
preferred treatment in cases of          When the math teacher said that 4       L
extreme psychosis.                       is the logarithm of 16 to the base 2,   a disposition to bear injuries
                                         only half the class understood what     patiently : forbearance.
lobscouse                                she was saying.                         Murphy’s Law strikes often in
n                                                                                George’s project, but his
/ SlBbTskaUs /                           logarithmic                             longanimity will help him weather
unknown                                                                          all setbacks.
a sailor’s dish prepared by stewing      loggia
or baking bits of meat with              n                                       longevity
vegetables, hardtack, and other          / SlBj(G)E /                            n
ingredients.                             F > It                                  / lBnSjevEZG /
After Fritz returned from his            [has near homonym: logia] a             L
fishing trip, he ordered a hearty        roofed open gallery or arcade in the    a long duration of individual life.
portion of lobscouse for dinner.         side of a building especially when      Mr. Wade’s longevity was
                                         facing upon an open court.              remarkable, considering he had
locale                                   An airy second-floor loggia ran         been sickly as a child.
n                                        around three sides of the tiny
/ lPSkal /                               courtyard.                              longiloquence
a place or locality especially when      logician                                longitudinal
viewed in relation to a particular
event or characteristic.                 logistics                               loquacious
Evan’s doctor told him he needed         n pl                                    adj
to live in a drier locale, so he         / lPSjistiks /                          / lPSkwCshEs /
moved to Tucson.                         Gk                                      L
                                         military science in its planning and    given to excessive talking :
location                                 handling and implementation of          garrulous.
                                         personnel, equipment, and               Bryn’s loquacious sister was quite
locomotion                               facilities.                             a hit at the rehearsal party.
                                         Juan has been interested in
                                         logistics since he first played with    loquacity
                                         toy soldiers.

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

lorgnette                               loxocosm                               ludicrous
n                                       n                                      adj
/ lO(r)nSyet /                          / SlBksETkBzEm /                       / SlVdEkrEs /
F                                       Gk                                     L
a pair of eyeglasses or opera           a device to show how the               meriting derisive laughter or scorn :
glasses with a handle.                  inclination of Earth’s axis causes     absurd.
Lorgnette in one hand and hankie        the day’s length to vary from          The jury was instructed to
in the other, Mrs. Vandergriff          season to season.                      disregard the ludicrous remarks
looked just like the opera-goers        John constructed a loxocosm for        made by the defendant.
portrayed in cartoons.                  the science fair.
loricate                                lozenge                                n
n                                       n                                      / SlUftTmench /
/ SlOrEkDt /                            / SlBzFnj /                            G > Yiddish
L                                       F                                      an impractical contemplative
an animal having a hard protective      a small diamond-shaped medicated       person having no definite trade,
case or shell.                          candy.                                 business, or income : dreamer.
The armadillo is a well-known           Mother gave Rick a cherry-flavored     Every large family seems to have at
loricate, as is the alligator.          lozenge for his sore throat.           least one luftmensch among its
lorikeet                                luau
n                                       n                                      lugubrious
/ SlOrDTkGt /                           / SlVTaU /                             adj
Malay + Sp&F                            Hawaiian                               / lESgVbrGEs /
any of numerous small arboreal          a feast with Hawaiian food and         L>E
parrots that are found in Australasia   usually Hawaiian entertainment.        expressive of, marked by, or giving
and that feed largely upon the          Sabrina wore a grass skirt to the      rise to grief or sorrow.
nectar of flowers.                      luau.                                  The funeral director spoke in
Ginger has a pet lorikeet that rides                                           lugubrious tones as she explained
on her shoulder.                        lucernal                               the arrangements.
lounge                                  / TlVSsErnFl /                         lullaby
                                        L + Ecf                                n
loupe                                   of or relating to a lamp.              / SlElETbI /
n                                       A slide projector is a lucernal        E
/ SlVp /                                device for displaying images on a      a soothing refrain; especially : a
Gmc > F                                 screen.                                song used to quiet children or lull
[has homonyms: loop and loup]                                                  them to sleep.
small magnifying glass used by          lucid                                  The baby was asleep before Mary
jewelers and watchmakers.               adj                                    finished singing the lullaby.
At his jewelry store Arlo always        / SlVsDd /
wears a loupe on a chain around         L                                      luminaire
his neck.                               penetrated with light : translucent.   n
                                        The otters romped and played in        / TlVmESna(a)(E)r /
lovat                                   the lucid stream.                      L>F
                                                                               a complete lighting unit including
loveliness                              lucidity                               lamp, shade, reflector, fixture, and
n                                                                              other accessories.
/ SlEvlGnDs /                           lucrative                              A luminaire was built into each
E                                                                              cubicle in the office.
the state of being beautiful.           luculent
Colette was awestruck by the            adj
loveliness of the stained-glass         / SlVkyElEnt /
windows.                                L
                                        transparently clear in thought or
                                        The audience was pleasantly
                                        amazed at the luculent commentary
                                        on the state of the economy.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

luminary                                 luscious                                lynx
n                                        adj                                     n
/ SlVmETnerG /                           / SlEshEs /                             / SliN(k)s /
L                                        E                                       Gk
one that is an inspiration to others :   having a delicious taste or smell.      [has homonym: links] any of
one who has achieved success in          The waiter pointed to cakes and         several wildcats with relatively
his or her chosen field.                 pastries, each more luscious than       long legs, a short stubby tail,
Although a luminary in the field,        the last, as he told us about them.     mottled coat, and often tufted ears.
Peter was reluctant to weigh in                                                  The lynx lives in cold northern
with his opinion about the ethics of     lustrous                                latitudes, where its favorite prey is
cloning.                                 adj                                     the snowshoe hare.
                                         / SlEstrEs /
luminosity                               L > It > F + Ecf                        lyonnaise
n                                        having a gloss or shine : gleaming.     adj
/ TlVmESnBsEZG /                         When dining out, Marcia always          / SlIETnCz /
L                                        wears some lustrous jewelry.            F geog name
the quantity of radiation emitted by                                             prepared or seasoned with onions
a star or other celestial source         luthier                                 and sometimes parsley.
usually expressed in terms of the        n                                       Ricardo ordered lyonnaise potatoes
Sun’s intensity.                         / SlVZGE(r) /                           as an elegant alternative to french
The comet’s luminosity was so            Ar > OProv > F                          fries.
great that it could be seen during       a maker of stringed instruments.
the day.                                 The luthier gave Dolores a choice       lyre
                                         of inlay patterns for her new guitar.
luminous                                                                         lyrically
adj                                      luxate
/ SlVmEnEs /                                                                     macadam
L                                        luxuriant                               n
emitting or seeming to emit a                                                    / mESkadEm /
steady suffused light that is            luxury                                  British name
reflected or produced from within.                                               broken stone used in roadway
During the movie Stan periodically       lycanthrope                             paving.
checked the time on the luminous         n                                       Depending on the climate, some
dial of his watch.                       / SlIkEnTthrPp /                        roads are best made of macadam
                                         Gk                                      and others, of asphalt.
luncheon                                 a person transformed temporarily
                                         or permanently into a wolf or           macaque
luncheonette                             capable of assuming a wolf’s form.      n
n                                        The zoologist contends that the         / mESkak /
/ TlEnchESnet /                          myth of the lycanthrope is one of       Pg > F
E + Fcf                                  the reasons wolves are so               any of numerous short-tailed Old
a place where light lunches are          maligned.                               World monkeys chiefly of southern
sold.                                                                            Asia and the East Indies.
After playing racquetball, Jaime         lyceum                                  The islanders trained a macaque to
stopped at the luncheonette for a                                                perform several routines for public
sandwich.                                lycopene                                entertainment.

lunge                                    lymphatic                               macarize
v                                        adj                                     v
/ SlEnj /                                / limSfaZik /                           / SmakETrIz /
F                                        Gk > L                                  Gk
make a forceful forward                  conveying a pale fluid that bathes      pronounce happy or blessed :
movement.                                the tissues of an organism.             felicitate, laud.
Every few seconds the swordsman          The lymphatic system is vital in        After the wedding ceremony
would lunge at his opponent.             removing harmful bacteria from          various friends will give speeches
                                         tissues.                                to macarize the happy couple.

                                                      Page 147
         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

macaroni                               madeleine                              magenta
n                                      n                                      n
/ TmakESrPnG /                         / SmadFlDn /                           / mESjentE /
It                                     F name                                 It geog name
an alimentary pasta composed           a small rich cake baked in a tin       a deep purplish red; specifically :
chiefly of semolina dried in the       shaped like a shell.                   one of the subtractive primary
form of slender tubes or small         Knut skipped the main course and       colors.
fancy shapes.                          went right to the madeleine.           The visual afterimage of magenta is
Lucy’s favorite pasta dish is                                                 green.
macaroni and cheese.                   mademoiselle
                                       n                                      maggoty
macaroon                               / TmadEmwESzel /
n                                      F                                      magisterial
/ TmakESrVn /                          an unmarried French woman.             adj
It > F                                 Robert is smitten by a young           / SmajETstirGEl /
a small cake composed chiefly of       mademoiselle he met during his         L
the white of eggs, sugar, and          trip to Paris.                         of, relating to, or having the
ground almonds or almond paste or                                             characteristics of a master or
coconut.                               madrigal                               teacher : authoritative.
Cheryl placed a fresh macaroon on      n                                      Jubril’s magisterial air served him
each saucer before serving the         / SmadrDgEl /                          well with everyone but his
coffee.                                L > It > E                             daughter.
                                       a polyphonic part-song originating
macaw                                  in the 14th century.                   magistracy
                                       At the coronation feast the            n
maceral                                haunting madrigal brought tears to     / SmajEstrEsG /
n                                      the eyes of the new king.              L
/ SmasETral /                                                                 the office of a public official
L?                                     madrilene                              entrusted with administration of the
a fragment of plant debris in coal.                                           laws : magisterial power and
Penny examined the maceral under       maelstrom                              dignity.
a microscope.                          n                                      The dissenters were persecuted by
                                       / SmClztrEm /                          the state for refusing to accept the
macerate                               D                                      authority of the magistracy.
                                       a powerful water current that
machination                            usually moves in a circular            magnanimous
                                       direction with extreme rapidity.       adj
machinator                             A memorable scene from the movie       / TmagSnanEmEs /
                                       Fantasia features the sorcerer’s       L
mackerel                               apprentice caught in a maelstrom.      showing or suggesting nobility of
                                                                              feeling and generosity of mind.
macle                                  maestro                                Simone’s magnanimous attitude
                                       n                                      toward the homeless wasn’t shared
macrame                                / SmI(T)strP /                         by her sister.
n                                      L > It
/ SmakrETmC /                          a master or teacher of an art (as      magnetizable
Ar > Turk > It or F                    music).
a coarse lace or decorative fringe     The award-winning singer gave          magnificat
made by knotting threads or cords      tribute to her maestro at the
in a geometrical pattern.              conservatory.                          magnificent
Penny prefers to use soft yarn in
her macrame.                           maffick

macrocosm                              magazine

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

mahatma                                maintenance                               malady
n                                      n                                         n
/ mEShBtmE /                           / SmCnt(E)nEn(t)s /                       / SmalEdG /
Skt                                    F                                         L>F>E
a person held worthy of reverence      the labor of keeping something (as        a disease, distemper, disorder, or
for high-mindedness, wisdom, and       buildings or equipment) in a state        indisposition of the body
selflessness.                          of repair or efficiency : upkeep.         proceeding from impaired or
Raoul trekked for three days to seek   Excellent maintenance preserved           defective functions.
the advice of the mahatma.             the original gingerbread trim on          In the 14th century, the malady
                                       the Victorian house.                      known as The Black Death swept
mahogany                                                                         across Europe, leaving about 25
n                                      maize                                     million people dead.
/ mEShBgEnG /                          n
unknown                                / SmCz /                                  malapropism
the durable yellowish brown to         Taino > Sp                                n
reddish brown wood of a West           [has homonym: maze] Indian corn.          / SmalETprBTpizEm /
Indian tree that is widely used for    Gina enjoys hearing the story of          F > E theater name
cabinetwork and fine finish work.      how the native Americans taught           a blundering use of a word that
Kate’s bedroom furniture is made       the Pilgrims to grow maize.               sounds somewhat like the one
of solid mahogany.                                                               intended but is ludicrously wrong
                                       majordomo                                 in the context.
mahout                                 n                                         No matter how careful he tries to
n                                      / TmCjE(r)SdP(T)mP /                      be, Sherman usually utters at least
/ mEShaUt /                            L > It > Sp                               one malapropism in every
Skt > Hindi                            [has near homonym: mayordomo]             campaign speech.
a keeper and driver of an elephant.    a head steward or palace official.
The mahout trained his elephant to     Jeeves has been majordomo of              malaria
move logs.                             Huntington Castle for the last 30         n
                                       years.                                    / mESlerGE /
mai                                                                              L > It + Gk > L > It
n                                      majuscule                                 a disease caused by sporozoan
/ SmI /                                adj                                       parasites in the red blood cells,
Jpn                                    / SmajETskyVl /                           transmitted by the bite of
[has homonym: my] a slow               L>F                                       anopheline mosquitoes, and
Japanese folk or theater dance         written in large letters (as capitals).   characterized by periodic attacks of
featuring hand gestures.               Dr. Jenkins could see immediately         chills and fevers.
Midori is an expert in all forms of    that the majuscule scripts of the         During the construction of the
Japanese dance, but her favorite is    two letters were identical and            Panama Canal many workers
the mai.                               deduced that the same scribe had          succumbed to malaria.
                                       written both.
maillot                                                                          malaxage
n                                      malachite                                 n
/ maSyP /                              n                                         / SmCTlaksij /
F                                      / SmalETkIt /                             Gk > L > F
[has near homonym: mayo] a             Gk > L > E                                the act or process of softening a
woman’s one-piece usually              a mineral consisting of a green           material (as clay) by moistening
strapless bathing suit.                carbonate of copper that is an ore        and working it.
Becky thought that the maillot was     of copper and is used to make             After the malaxage the clay was
out of fashion until she saw several   ornamental objects.                       ready for molding on the potter’s
in the catalog.                        Pierre bought a piece of malachite        wheel.
                                       at the museum of natural history.
maimed                                                                           malediction
adj                                    maladive                                  n
/ SmCmd /                                                                        / TmalESdikshEn /
Gmc > F > E                            maladroit                                 L
crippled, mutilated.                                                             curse, execration.
The maimed dog was taken to the                                                  The villain’s last words were a
animal hospital for treatment.                                                   malediction on the entire royal

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

malefactor                               malleable                               manacle
n                                        adj
/ SmalETfaktE(r) /                       / SmalGEbEl /                           managerial
L                                        L>F>E                                   adj
one who commits an offense               capable of being extended or            / TmanESjirGEl /
against the law.                         shaped by beating with a hammer         L > It + Ecf
The state’s correctional program         or by the pressure of rollers.          of, relating to, or characteristic of a
was designed to rehabilitate as well     Because tin is malleable at             person who conducts, directs, or
as punish the malefactor.                ordinary temperatures, it has been      supervises something.
                                         used to make many household             The classified ads included a notice
maleficent                               implements.                             for a managerial position at the
                                                                                 steel wool factory.
malice                                   mallet
n                                        n                                       mandate
/ SmalDs /                               / SmalDt /                              n
L>F>E                                    F>E                                     / SmanTdCt /
revengeful or unfriendly feelings :      a tool with a large head for striking   L
ill will, enmity.                        a surface without marring it.           a formal order from a superior
In spite of all he has had to put up     Ray used a rubber mallet to put the     court or official to an inferior one.
with from his classmates, Joel           wheel cover back in place after he      The clerk delivered the written
bears them no malice.                    changed the flat tire.                  mandate to the lower court judge
                                                                                 by hand.
malign                                   malloseismic
                                         adj                                     mandatory
malignant                                / TmalPSsIzmik /                        adj
adj                                      Gk                                      / SmandETtPrG /
/ mESlignEnt /                           of, relating to, or being a region      L
L                                        subject to frequent destructive         containing, constituting, or relating
evil in nature or influence or effect.   earthquakes.                            to an authoritative command, order,
The dark clammy coldness                 Chris refuses to move to any of the     or injunction.
surrounded her like a malignant          malloseismic areas of California.       Several states are instituting a
beast of prey.                                                                   mandatory work program for
                                         malocclusion                            employable welfare recipients.
malingerer                               n
n                                        / malESklVzhEn /                        mandolinist
/ mESliNgerE(r) /                        L
Gmc? > F                                 an abnormality in the fitting           manducatory
one who pretends to be ill or            together of upper and lower teeth or    adj
otherwise physically or mentally         dentures.                               / SmanjDkETtPrG /
incapacitated so as to avoid duty or     Hector wore braces on his teeth to      L
work.                                    correct a malocclusion.                 relating to, employed in, or adapted
Jamie Farr’s character on the                                                    for chewing.
television series M*A*S*H was an         malodorous                              Mr. Rollins brought a live lobster
entertaining malingerer.                 adj                                     to our biology class so that we
                                         / malSPdErEs /                          could observe its manducatory
mallard                                  L+L                                     processes.
n                                        having a bad odor : rank, fetid,
/ SmalE(r)d /                            stinking.                               mange
F>E                                      Evelina smelled the malodorous
a common wild duck of the                skunk from 500 yards away.              manicotti
northern hemisphere.                                                             n pl
When Timmy fed the ducks at the          mammoth                                 / TmanDSkBZG /
marina, he gave his last piece of        adj                                     L > It
bread to the mallard.                    / SmamEth /                             tubular pasta shells stuffed with
                                         Yakut? > Russ                           ricotta.
                                         gigantic.                               The caterer filled the chafing dish
                                         Clarence specialized in growing         with manicotti.
                                         mammoth vegetables and held
                                         several records for his specimens.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

manifesto                                maraca                                  margaritaceous
n                                        n                                       adj
/ TmanESfe(T)stP /                       / mESrBkE /                             / TmBrgErEStCshEs /
L > It                                   Tupi > Pg                               Gk > L > F > E
a public declaration of intentions,      a dried gourd or rattle containing      having a satiny iridescence like that
motives, or views.                       dried seeds or pebbles that has a       of pearl or mother-of-pearl : pearly.
The Unabomber’s rambling                 handle and is used as a percussion      The tabletops at the diner have a
manifesto appeared in a number of        instrument often in pairs.              margaritaceous finish.
newspapers nationwide.                   The band’s percussionist
                                         accentuated the rhythm with a           mariachi
manipulator                              maraca.                                 n
                                                                                 / TmBrGSBchG /
manna                                    maraschino                              F > Sp
n                                        n                                       a group of Mexican folk musicians
/ SmanE /                                / TmarESskGTnP /                        usually consisting of singers,
Heb > Gk > L > E                         It                                      guitarists, and a violinist.
[has near homonym: mana]                 a sweet liqueur that is used as a       On weekends the mariachi
something of value that falls one’s      cocktail ingredient and in              entertained diners at the Mexican
way : windfall.                          preserving cherries.                    restaurant.
Children swarmed the parade route        Even though she’s a grown woman,
collecting the manna of treats           Evelyn sometimes likes to make          maricolous
tossed from the float.                   herself a Shirley Temple with clear
                                         soda and maraschino.                    marionette
manoptoscope                                                                     n
                                         maraud                                  / Tma(a)rGESnet /
mansard                                                                          F
                                         marauding                               a puppet moved by strings or by
mansuetude                               v                                       hand (as in a puppet show).
n                                        / mESrOdiN /                            A marionette of Jay Leno was the
/ Sman(t)swETtVd /                       F                                       hit of the show.
L                                        roaming about and making
the quality or state of being gentle :   irregular sudden small-scale            maritime
meekness.                                attacks, raids, or incursions for the   adj
Gary remembered his mother as            sake of obtaining loot.                 / SmarETtIm /
having the sensitivity and               Outlaws were marauding in areas         E name
mansuetude of a saint.                   where the law was not well              of or relating to navigation or
                                         established.                            commerce on the sea.
manumit                                                                          After Bob graduates, he plans to
v                                        marble                                  join the Navy to study maritime
/ SmanyETmit /                                                                   law.
L                                        marcescent
set free; especially : release from      adj                                     marjoram
slavery.                                 / mBrSsesFnt /                          n
The tobacco farmer had agreed to         L                                       / SmBrTjErEm /
manumit his one slave just before        of a plant part : withering without     L>F>E
the Civil War began.                     falling off.                            any of various usually fragrant and
                                         Autumn’s first cold snap left many      aromatic mints that include several
manuscript                               marcescent leaves in its wake.          forms used as seasoning in
                                         marchioness                             Vance likes to add marjoram and
                                         n                                       cream cheese to his scrambled
                                         / SmBrsh(E)nDs /                        eggs.
                                         a woman who holds in her own
                                         right the rank of marquess.
                                         Once a month the workers on the
                                         estate brought their disputes before
                                         the marchioness to be resolved.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

marmalade                                martial                               marzipan
n                                        adj                                   n
/ SmBrmeTlCd /                           / SmBrshEl /                          / SmBrtsETpBn /
Gk > L > Pg                              L                                     Ar > It > G
a soft clear translucent jelly holding   [has homonyms: marshal,               a confection made of crushed
in suspension pieces or slices of        marshall] belonging or relating to    almonds or almond paste, sugar,
fruit and fruit rind.                    an army or to military life.          and egg whites that is often shaped
Mom’s homemade marmalade on              Patrick Henry believed that the       into various forms (as fruit or
toast is always a great treat for        only purpose of England’s martial     animals).
breakfast.                               array in the colonies and their       Marlene filled the candy dish with
                                         seaports could be to force the        marzipan.
marmoset                                 colonists into submission.
n                                                                              mascara
/ SmBrmETset /                           martinetish
F>E                                      adj                                   masonry
any of numerous small soft-furred        / TmBrtFnSeZish /
South and Central American               F name + Ecf                          masquerade
monkeys with claws instead of            like or characteristic of a person    n
nails on all the digits except the       who lays stress on a rigid            / TmaskESrCd /
great toe.                               adherence to the details of forms     It > F
The chisel-like incisors of the          and methods.                          a social gathering of persons
marmoset are used for gouging            Though all the students disliked      wearing covers on their faces and
trees to obtain gums and saps.           Mr. Wall’s martinetish attitude,      often fantastic costumes especially
                                         most of them thought he was an        to impersonate characters from
marotte                                  excellent teacher.                    history or legend.
n                                                                              Todd and Sheila wore Conehead
/ mESrBt /                               martyr                                costumes to the masquerade.
F name + Fcf                             n
a pet idea or notion.                    / SmBrZEr /                           massacre
Katrina’s marotte is that she is         Gk                                    n
really too good for life as a            one who voluntarily suffers death     / SmasDkE(r) /
bookkeeper and should be a               as the penalty of witnessing to and   F
company vice-president.                  refusing to renounce his or her       the act or instance of killing a
                                         religion or a tenet, principle, or    considerable number of human
marplot                                  practice belonging to it.             beings or animals.
                                         St. Stephen, who was stoned to        The massacre of buffalo is a
marriageable                             death, is believed to have been the   regrettable part of the history of the
                                         first Christian martyr.               West.
n                                        martyrology                           massage
/ mBrSsVpGEl /                           n
Avestan? > Gk > L                        / TmBrZESrBlEjG /                     masseter
any of an order of mammals having        Gk                                    n
a pouch for carrying the young and       an official catalog of martyrs and    / mESsGZE(r) /
including kangaroos, wombats,            saints of the Roman Catholic          Gk > L
bandicoots, and opossums.                Church.                               a large muscle that raises the lower
The common stereotype of a               Keith bought an old martyrology at    jaw and assists in chewing.
marsupial is a female kangaroo           the rummage sale.                     Tracy argued that she was trying to
with a large young one in her                                                  strengthen her masseter, but Mr.
pouch.                                                                         Gold made her throw out her
                                                                               chewing gum anyway.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

masseuse                                matinee                                mauve
n                                       n                                      n
/ maSsE(r)z /                           / TmatFnSC /                           / SmOv /
Ar > F + Fcf                            L>F                                    L>F
a woman who practices massage           a performance of a production (as a    a strong purple with a bluish cast.
and physiotherapy.                      play, opera, film) or the              Karen has tired of her bedroom of
Delia spent an hour with the club’s     presentation of a concert or           mauve and blue.
masseuse working out the kinks in       sometimes the holding of some
her back.                               other event in the afternoon or        maverick
                                        occasionally in the morning or at      n
mastiff                                 midnight.                              / Smav(E)rik /
n                                       The English class attended a           Amer name
/ SmastDf /                             matinee of Our Town at the local       a member of any group who refuses
L>F>E                                   playhouse.                             to conform and who takes an
a very large powerful deep-chested                                             unorthodox stand.
smooth-coated dog of a very old         matriarch                              The rest of the teachers considered
breed used chiefly as a watchdog                                               Ms. Thorne to be a maverick
and guard dog.                          matriarchal                            because she invited her students to
A big brown mastiff stood                                                      call her by her first name.
motionless behind the gate.             matriculant
mastodon                                matriculation
n                                                                              maxim
/ SmastETdBn /                          matrix                                 n
L                                                                              / SmaksDm /
someone or something of gigantic        mattock                                L
size or unusually large size : giant.   n                                      a saying of proverbial nature.
Mrs. Campbell’s automobile              / SmaZEk /                             “The early bird gets the worm” is
collection ranges from a tiny two-      L>E                                    Toni’s favorite maxim.
seater to an antique mastodon.          a tool that combines features of an
                                        ax, adze, and pick and is used for     mayonnaise
mastoiditis                             digging and chopping.                  n
n                                       It took Mark three hours of hard       / SmCETnCz /
/ TmaTstOiSdIZDs /                      work with a mattock and shovel to      geog name? > F
Gk > L                                  dig up the tree stump.                 a semisolid dressing made by
inflammation of the process of the                                             emulsifying a mixture of raw eggs
temporal bone behind the ear.           mattress                               or egg yolks, vegetable oil, and
Amy’s doctor treated her                                                       vinegar or lemon juice usually
mastoiditis immediately so that it      maturescent                            together with salt and condiments.
wouldn’t cause any permanent                                                   Helga wouldn’t eat a roast beef
hearing damage.                         matutinal                              sandwich without mayonnaise.

