8 Most Difficult Words in English and Their Meanings

25 February 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Spelling Bee is one of the most popular games for children and adults alike. In fact, almost half of its players get the Genius title by pronouncing the most difficult words in English perfectly.

Are you curious about what kind of words may appear in the game? In this article, we are trying to gather some for you.

8 Most Difficult Words in English with Meanings

Difficult word


English has thousands of words in the dictionary, starting from the easiest “a” to the longest, “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” Luckily, you can scour the whole dictionary to identify all of them. Just check them in the list below.

1. Liquefy (likwəˌfī)

At first glance, you might realize that what makes the word tricky is the latest three alphabets; the -efy. Meanwhile, the first four alphabets are pretty common.

Liquefy means to change something into the form of liquid. With this word, you might recall the word “liquify,” and you might think it is the same thing. However, the correct spelling is “liquefy,” not “liquify.”

2. Sesquipedalian (ˌseskwəpəˈdālyən)

Sesquipedalian is the kind of word you would take pause to read when you look at it. It does not even matter even if you are a native speaker.

In Latin, Sesquipedalian translates to “1,5 foot long”. And in English, the meaning is not that different. In fact, English has two meanings for the word; a long word, and a person who uses a long word.

3. Vicissitude (vəˈsisəˌto͞od)

The presence of C and double S in vicissitude makes it one of the hard words in English. Consequently, there are chances of typos whether you say it or type it.

The word means a change or alteration of a situation that brings the feeling of discomfort or unwelcome. An example of this word is the occurrence of a natural disaster or sudden job loss.

4. Libroqubicularist (Le-broh-kyu-bih-kyu-le-rist)

Got a habit of reading on the bed? Stop saying you are “a reader” on social media, and start saying you are a libroqubicularist.

Yes, libroqubicularist means the person who reads on the bed. Now, you can show your rich vocabulary and start to impress people.

5. Antidisestablishmentarianism (ˌanˌtīˌdisəsˌtabliSHmənˈterēəˌniz)

Even just looking at it makes you feel slightly dreadful, right? Antidisestablishmentarianism is one of the most difficult words in English to spell. However, this word will guarantee you a high score in spelling bee contests.

Antidisestablishmentarianism refers to the opposition group that rejects the idea of stopping the state’s support of churches. 

6. Quintessence (kwinˈtes(ə)ns)

This one may seem easier to pronounce than the other, but you will still need time to process the word while reading it.

Quintessence means the natural state of something. It can also be described as the essence, the most typical example of a substance.

7. Gobbledygook (ˈɡäbəldēˌɡo͞ok)

If you think this word is funny-sounding, that may be because it is. Gobbledygook was popular back in 40-s, but it is still used nowadays. The word means something unintelligible or meaningless. In today’s terms, you can only refer to it as “nonsense.”

8.Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (Hi-poh-po-toh-mon-stroh-ses-kwee-peh-dah-leejoh-foh-beeja)

Even typing hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia feels challenging, let alone pronouncing it. It is no wonder that the word is one of the longest words in the dictionary, as well as one of the most difficult words in English to pronounce.

However, the word has a bit of irony in there. According to the dictionary, hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia means fear of long words. Interesting, right?

Aside from this list, there are more of the most difficult words in English. Maybe you haven’t even heard some of it. Curious to know more? Go join us in Fun English Course, get to know more interesting words, and impress people with your knowledge. Contact us for more info.


Note: Yang kena copyscape adalah kata “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia “ dan pronunciation-nya

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