50 Hard Words to Spell That Trip Up Writers Regularly

Discover our list of hard words to spell and master the trickiest words so that you can write flawlessly.

As writers today, we have the advantage of spellcheck. But it’s still frustrating when you keep getting the red squiggly line under your attempts to spell a word. Knowing how to spell the words in this list correctly will lessen frustration, expedite your writing process, and build your confidence during those rare occasions when you write something out by hand. 

What Are Hard Words to Spell?

List of hard words to spell
“Silhouette” is one commonly misspelled words

There are many reasons why words can be hard to spell, especially in the English language. Silent letters, double consonants, and exceptions to rules that apply to some words but not others. English is tricky, and knowing how to spell commonly misspelled words can make it easy for you to hone your writing craft.

List of Hard Words to Spell Printable

Hard words to spell list

Words That Are Hard To Spell Because of Double Consonants

Double consonants (all letters other than a, e, i, o, and u are considered consonants) can make words tricky to spell, especially when one consonant in the middle of a word repeats, and others do not. 

1. Accommodate

Cheryl worked hard to accommodate all parents who wanted to see their children participate in the school’s Christmas play, even though it meant moving the event from the cafeteria to the gym, which offered additional seating.

2. Balloon

Elias watched as he released his birthday balloon to the sky, hoping it would travel somewhere far away and make another child smile as they saw it drifting among the clouds. 

3. Broccoli

Coating the broccoli with a generous amount of coconut oil before roasting it in the oven gave the vegetable a delicious crispiness that everyone at the table loved.

4. Coolly

Marcus coolly walked out of the room, even though he knew her heart was broken, as he couldn’t bear to turn and look at her tear-stained face.

5. Deterrence

Tim set up cones as a deterrence to drivers, as he just had his driveway paved, and many people tended to use his property as a turn-around spot on the dead-end street.

6. Difference

The difference between the two soccer teams was clear, as one had regular practices attended by all players, and the other struggled with scheduling issues that made it tough to have the team meet up during the week. 

7. Dissipate

Clarissa relaxed as she watched the diffuser dissipate the scent of lavender through the air, as she knew the smell of the oil would soon help her drift off to some much-needed sleep.

8. Dumbbell

Despite feeling out of place in her gym’s weightlifting section, Annie picked up the dumbbell, pulled up her workout app on her phone, and started going through the motions to improve her health.

9. Embarrass

Olivia felt embarrassed as she walked up to her best friend to apologize. She couldn’t believe she had been caught in a lie, and she didn’t want it to continue negatively affecting their friendship.

10. Finally

Finally, Ryan told Kourtney what she had wanted to hear all along; he had decided he wanted to be with her for good, and he was ready to set a date for the wedding.

11. Fulfill

Don was frustrated when he opened the box that had been delivered to his doorstep, as the company he ordered from failed to completely fulfill his order, as one of the items he paid for was missing.

12. Generally

Some teachers take the entire summer away from the classroom, but generally, many are working hard in the school at least one or two days each week, preparing for the students who will be in their classes in the fall. 

13. Harass

Jessica hated walking past the construction site on her way to work each morning, as she often had to deal with being harassed by workers who always seemed to have a comment on what she was wearing. 

14. Magically

Magically, Martha’s boss wasn’t upset–she was thrilled at the way the event turned out, even though the catering plans had changed last-minute. 

15. Millennium

At the start of the millennium, many people worried that Y2K would throw computer-run businesses into disaster mode, but the year 2000 was surprisingly uneventful.

16. Misspell

“Did you know you misspelled the word ‘chaos’ in the email you sent out?” asked the supervisor.

17. Necessary

It wasn’t necessary for Sheree to double up on coffee, but she was craving an extra energy boost after staying up late watching her favorite reality show. 

18. Occasion

Carla carefully packed her favorite party dress that she only wore for special occasions, as she knew it would be perfect for the beachside reception.

19. Occurrence

A hurricane in Florida was a common occurrence, but residents knew they needed to take the incoming storm seriously to stay safe. 

20. Parallel

As she attempted to set up her new porch light, she struggled to ensure that the screws were perfectly parallel so they would stand up straight.

21. Personnel

The personnel of the factory were frustrated by the strike, and they felt powerless to move forward in their careers until the union and the executives agreed. 

22. Possession

Her computer was a prized possession, as she saved up for months to afford the model she wanted. 

23. Occasionally

Occasionally, Gary went on a health kick, deciding to forgo dessert for a while as his body felt overloaded by sugar. 

24. Questionnaire

Jay asked that everyone who attended his seminar take their time to fill out the questionnaire he sent out, as it gave him valuable feedback on how to make future seminars even more valuable. 

