11 Words That Will Make You Sound Super Smart

The Huffington Post  |  By 
Posted: 10/28/2013 7:59 am EDT  |  Updated: 10/28/2013 9:33 am EDT

When someone constantly uses the filler word “like,” you probably think they don’t sound so smart.

But have you ever met someone who’s babbling “like” after “like,” and then suddenly inserts a zinger of a vocabulary word such as “sycophant,” which means a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage (or “obsequiously,” which means full of or exhibiting servile compliance)? All of a sudden, you’re looking at this person in a whole new light. Maybe they’re smarter than you thought they were.

Just for fun, we asked our Facebook fans to name the words they think make someone sound, well, sagacious (uh, smart). Have any words to add? Let us know in comments. We included the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition below each suggestion.

1) “Paradoxically,” said Lee Enry Erickson.
Def: Of the nature of a paradox; not being the normal or usual kind — a paradoxical pulse — paradoxical drug reactions.
— par·a·dox·i·cal·i·ty noun
— par·a·dox·i·cal·ly adverb
— par·a·dox·i·cal·ness noun

2) “Oxymoron,” said Maria Regina Encarnação.
Def: A combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings.

3) “Ennui,” said Mayda Tapanes.
Def: A lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest.

4) “Beleaguered,” said Cindy Jarrett, who added “plethora” and “oligarchy” as well.
Def of beleaguer: To cause constant or repeated trouble for (a person, business, etc.): examples: the lack of funds that beleaguers schools — beleaguered the castle for months.

5) “Exacerbate,” said Ginger Amelia Perry.
Def: To make (a bad situation, a problem, etc.) worse.

6) “Didactic,” said Kat Wood.
Def: Designed or intended to teach people something.

7) “Anathema,” said Suzanne Fluhr.
Def: Someone or something that is very strongly disliked.

8) “Logistics,” said Michael James Cooper.
Def: The things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people.

9) “Quixotic,” said Lea Thompson.
Def: Hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical.

10) “Non sequitur,” said Fred Crandall.
Def: A statement that is not connected in a logical or clear way to anything said before it.

11) “Verisimilitude,” said Lauren George.
Def: The quality or state of being verisimilar — having the appearance of truth.


What’s a word you like to use to make you sound sagacious? Please enter in the comments below with your word, the definition, and your name. The first 10 persons to do so will earn 10 bonus points to their homework grade.

10 thoughts on “11 Words That Will Make You Sound Super Smart

  1. quintessential

    quintessential means a pure and essential essencee of something. It is an adjective

  2. Hannah Valena
    Ostentatious (adj.):displaying wealth, knowledge, etc. in a way that is meant to attract attention, admiration, or envy.

  3. Illustrious
    This word means highly distinguished, renowned, or famous.
    Aubrey Mahalingam

  4. Word: Esoteric

    Definition: Understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest

    Name: Aditi Adya

  5. Ritika Gupta
    Word: falderal
    Definition: mere nonsense; foolish talk or ideas.

    I want ten points!!😁