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November 20, 2012 | Back to: News

Spelling Bee 2013, Word List 1 - 5

The News-Review will sponsor a Douglas County Spelling Bee on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Wildlife Safari in Winston.

Words will appear each Monday on the Schools Page. The word lists can also be accessed at our website, www.nrtoday.com by entering ‘Spelling Bee’ into the search field or by entering www.nrtoday.com/spellingbee directly into your web browser. The last word list will be published Feb. 11, 2013.

The County Spelling Bee Champion will go home with a trophy and a new computer system. Trophies and other prizes will also be awarded to the First, Second and Third place winners.

All public school, private school, and home-school students in the fifth through eighth grades are invited to participate. Students wishing to enter elimination rounds in their district must sign up with their school’s spelling bee coordinator.


gigantic. Greater in size than the usual or expected. “The American flag flying over the service station is so gigantic that it can be seen from a mile away.”

dismal . Marked by gloom, dejection, somberness, or depression of spirits. “The children who forgot their gloves spent a dismal recess looking out the window at the snow.”

hulking . Of great size or powerful build. “One look at the hulking guard would cause anyone to think twice about making him angry.”

bantam . Small: easily handled. “Accustomed to bantam automobiles in Europe, Jacqui regarded American cars as too large and unwieldy.”

dingo . A wild dog of Australia. “Many Australian farmers erect high fences to protect their sheep against the dingo.”

blather . Voluble, foolish, or nonsensical talk. “Matt’s announcement consisted of 10 percent information and 90 percent blather.”

hearsay . Something heard from another: report, rumor. “Jody’s elaborate account of the argument was based purely on hearsay.”

invisible . Of such small size as to be hardly noticeable. “Isaiah felt invisible sitting in the back of the lecture hall.”

acre . Any of various units of land area. “Miriam had to cross a 10-acre field to get to her favorite swimming hole.”

distressing . Subjecting to great strain or difficulties. “Ulrich had a distressing day at the office.”

dimension . A measurable aspect such as length or width. “Height is one dimension of a cube.”

humane . Marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for other human beings or animals. “Sharon received an award for her humane treatment of stray pets.”

dinosauric . Huge. “Angela was astounded by the dinosauric size of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial.”

dawdler . One who wastes time in idle lingering. “Lauren was such a dawdler that she often missed the school bus.”

peninsula . A portion of land nearly surrounded by water and connected with a larger body by an isthmus. “Florida is actually a very large peninsula.”

mastodon . Someone or something of gigantic size or unusually large size: giant. “Mrs. Campbell’s automobile collection ranges from a tiny two-seater to an antique mastodon.”

disagreeable . Causing discomfort, displeasure, or repugnance. “Mary was so disagreeable that after the first day or two nobody would play with her.”

durable . Able to exist for along time: lasting. “Jimmy brought along a pair of durable hiking boots for his trek through the mountainous terrain.”

mammoth . Gigantic. “Clarence specialized in growing mammoth vegetables and held several records for his specimens.”

hurling . Impelling with great vigor. “For lack of something better to do, Simon spent the afternoon hurling stones into the creek.”

quest . An act or instance of searching expedition, pursuit, venture. “In ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ the horseman rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head.”

muse . Become absorbed in thought. “When he was a boy, Howard used to sit on the porch and muse on what he would do with his life.”

liberalism . A political philosophy based on the belief in freedom for the individual and on the belief of governmental guarantees of human rights and civil liberties. “Alex believes that persons attracted to liberalism are often more compassionate than practical.”

resolute . Having or characterized by a decided purpose: determined. “Jody remained resolute in his decision to resign from the committee.”

stationary . Fixed in a place, position, course, or mode. “The clerk calmly remained in a stationary position.”

thermometer . An instrument for determining temperature. “The thermometer that takes a temperature reading from one’s ear is now used widely.”

magnitude . Greatness of size or extent: vastness. “The magnitude of the shift from previous policies left all members of the organization unsure of their roles.”

tenement . A single room or set of rooms for use by one tenant or family: apartment, flat. “Polly grew up in a tenement on the west side of the city.”

disappearance . Removal from sight: vanishing. “With the disappearance of the snow, the sleds and skates were replaced with bicycles.”

skimpiness . The quality or state of being deficient in supply or execution. “The skimpiness of Eunice’s budget did not allow for many luxuries.”


poised. Marked by easy composure of manner or bearing. “The poised skater performed her routine with great precision and self-assurance.”

furiously. In an impassioned manner: angrily. “The soldiers furiously pursued the raiders but could not catch them.”

badgers. Any of certain strong sturdily-built carnivorous mammals. “Ivar always said that the badgers had cleaner houses than people, and that when he hired a housekeeper her name would be Mrs. Badger.”

solarium. A glass-enclosed porch or living room. “Lacey moved her sunlight-starved fern from her bedroom to the solarium.”

cavalcade. A procession of riders or carriages. “The king headed up the cavalcade proceeding toward the Duke of Parma.”

horizontal. Placed or operating in a plane parallel to the horizon. “Lori wore a sweater with red and blue horizontal stripes.”

despair. Utter loss of hope. “Despair overcame Gerald as he stared at his French exam.”

dromedary. A camel of unusual speed, bred and trained especially for riding, and having a single large hump on the back. “Camel rides at the zoo featured a dromedary.”

exploit. Deed, act. “Sarah’s first exploit in baking resulted in a burned pie and charred juice in the oven.”

tattletale. One that blabs or tells secrets. “Erica’s official title is ‘social reporter,’ but Will considers her a plain old tattletale.”

candlelight. The light of a candle. “C. J. sat by candlelight in his study and thought about the last eight years of his life.”

molecule. A tiny bit: fragment, fraction. “Every tone is a molecule of music.”

ponderous. Unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size. “Roy could barely lift the ponderous ancient weapon.”

titanic. Colossal, gigantic. “World War II brought political change on a titanic scale to Europe.”

appalling. Inspiring dismay: shocking. “There was something about the night that was mysterious and appalling.”

askance. With a side look: sideways, obliquely. “Juan’s cat has a habit of looking askance at a toy for a long while before pouncing on it.”

cumbersome. Of an excessive size, shape, or length: unwieldy. “Emrick dragged his cumbersome duffel bag by its strap.”

simile. A figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things and often introduced by “like” or “as.” “Kermit has a pet chicken and knows firsthand what the simile ‘as scarce as hens’ teeth’ means.”

delicacy. Something pleasing to eat that is accounted rare or luxurious. “Caviar is considered a delicacy.”

obvious. Readily and easily perceived by the sensibilities or mind. “’We’re moving!’ he shouted, which was a fact that had already become obvious to everyone.”

bevy. An usually large group or collection. “A bevy of reporters crowded around the gold medal winner.”

pathetic. Evoking tenderness, pity, sympathy, or sorrow: affecting, pitiable. “Riding on the back of anyone who’d carry him was the Threadbare Excuse, a small pathetic figure whose clothes were worn and tattered and who mumbled the same things again and again.”

feud. A relationship of aggressive hostility: quarrel. “A feud over the property boundaries developed between the two families.”

hoarseness. The quality or state of having a rough-sounding voice. “Paul’s remedy for hoarseness is hot water with lemon.”

contraband. Goods or merchandise of which the importation, exportation, or sometimes possession is forbidden. “On the teacher’s desk sat the contraband taken from students during the day.”

flaunting. Seeking to attract attention especially by appearing or acting brash and brazen. “During the party Terry seemed to be flaunting his ability to play piano.”

possessed. Influenced or controlled by something (as an evil spirit or a passion). “During the race the winning horse ran as if he were possessed by a demon.”

demure. Marked by quiet modesty, sedate reserve, restraint, or sobriety: retiring, shy. “Sondra’s classmates mistook her demure conduct for standoffishness.”

rebuttal. The act of contradicting. “Dennis’s convincing rebuttal sent Oscar home in a huff.”

amendment. The process of changing or modifying in any way for the better (as a motion, bill, act, or constitution). “A well-drafted constitution will provide for its own amendment.”


fiends. Infernal beings: demons. “After a pleasant chat with the princesses, all that remains is a leisurely ride back through those chaotic crags whose frightening fiends have sworn to tear any intruder limb from limb and devour him down to his belt buckle.”

potentate. One who possesses great power or sway: ruler. “Barry acts more like a potentate than a leader in his role as class president.”

praline. A round patty of creamy brown sugar containing pecan meats. “The praline is a favorite candy of the southern United States.”

puritanical. Morally rigorous, strict. “Mrs. Langley is a puritanical woman who tolerates no nonsense from her students.”

sorbet. A frozen dessert made with a mixture of fruits. “Wylie ate sorbet between courses to cleanse his palate.”

bewitched. Cast a spell over. “Some say a sorceress bewitched the valley during the early days of settlement.”

excavator. A worker who digs out material or digs cavities (as in quarrying or for building construction). “The excavator gasped when the side of the pit gave way to reveal a dark chamber.”

affliction. A state of pain, distress, or grief. “John Addison wrote that some virtues are seen only in affliction.
unfavorable. Opposed, contrary. “Willa decided the time was unfavorable for her to tell her mother the news.”

intricate. Having many complexly interrelating parts or elements: complicated. “Jason described the intricate mechanism of the clock as ‘awesome.’”

tobacco. The leaves of a plant of the genus Nicotiana prepared and processed for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff. “At an early age, Amy vowed never to use tobacco.”

sibilant. Having, containing or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the “s” or the “sh in “sash.” “’She sells sea shells ...’ is a sibilant tongue twister.”

aerobatics. Spectacular flying feats and maneuvers (as rolls and dives). “Brian enjoyed the exhibition of aerobatics at the Labor Day festival.”

bulbous. Resembling or suggesting a bulb especially in roundness or in the gross enlargement of a part. “From off on the right, his heavy bulbous body lurching dangerously on the spindly legs which barely supported him, came the Overbearing know-it-all, talking continuously.”

perceived. Became aware of through the senses. “Through the mist, Steve perceived the shape of a house.”

baronial. Splendid, stately, spacious, ample. “The baronial fireplace had enough room to hold six-foot logs.”

prolonger. One who lengthens in time, extends in duration, or draws out. “Dr. Murphy kept his remarks short because he did not want to be the prolonger of the meeting.”

monolith. Something resembling a single great stone. “Sir Larry is considered a pillar of strength by his friends and a hulking obstinate monolith by his enemies.”

jauntily. In a light or carefree manner. “Steve’s hat was perched jauntily on the side of his head.”

assess. Determine the rate or amount of. “Joyce’s job with the insurance company was to assess damages.”

profuse. Overly plentiful: bountiful. “Buttons on the entertainer’s suit were so profuse that not another one could be placed anywhere.”

brandishing. Shaking or waving (a weapon) menacingly. “’That’s why I drove him off,’ cried the Humbug fiercely brandishing his cane.”

overwrought. Suffering from or revealing nervous strain: agitated. “(Tock’s) parents were so overwrought that they gave up having any more children and devoted their lives to doing good work among the poor and hungry.”

butterscotch. A hard candy made by boiling together brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. “Butterscotch has a deep golden color and a delicious rich taste.”

haunted. Inhabited by or as if by apparitions: frequented by ghosts. “The deserted Victorian house outside town is said to be haunted.”

polarize. Cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern. “Sunglasses that polarize light reflected off water help the wearer see into the water.”

spherical. Like a sphere: globular. “Linda suspected that the spherical rock she found was a geode.”

slovenly. Negligent of neatness and order, especially in dress or person. “He that is born under Capricorn shall incline to the slovenly.”

heather. A common evergreen low-growing shrubby plant. “The true heather of Scotland is also called ling or common heath.”

doughiness. The quality or state of being not thoroughly baked. “The doughiness of the cake mortified Mrs. Cavendish.”


manuscript. Not printed. “Rob bought an 18th-century manuscript map from the bookshop as a gift to his father.”

plumber. One who installs, repairs, and maintains piping, fittings, and fixtures that are involved in the distribution and use of water in a building. “The plumber replaced the lead pipes in the Davidsons’ house with copper ones.”

antelope. Any of various ruminant mammals of Africa and southwest Asia. “The bounding antelope managed to outdistance the pursuing lion.”

yeast. A substance used in baking and the fermentation of alcoholic beverages: leaven. “The sourdough bread recipe called for two packages of yeast.”

slavish. Requiring hard work: laborious. “’A slavish concern for the composition of words is the sign of a bankrupt intellect,’ roared the Humbug, waving his cane furiously.”

peerless. Matchless, incomparable. “Randy wondered how he could compete against the peerless defending champion.”

sediment. Material deposited (as by water, wind, or glaciers). “The layers of sediment were evident in the shades of color on the rocky hillside.”

caramelize. Change (sugar or the sugar content of a food) into caramel. “Kara is going to caramelize some sugar to make peanut brittle.”

audition. Give a trial performance. “Cornelius decided to audition for the part of Shylock.”

knapsack. A bag or case often of canvas supported on the back by a strap over each shoulder and used especially for carrying supplies while on a march or hike. “The next morning, Boris found a young snapping turtle in his knapsack.”

condescended. Stooped or bent to action or speech less formal or dignified than is customary in one’s social rank. “The rajah condescended to seat himself on a rug under the tree.”

platypus. A small egg-laying aquatic mammal of southern and eastern Australia and Tasmania having a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense blackish brown fur, five-toed webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail. “Cindy has asked for a platypus for her birthday.”

sagely. In a wise or prudent manner. “Vera invested her savings sagely.”

traversed. Moved to and fro over or along. “Zane serenely traversed the frozen pond.”

occasionally. Now and then: here and there. “Years ago I was just an ordinary bee minding my own business, smelling flowers all day, and occasionally picking up part-time work in people’s bonnets.”

terrarium. A fully enclosed wholly or predominantly glass container for the indoor cultivation of moisture-loving plants. “Mosses and other small woodland plants thrive in a terrarium.”

acuate. Having a sharp point: shaped like a needle: sharpened. “Cobb’s beagle was distinctive because of its acuate tail.”

visualize. See a mental image of. “Arthur could still visualize the accident down to the smallest detail.”

grandiloquent. Marked by a lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style. “With a grandiloquent gesture, Mona left the ballroom.”

vorago. An engulfing chasm: abyss. “Before he knew it, Beck had crossed the bridge over the vorago.”

introspect. Look within (as one’s own mind). “Bokeem likes to sit on the edge of the pond in his aunt’s backyard and introspect.”

ascertained. Made sure of: discovered. “In the moonlight, the form of the heretofore unknown might now be ascertained.”

minstrels. Professional musical entertainers of a kind originating in medieval times. “Off to one side a group of minstrels sang songs to the delight of those either too young or too old to engage in trade.”

preface. The author’s introduction to a book usually explaining the object and scope of what follows : a foreword. “In her preface, the author explained how she got involved in the study of gorillas.”

sonnet. A fixed verse form of Italian origin consisting of 14 lines. “Thomas remembered memorizing in high school a sonnet about Triton and a wreathed horn.”

emphatically. In a markedly forceful manner. “At the school board meeting, Jonah spoke emphatically in favor of requiring students to wear uniforms.”

heretical. Of, relating to, or characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards: unorthodox. “A free society allows the expression of all opinions, however heretical they may seem.”

parable. A usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle. “Ella’s Sunday school teacher began every class with a parable.”

equilibrist. One who balances himself in unnatural positions and performs hazardous movements. “Of all the acts in the circus, Yancy liked the equilibrist best.”

axiom. A proposition, rule, or maxim that has found general acceptance or is thought worthy thereof. “’Early to bed, early to rise’ is Uncle Abdul’s favorite axiom.”


valiantly. In a brave or bold manner courageously. “Deidre tried valiantly to swim the English Channel.”

loitering. Frittering away time in the course of doing something or proceeding somewhere. “Amanda would have been ready to meet the bus if she hadn’t loitered in front of the TV.”

