Words Unique To English: 230 Words and Their Meanings
Ever felt the need to absquatulate? Got yourself into a kerfuffle at work? Or maybe you’ve come across a conundrum and aren’t sure what to do? If you aren’t familiar with a few of these words don’t fret, as they are just some of the thousands of words unique to English that you may never have heard before.
You might think you have a solid grasp of the English language, but there are so many words that make it up it really is tough to know every word. There are an estimated 171,146 words in the English language today, with an additional 47,156 obsolete words according to the Oxford Dictionary. So it’s no real surprise there are tons of words you may never have heard of or had to use during your everyday life.
But if you want to expand your vocabulary or have a passion for language, you might want to learn some of these unique words. That’s where we can help. We have collected 230 words unique to English below, along with the type of word they are and what they mean so you can start impressing everyone with your knowledge of the English language.
Words Unique To English: 230 Words and Their Meanings
1. Abibliophobi (noun) – The fear of running out of things to read.
2. Abomasum (noun) – The fourth stomach of a sheep or cow.
3. Absquatulate (verb) – To leave somewhere abruptly.
4. Acatalectic (adjective) – Having a full line of syllables.
5. Accismus (noun) – This foreign word comes from the Latin word accismus and means to feign interest in something when you really covet it.
6. Adagio (noun) – Something at a slow tempo.
7. Ailurophile (noun) – The word for someone who is a cat lover.
8. Alcazar (noun) – A Spanish word meaning palace or fortress.
9. Amok (noun) – A sudden assault against people that comes from nowhere.
10. Amphisbaena (noun) – A serpent in mythology that has a head at either end of its body.
11. Anachronism (verb) – Something (or someone) that is out of place in terms of time or chronology.
12. Antimacassar (noun) – A cover used to protect furniture.
13. Atingle (adjective) – To tingle with excitement.
14. Apricity (noun) – The warmth of the Sun in Winter.
15. Argle-bargle (noun) – A word used to denote someone who is waffling on or talking rubbish.
16. Aesthete (noun) – A person who is a lover of sensitive art.
17. Aurora (noun) – Natural light in the sky caused by particles from the sun interacting with the planet’s magnetic field.
18. Bafflegab (noun) – Someone speaking gobbledygook.
19. Bailiwick (noun) – Any area in which someone has superior knowledge.
20. Bamboozle (verb) – To confuse or baffle someone.
21. Bibble (verb) – To have a tipple of alcohol.
22. Bodacious (adjective) – Someone with a curvy body.
23. Borborygmus (noun) – The sound your stomach makes when you are hungry.
24. Brouhaha (noun) – When someone is overly excited about something.
25. Bugbear (noun) – A source of dread.
26. Bumbershoot (noun) – Another word for an umbrella.
27. Bumfuzzled (adjective) – A cool word that means a state of confusion or shock.
28. Bumfluff (noun) – When someone gets their first hairs on their face.
29. Cacophony (noun) – A jarring sound.
30. Calliope (noun) – A word that stands for the Greek Muse of heroic poetry and also doubles as an instrument similar to the organ.
