When choosing a spelling bee word list, or training students to compete in a spelling bee, we have to face a simple fact:

Spelling is more than memorization.

There isn’t a big enough list or enough time to have students recall every single word that could be thrown to them.

Instead, we have to present spelling words in a way that teaches a deeper understanding of spelling.

We’ve gathered 100+ spelling bee words and included their syllables, graphemes, phonemes, part of speech and etymology, so you make any student feel like a spelling champion!

Spelling bee word list

WORD Grade Level SYLLABLES PHONEMES GRAPHEMES part of speech Definiton Sentence ETYMOLOGY
pitch 3 pitch p, i, ch p, i, tch singluar noun the level or tune of a sound She was singing in a different pitch.
taken 3 tak/en past verb to have gotten a hold of; grasped My dad has taken my game away from me.
cannot 3 can/not present verb to not be able to do something I cannot eat desert before dinner.
stayed 3 stayed past verb to have been somewhere for a short time We stayed at a hotel when we were on holidays.
denim 3 den/im irregular noun a type of material used for jeans I like to wear denim jeans.
doctor 3 doc/tor singlular noun a person that treats sick people I went to the doctor when I was sick. Latin
gloves 3 gloves plural noun hand covers to protect hands I put on gloves before I wash the dishes.
ocean 3 o/cean singular noun a large area of water covering Earth The ship sailed over the ocean. Greek
cadet 3 ca/det singular noun a person training in the armed forces or police The cadet was in training to be a police officer. French
oxen 3 ox/en plural noun plural of ox, a large domestic animal kept for milk A herd of oxen were grazing on the grass.
quail 3 quail kw,ai,l qu,ai,l irregular noun a small brown bird A quail was in the nest. French
arch 3 arch ar, ch ar, ch singlular noun a curved top that is held by two supports You enter the hall through a huge arch. Latin
cheese 3 cheese ch,ee,z ch,ee,se singlular noun a food made from milk curd I like to eat cheese and crackers. Germanic
teach 3 teach t, ee, ch t, ea, ch present verb to help someone learn how to do something He will teach me how to play the game. Germanic
liver 3 liv/er singlular noun an organ in the body that cleans and filters blood The liver is an organ that filters blood.
river 3 riv/er singlular noun a natural, large stream of water The canoe drifted up the river. Latin
story 3 sto/ry singlular noun a fictional tale shorter than a novel My teacher reads us a story every day. Latin
thank 3 thank th, a, n, k th, a, n, k verb to show you are pleased by something or someone Please thank her or all her help. Germanic
mammal 3 mam/mal singlular noun an animal that feeds its young with milk from the mother A mammal feeds its young with milk. Latin
mammoth 3 mam/moth singlular noun an extinct elephant covered in long hair and curved tusks The mammoth lived long ago and had long hair and tusks.
events 3 e/vents plural noun things that are planned; social occasions or activities There will three events to raise money.
facts 3 facts f,a,c,t,s f,a,c,t,s plural noun things that are proven or known to be true The facts have been proven and are true.
people 3 peo/ple plural noun more than one person Ten people came to the party. Latin
once 3 once adverb one time I have only been to hospital once.
coming 3 com/ing adjective about to happen or just beginning We will have a lot of fun in the coming year.
inside 3 in/side preposition within a container or room I want to see what is inside the box.
parents 3 par/ents plural noun plural of parent, a mother or father My parents will not let me stay up late.
guard 4 guard g, ar, d gu, ar, d present verb to watch or protect The dog was set to guard the gate. Germanic
hoarse 4 hoarse h,or,s h,oar,se having a rough voice My voice was hoarse from cheering at the game.
lamb 4 lamb l,a,m l,a,mb singluar a young sheep A baby sheep is called a lamb.
wrap 4 wrap r,a,p wr,a,p present to cover by winding or folding We will wrap the present with green paper.
coarse 4 coarse k,or,s c,oar,se having a harsh or rough quality The coarse sand was hard to walk on.
geese 4 geese g,ee,s g,ee,se plural more than one goose The goose flew over to the other geese in the flock.
