Think you can spell? Take our Spelling Bee quiz!

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To commemorate the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee, held this week in Oxon Hill, Md., we present a quiz of all the winning words since 1925. Click on the link to listen to the word. Most pronunciations of the come from Merriam Webster's dictionary website. A new window will open and you will hear the word. Then close the window and select what you think is the correct spelling. 

(In some cases, the full spelling of the word will appear the URL for the pronunciation. This is unavoidable. To avoid temptation, you should hide your URL bar.)

1925

This word is defined as "any of a genus of chiefly African perennial plants of the iris family with erect sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brilliantly colored irregular flowers arising from corms."

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gladeolus

 

gladiolus

 

gladiolous

 

gladyolus

 

1926

This word is defined as "a moderate red."

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serize

 

serice

 

cerise

 

cerice

 

1927

This word is defined as "the quality or state of being abundantly and often extravagantly rich." 

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luxuriants

 

lugsuriance

 

luxurianse

 

luxuriance

 

1928

This word is defined as "the white of an egg."

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albumen

 

albumin

 

albyumen

 

albuman

 

1929

This word is defined as "practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline."

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aceticism

 

acetiscism

 

ascetiscism

 

asceticism

 

1930

This word is defined as "a noisy quarrel."

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fraycus

 

fracus

 

fracas

 

fracis

 

1931

This word is defined as "a lightweight plain-woven or twilled silk usually decorated with a printed pattern."

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fulard

 

foolard

 

foulard

 

foularde

 

1932

This word is defined as "a special ready capacity that is hard to analyze or teach."

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nack

 

knack

 

nak

 

naäk

 

1933

This word is defined as "the twisting or wrenching of a body by the exertion of forces tending to turn one end or part about a longitudinal axis while the other is held fast or turned in the opposite direction."

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torsion

 

tortion

 

tortian

 

torsiun

 

1934

This word is defined as becoming "inferior in quality or value."

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detereorating

 

deteriorating

 

detiriorating

 

deteeriorating

 

1935

This word is defined as "capable of being understood or comprehended."

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intelligible

 

inteligible

 

intelligable

 

inteligable

 

1936

This word is defined as "confining or impounding, especially during a war."

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internning

 

interning

 

enterning

 

enternning

 

1937

This word is defined as "not restricted to one sexual partner."

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promiscuis

 

promiscuous

 

promisquous

 

promiscuas

 

1938

This word is defined as "an institution for rest and recuperation (as of convalescents)."

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sanitarium

 

scanitarium

 

sanitareum

 

sanaterium

 

1939

This word is defined as "conforming to a general rule or acceptable procedure."

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cannonical

 

canonical

 

canonnical

 

cannonnical

 

1940

This word is defined as "treatment of a bodily, mental, or behavioral disorder."

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therepy

 

tharepy

 

therapy

 

therappy

 

1941

This word is defined as "the first letter of each word in a full name."

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inicials

 

enitials

 

initials

 

enicials

 

1942

This word is defined as characterized by "irreverence toward a hallowed person, place, or thing."

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sacreligious

 

sacreligus

 

sacraligious

 

sacrilegious

 

1946

This word is defined as "a system of visual signaling by two flags held one in each hand."

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semaphore

 

semafore

 

cemaphor

 

cemaphore

 

1947

This word is defined as "the green photosynthetic pigment found chiefly in plants."

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chlorophyl

 

chlorophyll

 

clorophyl

 

chlorophil

 

1948

This word is defined as "a branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders."

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psyciatry

 

psichiatry

 

psychiatry

 

psychietry

 

1949

This word is defined as "a stringed instrument of trapezoidal shape played with light hammers held in the hands."

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dulcimer

 

dulcimar

 

dulscimer

 

dulcemar

 

1950

This word is defined as "extreme or excessive care in the consideration or treatment of details."

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miticulosity

 

maticulosity

 

meticulosity

 

meticulousity

 

1951

This word is defined as "characterized by ighthearted unconcern."

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ensouciant

 

insouciant

 

insoucient

 

ensoucient

 

1952

This word is defined as "a short descriptive literary sketch."

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vignette

 

viniette

 

vingiette

 

vinyette

 

1953

This word is defined as "a coquettish maid or frivolous young woman in comedies."

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subrette

 

cubrette

 

soubrette

 

suobrette

 

1954

This word is defined as "the part of a cruciform church that crosses at right angles to the greatest length between the nave and the apse or choir."

