233 Commonly Mispronounced Words in English

English can be so weird.

Why are there so many words that look completely different than they sound?

English pronunciation can be so complicated that even native speakers go their whole lives mispronouncing certain words.

There are probably at least a few that you have been saying incorrectly without knowing it.

Well, not anymore!

We will teach you 17 of the most often mispronounced words in English, including some very common words that you will encounter all the time.

Master their pronunciation and you might even have a thing or two to teach a native English speaker!


17 Commonly Mispronounced English Words

In the list below, we will spell out the common incorrect pronunciations as well as the correct pronunciation for each word. We will put the stressed syllables in bold.

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You can also click on a word below to hear its pronunciation. Finally, I recommend finding these words on FluentU, where you can hear them spoken by a native English speaker in short videos.

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1. Açaí

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Uh-kai” or “Ah-kai

How it is actually pronounced:Ahh-sai-ee”

Açai berries are a type of South American fruit.

Even native English speakers mispronounced this word for a while when açaí bowls first became popular in the U.S.

Let’s all go out for açaí bowls, I’m starving!

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2. Flautist

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Floo-tist”

How it is actually pronounced:Flah-tist” (U.S.) or “Floh-tist” (U.K.)

A flautist is a musician who plays the flute. Flutist (pronounced “floo-tist”) is an older word that is also an appropriate way to use to describe a flute player, but mostly in the U.S. Typically, Americans will say flutist while the rest of the world’s English speakers will say flautist.

Tyler is an accomplished and talented flautist.

3. Definitely

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Dee-fie-ant-lee” or “Def-in-it-lee”

How it is actually pronounced:Def-in-it-lee”

Not only is this word sometimes mispronounced by non-native speakers, but its spelling is also butchered (destroyed) by just about everyone.

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Who knows why? It kind of sounds how it is spelled, but we just cannot get “definitely” right! We might spell it “definately” or “defiantly” for years, even after being corrected. It is a cursed word.

I’m definitely going to study my English lessons tonight.

4. Library

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Lie-bear-ee”

How it is actually pronounced:Lie-brair-ee”

The “r” sounds in this word are hard for a lot of non-native speakers to figure out. Though it is clearly spelled with an “r” right next to the “b,” even native speakers tend to leave it out.

We went to the local library to check out some books.

5. Itinerary

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Eye-tin-air-ee” or “Eye-ten-ee-air-ee”

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How it is actually pronounced: “Eye-tin-er-air-ee”

When you plan to go on vacation somewhere, you will probably make a list of things you plan to do while you are there. This would be known as an itinerary, but boy is that word weird to say!

Just remember to pronounce it how it is spelled, even if it sounds weird, and you will be good to go.

Sophia wrote up an itinerary for our trip to the Bahamas.

6. Pronunciation

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Pro-nun-say-shun”

How it is actually pronounced: “Pro-nun-see-ay-shun”

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Well this is kind of a pun, huh? Pronunciation is mispronounced a lot, but it is quite the complex word to say (and to spell!) due to all those syllables.

 The correct pronunciation will be listed in your textbook.

7. Pseudonym

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Puh-soo-doh-nim” or “Soo-doh-name”

How it is actually pronounced:Soo-doh-nim”

A pseudonym is a fake name used by authors or artists. It is a great example of the silent “p” sound, which is found frequently in English.

J.K. Rowling used a pseudonym when she started writing crime fiction.

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8. Salmon

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Saul-mon” or “Saul-man”

How it is actually pronounced:Sam-in”

So many words in English have silent “l” sounds. Think of words like half, calf, talk, walk, and would. We just love shoving the letter “l” into whatever word we want!

In the case of this tasty fish, the “l” is silent as well.

I had salmon for lunch yesterday.

9. Subtle

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Sub-tell”

How it is actually pronounced:Suh-tell”

We have been covering a lot of words with silent letters in this article, but “subtle” really takes the cake (is exceptional) for being an odd one. Silent “b” sounds in English are rare, but they do pop up.

The metaphors in this novel are quite subtle.

10. GIF

How it is mistakenly pronounced (up to debate): “Jiff”

How it is actually pronounced: “Giff”

You have definitely seen a GIF (the abbreviation for “Graphics Interchange Format”) online. It is a small image file, often with a quick animation or motion.

The pronunciation of this word has been the subject of many memes through the years. Even Steve Wilhite, the inventor of the GIF file format, claims that it is pronounced “jiff.”