matelot                                 maudlin                                mayoralty
                                        adj                                    n
matelote                                / SmOdlDn /                            / SmCErEltG /
n                                       Biblical Gk name > L > F > E           L>F>E
/ SmaZFlTPt /                           tearfully or weakly emotional :        the term of office as the chief
F                                       effusively sentimental.                executive or nominal head of a city
a sauce made of wine, onions,           Brian allowed himself to become        or borough.
seasonings, and fish stock.             maudlin only on St. Patrick’s Day.     His opponent’s television
Even though it is served with fish, a                                          commercial made the point that
matelote often contains red wine.       maudlinism                             Henry Vermillion had
                                                                               accomplished little during his
mathematician                           mausoleum                              mayoralty.


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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

mealymouthed                           medicine                                 megalopolis
adj                                    n                                        n
/ SmGlGTmaULd /                        / SmedEsDn /                             / TmegESlBpElDs /
E+E                                    L                                        Gk
tending to cloak thoughts, ideas, or   the science and art dealing with the     a very large city.
intents by the use of obscure or       maintenance of health and the            Without community growth
devious language.                      prevention, alleviation, or cure of      guidelines, a moderately sized city
All of Judy’s friends saw through      disease.                                 could become a megalopolis like
her mealymouthed explanation.          Campbell knows that she would            Los Angeles in just a few decades.
                                       like to one day pursue a career in
meandrous                              the field of medicine.                   megaphone
/ mGSandrEs /                          medicolegal                              melancholia
Gk geog name
winding, flexuous, rambling.           mediocre                                 melancholy
Over thousands of years the river      adj                                      adj
had cut a meandrous channel            / TmGdGSPkE(r) /                         / SmelEnTkBlG /
through the plain.                     L                                        Gk > L > F > E
                                       of but a moderate or low degree of       depressed in spirits : mournful.
measles                                quality.                                 The melancholy chirp of a cricket
n pl                                   Jill’s grades were mediocre until        was the only sign of life near him.
/ SmGzElz /                            she started wearing glasses.
E                                                                               melba
a contagious disease characterized     Mediterranean                            n
by red spots.                          adj                                      / SmelbE /
Most doctors recommend that            / TmedEtESrCnGEn /                       Australian name
children be vaccinated against         L                                        fruit served with ice cream,
measles, mumps, and rubella.           of, relating to, characteristic of, or   raspberry sauce, and whipped
                                       situated near the Mediterranean          cream.
measurable                             Sea.                                     The peach melba was served in a
                                       The Mediterranean island of Malta        crystal goblet.
mecometer                              has been the location for the
                                       filming of several movies.               melee
medallion                                                                       n
n                                      medulla                                  / SmC(T)lC /
/ mDSdalyEn /                          n                                        F
L > It > F                             / mDSdElE /                              [has homonyms: Malay, mele] a
a large medal (as for a memorial       L                                        fight or contest between individuals
purpose).                              a posterior portion of the brain.        mingled in a confused mass : a
Charise bought a World War II          The medulla governs various              confused struggle.
medallion on eBay.                     involuntary vital functions such as      The soccer match turned into a
                                       respiration.                             melee after angry fans stormed the
medallionist                                                                    field.
meddlesome                                                                      melitensis
adj                                    meerschaum                               adj
/ SmedFlsEm /                                                                   / TmelESten(t)sDs /
L>F>E                                  megacephalic                             L geog name
officiously intrusive.                                                          of, derived from, or caused by a
Her landlady’s meddlesome              megalomaniac                             particular bacterium of the genus
manner annoyed Hatty so much           n                                        Brucella.
that she moved out.                    / TmegElOSmCnGTak /                      Clyde’s melitensis fever was
                                       Gk                                       reduced by antibiotics.
medicinal                              one affected with or exhibiting an
                                       excessive enthusiasm for doing
                                       great or grandiose things.
                                       The candidate decried his opponent
                                       as a publicity-seeking

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

mellifluous                             memorabilia                              meniscus
adj                                     n pl                                     n
/ meSliflEwEs /                         / TmemErESbilGE /                        / mDSniskEs /
L                                       L                                        Gk > L
sweetly flowing : smooth, honeyed.      things remarkable and worthy of          the curved upper surface of a liquid
The soprano’s mellifluous voice         remembrance or record.                   column.
lulled Frank to sleep.                  The memorabilia in the hall of fame      Because mercury sticks to itself
                                        traced the history of basketball         better than to other substances, its
mellisonant                             from its beginning in 1891.              meniscus is convex, or rounded
adj                                                                              upward.
/ meSlisFnEnt /                         memory
L+L                                                                              menorah
pleasing to the ear.                    menace                                   n
Tonia’s mellisonant voice never                                                  / mESnPrE /
failed to put her little sister to      menagerie                                Heb
sleep.                                  n                                        a candelabrum with nine
                                        / mDSnaj(E)rG /                          candlesticks used in the celebration
mellophone                              F                                        of Hanukkah.
                                        a collection of wild or foreign          Stuart put the candles in the
mellow                                  animals in cages or enclosures.          menorah just before the ceremony.
adj                                     The eccentric billionaire’s
/ Sme(T)lP /                            menagerie includes two pandas and        mentality
E                                       a white rhino.                           n
[has homonym: melo] relaxed and                                                  / menStalEZG /
at ease : pleasantly convivial.         mendacious                               L
The after-dinner crowd enjoyed                                                   intellectual power or capacity :
listening to the mellow, laid-back      mendicant                                learning ability.
singer.                                 n                                        The mentality of dolphins is greater
                                        / SmendDkEnt /                           than that of sharks.
melodrama                               L
n                                       one who begs; especially : one who       mentor
/ SmelETdrBmE /                         lives by begging.                        n
Gk > L > F                              The mendicant on the street corner       / SmenTtO(E)r /
a play characterized by extravagant     once had a high-paying job.              Gk name
theatricality, subordination of                                                  teacher, tutor, coach.
characterization to plot, and           menehune                                 After Helen won the spelling
predominance of physical action.        n                                        competition, she said that her
George was put off by the opera’s       / TmenEShVnG /                           mother was her mentor.
melodrama but was enthralled by         Hawaiian
the beauty of the music.                a small mythical Polynesian being        mephitis
                                        living in the mountains and              n
melophonic                              working at night as a stone builder.     / mDSfIZDs /
                                        The Hawaiian folklorist told the         OScan > L
memoir                                  tale of a stone temple built             a noxious, pestilential, or foul
n                                       overnight by a menehune.                 exhalation from the earth.
/ SmemTwBr /                                                                     Ivy suspected she was approaching
L>F                                     menial                                   the geyser when she smelled a
a history or narrative composed         adj                                      strong mephitis.
from or stressing personal              / SmGnGEl /
experience and acquaintance with        L>E                                      mercenary
the events, scenes, or persons          of, relating to, or being work not       adj
described.                              requiring special skill or not calling   / SmErsFnTerG /
The memoir of Burton Smith was          into play the higher intellectual        L
published last year.                    powers and often regarded as             showing conspicuous lust for
                                        lacking dignity, status, or interest.    money : based on or marked by
                                        Viewed by some office workers as a       greed.
                                        menial task, making coffee can be        No one in the family knows where
                                        quite an art.                            Antonio gets his mercenary

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

mercurial                                merriment                                metastasize
adj                                                                               v
/ TmErSkyUrGEl /                         meshummad                                / mDStastETsIz /
L                                                                                 Gk
characterized by rapid and               mesmerize                                spread, as a disease-producing
unpredictable changeableness or by                                                agent, from the original site of
quick-wittedness : sprightly,            mesoseismal                              disease to another part of the body.
temperamental, volatile.                 adj                                      The oncology professor pointed on
Christopher’s mercurial twists of        / TmezPSsIzmEl /                         the diagram to where the cancer
temperament were a trial to his          Gk                                       cells would metastasize next.
mother.                                  of or relating to the center of an
                                         area of earthquake disturbance.          meteoroidal
merely                                   The town in the mesoseismal area         adj
adv                                      suffered the most damage from the        / TmGZGESrOidFl /
/ Smi(E)rlG /                            earthquake.                              Gk + Ecf
L > E + Ecf                                                                       of or relating to meteors in orbit
no more than : barely, only.             metachrosis                              around the Sun.
Joseph was merely pretending to be       n                                        The many craters on the Moon are
asleep.                                  / TmeZESkrPsDs /                         the result of meteoroidal
                                         Gk                                       bombardment.
meridian                                 the power of some animals (as
n                                        many fishes and reptiles) to change      methodical
/ mDSridGEn /                            color voluntarily by the expansion
F>E                                      of special pigment cells.                meticulosity
a great circle of the celestial sphere   Metachrosis helps octopi blend           n
passing through its poles and the        with their environments to avoid         / mDTtikyESlBsEZG /
zenith of a given place.                 being easy prey.                         L + Ecf
The apparent solar day is                                                         the quality or state of being
measured by the interval of time         metagnomy                                extremely painstaking in the
between two successive passages of                                                consideration or treatment of
the Sun across the observer’s            metallurgical                            details.
celestial meridian.                                                               The gallery visitor marveled at the
                                         metamorphosis                            artist’s meticulosity in depicting
meringue                                 n                                        details so realistically.
n                                        / TmeZESmO(r)fEsDs /
/ mESraN /                               Gk > L                                   metonymy
F                                        change of physical form or               n
[has near homonym: marang] a             substance that takes place during an     / mDStBnEmG /
mixture of beaten egg whites and         insect’s life as it matures.             Gk
powdered sugar baked at low              Complete metamorphosis is                a figure of speech that consists in
temperature and used as a topping        characteristic of beetles, butterflies   using the name of one thing for that
(as on pies and puddings).               and moths, flies, and wasps.             of something else with which it is
Thelma scraped the meringue off                                                   associated (as in “spent the evening
her pie.                                 metaphor                                 reading Shakespeare”).
                                         n                                        The metonymy “threads” for
mermaid                                  / SmeZETfO(E)r /                         clothes has recently come back into
n                                        Gk                                       popular slang.
/ SmErTmCd /                             an implied comparison in contrast
E                                        to the explicit comparison of the        metoposcopy
a fabled marine creature having the      simile.                                  n
upper body of a woman and the            The poet used the image of a             / TmeZESpBskEpG /
lower body of a fish.                    drifting boat as a metaphor for the      Gk
As they sailed closer to what they       troubled soul.                           the art of reading character or
thought was the end of the world,                                                 telling fortunes from the markings
the sailors kept expecting to see a                                               of the forehead.
mermaid.                                                                          Gerald has a high, bumpy forehead
                                                                                  that would provide a truly
mermithergate                                                                     interesting study in metoposcopy.

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

metronome                              micrograph                              mignonette
n                                      n                                       n
/ SmetrETnPm /                         / SmIkrETgraf /                         / TminyESnet /
Gk                                     Gk + Gk                                 F
an instrument that emits an audible    a graphic reproduction of the image     an annual plant native to North
repetitive tap regulated to mark       of an object formed by a                Africa that has long racemes of
rhythm (as for music or marching).     microscope.                             fragrant yellow or greenish white
Martina used a metronome to            The biology teacher showed the          flowers.
hypnotize her cat.                     class a micrograph of a plant cell.     Lord Bateman sent seeds of
                                                                               mignonette to England in 1742 and
mettwurst                              micrurgy                                called it mignonette, although it
                                       n                                       was not known by that name in
meuniere                               / SmI(T)krErjG /                        France at the time.
                                       Gk > ISV
meuse                                  the practice of using minute tools in   migraine
                                       a magnified field.                      n
mezzanine                              Lorraine’s excellence at micrurgy       / SmITgrCn /
n                                      helped her greatly with her model       Gk > L > F
/ SmezFnTGn /                          making.                                 a condition marked by recurrent
L > It > F                                                                     severe headache often with nausea
the lowest balcony in a theater.       midgetism                               and vomiting.
Melinda says that she enjoys the       n                                       Karen’s doctor found out that her
view from the mezzanine better         / SmijDZTizEm /                         migraine was due to a food allergy.
than the view from the orchestra.      E + Ecf
                                       the state of being an unusually         mikado
miasma                                 small creature or thing.                n
n                                      In the art of bonsai, midgetism is      / mESkB(T)dP /
/ mISazmE /                            highly valued.                          Jpn
Gk > L                                                                         an emperor of Japan.
[Note: Could be confused with          midinette                               The Mikado is one of Gilbert and
miasm.] a vaporous exhalation (as      n                                       Sullivan’s best-loved operettas.
of a marshy region or of rotting       / TmidFnSet /
matter) formerly believed to           F                                       milacre
contain a substance causing            a Parisian shopgirl.
disease.                               In the novel, Marie was a midinette     mildewed
Eloise couldn’t wait to escape from    who worked as a seamstress during
the miasma that had settled over       the 1890s.                              militancy
the entire swamp.
                                       mien                                    militia
microcosm                              n                                       n
n                                      / SmGn /                                / mDSlishE /
/ SmIkrETkBzEm /                       L>F>E                                   L
Gk                                     [has homonym: mean] the air or          a reserve unit of the armed forces.
a miniature universe.                  bearing of a person.                    Captain Weston’s military career
Kate could spend hours watching        Fame and fortune did not alter          began when he entered his county’s
the microcosm of her ant farm.         Cindy’s humble mien.                    militia.

microfiche                                                                     millennialism
/ SmIkrPTfGsh /                                                                millennium
F                                                                              n
a sheet of film containing several                                             / mDSlenGEm /
rows of photographic records on a                                              L
reduced scale that are enlarged for                                            a period of 1,000 years.
reading or viewing.                                                            In his “Four Freedoms” speech,
Norma examined a microfiche of                                                 Franklin D. Roosevelt stressed that
old newspaper pages while doing                                                his vision was not that of a distant
research at the library.                                                       millennium.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

millinery                                miniature                              miscellanea
                                         adj                                    n pl
millionaire                              / Smin(G)ETchU(E)r /                   / TmisESlCnGE /
                                         L > It                                 L
mimic                                    being or represented on a small        a collection of assorted objects.
v                                        scale.                                 Among the miscellanea on Ernie’s
/ Smimik /                               The miniature productions of           bookshelf were five textbooks on
Gk > L                                   architects’ dream houses were all      world history and a complete set of
copy or imitate very closely             made out of children’s building        the works of Shakespeare.
especially in external                   blocks.
characteristics (as voice, gesture, or                                          miscellaneous
manner).                                 miniaturize
Christie has learned to mimic                                                   miscellany
Grandma so well on the telephone         minstrel
that she can fool the whole family.                                             mischief
                                         minuscular                             n
mimicry                                  adj                                    / Smis(h)chDf /
                                         / mDSnEskyElE(r) /                     F>E
minacious                                L                                      action or conduct that annoys or
adj                                      very small in size or importance.      irritates without causing or
/ mDSnCshEs /                            A minuscular speck of dirt on          meaning to cause serious harm.
L                                        Alison’s frock was enough to           Hearing the puppy’s thumping and
of a menacing or threatening             infuriate her.                         barking, Erica went to investigate
character.                                                                      the mischief he was creating.
Though the butler seemed                 minutia
minacious, he was not the culprit.                                              mischievous
minaret                                                                         miscible
                                         Miranda                                adj
minatory                                 adj                                    / SmisEbEl /
adj                                      / mDSrandE /                           L
/ SminETtPrG /                           American name                          [Note: Pronouncer should provide
L                                        of, relating to, or being the legal    definition of this word.] capable of
having a menacing quality :              rights of an arrested person to have   being mixed in any ratio without
expressive of or conveying a threat.     an attorney and to remain silent so    separation of two phases—used
In a minatory tone, Mrs. Sampson         as to avoid self-incrimination.        especially of fluids.
asked the boys what they planned         At the time of arrest, each person     Oil and kerosene are miscible, but
to do about her broken window.           must be advised of his Miranda         carbon tetrachloride and water are
                                         rights.                                not.
n                                        mirrored                               miscreant
/ TminESstrPnG /                         v                                      n
L > It                                   / SmirE(r)d /                          / SmiskrHEnt /
a rich thick vegetable soup with         L > F > E + Ecf                        L>F>E
dried beans, macaroni, vermicelli,       reflected.                             one who behaves criminally or
or similar ingredients sometimes         The moonlight was mirrored in the      viciously.
topped with grated cheese.               smooth surface of the pond.            Some miscreant dumped a bucket
Steve crumbled oyster crackers into                                             of paint in Herb’s convertible.
his minestrone.                          misanthropic
                                         adj                                    misdemeanor
miniascape                               / TmisFnSthrBpik /                     n
n                                        Gk + Ecf                               / TmisdDSmGnE(r) /
/ SminGETskCp /                          marked by a hatred or contempt for     E+L>F>E
L > It > L                               humankind.                             a crime less than a felony.
a dish garden made with dry or           The moral corruption the               The trespasser was arrested and
other plant materials that do not        policeman witnessed caused him to      charged with a misdemeanor.
require water.                           become a misanthropic cynic.
A miniascape makes an interesting                                               misericordia
host or hostess gift.