25. Sheriff

I shook my head in frustration as I saw the sheriff’s lights in my rearview mirror, knowing I was about to get a speeding ticket for the second time that month. 

26. Success

June’s success wasn’t dependent on whether she got the job she had applied for. She had faith in her talents and knew she’d rise to the top no matter what path she had to take. 

Tricky Words with Silent Letters

English words are rife with silent letters, making it hard to sound them out despite your best efforts. These words are tough, and memorizing their spellings is key to boosting your writing skills. 

27. Ascent

The ascent to Mount Everest is far different today than it was decades ago, as climbers have to wait their turn to take a photo at the top of the mountain. 

28. Chaos

It was chaos when Paula walked into her house, as her husband had struggled with the kids’ bedtime and had given in to their endless requests for late-night sugary snacks and cartoons. 

29. Charisma

Sarah’s charisma was breathtaking, and anyone lucky enough to be in her presence was affected by her charm long after their interaction. 

30. Choreography

Duane painstakingly developed the choreography for his dance company’s recital, knowing that many potential new dancers would be watching the audience and deciding whether to sign up for classes in the coming year. 

31. Cologne

The scent of his cologne lingered long after he left the restaurant, leaving his signature scent behind even after he had paid his bill and was on his way home. 

32. Condemn

The politician had to publicly condemn his brother after he got charged with driving under the influence, as he needed to let his constituents know that he disapproved of such behavior.

33. Conscience

No one was watching, and Alexa knew that she could steal the candy without getting caught, but her conscience reminded her that that wasn’t the right thing, and she would feel bad about herself if she didn’t pay.

34. Conscious

She was conscious of her tendency to push people away when they got too close, but she knew it was just a defense mechanism to stop herself from getting hurt if someone chose to leave her before she could.

35. Florescent

Las Vegas seemed to never go to sleep, as the city’s florescent lights were just as powerful at four in the morning as they were at six in the evening when the couple had first left their hotel room to check out all that the city had to offer.

36. Foreign

Amber was excited to try foreign food, as her trip to Europe was her first time leaving the United States, and she had always dreamed of what it would be like to experience authentic French and Spanish cuisine.

37. Handkerchief

Margaret pulled her handkerchief out of her purse to discreetly dab at her eyes, as seasonal allergies were getting the best of her, but she wasn’t quite ready to head home from the picnic just yet. 

38. Herbs

Basil is one of the fresh herbs that can elevate any dish, but it’s especially delicious when paired with braised chicken topped with fresh mozzarella and diced cherry tomatoes.

39. Receipt

Jack wasn’t sure whether the grocery store would accept his return without a receipt, so he brought the card that he used to purchase in hopes that they’d be able to see that he had, indeed, purchased the pie pan that turned out to have a crack in it. 

40. Salmon

Caleb was proud of himself when he tried the salmon he’d caught in the river that day.

41. Silhouette

She couldn’t help but notice her weight loss as she saw her silhouette on the wall as the sun shone through the window.

42. Solemn

The solemn sound of Barb’s favorite hymn filled the air as mourners entered the church, ready to both grieve their loss and celebrate her life. 

43. Thorough

Lindsey was worried about how thorough she’d need to be when cleaning out her apartment before the final inspection, as her days were becoming increasingly busy as she prepared for her move to California.

44. Wednesday

Mallory needed to work with her husband to figure out how they would manage their schedule for Wednesday, as it seemed like they needed to be in two places at once.

Unusual Hard to Spell Words

There’s no way around it; some words are incredibly hard to spell correctly. Check out these unusual words that might catch you out in writing. 

45. Archetype

He was the archetype of the American business executive; he pulled no punches in meetings and managed to lead others with trustworthy confidence. 

46. Camaraderie

The two became instant best friends the day they met in 6th grade, and even as they neared 40, their camaraderie only grew.

47. Disingenuous

Lynn couldn’t help but feel that her mother’s words were disingenuous, she constantly told Lynn that she would be ok on her own, but she didn’t seem to harbor that belief for her own life, as she bounced from one relationship to the next. 

48. Malleable

Stella watched with wonder as her two-year-old worked to create a snowman out of Play-Doh, constantly changing the shape of the malleable substance as he worked to make it perfect.

49. Tangential

“I know this is tangential,” said Marvin, “But I think we should consider adding a physical health aspect to the mental health week activities we’re setting up for our employees.”

50. Zephyr

Otto relaxed on the bench on the boardwalk as he felt the warm sea zephyr toss his hair across his forehead.

Learning how to spell these words takes practice, but if you still get stuck, we also review the best spellcheckers. You can add these words and others like it to a custom dictionary if not already present.

If you’re looking for more? Check out our list of mood words for literature to add to your writing!