But you could argue that “jiff” is not correct, since GIF is an abbreviation. “Graphics” has a hard “g,” so it is only sensical that GIF be pronounced with a hard “g” as well.

Did you see that GIF of a cat doing a backflip? Hilarious.

11. Chimera

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Chim-air-uh” or “Kim-air-uh”

How it is actually pronounced:Kie-mear-uh”

Honestly, this word does not pop up in English very often. How many casual English conversations involve a chimera, a fire-breathing mythical beast with lion, goat and snake parts? Still, it is a very commonly mispronounced word among native and non-native speakers.

How cool would it be to see a real-life chimera?

12. Gyro

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Guy-ro” or “Gee-ro” or “Hee-ro”

How it is actually pronounced: “Yee-ro”

A gyro is a Greek wrap made with shredded meat that is cooked on a vertical rotisserie. English-speakers in the U.S. and the U.K. love this dish, but everybody seems to pronounce it wrong. To be fair, you do not see words with a silent “g” in English very often. The correct pronunciation comes from the original Greek word.

I usually order a lamb gyro with a side of hummus when I eat at the Greek restaurant down the street.

13. Ask

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Axe”

How it is actually pronounced: “Ah-sk”

Pronouncing “ask” is weirdly uncomfortable, but saying “axe” is somehow easier. Lots of native and non-native English speakers get this one wrong for that very reason.

Note that in black communities in the U.S., “axe” can be considered a proper pronunciation.

I must ask John where he left the library books.

14. Wednesday

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Wed-nez-day”

How it is actually pronounced:Wenz-day”

Why on earth is Wednesday spelled like that? Apparently, it is due to the word’s German origins. “Wednesday” was pronounced more like “Wodan’s Day” in old German, a tribute to the Anglo-Saxon god Wodan.

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

15. Stomach

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Stoh-mahk” or “Stoh-match”

How it is actually pronounced:Stum-ick”

It is a bit weird to pronounce “ach” as “ick,” but that is how “stomach” is properly pronounced.

My stomach is killing me, I need some food.

16. Meme

How it is mistakenly pronounced: “Mehm” or “Mee-mee”

How it is actually pronounced: “Meem”

If you are guilty of mispronouncing this word, do not fret. This word was almost never used until the rise of Internet memes, so it makes sense why it would confuse some people.

Did you see that meme about the moth and the lamp? Hilarious.

17. Bury

How it is mistakenly pronounced:Buh-ree”

How it is actually pronounced:Bare-ee”

“Bury” and “berry” are homophones, meaning they have the same pronunciation, if you were interested in a fun fact.

Let’s bury the evidence, nobody will ever know.

200+ of the Hardest English Words to Pronounce

Are you ready to take on some more difficult English words? Here are over 200 English words that many learners—and even some native English speakers!—struggle to pronounce.

In the chart below, you can also see the official IPA pronunciation, a phonetic reading and the meaning of the word. Plus, click on any word to hear its audio.