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

misfeasance                            mistassini                             mohair
                                       n                                      n
misogynistic                           / TmistESsGnG /                        / SmPTha(a)(E)r /
adj                                    Canadian geog name                     Ar > It > E
/ mDTsBjESnistik /                     a dwarf primrose of northern and       any of various fabrics or yarns
Gk                                     alpine America.                        made wholly or in part of the hair
relating to or given to a hatred of    Ava saw a mistassini growing in a      of the Angora goat.
women.                                 rock crevice.                          For her birthday Linda got a
The soprano complained that only                                              matching scarf and sweater, both
a critic with misogynistic cruelty     mistletoe                              made of mohair.
could have written the review.         n
                                       / SmisElTtP /                          moiety
misogyny                               E                                      n
                                       any of various American plants of      / SmOiEZG /
misoneism                              the genus Phoradendron that grow       L>F>E
n                                      on deciduous trees.                    a share paid by the government to
/ TmisESnGTizEm /                      Lance earned extra Christmas           an informer out of duties and
Gk + Gk                                money selling mistletoe at the mall.   penalties collected because of the
a hatred or intolerance of                                                    individual’s help.
something new or changed.              mitigate                               The whistleblower received a
Because of his mom’s misoneism,        v                                      moiety of the large fine imposed
Brian still does not have a            / SmiZETgCt /                          upon his employer for supplying
computer in his home.                  L                                      faulty engine parts to the military.
                                       make less severe, cruel, intense,
misopedist                             painful.                               molasses
n                                      The general interceded to mitigate     n
/ TmisESpGdDst /                       the soldier’s punishment.              / mESlasDz /
L + Ecf                                                                       L > Pg
one who hates children.                mitrailleuse                           the thick dark to light brown syrup
W. C. Fields was a famed                                                      that is separated from raw sugar in
misopedist.                            mixology                               sugar manufacture.
                                                                              Mollie always adds molasses to
misprision                             mneme                                  beans before baking them.
/ mDSsprizhEn /                        mnemonic                               molecule
the active or passive concealment      mnestic                                molecules
of treason or felony from the          adj
prosecuting authorities by one not     / Snestik /                            molinary
guilty of those crimes.                Gk                                     adj
Congressman Walters was charged        of or relating to memory or the        / SmBlETnerG /
with misprision of felony in the       persistent effect of past experience   L
election fraud.                        of the individual.                     of or relating to a mill or the
                                       Granny spends much of her time         process of grinding.
misshapen                              reminiscing and performing other       Elsworth’s firm specializes in the
adj                                    mnestic activities.                    manufacture of molinary
/ mis(h)shCpEn /                                                              equipment.
E                                      modicum
having an ugly or deformed shape.      n                                      mollify
The misshapen pumpkin made a           / SmBdEkEm /
fierce-looking jack-o’-lantern.        L>F                                    monadnock
                                       a small portion : a limited quantity   n
missionary                             or amount.                             / mESnadTnBk /
                                       Bernie displayed not even a            New Hampshire geog name
                                       modicum of modesty as he bragged       a hill or mountain of resistant rock
                                       about his hole in one.                 surmounting an eroded plain.
                                                                              The familiar shape of the
                                       modiste                                monadnock was a landmark for

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

monarch                                  monolith                                monsoon
                                         n                                       n
monastery                                / SmBnFlTith /                          / mBnSsVn /
n                                        Gk                                      Ar > Pg > D
/ SmBnETsterG /                          something resembling a single           a periodic wind especially in the
G>L>E                                    great stone.                            Indian Ocean and in southern Asia.
a house of religious retirement or of    Sir Larry is considered a pillar of     The monsoon brought
seclusion from the world for             strength by his friends and a           thunderstorms that blanketed the
persons under religious vows.            hulking obstinate monolith by his       city with a dust cloud and then
Last fall Stan attended a retreat at     enemies.                                flooding rains.
a monastery near Bardstown,
Kentucky.                                monomachy                               monstrosity
monetary                                 monomaniacal                            / mBnzStrBsEZG /
adj                                      adj                                     L
/ SmBnETterG /                           / TmBnFmESnIEkEl /                      an object of terrifying size or force
L                                        Gk + Gk + Ecf                           or complexity.
of or relating to money or to the        relating to, characterized by, or       The atom bomb is the greatest
instrumentalities and organizations      affected with such concentration on     monstrosity of the 20th century.
by which money is supplied to the        a single object or idea as to suggest
economy.                                 mental derangement.                     monstrous
So many Americans are active             Stuart’s obsession with racing cars     adj
investors that even a slight change      seems almost monomaniacal to his        / SmBnztrEs /
in interest rates can have serious       friends.                                L>F>E
monetary repercussions.                                                          having extraordinary and often
                                         mononucleosis                           overwhelming size : unusually and
mongoose                                 n                                       unpleasantly huge.
n                                        / TmBnPTn(y)VklGSPsDs /                 The tourists in South America were
/ SmBNTgVs /                             Gk + L                                  terrified and sickened by the
Dravidian? > Prakrit > Hindi             an acute infectious disease             monstrous flying cockroach.
an agile keen-sighted grizzled           associated with Epstein-Barr virus
brown and black mammal of India          and characterized by fever,             moppet
that is about the size of a ferret and   swelling of the lymph nodes, and
feeds on snakes and rodents.             an increase in the number of            moraine
The mongoose is an active, bold          lymphocytes in the blood.               n
predator.                                Morgan had to spend several weeks       / mESrCn /
                                         in bed after contracting                F
mongrel                                  mononucleosis.                          an accumulation of earth and stones
n                                                                                carried and finally deposited by a
/ SmBNgrEl /                             monopoly                                glacier.
E                                                                                A push moraine is carried ahead of
an animal or plant resulting from        monotonous                              an advancing glacier, whereas a
the interbreeding of two or more         adj                                     lateral moraine is deposited at the
breeds or strains.                       / mESnBtFnEs /                          side of a glacier as it moves.
Jeff’s dog is a friendly mongrel         Gk
named Mutt.                              having no change or variety :           morass
                                         wearisomely uniform.
monocle                                  The lecturer’s monotonous tone put      moratorium
n                                        half the audience to sleep.             n
/ SmBnDkEl /                                                                     / TmOrEStPrGEm /
L                                        monotony                                L
[has homonyms: monacal,                                                          a suspension of activity : a
monachal] an eyeglass for one eye.                                               temporary ban on the use or
The villain wore a tuxedo, a top                                                 production of something.
hat, and a monocle.                                                              Environmentalists demanded a
                                                                                 moratorium on the mining
monocoque                                                                        operation until its potential effects
                                                                                 on the ecosystem could be

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

morceau                                   Morpheus                               mosquito
n                                         n                                      n
/ mOrSsP /                                / SmOrfGEs /                           / mESskGZ(T)P /
F                                         Gk                                     L > Sp
[Note: Could be confused with             something that induces or prolongs     any of numerous two-winged flies
more so. Also, plural of word can         sleep.                                 that have a rather narrow abdomen
be similarly pronounced.] a short         Tim cannot recall exactly what         and usually a long slender rigid
literary or musical piece.                Morpheus caused Rip van Winkle         proboscis with which they puncture
Natasha entertained the partygoers        to sleep for 20 years.                 the skin of animals to suck the
with a lively morceau on the violin.                                             blood.
                                          mortar                                 Dr. Walter Reed proved that the
mordacious                                n                                      yellow fever virus is carried by the
                                          / SmOrZEr /                            mosquito.
mores                                     L>F>E
n pl                                      something that binds or holds          mosquitoey
/ SmO(T)rCz /                             together.
L                                         Sam watched as the bricklayer          mostaccioli
[has homonym: morays] the fixed           expertly set the bricks into the       n
customs or folkways of a particular       hardening mortar.                      / TmOstBtSchPlG /
group which are morally binding                                                  It
upon all members of the group and         mortarboard                            a pasta in the form of a short tube
necessary to its welfare and              n                                      with oblique ends.
preservation.                             / SmOrZErTbP(E)rd /                    It was the usual banquet fare:
Some religious groups have                L>F>E+E                                mostaccioli and roast beef.
developed a society of their own          an academic cap consisting of a
with distinct and strict mores.           closely fitting headpiece with a       motley
                                          broad flat projecting square top.      adj
moribund                                  Lamont adjusted his mortarboard        / SmBtlG /
adj                                       as he joined the procession to begin   E
/ SmOrE(T)bEnd /                          the commencement program.              composed of a haphazard and
L                                                                                incongruous mixture of
being in a state of suspended             mortgage                               heterogeneous elements.
activity or arrested growth :             n                                      Each guest drew a gift from the
dormant.                                  / SmOrgij /                            motley assortment in the grab bag.
After being more or less moribund         L>F>E
for years, interest in spirituality has   a binding obligation.                  moulage
revived.                                  Sarah found a signed copy of the       n
                                          mortgage in Richard’s desk.            / mVSlBzh /
mormorando                                                                       F
adj                                       mosaic                                 an impression (as of a tire mark or
/ TmO(r)mESrBn(T)dP /                                                            tooth print) made for use as
L > It                                    mosaicist                              evidence in a criminal
in a murmuring manner—used as a           n                                      investigation.
direction in music.                       / mPSzCEsDst /                         At the scene of the crime, detectives
At first Ralph thought his CD             L > It > F > E                         were able to make a moulage of the
player was broken, but then he            a designer who creates surface         tire marks left by the criminal’s
realized he was listening to a            decoration by inlaying small pieces    car.
mormorando passage.                       of variously colored material.
                                          An expert mosaicist decorated the      mountain
morose                                    altar of the new church.               n
adj                                                                              / SmaUntFn /
/ mESrPs /                                                                       L>F
L                                                                                [Note: The definition provided is
marked by or expressive of gloom.                                                not the one most commonly
The basketball team was morose                                                   associated with this word.] a vast
after losing in the state finals.                                                number or quantity : pile, slew.
                                                                                 Mrs. Johnson assigned her students
                                                                                 a mountain of homework that was
                                                                                 due the day after the holiday break.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

mountebank                               mucilaginous                           multifarious
n                                        adj                                    adj
/ SmaUntETbaNk /                         / TmyVsESlajEnEs /                     / TmEltESfa(a)rGEs /
It                                       L                                      L
an entertainer (as a juggler or          relating to or resembling a liquid     having multiplicity : having great
magician) employed by a quack to         adhesive of low bonding strength.      diversity or variety.
attract a crowd.                         Billy’s mother told him to wash the    The multifarious activities at the
The charlatan used a mountebank          mucilaginous remains of his peanut     Hands-On Museum make it a place
to entice crowds into the tent.          butter and jelly sandwich from his     that everyone can enjoy.
                                         face and hands.
mourn                                                                           multiplication
                                         mufti                                  n
moussaka                                 n                                      / TmEltEplDSkCshEn /
n                                        / SmEftG /                             L
/ mVSsBkE /                              Ar                                     a mathematical operation
Turkish > Gk                             civilian dress when worn by one in     commonly indicated by ab that
a dish of ground meat (as lamb)          military service.                      repeats b as many times as there are
and sliced eggplant or potatoes          The general ambled down the street     units in a.
often topped with a seasoned sauce.      unrecognized in mufti.                 The fourth grade class was
Dimitrio’s restaurant serves the                                                learning the process of
best moussaka in the area.               mugient                                multiplication of whole numbers.
mousse                                   / SmyVjGEnt /                          multipotent
n                                        L
/ SmVs /                                 making a lowing sound : bellowing.     multitudinous
L>F                                      In mid-April the mugient herds of      adj
[has homonym: moose] a frothy            cattle are turned out to pasture.      / TmEltEStVdEnDs /
dessert; especially : a dessert of                                              L + Ecf
sweetened and flavored whipped           mugwump                                existing in great numbers.
cream, or thin cream and gelatin,        n                                      Multitudinous varieties of
frozen without stirring.                 / SmETgwEmp /                          wildflowers grow on Sand
Michael ordered chocolate                Natick                                 Mountain.
hazelnut mousse for dessert, but         one who is undecided or neutral (as
Vera ordered just coffee.                in politics) often as a result of an   mummery
                                         inability to make up one’s mind.       n
mousseline                               William is too much a mugwump to       / SmEmErG /
                                         ever realize his ambition to hold      F
mozambique                               elective office.                       a performance given by actors in a
mozzarella                               mugwumpery                             Costumed actors performed a
n                                                                               comic mummery in the school
/ TmBtsESrelE /                          mulberry                               auditorium.
It                                       n
a moist white rubbery unsalted           / SmElTberG /                          municipally
cheese.                                  Gk > L > F > E
Mozzarella is used in many Italian       a tree or shrub that bears a fruit     munificence
foods.                                   resembling a raspberry.                n
                                         The Nelsons planted a mulberry in      / myVSnifEsEn(t)s /
mucedine                                 their backyard.                        L
                                                                                a giving or bestowing with
mucilage                                 mulch                                  extraordinary liberality : lavish
                                         mullion                                Hazel’s uncle, known widely for his
                                                                                munificence, hosted an elaborate
                                                                                dinner for her bat mitzvah.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

murenger                                mussitation                            myrmecologist
n                                       n                                      n
/ SmyUrEnjE(r) /                        / TmEsEStCshEn /                       / TmErmESkBlEjDst /
L>F>E                                   L                                      Gk
one in charge of the wall of a town     movement of the lips as if in          a specialist in the scientific study of
and its repairs.                        speech but without accompanying        ants.
When city walls served as               sound.                                 The myrmecologist told the
fortresses, the murenger was            The cameras picked up the              reporter that his interest in ants
responsible for the security of the     speller’s mussitation as she           began when he had been given an
citizens.                               pondered the word.                     ant farm at the age of seven.

murrain                                 mutinous                               myrmidon
musciform                               muumuu                                 / SmErmETdBn /
adj                                     n                                      Gk
/ SmEsETfOrm /                          / SmVTmV /                             a follower or subordinate who
L                                       Hawaiian                               unquestioningly or pitilessly
resembling moss.                        a loose dress with gay colors and      executes orders : hireling.
Rosa’s new hat has a musciform          patterns, worn chiefly in Hawaii.      Although the mayor always speaks
texture.                                Pandora bought a red flowered          civilly to everyone, his myrmidon
                                        muumuu during her trip to Maui.        can be ruthless in criticizing
muscle                                                                         opponents.
musculature                             n                                      myrrh
n                                       / TmIEsSthGnGE /                       n
/ SmEskyElETchU(E)r /                   Gk > L                                 / SmEr /
L                                       muscular debility.                     Semitic > Gk > L > E
the muscles of an animal that are       Keith was informed that his            a yellow to reddish brown aromatic
related to each other and function      myasthenia was brought on by           bitter gum resin that is obtained
together.                               overexertion and would disappear       from various trees of East Africa
Dissection of the frog revealed its     with rest.                             and Arabia.
underlying musculature.                                                        In medieval Europe myrrh was rare
                                        mycophagous                            and precious.
muskmelon                               adj
n                                       / mISkBfDgEs /                         mysticity
/ SmEskTmelEn /                         Gk
Skt > Per > Gk > L > F > E + Gk >       feeding on fungi.                      mythologem
L                                       Because they are mycophagous,
the usually sweet odorous edible        ladybugs are good for gardens.         mythomania
melon that is the fruit of a trailing
or climbing Asiatic herbaceous          myelopathy                             nabob
vine.                                   n                                      n
The muskmelon was one of the            / TmIESlBpEthG /                       / SnCTbBb /
foods that Columbus introduced to       Gk                                     Ar > Hindi
the New World.                          a disease or disorder of the spinal    man of great wealth.
                                        cord or the bone marrow.               The Hollywood nabob rarely
muslin                                  After the accident Ursula’s dog had    traveled without his personal chef,
n                                       to be treated for myelopathy.          secretary, and masseur.
/ SmEzlDn /
Iraq geog name > Ar > It > F            myopia                                 nacelle
[has near homonym: Muslim] a            n                                      n
plainwoven cotton fabric that is        / mISPpGE /                            / nESsel /
used bleached or unbleached for         Gk                                     L>F
sheeting, embroidery, or other          nearsightedness.                       an enclosed shelter on an aircraft
purposes.                               Kyle’s myopia was first apparent       for an engine or sometimes for the
The simple look of tab curtains         when he had trouble reading what       crew.
made of unbleached muslin is            was on the chalkboard at school.       The cramped, stifling nacelle gave
perfect for Barbara’s den.                                                     Rico an attack of claustrophobia.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

nadir                                    narcissus                               nasal
n                                        n                                       adj
/ SnCdE(r) /                             / nBrSsisEs /                           / SnCzEl /
Ar > F > E                               Gk > L                                  L
the point of the celestial sphere that   any plant of the genus Narcissus of     of or relating to the nose.
is directly opposite the zenith and      which the flowers have a short          Juno’s nasal inflammation caused
vertically downward from the             corona and are usually borne            considerable discomfort and made
observer.                                separately.                             it hard for her to breathe.
There was no way for Amos to see         The common daffodil is a type of
the Moon, since it was at the nadir.     narcissus.                              nascent
naiad                                    narcoleptic                             / SnCsFnt /
n                                        adj                                     L
/ SnCEd /                                / TnBrkESleptik /                       undergoing the process of being
Gk                                       Gk                                      born : beginning to exist.
one of the nymphs believed by the        of, relating to, or affected with a     The Boston Tea Party revealed
ancient Greeks and Romans to live        transient compulsive tendency to        nascent revolutionary tendencies
in and give life to lakes, rivers,       attacks of deep sleep usually of        among the American colonists.
springs, and fountains.                  unknown causes.
Glenda came upon a statue of a           Steve becomes narcoleptic               nastaliq
naiad by the lake.                       whenever he is under great stress.
naiant                                   narcoticism                             n
                                         n                                       / nESstErshEm /
nainsook                                 / nBrSkBZETsizEm /                      L
n                                        Gk                                      any of several herbs having showy
/ SnCnTsUk /                             addiction to habit-forming drugs.       variously colored spurred flowers.
Skt > Hindi                              The police sergeant lectured            The nasturtium will add color to a
a soft lightweight cotton fabric in      Zakia’s class about the dangers of      drab landscape design.
plain weave and various finishes         narcoticism.
that is used especially for clothing                                             natal
and curtains.                            narrate
Janet’s new summer blouse is made        v                                       natator
of nainsook.                             / SnaTrCt /
                                         L                                       natatorium
naology                                  tell or recite the happenings of (a     n
n                                        story).                                 / TnCZEStPrGEm /
/ nCSBlEjG /                             Jacob volunteered to narrate the        L
Gk                                       slide show.                             a place for swimming; especially :
a study of sacred edifices.                                                      an indoor swimming pool.
With her background in                   narrative                               William Randolph Hearst built an
architecture and naology, Shauna         adj                                     ostentatious natatorium at his
is just the right person to help         / SnarEZiv /                            California mansion.
restore the old cathedral.               L
                                         having the form of a story.             naupathia
napalm                                   A ballad is a poem that has several     n
v                                        distinct characteristics, including a   / nOSpathGE /
/ SnCTpBm /                              strong narrative element.               Gk
Iranian > Gk > L + L > F                                                         seasickness.
attack with bombs made with a            narthex                                 Several spells of naupathia made
highly flammable jellied fuel            n                                       Joni’s cruise an experience she
composed of gasoline and a               / SnBrTtheks /                          hopes never to repeat.
mixture of aluminum soaps as a           Semitic? > Gk
thickener.                               a vestibule leading to the nave of a
The decision to napalm enemy             church.
territory had more ramifications         The bridal party lined up in the
than the intended destruction of         narthex and waited for the cue to
vegetation.                              proceed down the church’s center

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

nausea                                   necromancy                             nematocyst
n                                        n                                      n
/ SnOshE /                               / SnekrETman(t)sG /                    / nDSmaZETsist /
Gk > L                                   Gk > L > F > E                         Gk + Gk
a feeling of discomfort in the           the art or practice of magically       one of the minute stinging organs
stomach usually associated with an       conjuring up the souls of the dead.    of coelenterates (as corals, sea
urge to vomit.                           Abraham Lincoln was interested in      anemones, and jellyfishes) used in
A bout of nausea kept Denise from        necromancy, and his wife held          catching prey.
enjoying the ferry ride.                 séances in the White House.            Each nematocyst of the jellyfish
                                                                                contains a spiral-coiled thread
nauseate                                 nectar                                 tipped with a toxin-bearing barb
                                                                                that can be ejected into the skin.
nauseous                                 nectarine
adj                                      n                                      nemesis
/ SnOshEs /                              / SnektETrGn /                         n
L                                        Gk > L+Ecf                             / SnemEsDs /
causing a sensation of discomfort        a peach that has a smooth-skinned      Gk
in the stomach and an urge to            fruit.                                 a formidable and usually victorious
vomit.                                   Jason prefers a nectarine to a         rival or opponent.
The smell emanating from the             common peach.                          The Tigers were defeated by the
swamp was nauseous.                                                             first-rate pitching of their old
                                         nefarious                              nemesis.
nautical                                 adj
                                         / nDSfa(a)rGEs /                       nemoral
nautilus                                 L                                      adj
n                                        heinously or impiously wicked :        / Snem(E)rEl /
/ SnOZFlEs /                             detestable.                            L
Gk > L                                   The murderer's crimes were             of, relating to, or inhabiting a wood
any of several cephalopod mollusks       considered so nefarious that he was    or grove.
of the southern Pacific and Indian       sentenced to life imprisonment         Doris collected a basketful of
oceans that produce a spiral             without parole.                        nemoral mushrooms.
chambered shell.
Frank keeps a polished shell of a        negative                               nenuphar
nautilus in his bookcase.                                                       n
                                         neglect                                / SnenyETfBr /
nebula                                                                          Skt > Per > Ar > L
n                                        negligent                              water lily; especially : Egyptian
/ SnebyElE /                                                                    lotus.
L                                        negotiable                             The nenuphar is a common motif in
any of many immense bodies of            adj                                    Egyptian art.
highly rarified gas or dust in           / nDSgPsh(G)EbEl /
interstellar space.                      L                                      neologism
The astronomer identified the            that can be converted into cash or     n
Horsehead Nebula on the chart.           the equivalent value.                  / nGSBlETjizEm /
                                         Leah wondered if the old bills she     Gk > F
nebulous                                 found in the trunk were still          a new word, usage, or expression.
adj                                      negotiable.                            Nelson encountered a neologism in
/ SnebyElEs /                                                                   almost every paragraph of the
L                                        negotiate                              computer article.
vaguely defined, poorly grasped, or
dimly realized.                          negotiator                             neomenia
Melissa’s nebulous fears about the
future interfered with her               negus
enjoyment of the present.


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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

neon                                    nephelometer                           neuralgia
adj                                     n                                      n
/ SnGTBn /                              / TnefESlBmEZE(r) /                    / n(y)VSraljE /
Gk                                      G+G                                    Gk
of, relating to, or resembling the      an instrument for measuring            an acute paroxysmal pain radiating
reddish glow of neon lamps.             cloudiness.                            along the course of one or more
Even though Tim was wearing neon        The nephelometer has been proved       nerves usually without
swimming trunks, his mom had            useful in detecting and measuring      demonstrable changes in the nerve
trouble spotting him on the             air pollution.                         structure.
crowded beach.                                                                 Garret’s neuralgia was so painful
                                        nephew                                 that he sought relief from a
neophyte                                                                       chiropractor.
n                                       nephology
/ SnGETfIt /                                                                   neurasthenic
Gk                                      nephrectomy                            adj
a new convert; especially : a           n                                      / Tn(y)UrasSthenik /
convert to the Christian faith in the   / nDSfrektETmG /                       Gk
early church.                           Gk                                     affected with a syndrome
In just three years St. Cyprian of      the surgical removal of a kidney.      characterized by easy fatigability,
Carthage went from being a              Barry’s kidney was so diseased that    by worrying and depression, and
neophyte to being the bishop of         his physician recommended a            often by headache and digestive
Carthage.                               nephrectomy.                           and circulatory problems.
                                                                               The neurasthenic patient
neossology                              nepotism                               complained of being bored,
n                                       n                                      neglected, and depressed.
/ TnGTBSsBlEjG /                        / SnepETtizEm /
Gk                                      L > It > F                             neurokyme
the study of young birds.               favoritism shown to relatives (as by
The student of neossology was           giving them positions because of       neurological
thrilled to receive a baby parrot for   their relationship rather than on      adj
his birthday.                           their merits).                         / Tn(y)UrESlBjDkEl /
                                        Most employees resent nepotism         Gk
nepenthe                                because it reduces motivation for      of or relating to the scientific study
n                                       advancement via hard work.             of the nervous system.
/ nDSpen(t)thG /                                                               Dr. Will is a specialist in the
Gk                                      nescience                              treatment of neurological
something capable of causing                                                   disorders.
oblivion of grief and suffering.        nescient
The old man sought respite and          adj                                    neurotic
nepenthe from bad memories.             / Snesh(G)Ent /
                                        L                                      neuston
nephalism                               exhibiting or characterized by lack
n                                       of knowledge or                        neutercane
/ SnefETlizEm /                         awareness : ignorant.                  n
Gk                                      George’s nescient response to the      / Sn(y)VZe(r)TkCn /
total abstinence from alcoholic         question about the plot                L + Taino > Sp
beverages.                              demonstrated that he had not read      a subtropical cyclone that is usually
In Muslim countries nephalism is a      the book.                              less than 100 miles in diameter and
way of life for many people.                                                   that draws energy from sources
                                        nettlesome                             common to both the hurricane and
nephelognosy                            adj                                    the frontal cyclone.
n                                       / SneZFlsEm /                          The weather bureau is tracking the
/ TnefESlBgnEsG /                       E+E                                    neutercane to see if it develops into
Gk + Gk                                 causing vexation : irritating.         a hurricane.
scientific observation of clouds.       The city’s traffic situation was
Satellite photos of cloud formations    nettlesome to the visitors from the    neutral
and movements have been a great         small town.
aid in the field of nephelognosy.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

neutralize                              nicotinism                               nidorous
v                                       n                                        adj
/ Sn(y)VtrETlIz /                       / SnikETtGTnizEm /                       / SnIdErEs /
L + Ecf                                 F name + cff                             L
make chemically neither acid nor        the effect of the excessive use of       smelling of or like burning or
base.                                   tobacco.                                 decaying animal matter.
Scientists used nitric acid to          Patients who suffer from nicotinism      The sailors were repulsed by the
neutralize the magnesium                exhibit lung and heart problems.         nidorous bilge water.
hydroxide that had formed on the
space capsule tape when it came in      nictitant                                niece
contact with seawater.
                                        nidicolous                               niggardly
newel                                   adj                                      adj
                                        / nISdikElEs /                           / SnigE(r)dlG /
newspaporial                            L                                        Scand > E
                                        living in a nest; especially : sharing   characterized by a reluctance to
nexus                                   the nest of another kind of animal.      part with money : tightfisted.
n                                       Many insects are nidicolous,             The wealthy banker was best
/ SneksEs /                             sharing the nests of birds who           known for his niggardly spending
L                                       sometimes eat their larvae.              habits.
a connected group or series.
A nexus of events led to the            nidificate                               nightingale
overthrow of the government and         v                                        n
the exile of the king.                  / SnidEfDTkCt /                          / SnItFnTgCl /
                                        L                                        E
nicety                                  build a nest.                            a thrush common in Great Britain
n                                       While recuperating, Jan watched          that is noted for the sweet song of
/ SnIsEZG /                             the robin gather bits of string and      the male often heard at night during
F>E                                     small twigs to nidificate in the         the breeding season.
a dainty, delicate, or elegant thing    maple tree outside the bedroom           Haley was awakened by a
or feature.                             window.                                  nightingale singing outside her
Dad considered a meal at a posh                                                  bedroom window.
restaurant to be a nicety of good       nidifugous
living.                                 adj                                      nightmare
                                        / nISdifyEgEs /                          n
niche                                   L                                        / SnItTma(a)(E)r /
n                                       leaving the nest soon after              E
/ Snich /                               hatching.                                a frightening dream accompanied
L>F                                     Because they are relatively highly       by anxiety or terror.
a place suitable for the capabilities   developed when they hatch, ducks         Cara’s nightmare was caused by
or merits of a person.                  and chickens are nidifugous.             the ghost stories told around the
Wendy felt she had found her niche                                               campfire.
at school in the student government     nidor
association.                            n                                        nihilism
                                        / SnITdO(E)r /                           n
nickelodeon                             L                                        / SnIETlizEm /
n                                       [Note: Alternate pronunciation has       L + Ecf
/ TnikESlPdGEn /                        homonym: niter/nitre.] a strong          a viewpoint that all traditional
G? > Sw + F > G                         smell : reek.                            values and beliefs are unfounded
a theater affording a motion-picture    The nidor of the hot grease warned       and that all existence is
exhibition or a variety show for an     Della that she should lower the          consequently senseless and useless.
admission price of five cents.          temperature.                             The rock star's lyrics were
The silent movies at the                                                         criticized for advocating a bleak
nickelodeon were usually enhanced                                                nihilism.
by piano music.

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

nimiety                                   niveau                                  noctivagant
n                                         n                                       adj
/ niSmIEZG /                              / nGSvP /                               / nBkStivDgEnt /
L                                         F                                       L
excess, redundancy.                       [Note: Plural form is pronounced        going about in the night : night-
Usually Caleb’s writing is concise,       similarly.] a level (as of existence    wandering.
but his most recent essay is a            or achievement) especially in a         The bat, being a noctivagant
glowing example of nimiety.               progression.                            mammal, has inspired many
                                          Ben’s tennis class is at the            legends.
nimious                                   intermediate niveau.
adj                                                                               nocturnal
/ SnimGEs /                               niveous                                 adj
L                                         adj                                     / nBkStErnFl /
[Note: Could be confused with             / SnivGEs /                             L>F
niveous.] excessive, extravagant.         L                                       active at night.
Oscar, who could barely afford to         of, relating to, or resembling snow.    Some zoos have special habitats for
rent a costume for the masked             The niveous landscape looked most       nocturnal animals.
charity ball, found the whole thing       inviting to the cross-country skiers.
oppressively nimious.                                                             nocuous
nineteenth                                adj                                     nodule
                                          / nPSbilGTerG /
ninetieth                                 L > F > E + Ecf                         noegenesis
                                          of or relating to the nobility.
nisei                                     By threat of force the king quelled     noisome
n                                         the nobiliary squabbles.                adj
/ SnGTsC /                                                                        / SnOisEm /
Jpn                                       nobly                                   E
a son or daughter of Japanese                                                     offensive to the senses : noxious,
immigrant parents who is born and         nocent                                  harmful, unwholesome, destructive.
educated in the United States.                                                    A noisome odor emanated from the
Tomoko is the only nisei in her           nociceptor                              plastics factory.
family; all her siblings were born        n
in Japan.                                 / SnPsGTseptE(r) /                      nomenclature
                                          L                                       n
nitidity                                  a part of the body that transmits to    / SnPmEnTklCchE(r) /
n                                         the central nervous system              L
/ niStidEZG /                             injurious or painful stimuli.           the collective names given to or
L + Ecf                                   The spicy salsa activated each          borne by places in a particular
the quality or state of being bright,     nociceptor on Michelle’s tongue,        region or area.
glossy, or lustrous.                      bringing her to tears.                  The nomenclature of Boston streets
The moon’s nitidity helps owls find                                               confused Ling when she first
their prey.                               nocive                                  arrived.
nitrogen                                  / SnPsiv /                              nominal
n                                         L                                       adj
/ SnItrDjDn /                             harmful, injurious.                     / SnBmEnFl /
Gk                                        The laboratory assistant wore a         L
a colorless tasteless odorless            mask to protect himself from nocive     of, relating to, or being a word that
element that as a diatomic gas is         fumes.                                  is otherwise characteristically an
relatively inert and constitutes 78                                               adjective or adverb but that takes a
percent of the atmosphere by                                                      noun construction in a given
volume and occurs as a constituent                                                context.
of all living tissues.                                                            A good example of a nominal word
Lightning causes the oxidation of                                                 is good in “the good die young.”
nitrogen to nitric oxide, which is
rained out as nitrate.

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

nominee                                nonplus                                   nostrum
n                                      v                                         n
/ TnBmESnG /                           / nBnSplEs /                              / SnBstrEm /
L + Ecf                                L                                         L
a person named or proposed for an      cause to be at a loss as to what to       a remedy or medicine of secret
office, duty, or position.             say, think, or do.                        composition recommended by its
The president’s nominee for the        Vince’s aggressive interviewing           preparer but usually lacking general
Supreme Court had to be approved       technique tends to nonplus                repute or acceptance.
by a Senate committee.                 inexperienced candidates.                 Mr. Sherwood insists that his
                                                                                 nostrum will cure warts within a
nomological                            nonsense                                  week.

nonagenarian                           nonuple                                   notabilia
n                                      adj
/ TnBnEjESnerGEn /                     / SnBTn(y)VpEl /                          notarize
L + Ecf                                L>F
a person who is 90 or more and less    consisting of nine : being nine           notoriety
than 100 years old.                    times as great or as many.                n
Ernestus bragged that he was the       There was a nonuple increase in           / TnPZESrIEZG /
only nonagenarian at the rock          the rate of traffic citations after the   L
concert.                               new regulations went into effect.         the condition of being an object of
                                                                                 wide or general attention, interest,
nonchalance                            noontide                                  and comment for something
n                                                                                reprehensible or scandalous.
/ TnBnshESlBn(t)s /                    normocyte                                 A red convertible enhanced
F                                                                                Thurmon’s notoriety.
a display or air of jaunty unconcern   nosocomial
or indifference.                       adj                                       nougat
Sarah reacted with nonchalance         / TnBsESkPmGEl /                          n
when her neighbors complained          L                                         / SnVgEt /
about her unruly dog.                  originating or taking place in a          L > Prov > F
                                       hospital.                                 a confection of nuts or fruit pieces
nonchalant                             Since implementing its new                in a sugar paste.
                                       disinfection protocol, the hospital       Lynn’s boyfriend gave her a box of
nondescript                            has seen a 40 percent drop in             chocolates filled with hazelnut
adj                                    nosocomial infections.                    nougat.
/ TnBndDSskript /
L                                      nostalgia                                 novemdecillion
lacking distinguishing                 n
characteristics.                       / nESstalj(G)a /                          novice
Because he was utterly                 Gk > L                                    n
nondescript, Virgil was the perfect    homesickness.                             / SnBvDs /
infiltrator.                           Theo was overcome with nostalgia          L>F>E
                                       at the sight of a McDonald's in           [Note: The definition provided is
nonmetal                               Istanbul.                                 not the one most commonly
                                                                                 associated with this word.] one who
nonpareil                              nostril                                   has entered a religious house for a
adj                                    n                                         trial period.
/ TnBnpESrel /                         / SnBstrEl /                              The film The Nun’s Story stars
L>F                                    E                                         Audrey Hepburn as a young novice
having no equal : peerless.            either of the outer openings of the       who eventually becomes a nurse in
Tom’s lack of common sense             nose.                                     Africa.
overshadowed his nonpareil             In some cultures, a pierced nostril
intellect.                             adorned with a ring is considered

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

noxious                                  nugatory                                 nummary
adj                                      adj
/ SnBkshEs /                             / Sn(y)VgETtPrG /                        numnah
L                                        L
harmful or destructive to man or to      having little or no consequence :        nunchaku
other organisms.                         worthless.                               n
Emma is studying the noxious             The prize Jeff won at the carnival       / nVnSchBk(T)V /
effects of gasoline fumes.               was just a nugatory plastic trinket.     Jpn dialect
                                                                                  a weapon of Japanese origin made
noxiously                                nugget                                   of two hardwood sticks joined at
                                         n                                        their ends by a short length of
noyade                                   / SnEgDt /                               rawhide, cord, or chain.
                                         unknown                                  Eli insists that a nunchaku with a
nuance                                   a lump; especially : a lump of gold.     Bruce Lee image would make his
n                                        Adrian kept a gold nugget as a           martial arts paraphernalia
/ Sn(y)VTBn(t)s /                        good-luck charm.                         complete.
minute variation : delicate              nuisance                                 nuncupation
gradation : subtle distinction.          n                                        n
The music critic took notes on           / Sn(y)VsFn(t)s /                        / TnEnkyESpCshEn /
every nuance of the performance.         L > F > Ar > E                           L
                                         something that is disagreeable or        an oral will.
nubbin                                   troublesome : annoyance.                 While the sailor was ill aboard
                                         The barking dogs in Jeff’s               ship, he made a nuncupation in
nubilous                                 backyard were a nuisance he could        which he bequeathed his property
adj                                      not ignore.                              to his mother.
/ Sn(y)VbElEs /
L                                        nullibicity                              nuncupative
cloudy, foggy, misty.                    n                                        adj
Trade wind clouds are constantly         / TnElESbisEZG /                         / SnENkyETpCZiv /
piling up in nubilous traffic jams.      L + Ecf                                  L
                                         the quality or state of being            stated verbally : oral—used chiefly
nuchal                                   nowhere.                                 of a will.
adj                                      Natalie accused the state of putting     The terms of Grandpa’s
/ Sn(y)VkEl /                            freedom and basic rights into            nuncupative will were not contested
Ar > L + Ecf                             nullibicity.                             by the family.
of or relating to the nape, the back
part of the neck.                        numb                                     nuptiality
Midge’s new necklace gave her a                                                   n
nuchal rash.                             numerology                               / TnEpshGSalEZG /
nuciform                                 numinous                                 the marriage rate.
adj                                      adj                                      Nuptiality usually increases
/ Sn(y)VsETfOrm /                        / Sn(y)VmEnEs /                          dramatically in June.
L                                        L + Ecf
like a nut in shape.                     dedicated to or hallowed by              nurture
Preston gave Anna a box of               association with a deity : sacred.
nuciform chocolate candies.              A soft light seemed to glow from         nurturer
                                         the numinous vessel on the altar.
nuclear                                                                           nutrient
nugacity                                 n                                        nutrition
                                         / n(y)VSmizmEZDst /
                                         a specialist in the study of coins : a
                                         coin collector.
                                         When Emery wanted to know the
                                         value of a coin, he showed it to his
                                         neighbor, who was a numismatist.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

nutritiously                            oasis                                   obelisk
adv                                     n                                       n
/ n(y)VStrishEslG /                     / PSCsDs /                              / SBbETlisk /
L + Ecf                                 Hamitic? > Gk > L                       Gk
in a manner that promotes growth        a small isolated fertile area that is   an upright four-sided monolithic
and development.                        surrounded by general barrenness        pillar that tapers as it rises and
Judging from the kinds of foods         and typically marked by trees or        terminates in a pyramid.
that George likes, it is not going to   other greenery and that has a water     The Washington Monument is a
be easy to get him to eat               supply.                                 world-famous obelisk.
nutritiously.                           The caravan rested for two days at
                                        the oasis.                              obese
n                                       obdurate                                obesity
/ SnyBlE /                              adj
Tsonga&Venda                            / SBbd(y)ErDt /                         obfuscate
an antelope of southeastern Africa      L
with vertical white stripes on the      resistant to persuasion or softening    obfuscatory
sides of the body and with shaggy       influences : unyielding.                adj
hair along the male underside.          Fritz is maintaining an obdurate        / BbSfEskETtPrG /
The nyala thrives in the heaths and     opposition to the new highway           L
forests of the Ethiopian highlands.     bypass.                                 tending to make difficult of
                                                                                comprehension or interpretation.
nyctalopia                              obedient                                Oleg found the obfuscatory
n                                       adj                                     language in his apartment lease
/ TniktESlPpGE /                        / PSbGdGEnt /                           infuriating.
Gk                                      L>F>E
a defect of vision characterized by     submissive to the restraint, control,   obituary
reduced visual capacity in faint        or command of authority.
light or at night.                      The toddler was not very obedient       objective
Nyctalopia may be corrected by          and even seemed to enjoy being          n
vitamin therapy.                        defiant.                                / EbSjektiv /
nymph                                   obeisance                               a lens or system of lenses that
                                        n                                       forms an image of the object in the
nystagmus                               / PSbCsFn(t)s /                         focal plane of an eyepiece (as in a
n                                       L>F>E                                   telescope).
/ nDSstagmEs /                          an attitude of respect : deference,     The light-gathering power of a
Gk                                      homage.                                 telescope is a function of the
a rapid involuntary oscillation of      Josh demonstrated his obeisance         diameter of its objective.
the eyeballs occurring normally         for the famous professor by writing
with dizziness during and after         down her every word.                    objurgation
bodily rotation or abnormally after
injuries.                               obeisant                                objurgatory
Bart suffered from nystagmus for        adj                                     adj
several days following the boxing       / PSbCsFnt /                            / EbSjErgETtPrG /
match.                                  F                                       L
                                        servile, obsequious.                    expressing sharp reprimand.
oakenshaw                               By the third course, the waiter’s       The mayor sent an objurgatory
                                        obeisant behavior was starting to       letter to the negligent department
oakum                                   get on Tara’s nerves.                   head.

oarlock                                                                         obligatory

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

oblique                                  obsecration                            obstreperous
adj                                      n                                      adj
/ ESblGk /                               / TBbsESkrCshEn /                      / EbzStrep(E)rEs /
L                                        L                                      L
neither perpendicular nor parallel :     a supplicatory prayer mentioning in    stubbornly defiant : resisting
having a slanting direction or           its appeal things or events held to    control or restraint often with a
position.                                be sacred.                             show of noisy disorder.
All triangles have at least one          “Through thy victory over death, O     The noisy diner was asked to leave
oblique side.                            Lord, deliver us” is an obsecration.   but became obstreperous and had
                                                                                to be escorted out of the restaurant.
obliquity                                obsequious
n                                        adj                                    obtenebrate
/ ESblikwEZG /                           / EbSsGkwGEs /                         v
E > F > L + Ecf                          L>E                                    / BbStenETbrCt /
the angle between the planes of          meanly or servilely attentive.         L
Earth’s equator and orbit.               Marshall tends to be obsequious        darken by or as if by shadowing.
Seasonal changes in temperature          toward Mrs. Kirby.                     As the storm approaches, dark
are due to the obliquity of Earth’s                                             clouds obtenebrate the valley.
orbital path.                            obsessive
obliterative                             obsolescence
oblivion                                 obsolete                               adj
                                                                                / BbStEndEnt /
obloquy                                  obstacle                               L
n                                        n                                      blunting irritation or lessening pain.
/ SBblEkwG /                             / SBbz(T)tikEl /                       Aspirin is used for its obtundent as
L                                        L                                      well as its antipyretic qualities.
a strongly and often intemperately       something that hinders progress :
condemnatory utterance.                  hindrance.                             obviate
Mr. Willett recited the names of the     Carrie believes there is no obstacle
pranksters with uncharacteristic         she cannot overcome in her quest       ocarina
obloquy.                                 to become an Olympian.                 n
                                                                                / TBkESrGnE /
obmutescence                             obstetrician                           L > It
n                                        n                                      a simple wind instrument or toy of
/ TBbmyEStesFn(t)s /                     / TBbzTteStrishEn /                    the flute class having a mouthpiece
L                                        L                                      and fingerholes.
a becoming or keeping silent.            a physician or veterinarian            Professor Miller unearthed a four-
To ensure the press’s obmutescence       specializing in birth and its          hole ocarina used by the ancient
regarding the case, the judge            antecedents and sequels.               Mayas.
issued a gag order.                      The obstetrician often relied more
                                         on instincts and old-fashioned         occasion
obnounce                                 psychology than he did on his
                                         medical expertise.                     occasionally
obreptitious                                                                    adv
adj                                      obstetrics                             / ESkCzhEnFlG /
/ TBTbrepStishEs /                                                              L
L                                        obstinate                              now and then : here and there.
done or obtained by trickery or by       adj                                    The Spelling Bee replied, “Years
concealing the truth.                    / SBbztEnDt /                          ago I was just an ordinary bee
The undercover agent passed the          L                                      minding my own business, smelling
obreptitious information to his          pertinaciously adhering to an          flowers all day, and occasionally
superiors.                               opinion, purpose, or course.           picking up part-time work in
                                         Franklin has missed at least two       people’s bonnets.”
obrogate                                 promotions because he is so
                                         obstinate about doing things his
                                         own way.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

occipital                                ocelot                                 odontoloxia
adj                                      n                                      n
/ BkSsipEZFl /                           / SPsETlBt /                           / PTdBntESlBksGE /
L                                        Nahuatl > F                            Gk
of or relating to the back part of the   a medium-sized American wildcat        irregularity of the teeth.
head of a vertebrate or an insect.       ranging from Texas to Patagonia        Odontoloxia can usually be
In the accident Mr. Stein’s occipital    and having a tawny yellow or           corrected with braces.
bone was fractured.                      grayish coat that is dotted and
                                         striped with black.                    odyssey
occision                                 The ocelot appears in Aztec stone      n
n                                        carvings.                              / SBdEsG /
/ BkSsizhEn /                                                                   Gk
L                                        ochlophobia                            a long wandering or series of
an act or instance of slaughtering.      n                                      adventurous journeys.
Ecologists are protesting the            / TBklESfPbGE /                        When he talks about his odyssey,
wholesale occision of sea turtles        Gk                                     André means the summer he spent
within national boundaries.              morbid fear of crowds.                 working his way across Europe.
                                         Alice never attended rock concerts
occlude                                  because of her ochlophobia.            oeuvre
occlusion                                ochlophobist                           / SHv(rF) /
n                                                                               L>F
/ ESklVzhEn /                            octane                                 a substantial body of work
L                                                                               constituting the lifework of a
the front formed by a cold front         octavo                                 writer, an artist, or a composer.
overtaking a warm front and lifting                                             The poet won the award not for any
the warm air above Earth’s surface.      octogenarian                           particular work, but for his oeuvre.
As the advancing cold air met the
warm front, a cold occlusion             octopus                                officiousness
developed that caused the
temperature to drop.                     oculauditory                           ogle

occult                                   oculogyric                             ogre
                                         adj                                    n
occultation                              / TBkyElPSjIrik /                      / SPgE(r) /
n                                        L + Gk > L                             L>F
/ TB(T)kElStCshEn /                      relating to or involving circular      a hideous giant represented in fairy
L>E                                      movements of the eyeballs.             tales and folklore as feeding on
the shutting off of the light of a       The silent movie comedian              human beings : monster.
celestial body by the intervention       specialized in oculogyric close-ups.   Jason wrote a tale about an ogre
of some other celestial body.                                                   who lived under a bridge and
A solar eclipse is the occultation of    oddment                                feasted on every tenth person who
the Sun by the Moon.                                                            crossed.
occurrence                                                                      ohm
                                         odium                                  n
occurring                                                                       / SPm /
                                         odograph                               G name
ocellus                                  n                                      [has homonyms: aum, om] the
n                                        / SPdETgraf /                          practical meter-kilogram-second
/ PSselEs /                              Gk                                     unit of electric resistance that is
L                                        an instrument for automatically        equal to the resistance of a circuit
one of usually three simple eyes in      plotting the course and distance       in which a potential difference of 1
an insect located in a triangle          traveled by a vehicle.                 volt produces a current of 1
between the compound eyes.               Now that Carlos has a car              ampere.
A single ocellus can do no more          equipped with a Global Positioning     Michael was confused by the Greek
than detect light, but more than one     System receiver, an odograph is the    symbol for omega in his textbook
grouped together can produce an          logical next step.                     until he realized that it was the
image of the surrounding area.                                                  abbreviation for an ohm.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