gel 4 gel j,e,l g,e,l singluar a thick jellylike substance As the mixture cooled it turned into a gel.
gem 4 gem j,e,m g,e,m singluar a cut and polished stone The precious gem sparkled in the light.
rye 4 rye r,igh r,ye irregular a type of grain used in baking Bread made with rye tastes different to wheat. German
touch 4 touch t, u, ch t, ou, ch present to put your hand or fingers on someone or something Do not touch the wet paint.
wreck 4 wreck r, e, k wr, e, ck singluar the remains of a ship or other vehicle The divers enjoyed diving on the wreck.
quiche 4 quiche k, ee, sh qu, i, che singluar a pie made with eggs We made the quiche with lots of eggs. French
foul 4 foul f, ou, l f, ou, l extremely unpleasant There was a foul smell coming from the bathroom.
lure 4 lure l, ure l, ure present to persuade someone to do something by offering something exciting I tried to lure the dog outside with a bone.
chief 4 chief ch, ee, f ch, ie, f singluar a person who is in charge A new chief of police has just been appointed.
gnat 5 gnat n, a, t gn, a, t singluar a small, flying, biting insect A gnat is a small flying insect which bites. German
gnaw 5 gnaw n, aw gn, aw present to bite or chew something repeatedly My dog loves to gnaw on bones. German
quip 5 quip kw, i, p qu, i, p singluar a funny and clever comment He made quip and clever comment.
raise 5 raise r,ai,z r,ai,se present to lift up I raise my arm to answer the question.
sauce 5 sauce s, aw, s s, au, ce singluar a thick liquid eaten with food I love to have sauce on my pie.
bight 5 bight b, igh, t b, igh, t singluar a curve in a coastline A curve in a coastline is called a bight.
thigh 5 thigh th, igh th, igh singluar the part of the leg above the knee The thigh muscle is above the knee.
balm 5 balm b, ar, m b, al, m singluar a fragrant cream or liquid used to heal the skin Dad uses a skin balm after he shaves.
calm 5 calm c, ar, m c, al, m not angry, upset or excited We have to stay calm if we hear the fire alarm.
weigh 5 weigh w, ai w, eigh present to find out how heavy someone or something is. I use the scales to weigh the ingredients carefully.
Zeus 5 Zeus z,oo(long),s z,eu,s noun the ruler of the gods in Greek mythology Zeus is the ruler of the gods in Greek mythology.
column 5 col/umn noun one of two or more vertical sections of a printed page Please read down the left column.
zoology 5 zo/ol/o/gy noun the study of animals She wants to study zoology and animals.
corpses 5 cor/pses noun plural of corpse, a dead body The ancient corpses were buried thousands of years ago.
cities 5 cit/ies noun plural of city, a large town London and Paris are two large cities.
passage 5 pas/sage noun an alley or pathway We took a shortcut down the side passage.
including 5 in/clud/ing preposition part of a particular group or amount Three people, including myself, are getting an award.
compartment 5 com/part/ment noun a section of something larger I keep snacks in the bottom compartment of my bag.
prospector 6 pros/pec/tor noun a person who searches for valuable substances such as gold or oil The prospector found a gold nugget.
gouging 6 goug/ing present verb to make a hole through something in a rough way The builder was gouging a hole through the wall.
gourd 6 gourd g,or,d g,our,d noun a fruit with a hard rind often used for decoration or for making objects We used the skin of a dried gourd to make a bowl.
support 6 sup/port present verb to give help or assistance to someone or something I support the charity by helping them raise money.
advance 6 ad/vance present verb to move forward in a purposeful way I want to advance to the next level of the game.
balance 6 bal/ance noun an even distribution of weight The toddler lost his balance as he was trying to walk.
cancelled 6 can/celled past verb for a planned event to not take place The school sports day was cancelled because of the storm.
canceled 6 can/celed past verb for a planned event to not take place The school sports day was canceled because of the storm.
clearance 6 clear/ance noun the process of removing things There was a large boot sale after the house clearance.
budget 6 budg/et noun an amount of money you have available to spend My parents made a weekly budget for our groceries.
mussels 6 mus/sels noun edible sea creatures with two black shells that close The mussels are edible and have black shells.