English WordIPA PronunciationPhonetic ReadingMeaning
Accoutrements  əˈkuːtrəməntsuh-KOO-truh-muhntsAdditional items of dress or equipment
Acquiesce  ˌækwiˈɛsak-wee-ESTo accept or comply without protest
Aesthetics  ɛsˈθɛtɪkses-THET-iksThe branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste
Alliteration  əˌlɪtəˈreɪʃənuh-li-tuh-RAY-shuhnThe repetition of initial sounds in a series of words
Anemone  əˈnɛməniuh-NEH-muh-neeA type of flower
Antediluvian  ˌæntɪdɪˈluːviənan-ti-di-LOO-vee-unVery old or old-fashioned
Anthropomorphic  ˌænθrəpoʊˈmɔːrfɪkan-thruh-puh-MOR-fikHaving human characteristics or form
Anthropophagous  ˌænθrəˈpɒfəɡəsan-thruh-POF-uh-guhsFeeding on human flesh
Aphorism  ˈæfəˌrɪzəmAF-uh-riz-uhmA concise statement of a general truth or principle
Apostrophe  əˈpɒstrəfiːuh-POS-truh-feeA punctuation mark used to indicate possession or the omission of letters
Aptitude  ˈæptɪˌtudAP-ti-toodNatural ability or talent
Arboretum  ˌɑːrbəˈriːtəmahr-buh-REE-tuhmA botanical garden devoted to trees
Archaeopteryx  ˌɑrkiːˈɒptərɪksar-kee-OP-tuh-riksA fossil bird with characteristics of both birds and dinosaurs
Archipelago  ˌɑːrkɪˈpɛləɡoʊahr-kih-PEL-uh-gohA group or chain of islands
Architecture  ˈɑrkɪˌtɛkʧərar-ki-TEK-chuhrThe art and science of designing and constructing buildings
Asphyxiate  æsˈfɪksiˌeɪtas-FIK-see-aytTo cause to die or lose consciousness by depriving of air
Aurora  əˈrɔːrəuh-RAWR-uhNatural light display in the sky, also known as the "northern lights"
Aurora Borealis  əˌroʊrə bɔriˈælɪsuh-RAWR-uh buh-ree-AL-isThe Northern Lights, a natural light display in the sky
Autodidact  ɔːtoʊˈdaɪdæktaw-toh-DY-daktA self-taught person
Avuncular  əˈvʌŋkjələruh-VUHNG-kyuh-luhrKind, friendly, and helpful, especially towards younger people
Balaclava  ˌbæləˈklɑːvəbal-uh-KLAA-vuhA close-fitting garment covering the whole head and neck
Ballet  bæˈleɪbah-LAYA theatrical dance form characterized by grace and precision
Bougainvillea  ˌbuːɡənˈvɪliːəboo-guhn-VIL-ee-uhA tropical climbing plant with colorful flowers
Bough  baʊbowA main branch of a tree
Bourgeoisie  ˌbʊrʒwɑːˈziːboor-zhwah-ZEEThe middle class, typically with materialistic values
Brooch  broʊtʃbroachA decorative pin or clasp
Bruschetta  bruˈskɛtəbroo-SKEH-tuhAn Italian appetizer of toasted bread topped with various ingredients
Byzantine  ˈbɪzənˌtinbih-ZAN-teenRelating to the Byzantine Empire or its architecture
Cacophony  kəˈkɒfənikuh-KAH-fuh-neeA harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
Calliope  kəˈlaɪəpiːkuh-LYE-uh-peeA keyboard musical instrument resembling an organ
Capricious  kəˈprɪʃəskuh-PRISH-uhsGiven to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior
Cartilage  ˈkɑːrtəlɪdʒKAR-tuh-lijA tough, flexible connective tissue found in many parts of the body
Celadon  ˈsɛləˌdɒnSEL-uh-donA pale gray-green color or a type of ceramic pottery
Chiaroscuro kiˌɑroʊˈskjʊroʊkee-AR-uh-SKOOR-ohThe use of strong contrasts of light and dark in art
Chrysanthemum krɪˈsænθəməmkrih-SAN-thuh-muhmA flowering plant of the daisy family
Chthonic ˈθɒnɪkTHON-ikRelating to the underworld or the earth
Cinnamon ˈsɪnəmənSIN-uh-muhnA spice derived from the bark of certain trees
Clandestine klænˈdɛstənklan-DESS-tinKept secret or done secretively
Coalescence ˌkoʊəˈlɛsnskoh-uh-LESS-uhnsThe merging or joining together of elements into a whole
Cognoscenti ˌkɑnjəˈʃɛntiːkan-yuh-SHEN-teePeople who are considered to be experts or enthusiasts
Colloquial kəˈloʊkwiəlkuh-LOH-kwee-uhlInformal or conversational language
Colonel ˈkɜːrnəlKUR-nlAn army rank