oilcloth                                 olfactory                                 ombrophilous
n                                        adj                                       adj
/ SOilTklOth /                           / BlSfakt(E)rG /                          / BmSbrBfElEs /
Gk > L > F > E + E                       L                                         Gk
cotton cloth coated with a dull or       of, relating to, or connected with        capable of withstanding or thriving
glossy finish made of oil, clay, and     the sense of smell.                       in the presence of much rain.
colored pigment to make the cloth        Humans have relatively weak               After three days of rain, Kathy
waterproof.                              olfactory abilities compared to           hoped that her garden plants were
A kitchen stove, a table covered         many other animals.                       ombrophilous.
with oilcloth and two chairs could
be seen from the doorway.                oligarchic                                ombrophobous
                                         adj                                       adj
ointment                                 / TBlESgBrkik /                           / BmSbrBfEbEs /
                                         Gk                                        Gk
okapi                                    of, relating to, characteristic of, or    incapable of withstanding long-
n                                        supporting a group or organization        continued rain.
/ PSkBpG /                               that is controlled by a privileged        Ombrophobous plants would perish
African name                             few.                                      in a Seattle garden.
an African animal that is related to     A society dominated by large-scale
the giraffe but has a relatively short   oligarchic organizations eventually       ombudsman
neck and solid reddish coat with         develops an oligarchic political          n
black and cream rings on its legs.       regime.                                   / SBmTbUdzmEn /
In Zaire the meat of the okapi is a                                                Sw
favorite food of the Pygmies.            oligarchy                                 [Note: Plural form is pronounced
                                         n                                         identically.] one that investigates
oleaginous                               / SBlETgBrkG /                            complaints (as from students or
adj                                      Gk + Gk                                   customers), reports findings, and
/ TPlGSajEnEs /                          government by the few.                    helps to achieve equitable
Gk > L > F                               Over the years, the tiny state’s          settlements.
characterized by smooth                  government eroded from a                  The college hired a special
courteousness or sickly                  democracy to an oligarchy.                ombudsman to investigate
sentimentality.                                                                    widespread charges of unfair
Grandpa was too smart to be taken        oligophrenia                              grading practices.
in by oleaginous salesmen.               n
                                         / TBlDgPSfrGnGE /                         omega
oleander                                 Gk
n                                        mental deficiency.                        ominous
/ SPlGTandE(r) /                         Although afflicted with                   adj
L                                        oligophrenia, Cynthia was capable         / SBmEnEs /
an ornamental evergreen shrub that       of taking care of herself in her          L
has narrow leaves and clusters of        home.                                     indicative of future misfortune or
fragrant white to red flowers.                                                     calamity : causing anxiety and fear.
The sweet aroma of the oleander          ombrometer                                For an instant there was an
wafted through the window.               n                                         ominous stillness, quieter and more
                                         / BmSbrBmEZE(r) /                         silent than ever before, as if even
oleiculture                              Gk + Gk                                   the air was holding its breath.
                                         an instrument for measuring the
olericulture                             quantity of precipitation that falls at   omissible
n                                        a given place and time.
/ SBlErETkElchE(r) /                     Precipitation in the area was             omission
L + Ecf + L                              studied by collecting data from           n
a branch of horticulture that deals      radar scans and an ombrometer.            / PSmishEn /
with the production, storage,                                                      L
processing, and marketing of                                                       the act of failing to insert, include,
vegetables.                                                                        or name.
As a college subject, olericulture is                                              Katie refused to believe that Joe’s
generally divided into market                                                      omission of her name on the guest
gardening and truck farming.                                                       list was accidental.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

omitted                                 onager                                 onomatope
v                                       n                                      n
/ PSmiZDd /                             / SBnEjE(r) /                          / SBnEmETtPp /
L                                       Gk > L > E                             Gk
left out.                               an Asian wild ass that usually has a   a word formed in imitation of
Harry Nebuchadnezzar Schwartz           broad dorsal stripe.                   natural sounds.
usually omitted his middle name         Although the onager looks like a       Tim found the onomatope kaboom
when he filled out forms.               donkey, it runs as swiftly as a        in today’s comic strip.
omnibus                                                                        onomatopoeia
adj                                     oncology
/ SBmnDTbEs /                           n                                      onslaught
L                                       / TBNSkBlEjG /                         n
of, relating to, or providing for       Gk                                     / SOnTslOt /
many things or classes at once :        the study of tumors.                   D>E
containing or including many            Ed is focusing on oncology in his      an especially fierce attack.
items.                                  medical studies and is particularly    The Britons were unable to
Ursula purchased an omnibus             interested in pancreatic cancer.       withstand the onslaught of the
edition of Shakespeare’s works,                                                Saxons.
which was bound in leather.             oneiric
omnigenous                              onerous                                n
                                        adj                                    / BnStBjEnG /
omnilegent                              / SBnErEs /                            Gk + Gk
adj                                     L>F>E                                  the biological development or
/ BmSnilEjEnt /                         that involves, imposes, or             course of development of an
L                                       constitutes much oppressive or         individual organism.
reading or having read everything :     irksome work, effort, difficulty, or   The role of brain ontogeny in
characterized by encyclopedic           responsibility.                        Alzheimer’s disease requires that
reading.                                Ron grudgingly completed the           an autopsy be performed to obtain
The omnilegent student was a            onerous task of cutting and            a definitive diagnosis.
valued member of the academic           stacking the firewood.
team.                                                                          onus
                                        oniomania                              n
omnipotence                                                                    / SPnEs /
n                                       onion                                  L
/ BmSnipEZEn(t)s /                                                             burden.
L                                       onionskin                              Caring for her six children was an
almighty or unlimited power.                                                   onus for the young widow.
With an attitude of omnipotence,        onlooker
the government presumed that it                                                onychosis
could take any land it wanted.          onomastics                             n
                                        n pl                                   / TBnESkPsDs /
omnipotent                              / TBnESmastiks /                       Gk
                                        Gk                                     [has near homonym: onchoses] a
omniscience                             the science or study of the origins    disease of the nails.
                                        and forms of proper names of           Even though he had only a mild
omniscient                              persons or places.                     onychosis, Eric was not allowed to
adj                                     A book on onomastics explained         work in the lab.
/ BmSnishEnt /                          that the name Donald is a Scottish
L                                       Gaelic word meaning “world             onyx
having infinite awareness,              ruler.”                                adj
understanding, and insight :                                                   / SBniks /
knowing all things.                                                            Gk
In most monotheistic religions, God                                            of the color jet black.
is understood to be both omniscient                                            The teacher told the schoolchildren
and all-powerful.                                                              that space looks onyx from the

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

oometer                                ophelimity                             opportune
n                                                                             adj
/ PSBmEZE(r) /                         ophicleide                             / TBpE(r)StVn /
Gk + Gk                                                                       L>F>E
an instrument for measuring eggs.      ophiolatry                             fit, suitable, or convenient for a
Mr. Horton uses an oometer to          n                                      given purpose.
determine which eggs go in which       / TBfGSBlEtrG /                        We could not have chosen a more
cartons.                               Gk                                     opportune spot for a picnic than the
                                       the worship of or the attribution of   shore of Lake Walcott.
oophagous                              divine or sacred nature to snakes.
adj                                    Before the rise of monotheism,         opportuneness
/ TPSBfEgEs /                          ophiolatry in one form or another
Gk                                     was nearly universal among             opposite
living or feeding on eggs—used of      ancient peoples.                       n
insects or reptiles.                                                          / SBpEzDt /
Oophagous insects help control the     ophthalmic                             L
bug population.                                                               the person occupying the position
                                       ophthalmology                          across from one’s own in square
opacity                                                                       dancing.
n                                      opiate                                 Daniel’s opposite in the square
/ PSpasEZG /                                                                  dance is a better dancer than he.
L>F                                    opine
the quality or state of a body that    v                                      opposition
renders it impervious to the rays of   / PSpIn /                              n
light : lack of transparency or        L>F                                    / TBpESzishEn /
translucency.                          state as an opinion.                   L
The envelope’s opacity made it         There are some things humans           a configuration in which one
impossible for Garnet to see if        think they know, and some that they    celestial body is opposite another in
there was a check inside.              merely opine.                          the sky.
                                                                              The Moon, when full, is said to be
opah                                   opodeldoc                              in opposition to the Sun.

opalescent                             opossum                                opprobrious
                                       n                                      adj
opaque                                 / ESpBsEm /                            / ESprPbrGEs /
adj                                    Algonquian                             L>F>E
/ PSpCk /                              [Note: Could be confused with          conveying or intending to convey
L                                      possum.] an omnivorous largely         disgrace.
impervious to the rays of visible      nocturnal and arboreal mammal          The principal denounced the
light : not transparent or             that has a prehensile tail and an      vandals in opprobrious terms.
translucent.                           abdominal pouch to which the
The Dornans hung an opaque             young are transferred at birth.        opprobrium
window shade in their son’s            Arnold caught the opossum eating
nursery.                               the cat’s food.                        oppugn
opeidoscope                            oppidan                                / ESpyVn /
n                                      adj                                    L
/ PSpIdETskPp /                        / SBpEdEn /                            challenge the accuracy, propriety,
Gk                                     L                                      probity, or other quality of.
an instrument using light rays, a      of or relating to a town or to town    The newspaper had a tendency to
flexible membrane, and a mirror to     as opposed to country.                 oppugn the actions of Congress in
exhibit the vibratory motions          The painter sold his oppidan scenes    its editorials.
caused by sounds.                      of market day on the sidewalk,
Mr. Peterson used a simple             earning just enough to live on.
opeidoscope to compare the sounds
of musical instruments.


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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

optimistic                              orchard                                ordnance
adj                                     n                                      n
/ TBptESmistik /                        / SOrchErd /                           / SOrdnEn(t)s /
L > F + Ecff                            L+E                                    F
anticipating the best.                  a plantation or enclosure containing   [has homonym and near homonym:
Jackie remained optimistic about        fruit trees, nut-bearing trees, or     ordinance and ordonnance] military
winning the national spelling bee.      sugar maples.                          supplies including weapons,
                                        In the orchard were bare fruit trees   ammunition, and combat vehicles.
option                                  growing in the winter-browned          As quartermaster, Sergeant Russo
                                        grass.                                 was responsible for all of the
opulent                                                                        ordnance on the base.
adj                                     orchestra
/ SBpyElEnt /                           n                                      orfevrerie
L                                       / SO(r)kDstrE /                        n
exhibiting or characterized by          Gk                                     / OrfevrESrG /
wealth or affluence.                    a large group of players of musical    F
Leather wall covering is one            instruments including typically        goldsmith's or jeweler’s work :
feature of the room’s opulent           strings, woodwinds, brasses, and       jewelry.
décor.                                  percussion organized especially for    Dave carefully looked over the
                                        performing one of the larger forms     orfevrerie, trying to decide what his
opusculum                               of concert music or for                wife would like for her birthday.
n                                       accompanying an oratorio or other
/ PSpEskyElEm /                         dramatic work.                         organ
L                                       The orchestra dazzled the audience
a minor work (as of literature).        with its performance of                oriel
Although critics regarded Jerome’s      Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.           n
first novel as an opusculum, it has                                            / SPrGEl /
steadily risen on the best-seller       orchid                                 L? > F > E
lists.                                  n                                      [has homonym and near homonym:
                                        / SOrkDd /                             oriole and aureole] a large bay
oracle                                  Gk > L                                 window of semihexagonal or
                                        a distinctive and often brightly       semisquare plan projecting from
orally                                  colored tropical flower with three     the face of a wall and supported by
                                        petals.                                a corbel or bracket.
orator                                  Many varieties of the orchid can be    Megan set her chair in the
n                                       found in Hawaii.                       pleasantly sunny oriel and sat
/ SOrEZE(r) /                                                                  down to read.
L                                       orchidaceous
one distinguished for skill and         adj                                    orifice
power in public speaking.               / TOrkDSdCshEs /                       n
Daniel Webster was an eminent           Gk > L + Ecf                           / SOrEfDs /
19th-century orator.                    expressing or characterized by a       L>F
                                        showy or ostentatious quality.         the mouth or opening of something.
orbital                                 Today’s journalists generally          Each sprinkler head had an orifice
n                                       eschew orchidaceous writing.           of one-half inch.
/ SO(r)bEZFl /
L                                       ordeal                                 oriflamme
a solution of the Schröedinger
wave equation describing a              ordination                             origami
possible mode of motion of a single     n                                      n
electron in an atom or molecule.        / TO(r)dFnSCshEn /                     / TOrESgBmG /
There is theoretically no outer limit   L                                      Jpn
to the orbital of an electron.          the act or state of being admitted     the art or process of Japanese paper
                                        into the Christian ministry.           folding.
                                        At her ordination Heather              After only a few hours of studying
                                        delivered a sermon on the 23rd         origami, Veronica was creating
                                        Psalm.                                 paper cranes by the dozen.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

original                                 orrery                                 oscilloscope
                                         n                                      n
oriole                                   / SOrErG /                             / ESsilETskPp /
                                         E name                                 L + Gk > L
orison                                   an apparatus that illustrates the      an instrument in which the
n                                        relative positions and motions of      variations in a fluctuating electrical
/ SOrEsEn /                              bodies in the solar system.            quantity appear as a visible wave
L>F>E                                    Sheila fashioned a crude orrery out    form on the fluorescent screen of a
prayer.                                  of coat hangers and Styrofoam.         cathode-ray tube.
The pastor designated time in the                                               The technician used an
service for a silent orison for the      orthodox                               oscilloscope to help him pinpoint
hostages.                                adj                                    the problem.
                                         / SO(r)thETdBks /
ormolu                                   Gk + Gk                                oscitation
n                                        marked by conformity to doctrines
/ SO(r)mETlV /                           or practices especially in religion    osculatory
F                                        that are held as right or true by      adj
brass made to imitate gold and used      some authority, standard, or           / SBskyElETtPrG /
in mounts for furniture and for          tradition.                             L
other decorative purposes.               In orthodox Jewish synagogues,         of, relating to, or characterized by
The large mirror’s frame was             men and women are seated               kissing.
decorated with ormolu.                   separately.                            Julie had no idea Shaun was
                                                                                talking about kissing when he
ornithopter                              orthoepy                               asked if she would help him refine
                                         n                                      his osculatory skill.
orofacial                                / SO(r)thETwepG /
adj                                      Gk > L                                 osmosis
/ TPrESfCshEl /                          the study of the pronunciation of a    n
L                                        language.                              / BzSmPsDs /
of or relating to the mouth and face.    Differences between the English        Gk
Roseanne underwent plastic               spoken in the United States and        the flow or diffusion that takes
surgery to correct orofacial             that spoken in England is a topic of   place through a semipermeable
abnormalities.                           orthoepy familiar to many linguists.   membrane typically separating
                                                                                either a solvent and a solution or a
orotund                                  orthogonal                             dilute solution and a concentrated
adj                                                                             solution.
/ SOrETtEnd /                            orthographize                          An experiment using red dye gave a
L                                                                               dramatic demonstration of osmosis.
unduly full and strong in delivery       oscillating
or style : pompous, bombastic.                                                  osprey
The more nervous Jeff gets while         oscillatory                            n
giving a speech, the more orotund        adj                                    / SBsprG /
his delivery becomes.                    / SBsElETtPrG /                        L>F>E
                                         L                                      a large hawk that is a dark brown
orphan                                   characterized by the action of         color above and mostly pure white
n                                        swinging or moving backward and        below and feeds on fish that it
/ SOrfEn /                               forward like a pendulum.               captures by hovering and diving.
Gk > L                                   The oscillatory motion of the          Because of its preferred diet, the
a child without parents.                 airplane caused Deborah to             osprey is also called a “fish hawk.”
Oliver Twist is a famous fictional       become airsick.
orphan.                                                                         ossicle
orphanage                                                                       / SBsDkEl /
                                                                                any of certain small bones.
                                                                                The sports doctor told Nate that an
                                                                                ossicle in his left ear had been
                                                                                damaged by the blow from his

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            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

ossuary                                   otitis                                 outrageous
                                          n                                      adj
ostensible                                / PStIZDs /                            / TaUtSrCjEs /
adj                                       Gk > L                                 F
/ BSsten(t)sEbEl /                        inflammation of the ear.               extravagant, fantastic.
L                                         Jeff’s earache was diagnosed as a      The sophomores created an
professing genuineness and                symptom of otitis of the middle ear.   outrageous float for the
sincerity but often concealing the                                               homecoming parade.
real aspects behind a plausible           otolaryngology
facade.                                   n                                      ouzo
Mr. Elton’s ostensible reason for         / TPZETlarDnSgBlEjG /
stopping by was to ask whether Mr.        G                                      ovation
Woodhouse’s party could be made           a branch of medicine that deals
up in the evening without him.            with the ear, nose, and throat and     overbearance
                                          their disorders and diseases.
ostentatiously                            When Hazel’s sore throat persisted,    overcompensate
                                          her family physician recommended
osteoclasis                               an appointment with a specialist in    override
osteoporosis                                                                     overriding
n                                         otomycosis
/ TBstGPpESrPsDs /                        n                                      overt
Gk + L                                    / TPZETmISkPsDs /
a condition characterized by              Gk                                     overweening
decrease in bone mass with                disease of the ear produced by the     adj
decreased density and enlargement         growth of fungi in the external        / TPvE(r)SwGniN /
of bone spaces producing porosity         auditory canal.                        E
and fragility.                            Jane’s otomycosis proved resistant     unduly confident.
Diane’s doctor recommended                to treatment.                          Elaine's overweening pretensions
increasing her calcium intake to                                                 fell flat when it was revealed that
prevent osteoporosis.                     ottoman                                she could not even speak French.
ostracism                                 / SBZEmEn /                            oviparous
                                          Turk name > It > F                     adj
ostracize                                 an overstuffed footstool.              / PSvipErEs /
                                          Andrew spilled orange juice all        L
ostrich                                   over the ottoman.                      producing eggs that develop and
                                                                                 hatch outside the maternal body.
otalgia                                   oubliette                              The platypus is an oviparous
n                                         n                                      mammal.
/ PStalj(G)E /                            / TVblGSet /
Gk                                        L>F                                    ovoid
pain in the ear : earache.                a dungeon with an opening only at
Otalgia is more common in                 the top and often a concealed pit      oxbow
children than in adults.                  below the floor.
                                          Every medieval French castle           oxen
otherwise                                 Karen visited on the tour had an
adv                                       oubliette.                             oxidation
/ SELE(r)TwIz /
E                                         ourselves                              oximeter
in a different way or manner :
differently.                              outlet                                 oxlip
Bret told us to always back up our
work; otherwise, we would be

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

oxydactyl                               oyster                                 paella
adj                                     n                                      n
/ TBksDSdaktFl /                        / SOistE(r) /                          / pESelE /
Gk + Gk                                 Gk > L > F > E                         L > F > Catal
having slender tapered digits.          a marine bivalve mollusk found         a saffron-flavored stew containing
The glove was made for a delicate,      along seacoasts or in the mouths of    rice, chicken, seafood, and various
oxydactyl hand.                         rivers.                                vegetables.
                                        Dad would not eat an oyster.           Paella can be an expensive dish to
oxygen                                                                         prepare because saffron threads
n                                       ozonic                                 are so costly.
/ SBksDjDn /
Gk > F                                  ozonosphere                            pageant
a nonmetallic element that is
normally a colorless odorless           pabulum                                pageanteer
tasteless nonflammable gas, is the      n                                      n
most abundant of the elements on        / SpabyElEm /                          / TpajEnSti(E)r /
Earth, and occurs in air and water,     L                                      L + Ecf
in most common rocks and                rudimentary or sentimental writing.    an actor or other performer in a
minerals, and in a great variety of     The famous poet’s early works          spectacle.
organic compounds.                      were pure pabulum.                     The pageanteer startled Benji by
Oxygen is the second most                                                      leaping onto the table.
abundant element in Earth’s             pachinko
atmosphere.                             n                                      pageantry
                                        / pESchiN(T)kP /                       n
oxylophyte                              Jpn                                    / SpajEntrG /
n                                       a Japanese gambling device             L>E
/ BkSsilETfIt /                         resembling a pinball machine but       colorful, rich, or splendid display.
Gk                                      with automatic payoff as in a slot     Rachel could not wait to see the
a plant that prefers or is restricted   machine.                               pageantry of the medieval festival.
to an acid soil.                        Since the 1950s, playing pachinko
Sphagnum moss, which grows in           has been a favorite pastime among      pagination
bogs, is a common oxylophyte.           the youth of Japan.
oxymoron                                pachyderm                              n
n                                       n                                      / pESgPdE /
/ TBksDSmPrTBn /                        / SpakDTdErm /                         Skt > Pg
Gk                                      Gk > F                                 a Far Eastern structure resembling
a combination for epigrammatic          one of a group of thick-skinned        a tower that is often richly
effect of contradictory or              mammals (as an elephant or             decorated and typically has
incongruous words.                      rhinoceros).                           projecting roofs that curve upward
Dexter feels that the phrase jumbo      When the circus came to town, it       between each story and that is
shrimp is an oxymoron.                  usually featured at least one          erected usually as a temple or
                                        pachyderm.                             memorial.
oyez                                                                           The tour guide claimed that 1000
v                                       pacificator                            pounds of gold went into the
/ PSyC /                                                                       decoration of the ornate pagoda.
F                                       pacifist
—used by criers of courts as a                                                 pajamas
command to secure silence and           paddock                                n
attention before a proclamation.                                               / pESjBmEz /
“Oyez, oyez, oyez!” yelled the crier    padishah                               Hindi
as the judge entered the courtroom.     n                                      loose clothing designed for
                                        / SpBdETshB /                          sleeping and relaxation.
                                        Per                                    Danielle received some flannel
                                        a powerful important personage :       pajamas for Christmas.
                                        George Lucas is a padishah of
                                        motion picture epics.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

paladin                                  palilalia                              palliate
n                                        n                                      v
/ SpalEdFn /                             / TpalESlClGE /                        / SpalGTCt /
L > It > F                               Gk > L                                 L
a champion of a medieval prince : a      a speech defect marked by              moderate the intensity of : lessen.
legendary hero.                          abnormal repetition of syllables,      For many prisoners, books palliate
A medieval prince could be               words, or phrases.                     the boredom of isolation from
challenged to a duel, but his            Palilalia is a symptom of some         society.
paladin would do the actual              mental disorders.
fighting.                                                                       palliative
palatable                                n                                      pallor
adj                                      / SpalDm(p)Tsest /                     n
/ SpalDZEbEl /                           Gk                                     / SpalE(r) /
Etruscan? > L > E + Ecf                  a parchment, tablet, or other          L
agreeable to the palate or taste :       portion of writing material that has   abnormal paleness.
savory.                                  been used twice or three times after   The pallor of Julian’s stage
Mom poured cheese over the               the earlier writing has been erased.   makeup gave his girlfriend a fright.
spinach to make it more palatable.       Special equipment will help
                                         determine whether the old              palmyra
palatial                                 parchment Colin found is a             n
                                         palimpsest.                            / palSmIrE /
palatially                                                                      L > Pg
adv                                      palindrome                             a tall fan palm that is native to
/ pESlCshElG /                           n                                      Africa but widely cultivated in
L + Ecff                                 / SpalDnTdrPm /                        India.
in a manner suitable for a palace.       Gk                                     The palmyra made a stately
The new hotel was palatially             a word, verse, or sentence that        addition to Ramu’s garden.
surrounded by high stone walls           reads the same backward or
with elaborate bronze gates.             forward.                               palooka
                                         Ada struggled to contrive a            n
palaver                                  palindrome centered around her         / pESlVkE /
n                                        own name.                              unknown
/ pESlavE(r) /                                                                  an inexperienced or incompetent
Gk > L > Pg                              palladium                              boxer.
profuse, idle, or worthless talk :       n                                      The boxing manager told his
chatter.                                 / pESlCdGEm /                          fighter to box like a palooka for
Dean left when the seminar               Gk > L                                 one round, then come out swinging
discussion degenerated into              something that affords effectual       hard.
palaver.                                 protection or security.
                                         Many consider the Second               palpability
palazzo                                  Amendment to be the palladium of
                                         democracy.                             palpable
paleontology                                                                    adj
n                                        pallbearer                             / SpalpEbEl /
/ TpClGTBnStBlEjG /                      n                                      L
Gk > F                                   / SpOlTberE(r) /                       easily perceptible by the mind :
a science that deals with the life of    L > E+E                                obvious, manifest.
past geological periods, is based on     an attendant at a funeral who helps    The injustice of the situation was
the study of fossil remains of plants    carry the coffin.                      palpable to even the least fair-
and animals, and gives information       Each pallbearer wore a carnation       minded individual present.
especially about the chronology of       in his lapel.
the history of Earth.
Theo traces his interest in              pallescent
paleontology back to his discovery
of fossils in his yard when he was a     pallesthesia
young boy.

