100 Words Every Expert Author Should Know

Please note: Read this post first. We clarified our position.

A Great Vocabulary Makes Compelling Reading!

The EzineArticles Editors have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every Expert Author should know to be more concise, descriptive, and engaging.

Show you’re a master of the English language by spicing up your writing with the following words and feel free to share this graphic. Simply click on the graphic below to view in a new window and then click the image or select Ctrl (on your keyboard) and then + or – to zoom in or out.

By no means is this an exhaustive list. Let us know what great words you would add – we’d love to hear from you!

Want to share this image? Simply copy/paste the code from below into your blog or website.

<a href=”https://img.ezinearticles.com/blog/100-words-expert-authors-should-know.jpg”><img src=”https://img.ezinearticles.com/blog/100-words-expert-authors-should-know.jpg” title=”100 Words Expert Authors Should Know By EzineArticles”></a>

This post was updated on May 28, 2013 at 4:15 P.M.


Char writes:

While authors should be articulate, and familiar with the tools of their craft, using language that is ostentatious is likely to obfuscate the message, and appears pretentious and contrived. Rather than exhibiting hubris, with the use of superfluous syntax and pedantic diction, an author should write for his or her reader, using easily understood language to paint word pictures that lead to a reader’s enlightenment.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM


Golda Smith writes:

Just had to let you know how much I enjoyed your comment!


feliznavidad writes:

So, we should dumb it down, right Char? Sigh….


Meisha writes:

I absolutely agree :-D I think it’s brilliant that it comes up 1st as well. Thanks Char :-)


davidinnotts writes:

Aah! You did it before I got round to reading the article. Totally agree – and anyway, I only knew 91% of them!


Steve writes:

Absolutelly brilliant comment to the topic at hand. What better use of pretentious words like those, other than to show-off?

My readers wouldn’t waste more than 5 seconds on a page that used (almost) any of those words.

It was fun to see them all together, like that.

It reminds me of the guy with the old horse joke; when he was asked why is he taking the horse to the marketplace, since no one would buy it anyway, he answered: “Just to shame him…”


Benard writes:

Hi! You really rib me with the use of those words triggering a shake at my belly. I love language expressed with unique words.


Couldn’t agree more. It is important for authors to have a large and well-rounded vocabulary. But good writing isn’t about throwing in pretentious verbiage just to sound “smart.”

Which is better –“He is a bold-faced liar?” or “He is an egregious liar?” The answer is neither. It depends entirely on your audience and what you are trying to convey.



Nice collection. This is amazing. How cunningly you have presented 100 words!!!. I was thinking that there would be list in the post. Rather this is wonderful.. Just Lovt that. Vocab building :)

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM


Emily B writes:

I would add “plethora”!

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM



I love words and these are some good ones to know, all right. But most people won’t know most of them and so will struggle to read your article. Or, they won’t continue to read it.

School teachers in at least one state read below high school level, so it seems to be a good idea to write at the level that most people can understand and to use words that most people know.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 10:57 AM


Eula writes:

Kathryn, I agree. According to the experts, most popular magazines are written on an 8th grade level. Since my goal as a writer is to inform and inspire people with my words, I must meet them where they are.

These words are good to know, but their use depends on the audience we are trying to reach. Sometimes I use these words because they are familiar to me; then I edit the piece and use smaller, simpler words to ensure that my audience does not have to have to use a dictionary.


Emily writes:

Kathryn Merrow, not regarding a presentation to ‘Expert Authors.’ There’s a place for schoolteachers — and I used to make up words and plant them in their vocabularies when I was in junior high and high school, just for sheer meanness — and there’s a place for expert authors.
Only one of those words am I unfamiliar with, ‘assonance,’ which I would guess means a sound out of place.
English is full of specific words, as compared to, say Spanish, which has only a few words and relies on phrases where an English writer can just reach up on the shelp for the very tool that fits that task.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM


Emily writes:

Oops. ‘shelf.’ and a comma after ‘say.’ I cannot see what I type right now.


Chuck Csizmar writes:

Are you kidding? Who actually READS articles with this list of words included? Talk about sounding professorial and full of yourself! No thank you. I’ll just keep writing in words that my audience will understand. That way they’ll read what I have to say.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM


sgunawanw writes:

I am not a native speaker, but I am interest of English vocabulary.
I also think that uncommon words are difficult to be understood by average readers. but I like to know their meanings, that might be someday I find them in the news or articles.
Jakarta, Indonesia.