31. Cattywampus (adjective) – When something is going badly or awkwardly.
32. Calamity (noun) – A great misfortune or disaster.
33. Cheesy (adjective) – Tacky.
34. Clinomania (noun) – An excessive desire to stay in bed.
35. Collywobbles (noun) – A strange feeling in your guts.
36. Connecticutian (noun) – Someone who is a resident of the state of Connecticut.
37. Consanguineous (adjective) – Descending from the same ancestor.
38. Conundrum (noun) – A problem that is difficult to solve.
39. Convivial (adjective) – A good host.
40. Cornucopia (noun) – An abundance.
41. Crestfallen (adjective) – Feeling dejected.
42. Cryptozoology (noun) – The search for legendary animals that don’t exist.
43. Defenestration (noun) – Throwing someone out of a window.
44. Demitasse (noun) – A small cup of black coffee.
45. Demure (adjective) – Reserved or shy.
46. Denouement (noun) – The final outcome of a story.
47. Discombobulated (adjective) – Confused.
48. Doohickey (noun) – A small object you can’t remember the name of.
49. Doppelgänger (noun) – Your double.
50. Dowdy (adjective) – Something old or shabby.
51. Draconian (adjective) – Something that is harsh or unfair.
52. Dumfounded (adjective) – Speechless.
53. Effervescent (adjective) – Bubbly or excited.
54. Elegance (noun) – To have grace or dignity.
55. Elixir (noun) – A liquid that can prolong life.
56. Epeolatry (noun) – Rare word meaning the worship of words.
57. Ephemeral (adjective) – Lasting a short time.
58. Epiphany (noun) – An illuminating discovery, often life-changing.
59. Erinaceous (adjective) – Something related to a hedgehog.
60. Ersatz (adjective) – Inferior substitute.
61. Ethereal (adjective) – Not from this world.
62. Eudaemonia (noun) – Happiness.
63. Facepalm (verb) – An expression of embarrassment.
64. Festooned (noun) – A decorative chain.
65. Finagle (verb) – To achieve something through trickery.
66. Flabbergasted (noun) – Being surprised or shocked.
67. Flawsome (adjective) – Someone who is awesome despite their flaws.
68. Flibbertigibbet (noun) – A silly person.
69. Flimflam (noun) – To trick or deceive someone.
70. Flummery (noun) – Porridge made with flour.
71. Flummox (verb) – Once common in American English, this word means to confuse.
72. Flyspeck (noun) – Something small or insignificant.
73. Fracas (noun) – A noisy argument or fight.
74. Frangipani (noun) – A perfume that smells like the flower plumeria.
75. Fuddy-duddy (noun) – An old-fashioned person.
76. Funambulist (noun) – A person who walks a tightrope.
77. Gadzooks (interjection) – To be surprised.
78. Gambit (non) – An opening remark. Also the name of an X-Men character.
79. Gazebo (noun) – A free-standing structure with no walls.
80. Gibberish (noun) – Something doesn’t make sense.
81. Gizmo (noun) – A gadget.
82. Glabella (noun) – The smooth area between your eyebrows.
83. Gossamer (noun) – Something light.
84. Guffaw (noun) – Boisterous laughter.
85. Gubbins (noun) – A foolish person.
86. Guru (noun) – Spiritual leader or teacher.
87. Haboob (noun) – A violent and sudden dust storm, typically found in Sudan.
88. Halcyon (adjective) – Prosperity.
89. Heliophile (noun) – Someone attracted to sunlight.
90. Hillbillly (noun) – Someone from a backward area.
91. Hodgepodge (noun) – A mixture of things.
92. Hokum (noun) – Utter nonsense.
93. Hoosegow (noun) – Another word for jail.
94. Hullabaloo (noun) – A loud disturbance.
95. Huzzah (noun) – Expressing joy.
96. Ignoramus (noun) – An extremely arrogant and self-titled person.
97. Impedimenta (plural noun) – Things that get in your way or stop you from carrying out tasks.
98. Incendiary (adjective) – Extremely hot.
99. Ineffable (adjective) – Hard to describe.
100. Infatuation (noun) – Obsessed.
101. Infinitesimal (adjective) – Something extremely small.
102. Inkling (noun) – Slight suspicion.
103. Interrobang (adjective) – A combination of the question mark and exclamation mark that looks like this; ‽.
104. Iridescent (adjective) – Colors that seem to change when looked at at different angles.
105. Izzard (noun) – Word that stands for the letter z.
106. Jabberwocky (noun) – Meaningless talk.
107. Jackasseries (noun) – Something stupid.
108. Jalopy (noun) – An old dilapidated vehicle.
109. Jentacular (adjective) – Relating to anything breakfast.
110. Juxtaposition (noun) – Two things side by side.
111. Kakorrhaphiophobia (noun) – Fear of failure,
112. Kaput (adjective) – Something that is destroyed.
113. Kerfuffle (noun) – A commotion or disturbance.
114. Kerplunk (adverb) – A loud, dull thud. Also the name of a board game.
115. Kismet (noun) – Fate.
116. Kumquat (noun) – A small round citrus fruit.
117. Kvetch (noun) – To complain continuously.
118. Lackadaisical (adjective) – Lacking life or spirit.
119. Lagoon (noun) – A body of water.
120. Lamprophony (noun) – Speaking loudly.
121. Languor (noun) – Weakness or weariness of body or mind.
122. Lassitude (noun) – Being fatigued or weary.
123. Limburger (noun) – A type of smelly cheese.
124. Limerence (noun) – Being obsessed and infatuated with another person.
125. Lithe (adjective) – Slim.
126. Logophile (noun) – Someone who loves words.
127. Lollapalooza (noun) – Something impressive.
128. Lollygag (verb) – To fool around and waste time.
129. Lugubrious (adjective) – Mournful.
130. Lummox (noun) – A clumsy person.
131. Machination (noun) – A crafty action with an evil outcome.
132. Macrosmatic (adjective) – Having a highly developed sense of smell.
133. Maelstrom (noun) – A powerful whirlpool.
134. Manifesto (noun) – A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
