A wide vocabulary is a writer’s most valuable asset. A robust vocabulary will make you a better writer and a better communicator.
Even if you are already an experienced writer, you shouldn’t stop working on widening your lexicon.
Vocabulary Builder Apps
Want to expand your vocabulary? Amazingly enough, your phone can help. Check out these vocabulary-enhancing apps so you can jive with the jargon, triumph over terminology, and absorb the argot—wherever you may be.
If you are also aiming to improve your grammar, you might also like to read about grammar tools and punctuation checkers.
1. 7 Little Words
The 7 Little Words app is a vocabulary game that gives you seven different definitions along with lettered tiles to arrange into words. As you guess words correctly, you narrow down your tile selection. You’ll learn new words while having fun.
2. A Word A Day Widget
From the makers of PowerVocab, A Word A Day Widget is a simple but intuitive widget for your phone. Each day, it reveals a new vocabulary word on your device’s home screen.
3. AnkiDroid Flashcards
The AnkiDroid Flashcards are virtual flashcards on a wide variety of topics, including vocabulary (you can also make your own flashcards). To help you learn, it takes into account your answers and will not persistently show you what you have already learned. If you’re studying for a test, this app will ensure retention and memorization.
4. Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster Dictionary is one of the go-to authorities for English words, so who better to help you expand your vocabulary? Webster’s Word of the Day will give you one unusual word and its dictionary definition each day.
5. Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day
Dictionary.com also offers a word of the day feature. Combine it with Webster, and you’ll learn two new words a day simply by popping into the apps.
The WordWeb app allows you to look up a definition of nearly any word you come across, online or off. If you’re editing a document, you can also use WordWeb to look up synonyms to make your writing more varied and interesting.
7. GRE Flashcards and Vocabulary Builder
The GRE Vocabulary Flashcards and the GRE Vocabulary Builder from Magoosh focus on the requirements of the GRE verbal test. With over 1,000 words at a variety of levels, you can choose to use the flashcards, which simply show you words and allow you to come up with a definition yourself, or the vocabulary builder, which is a multiple choice quiz style.
PowerVocab teaches vocabulary through a game in which you match words with multiple-choice definitions. You can even play against other players and show off your sharpened vocabulary.
Quizlet is an online learning community that provides learning activities and games that are customizable to whatever content you’re interested in. Specifically designed for students, Quizlet lets you take your studying with you.
10. Reverse Dictionary
We’ve all been here: you’re trying to come up with a word, but it’s stuck just out of reach in a corner of your brain. Reverse Dictionary solves that problem by allowing you to search for a word or phrase and producing a list of related terms. You can look up definitions and synonyms for any word. (Bonus: It can help solve crossword puzzle clues.)
Vocabulary.com is structured like a multiple choice quiz, but instead of simply marking whether your answer is right or wrong, it offers a full definition, examples, and more contextual information for each word. You can also play audio of the pronunciation. The words get more advanced as you learn, so you can continue adding to your vocabulary forever.
12. Words with Friends
Words with Friends is like Scrabble for your smartphone. This game app pushes you to learn new words in a fun way. Widen your vocabulary while playing this fun, interactive game.
If you are aiming to improve your writing, these articles might also be of interest to you:
- 10 Grammar Software Tools and Punctuation Checkers
- 8 Great Networking Apps for Writers
- The Best Mobile Apps for Writers
- Strong Verbs: How to Make Your Verbs Kick Ass and Take Names (Correctly)
- How to Make a Content Calendar for Blogging Success
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.