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transept

 

transcept

 

trancept

 

trancepte

 

1955

This word is defined as "a branch of zoology that studies any of a large class of mostly aquatic mandibulate arthropods that have a chitinous or calcareous and chitinous exoskeleton, such aslobsters, shrimps, crabs, wood lice, water fleas, and barnacles."

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crustasceology

 

crusteceology

 

crustaceology

 

crustaseology

 

1956

This word is defined as an "individually owned unit in a multiunit structure, such as an apartment building)."

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condaminium

 

condominium

 

condomineum

 

condiminium

 

1957

This word is defined as "fabric or yarn made from waste silk."

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shapa

 

shappe

 

schappa

 

schappe

 

1958

This word is defined as "the use of a word to modify or govern syntactically two or more words with only one of which it formally agrees in gender, number, or case."

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sillepsus

 

syllepsis

 

syllepsus

 

scillepsis

 

1959

This word is defined as "a vessel (as a sailboat) with twin hulls and usually a deck or superstructure connecting the hulls."

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catamaran

 

catameran

 

katamaran

 

catamuran

 

1960

This word is defined as "relating to the art or theory of happiness."

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udaemonic

 

eudemonic

 

udamonic

 

eudaemonic

 

1961

This word is defined as "like an emerald."

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smeragdan

 

smaragdine

 

smeragdine

 

smuragdin

 

1962

This word is defined as "not having a thallus made up of small leafy lobes."

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asquamulose

 

ascuamalose

 

esquamulose

 

escuamulose

 

1963

This word is defined as "material or articles used in an operation or activity."

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equipage

 

ecuapidge

 

equipedge

 

ecuapage

 

1964

This word is defined as "a servile self-seeking flatterer."

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cycophant

 

sycophant

 

sycophent

 

psychophant

 

1965

This word is defined as "an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted, or hardened."

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egscima

 

eczima

 

eczyma

 

eczema

 

1966

This word is defined as "a shoot of a perennial plant (as sugarcane)."

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ratoun

 

ratune

 

ratoon

 

ratoune

 

1967

This word is defined as "any of a breed of very small roundheaded dogs that occur in short-coated and long-coated varieties."

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Chihuaua

 

Chijuajua

 

Chihuahua

 

Cihuahua

 

1968

This word is defined as "any of a genus (Haliotis) of edible rock-clinging gastropod mollusks that have a flattened shell slightly spiral in form, lined with mother-of-pearl, and with a row of apertures along its outer edge."'

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abalone

 

abaloney

 

abaloni

 

abelone

 

1969

This word is defined as "made during the progress of a legal action and not final or definitive."

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interloqutory

 

interlocutory

 

interlockutory

 

interloucutory

 

1970

This word is defined as "a flaky rich crescent-shaped roll."

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croussant

 

crussoint

 

crousant

 

croissant

 

1971

This word is defined as "a lightweight twilled fabric of wool or worsted."

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shalloon

 

chaloune

 

chaloun

 

shaloun

 

1972

This word is defined as "to cause to become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid."

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macerate

 

mascerate

 

maserate

 

maciarate

 

1973

This word is defined as "to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner."

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voutchsafe

 

vouchsafe

 

voutshsafe

 

vouchsaphe

 

1974

This word is defined as "a plant that grows either partly or totally submerged in water."

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hydrophite

 

hydrofite

 

hydrophyte

 

hidrophyte

 

1975

This word is defined as "a front tooth typically adapted for cutting."

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incisor

 

inscisor

 

incysor

 

insiscor

 

1976

This word is defined as "a condition characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep often occurring with cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations."

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narcolepsy

 

narcolepcy

 

narquolepsy

 

narcoleptsy

 

1977

This word is defined as "a dealer or expert in foreign exchange."

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cambiste

 

cambest

 

cambast

 

cambist

 

1978

This word is defined as "the act or an instance of making a god out of someone."

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deification

 

deofication

 

diefication

 

deifacation

 

1979

This word is defined as "an impression made from an intaglio engraved plate to remove ink from the recessed areas."

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maqulature

 

maquliture

 

maculature

 

maculeture

 

1980

This word is defined as "to work out or express by studious effort."

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illucribrate

 

elucubrate

 

illucubrate

 

elucribrate

 

1981

This word is defined as "a stone coffin."

