100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know

Middle school is a challenging time for most students as school subjects become more demanding. Knowing the following words that they are sure to encounter during these years will make reading a far easier experience. It will improve their comprehension and is even likely to improve their verbal scores on the PSAT and SAT. This list was compiled by the editors of American Heritage Dictionaries.

adversary, aplomb, apprehensive, aptitude, attentive, banish, attentive, barricade, bluff, brackish, brandish,circumference, commotion,concoction, conspicuous, contortion, counter, cunning, debris, defiance, deft, defiance destination, diminish, disdain, dismal, dispel, eavesdrop, egregious, ember, emerge, engross, exasperation,exhilarate,falter, foresight, fragrance, furtive, grueling, gusto, habitation, hasten, headway, ignite, illuminate, impending, imperious, jabber, jargon, jostle, jut, kindle, knoll, luminous, malleable, materialize, meander, meticulous, misgivings, momentum, monotonous, multitude, muster, narrate, obscure, ominous, outlandish, persistent, pertinent, potential, precipice, pristine, quell, recluse, recuperate, replenish, repugnant, restitution, sabotage, scarcity, scurry, serenity, sociable, somber, specimen, stamina, subside, swagger, swarm, tactic, terse, translucent, uncanny, unsightly, versatile, vigilant, vulnerable, waft, waver, weather, zeal

Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Word list reproduced by permission from 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know.

Diligent work with these words will pay dividends. Start with the ones that your children believe that they know, and have family members use one a day at a meal, during a car ride or at some other specific time. After these words are mastered, they can advance to looking up the ones they do not know.

The book "100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know" is available online and at bookstores. It has a dictionary definition for each word, and a pronunciation guide and appears in at least one quotation from favorite young adult authors.