10 Words Every Graduate Should Know
If you graduated from high school--no matter the year!--you should know these 10 words, according to the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. Actually you should know 90 more, too. And they're all in "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know." But let's start with these 10.
Time to test yourself! The definitions are at the end of this page so you don't have to go far to find out what the words mean.
Top 10 words you should know:
Just as any current high school student preparing for the SAT college admissions test can tell you, words sometimes contain hints as to their meanings either through spelling or sound. For example, "abstemious" means to eat or drink in moderation. It sounds a lot like "abstain," so on a multiple-choice test, you might be able to figure this out from the sound of the word.
"The words we suggest 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," Steven Kleinedler, senior editor of "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know," says in a news release announcing the book. But he admitted to the Detroit Free Press that few people actually know all 100. Confession time: He told the paper that one of the words on the top 100 list, "quotidian," was completely new to him. (It means commonplace or ordinary.)
The meanings of the 10 words above (on the off chance you need to bone up on your vocabulary):
abstemious: eating and drinking in moderation; self-denyingbellicose: warlike or hostile; belligerent
chromosome: a strand of DNA; genetic material
filibuster: the use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking
gauche: lacking grace or social polish; vulgar
gerrymander: to divide voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party
interpolate: to insert or introduce between other elements or parts; to butt-in
irony: the use of words to express something different from and often opposite to literal meaning
plagiarize: to use and pass off the ideas or writing of another as one's own
suffragist: an advocate of voting rights, especially for women
Want to really impress people with your vocabulary?
Here are all 100 words:
100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know
by Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries (Editor)
100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know
BOSTON, MA — 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: