Word Lists

All registered participants will receive weekly practice word lists starting the week of March 1st 2016.

Primary Source of Reference

Webster's Third New International Dictionary and its addenda section, copyright 2002, Merriam-Webster, (Webster's Third) is the final authority for the spelling of words. All words given in competition are entries in Webster's Third. If more than one spelling is listed for a word that the pronouncer has provided for the speller to spell, any of these spellings will be accepted as correct if all of the following three criteria are met: (1) The pronunciations of the words are identical, (2) the definitions of the words are identical, and (3) the words are clearly identified as being standard variants of each other. Spellings at other locations having temporal labels (such as archaic, obsolete), stylistic labels (such as substand, nonstand), or regional labels (such as North, Midland, Irish) which differ from main entry spellings not having these status labels will not be accepted as correct.

Sample Written Test Questions

Sample Written Test Questions

Web Resources

Words That Won

2009 Laodicean lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics
2008 guerdon something that one has earned or gained : a reward, recompense, requital
2007 serrefine a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel
2006 ursprache a parent language; especially : one reconstructed from the evidence of later languages
2005 appoggiatura an accessory embellishing note or tone preceding an essential melodic note or tone
2004 autochthonous indigenous, native, aboriginal—used especially in nature
2003 pococurante indifferent, nonchalant
2002 prospicience the act of looking forward : foresight
2001 succedaneum a person or thing that takes the place or function of another
2000 demarche a course of action or maneuver
1999 logorrhea excessive talkativeness or wordiness
1998 chiaroscurist an artist who specializes in chiaroscuro
1997 euonym a name well suited to the person, place, or thing named
1996 vivisepulture the act or practice of burying alive

Words That Stumped Spellers In The Past

ankylosaur any of a suborder (Ankylosauria) of herbivorous Cretaceous dinosaurs having a long low-lying thickset body covered dorsally with bony plates
coulombs the practical meter-kilogram-second units of electric charge equal to the quantity of electricity transferred by a current of one ampere in one second
delitescent lying hidden : obfuscated, latent
eleemosynary relating to, or supported by charity
gauche lacking social experience or grace; also : not tactful : crude
larghissimo in as slow a manner as possible — used as a direction in music
pentateuchal of or relating to the first five books of the Old Testament
sussultatory characterized by up-and-down vibrations of large amplitude — used of an earthquake
triskaidekaphobia fear of the number 13
zebu any of various breeds of domestic oxen developed in India that are characterized by a large fleshy hump over the shoulders, a dewlap, pendulous ears, and marked resistance to the injurious effects of heat and insect attack