135. Melancholy (noun) – A feeling of sadness.
136. Mellifluous (adjective) – Having a smooth, rich flow.
137. Miffed (verb) – To be annoyed or frustrated.
138. Mixologist (adjective) – Someone who mixes drinks.
139. Mnemonic (adjective) – Relating to memory.
140. Mollycoddle (verb) – To give someone too much attention.
141. Mondegreen (noun) – Mishearing song lyrics or words in a conversation.
142. Moocher (noun) – Someone who lives off other people’s generosity.
143. Mufti (noun) – Ordinary clothes.
144. Mulligatawny (noun) – A curry-flavored soup made with chicken or beef stock.
145. Muumuu (noun) – A loose-fitting dress with patterns and bright colors. What Homer Simpson enjoys wearing.
146. Murmuration (noun) – The act of murmuring.
147. Myopic (adjective) – The scientific word for near-sighted.
148. Nabob (noun) – A wealthy person.
149. Nadir (noun) – The lowest point.
150. Nefarious (adjective) – Wicked or evil.
151. Nemesis (noun) – Arch rival.
152. Nincompoop (noun) – A fool.
153. Noctambulist (noun) – A person who walks while they are asleep.
154. Nonplussed (adjective) – Someone who isn’t bothered.
155. Noyade (noun) – A mass drowning.
156. Noxious (adjective) – Something dangerous or harmful.
157. Nudiustertian (adjective) – The day before yesterday.
158. Omphalos (noun) – The central point.
159. Onomatopoeia (noun) – Something named after the sound it makes.
160. Operose (adjective) – Tiresome.
161. Orrery (noun) – An apparatus showing the relative positions and motions of bodies in the solar system by balls moved by a clockwork.
162. Otalgia (noun) – Earache.
163. Panacea (noun) – A cure for everything.
164. Paradox (noun) – Something that contradicts itself.
165. Paraph (noun) – A flourish made at the end of a signature.
166. Pareidolia (noun) – Seeing shapes or images that aren’t there.
167. Pauciloquent (adjective) – Using few words.
168. Peely-wally (adjective) – Scottish slang for someone who looks pale or ill.
169. Peripatetic (noun) – A nomad.
170. Peterman (noun) – Another name for a fisherman or a safecracker.
171. Petrichor (noun) – The smell after it rains.
172. Phyllo (noun) – Thin dough used to make flakey pastry.
173. Pilgarlic (noun) – A bald-headed man.
174. Pimp (noun) – A person who exploits women for money.
175. Plethora (noun) – An abundance of something.
176. Pluviophile (noun) – Someone who loves the rain.
177. Pneumatic (adjective) – Related to gas.
178. Polyphiloprogenitive (adjective) – Extremely prolific.
179. Pother (noun) – A commotion.
180. Pristine (adjective) – Very clean.
181. Propinquity (noun) – Another word for proximity.
182. Psychotomimetic (adjective) – Relating to, involving, or inducing psychotic alteration of behavior and personality.
183. Quintessence (noun) – The ideal answer.
184. Quire (noun) – A collection of 24 or 25 papers of the same size and shape.
185. Raconteur (noun) – A good storyteller.
186. Ragamuffin (noun) – A poorly dressed person.
187. Razzia (noun) – To plunder.
188. Renaissance (noun) – A period in Italian history beginning in the 14th century and lasting until the 17th century.
189. Riposte (noun) – A quick or witty response.
190. Sanctimony (noun) – Hypocritical.
191. Sanguine (noun) – To be optimistic.
192. Sequoia (noun) – A type of tree.
193. Serendipity (noun) – The act of finding something valuable or interesting when you are not looking for it.
194. Sibilant (adjective) – Hissing sound.
195. Snickersnee (noun) – A large knife.
196. Somnambulist (noun) – A person who sleepwalks.
197. Sonder (noun) – An understanding that everyone else on the planet has their own complex life.
198. Sozzled (adjective) – Drunk as a skunk.
199. Sumptuous (adjective) – Rich or luxurious.
200. Supine (adjective) – Lying on your back.
201. Surreptitious (adjective) – Being stealthy.
202. Syzygy (noun) – A nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies.
203. Taradiddle (noun) – A British word for nonsense.
204. Tergiversation (noun) – Being evasive and not straightforward.
205. Thwart (verb) – To put a stop to something unexpectedly.
206. Tittynope (noun) – A small amount of leftover food.
207. Trade-off (noun) – Giving one thing up for something else.
208. Trichotillomania (noun) – The compulsive desire to pull your hair out.
209. Ulotrichous (adjective) – Having wooly hair.
210. Vellichor (noun) – The wistfulness and nostalgia of a second-hand bookshop.
211. Verisimilitude (noun) – Similar to the truth.
212. Wabbit (noun) – To feel unwell.
213. Wanderlust (noun) – A passion for traveling.
214. Wassail (noun) – A warm drink, usually alcoholic.
215. Wherewithal (noun) – To have the resources or means.
216. Whippersnapper (noun) – A young and inexperienced person.
217. Widdershins (adverb) – A clockwise direction.
218. Winklepicker (noun) – A show with a sharp, pointed end.
219. Woebegone (adjective) – Experiencing great woe or being in a sorry state.
220. Xenotransplantation (noun) – The transplantation of an organ, tissue, or cells between two different species.
221. Xertz (noun) – To drink something quickly.
222. Yeet (interjection) – Slang word for excitement.
223. Yarborough (noun) – A hand in Bridge.
224. Yokel (noun) – Less than intelligent person from a small town.
225. Zaftig (adjective) – A round or plump figure.
226. Zeal (noun) – Eagerness.
227. Zeitgeist (noun) – The unique spirit of an era.
228. Zenith (noun) – To reach the highest point.
229. Zephyr (noun) – A gentle breeze.
230. Ziggurat (noun) – An ancient Mesopotamian temple tower. Often in the shape of a pyramid.
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