Webster Detector

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Webster Detector™ eMentor Online Spelling Program by Hexco Academic

Webster Detector is a collection of over 2,500 new and modified words from Merriam-Webster's Unabridged online dictionary. Sign-up for a free demo of this product! In 2019, Hexco's Webster Detector had 42% of the new dictionary words (10 of the 24 "new" oral round words) that showed up at the National Spelling Bee. In 2018, Webster Detector eMentor contained 50% (13 of the 26) oral round words given in the 2018 National Spelling Bee that were added or altered in the online dictionary. In selecting words for this list, our writers went a step beyond collecting new words and included a few words like chromosome, which showed up in 2018; this word had two other forms of the word added, chromosomally and chromosomicAlhambra and bitcoin have both appeared in recent regional bees, and both of those words are in this list. Read more about the Webster Detector and its history.

Try the FREE Spelling eMentor demo to learn more about our online platform!


  • New/Added words – Ex. webisode, shopaholic, edamame, mixtape, misfold, bagless, Alcyone, rugelach, besylate, Chiusi
  • Revised words – Ex. bloviate with new entry as bloviator
  • Changed pronunciations – kanazawa (usually capitalized) was only an adjective <kuh.NAH.zuh.wuh>, but is now only Kanazawa, a noun <kah.NAH.zah.wah> or <kah.nah.ZAH.wah>; rabbit was <RAB.it>, but is now <RAB.uht>; decimeter was only <DES.uh.meed.uh(r)> but now is only <DES.uh.meet.uh(r)>; coyote was <KII.(y)oht> <kii.(Y)OHD.ee> <kii.(Y)OHT.ee> plus sometimes 3 other pronunciations, but is now only <KII.oh.tee> or chiefly western <KII.oht>; bibliopancreatic <bib.lee.oh.PAN(G).kree.ad.ik>, only <…PAN(G.kree.at.ik> in OMW
  • Contemporary words – Ex. emojiemofaviconfearmongerbridezilla

Note: Some of the words in this list were not marked as "Revised" or "New" in the online dictionary; however, they were found by our word detectives!

After the year of the 'octo-champs,' will there be an increasing number of obscure and challenging words used at the NSB in years to come? It's certainly possible. Click here to read this Washington Post article. 

Language is continuously evolving

Due to the online nature of the new approved dictionary, words in this volume could undergo changes at the discretion of Merriam-Webster, and we encourage you to do your own checking and "double-checking" on any words or word information that you find questionable. You can contact us at any time with questions or concerns via our contact form online.

Webster Detector can save countless hours mining for words, so you can spend more time studying and learning. With the eMentor saving missed words for you, you can eventually learn to spell every word in this challenging list correctly.

This is a must-have collection for National Spelling Bee contestants who want to cover all their bases and have as few surprises as possible at the National level.


  • Each Spelling eMentor saves missed words until all words are mastered.
  • It also saves results when you log in and log out and keeps track of your progress.
  • Audio, phonetic pronunciations, word origins, and definitions are included.
  • Select "All Words Ever Missed" to make sure you never miss those words again.
  • Perfect "All Words Missed on the Last Attempt" to master each list. (Note that this means your last attempt at the word.)
  • "Star" words that you want to study again. (Note that you can "unstar" words at any time.)
  • Ask for the next letter in a word.
  • Ask to show the whole word if you don't know how to spell a word.
  • Attempt all words in any set at any time to continue perfecting your spelling.
  • Type and click "enter" to quickly test yourself without depending on a mouse to move forward.


  • Each eMentor product is browser-based and tracks progress for one user.
  • All eMentors are accessible from any browser on a PC or Mac computer and mobile device.
  • This product is subscription-based and is good for one year from the date of your purchase.


LEVEL: Advanced to Expert

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1 Review

  • 5
    Great Words!

    Published by Crazy4Bees on 21st Mar 2018

    The words in the Webster Detective are similar in difficulty to the BLITZ series. There are many geography and constellation terms. Most words are very challenging and this a good guide for those going to the National Bee.

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