whether 6 wheth/er conjunction showing a choice between alternatives I don’t know whether to go to the party or not.
pieces 6 piec/es noun a part of something The pizza was cut into eight equal pieces.
rhythm 6 rhy/thm noun a strong, regular and repeated movement or sound The dancers all had great rhythm.
exterminate 6 ex/ter/min/ate present verb to destroy or kill completely Our efforts to exterminate the cockroaches have failed. Latin
quarrelling 6 quar/rel/ling present verb arguing angrily The quarrelling students were sent to detention. Latin
possibility 6 pos/si/bil/i/ty noun a chance that something may or may not happen or exist There is a possibility that it will snow on the weekend.
chaos 6 cha/os noun complete confusion and disorder Computer failure caused chaos at the airport. Greek
orchestra 6 or/ches/tra noun a large group of musicians who play many different instruments together and are led by a conductor She played the violin in the school orchestra. Greek
category 6 cat/e/go/ry noun a group of people or things that are similar in some way He competed in the race in his age category. Latin and Greek
originated 6 o/rig/i/nat/ed past verb began to exist The waltz originated in Vienna.
geography 6 ge/og/ra/phy noun the natural features of an area In class we have been studying the geography of the local area. Greek
sapphire 6 sap/phire noun a clear bright blue gemstone She received a sapphire ring on her sixteenth birthday. Greek
squadron 6 squad/ron noun a military unit consisting of soldiers, ships or aircraft The squadron of bombers returned to their base. Italian
fatigue 6 fa/tigue noun extreme tiredness She was suffering from the fatigue after the long hike. French
recruit 6 re/cruit present verb to find new people to take part in an event or join a group or team We had to recruit more players for our team. French
whirligig 6 whirl/i/gig noun a child’s toy that spins rapidly A spinning top is an example of a whirligig. Middle English
chaperone 7 chap/er/one noun a person who goes with and is responsible for a group of young people My father volunteered to be a chaperone at the next school dance. French
charade 7 cha/rade noun something that is done in order to pretend something is true when it is not really true The continue the charade until it wasn’t fun anymore. French
chassis 7 chas/sis noun the base frame that a car or other vehicle is built on The chassis of the car was damaged in the accident. French
chivalry 7 chiv/al/ry noun very polite, honest and kind behaviour I love listening to stories of knights and their chivalry. Latin
cliché 7 cliche noun a phrase that has been used so often that it is no longer original Time flies when you are having fun is an example of a cliché. French
machinery 7 ma/chin/er/y noun machines of a particular kind or machines in general The farm machinery is kept in the barn.
peasants 7 peas/ants noun in history a person of a low social class of farm workers and owners of small farms The land was farmed by peasants for hundreds of years. Latin
perimeter 7 per/rim/e/ter noun the outside edge of an area, surface or flat shape Soldiers guarded the perimeter of the camp. Greek
persuade 7 per/suade present verb to cause someone to do something or believe something by asking, arguing or giving reasons I am trying to persuade my parents to increase my pocket money. Latin
thermometer 7 ther/mo/me/ter noun a device used to measure temperature of a person’s body or the air Mum used a thermometer to see if I had a fever. French
toupee 7 tou/pee noun a small wig that is worn by a man to cover a bald spot on his head The actor was wearing a black toupee on his head. French
camouflage 7 cam/ou/flage noun the way some animals are coloured or shaped so they can not be seen in their natural surroundings A stick insects colour and shape helps it to hide in a tree. French
limousine 7 lim/ou/sine noun a large, expensive car often driven by a paid driver The bride and groom hired a limousine for their wedding day. French
gargoyle 7 gar/goyle noun a stone object in the shape of the head of an ugly creature, usually seen on the roofs of old buildings A row of gargoyles perch on the roof long the front of the old church. Old French

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