Connoisseur ˌkɑːnəˈsɜːrkon-uh-SURAn expert judge in matters of taste
Conundrum kəˈnʌndrəmkuh-NUN-druhmA confusing or difficult problem
Credulity krɪˈdjuːlɪtiːkruh-DOO-li-teeA tendency to believe too readily or easily
Crescendo krəˈʃɛndoʊkruh-SHEN-dohA gradual increase in loudness or intensity
Crystalline ˈkrɪstəˌlaɪnKRIS-tuh-linHaving the structure and form of crystals
Cynosure ˈsaɪnəˌʃʊrSY-nuh-shoorA person or thing that is the center of attention or admiration
Czechoslovakia ˌtʃɛkoʊsləˈvækiəCHEK-oh-sluh-VAH-kee-uhFormer country in Central Europe
Debonair dɪˈbɒnɛrdih-BON-airConfident, stylish, and charming
Defenestrate ˌdiːfɪˈnɛstreɪtdee-fuh-NES-treytTo throw someone or something out of a window
Defibrillator dɪˈfɪbrɪˌleɪtərdih-FIB-ruh-lay-tuhrA device used to restore a normal heartbeat
Deleterious ˌdɛlɪˈtɪriəsde-li-TEER-ee-uhsHarmful or damaging
Denouement deɪˈnuːmɒ̃dey-NOO-mawnThe final part of a play, movie, or narrative
Desiccate ˈdɛsɪkeɪtDES-i-kaytTo remove moisture from or dry out
Diaphragm ˈdaɪəˌfræmDYE-uh-framA dome-shaped muscular partition separating the thorax from the abdomen
Dichotomous daɪˈkɑtəməsdye-KAH-tuh-muhsDivided or dividing into two parts or classifications
Dichotomy daɪˈkɑtəmidie-KAH-tuh-meeA division or contrast between two things
Discombobulate ˌdɪskəmˈbɑːbjəˌleɪtdis-kuhm-BAH-byuh-laytTo confuse or disconcert
Ecclesiastical ɪˌkliːziˈæstɪkəlih-klee-zee-AS-ti-kuhlRelating to the Christian Church or clergy
Effervescent ˌɛfərˈvɛsntef-er-VES-uhntGiving off bubbles; fizzy
Efficacious ˌɛfɪˈkeɪʃəsef-i-KAY-shuhsEffective in producing a desired result
Egregious ɪˈgriːʤəsih-GREE-jussOutstandingly bad or shocking
Epiphany ɪˈpɪfəniih-PIF-uh-neeA moment of sudden realization or understanding
Epitaph ˈɛpəˌtæfEP-uh-tafAn inscription on a tomb or gravestone
Epitome ɪˈpɪtəmiih-PIT-uh-meeA perfect example or embodiment
Equanimity ˌiːkwəˈnɪmətiːee-kwuh-NIM-i-teeMental calmness and composure in difficult situations
Equilibrium ˌiːkwəˈlɪbriəmee-kwuh-LIB-ree-uhmA state of balance or stability
Esoteric ˌɛsəˈtɛrɪkes-uh-TER-ikIntended for or understood by only a small group
Esplanade ˈɛspləˌneɪdES-pluh-neydA long, open, level area, typically next to a waterfront
Euphemism ˈjuːfəmɪzəmYOO-fuh-miz-uhmA mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt
Euphoria juˈfɔːriəyoo-FOH-ree-uhA feeling of intense happiness or excitement
Evanescent ˌɛvəˈnɛsəntev-uh-NES-uhntTending to vanish or disappear like vapor
Exacerbate ɪɡˈzæsərbeɪtig-ZAS-uhr-baytMake (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse
Extemporaneous ɪkˌstɛmpəˈreɪniəsik-STEM-puh-RAY-nee-uhsSpoken or done without preparation or planning
Exuberant ɪɡˈzuːbərəntig-ZOO-buh-ruhntFull of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness
Facetious fəˈsiːʃəsfuh-SEE-shuhsTreating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor
Fauvism ˈfoʊvɪzəmFOH-viz-uhmAn early 20th-century art movement
Faux pas foʊ ˈpɑːfoh-PAHA social blunder or mistake
February ˈfɛb.juˌɛriFEB-yoo-erryThe second month of the year
Feuilleton fjʊˈtɔːnfyoo-TAWNA part of a European newspaper devoted to light literature
Flamboyant flæmˈbɔɪəntflam-BOI-uhntAttracting attention through stylishness or confidence
Flibbertigibbet ˈflɪbərtiˌdʒɪbɪtFLIB-er-tee-jib-itA frivolous or flighty person
Floccinaucinihilipilification ˌflɒksɪˌnoʊsɪnˌɪhɪlɪˌpɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃənflok-si-noh-sin-i-hil-i-pil-i-fi-KAY-shuhnThe act of estimating something as worthless or unimportant
Frangipane ˈfrændʒɪˌpeɪnFRAN-juh-paynA sweet almond-flavored pastry cream or filling
