Learning a new language has never been easier. With so many vocabulary apps on the market, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. Whether you want to learn Spanish, German, or French (or even improve your vocabulary skills in English), rest assured – there is an app for you!
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to boost your vocabulary skills to get you ready for the SATs or GRE or you just want to improve your vocabulary to sound smarter (and have a little fun). Vocabulary isn’t just a feel-good hobby but can also help us communicate more effectively.
Here are some tips on how to find the best vocabulary app – including some of the best options for you to choose from.
Best Vocabulary Apps
These apps and websites are well known for their ability to help speakers and learners of all kinds improve their vocabulary abilities. While it’s true that you could easily just look up a word in the dictionary to test yourself, you’re going to have much better results if you tap into the many digital resources that are available to you.
So, whether you’re looking to learn a whole new language or simply brush up on your skills, there are options out there. Below are some of the best vocabulary apps to consider for every learning style and need.
1. Magoosh Vocabulary Builder
Without a doubt, Magoosh is one of the best vocabulary-building apps for you to consider if you want to improve your vocabulary skills. It’s perfect for students who are prepping for the SAT, GRE, or TOEFL exam – as well as for students who just want to become more effective communicators.
When you create an account with Magoosh, you’ll be guided through countless vocabulary lists so that you can learn new words in context. You’ll receive helpful tools like automatic repetition, contextual aids, and a super clear user interface. It’s a straightforward program that will allow you to choose a vocab list based on the test you are trying to study for.
Of course, if test prep isn’t your goal, you can always just choose a list at random in Magoosh. There are other categories to browse on Magoosh, too, like basic and common words, advanced words, and intermediate words, with numerous levels inside each category. You’ll be able to engage with progress tracking through each category and test, too, something that can give you a helpful boost of motivation whenever you need it most!Click Here To Get Started
2. Kindle Vocabulary Builder
Kindle fans, rejoice! There’s a helpful vocabulary app via this program for you to consider as you are trying to improve the number of vocab words you know, too. The Kindle Vocabulary Builder can be activated on any Kindle device. You’ll be able to learn new vocabulary without realizing it, as you can look up words that you come across while you’re reading a text. It uses the built-in dictionary on your device and automatically adds the new word to your Kindle’s word list.
When you have a spare moment, you can go back to review the word list to practice your newly acquired vocabulary. This is one of the best services for individuals who want to improve their English vocabulary without having to install yet another learning tool or vocabulary word building apps on their iPhone, iPad, or other devices.
3. Word of the Day Subscriptions
There are dozens of different word of the day apps, websites, and subscriptions that you can install or subscribe to if you’re interested in learning new words. These top vocabulary apps are helpful because they provide the new vocabulary in context – and since you don’t have to devote a huge chunk of time to learning the words, you’ll pick it up even more quickly.
Some good options to consider include the Dictionary.com Word of the Day app (available on Android and iOS) and LookUp, available on iOS only. Many word of the day programs can also be emailed directly to you, if an app isn’t your idea of a good time.Click Here To Get Started
Vocab1 is a vocabulary builder app for iPhone, iPad, and Android users that is considered a “pro-grade” software. It will give you activities like interactive tutors, expert lists, and comprehensive flashcards. There are games and tests so that you can jump around to whichever sections suit your fancy!
One of the best vocabulary apps for individuals with advanced skills, it includes thousands of word lists so you can pick up new words in a flash.Click Here To Get Started
Anki is another of the best vocabulary apps to consider as you’re building your vocabulary. It’s technically not a vocabulary app but is instead a memory app, teaching you how to remember anything and everything that suits your fancy. Of course, it will come in handy when building your vocabulary, though, too!
Anki offers users a large library of flashcard decks and word lists that are shared with other users. Since anyone can create a deck, you’ll find that there are plenty of study options for you to choose from, like the popular 4000 Essential English Words.
Plus, this app supports mixed media, such as sound and images, so that you can learn in a variety of styles. There is also a spaced repetition feature that can help you master vocabulary more quickly.Click Here To Get Started
Vocabulary.com is a well-known website that can help you build your vocabulary skills in a flash. Not only can you use this app as a helpful pocket dictionary but you can also use the app (available on iOS and Android’s app store) to help you memorize new words.
When you look up a word, all you need to do is tap the option “start learning this word,” which will add it to your “words I’m learning” master list.
When you have a few moments to spare to vocabulary practice, you can go back to the app to review your master list. You can save words in your account (yes, you will need to create an account to use this app!) and then begin to build your vocabulary by working from a pre-populated list.Click Here To Get Started
7. Analyze Words
Here’s a fun game that can help evaluate your social media savvy in addition to your vocabulary know-how! Analyze Words will allow you to type in your Twitter handle and your Tweets will be analyzed to determine your vocabulary usage and communication style.
Are you plugged in? Upbeat? Analytic? Sensory? Everything will be broken down for you so you can learn ways to express yourself more effectively.Click Here To Get Started
8. Vocab Genius
Vocab Genius is a vocabulary builder app available through iOS for iPhone users, Android, and web options. It’s offered by Brainscape, relying heavily on spaced repetition and flashcards to help you learn. Currently, it’s only available through the app store for iPad or iPhone users.Click Here To Get Started
Quizlet is another popular vocabulary app, available for both Android and iPhone users. One of the top 50 websites, Quizlet has a large collection of flashcard sets and study guides and is aimed at helping students prepare for subject-related tests like the GRE and SAT.