Erin O'Reilly writes:

Hmmm…I like the idea of using higher-level vocabulary. I think the author runs the risk of losing the reader, though. My thought is write to your audience’s level.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM


Bud Bilanich writes:

I agree with Kathryn.
I always advise my coaching clients to use the simplest word that communicates exactly what they mean.
For example, more people understand the words “really bad” than “egregious.”
So while it’s great to have a big vocabulary, it’s better to use words that communicate. That’s the purpose of writing.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM



Kathryn and Emily: The title of this article is 100 Words Every Expert Author Should KNOW. And I agree. If you want to call yourself an expert author, you probably should know these words.

But an expert author should also USE the right words for his audience. And Kathryn is correct about the average reading level. Furthermore, if you are writing for the web, which is full of distractions, even high-level readers may not do better with simple language.

I don’t think this article is suggesting that expert authors pepper their articles with these words without a good reason. I think the point is that the better your own vocabulary is, the better able you will be to use the right word at the right time to communicate the right idea to the right people. Sometimes that will mean plain, simple words and sometimes it will require more specific language.

An expert author’s words are his toolbox and they all have a purpose. The skill comes in picking the right ones for the job.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM


Meisha writes:

Thanks Cindy, loved your perspective.



Your list makes my eyes glaze over.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM


Desmond writes:

Hi : is it only me – i clicked the image link but got a link error. love to see what the 100 words are.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM



After reading everyone’s comments, I’d like to add to the conversation by saying that I think there is a place in between the “either we use big words or we don’t” idea. I like to include a word like epiphany or antithetical now and again to stretch the reader, give her or him something new to consider. I wouldn’t fill my article with tons of big words.

I understand the importance of writing for ease of comprehension of my reader, and, I would rather not support a “dumbing down” mentality.

This post from EzineArticles is wonderful for causing me to think and expand my understandings, which is something I like to encourage in the readers of my articles.

Thanks for the “conversation.”

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM


Meisha writes:

Thanks Barbara, loved your perspective too.


Golda Smith writes:

While Expert Authors should know these words (your suggestion not mine), I don’t suggest that they use them. At least, I won’t be using them but thank you for sharing.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM


Jamie Bidwell writes:

I have always enjoyed stretching my vocabulary (having grown up with a father whose favorite word was copacetic).
Writing articles that include an occasional nod to high-level readers gives authors the opportunity to expose the rest of their audience to one or two words they might not otherwise know. In an article 400-600 words long, that shouldn’t keep anyone from ‘getting the message’ or finishing.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM


Rick Bennette writes:

Jamie, you are correct. Every now and then I find myself reaching for my digital thesaurus simply to avoid repeating the same word when I need a term with the same meaning in the following sentence.


Rick Bennette writes:

My novels and informational books are written to appeal to as many readers as possible rather than dazzle the minds of literary intellectuals. Statistics indicate most people read at an eighth grade level, and some say as low as sixth grade. Writing with words most readers might fumble over would only narrow the market potential for my books. However, I do appreciate the list of 100 words for my own edification. There are probably ten or so I will have to look up.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM


John Stagl writes:

As a physician and an author, I have learned to use a hybrid approach to communicating comfortably. The listener must see you as an authority however not necessarily mystified by your language. Therefore, I will usually do something like this, “There appears to be an aneurysm, a bulging in the artery that has developed in your abdomen, the area around your stomach. As a result there is now a stenosis, a narrowed area within the aorta, which is the main artery arising from the heart. The stenosis is caused by thrombosis, a clotting inside the vessel which, in turn, is causing ischemia or a lack of blood supply to your left kidney.” In this way, I can educate, stimulate and drive home my point simultaneously.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM


Kelly Ann Whitlock writes:

I absolutely agree. As a teacher, I always want to educate when I write. As a student, I love to add vocabulary to my writing tools and if a writer such as yourself can help me with this I am all for it. Thanks for the example of how to write for understanding and edification (self fulfillment).


Ricky writes:

Nice list, but a lot of words I have never heard of and may never use.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM


Anthony writes:

I’ll need to know these words if I’m reading an article written by someone who doesn’t know any better than to keep it simple. It will also have to be information I really need or I’m clicking off.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 1:31 PM


Laura writes:

What I find interesting is that in our schools we spend more time teaching kids words they will never use if indeed they are working with the average reading level instead of teaching them how to communicate, on all levels.

I am NOT saying all kids can’t communicate but those that can area definitely out numbered by those who can’t.

I am told that I am a very good writer, more prose than books and articles, and the words I use are based on the voice I want to give and or the level of authority than needs to be projected. Like Jaimie – I like to give a nod to a higher level – be it education, or otherwise.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM


Patricia West writes:

Interesting list of words–and most of them are “show off” words that are way beyond what most readers would know or understand.

