Monday, October 23The #1 Spelling Bee Resource

50 most difficult words to spell


What are the top 50 hardest words to spell?

So, isn’t this a fun thing to think about? What makes a word in English difficult to spell?

Most words are difficult to spell because they arrived in our English vocabularies from a language very much different from our own, like the Afrikaans, Sanskrit, Welsh, etc. also, they can be difficult because most word pronunciation don’t obviate their spelling.

It can also be difficult because the word or phrase has one, or two, or three silent letters.

A word can be difficult to spell because it has a unique double letter, such as kk or aa or ii, etc.

So, in other to pick a list of “the 50 hardest words,” we started with a long list of some very difficult words and we threw-out words that had same elements of difficulty.

We continued to review and cull words until we’ve selected what we perceive to be a list of the hardest and most difficult words to spell.

However, if these are not the most difficult words to spell, they are, nevertheless a very difficult list of 50 words.

This list of 50 difficult words features many words with confusion about doubling consonants when word endings are added. So, don’t cry out in frustration over these words!

Instead, try to improve and learn more about spelling these words correctly.

Let’s see how many you’re able to recognize?

Click on each word to get the Spelling Bee analytics, use the links to Mai Engine under the lists to use, export and send the lists to your students and friends.

We reviewed some of the biggest head-scratchers that won the Bee:


1 2011: Cymotrichous An adjective: Meaning — Having wavy hair. Spelled by Sukanya Roy. View
2  2009: Laodician An adjective: Meaning — Indifferent or lukewarm in religion or politics. Spelled by Kavya Shivashankar. View
3 2004: Autochthonous An adjective: Meaning— Originating or formed in the place where found, native. Spelled by David Tidmarsh. View
4  2002: Prospicience A noun: Meaning — Foresight, the act of looking forward. Spelled by Pratyush Buddiga. View
5  1999: Logorrhea An adjective: Meaning — A state of excessive and often incoherent wordiness or talkativeness. Spelled by Nupur Lala. View
6  1997: Euonym A noun: Meaning — A name well suited to a place, person or thing Named. Spelled by Rebecca Sealfon. View
7 1996:   Vivisepulture A noun: Meaning — The practice or act of burying alive. Spelled by Wendy Guey. View
8  1986:  Odontalgia A noun: Meaning — Toothache. Spelled by Jon Pennington. View
9  1980:  Elucubrate A verb: Meaning — Compose or write by working studiously at night. Spelled by Jacques Bailly. View
10 1961: Smaragdine An adjective: Meaning — Having the color of emeralds, of or relating to emeralds. Spelled by John Capehart.  View
11  1960: Eudaemonic An adjective: Meaning — Producing happiness. Spelledby Henry Feldman.  View

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Listed below our second selection of the most difficult words:

1  Antediluvian (an-ti-də-ˈlü-vē-ən) Relating to the period before the flood as described in the Bible. View
2  Xanthosis (zān-thō’sĭs) A yellowish dis-coloration of degenerating tissues. View
3  Chiaroscurist (kē-ˌär-ə-ˈskyu̇r-ist) An artist specializing in chiaroscuro. View
4  Succedaneum (sək-sə-ˈdā-nē-əm) A substitute View
5  Pococurante (pō-kō-kyu̇-ˈran-tē) Indifferent, nonchalant. View
6  Appoggiatura (ə-ˌpä-jə-ˈtu̇r-ə) A tone preceding an essential melodic note. View
7  Ursprache (oor-shprah-khuh) A hypothetically reconstructed parent-language, as Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of the Germanic-languages. View
8  Questionnaire A noun: Meaning – a list of questions; survey. View
9  Unconscious  An adjective: Meaning – without awareness; not conscious. View
10  Precocious An adjective: Meaning – unusually mature, most especially in mental development. View
11  Liaison  A noun: Meaning – a person who maintains connections between people or groups. View
12  Surveillance  A noun: Meaning – continuous observation of a place, person or activity in order to gather information. View
13  Chrysanthemum A noun: Meaning – a widely-cultivated plant with brightly colored flower heads. View
14  Idiosyncrasy A noun: Meaning – a mannerism or habit peculiar to an individual. View
15  Chauffeur A noun: Meaning – a person hired to drive a private automobile. View
16  Onomatopoeia A noun: Meaning – the formation of words by imitating a sound of action or noise described such as, honk, or meow. View
17  Conscientious An adjective: Means – careful, particular, taking great care. View
18  Demitasse A noun: Meaning – small coffee cup. View
19  Vengeance A noun: Meaning – punishment inflicted for wrong done. View
20  Acquiesce A verb: Meaning – to accept as inevitable; to comply passively. View
21  Malfeasance A noun: Meaning – conduct by a public-official which violates public trust or is against the law. View

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And the third selection in the table below:

1  Irascible  An adjective: Meaning – irritable, quick-tempered. View
2  Foudroyant   An adjective: Meaning – stunning; sudden and overwhelming. View
3  Pterodactyl  A noun: Meaning – extinct flying reptiles, having no feathers. View
4  Stichomythia  A noun: Meaning – dialogue, especially a dispute, addressed in alternating lines. View
5  Feuilleton  A noun: Meaning – part of a European magazine or newspaper with content designed to entertain the reader. View
6  Milquetoast  A noun: Meaning – an unassertive, timid, or apologetic person. View
7  Chrematistic  An adjective: Meaning – of or relating to making money. View
8  Sacrilegious  An adjective: Meaning – committing excessive irreverence towards a hallowed place, thing, or thing View
9  Semaphore  A noun: Meaning – system of sending signals by using two flags that are hand-held. View
10  Transept  A noun: Meaning – the short area that trans-versing the long-side of a church and giving the church the shape of a cross when viewed from above. View
11  Psoriasis  A noun: Meaning – a chronic skin-disease characterized by circumscribed red-patches covered with white scales. View
12  Stromuhr  A noun: Meaning – a rheometer designed to measure the speed of the blood-flow through an artery. View
13  Scherenschnitte  A noun: Meaning – the art of cutting paper into a decorative design. View
14  Courtoisie Courtliness, the code of courtly love View
15  Weltanschauung A particular philosophy or view of life; the world view of an individual or group. View
16  Zwetschenwasser A colorless plum brandy with a bitter almond taste. View
17 Mlechchha People of foreign extraction in ancient India. A Sanskrit term, mlechchha was used by the Vedic peoples much as the ancient Greeks used barbaros, originally to indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behaviour. View
18 Kierkegaardian  Relating to or characteristic of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard or his works. View
19 Cnemidocoptes A genus of microscopic burrowing sarcoptid mites that infects fowl and caged birds. View
20 Pfeffernuss A small, usually ball-shaped cookie flavored with cinnamon, allspice, anise, etc. and with black pepper View
21 Ytterbium A rare element of the boron group, sometimes associated with yttrium or other related elements, as in euxenite and gadolinite. Symbol Yb; provisional atomic weight 173.2. Cf. Yttrium. View
22 Taaffeite  A type of mauve gemstone with a hexagonal crystal structure. View
22  Psittaceous  Of or pertaining to the parrots, or the Psittaci. View

Click here to use this list under Mai

If you want more very hard to spell words you can use Mai Spelling Bee engine to get fresh spelling words list, click on the image below to get a list:

li?w=More%20Difficult%20Words&s=1 - 50 most difficult words to spell

To get more Spelling Words List tailored on your needs check out the detailed syntax page and start building your spelling words list now.

Spelling Words List Creator


To use this words list for a real life test and compete with students from all over the world you can download our free spelling bee software Spelling Bee Ninja


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