portentous. Of, relating to, or constituting something that foreshadows a coming event: ominous. “Oliver’s dream proved portentous.”

ricotta. A white unripened whey cheese of Italian origin that resembles cottage cheese. “Angela’s favorite Italian recipe calls for ravioli stuffed with ricotta.”

parody. A writing in which the language and style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule often with certain peculiarities greatly heightened or exaggerated. “Jackie’s parody of Mickey Spillane won her first place in the essay contest.”

vulnerable. Capable of being wounded: defenseless against injury. “Maggie’s sensitive nature made her vulnerable to cross remarks.”

leopard. A large strong cat of southern Asia and Africa that is adept at climbing and is usually tawny or buff with black spots. “The so-called ‘black panther’ is actually a black-coated form of the leopard.”

azimuth. An arc of the horizon measured between a fixed point and the vertical circle passing through the center of an object. “Using a compass, the navigator took the magnetic azimuth of the star.”

julienne. Cut in long thin strips — used especially of vegetables and fruits. “Bruce added julienne cucumber to the salad.”

meagerness. The quality or state of being small, thin, or inadequate. “The meagerness of supporting evidence rendered the politician’s book and speeches unconvincing to Albert.”

ghastly. Giving rise to terror: frightening. “The gnarled trees appeared ghastly in the moonlight.”

suffice. Be enough: meet or satisfy a need. “One teaspoonful of salt will suffice for the stew.”

calabash. The common bottle gourd. “A calabash with a hole cut in it makes a dandy birdhouse.”

babblative. Given to excessive talking: garrulous. “The babblative waitress called everyone at our table ‘sweetheart.’”

aporia. A passage in speech or writing incorporating or presenting a difficulty or doubt. “The Bible verse ‘Then the steward said within himself, “What shall I do?”’ is an aporia.”

octahedron. A solid bounded by eight plane faces. “Tanya bought a music box in the form of an octahedron for her new grandson.”

fantasize. Create or develop imaginative and often fantastic views, ideas, or explanations. “After Calvin was elected to the student council, all he ever did was fantasize about becoming president of the United States.”

epos. A body of poetry expressing the tradition of a people. “The ancient epos survived in later literature.”

sprawling. Lying or sitting with arms and legs stretched out carelessly or awkwardly. “The bucking of the horse sent the cowboy sprawling on the ground.”

pomander. A mixture of perfumed or aromatic substances usually made in a ball and enclosed in a perforated bag or box. “Mom’s clothes always smelled of the pomander she kept in her closet.”

inclusion. The act of taking in as a part of a larger group, class, or principle. “The inclusion of females in the traditionally male school’s freshman class caused an uproar.”

vixenish. Resembling a shrewish ill-tempered woman. “Elena could become vixenish when she felt slighted.”

elegiac. Consisting of two dactylic hexameter lines the second of which is often felt to be pentameter. “Gonda could not figure out how to scan the elegiac couplet.”

ductility. The quality or state of being capable of being drawn out into wire. “The ductility of platinum is such that it has been drawn into a wire less than two thousandths of an inch in diameter.”

vellication. The act of twitching or of causing to twitch. “While dissecting a frog in biology class, Sam noticed vellication of the legs.”

disconsolate. Hopelessly sad: being beyond comfort. “No words were sold, the marketplace closed down, and the people grew poor and disconsolate.”

shrewish. Resembling or having the characteristics of an ill-tempered, scolding woman. “Because Della is naturally ill-tempered, she had no difficulty acting the part of the shrewish neighbor.”

mosquito. Any of numerous two-winged flies that have a rather narrow abdomen and usually a long slender rigid proboscis with which they puncture the skin of animals to suck the blood. “I have everything here from the buzz of a mosquito a million years ago to what your mother said to you this morning.”

illumination. A giving of physical light or the state of being lighted. “Because of its many windows, Sarah’s office always has ample illumination.”

doffed. Lifted the hat. “When he reached the car, the figure doffed his cap.”

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The News-Review Updated Feb 6, 2013 02:07PM Published Feb 6, 2013 02:04PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.