Top 10 Hardest and Easiest Spelling Bee Words, Aug. 26-Sept. 1

by Ahleper Tech
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Here are the meanings of the least-found words that were used in (mostly) recent Times articles.

1. abbacy — the office of the leader of a monastery:

Before its destruction by English forces in 1398 left it the ruin it remains today, Glendalough was in ecclesiastic and political terms one of the most important settlements in pre-Norman Leinster, and control of its bishopric and abbacy was a bone of great contention between rival kings. Ireland’s Medieval Beacon (April 16, 1995)

2. natant — swimming or floating (and a frequent guest on this list):

I love the word natant. The fact that it means “swimming or floating” makes me want to connect it somehow to the word “natal” because a fetus floats, but “natal” is apparently derived from the Latin natalis, meaning “pertaining to birth or origin.” — A Season in the Sun (April 28, 2017)

3. peplum — a flared piece of fabric near the waist of a blouse or top (see photos):

Then think of the pants as a base layer, or canvas, and add the most glamorous sparkling top: a cropped jacket with a built-in capelet, crystals or gorgeous embroidery; a shirt with a peplum (which has the added benefit of covering pants waistlines). I’m a Wheelchair User. What’s the Best Thing to Wear to a Formal Event? (April 3, 2023)

4. hegemon — a predominant leader, especially one that holds sway over others:

China is expected to raise a litany of grievances during the two-day visit, reflecting Beijing’s view that the U.S. is a declining hegemon determined to cling to power by containing China. Your Monday Briefing: Blinken in Beijing (June 18, 2023)

5. lantana — a shrub with bright flowers, often used in gardens and planters:

The landscape was bright green and pale yellow with pops of fuchsia bougainvillea and flame-hued lantana — a planter box ornamental at my home in California that here grows to the size of an apple tree. Mexico’s Last Countercultural Coast (Feb. 3, 2020)

6. tali — plural of talus, an ankle bone:

T.I.L. (Today I Learned) that tali is another word for “anklebones.” Long Story Short (Jan. 3, 2022)

7. atilt — askew:

The facade is atilt, the S.U.V. tipped nose-first in a puddle, the Stacey Abrams for President banner torn down and in tatters. Review: This ‘Hamlet’ Under the Stars Is No Walk in the Park (June 29, 2023)

8. taxa — plural of taxon, which is a scientific grouping such as species or genus:

Some scientists argue that even bacteria are unique. “Personality is found in all taxa,” said Alessio Mortelliti, an expert in rodent personalities at the University of Maine and a recipient of a National Science Foundation career grant. Wildlife Personalities Play a Role in Nature (March 5, 2022)

9. tallit — a Jewish prayer shawl:

It was a striking image: a bearded rabbi with a flak jacket over his tallit, hitting the ground to take cover as shells boomed around him. Rabbi’s Brush With Danger in Ukraine Went Viral (July 5, 2023)

10. ataxia — loss of muscle control caused by nerve damage:

After a review of the Dolphins’ medical assessment of Tagovailoa, the league and its players’ union agreed to change concussion protocol to prohibit a player from returning to play if he shows ataxia. — A Former W.W.E. Wrestler Taps In Against Concussion Deniers (Oct. 26, 2022)

The list of the week’s easiest words:

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