50 Difficult English Words to Pronounce for Non Native English Speakers (With Definitions and Used in a Sentence)

English can be very difficult to pronounce, especially if you are not familiar with the sounds of the language. That’s why we created a comprehensive guide to the Top 50 hardest words to pronounce in English for Non-Native English Speakers. 

In this guide, you will see the word, the correct pronunciation in parentheses, the definition of the word using simple English, and an example of the word used in a sentence. We also include many pictures in guide, to help you understand.  These include hard English words to pronounce for Spanish speakers, or speakers of any other language.  We’ve even included some funny hard words to pronounce.  Let’s dive right in!


Pronunciation: (uh-SEED)

Definition: to agree or give in to a request or demand

Example Sentence: The boss acceded to his employee’s request to change the business plan.


Pronunciation: (ak-SEHS-uh-ree)

Definition: something that is added to something else to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive

Example sentence: She wore a scarf as an accessory to her outfit.


Pronunciation: (ah-KWYE-ess)

Definition: to accept or agree to something without protest

Example sentence: He reluctantly acquiesced to her request and agreed to go to the party.


Pronunciation: (EYE-ul)

Definition: a passage between rows of seats in a theater, church, or other public building

Example sentence: She walked down the aisle towards the altar, feeling nervous but excited.


Pronunciation: (AY-lee-uhs)

Definition: a false name used to conceal a person’s true identity

Example sentence: He used an alias to avoid being recognized by the police.


Pronunciation: (ANG-kur)

Definition: a device used to hold a ship in place

Example sentence: The anchor was dropped to keep the boat from drifting away.


Pronunciation: (uh-NEE-thuh-zee-uh)

Definition: a loss of feeling or sensation, typically used to prevent pain during surgery

Example sentence: The patient was given anesthesia before the operation.


Pronunciation: (uh-SEYL-uhnt)

Definition: a person who attacks someone physically or verbally

Example sentence: The assailant ran away after the attack.


Pronunciation: (uh-TEMPT)

Definition: an effort to do something

Example sentence: She made several attempts to solve the puzzle, but she couldn’t figure it out.


Pronunciation: (buh-REFT)

Definition: feeling sad and alone because something or someone is not there

Example sentence: She was bereft after her dog passed away.


Pronunciation: (BOOL-uh-vard)

Definition: a wide, multi-lane road in a city, typically with trees or grass growing along the sides

Example sentence: We walked down the boulevard, taking in the sights and sounds of the city.


Pronunciation: (kuh-JOHL)

Definition: to persuade someone to do something by making them feel good or using flattery

Example sentence: She cajoled him into going to the party with her.


Pronunciation: (kam-uh-RAH-dree)

Definition: a feeling of trust and friendliness among people who spend a lot of time together

Example sentence: The soldiers shared a sense of camaraderie after serving together in the war.


Pronunciation:  (KAY-ahs) 

Definition: a state of complete confusion and disorder

Example sentence: The party turned into chaos when the police arrived.


Pronunciation: (CHOK-lit)

Definition: a food made from cocoa beans, used in cooking and baking

Example sentence: She ate a piece of chocolate after dinner.


Pronunciation: (KWAHY-er)

Definition: a group of people who sing together, often in a church

Example sentence: The choir sang beautifully at the concert.


Pronunciation: (klohz)

Definition: the items that people wear to cover their bodies, such as shirts, pants, and dresses

Example sentence: She put on her clothes before leaving the house.


Pronunciation: (KERN-uhl)

Definition: a military officer with a high rank, above a lieutenant colonel and below a general

Example sentence: The colonel led the troops into battle.


Pronunciation: (dih-FIB-ruh-lay-ter)

Definition: a device used to give an electric shock to the heart in order to restore a normal heartbeat

Example sentence: The paramedics used a defibrillator to save the man.


Pronunciation: (dih-LEE-ter-ee-us)

Definition: harmful or detrimental

Example sentence: The fumes from the factory were deleterious to the health of the nearby residents.


Pronunciation: (draft)

Definition: a current of air, especially one that is cold or feels cool

Example sentence: She felt a draught come through the window and shivered.


Pronunciation: (ih-KLEK-tik)

Definition: made up of various sources or styles

Example sentence: She had an eclectic taste in music, enjoying everything from classical to rap.


Pronunciation: (EP-uh-tuh-mee)

Definition: a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type

Example sentence: She was the epitome of grace and elegance.


Pronunciation: (ih-SPRES-oh)

Definition: a strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans

Example sentence: She ordered an espresso to help wake her up in the morning.


Pronunciation: (ik-SPAY-shee-ayt)

Definition: to speak or write at length or in great detail

Example sentence: She expatiated on the reasons for her decision.


Pronunciation: (eks-puh-NEN-shul)

Definition: growing or increasing rapidly, especially in an uncontrolled way

Example sentence: The population of rabbits in the garden grew exponentially and soon became a problem.