Available for Android and iOS users, it is free but does have paid levels that can upgrade your game significantly.Click Here To Get Started
10. Reverse Dictionary
This is a reverse lookup engine that will not only help you find the perfect word when you’re struggling to find the right one – but will also give you options to practice your vocabulary skills in real life.
All you have to do is search a term you’re trying to pinpoint – for example, searching “difficult to describe” might yield your results like “elusive” and hundreds of other potential fits.
It’s a reverse search engine that, like DIctionary.com, can be super helpful when a thesaurus just won’t cut it – or when you don’t have one handy. It’s a website but there are app programs, like Writing Aid for iOS, that can be installed on your phone, too.Click Here To Get Started
A simple, easy-to-use app, Knoword will allow you to test your vocabulary knowledge – and then build up from there.
To use it, you’ll first receive a short definition. You will receive a blank box in return, where you are expected to type your answer. However, you don’t have to go it alone – you’ll be given the first letter of the corresponding word.
You can use the default novice level or upgrade it to “hotshot” or “wizard” for an extra challenge.Click Here To Get Started
Best Vocabulary Games
Don’t want to sit around staring at a dictionary all day? Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to improve your vocabulary know-how – in a fun way!
1. Quizzitive Vocabulary Game
Quizzitive is a challenge vocabulary app that’s meant for the most fun-loving (and vocab-savvy!) users among us.
Right from level one, you’ll be handed difficult words to tackle like “obdurate,” seeing how many words you can correctly define in a 20-second segment. You’ll be able to play through ten different levels and while the first two are free, the remaining eight do have a surcharge of $1.99 for app users to pay.Click Here To Get Started
2. Word Pickle
This is a fun app available for iOS. Simply build as many words as you can using a 20-letter grid!Click Here To Get Started
3. Words With Friends
Perhaps the most universal vocabulary app, Words With Friends will help you build your vocabulary without even realizing what you are doing. It’s a Scrabble-like game that will pit you against your Facebook friends to see who can create the largest, most complicated words.
Words with Friends is a great way to build your skills with self-tests and all kinds of features that will allow you to interact with other people. Since you’ll be able to work with your friends, it’s a good way to keep each other motivated!Click Here To Get Started
This is another fun game to try and it’s available on iOS. A solo game, it will require you to enter in words based on one letter that the game supplies you. You’ll have to collect letters in order to advance in the game.Click Here To Get Started
5. 7 Little Words
7 LIttle Words is an app for iOS and Android that will require you to solve daily puzzles, using multi-letter tiles as you try to find a list of words.Click Here To Get Started
How Can I Build My Vocabulary For Free?
Don’t want to spend the money to improve your vocabulary? Consider these tips to help you build your vocabulary without spending a dime.
Of course, many of the apps listed above are offered by companies that don’t charge a dime to help you expand your vocabulary – but if you want to boost your language skills and don’t have access to devices, then these tips should help you get started.
1. Repeat Often
One of the best tips to follow when you’re trying to build your vocabulary is to practice spaced repetition. This is the practice of studying new words using progressively longer and longer intervals. As you study new vocabulary, whether it’s through a vocabulary app or on your own, you’ll get better at recognizing it and remembering it.
Here’s an example. You might learn a new word this afternoon. Before you go to bed, remind yourself of the definition. Then, remind yourself again tomorrow. Then wait a day or two before you test yourself again. After that, you can wait a week. Then, two weeks. Then a month, and even longer.
If you find yourself failing the test with these repetitive intervals, it might be time to condense your rest period a bit more. If you get it right, you can stretch out the time between tests instead.
2. Sleep On It
Sleep plays a major role in learning – that’s something we all know well! When you sleep, your brain works on consolidating short-term memories into long-term ones. If you don’t sleep, this consolidation can’t happen – that’s likely why you feel so foggy after a poor night’s sleep.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep both before and after learning something new. This will give you room for taking in new information ahead of time – and the ability to solidify those new learnings after you’ve learned them, too.
3. Try Visuals
Even if you don’t consider yourself a visual learner, using visuals to learn new words is a valuable technique. You spend so much of your brainpower on the colors, shapes, motions, and other visual aids around you – so use that aptitude to your advantage when it comes to learning new vocabulary.
Try adding images to your flashcards or using visually-based vocabulary apps, like Quizlet, to accelerate the learning process.
Other Non-App Solutions for Better Vocabulary
If you’re more neolithic in your approach to learning vocabulary, don’t worry. You don’t have to rely on an app to improve your skills – but there are still plenty of resources available to you. You may just want to consider investing in a book to help you learn!
The Thesaurus, Word Power Made Easy, and The Meaning of Everything are three great texts to consider. Of course, if you’re prepping for a specific test, like the SAT, your best option will be to choose a test-specific book instead.
Learning new vocabulary can be challenging. Fortunately, the apps and resources described above can help make things easy. When you’re trying to expand your vocabulary, remember that there are so many techniques that work well – and not all of them work equally well for everyone.
Of course, this list we have provided you is not exhaustive – you may also want to consider games, resources, and apps like Ultimate Vocabulary Prep, Vocab Genius, Vocab Victor, Memrise, WordUp, and Merriam Webster.
Consider working with a study buddy so you can work with each other to improve your skills and don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to finding the ideal vocabulary builder for your preferences!
Experiment to find the best vocabulary app for you and incorporate the tips we’ve described above. You’ll get into your own groove with time!