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sarcophagas

 

sarcoughagus

 

sarcophages

 

sarcophagus

 

1982

This word is defined as "a chronic skin disease characterized by circumscribed red patches covered with white scales."

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soriasis

 

scoriasus

 

psoriasus

 

psoriasis

 

1983

This word is defined as " a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 14th of Adar in commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews from the massacre plotted by Haman."

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Purim

 

Pourim

 

Poorim

 

Purem

 

1984

This word is defined as "a small sled that is ridden in a supine position and used especially in competition."

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ludge

 

louge

 

luge

 

loodge

 

1985

This word is defined as "the physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops."

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millieu

 

milieu

 

miliue

 

milliue

 

1986

This word is defined as "toothache."

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oudontalgia

 

odontalgea

 

audontalgia

 

odontalgia

 

1987

This word is defined as "any bacterium of two families of nonmotile gram-positive spherical bacteria."

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staphylococci

 

staphylococsci

 

stapholococci

 

staphylococsci

 

1988

This word is defined as "of, relating to, or consisting of two dactylic hexameter lines the second of which lacks the arsis in the third and sixth feet."

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elagiacal

 

elegiacle

 

elagiacle

 

elegiacal

 

1989

This word is defined as "that which strips something of belongings, possessions, or value."

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spoliater

 

spoliator

 

spouliator

 

spoleator

 

1990

This word is defined as "a fabric made of spun-rayon yarn."

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fibranne

 

fybran

 

fibran

 

fybranne

 

1991

This word is defined as "an agent that reduces fever."

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antipiretic

 

antipyretic

 

antipyretec

 

antipiretec

 

1992

This word is defined as "a hall for public lectures or discussions."

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lyceum

 

liceum

 

lyceam

 

liceam

 

1993

This word is defined as "a member of a Japanese air attack corps in World War II assigned to make a suicidal crash on a target (as a ship)."

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kamikaze

 

kamakazi

 

kamekaze

 

kamekaze

 

1994

This word is defined as "of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible."

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antideluvian

 

antediluvian

 

antedeluvian

 

antidiluvian

 

1995

This word is defined as "yellow discoloration of the skin from abnormal causes."

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zanthosas

 

xanthosus

 

zanthosis

 

xanthosis

 

1996

This word is defined as "the act or practice of burying alive."

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vivasepulture

 

vivisepulture

 

vivesepulture

 

vivusepulture

 

1997

This word is defined as "a name well suited to the person, place, or thing named."

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uonym

 

euounym

 

euonym

 

uounym

 

1998

This word is defined as "an artist who specializes in pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color."

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chiaroscurist

 

quiarascurist

 

ciarascurist

 

chiarascouriste

 

1999

This word is defined as "excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness."

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logaria

 

logarria

 

logorrhea

 

logarrhea

 

2000

This word is defined as "a diplomatic or political initiative or maneuver."

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demarsh

 

damarche

 

daemarche

 

demarche

 

2001

This word is defined as a "substitute."

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suxadaneum

 

succedaneum

 

suxedanium

 

succadanium

 

2002

This word is defined as "the act of looking forward, foresight."

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prospicience

 

prospiscience

 

prospiciance

 

prospisciance

 

2003

This word is defined as "indifferent, nonchalant."

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pococuranti

 

pocoqurante

 

pococurante

 

pococuranty

 

2004

This word is defined as "formed or originating in the place where found, native."

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autocthonous

 

autochthonus

 

autochthonous

 

autocthonus

 

2005

This word is defined as "an embellishing note or tone preceding an essential melodic note or tone and usually written as a note of smaller size."

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appoggiatura

 

apoggiatura

 

appogiotura

 

appoggiotura

 

2006

Merriam Webster defines this German loanword as "a parent language; especially one reconstructed from the evidence of later languages."

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Ersrpache

 

Ursprache

 

Irsprache

 

Erspracha

 

2007

This word is defined as "a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel."

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serrefine

 

serphine

 

cyrphine

 

serfine

 

2008

This word is defined as "reward, recompense."

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gurdon

 

gurdonne

 

guerdonne

 

guerdon

 

2009

This word is defined as "lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics."

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Laodicean

 

Laodecean

 

Laodacean

 

Laodecian

 

2010

This word is defined as "a rheometer designed to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery."

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strohmure

 

stromhur

 

stromuhr

 

strohmur

 

2011

This word is defined as "having wavy hair."

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cymotrichous

 

psymotrichous

 

cymotrichus

 

psimotrichous