                                                        Page 181
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

palpebral                                panacean                              panettone
adj                                      adj                                   n
/ SpalpEbrEl /                           / TpanESsGEn /                        / TpBnEStPnG /
L                                        Gk > L + Ecf                          L > It
[has near homonym: palpable] of,         having the properties of a remedy     a usually yeast-leavened holiday
relating to, or located on or near the   for all ills and difficulties.        bread containing raisins and
eyelids.                                 Advertisements for the new pain       candied fruit peels.
Mike’s palpebral spasms were             medicine suggest that it has          Tad received a panettone in the
alleviated when he was treated with      panacean qualities.                   mail from his Italian grandmother.
a muscle relaxant.
                                         panache                               panickiness
palpitant                                n                                     n
adj                                      / pESnash /                           / SpanDkGnDs /
/ SpalpEZEnt /                           L > It > F                            Gk > E
L                                        dash or flamboyance in style or       the quality or state characterized by
trembling, quivering, throbbing.         action.                               or resulting from sudden
Darryl jabbed his fork into the          The novel’s great strength is the     overpowering fright.
palpitant pudding.                       splendidly depicted panache of the    In her panickiness in calling for an
                                         protagonist.                          ambulance, Gretchen forgot to give
palpitation                                                                    the street address.
n                                        panary
/ TpalpEStCshEn /                                                              panoramic
L                                        pancreatitis
an abnormally rapid beating of the       n                                     pantomime
heart when excited by violent            / TpaNkrGEStIZDs /                    n
exertion, strong emotion, or             Gk > L                                / SpantETmIm /
disease.                                 inflammation of the gland that        Gk > L
Ron could feel the palpitation in his    produces insulin.                     a dramatic performance using no
chest as he approached Marie to          The physician recommended             dialogue.
ask her out on a date.                   immediate surgery for Gordon’s        The sixth-grade class put on a
                                         acute pancreatitis.                   pantomime of the story “Androcles
palustrine                                                                     and the Lion.”
adj                                      pandiculation
/ pESlEstrDn /                           n                                     papacy
L                                        / panTdikyESlCshEn /
living or thriving in a marshy           L                                     paparazzi
environment.                             a stretching and stiffening           n pl
The alligator is an excellent            especially of the trunk and           / TpBpESrBtsG /
palustrine hunter.                       extremities (as when fatigued and     It name
                                         drowsy or after waking from sleep).   free-lance photographers who
palynology                               A cat usually extends its claws       aggressively pursue celebrities in
                                         during pandiculation.                 order to take candid photographs.
pamphlet                                                                       Many people still blame the
                                         panegyric                             paparazzi for their apparent role in
pamphleteer                              n                                     the death of Princess Diana.
n                                        / TpanESjirik /
/ Tpam(p)flDSti(E)r /                    Gk > L                                papeterie
Gk > L name + Ecf                        an oration or writing expressing
a writer of pamphlets attacking          praise.                               paprika
something or urging a cause.             Walt Whitman composed a famous        n
Thomas Paine made a name for             panegyric on the occasion of          / pESprGkE /
himself in colonial America as a         Abraham Lincoln’s death.              Gk > Serb > Hung
pamphleteer.                                                                   a condiment consisting of the dried
                                         panelist                              finely ground pods of various
panacea                                                                        cultivated sweet peppers.
                                                                               Paprika has been a prized export of
                                                                               Hungary for centuries.


                                                     Page 182
           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

parable                                  parallel                                parapet
n                                        adj                                     n
/ SparEbEl /                             / SparETlel /                           / SparEpDt /
L                                        Gk                                      L > It
a usually short fictitious story that    extending in the same direction and     a rampart raised upon or above the
illustrates a moral attitude or a        everywhere equidistant.                 main wall in a permanent
religious principle.                     The parallel lines of the railroad      fortification.
Ella’s Sunday school teacher began       tracks tipped off analysts to the       The princess walked along the
every class with a parable.              location of the munitions plant.        parapet every evening at dusk,
                                                                                 watching for the return of her
parabolize                               paralogize                              beloved.
parachute                                / pESralDTjIz /                         paraph
                                         Gk                                      n
paraclete                                reason falsely : draw conclusions       / SparEf /
n                                        not warranted by the premises.          Gk > L
/ SparETklGt /                           Although James tends to                 a flourish at the end of a signature
Gk                                       paralogize, he is so eloquent that      sometimes used as a sort of rude
[Note: Could be confused with            his listeners often overlook his        safeguard against forgery.
parrakeet.] one called to aid or         faulty reasoning.                       Delia always signs her name with
support : an advocate.                                                           an elaborate paraph ending in a
The popular senator was hailed as        paramedic                               smiley face.
a paraclete of civil rights.
                                         paramount                               paraphernalia
paradigm                                 adj                                     n pl
n                                        / SparETmaUnt /                         / TparEfE(r)SnClyE /
/ SparETdIm /                            L > F > AF                              Gk > L
Gk                                       superior to all others (as in power,    articles of equipment.
an outstandingly clear or typical        position, or importance).               Mark lugged all his photographic
example or pattern.                      Victor holds the paramount seat on      paraphernalia to every spelling
The paradigm of sin and salvation        the library’s board of directors.       bee.
underlies much of 17th-century
English poetry.                          paranoia                                paraphrasable
                                         n                                       adj
paradise                                 / TparESnOi(y)E /                       / SparETfrCzEbEl /
                                         Gk                                      Gk + Ecf
parador                                  a tendency on the part of               capable of being restated in another
                                         individuals or of groups toward         form usually for clearer and fuller
paradox                                  suspiciousness and distrustfulness      exposition.
n                                        of others that is based not on          The teacher asked the students if
/ SparETdBks /                           objective reality.                      the meaning of the poem was
Gk                                       Paranoia of government                  paraphrasable.
a statement or sentiment that is         eavesdropping caused members of
seemingly contradictory or opposed       the militia to encrypt their            parasite
to common sense and yet perhaps          communications.
true in fact.                                                                    parasol
The homework assignment was to           paraparesis                             n
write an essay on the following          n                                       / SparETsOl /
paradox: “To guarantee freedom           / TparEpESrGsDs /                       L > It > F
of religion, the government must be      Gk                                      a lightweight umbrella used as a
free from religion.”                     partial paralysis affecting the lower   sunshade.
                                         limbs.                                  Georgina decided to splurge on an
paragraph                                Kent’s paraparesis was caused by        antique parasol even though she
                                         a skateboarding accident.               knew she’d never actually use it.



                                                      Page 183
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

parenthesize                              parley                                  parquet
                                          n                                       n
parfait                                   / SpBrlG /                              / pBrSkC /
n                                         L>F                                     F
/ pBrSfC /                                [has homonym: parlay]                   a patterned flooring.
L>F                                       conversation, discussion.               Terry had expensive parquet
a cold dessert consisting of              Mr. Elton and Harriet had a very        installed in the foyer.
alternating layers of fruit, syrup, ice   interesting parley about what could
cream, and whipped cream.                 be done and should be done.             parsimony
Following a light lunch, Carmen
ordered a parfait of tropical fruits.     parliament                              parsnip
pariah                                    parochial                               / SpBrsnip /
n                                         adj                                     L>F>E
/ pESrIE /                                / pESrPkGEl /                           a biennial plant with yellow
Tamil                                     L > F > AF > E                          flowers and a long, thick, sweet,
a person despised or rejected by          of or relating to a church parish.      white root used as a vegetable.
society : outcast.                        Five of Susan’s friends attended        Jake yanked a parsnip from his
The candidate became a pariah to          parochial schools.                      garden.
his party, and many members
refused to be seen with him.              parodist                                parterre
parietal                                  parody                                  / pBrSte(E)r /
adj                                       n                                       L>F
/ pESrIEZFl /                             / SparEdG /                             the part of the floor of a theater
L>F                                       Gk                                      behind the orchestra.
of, relating to, or located in the        [has homonym: parity] a writing in      For the season premiere, the seats
upper posterior part of the head.         which the language and style of an      in the parterre were reserved for
The X ray revealed no damage to           author or work is closely imitated      the stockholder of the opera
Hernando’s parietal bone.                 for comic effect or in ridicule.        company.
                                          The Battle of the Frogs and the
parity                                    Mice is a Hellenistic parody of the     parthenogenesis
n                                         Iliad.                                  n
/ SparEZG /                                                                       / TpBrthEnPSjenEsDs /
L                                         paroxysm                                Gk
[has homonym: parody] the quality         n                                       reproduction that involves
or state of being equal : close           / SparEkTsizEm /                        development of a gamete without
equivalence or resemblance.               Gk                                      fertilization.
American automobile                       a sudden, violent, and                  Parthenogenesis occurs commonly
manufacturers believe they have           uncontrollable action or occurrence     among some stick insect species.
achieved parity with their foreign        of emotion.
competitors.                              When Jeff unknowingly sat on the        partridge
                                          whoopie cushion, Al burst into a        n
parkin                                    paroxysm of laughter.                   / SpBrtrij /
parlance                                  paroxysmal                              any of several game birds
n                                         adj                                     belonging to the same subfamily as
/ SpBrlEn(t)s /                           / TparEkSsizmEl /                       the bobwhite.
F                                         Gk > L > F                              A partridge fluttered out of the tall
idiom, phraseology.                       marked or accompanied by sudden         grass and startled Katrina.
In educational parlance the new           attacks or spasms (as of a disease).
high school is a “magnet school.”         Mike’s whooping cough was
                                          treated with antibiotics in its early
                                          paroxysmal stage.

                                                        Page 184
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

parturition                              pasteurize                             patois
n                                        v                                      n
/ TpBrZESrishEn /                        / Spas(h)chETrIz /                     / SpaTtwB /
L                                        F name + Ecf                           F
the action or process of giving birth    subject to heating long enough to      a dialect other than the standard or
to offspring.                            kill disease-causing                   literary dialect.
In some cultures, women return to        microorganisms.                        Parisians considered the French
manual labor within hours of             Dairies pasteurize milk before         spoken in the English court to be a
parturition.                             delivering it to stores.               patois.

pasigraphy                               pastiche                               patriarch
                                         n                                      n
pasimology                               / paSstGsh /                           / SpCtrGTBrk /
n                                        It > F                                 Gk
/ TpasESmBlEjG /                         a usually incongruous medley of        a man regarded as father or founder
Gk? + Gk + Gk                            different styles and materials :       (as of a race, science, religion, or
the study of gestures as a means of      hodgepodge.                            class of people).
communication.                           Jordan considers the design for the    In many religious circles Adam is
Native American sign language is         new library a pretentious pastiche.    considered to be the patriarch of
one means of communication                                                      the human race.
studied in pasimology.                   pasture
                                         n                                      patrician
pasqueflower                             / Spas(h)chE(r) /                      adj
                                         L>F>E                                  / pEStrishEn /
pasquinade                               land that is used for the grazing of   L
n                                        animals.                               of, relating to, or characteristic of
/ TpaskwESnCd /                          Every morning the cows returned        gentle or noble birth or of breeding
It > F                                   to the grassy pasture.                 and cultivation.
a lampoon or satire usually having                                              Escorting Cassie to her debutante
a political significance.                patache                                ball is a patrician experience Rob
The president’s misadventure                                                    will never forget.
quickly became the subject of an         patella
editorial pasquinade.                    n                                      patrikin
                                         / pEStelE /
passementerie                            L                                      patriot
                                         kneecap.                               n
passenger                                Shelby bumped her patella against      / SpCtrGEt /
                                         the bottom of the desk when she        Gk > L > F
passerine                                stood up too quickly.                  a person who loves his country and
adj                                                                             defends and promotes its interests.
/ SpasErDn /                             pathos                                 The foreign spy convinced others
L                                        n                                      that he was a flag-waving patriot.
of or relating to the largest order of   / SpCTthBs /
birds including more than half of        Gk                                     patronymic
all living birds and consisting          an element in experience or in
chiefly of songbirds of perching         artistic representation evoking pity   patzer
habits.                                  or compassion.                         n
Mr. Perrault, an avid birder, told       The actress was highly praised for     / SpBtsE(r) /
us that passerine birds have a           the pathos she evoked in her death     G
maximum life-span of about ten           scene.                                 an inept chess player.
years in the wild.                                                              When Drew won the chess game so
                                                                                easily, he jokingly called his
pasteurization                                                                  opponent a “patzer.”


                                                      Page 185
         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

paucity                                pearlescent                            pedicure
/ SpOsEZG /                            peccadillo                             pedodontist
L                                      n                                      n
a small number : fewness.              / TpekESdi(T)lP /                      / TpGdPSdBntDst /
The choir suffered from a paucity      L > Sp                                 Gk
of male voices.                        a slight offense or petty fault.       a specialist in the branch of
                                       The defense lawyers lost the case      dentistry that is concerned with the
paunchiness                            when they tried to classify high       dental care of children.
                                       treason as a “minor peccadillo.”       The pedodontist recommends that
paupiette                                                                     infants and toddlers not be allowed
n                                      peccant                                to fall asleep with a bottle of milk
/ pPSpyet /                            adj                                    or juice in their mouths.
F                                      / SpekEnt /
a thin slice of meat or fish wrapped   L                                      peevishly
around a filling (as of forcemeat).    guilty of a moral offense : sinning,   adv
At the new restaurant Carol            corrupt.                               / SpGvDshlG /
enjoyed a veal paupiette stuffed       The council members railed against     E
with ham and cheese.                   the peccant mayor.                     in a manner marked by ill temper.
                                                                              There, you see,” he said peevishly;
pavement                               peculiar                               “I’m even afraid to make a positive
pavilion                               pecuniary
n                                      adj                                    peirastic
/ pESvilyEn /                          / pDSkyVnGTerG /                       adj
L>F>E                                  L                                      / pISrastik /
a large often sumptuous tent.          taking the form of or consisting of    Gk
The servants scurried to set up the    money.                                 fitted for trial : experimental.
queen’s pavilion before the Sun        Margaret values her                    The new drug has been approved
went down.                             grandmother’s engagement ring for      only for peirastic use with patients
                                       its sentimental rather than its        who volunteer to take it.
pavonine                               pecuniary worth.
adj                                                                           pejorative
/ SpavETnIn /                          pedagogist                             adj
L                                      n                                      / pDSjOrEZiv /
of, relating to, or resembling the     / SpedETgBjDst /                       L
peacock.                               Gk                                     having a tendency to make or
Audrey cooled herself by waving a      a specialist in education.             become worse : depreciatory,
pavonine fan.                          It didn’t take a pedagogist to know    disparaging.
                                       the school was overcrowded.            The critic’s pejorative comments
paysanne                                                                      angered the entire cast.
adj                                    pedantic
/ pCSzan /                             adj                                    pelagic
F                                      / pDSdantik /
prepared (as with diced root           L? > It > F + Ecf                      pelican
vegetables) in country or simple       excessively meticulous.
style.                                 Frazier’s pedantic approach bored      pelisse
Errol served a paysanne sauce with     the few remaining audience             n
the tenderloins.                       members.                               / pDSlGs /
peaceable                              pedestrian                             [has homonym: police] a woman’s
adj                                    adj                                    loose lightweight cloak with wide
/ SpGsEbEl /                           / pDSdestrGEn /                        collar and fur trimming.
L > F > E + Ecf                        L                                      Grandmother’s old pelisse was a
marked by freedom from war,            marked by drabness or dullness :       perfect costume for our production
strife, hostilities, or disorder.      commonplace.                           of A Christmas Carol.
Aggressive doctrines are               The critic wrote the play off as a
incompatible with any peaceable        pedestrian imitation of                pellagra
administration of the government.      Shakespeare.

                                                     Page 186
           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

pellucid                                 penitence                              penury
                                         n                                      n
pemphigoid                               / SpenEZEn(t)s /                       / SpenyErG /
                                         L                                      L
penchant                                 sorrow for sins or faults.             scantiness.
n                                        Because of Ella’s true penitence,      Jane cited the penury of intelligent
/ SpenchEnt /                            her best friend was quick to forgive   conversation at the children’s table
L>F                                      her for her breach of confidence.      as her reason for wanting to sit
a strong leaning or attraction;                                                 with the adults in the main dining
broadly : liking.                        penitentiary                           room.
While traveling overseas, Brad           n
developed a penchant for Turkish         / TpenEStench(E)rG /                   peony
coffee.                                  L>E                                    n
                                         a public institution in which          / SpGEnG /
pencraft                                 offenders against the law are          E
                                         confined for detention or for          any of a genus of perennial often
pendulum                                 punishment, discipline, and            double-flowered plants with large
n                                        reformation and in which they are      pink, white, red, or yellow showy
/ SpenjElEm /                            generally compelled to labor.          flowers.
L                                        The judge sentenced the bank           Ben placed a brightly colored
a body suspended from a fixed            robber to 25 years in the state        peony in a tall vase.
point so as to swing freely to and       penitentiary.
fro under the action of gravity and                                             perambulate
commonly used to regulate the            pennant                                v
movements of clockwork and other         n                                      / pESrambyETlCt /
machinery.                               / SpenEnt /                            L
Trina stops the grandfather clock’s      L                                      travel over or through especially on
pendulum each evening so that the        a flag or banner.                      foot.
chimes will not ring during the          Whenever the queen was in              Sid and Amy often perambulate the
night.                                   residence, her pennant was raised      park on sunny days.
                                         on the palace flagpole.
penguin                                                                         perceive
penicillin                               n                                      perceptible
n                                        / penStathTlBn /
/ TpenESsilDn /                          Gk                                     percipient
L                                        a contest in the modern Olympic
a mixture of antibiotic relatively       Games involving participation by       percnosome
nontoxic acids produced especially       each contestant in horseback riding,   n
by molds of the genus Penicillium.       shooting, fencing, swimming, and       / SpErknETsPm /
When penicillin did not cure             running.                               Gk
Frankie’s ear infection, the doctor      Miguel is practicing four hours a      a small body occurring in the
prescribed a different antibiotic.       day for the upcoming pentathlon.       androcyte of a fern.
                                                                                Under the microscope, the dark
peninsula                                pentecostys                            shape of the percnosome was
n                                                                               clearly visible.
/ pDSnin(t)s(E)lE /                      penumbra
L                                        n                                      percolate
a portion of land nearly surrounded      / pDSnEmbrE /                          v
by water and connected with a            L                                      / SpErkETlCt /
larger body by an isthmus.               a shadow cast (as in an eclipse)       L
Florida is actually a very large         where the light is partly but not      prepare by causing (a liquid) to
peninsula.                               wholly cut off by the intervening      pass through (as coffee) in order to
                                         body.                                  extract the essence.
                                         Bert caused a penumbra on the          Sal did not allow enough time to
                                         screen when he walked in front of      percolate his coffee before he had
                                         the slide projector.                   to go to work.


                                                       Page 187
           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

percussor                                perfervid                                  peripheral
n                                        adj                                        adj
/ pE(r)SkEsE(r) /                        / TpErSfErvDd /                            / TpESrif(E)rEl /
L                                        L                                          Gk
a small hammer with a rubber head        extremely or excessively fervent :         located away from a center or a
used as a diagnostic tool by             zealous, impassioned.                      central portion.
physicians.                              In front of the Capitol a man was          Although Kerry’s main interest lies
Dr. Goldman tested Paula’s               giving a perfervid speech on the           in literature, she has peripheral
reflexes with a percussor.               evils of national taxation.                interests in art history and
peregrinate                              perfidious
v                                                                                   periphery
/ SperEgrDTnCt /                         perfidy                                    n
L                                                                                   / pESrif(E)rG /
travel on foot : walk, tour.             perforate                                  Gk
Nicki hopes to peregrinate across                                                   the external boundary or surface of
England in the fall.                     pergelisol                                 any body or area.
                                         n                                          Many villages dotted the periphery
peremptory                               / pErSjelETsOl /                           of the extinct volcano.
adj                                      L
/ pESrem(p)t(E)rG /                      permanently or perennially frozen          periphrasis
L                                        ground : permafrost.                       n
putting an end to or precluding a        Chan’s theory is that there are            / pESrifrEsDs /
right of action, debate, or delay.       large oil deposits beneath the             Gk
Mr. Stone interrupted Cindy’s            pergelisol.                                the use of a longer phrasing in
wrong answer by raising his hand                                                    place of a possible shorter and
in a peremptory gesture.                 perigee                                    plainer form of expression.
                                         n                                          Frustrated by the document’s
perennate                                / SperE(T)jG /                             endless periphrasis, Ludwig threw
v                                        Gk                                         up his hands in despair.
/ SperETnCt /                            the point in the orbit of a satellite of
L                                        Earth that is nearest to the center of     perishable
live over from season to season :        Earth.                                     adj
persist.                                 As the communications satellite            / SperDshEbEl /
Ornamental banana trees will             neared perigee, its signal became          L > F > E + Ecf
seldom perennate outdoors north of       stronger.                                  subject to quick deterioration or
the subtropics.                                                                     spoilage except under proper
                                         perinatal                                  conditions (as of temperature or
perennial                                                                           moisture content).
adj                                      peripatetic                                The advent of refrigeration
/ pESrenGEl /                            adj                                        changed the way perishable foods
L                                        / TperEpESteZik /                          are packaged.
continuing or lasting through            Gk
several years—used specifically of       performed or performing while              peristalsis
a plant that dies back seasonally        moving about : itinerant.                  n
and produces new growth from a           Adrian spent an exciting three             / TperESstOlsDs /
part that lives over from season to      years as a peripatetic journalist          Gk
season.                                  before settling in Chicago.                successive waves of involuntary
The garden is bare of flowers                                                       contraction passing along the walls
because the perennial plants have        peripety                                   of the intestine and forcing the
been cut down for their winter rest.     n                                          contents onward.
                                         / pESripEZG /                              Disruption of peristalsis can lead
perezone                                 Gk > F                                     to digestion problems.
                                         a sudden or unexpected reversal of
                                         circumstances or situation in a
                                         literary work.
                                         The peripety in the last act of the
                                         play stunned the audience.