Fricassee ˌfrɪkəˈsiːfrik-uh-SEEA method of preparing meat by braising and stewing
Furtive ˈfɜːrtɪvFUR-tivAttempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble
Fuselage ˈfjuːzəˌlɑːʒFYOO-zuh-lahzhThe main body of an aircraft, excluding wings and tail
Galapagos ˌɡæləˈpeɪɡəsgal-uh-PAY-guhsAn archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, famous for its biodiversity
Galvanize ˈɡælvənaɪzGAL-vuh-nyzTo shock or excite someone into taking action
Gastronomy ˈɡæstrɑːnəmiːgas-TRAH-nuh-meeThe practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food
Gist dʒɪstjistThe main or essential part of something
Gossamer ˈɡɒsəmərGOS-uh-merA fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders
Haberdashery ˌhæbərˈdæʃəriːhab-er-DASH-uh-reeA shop selling men's accessories and clothing
Haphazard ˌhæpˈhæzərdhap-HAZ-erdLacking any obvious principle of organization
Hemoglobin ˌhiːmoʊˈɡloʊbɪnhee-muh-GLOH-binA red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood
Hierarchy ˈhaɪəˌrɑrkiHY-uh-rahr-keeA system of organization in which people or things are ranked
Homogeneous ˌhoʊməˈdʒiːniəshoh-muh-JEE-nee-uhsOf the same kind or nature
Hyperbole haɪˈpɜːrbəliːhi-per-buh-LEEExaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally
Hypocrisy hɪˈpɑkrəsihi-PAHK-ruh-seePretending to have qualities or beliefs that one does not actually have
Hypothesis haɪˈpɑːθəsɪshi-PAH-thuh-sisA supposition or proposed explanation based on limited evidence
Idiosyncrasy ˌɪdiəˈsɪŋkrəsiid-ee-uh-SING-kruh-seeA distinctive or peculiar feature or behavior
Inchoate ɪnˈkoʊɪtin-KOH-itJust begun and not fully formed or developed
Ineffable ɪnˈɛfəbəlin-EF-uh-buhlToo great or extreme to be expressed or described in words
Inoculate ɪˈnɑːkjəleɪtih-NAHK-yuh-laytTo treat with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease
Inscrutable ɪnˈskruːtəbəlin-SKROO-tuh-buhlImpossible to understand or interpret
Interlocutor ˌɪntərˈlɑːkjətərin-ter-LAHK-yuh-terA person who takes part in a dialogue or conversation
Intransigent ɪnˈtrænzɪdʒəntin-TRAN-zi-juhntUnwilling to change one's views or agree
Intrepid ɪnˈtrɛpɪdin-TREP-idFearless; adventurous
Inundate ˈɪnənˌdeɪtIN-uhn-daytTo overwhelm or flood with water, ideas, or information
Inveigle ɪnˈveɪɡəlin-VAY-guhlTo persuade someone to do something by deception or flattery
Irrevocable ɪˈrɛvəkəbəlih-REV-uh-kuh-buhlNot able to be changed, reversed, or recovered
Isthmus ˈɪsməsIS-muhsA narrow strip of land with sea on either side
Jalapeno ˌhɑːləˈpiːnoʊhah-luh-PEE-nohA type of chili pepper
Jeopardy ˈʤɛpərdiːJEP-er-deeDanger or risk of loss, harm, or failure
Kaleidoscope kəˈlaɪdəˌskoʊpkuh-LYE-duh-skohpA toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and colored objects
Labyrinth ˈlæbərɪnθLAB-uh-rinthA complicated network of paths or passages
Labyrinthine ˌlæbəˈrɪnθaɪnlab-uh-RIN-thyneIntricate and confusing like a labyrinth
Lachrymose ˈlækrɪmoʊsLAK-ruh-mohsTearful or inclined to shed tears
Laissez-faire ˌlɛseɪˈfɛrles-ey-FAIRA policy or attitude of letting things take their own course, without interfering
Languid ˈlæŋɡwɪdLANG-gwidDisplaying or having a disinclination for physical exertion or effort
Leitmotif ˈlaɪtmoʊˌtiːfLYTE-moh-teefA recurring theme in a musical or literary work
Lieutenant lɛfˈtɛnəntlef-TEN-uhntA deputy or substitute acting for a superior
Lingerie ˌlɒ̃ʒəˈriːlawnzh-reeWomen's underwear and nightclothes
Loquacious loʊˈkweɪʃəsloh-KWAY-shuhsTending to talk a great deal
Lugubrious luˈɡuːbriəsloo-GOO-bree-uhsLooking or sounding sad or dismal
