Fourteen North Carolina students will represent the state this week during the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Starting this year, spellers will have to know the definition of the word, in addition to how to spell it.
Kaylee Kim, 10, is a 5th grader at Honeycutt Elementary School in Fayetteville. She says it's helpful to know what all the spelling words mean.
"When you learn the spelling words, it's always nice to learn the vocabulary definition of it so when you see it in print or text, you know what it means," said contestant Kim.
The competition starts on Tuesday with 281 spellers and wraps up with the final rounds on Thursday.