                                                       Page 188
         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

perjury                                perplexing                              persillade
n                                      adj                                     adj
/ SpErj(E)rG /                         / pE(r)SpleksiN /                       / TpersGSBd /
L > AF > E                             L                                       F
the voluntary violation of an oath.    that causes an agitated or confused     dressed with or containing parsley.
One thing is certain after the         mental condition.                       Marina’s dinner guests enjoyed a
testimony: Either Mr. Jakes or Mr.     Silvio found English grammar            flavorful sea bass in a persillade
Cleveland has committed perjury.       terribly perplexing.                    sauce.

perlustrate                            perquisite                              persimmon
                                       n                                       n
permanence                             / SpErkwEzDt /                          / pE(r)SsimEn /
                                       L                                       Algonquian
permeable                              a privilege, gain, or profit            a medium-sized tree of the southern
                                       incidental to an employment in          and eastern United States with hard
permeate                               addition to regular salary or wages.    fine-grained wood, oblong leaves,
v                                      A perquisite attractive to many         and bell-shaped flowers followed
/ SpErmGTCt /                          business executives is unlimited use    by an orange several-seeded berry
Gk                                     of a cellular telephone.                that is edible when fully ripe but
spread or diffuse through.                                                     usually extremely astringent when
Igor wiped up the spill                persecute                               unripe.
immediately, lest the smell of         v                                       Leroy’s mouth puckered when he
formaldehyde permeate the room.        / SpErsDTkyVt /                         bit into an unripe persimmon.
pernicious                             harass in a manner to injure, grieve,   personification
adj                                    or afflict usually because of some
/ pE(r)SnishEs /                       difference of opinion.                  personnel
L                                      The revolutionary extremists vowed
highly injurious or destructive :      to persecute the peasants who           perspicacious
deadly.                                would not support their cause.          adj
The doctors finally eradicated the                                             / TpErspESkCshEs /
pernicious infection from the          perseverance                            L + Ecf
patient’s lungs.                       n                                       of acute mental vision or
                                       / TpErsESvirEn(t)s /                    discernment.
peroration                             L                                       The chairman attributed the
n                                      continued or steadfast pursuit or       company’s record profits to
/ TperESrCshEn /                       prosecution of an undertaking or        perspicacious management.
L                                      aim.
a flowery, highly rhetorical speech.   After much perseverance, Frank          perspicuity
Trudy’s peroration was lost on her     induced the most upright female
audience at the school board           mind in creation to stoop in charity    perspiration
meeting.                               to a secret engagement.
perpendicular                          persevere
perpetual                              persiflage                              adj
adj                                    n                                       / TpErtFnSCshEs /
/ pE(r)Spech(Ew)El /                   / SpErsETflBzh /                        L
L>F>E                                  F                                       stubbornly unshakable.
everlasting, eternal.                  frivolous bantering talk : a            There was something mysterious in
Shawna expected to enjoy               frivolous and somewhat derisive         the moody and dogged silence of
perpetual bliss in heaven.             manner of treating a subject.           this pertinacious companion.
                                       As the teams moved up and down
                                       the court, both benches kept up a       pertinent
                                       constant stream of persiflage.

                                                    Page 189
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

perusal                                 petchary                               phalanx
n                                                                              n
/ TpESrVzEl /                           petechia                               / SfCTlaNks /
L? > E + E                                                                     Gk
the action of reading through or        petrogeny                              a group or body in close formation.
over with some attention and            n                                      Sarah craned her neck in wonder
typically for the purpose of            / pDStrBjEnG /                         as the phalanx of military jets flew
discovering or noting one or more       Gk + Gk                                over in tight formation.
specific points.                        the science of the origin of rocks.
The legal advisor’s perusal of the      A vacation trip to the Grand           phansigar
proposed contract identified many       Canyon sparked Lauren’s interest
points of concern.                      in petrogeny.                          pharaoh
pervasive                               petroleum                              / Sfe(T)rP /
adj                                                                            Egypt > Heb > Gk > L
/ pE(r)SvCsiv /                         petulance                              a ruler of ancient Egypt.
L + Ecf                                                                        Tutankhamen is one pharaoh
that permeates or tends to              petulant                               whose name most people recognize.
permeate.                               adj
The turkey farm had a pervasive         / SpechElEnt /                         pharisaical
odor that clung to clothes.             L                                      adj
                                        characterized by temporary or          / TfarESsCDkEl /
pervicacious                            capricious ill humor : peevish.        Aram > GK > L + E
                                        The striking ballplayers were          making an outward show of piety
perwitsky                               characterized as spoiled, petulant,    and morality but lacking the inward
                                        and self-obsessed.                     spirit : hypocritical.
pessimist                                                                      Cardinal Newman spoke of the vast
n                                       petunia                                numbers of pharisaical individuals
/ SpesEmDst /                           n                                      among baptized Christians.
L>F                                     / pDStVnyE /
one inclined to put the least           L>F                                    pharmaceutical
favorable construction on actions       a common garden plant with
and happenings, to emphasize            funnel-shaped flowers of many          pharos
adverse aspects, conditions, and        colors and patterns.                   n
possibilities, or to anticipate the     Russell pulled a purple petunia        / SfCTrBs /
worst possible outcome.                 from the flower bed.                   Gk
Being a pessimist made keeping                                                 a lighthouse or beacon to guide
friends very difficult for Mark.        phaeton                                seamen.
                                        n                                      Leland said the restaurant acted
pestilence                              / SfCEtFn /                            like a pharos for all those at sea off
n                                       Gk > L                                 the tip of the island.
/ SpestElEn(t)s /                       [has near homonym: Phaëthon] an
L                                       open automobile with two cross         pharynx
a contagious or infectious epidemic     seats, usually four doors, and a
disease that is virulent and            folding top.
devastating.                            Charles almost bought the 1931
Pestilence has historically been one    Rolls Royce phaeton at the auction.
of society’s main causes of death.
pestle                                  n
n                                       / TfalESkrPsDs /
/ SpesEl /                              Gk
L>F>E                                   baldness.
a usually club-shaped implement         Phalacrosis is an inherited
for pounding or grinding                characteristic.
substances especially in a mortar.
Grandma bought a brass mortar
and pestle from an antique dealer.

                                                     Page 190
            2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

phase                                     philistine                             phloem
n                                         adj                                    n
/ SfCz /                                  / SfilETstGn /                         / SflPTem /
Gk                                        Heb > Gk                               Gk > G
[has homonyms: fays, faze] a              of, relating to, or characterized by   a complex tissue in the vascular
homogeneous, physically distinct,         crass materialism and insensitivity    system of higher plants functioning
and mechanically separable portion        to aesthetics.                         chiefly in distributing food
of matter that is present in a            Nineteenth-century essayists           materials but also in support and
nonhomogeneous physical-                  derided the English middle class as    storage.
chemical system and that may be           being vulgar and philistine.           Mr. Cartwright pointed out the
either a single compound or a                                                    xylem and the phloem on the newly
mixture.                                  phillumenist                           cut tree.
Water exists in the solid phase as        n
ice, in the liquid phase as water,        / fDSlVmEnDst /                        phlox
and in the gaseous phase as vapor         Gk > L + Ecf                           n
or steam.                                 one who collects matchbooks or         / SflBks /
                                          matchbox labels.                       Gk > L
pheasant                                  The phillumenist kept a fire           any plant of a genus of American
n                                         extinguisher near his prize            herbs having red, purple, white, or
/ SfezFnt /                               collection.                            variegated flowers.
Gk > L > F > AF > E                                                              Dean planted phlox along the
any of numerous large, often long-        philology                              sidewalk.
tailed, and brilliantly colored Old
World birds with legs adapted for         philomath                              phonasthenia
running and scratching the ground                                                n
where most of their food (as seeds        philosopher                            / TfPnEsSthGnGE /
or worms) is found.                                                              Gk
After a morning of hunting, Larry         phlebitis                              weakness or hoarseness of voice.
returned with a pheasant, two             n                                      After the football game some of the
rabbits, and a wild duck.                 / flDSbIZDs /                          cheerleaders complained of
                                          Gk + Lcf                               phonasthenia.
phenomenon                                inflammation of a vein.
n                                         If phlebitis is not treated early, a   phosphoresce
/ fESnBmETnBn /                           blood clot can form in the inflamed    v
Gk > L                                    vein.                                  / TfBsfESres /
an observable fact or event.                                                     Gk > L > F
The civil rights movement began as        phlebotomize                           glow especially in the dark.
a startling phenomenon to many                                                   Emmet’s jigsaw puzzle will
complacent Americans.                     phlegm                                 phosphoresce after being exposed
                                                                                 to a strong light source.
pheon                                     phlegmatic
                                          adj                                    photogenic
phew                                      / flegSmaZik /
                                          Gk                                     photogrammetry
phial                                     calm, composed, undemonstrative.
                                          Phlegmatic game-show contestants       photograph
philatelist                               are usually not as entertaining as
                                          those who show excitement.             photophygous
philately                                                                        adj
n                                                                                / fPStBfEgEs /
/ fESlaZFlG /                                                                    Gk + Gk + Ecf
Gk > F                                                                           preferring or thriving in shade.
[has near homonym: flatly] stamp                                                 Ferns and hostas are photophygous
collecting.                                                                      plants often used in gardens.
Philately can be an excellent
inexpensive hobby.


                                                        Page 191
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

photosynthesis                          phyllophorous                           phytophilous
n                                       adj                                     adj
/ TfPZPSsin(t)thEsDs /                  / fDSlBf(E)rEs /                        / fIStBfElEs /
Gk + Gk                                 Gk + Gk                                 Gk + Gk + Ecf
synthesis of chemical compounds         producing leaves : leaf-bearing.        living or feeding on plants.
with the aid of light.                  Softwoods come from coniferous          The forest fire deprived many
Photosynthesis in plants provides       trees, while hardwoods come from        phytophilous animals of their
them with necessary carbohydrates.      phyllophorous trees.                    habitat and food.

phraseology                             phylon                                  pianissimo
/ TfrCzGSBlEjG /                        physically                              piazza
Gk > L                                  adv                                     n
choice of words : vocabulary.           / SfizDk(E)lG /                         / pGSazE /
The candidate’s careful                 Gk + Ecff                               L > It
phraseology avoided any hint of         in respect to the body.                 an arcaded and roofed gallery that
controversy.                            It was physically impossible for the    often surrounds an open court.
                                        campers to hike another mile.           The tourists ran to the abandoned
phrasing                                                                        monastery’s piazza when the rain
n                                       physician                               started pouring down.
/ SfrCziN /
Gk > L                                  physicist                               pica
style of expression : wording.          n                                       n
In writing poetry, phrasing is          / SfizEsDst /                           / SpIkE /
critically important.                   Gk                                      ML
                                        a specialist in the science of matter   [has homonym: pika] a size of type
phrenology                              and energy and their interactions.      equivalent to 12 point.
n                                       The physicist explained how a laser     Part of Katie’s proofreading job
/ frDSnBlEjG /                          is used to read what is recorded on     was to add another line of pica to
Gk + Gk + Ecf                           a compact disc.                         pages that had enough space.
the study of the conformation of the
skull as indicative of mental           physics                                 picaresque
faculties and traits of character.                                              adj
Phrenology enjoyed great popular        physiognomy                             / TpikESresk /
appeal well into the 20th century       n                                       Sp
but has been wholly discredited by      / TfizGSB(g)nEmG /                      relating to or being a type of prose
scientific research.                    Gk                                      fiction in which the principal
                                        the technique or art of discovering     character is a rogue or vagabond
phylactery                              temperament and character from          and the narrative is a series of
n                                       outward appearance (as from facial      incidents or episodes.
/ fDSlakt(E)rG /                        features).                              In a typical picaresque novel, the
Gk                                      The artist’s careful study of           hero has many adventures.
either of two small square leather      physiognomy showed up in his
boxes containing slips inscribed        brilliant caricatures of politicians.   picayune
with scriptural passages and                                                    adj
traditionally worn by Jewish males      physique                                / TpikGSyVn /
during morning prayer.                                                          L > Prov > F
Milton explained that a phylactery      phytocoenosis                           of little value : paltry, measly.
is worn as a reminder to keep the       n                                       The other players chided the
laws of Judaism.                        / TfIZPsGSnPsDs /                       halfback for his picayune
                                        Gk                                      contribution to the team.
phylliform                              the whole body of plants occupying
adj                                     a particular habitat.
/ SfilETfOrm /                          William studied the effects of acid
Gk + Ecf                                rain on the Adirondack
having the shape of a leaf.             phytocoenosis.
Every fall, phylliform silhouettes
adorn the windows of Mrs.
Gaskin’s classroom.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

piccalilli                                pigeon                                 pinnacle
n                                         n                                      n
/ SpikETlilG /                            / SpijEn /                             / SpinDkEl /
unknown                                   L>F>E                                  L
a relish of chopped vegetables and        [has homonym: pidgin] a bird           a lofty mountain peak.
pungent spices.                           having a stout body with rather        The clouds obscured the pinnacle
Wanda put a dab of piccalilli in her      short legs and smooth and compact      from the view of those in the valley
tuna salad.                               plumage.                               below.
                                          A pigeon fluttered about the eaves
piccata                                   of the old barn.                       pinnigrade
n                                                                                adj
/ pDSkBZE /                               pignorate                              / SpinETgrCd /
F > It                                                                           L
thin slices of meat (as veal) sautéed     pilaster                               walking by means of fins or
and served in a lemon and butter          n                                      flippers.
sauce.                                    / pDSlastE(r) /                        The seal and the walrus are
Julia served veal piccata and             Gk > L > It > F                        pinnigrade animals.
asparagus at Jack’s birthday              an upright architectural member
dinner.                                   that is structurally a vertical        pinocytosis
                                          support but architecturally treated
piccolo                                   as a column that usually partially     pintle
                                          projects from the wall and may be
pickle                                    load-bearing or merely applied as      pioneer
v                                         surface decoration.                    adj
/ SpikEl /                                The architect explained that           / TpIESni(E)r /
D? > E                                    because the pilaster was merely a      F
[has homonyms: pickel, picol,             decoration, removing it for the        of, relating to, or characteristic of
picul, pikel, pikol] steep in a           room’s renovation would be             early settlers or their time.
solution of salt or vinegar for           permissible.                           Julie worked last summer in a
preservation.                                                                    restored pioneer village.
Every year, the Johnsons pickle           pillar
enough onions to give a jar to                                                   pious
everyone in the neighborhood.             pillory                                adj
                                          n                                      / SpIEs /
picnicking                                / SpilErG /                            L
                                          F>E                                    devout.
pictorialism                              a device formerly used for the         The pious Jewish historian saw in
                                          public punishment of wrongdoers        Israel’s exile God’s punishment for
picturesque                               that consists of a wooden frame        sin.
                                          with holes in which the head and
pidan                                     hands can be locked.                   piquancy
n                                         Pam took a snapshot of Julian          n
/ pGSdBn /                                standing by a pillory in the           / SpGkEnsG /
Chinese                                   reconstructed colonial village.        F + Ecf
[has near homonym: piton] duck                                                   the quality of being agreeably
eggs preserved in brine to which          piloncillo                             stimulating to the palate :
lime, ashes, and tea are added.           n                                      pleasantly tart.
Art’s grandmother makes authentic         / TpGlPnSsG(T)(y)P /                   Colette especially liked the
pidan.                                    Sp                                     piquancy of Cajun cuisine.
                                          unrefined sugar especially when
piecemeal                                 molded into cones or sticks.           piqued
adv                                       Rosita grated piloncillo into a bowl   v
/ SpGTsmG(E)l /                           of custard.                            / pGkt /
Gaulish > L > F > E + E                                                          F
one piece at a time : little by little.   pinioned                               [has homonyms: peaked, peeked]
The magazine published the novel                                                 excited or aroused by a
piecemeal for several weeks.                                                     provocation, challenge, or rebuff.
                                                                                 The envelope sealed with sealing
piety                                                                            wax piqued Helen's curiosity.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

pirouette                                pityriasis                             plagiarize
n                                        n                                      v
/ TpirESwet /                            / TpiZESrIEsDs /                       / SplCjETrIz /
F                                        Gk                                     L + Ecf
a full turn on the toe or ball of one    one of several skin diseases marked    present as new and original an idea
foot in ballet.                          by the formation and peeling of        or product derived from an existing
The pirouette is one of the most         scales.                                source.
striking movements in a dancer’s         Uncle Nick’s pityriasis prevents       Simon knew that it would be better
repertoire.                              him from sleeping well.                not to turn in an essay at all than to
piscatorial                              pivot
                                         n                                      plaintiff
pistachio                                / SpivEt /                             n
n                                        L>F                                    / SplCntDf /
/ pDSstashGTP /                          a person or thing on or around         L>F>E
Gk > L > It                              which something turns or depends :     [has near homonym: plaintive] one
the edible green seed of a small tree    central point.                         who commences a personal action
of southern Europe and Asia              The pivot of controversy is            or lawsuit to obtain a remedy for an
Minor.                                   Roberta’s questionable handling of     injury to one’s rights.
Patricia placed a pistachio on each      public funds.                          The plaintiff was suing the hospital
parfait.                                                                        for negligence because he suffered
                                         pivotally                              bacterial infection after surgery.
n                                        pizzeria                               planetarium
/ SpistEn /                              n
L > It > F                               / TpGtsESrGE /                         plangi
the part of an engine that is forced     L > It + Itcf
back and forth inside a cylinder due     An establishment (as a bakery,         plantar
to combustion.                           restaurant, shop) whera pizzas are
Kyle learned to identify a piston in     made and sold.                         planxty
the automobile repair class.             Hank waited tables in the pizzeria
                                         on weekends.                           plasticize
                                         pizzicato                              platinum
piteous                                  adv
adj                                      / TpitsDSkBZ(T)P /                     platypus
/ SpiZGEs /                              It                                     n
E                                        played by plucking with the            / SplaZEpEs /
arousing or deserving pity or            fingers.                               Gk
compassion.                              The score called for the violins to    a small egg-laying aquatic mammal
The piteous kitten stood shivering       play the passage pizzicato.            of southern and eastern Australia
in the snow.                                                                    and Tasmania having a fleshy bill
                                         placable                               resembling that of a duck, dense
pitiable                                                                        blackish brown fur, five-toed
                                         placatory                              webbed feet, and a broad flattened
piton                                                                           tail.
                                         placebo                                Cindy has asked for a pet platypus
pittance                                                                        for her birthday.
n                                        placet
/ SpitFn(t)s /                           n                                      plauditory
L>F>E                                    / SplCsDt /
a usually small often barely             L                                      plaustral
sufficient portion, amount, or           an expression of approval or vote
allowance.                               of assent.
Gloria was tired of working long         The commander got the placet of
hours for a pittance.                    the other generals for his coup


                                                      Page 194
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

playwright                               pleurisy                                plumage
n                                        n                                       n
/ SplCTrIt /                             / SplUrEsG /                            / SplVmij /
E+E                                      Gk > L > F > E                          L>F>E
a person who writes a composition        inflammation of the membrane            the entire clothing of feathers of a
arranged for enactment (as by            lining the chest cavity and             bird.
actors on a stage) and intended to       enveloping the lungs.                   The plumage of the male peacock is
portray life or character or to tell a   Pleurisy, causing fluid to              more colorful than that of the
story through the actions and            accumulate in Zachary’s chest           female.
usually dialogue of the enactors.        cavity, further complicated his
The playwright based his drama on        pneumonia.                              plummet
the struggles between gangs in the
ghetto.                                  pleuston                                plurality
                                         n                                       n
pleach                                   / SplVstEn /                            / plVSralEZG /
                                         Gk                                      L
pleiad                                   small but macroscopic floating          a number of votes cast for a
n                                        organisms that form mats or layers      candidate in a contest of more than
/ SplGEd /                               on or near the surface of a body of     two candidates that is greater than
Gk > F                                   water.                                  the number cast for any other
[has near homonym: plead] a              The mat of pleuston floating in the     candidate but not more than half
group of illustrious or brilliant        swamp consists mostly of green          the total votes cast.
persons or things usually seven in       algae.                                  Because all three candidates have
number.                                                                          strong voter support, the number of
The maestro named a pleiad of            plexus                                  votes cast for the winner will
pianists who were once his pupils.       n                                       probably be a plurality, not a
                                         / SpleksEs /                            majority.
plenilune                                L
n                                        an intricately interwoven               plutology
/ SplGnETlVn /                           combination of elements or parts in     n
L>E                                      a cohering structure.                   / plVStBlEjG /
the time of full Moon.                   The transportation board carefully      Gk + Gk
Zeke will begin planting after the       mapped out the plexus of commuter       the scientific study of wealth :
plenilune.                               paths across the city.                  theoretical economics.
                                                                                 Jeremy is using his expertise in
plenipotentiary                          plover                                  plutology to study emerging
                                         n                                       democracies.
pleonasm                                 / SplEvE(r) /
n                                        L>F>E                                   pluvioscope
/ SplGETnazEm /                          any of numerous shore-inhabiting        n
Gk                                       birds having a short hard-tipped bill   / SplVvGETskPp /
iteration or repetition in speaking      and a stout compact build.              L + Gk > L
or in writing : the use of more          Taylor could see that the plover        rain gauge.
words than those necessary to            circling over the tennis court had      Johnny ordered a pluvioscope from
denote mere sense.                       spotted upper plumage.                  the scientific catalog.
Mr. Miller gave the phrase true
facts as an example of a pleonasm        plucky                                  pneumatic
to be avoided.                           adj                                     adj
                                         / SplEkG /                              / n(y)VSmaZik /
plethora                                 E + Ecf                                 Gk
n                                        having or marked by courage :           [has homonym: neumatic] adapted
/ SplethErE /                            spirited, brave, resolute.              for holding compressed air :
Gk                                       Henry was plucky enough to get          inflated with air.
excess, profusion.                       back on his bicycle although he had     The development of the pneumatic
The jury retired to consider the         just fallen for the seventh time.       tire was a major advance for the
plethora of evidence presented in                                                bicycle.