It must have been a slow day at the EzineArticles office–or they needed to fill a “content quota” and came up with this list.

Fortunately, most every EzineArticle writer who posted here has a firm grasp on how a writer should write for his or her audience:

It’s about expressing thoughts with clarity and simplicity, not showing off and using words the most certainly wouldn’t understand.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM


Mike writes:

I really appreciate you taking the time to put this list together. Without it, I could have never known that the word “obsequious” even existed? In fact, I had to get to the third description before I could figure out what dictionary com was trying to convey to me? Turns out it does describe me: compliant, and obedient!

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM


Sharon Hendricks writes:

I agree about not using a bunch of these words. In articles I have written about how to write a good article, I have said many times that you need to write so that someone will read it. I use the word plethora in articles on occasion but the last thing I want to do is to lose my readers. I want them to feel like I’m giving them good information but I don’t want them to feel dumb. If they can’t understand what I wrote then they can’t gain any knowledge from it and I haven’t done my job.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM


Graham Freer writes:

Total agreement with you Sharon. One of the trends on the internet nowadays is video’s, why you may ask it is because people find it easier to watch a video rather than read an article. Using words as listed will I think turn people off reading that article and I am not implying people are dumb, it’s most a case of what is easier.
Anyway I am rattling on, and would just like to say thank you for the share and all these comments.


Jamie Bidwell writes:

If nothing else, this EzineArticles blog post is an excellent example of how to generate conversation!

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:39 PM


Steve writes:

You guys totally lost me on that.

English being a Second Language to me, this really made me think it is still a Foreign Language, nonetheless.

C’mon, WHO would use such pretentious language and expect to be read and understood by more than 1% of the visitors?

It was fun to search for the definitions, for me, with these placed all together that way, but in a regular article, I would have jumped to the browser’s back button from the first phrase…


Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:47 PM


Terry writes:

It’s an interesting list to say the least but I think I’ll stick to everyday English. As a writer of informative articles I want to befriend my readers not reign above them.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM




When I post on my personal social media platforms, I think less about the delivery of my language for several reasons. #1. Less thinking, more play. #2. I’m trying to understand what my audience is looking for and will tidy up my language if I feel I should. In cases like this I may write with a professional tone or none at all. The platform you use and how you use it will dictate how you should write. Would you agree?

With that being said, I agree with the few comments made above about intimidating your audience with the use of big words. When in doubt, be simple with your language. The last thing you want your audience to think is “What is she saying??”. You want them to have an immediate understanding and act or comment rather than feel intimidated or annoyed.

It is possible to write with simple language AND be professional at the same time. :D

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 3:01 PM


Randall Magwood writes:

Well said Penny, I totally agree.


Boogie writes:

I think a key to writing successfully while at the same time using words which to some may seem ‘intimidating’ is to strike a proper balance. A sprinkling of big words here and there in your article may even prove to be helpful to your readers because they will be forced to look them up in the dictionary if they stumble and struggle through these words. However, I think readers will only bother to look up the words if they have been sufficiently motivated to make an effort to understand because they have been engaged by the article and are find it quite interesting and enjoyable. Without sufficient motivation, they will just simply give up reading your article altogether and move on to the next one on their list.


Emily writes:

An expert author uses a word in a context that conveys its meaning. I, too, use a two-dollar word in a sentence that gives its definition, gracefully.

My daddy used to say ‘No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.’

There are contexts in which ‘really bad’ in place of egregious would be really bad.

In print ads, if you want to attract educated people (They have credit cards. It’s amazing how much a credit card increases the I.Q.) and deflect those who are not, upper-class syntax accomplishes the purpose.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM


Tom Horn writes:

Seems like a pretty demanding list to me. Yopu have to wonder how many readers are going to understand your writing.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM


Jeff C. Baker writes:

Char is spot on. We write for Internet readers. They neither read not write at a very high level. Use accurate language suitable for most readers.

The whole point of writing articles is to express – not to impress!

Our readers do not seek rocket science tomes or medical journals. We must write for our customers and do it using “Web bites.”

We must format for quick reading. The first line of copy dictates whether or not our readers will read on or click away from our articles.

Fancy words may make us sound erudite, but the use of them will lose our potential readers.

Let’s use our heads and write for our customers for maximum impact and response clicks.

– Jeff

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM


Steve d writes:

Oh how far we have fallen! How can it be that a list that includes the words “dialect” or “abide” is deemed to contain vocabulary that is simply out of reach of the poor, witless masses. So I gess we shuld stick 2 1 sil a bul wordz cuz thas all pee pul can reed now daz.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM


Earl writes:

I love the list. Thank you for putting this together. All of the comments are both educational and entertaining. Thanks to all the commentors as well! Not sure commentors is a real word, though…guess I’ll have to look that one up as well. To all readers…have a Blessed Day!

