Spelling Bee Study Words

There's only one way to ace a spelling bee: study extensively. The trouble is that the words spelling bees use can vary greatly. The judges are well aware of the words commonly used in competitions, and they know that anyone can just Google a spelling bee word list.

Spelling Bee Study Words Spelling Bee Study Words

Still, the more a student practices, the more he or she will be able to break down root words, prefixes, suffixes, and deduce sensible spelling rules. Below, you'll find a list of spelling bee study words for every grade level.

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List of Study Words

Below, you'll find a sampling of study words for every grade level. And, when you have a moment, check out Merriam Webster's list of Words You Need to Know, in cooperation with the folks over at Scripps:

Beginner

Below, you'll find a challenging list of words for lower elementary grade levels. With these lists in hand, they'll be able to verbalize the "camaraderie" they feel amongst their friends while crafting a tale about a "hippopotamus" named Harry.

Abscess

noun

a painful area in the body with inflamed tissue and pus

Although

conjunction

regardless of a fact

Camaraderie

noun

the warm, friendly feelings that friends have for each other

Colloquy

noun

a formal conversation

Example

noun

someone or something that is used as a model

Furlough

noun

a period of time off from work

Gerund

noun

a verb that acts like a noun

Heard

verb

to have perceived a sound with your ears

Intravenous

adjective

into a vein

Miscellaneous

adjective

people or things that are varied or mixed

Picture

noun

a photo, drawing, painting, or image

Reservoir

noun

a place where a supply of something is collected, especially water

Successor

noun

a person or thing that comes after another

Unconscious

adjective

knocked-out, sleeping, or comatose

Villain

noun

a person or fictional character who causes harm

Intermediate

Push your middle schoolers to the next level with uncommon words like "bivouac" and slightly more commonplace words like "nomenclature."

Aberration

noun

something abnormal or unexpected

Ancillary

adjective

subordinate or helping

Buoy

noun

a floating object that is anchored to mark a location

Corruptible

adjective

capable of being corrupted

Denouement

noun

the resolution in the plot

Docile

adjective

a passive person

Hemorrhage

noun

a rapid loss of blood

Isthmus

noun

a narrow strip of land that connects two larger bodies of land

Magnanimous

adjective

big-hearted, noble, and generous

Nomenclature

noun

a system of terms in a particular field of study

Occurrence

noun

something that happens

Patrician

adjective

someone belonging to or related to a royal

Rescind

verb

to cancel or make something void

Surveillance

noun

the close observation of someone

Trichotomy

noun

a division into three parts

Advanced

Are you ready for a list of words that even the most well-read adults would have to pause and ponder? Your students will be able to commit architectural words like "cartouche" to memory while labeling the latest character in their novel as an "inexorable" antagonist.

Abecedarian

adjective

formed by letters of the alphabet

Auxiliary

adjective

someone or something used in a supporting role

Bacciferous

adjective

producing berries

Camouflage

noun

the process of making something less obvious

Demitasse

noun

a small cup used to serve coffee or espresso

Entrepreneur

noun

a person who takes an idea, product, or service, and introduces it to the marketplace

Glaucous

adjective

of a pale yellow-green color

Hootenanny

noun

a casual performance by folk singers

Inexorable

adjective

a stubborn or inflexible person

Mellifluous

adjective

something musical or melodious

Occasionally

adverb

sometimes

Opprobrious

adjective

something disrespectful, shameful, or disgraceful

Prescience

noun

the power to know something before it happens

Superintendent

noun

a person in charge of a department or institution

Termagant

noun

a quarrelsome woman

Check out these Spelling Bee Quizzes for more practice. You'll enjoy lists of commonly misspelled words, spelling bee winning words, lists of tricky words, and more.

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Other Sources for Spelling Bee Words

The study words above are a general guideline. However, the list used will depend a lot on both the grade of the participants and the level of the spelling bee. The following links will help you find lists that are appropriate for different types of spelling bee situations:

  • The lists from The Herald in Sharon, Pennsylvania are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. They also provide definitions for every word listed.
  • This is a list of every word that was misspelled during the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Recognizing common mistakes is a great way to study for a spelling bee.
  • Review this list of winning words from every Scripps Spelling Bee since 1925. They range from "eudaemonic" in 1960 to "Feldenkrais" and "gesellschaft" in 2016.
  • Spelling Words Well has compiled a masterful list of difficult spelling bee words, grade by grade.

Try to Minimize Frustration

Remember, the point of a spelling bee is not for everyone to win. Encourage students to minimize frustration throughout the spelling bee. It's important they don't feel ashamed if they miss a hard word.

At one point or another, everyone in the competition, except for the winner, is going to be eliminated. Most of all, it's just a game that never ends. There's always another spelling bee around the corner somewhere.

Try these Spelling Activities in your next lesson plan. Your students can enjoy everything from the classic crossword puzzle to a 3D word sculpture.

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Sensational Spelling Skills

Sensational spelling skills begin today. Whether you're a teacher or a parent, you can help your little ones develop into masterful spellers. Lay a sound foundation with a comprehensive list of spelling hints.

In How to Spell a Word, we discuss things like the old "i before e" adage, vowel rules, homonyms, and more. Once the foundation is laid and a love of reading is embraced, anything is possible.