These academic vocabulary words for fifth graders are broadly used in many subjects and even in everyday conversation, but they can be hard to define; their definitions are often abstract and can change based on context. But they add precision to writing and speaking. They often help shape plot, mood, or point of view. For instance, skip or trudge would convey different impressions and feelings than walk. Having a strong academic vocabulary is critical to your fifth grader’s reading comprehension.

Print this list, courtesy of Hyde Park Central School District, and post it somewhere that you and your child will see it daily. Try to use these words in conversation with your fifth grader. Hearing new words used in context is one of the best ways for kids to learn and remember new words.

5th grade vocabulary words

abolish escalate influence
accomplish establish investigate
accurate evaluate navigate
announce evidence opposed
anxious exhaust ordinary
approach expansion passage
approval expectation persuade
approximate explain primary
argument express recently
avoid extend reference
briskly familiar review
cease frequent revolt
claim gigantic scarce
conclude gist significant
conflict glare source
consistent harsh summarize
context heroic superior
convince hesitate tension
culture hilarious tolerate
decade historic tremble
dissatisfied horizontal unexpected
dominate hostile unfamiliar
drowsy huddle vertical
edible identify effortless
illegible equivalent immigrate


See the academic vocabulary lists for 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade, too.

Check out our 36 5th grade spelling words worksheets.

Learn more about how to help your 5th grader with reading skills:

Read: 5th grade reading
Check out: Books that explore feelings for 5th graders
Watch: One key 5th grade reading skill
Do: Our 5 favorite 5th grade reading worksheets

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