Machiavellian ˌmækiəvəˈliːənmak-ee-uh-vuh-LEE-uhnCunning, scheming, and unscrupulous
Magnanimous mæɡˈnænɪməsmag-NAN-i-muhsGenerous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person
Malfeasance mælˈfiːzənsmal-FEE-zuhnsWrongdoing or misconduct, especially by a public official
Malleable ˈmæliəbəlMAL-ee-uh-buhlEasily influenced or shaped
Mauve moʊvmohvA pale purple color
Melancholy ˈmɛləŋˌkɑːliːMEL-uhn-kol-eeA feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause
Metallurgy məˈtælərʤimuh-TAL-ur-jeeThe branch of science and technology concerned with the properties of metals and their production and purification
Metamorphosis ˌmɛtəmɔrˈfoʊsɪsmet-uh-MOR-foh-sisA change of form or nature into a completely different one
Meticulous məˈtɪkjələsmuh-TIK-yuh-luhsShowing great attention to detail; thorough
Milieu miːˈljuːmee-LYOOA person's social environment or surroundings
Neophyte ˈniːəˌfaɪtNEE-uh-fytA person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief
Niche nɪtʃneeshA specialized segment of the market or a specific area of expertise
Nomenclature ˌnoʊmənˈkleɪtʃərnoh-muhng-KLAY-churA system of naming or classifying things
Obsequious əbˈsiːkwiəsuhb-SEE-kwee-uhsObedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree
Ominous ˈɑːmɪnəsAH-muh-nuhsGiving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen
Omnipotent ɑːmˈnɪpətəntahm-NIP-uh-tuhntHaving unlimited power
Ophthalmologist ˌɑfθælməˈlɑːʤɪstaf-thal-muh-LOH-jistA medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases
Oscillate ˈɒsɪˌleɪtOS-uh-laytTo move or swing back and forth between two points
Otorhinolaryngology ˌoʊtoʊˌraɪnoʊˌlærɪŋˈɡɒləʤiOH-toh-ry-noh-LAR-ing-GOL-uh-jeeThe medical specialty dealing with the ear, nose, and throat
Panacea ˌpænəˈsiːəpan-uh-SEE-uhA solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases
Paraphernalia ˌpærəfərˈneɪliəpar-uh-fuh-NAY-lee-uhEquipment or accessories associated with a particular activity
Pariah pəˈraɪəpuh-RY-uhAn outcast or someone who is rejected
Pastiche pæˈstiːʃpah-STEESHAn artistic work that imitates the style of another artist or period
Penultimate pɪˈnʌltɪmətpi-NUL-tuh-muhtSecond to last in a series or sequence
Perfunctory pərˈfʌŋktəriːpur-FUNK-tuh-reeCarried out with a minimum of effort or reflection
Perpendicular ˌpɜːr.pənˈdɪk.jə.lərpur-puh n-DIK-yuh-lurAt an angle of 90 degrees to a given line, plane, or surface
Perspicacious ˌpɜːrspɪˈkeɪʃəspur-spi-KAY-shuhsHaving a ready insight into and understanding of things
Perspicacity ˌpɜrspɪˈkæsətiːpur-spi-KAS-i-teeKeenness of mental perception or understanding
Pharaoh ˈfɛroʊFAY-rohA ruler in ancient Egypt
Pharaohs ˈfeəˌroʊzFAIR-ohzRulers of ancient Egypt
Phenomenon fəˈnɑːməˌnɒnfuh-NAH-muh-nonA fact or event that can be observed or experienced
Philanthropy fɪˈlænθrəpiːfi-LAN-thruh-peeThe desire to promote the welfare of others, usually through donations
Photosynthesis ˌfoʊtoʊˈsɪnθəsɪsfoh-toh-SIN-thuh-sisThe process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods
Plenipotentiary ˌplɛnɪpəˈtɛnʃəriːplen-uh-puh-TEN-shuh-reeA person, especially a diplomatic representative, invested with full power or authority
Pneumonia nuˈmoʊnjənoo-MOH-nee-uhInflammation of the lungs caused by infection
Potpourri ˌpoʊpʊˈriːpoh-poo-REEA mixture of dried petals and spices used to scent the air
Precipice ˈprɛsɪpɪsPRES-uh-pisA very steep rock face or cliff
Preternatural priːtərˈnætʃərəlpree-ter-NAT-shuh-ruhlBeyond what is normal or natural
Pulchritudinous ˌpʌlkriˈtjuːdɪnəspul-kri-TOO-di-nuhsBeautiful; physically attractive
