100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know

The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know. "The words we suggest," says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, "are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."

The following is the entire list of 100 words:

1. abjure, 2.abrogate, 3. abstemious, 4. acumen,
5. antebellum, 6. auspicious, 7. belie, 8. bellicose,
9. bowdlerize, 10. chicanery, 11. chromosome, 12. churlish,
13. circumlocution, 14. circumnavigate, 15. deciduous,
16. deleterious, 17. diffident, 18. enervate, 19. enfranchise,
20. epiphany, 21. equinox, 22. euro, 23. evanescent,
24. expurgate, 25. facetious, 26. fatuous, 27. feckless,
28. fiduciary, 29. filibuster, 30. gamete, 31. gauche,
32. gerrymander, 33. hegemony, 34. hemoglobin, 35. homogeneous,
36. hubris, 37. hypotenuse, 38. impeach, 39. incognito,
40. incontrovertible, 41. inculcate, 42. infrastructure,
43. interpolate, 44. irony, 45. jejune, 46. kinetic,
47. kowtow, 48. laissez faire, 49. lexicon, 50. loquacious,
51. lugubrious, 52. metamorphosis, 53. mitosis, 54. moiety,
55. nanotechnology 56. nihilism, 57. nomenclature,
58. nonsectarian, 59. notarize, 60. obsequious, 61. oligarchy,
62. omnipotent, 63. orthography, 64. oxidize, 65. parabola,
66. paradigm, 67. parameter, 68. pecuniary, 69. photosynthesis,
70. plagiarize, 71. plasma, 72. polymer, 73. precipitous,
74. quasar, 75. quotidian, 76. recapitulate, 77. reciprocal,
78. reparation, 79. respiration 80. sanguine, 81. soliloquy,
82. subjugate, 83. suffragist, 84. supercilious, 85. tautology,
86. taxonomy, 87. tectonic, 88. tempestuous, 89.thermodynamics,
90. totalitarian, 91. unctuous, 92. usurp, 93. vacuous,
94. vehement, 95. vortex, 96. winnow, 97. wrought,
98. xenophobe, 99. yeoman, 100. ziggurat

Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Word list reproduced by permission from "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know."