Pronunciation: (hi-JEM-uh-nee)

Definition: the dominance or control of one group or state over others

Example sentence: The country’s military hegemony was threatened by the rise of a powerful rival.


Pronunciation: (ig-nuh-MIN-ee-us)

Definition: deserving or causing public shame or disgrace

Example sentence: He was forced to resign in ignominious circumstances after a scandal.


Pronunciation: (EYE-ul)

Definition: a small island

Example sentence: The Isle of Wight is a popular tourist destination in England.


Pronunciation: (nell)

Definition: a sound like a funeral bell, typically used to indicate the end of something

Example sentence: The knell of the bell signaled the end of the game.


Pronunciation: (muh-KAHB)

Definition: adjective, gruesome, horrible

Example sentence: The macabre images from the accident were too much for some to handle.


Pronunciation: (MIN-uh-skool) adjective

Definition: very small, such as a small object

Example sentence: I lost the miniscule screw that was holding my glasses together.


Pronunciation: (MIS-chih-vus)

Definition: playful, but possibly causing harm or trouble

Example sentence: The mischievous kitten knocked over the vase of flowers.


Pronunciation: (NAW-shus)

Definition: adjective, feeling sick or disgusted

Example sentence: The nauseous feeling in my stomach wouldn’t go away, no matter how much I tried to ignore it.


Pronunciation: (pan-uh-SEE-uh)

Definition: a solution that will fix all problems

Example sentence: The new drug was supposed to be a panacea for all types of cancer, but it didn’t work as well as expected.


Pronunciation: (FAY-roh)

Definition: noun, an ancient Egyptian ruler

Example sentence: The pharaohs were buried in elaborate tombs filled with treasures.


Pronunciation: (prahmpts)

Definition: a signal to start or do something

Example sentence: The teacher gave us prompts to help us come up with ideas for our essays.


Pronunciation: (ter-ee-DAK-til)

Definition:  an extinct large flying dinosaur

Example sentence: The pterydactyl had a wingspan of over 6 feet and could fly at high speeds.


Pronunciation: (kwik-SAH-tik)

Definition: idealistic, but impractical

Example sentence: The quixotic plan to build a space elevator was abandoned after it was deemed impossible to accomplish.


Pronunciation: (ree-FRIJ-uh-ray-tur)

Definition: an appliance used to keep food and drinks cold

Example sentence: I put the leftovers in the refrigerator so they don’t spoil.


Pronunciation: (ROO-rul)

Definition: relating to the countryside, not urban

Example sentence: We moved to a rural area to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Pronunciation: (SAN-gwin)

Definition: an attitude or personality of being optimistic, hopeful

Example sentence: Despite the challenges they faced, the team remained sanguine and continued to work towards their goal.


Pronunciation: (siksth)

Definition: coming after the fifth and before the seventh

Example sentence: I’m the sixth person in my family to go to college.


Pronunciation: (SKWERL)

Definition: a small rodent with a bushy tail

Example sentence: The squirrel ran up the tree and hid its nuts in a hole in the trunk.


Pronunciation: (STOH-ik)

Definition: unemotional, accepting of pain or hardship without complaining

Example sentence: Despite the difficult situation, he remained stoic and didn’t show any signs of weakness.


Pronunciation: (strengkth)

Definition: the quality or state of being strong, the ability to resist being moved or broken

Example sentence: The strength of the steel beams allowed the building to withstand the earthquake.


Pronunciation: (TWELFTH)

Definition: coming after the eleventh and before the thirteenth

Example sentence: The twelfth day of Christmas is when the partridge in a pear tree is given.


Pronunciation: (yoo-BI-kwuh-tuhs)

Definition: existing or being everywhere at the same time

Example sentence: Cell phones have become ubiquitous in our society.


Pronunciation: (vi-SIS-i-tood)

Definition: a change or variation in the course of something

Example sentence: Life is full of vicissitudes and we never know what will happen next.


Pronunciation: (RINK-ul)

Definition: a line or fold on the skin, usually as a result of aging

Example sentence: She applied the anti-wrinkle cream to her forehead, hoping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Pronunciation: (yot)

Definition: a large, luxurious boat used for pleasure cruising or racing

Example sentence: We rented a yacht for a week and sailed around the Caribbean.

We hope this list of Difficult Words to Pronounce for Non-Native English Speakers has been helpful to you.  In conclusion, we described the pronunciation for each word, gave a simple definition that was easy to understand, and used the word in a sentence as an example.  With dedicated practice, you can learn to speak and write these words with ease. Soon you will be speaking like a native English speaker, and you can level up your language skills. 

Which word was your favorite from the list?  Let us know by sharing this page on social media. Don’t forget to check out our other content on the site to learn more about improving your English language skills. Good luck!

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