My Favorite Vocabulary Words

Every writer should have a dictionary handy! If you’re without one, here are my top favorite vocabulary words!


Preternatural”= I’ve used this word a couple of times throughout my novel because I feel like it perfectly describes something that is beyond the normal or natural ways of life. I’ve used this often to describe something completely out of the ordinary, such as seeing a spirit of a different world. This word is effective because it does not have a strong negative or positive connotation. One can simply use it to describe something extraordinary. If you want to use it with a more scary connotation one might say, “I wiped my tears and hushed my sobs, fearful lest any sign of violent grief might waken a preternatural voice to comfort me, or elicit from the gloom some haloed face bending over me with strange pity” (pg23).


Howard Pyle [Public domain]

Benignant”= This word is a great adjective to describe someone (or something) you find gracious, friendly, or kind. It shares the same prefix “bene” as benevolent, benison, benefit, etc. It’s a very positive word and I’ve decided to use it in my novel to describe someone who impacted my life in an immensely positive way. From my very first impression of her, I knew she was a person of incredible kindness. I’ve portrayed that here through the use of this word: “Seen now, in broad daylight, she looked tall, fair, and shapely; brown eyes with a benignant light in their irids, and a fine penciling of long lashes round…”(pg 84).

Louise Docker from sydney, Australia [CC BY 2.0 (]


Moiety/Repast”= Often times as writers we find ourselves looking for different ways to say overused words such as “portion” or “meal”. I found two nouns that have simple meanings, but are part of a more eloquent diction. “Moiety” is simply half or a portion of anything that can be divided. “Repast” simply means “a meal”. It is important to understand the meaning of words and not just constantly use a thesaurus because your reader will know! However, it is safe to use them as follows: “I generally contrived to reserve a moiety of this bounteous repast for myself; but the remainder I was invariably obliged to part with”(pg 111). 

Kattusa24 [Public domain]