Querulous ˈkwɛrjələsKWER-yuh-luhsComplaining in a petulant or whining manner
Queue kjuːkyooA line or sequence of people or vehicles waiting their turn
Quinoa ˈkiːnwɑːKEEN-wahA grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds
Quintessential ˌkwɪntɪˈsɛnʃəlkwin-tuh-SEN-shuhlRepresenting the most perfect or typical example of something
Quotidian kwəˈtɪdiənkwoh-TID-ee-uhnOccurring or recurring daily
Rambunctious ræmˈbʌŋktʃəsram-BUNK-shuhsUncontrollably exuberant or boisterous
Rapport ræˈpɔːrra-PORA close and harmonious relationship
Rendezvous ˈrɑndeɪˌvuːRAHN-duh-vooA meeting at an agreed time and place
Resilience rɪˈzɪliənsri-ZIL-yuhnsThe ability to recover quickly from difficult conditions
Sagacious səˈɡeɪʃəssuh-GAY-shuhsHaving or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment
Salmagundi ˌsælməˈɡʌndisal-muh-GUHN-deeA dish of various meats, vegetables, fruits, and seasonings, mixed together
Sassafras ˈsæsəˌfræsSAS-uh-frasAn aromatic deciduous tree of the laurel family
Schadenfreude ˈʃɑːdənˌfrɔɪdSHAH-dn-froy-duhPleasure derived from the misfortune of others
Schnapps ʃnæpsshnapsA type of strong alcoholic drink
Seismograph ˈsaɪzməˌɡræfSYZ-muh-grafAn instrument that measures and records earthquakes
Serendipity ˌsɛrənˈdɪpətiːser-uhn-DIP-uh-teeThe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
Soporific ˌsɑːpəˈrɪfɪksah-puh-RIF-ikTending to induce drowsiness or sleepiness
Sphygmomanometer ˌsfɪɡmoʊməˈnɑːmɪtərsfig-muh-muh-NOM-i-terA device used to measure blood pressure
Squirrel ˈskwɜːrəlSKWUR-uhlA small, agile rodent with a bushy tail
Subpoena səˈpinəsuh-PEE-nuhA writ ordering a person to attend a court
Sycophant ˈsɪkəfəntSIK-uh-fuhntA person who acts obsequiously towards someone important in order to gain advantage
Synecdoche sɪˈnɛkdəkisih-NEK-duh-keeA figure of speech in which a part represents the whole
Taciturn ˈtæsɪtɜːrnTAS-i-ternReserved or uncommunicative in speech
Tenebrous ˈtɛnəbrəsTEN-uh-bruhsDark, shadowy, or obscure
Tmesis təˈmiːsɪstuh-MEE-sisThe insertion of one or more words between the words of a compound phrase
Tsunami suːˈnɑːmisoo-NAH-meeA long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance
Ubiquitous juːˈbɪkwɪtəsyoo-BI-kwuh-tuhsPresent, appearing, or found everywhere
Unctuous ˈʌŋkʃuəsUHNGK-choo-uhsExcessively flattering or ingratiating
Uvula ˈjuːvjələYOO-vyuh-luhA fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate
Valet ˈvæleɪVAL-ayA personal attendant or servant
Vexatious vɛkˈseɪʃəsvek-SEY-shuhsCausing or tending to cause annoyance, frustration, or worry
Vexillology ˌvɛksɪˈlɒləʤiːvek-si-LAW-luh-jeeThe study of flags
Visceral ˈvɪsərəlVISS-er-uhlRelating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect
Vivacious vɪˈveɪʃəsvi-VAY-shuhsLively and animated
Whimsical ˈwɪmzɪkəlWIM-zi-kuhlPlayfully quaint or fanciful
Worcestershire ˈwʊstərʃərWUUS-tuhr-shuhrA type of sauce
Xylophone ˈzaɪləfoʊnZY-luh-fohnA musical instrument played by striking wooden bars
Yacht jɑːtyahtA medium-sized sailboat or motorboat used for pleasure or racing
Zeitgeist ˈzaɪtɡaɪstZYTE-gystThe defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history
Zephyr ˈzɛfərZEF-erA soft, gentle breeze
Zucchini zuˈkiːniːzoo-KEE-neeA type of summer squash


English words can be quite complex when it comes to pronunciation. With a little bit of hard work, any English learner can definitely figure them out. It just takes some context, the proper pronunciation and a desire to master the English language. Good luck!

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