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 5:08 PM



Impressive list but I won’t be using those words in my articles. The reason being that I get annoyed when people are trying to show off by using these huge words so I don’t want to risk annoying my readers.

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM


Amy Hagerup writes:

I think this list of words is good for us to know, but as the others have said, I certainly wouldn’t want to use a lot of these in my writings. I’d love to see a list of 100 most colorful adjectives every author should know. Blessings, Amy

Comment provided May 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM



But higher standards cannot attract the lay readers. Moreover, content is the king any reading materials not the arrangement of ornamental words. Higher vocabulary is meant for poetry.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 5:28 AM


Zahangir Alam writes:

I am sure that I have watched the 100 words. Those are very good. Copy-Paste is normally done work. I am sure that I could supply synonyms as well as antonyms.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM


Trisha writes:

Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the great work.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM


Barry Burdette writes:

I was taught that the lower the grade level that could read your document, the better it was written. Is that not true?

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM


Baljit writes:

This is a Worthy List of Words everywritter should include on their Wording, I personally use some of them, some others are new to me, thank you very much for the Contribution!

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 8:52 PM


Jo writes:

I agree…’ornamental’ vocabulary is at best a distraction, and at worst a cover-up for lack of content. On the other hand – if it’s assonance, best as an expert you know that and CALL it assonance.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 9:12 PM


Maxina Williams writes:

If you are out to impress the intelligentsia with your command of the English language, then by all means throw in those fancy words. If you merely want to tell a story in words which your readers will understand and which will entertain and inform them, then don’t.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 9:39 PM


Sonia Poehlein writes:

Interesting choice of words. Why these, in particular? While some of them are not so familiar as others, many are used in news reports, commentaries, and even regular conversation. How often have we heard of “incontrovertible evidence,” a “paradigm shift,” someone’s “epiphany,” or “holistic medicine”? I have no problem with using these words when needed and in an appropriate manner. But after reading much of what is written on the Internet, I’d be happy to see most folks simply using common words and grammar correctly!

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 10:42 PM



We thoroughly enjoy everyone’s comments! Thanks for weighing in on the topic.

Just to clear up a little confusion, the list was created by our Editorial Team. These are words they all enjoy, and aren’t necessarily recommended for your articles. You must first determine the demographics of your audience as well as what your niche demands before you can consider using any of these words.

With that being said, stay tuned to the blog as we roll-out some further topics that were created from your amazing contributions!


Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM


davidinnotts writes:

Right, Vanessa! I’ve been looking with interest at the huge variety of comments, and no-one (I think, me included) seems to have asked themselves the question: “WHY should we know these words?”

Summing up the majority opinion, the answer is – to avoid using them for the articles we usually write! That’s great, but you then added the rider: that the editors, who ought to like playing with words, meet them and rather like them for themselves. What to use them for – that’s another thing.


friv writes:

Thanks for weighing in on the topic

Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM


Emily writes:

Pidgin English is spoken the world over. English is one of the easiest, if not the easiest languages to learn to ‘get by.’ It is also a difficult language to learn well, to finesse. These words that you call ‘ornamental’ are part of the difference. English has more words than other languages because it is very specific in more subjects than others (although the Eskimos have a hundred words for ‘snow’).

Maybe your readers are not as stupid as you think. Maybe if you say ‘a plethora of choices’ they will automatically know what ‘plethora’ means because they are not brain dead.

You guys are trying to sell things. Did you know that people who have the money to buy those things are disproportionately people who speak those ‘ornamental’ words? (Now rewrite that sentence avoiding ‘disproportionately’ and compare the two versions.)

I dare you to adopt just one specific word that works in your subject. Bet you will feel better about yourselves. You could start with ‘disproportionately.’

Click here to Reply or Forward

Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM


Emily writes:

Yeah, David, they say they are keeping these words as pets. In cages in the back of their minds. If you know these words, hello?, you use them because they are words.

WHY should we know these words? Well, because we speak or write the English language. Moreover, because we think we are expert authors. Mostly, because they are there.

France is very jealous of its language. There is even a governmental body to enforce its proper use. I often wonder what happens when words (in French of course) the equivalent of ‘loose’ when ‘lose’ is meant, and ‘alot’ and ‘video’s’ when the plural is clearly intended are used in public.

I understand the standards are enforced somehow. For example, many years ago people in France were saying ‘sex’ when they meant gender, and using the English word ‘sex’ in the English way. On news in the U.S., we learned that board, that authority, forbade public use of that manner of speaking.

Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 3:05 PM


davidinnotts writes:

Oh, a shot, Emily, a shot! In my varied writing I use about half of the words in this list maybe a few times a year. I use them when they naturally make the point better than another word or phrase; even then an explanatory usage aid is generally politic. A dozen of them (insipid, paraphrase, dialect, irony, circumspect, pedantic, criterion, empathy, superb, evolution, superfluous, validity) I use quite – but not very – often. That decimates the list of words I’d use rarely (yes – ‘decimate’ DOES mean ‘reduce by a tenth’; it’s a Latin-derived word used when describing casualties in battle, when a tenth dead was a disaster).

Of course, out of the other 88%, it’s likely that one might be appropriate occasionally, but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to use any of them; I rarely write for those whose English vocabulary is such that they’d be a commonplace (though in the Halls and Colleges of Oxford it might be another matter, but I don’t visit often). My usual clientle don’t like to have to reach for a dictionary just to understand someone trying to sell to them, even though, as you say, those with the cash and inclination are far more well-read than average. So I use ‘ultra high level’ English very rarely in my articles and website.

By the way, Eskimos, or Inuit (Canada) don’t have 100 words for snow. It’s a non-urban myth. But they do have more than anyone else, each in a highly-specific usage which is covered in English by maybe three or five words or expressions. The problem in English isn’t that; it’s that there are many almost-but-not-quite synonyms. So, as you say, we can finesse well. Those gradations of meaning also help as a jargon, to differentiate social and special-usage groups. And that’s without the technical and interest group language you mentioned. You’re right, too, about the simplicity of Pidgins, but these are many, and mutually exclusive. Each developed in one place for local use, and studying them is a whole discipline – see Wikipedia.

Finally, would you like to guess why French is the international language of Law? In English it needs huge skill to draft an unambiguous law; good lawyers make fortunes knocking holes in new English-language legislation. The Lord save us from Parisian French-language defence pedants!


Emily writes:

That was fun, David. Especially the part about the language of international law. I am a 25-year veteran of court reporting, and I used to know that about French. Yes, lawyers punch holes in laws. It’s a nifty racket: As soon as we have all the holes filled up, we make a whole new tier of laws, or we change everything – especially in divorce and insurance laws.

My blog is written conversationally but with ‘vocabulary words.’ Several of its regulars are immigrants and fairly young, and they can read it, by golly, because in context specific words settle right in like a rock in mud. Coining new words happens almost every day there, somehow. It’s Tarot Verbatim, and, as a language hound, you might enjoy perusing.



I have to agree with Char. Having published eight books, and with a little over six hundred articles to my name, I am much more concerned with writing good content, in language my readers readily comprehend, than in absurd use of pretentious puffery!

When your content is outstanding, you don’t need to try to impress people with your vocabulary. I’ll leave that for the inexperienced and sophomoric.

Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 4:53 PM


Gracious Store writes:

English language has plethora of vocabulary, they are very handy and helpful as they help reduce verbose writing, but you have to be careful how you use them so your readers don’t have to have a dictionary beside them when reading your articles

Comment provided May 26, 2013 at 11:11 PM


Naba Krishna writes:

Nice List of Words.

Comment provided May 27, 2013 at 1:49 AM



I am one of those offenders who respects English grammar as taught 60 years ago in public schools.

Comment provided May 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM


Emily writes:

It doesn’t get much respect these days; it is grateful for its few adherents.
These folks quibble about just knowing the words, not even knowing how to use them, because not only do they not know them, they do not know how to use them, and are therefore afraid to touch. But they are expert authors. Certified as such my Ezine maybe?


samer writes:

I had read stories from the past about people been killed because of different meanings for the same words. Therefore, we rather than looking for weird words, we should talk to the people with more familiar ones.

Comment provided May 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM


saiyad Gulbaz writes:


This is very useful information about every author, so thanx for sharing, this post….

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 7:41 AM


friv writes:

i like your post . thank you

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM


robert sneed writes:

Just what I needed I have been looking for new words to freshen up my vocabulary and article writing. Thanks a bunch for the list i”ve already begun to use the words a great help and again right in time.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM


don writes:

I hate to go against the norm, but this is a ridiculous list of words! Why, when communication is meant to, well, communicate, would ANYone want to use 70% of those words!?!

I strongly encourage everyone to use words to convey information, NOT to try to impress.

All big words do is to offend your audience and drive them away, unless your audience is academia, many of whose members haven’t actually communicated anything in writing in years!

Your thoughts?

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM



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Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM


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