8th Grade Vocabulary Words: List of Words and Definitions

Your 8th grader learns more sophisticated and complex vocabulary every day through books, conversations and classroom activities. Read on for a list of words and definitions that may be included in vocabulary lessons for 8th graders.

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What Are the Standards for 8th Grade Vocabulary?

Your child builds on skills in 8th grade that he or she learned in previous grades. This includes constructing words with affixes and roots, defining unfamiliar words by using context, understanding figurative language and identifying subtle differences in word meanings. He or she may also consult print and digital resources, like dictionaries, thesauruses and glossaries. The vocabulary words and definitions below are appropriate for 8th grade students.

Words and Definitions for Studying 8th Grade Vocabulary

Abdicate (AB-di-keyt)

- Verb

  1. To give up a right, claim or high office, such as a monarchy.

Benign (bih-NAHYN)

- Adjective

  1. Having a tendency toward kindness and gentleness.
  2. Harmless in effect.

Congest (kuhn-JEST)

- Verb

  1. To clog or overfill.
  2. To cause the accumulation of too much blood or mucus.

Discordant (dis-KAWR-dnt)

- Adjective

  1. Disagreeing; conflicting.
  2. Displeasing and harsh to the ear.

Exemplify (ig-ZEM-pluh-fahy)

- Verb

  1. To illustrate or clarify with examples.
  2. To provide or be an example of.

Facetious (fuh-SEE-shus)

- Adjective

  1. Humorous; not meant to be serious.
  2. Unconcerned with serious matters.

Gullible (GUHL-uh-buhl)

- Adjective

  1. Easily taken advantage of or deceived; naive.

Hindrance (HIN-druhns)

- Noun

  1. The condition of being impeded or stopped.
  2. The act of stopping, impeding or preventing.
  3. Someone or something that hinders.

Interpreter (in-TUR-pri-ter)

- Noun

  1. A person who gives an oral translation between people speaking in different languages.
  2. One who provides a detailed explanation on the work of others, such as a literary work.
  3. In computers:
a. A machine that reads perforations in punch cards and prints the corresponding symbols.
b. Hardware or software that reads and executes one instruction at a time in a high-level computer program.

Jurisdiction (joor-is-DIK-shun)

- Noun

  1. The authority to interpret law and administer justice.
  2. Authoritative power.
  3. The area where the law is administered.

Knave (nayv)

- Noun

  1. A dishonest, deceitful person.

Luminous (LOO-muh-nuhs)

- Adjective

  1. Radiating light; glowing.
  2. Enlightened; intellectual

Minimize (MIN-uh-mahyz)

- Verb

  1. To make as small as possible; reduce.
  2. To deliberately play-down or underestimate.

Neophyte (NEE-uh-fahyt)

- Noun

  1. A beginner.
  2. A religious novice.
  3. A new convert to a religion or belief.

Ornate (AHR-neyt)

- Adjective

  1. Excessively decorated; elaborate; showy.
  2. Embellished with elaborate or flowery style.

Panorama (pan-uh-RAM-uh)

- Noun

  1. An unobstructed view in all directions.
  2. An image of a scene or landscape which is unrolled continuously for spectators and exhibited one part at a time.
  3. A complete and comprehensive survey of a topic.

Questionable (KWES-chuh-nuh-buhl)

- Adjective

  1. Doubtful; problematic; disputable.
  2. Subject to dispute or challenge.

Reluctant (ri-LUHK-tuhnt)

- Adjective

  1. Hesitant, unwilling.
  2. Hesitantly taking on a role.

Susceptible (suh-SEP-tuh-buhl)

- Adjective

  1. Capable of yielding to an action or specified treatment.
  2. Subject or liable to an affliction mood, or influence.
  3. Easily affected; impressionable.

Trepidation (trep-i-DEY-shun)

- Noun

  1. A nervous, fearful feeling.

Urgency (UR-juhn-see)

- Noun

  1. The state of being insistent.
  2. Needs that are immediate.

Voracious (voh-REY-shuhs)

- Adjective

  1. Having an appetite for large amounts of food.
  2. Overeager; avid.

Willful (will-FUHL)

- Adjective

  1. Stubbornly insistent on getting one's way; headstrong; obstinate.
  2. Done intentionally.

Xenophobia (zee-nuh-FOH-bee-uh)

- Noun

  1. Fear or dislike of any person or thing that is strange or foreign.

Yawp (yahp)

- Verb

  1. To cry loudly, harshly.
  2. To complain.

- Noun

  1. A harsh, raucous utterance.

Zilch (zilCH)

- Noun

  1. A slang term meaning nothing or zero.
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