The Winners of Our 2020 Vocabulary Video Contest for High Schoolers

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The Winners of Our 2020 Vocabulary Video Contest for High Schoolers

One of the top ten winners of our high school contest: vex by Steven Xie, Elliot Azzi, Arek Zenel Walasek and Korinne Hennel.


The world is a scary place right now. Let us offer you a break from it with these delightful 15-second videos created by teenagers.

In January, we challenged students to define one of our Words of the Day in 15 seconds or less for our Seventh Annual Vocabulary Video Contest. Below, we’re featuring the work of the finalists of our high school contest — 11 winners, 15 runners-up and 21 honorable mentions — which we selected from 800-plus entries. (You can see the winners of the middle school contest here.)

Thank you to everyone who participated, and to the teachers who devoted class time to this project. As always, we chose finalists based on their originality, how well each showed an understanding of the word and its use in a specific context, and how clearly that was communicated. And, though we hate to be a killjoy, we had to disqualify any entries that did not follow our rules.

Judging these videos has been a bright spot for our staff in these last few tumultuous weeks. We hope you’ll find some joy in them, too.

anachronistic by Daniel Baur:

callow by Katerina Poulathas:

exorcise: by Emily Bone and Davis Gibb

fecundity by Kaetlyn Patnaude:

hallucination by Anthony Ng-Thow-Hing:

mellifluous by Eric Bennett-Sines:

psychosis by Ava Johnston:

vex by Steven Xie, Elliot Azzi, Arek Zenel Walasek and Korinne Hennel (See top of this post.)

abecedarian by Clare Zhang