The News-Review and Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe will sponsor the 43rd annual Douglas County Spelling Bee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 18 at the Wildlife Safari’s Cheryl Ford Center.

A set of spelling words will appear on this page every week through March 28. The weekly word lists can also be accessed online at by entering “Spelling Bee” into the search field.

The county spelling bee champion will win a trophy and new laptop. Trophies and prizes will also be awarded through fourth place.

All public school, private school and home-schooled 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. Home-schooled students should contact the home school spelling bee coordinator at 541-679-1251.

The county spelling bee coordinator may be contacted at Questions regarding the weekly word lists may be addressed to or to The News-Review at 541-229-4328.


Grope — Search about blindly or uncertainly. “The daydreaming student had to grope for an answer when the teacher asked him a question.”

Basket — A receptacle made of interwoven cane, rushes, or other flexible material. “Cindy placed several magazines in a grapevine basket beside the easy chair in the family room.”

Compressed — Condensed; reduced in volume by pressure. “Carolyn filled her scuba tanks with compressed air.”

Bareback — Situated on a horse’s normal riding area without using a saddle. “Erica has always ridden her horse bareback and knows nothing about how to sit in a saddle properly.”

Slingshot — A forked stick with an elastic band attached that shoots small pellets and is used in play and hunting. “The slingshot was a lethal weapon and hunting device frequently used in the days before firearms existed.”

Rainbow — An arc exhibiting in concentric bands the several colors of the spectrum and formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays in drops of rain. “When the clouds disappeared after the shower, Marcy ran outside to see if she could spot a rainbow.”

Narrow — Not possessing usual or expected width. “The sidewalk was too narrow for the three friends to walk side by side.”

Tongs — An instrument for taking hold of objects for ease and convenience of handling. “Wendi could not find the tongs, so she turned the frankfurters with a fork.”

Autopilot — A self-regulating device that steers ships and aircraft and spontaneously stabilizes aircraft. “Myra’s little brother asked the flight attendant if he could sit in the cockpit while the plane was flying on autopilot.”

Reek — Give off a strong, often offensive odor. “Antiperspirant ads create the impression that the human body will reek with sweat if the advertised product is not used.”

Compact — Suggesting firmness, soundness, and a degree of strength. “The bulldog’s compact frame contrasts sharply with the greyhound’s lanky build.”

Oxygen — A nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless nonflammable gas. “Fire is impossible without oxygen.”

Banjo — A musical instrument of the guitar class with a long narrow fretted neck and small drumlike body. “The old banjo in Grandfather’s attic needs new strings but is otherwise in excellent condition.”

Settlers — Those who first move into a new region; colonists. “The settlers sat about on the wooden sidewalks in the little town and complained about the land and the weather.”

Blinder — Either of two flaps on a horse’s bridle to prevent sight of objects at his sides. “The groom attached a blinder to each side of the mare’s bridle before allowing her to pull the carriage through crowded city streets.”

Snort — Force air violently through the nose with a rough harsh sound. “As many cartoons depict, the bull really does snort and paw the ground when he is angry.”

Harmless — Lacking capacity or intent to injure. “The snake was a harmless little thing who would not hurt anyone and seemed in a hurry to get out of the room.”

Telephone — A device for reproducing sounds, especially articulate speech, at a distance. “Ginger’s parents asked her to limit her time on the telephone to three 15-minute conversations per night.”

Pitch — The turning of an airplane about its lateral axis so that the nose rises or falls in relation to the tail. “When the pilot announced that the passengers should prepare themselves for a slight change in pitch, they all expected the plane to nosedive.”

Cricket — A roller in the bit of horse. “The cricket that Sally added to her horse’s bit did a good job of keeping her horse’s tongue occupied.”

Hawk — Any of the smaller members of the diurnal birds of prey such as falcons, buzzards, harriers, and ospreys. “The red-tailed hawk circled the meadow and then swooped down to seize a field mouse.”

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

Engine — An instrument or machine of war. “The most deadly engine in 21st-century warfare might be a biological weapon.”

Shipjack — Any of various fishes that jump above or play at the water’s surface. “The shipjack that entertained the sailboat crew was probably a bluefish.”

Grasp — Comprehend; understand. “Victor was able to grasp the new concept the first time it was presented.”

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