It’s commonplace to crave a more comprehensive vocabulary. Whether you’re cavorting with colleagues (playing Scrabble or Words with Friends) or crafting a letter, choosing from a catalogue of C-words can always come in handy. When you need a clever catchphrase, words that commence with C can’t be conquered. Cee is the third letter of the English alphabet, but it comes first in countless creative words. So, if you covet a more cosmopolitan vocabulary, call to mind a couple of words that start with C.
We’ve created this list of words for you, organized by the number of letters in each word. Many of these words have more than one meaning. For simplicity, we’ve only listed one definition for each word. Keep in mind, this word list doesn’t contain every single English word that starts with C; however, it’s a useful introduction to this very special letter.
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cacique – Noun | A local political leader in Spain and Latin America
caesura – Noun | A break within a line of verse, sometimes shown in scanning by the sign ∥
cajuput – Noun | A melaleuca, or paperbark, tree that yields medicinal oil (also spelled cajeput or cajaput)
cajole – Verb | To coax or persuade with flattery
chalky – Adjective | Having a pale color and a powdery texture
cowboy – Noun | A person who cares for cattle or horses
convey – Verb | To communicate or deliver
cabby – Noun | The driver of a cab
caddy – Noun | A person who assists a golfer by carrying clubs (also spelled caddie)
cadge – Verb | To ask for, beg successfully
cadgy – Adjective | Merry (Scottish English)
cagey – Adjective | Wary and hesitant to be deceived (also spelled cagy)
cahow – Noun | A sea bird, nearly extinct, found in Bermuda
cajon – Noun | A wooden box used as a hand drum in Peru
calyx – Noun | The outer whorl of a flower, usually green
canny – Adjective | Shrewd
capiz – Noun | The bivalve shell of a mollusk, often used as an ornament
cimex – Noun | A bedbug or related insect from the family Cimicidae
cylix – Noun | An ancient Greek, two-handled drinking cup (also spelled kylix)
cade – Adjective | Abandoned, raised as a pet by a human
cadi – Noun | A judge of Islamic law (also spelled qadi, kadi, or kadhi)
caff – Noun | A coffee shop or informal restaurant (British English)
caky – Adjective | Resembling or pertaining to cake (also spelled cakey)
calk – To make a seam waterproof, seal up cracks or joints against leakage (also spelled caulk)
calx – Noun | Crumbly residue left when a mineral or metal has been calcined
caph – Noun | The 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet (also spelled kaph or kaf)
capo – Noun | A bar-shaped tool used to raise the pitch of a stringed instrument
cask – Noun | A barrel-shaped container for storing liquids
cavy – Noun | Rodents of the family Caviidae
cham – Verb | To chew
chum – Noun | A pal
clam – Verb | To gather freshwater mussels, especially by digging
coop – Noun | An enclosure for housing poultry
caw – Verb | To make a sound like a crow
cay – Noun | A low island made of sand or coral
cee – Noun | The letter C
cel – Noun | A single panel of cartoon animation
cep – Noun | A porcino mushroom (also spelled cèpe)
cig – Noun | A tobacco cigarette
cob – Noun | A male swan
cog – Noun | A tooth on a gear
coy – Adjective | Coquettish
coz – Noun | Cousin
cru – Noun | A French vineyard that grows grapes for wine, especially one graded in quality by the government
cud – Noun | Regurgitated food, chewed for a second time by a ruminating animal
cur – Noun | A unfriendly mongrel
cwm – Noun | A steep, hollow basin in a mountainside, shaped like an amphitheater
By looking at this list, you may be able to identify some common prefixes. Words that start with “cyber” often have something to do with the internet. Words beginning with “crypto” involve something hidden or secret. Understanding these linguistic patterns can help you to intuit what a word means, even when you don’t have a dictionary handy.
Cultivate a chic vocabulary, chock-full of charming C-words. Crush the competition at word finders and jumbles; they’ll be a cakewalk. Avoid confusion, even when people use complex comparisons. From cwm to contraclockwise, this word list carries the choicest comebacks and most courteous compliments that you’ll ever come across. Commit to studying these words, and you’ll be casually chatting with C-words before long.
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Kari Lisa Johnson
I’m an award-winning playwright with a penchant for wordplay. After earning a perfect score on the Writing SAT, I worked my way through Brown University by moonlighting as a Kaplan Test Prep tutor. I received a BA with honors in Literary Arts (Playwriting)—which gave me the opportunity to study under Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. In my previous roles as new media producer with Rosetta Stone, director of marketing for global ventures with The Juilliard School, and vice president of digital strategy with Up & Coming Media, I helped develop the voice for international brands. From my home office in Maui, Hawaii, I currently work on freelance and ghostwriting projects.