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

poetaster                              poised                                   poliosis
n                                      adj                                      n
/ SpPDZTastE(r) /                      / SpOizd /                               / TpPlGSPsDs /
L                                      L > F > E + Ecf                          Gk
a writer of worthless or inferior      marked by easy composure of              loss of color from the hair.
verses.                                manner or bearing.                       One of the effects of the disease
The poetaster spewed out poem          The poised skater performed her          was poliosis.
after poem, each worse than the        routine with great precision and
last.                                  self-assurance.                          politesse
pogonip                                poisonous                                / TpBlEStes /
n                                      adj                                      L>F
/ SpBgETnip /                          / SpOiz(F)nEs /                          formal and cultivated politeness.
Paiute                                 L > F > E + Ecf                          The ambassador greatly enjoyed
a dense winter fog containing          having the qualities or effects of a     the diplomatic world of pomp and
frozen particles that is formed in     toxin.                                   politesse.
deep mountain valleys of the           The mushrooms looked and tasted
western United States.                 great but were devastatingly             pollen
The dense pogonip leaves a sheath      poisonous.                               n
of frost crystals on every shrub and                                            / SpBlEn /
blade of grass.                        polemic                                  L
                                       adj                                      the fine, dustlike mass of grains
poignant                               / pESlemik /                             produced by seed plants.
adj                                    Gk                                       Many hay fever sufferers are
/ SpOin(y)Ent /                        of, relating to, or of the nature of a   bothered by ragweed pollen.
L>F>E                                  controversial discussion or
painfully sharp with regard to the     argument.                                pollutant
feelings : piercing, keen.             Try as he might, Rupert could not        n
Emma’s distress was not poignant       prevent the conversation from            / pESlVtFnt /
enough to keep her from falling        turning into a polemic debate.           L
asleep, and she awoke feeling                                                   any substance that makes the air or
somewhat more hopeful.                 polemology                               water impure or unclean.
                                       n                                        Ethylene gas is a pollutant
poinciana                              / (T)pPlESmBlEjG /                       associated with industrial
n                                      Gk + Gk > E                              manufacturing and automobile
/ TpOin(t)sGSanE /                     the study of war.                        exhaust.
F name + Lcf                           In polemology, military and naval
an ornamental tropical tree or shrub   strategies are studied and               pollute
having bright orange or red            discussed.
flowers.                                                                        poltergeist
While in southern Florida, Jake        poliomyelitis                            n
was impressed by the fiery flowers     n                                        / SpPltE(r)TgIst /
of the poinciana.                      / TpPlGPTmIESlIZDs /                     G
                                       Gk                                       a noisy and usually mischievous
poinsettia                             an acute infectious viral disease        ghost.
n                                      characterized by fever, motor            Our favorite Halloween story is
/ pOinSseZGE /                         paralysis, and atrophy of skeletal       about a poltergeist who tormented
American name                          muscles often with permanent             the tenants of a house in which
a showy Mexican and South              disability and deformity.                there had previously been a
American plant with tapering           Up to about 40 years ago,                murder.
scarlet petallike leaves that          poliomyelitis often meant a lifetime
surround small yellow flowers.         on crutches or in an iron lung.          poltroon
The delivery woman brought a
poinsettia to Karen’s door.                                                     polychrest


                                                     Page 196
          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

polychromatic                           pomegranate                            porcelain
adj                                     n                                      n
/ TpBlGkrPSmaZik /                      / SpBm(E)TgranDt /                     / SpPrs(E)lDn /
Gk                                      L>F>E+L                                L > It > F
showing a variety or a change of        a thick-skinned several-celled         [has near homonym: purslane] a
colors : multicolored.                  reddish berry that is about the size   hard, fine-grained, white ceramic
It is not unusual for people to drive   of an orange and has many seeds in     ware that has a hard paste body, is
by Sarah’s house simply to admire       a crimson acid pulp.                   fired at a high temperature, and is
its polychromatic brickwork.            The bright red splotches on Julia’s    used especially for table and
                                        hands testified to her having eaten    ornamental wares.
polydactyly                             a pomegranate.                         Many old houses have doorknobs
n                                                                              made of porcelain.
/ TpBlGSdaktElG /                       pomological
Gk + Gk                                 adj                                    porcine
the condition of having more than       / TpPmESlBjDkEl /
the normal number of toes or            Gk > L                                 porphyry
fingers.                                of or relating to the science of the   n
The Ernest Hemingway Home and           cultivation of fruits.                 / SpO(r)fErG /
Museum on Key West is home to           Certainly in the pomological sense,    Gk > L
approximately 60 cats, about half       one bad apple eventually spoils the    an Egyptian rock consisting of
of which exhibit polydactyly.           whole bunch.                           feldspar crystals embedded in a
                                                                               dark red or purple groundmass
polygamous                              pompadour                              much used by the ancient Romans.
                                        n                                      At the archaeological dig Carlo
polyphagism                             / SpBmpETdP(E)r /                      unearthed a broken urn made of
n                                       F name                                 porphyry.
/ pESlifETjizEm /                       a man’s style of hairdressing in
Gk                                      which the hair is combed back so       porpoise
the habit of feeding on a variety of    as to stand up straight.               n
plants or animals.                      Chuck spent an hour in front of the    / SpOrpEs /
By feeding various kinds of foods to    mirror preening his pompadour.         L>F>E
the insects, the researcher could                                              a small, friendly whale with teeth
discover which ones exhibited           pompous                                and a short, rounded snout and that
polyphagism.                                                                   somewhat resembles a dolphin.
                                        pontificalibus                         Miles saw a porpoise at the
polysyllabic                                                                   aquarium.
adj                                     pontificate
/ TpBlGsDSlabik /                       v                                      porridge
Gk > L + Ecf                            / pBnStifETkCt /                       n
having three or usually four or         L                                      / SpOrij /
more units of spoken language.          deliver oracular utterances or         F>E
Martha often uses polysyllabic          dogmatic opinions.                     a soft food made by boiling grains
words to impress her teachers.          Randy proceeded to pontificate for     or legumes in milk or water until
                                        five minutes on the dangers of         thick.
pomaceous                               listening to loud music.               The campers were extremely
                                                                               hungry, and each consumed a large
pomade                                  populous                               bowl of porridge.
/ pESmBd /                                                                     porringer
L > It > F
a perfumed ointment.
Mr. Underwood was partial to
sweet-smelling pomade.

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           2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

portcullis                               postern                                 potatoes
n                                        n                                       n pl
/ pPrtSkElDs /                           / SpPstE(r)n /                          / pEStCZPz /
F>E                                      L>F>E                                   Taino > Sp
a large grating of iron bars or heavy    a back door or gate.                    the edible starchy tubers of plants
timbers suspended by chains over         The thief escaped through the           of the genus genus Solanum and
the gateway of a fortified place and     postern without being detected.         species tuberosum.
lowered between grooves to                                                       For dinner Harry made roast beef
prevent passage.                         posthumous                              and baked potatoes.
The guard quickly lowered the            adj
portcullis after the king and his        / SpBschEmEs /                          potentate
knights had passed through the           L                                       n
gate.                                    published after the death of the        / SpPtFnTtCt /
                                         author.                                 L
portentous                               Ironically, the novelist’s              one who possesses great power or
adj                                      posthumous works were his most          sway : ruler.
/ TpOrStentEs /                          popular.                                Barry acts more like a potentate
L                                                                                than a leader in his role as class
of, relating to, or constituting         postprandial                            president.
something that foreshadows a             adj
coming event : ominous.                  / TpPs(t)SprandGEl /                    potpourri
Oliver’s dream proved portentous.        L>E                                     n
                                         of, relating to, or occurring in the    / TpPpESrG /
portiere                                 period after a meal.                    F
                                         After the huge dinner, George and       a jar of flower petals mixed with
portmanteau                              Barbara decided to take a leisurely     spices and used for scent or
n                                        postprandial walk.                      perfume.
/ pPrtSmant(T)P /                                                                Stella kept a potpourri on her
L>F                                      posttension                             kitchen windowsill.
a large traveling bag.                   v
The clown removed an enormous            / pPs(t)StenchEn /                      poultice
pumpkin from his portmanteau.            L+L                                     n
                                         apply stress to (reinforcing steel)     / SpPltDs /
portraiture                              after concrete has set.                 L
                                         The construction crew will              a soft mass usually heated and
possessed                                posttension the steel in the            spread on cloth for application to
v                                        columns.                                inflamed areas to supply moist
/ pESzest /                                                                      warmth, relieve pain, or act as a
L                                        posture                                 counterirritant.
influenced or controlled by              n                                       Aunt Julia’s remedy for rashes or
something (as an evil spirit or a        / SpBschE(r) /                          skin problems of any sort is a
passion).                                L                                       mustard poultice.
During the race the winning horse        characteristic position or bearing of
ran as if he were possessed by a         the body.                               poultry
demon.                                   A dancer’s posture is as important
                                         in ballroom dancing as it is in         pourboire
possessor                                ballet.                                 n
                                                                                 / pUrbSwBr /
posset                                   potamology                              L>F
v                                                                                a tip or gratuity.
/ SpBsDt /                               potassium                               When he checked out of the hotel,
E                                        n                                       Jonathan left a pourboire for the
[has near homonym: posit] pamper         / pEStasGEm /                           chambermaid.
with delicacies.                         L
Aunt Mimi expects everyone to            an element of the alkali metal          pourparler
posset Pedro, her chihuahua.             group.
                                         Bananas and potatoes are good
                                         dietary sources of potassium.

                                                       Page 198
         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

poussette                               precinct                              predator
v                                       n                                     n
/ pVSset /                              / SprGTsiN(k)t /                      / SpredEZE(r) /
F                                       L>E                                   L
swing in a semicircle hands joined      a part of a territory (as a city)     an animal that preys on or devours
with one’s partner.                     having definite bounds or functions   other animals for its food.
The caller instructed the couples to    and often established for             An insect may be of value because
poussette before changing partners.     administrative purposes.              it is a predator on another insect
                                        In this precinct voters cast their    that is a pest to humans.
poussin                                 ballots at the middle school.
n                                                                             predecessor
/ pVSsaM /                              preciosity                            n
L>F                                                                           / SpredETsesE(r) /
a young chicken of about one            precipice                             L
pound weight for table use : a small    n                                     one who comes before in order of
broiler.                                / SpresEpDs /                         time; especially : a person who has
Celeste was not sure how to season      L                                     previously occupied a position or
and cook a poussin, so she              a very steep, perpendicular, or       office to which another has
consulted a cookbook by Julia           overhanging place (as the face of a   succeeded.
Child.                                  cliff).                               The employees are hoping that the
                                        Just looking down from the            new CEO is more labor-friendly
praline                                 precipice made Gloria dizzy.          than his predecessor.
/ SprBTlGn /                            precipitately                         predestine
F name
a round patty of creamy brown           precisionist                          predilection
sugar containing pecan meats.                                                 n
The praline is a favorite candy of      precocious                            / TpredFlSekshEn /
the southern United States.                                                   L
                                        precocity                             inclination, liking, preference.
precaution                              n                                     Moira has a predilection for
                                        / prGSkBsEZG /                        bittersweet chocolate.
precedent                               L
n                                       exceptionally early or premature      preeminent
/ SpresEdEnt /                          development; especially : early       adj
L                                       development of the mental powers.     / TprGSemEnEnt /
something done or said that may         The precocity of five-year-old        L
serve as an example or rule to          Stella becomes evident after just a   having paramount rank, dignity, or
authorize or justify a subsequent       few minutes of talking with her.      importance : first, outstanding,
act of the same or an analogous                                               supreme.
kind.                                   preconceive                           The attorney introduced her expert
As far as Sasha knew, the decision                                            witness as the preeminent
to allow a girl to play on the          precursor                             researcher in his field.
football team was without               n
precedent.                              / prGSkErsEr /                        preen
                                        L                                     v
precibal                                one that precedes another in an       / SprGn /
adj                                     office or process : forerunner.       E
/ prGSsIbEl /                           Greek geometry was the precursor      trim or dress with or as if with the
L                                       to modern calculus.                   beak or the tongue.
occurring before meals.                                                       Kitty liked to sit and preen herself
The host graciously proposed a          precursory                            in the afternoon sun.
precibal toast to the guest of honor.


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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

prejudicial                              prescient                              preterition
adj                                      adj                                    n
/ TprejESdishEl /                        / SprGsh(G)Ent /                       / TpreZESrishEn /
L>E                                      L                                      L
leading to premature judgment or         having foreknowledge :                 the act or an instance of passing by
unwarranted opinion.                     characterized by foresight.            or over without mention, notice, or
The jury was sequestered in order        Carrie seemed unusually prescient      attention.
to prevent exposure to any               as she sat smugly under her            “I won’t even mention his lesser
prejudicial material.                    umbrella on what was once a clear      crimes,” cried the orator in
                                         afternoon.                             preterition.
n                                        presentient                            prevalent
/ prDSlimEnerG /                         adj
L                                        / prGSsenchEnt /                       prevaricate
something introductory or                L                                      v
preparatory.                             apprehensive in advance : feeling      / prGSvarETkCt /
As a preliminary to a video there is     or perceiving beforehand.              L
usually a warning regarding its          Kate was presentient of her lost       deviate from the truth : speak
use.                                     dog’s return.                          equivocally or evasively : lie.
                                                                                Emmy tends to prevaricate
premonition                              prestidigitation                       whenever the teacher questions her
n                                                                               behavior.
/ TpremESnishEn /                        prestidigitator
L                                        n                                      primaveral
anticipation of an event without         / TprestESdijETtCdE(r) /
conscious reason.                        L&F&It                                 primordial
Yolanda had a premonition that she       a performer of sleight of hand.        adj
would win the lottery.                   The prestidigitator mystified the      / prISmO(r)dGEl /
                                         children by making cards appear        L
prepollent                               and disappear.                         existing at or from the beginning :
                                                                                first created or developed : earliest,
preposterous                             presumably                             primeval.
                                         adv                                    Blake’s story depicted a creature
prerogative                              / prGSz(y)VmEblG /                     emerging from the primordial ooze.
n                                        L
/ prGSrBgEZiv /                          by reasonable assumption :             principal
L                                        probably.                              adj
a special right or privilege             Mrs. Janko is presumably going to      / Sprin(t)sEpEl /
belonging to a person, group, or         the Christmas party this year.         L
class of individuals.                                                           [has homonym: principle] most
It is the prerogative of the president   pretentious                            important, consequential, or
of the United States to have Air         adj                                    influential.
Force One at his disposal.               / prGStenchEs /                        The map showed principal roads,
                                         L>F                                    towns and cities, and locations of
presage                                  making or possessing claims (as of     historic sites.
                                         excellence, superiority, greatness).
presbyter                                The pretentious candidate found        pristine
                                         little support among the common        adj
prescience                               people.                                / SpriTstGn /
n                                                                               L
/ SprGsh(G)En(t)s /                                                             belonging to the earliest period or
L                                                                               state.
the human faculty or quality of                                                 The antique chest was in pristine
being able to anticipate the                                                    condition.
occurrence or nature of future
events : foresight.                                                             private
In 1955 the city authorities had the
prescience to set aside land for a
future park site.

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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

privilege                               procrustean                            profuse
n                                       adj                                    adj
/ Spriv(E)lij /                         / prPSkrEstGEn /                       / prESfyVs /
L                                       Gk name > L                            L
a peculiar or personal advantage or     marked by complete disregard of        overly plentiful : bountiful.
right.                                  individual differences and by          Buttons on the entertainer’s suit
Mr. Neng grants his neighbors the       violent forcing into conformity        were so profuse that not another
privilege of fishing in his pond.       with something.                        one could be placed anywhere.
                                        The principal’s procrustean
proaulion                               attitude left no room for a student    progenitor
n                                       government at the school.              n
/ prPSOlGEn /                                                                  / prPSjenEZE(r) /
Gk                                      proctor                                L
a portico or colonnade that opens                                              an ancestor in the direct line :
into the narthex of a church or         procumbent                             forefather.
temple.                                                                        Tad assumed his unusual height
Pine garlands adorned the               procurable                             was inherited from a particularly
proaulion.                                                                     tall progenitor.
proboscis                               adj                                    progeny
n                                       / SprBdDgEl /
/ prPSbBsDs /                           L + Ecf                                prognosis
Gk > L                                  given to reckless extravagance.        n
the flexible conspicuously long         Victor has written a memoir of his     / prBgSnPsDs /
snout of some animals; especially :     prodigal youth in Europe.              Gk
the trunk of an elephant.                                                      the act or art of foretelling the
An elephant’s proboscis can             prodigious                             course of a disease.
support great weight.                   adj                                    Although the patient’s surgery was
                                        / prESdijEs /                          touch and go, Dr. Symm’s
probouleutic                            L                                      prognosis was for complete
                                        extraordinary in bulk, extent,         recovery.
proceed                                 quantity, or degree : enormous,
                                        immense.                               prognostication
procellous                              The public works crews were
adj                                     complimented for coping with this      prolegomenon
/ prPSselEs /                           year’s prodigious job of snow          n
L                                       plowing.                               / TprPlESgBmETnBn /
stormy.                                                                        Gk
There are many dangers for a small      producible                             a reading or group of readings or
boat on a procellous sea.                                                      intellectual exercises leading to
                                        profiterole                            further understanding,
proclivity                                                                     development, or advance in
n                                       profligacy                             knowledge or technique in a
/ prPSklivEZG /                         n                                      subject matter field.
L                                       / SprBflDgEsG /                        Dr. Taylor’s course in art history
an inclination or predisposition        L                                      constituted a carefully planned
toward something.                       reckless wastefulness and              prolegomenon for students who
After spending a couple of days in      extravagance.                          would be choosing art as their
Las Vegas, Conan decided he had         Arno’s profligacy during his           major.
no proclivity for gambling.             sophomore year caused him to
                                        forfeit his scholarship.               proliferation

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         2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

prolific                               pronounceable                          propitious
adj                                    adj                                    adj
/ prESlifDk /                          / prESnaUn(t)sEbEl /                   / prESpishEs /
L>F                                    L > F > E + Ecf                        L>E
occurring or existing in large         capable of being pronounced.           being of good omen : auspicious,
numbers : abundant, profuse.           A word that Dr. Cameron finds          encouraging, favorable.
The article’s prolific footnotes       easily pronounceable could tie your    Ray’s perfect score on his science
hampered rather than aided Tina’s      tongue into knots.                     test was a propitious start for the
comprehension.                                                                new school year.
prolix                                 adj                                    propolis
adj                                    / TprPpGSd(y)VZik /                    n
/ SprPTliks /                          Gk                                     / SprBpElDs /
L                                      needed as preparation for learning     Gk > L
given to verbosity and diffuseness     or study.                              a brownish resinous material of
in speaking or writing : long-         Reading is a propaedeutic skill.       waxy consistency collected by bees
winded.                                                                       from the buds of trees and used as a
Quentin’s prolix style was not well    propaganda                             cement.
suited to a short-answer exam.         n                                      A honeycomb is constructed from
                                       / TprBpESgandE /                       beeswax and propolis.
prolusory                              L
                                       dissemination of ideas,                proposition
promenade                              information, or rumor for the          n
n                                      purpose of helping or injuring an      / TprBpESzishEn /
/ TprBmESnCd /                         institution, a cause, or a person.     L
L>F                                    In 1941 President Roosevelt            a project, plan, undertaking, or
a leisurely walk or ride especially    warned that the democratic way of      situation requiring some action.
in a public place for pleasure,        life was being assailed by secret      The highway superintendent
display, or exercise.                  spreading of poisonous                 presented his proposition for spring
After the meeting Gilda and Jaime      propaganda.                            street repair to the mayor.
took a promenade down Main
Street.                                propagate                              proprietor
prominent                              / SprBpETgCt /                         propulsion
promontory                             cause to spread out and affect a       prorogue
n                                      greater number or greater area :       v
/ SprBmEnTtPrG /                       foster the spread of.                  / prPSrPg /
L                                      Chris uses e-mail to propagate         L>F
a high point of land projecting into   news among his friends.                defer, postpone.
a body of water.                                                              Parliament decided to prorogue
The architect designed a home that     propensity                             discussion of the bill until after the
blended in with the rocky              n                                      election.
promontory.                            / prESpen(t)sEZG /
                                       L                                      prosateur
promulgate                             a natural inclination.                 n
v                                      Most cats have a propensity to be      / TprPzEStEr /
/ SprBmElTgCt /                        curious.                               L > It > F
L                                                                             a writer of prose.
make known (as a decree, a dogma)      propinquity                            Scott’s fountain pen belonged to a
by open declaration : proclaim.        n                                      famous prosateur of the 19th
The high school principal              / prPSpiNkwEZG /                       century.
attempted to promulgate the            L
attendance policy many times, but      nearness in place : proximity.
the seniors mostly ignored him.        The roots of the trees in close
                                       propinquity to the new sidewalk
                                       will soon ruin it.


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          2003 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word List: Words Appearing Frequently

proscenium                              prospicience                            prowess
n                                       n                                       n
/ prESsGnGEm /                          / prPSspishEn(t)s /                     / SpraUDs /
Gk                                      L                                       F>E
the wall that separates the stage       the act of looking forward :            distinguished bravery : gallantry.
from the auditorium in a modern         foresight.                              The knight’s prowess on the
theater.                                Qualities associated with               battlefield was surpassed only by
An apron stage juts out from the        leadership usually include              the king’s.
proscenium.                             prospicience.
prosciutto                              protean
n                                       adj                                     prytanis
/ prPSshVZ(T)P /                        / SprPZGEn /
L > It                                  Gk name                                 psalmody
dry-cured spiced ham.                   [has near homonym: protein]             n
Melon slices wrapped in prosciutto      readily assuming different shapes       / SsB(l)mEdG /
make a classic appetizer.               or forms.                               Gk
                                        An amoeba is a protean organism.        the act, practice, or art of singing
proselyting                                                                     sacred songs in worship.
v                                       protocol                                Although the New England
/ SprBsETlItiN /                        n                                       Puritans did away with church
Gk                                      / SprPZETkOl /                          organs and instruments, they kept
recruiting members for an               Gk + Gk                                 their psalmody.
institution, team, or group             a rigid long-established code
especially by the offer of special      prescribing complete deference to       psilanthropy
inducements.                            superior rank and strict adherence      n
Though it does not engage in            to due order of precedence and          / sISlan(t)thrEpG /
proselyting, the college usually        precisely correct procedure.            Gk + Gk
turns out fine basketball teams.        Lieutenant Griffin was censured for     a doctrine of the merely human
                                        violating protocol after he got up in   existence of Christ.
prosody                                 the middle of the meal without          A well-known subscriber to
n                                       excusing himself.                       psilanthropy was Thomas
/ SprBsEdG /                                                                    Jefferson, who regarded Jesus as a
Gk                                      protuberant                             great moral teacher but not as a
the study of versification.                                                     divine being.
The prosody of Horace’s first ten       provincial
odes was Humbert’s downfall on          adj                                     psilosis
the exam.                               / prESvinchEl /                         n
                                        L                                       / sISlPsDs /
prospectus                              exhibiting the ways and manners of      Gk
n                                       a province or rural district :          a falling out of hair.
/ prESspektEs /                         unsophisticated.                        Jerome’s psilosis was a side effect
L                                       Katie’s open midwestern                 of chemotherapy.
a preliminary printed statement         friendliness was labeled
describing a business or other          “provincial” by the snooty big city     psoriasis
enterprise and distributed to           dwellers.
potential buyers, investors, or                                                 psychedelic
participants.                           provost                                 adj
According to the prospectus, the        n                                       / TsIkESdelik /
scooter market increased threefold      / SprPTvPst /                           Gk + Gk
in the last year.                       L>E                                     very bright in color.
                                        a high-ranking administrative           Kate showed Mary a psychedelic
                                        officer of an American university.      Peter Max poster she had saved as
                                        Professor Myers met with the            a memento of the ’60s.
                                        provost to discuss the new

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