Welcome to Vocabulary.com

The quickest, most intelligent way to improve vocabulary.

Vocabulary.com combines the world's smartest dictionary with an adaptive learning game that will have you mastering new words in no time.

Look up a word, learn it forever.

Don’t just memorize. Achieve mastery.

Ditch the flash cards and stop memorizing definitions. Vocabulary.com teaches you words by systematically exposing you to a wide array of question types and activities that will help you understand all the meanings and nuances of every word you’re learning.

Even after you’ve achieved mastery, we’ll continue to reinforce what you have learned to make sure that it all stays fresh in your memory.

Get the lowdown on every word.

When you look up a word in our dictionary, you’ll read a friendly explanation that you will actually remember. It’s as if your favorite teacher were explaining the word to you.

Our clever usage tips and thousands of real-world examples will show you how words live in the wild so you’ll be more confident using them yourself.

See a word you’d like to know better? Click "Learn this Word" and easily add it to your learning program.

Start playing.

We’ll get to know you.

As you play Vocabulary.com, we figure out which words you know and which ones you need a little help with. We keep practicing with you until you master the tough ones.

Let us know which words you want to focus on, and we’ll prioritize those.

As your vocabulary grows, Vocabulary.com grows with you.

Vocabulary.com is a platform for lifelong learning, growing with you every step of the way. As you improve, the words that you learn will become more and more advanced. And, with our easy-to-use progress-monitoring tools, you can always look back to see how far you’ve come.

Who loves Vocabulary.com?

Students.

Whether you’re studying to ace tomorrow’s quiz, prepping for the SAT, or looking to speak and write more eloquently, Vocabulary.com can help.

I took the PSAT on Wednesday and the vocabulary section was a breeze. Keep doing what you do, your website has helped me so much! High School Student, Lewistown, PA

Educators.

Give your students the ability to attack the texts they encounter in the classroom, and the gift of a vocabulary that will open doors for a lifetime. Learn more.

Vocabulary.com is everything that I’ve always wanted: it engages my students, it is dynamic, it leads to understanding by explaining word definitions, it champions retention by constantly revisiting words, and, perhaps most importantly, it’s fun. Middle School Teacher, Rochester, NY

Everyone.

You don’t have to be in school to use Vocabulary.com. Millions of people play, learn new words, and compete on our leaderboards just for fun.

It’s time to ditch Candy Crush for something that makes you sound smarter instead of dumber. Fast Company Magazine

We hope you love Vocabulary.com too. Sign up, it’s free.

It’s a science.

Vocabulary.com may seem simple on the outside, but behind the scenes we’re using sophisticated algorithms to help you learn over 13,000 words more effectively.

How? We start with our massive pool of over 152,000 questions. Then, we use the science of learning to model how you learn (and forget) new words.

By comparing your answers to the hundreds of millions of answers given by other Vocabulary.com users, we personalize your learning experience and choose the best question for you at just the right time.

It’s a game.

Sure, there’s a lot of science and technology muscle behind our system, but expanding your vocabulary doesn’t have to be a brain-buster.

We’ve turned learning vocabulary into an addictive game. Accumulate points, achievements, and badges while competing against your Facebook friends, your classmates, or other members of the Vocabulary.com community. You may not even notice that you’re learning along the way.

Learn the words you’ll need to know.

You choose...

Studying for an exam like the SAT, GRE, or TOEFL? We have over 50,000 ready-to-learn vocabulary lists — everything from standardized tests to classic literature, breaking news — you name it.

Just want to ace tomorrow’s vocabulary quiz? Create your own list of words to study. Vocabulary lists are easy to make, share, and learn.

Or, let us choose...

Don’t have a specific list in mind? Let our adaptive learning system find the right words for you.

Play a few questions and we’ll zero in on key academic words that are appropriate for your level. Once we get to know you, we won’t waste your time on words that are too easy or too hard.

Either way, you’ll improve.

Like a good coach, Vocabulary.com won’t give up on you. Whether you pick the words or let us find them for you, we’ll work with you until you’ve mastered them.

And even after you’ve achieved mastery, we’ll continue to reinforce what you have learned to make sure that it all stays fresh in your memory.

Your vocabulary follows you everywhere.

We’re with you on any device. It doesn’t matter what you’re using: Vocabulary.com works on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

It’s all connected. Your progress will seamlessly carry over if you switch from one device to another.

What are you waiting for? It’s free. Get started now. Sign Up

See your students learning.

Discover our amazing tools for educators.

What are you doing to systematically improve your students’ vocabulary? Vocabulary.com can create a program that supports your curriculum but is individualized to cater to your students’ varying abilities.

Using Vocabulary.com, students independently learn the words they need to know, while teachers apply the insights gained from our educator dashboard to focus their efforts on the more sophisticated skills required for critical reading and effective writing.

Want to put your school on the road to systematic vocabulary improvement? Learn more about our Educator Edition.

Why use Vocabulary.com?

We teach you useful words.

We don’t waste your time. We start by looking at books, periodicals, and other material that cumulatively contain over 1.6 billion words (and growing). From this corpus, we pull out the most essential English vocabulary words, the words that you need to succeed in an academic or business environment. This analysis serves as the basis for our learning platform.

We teach you only the words that you have trouble with.

Vocabulary.com uses a proprietary technology that we call Adaptive Vocabulary Instruction (AVI). Unlike traditional learning systems, we don’t rely on a series of time-consuming and boring assessments. Instead, everything you do on the site adds to our AVI model. It’s like you have a personal trainer in the room, monitoring your work and suggesting new words and exercises to challenge you on your level. Because of this, you don’t waste your time learning words that are too easy or too hard.

We don’t let you forget.

Finally, we analyze your achievements, and reinforce your skills by reintroducing words at various times to make sure that you are retaining the words you originally learned.

Challenge Question

A Whole Lot of Learning

At the heart of Vocabulary.com is the more than 152,000 vocabulary questions that we designed to evaluate and teach vocabulary words. Each question tests a particular meaning of a word, provides helpful hints, and is followed by an explanation of the correct answer. Many studies have shown that the best way to learn is through multiple exposures to a word, with challenging questions that make you think. That’s what we provide.


Question Graph

It's Like a Personal Trainer for Your Brain

We use our own adaptive learning system to ensure that you get the right question at the right time. We build a model of your vocabulary and abilities as you answer each question, and then serve you up with questions that are not too hard and not too easy. From the results of these questions, we determine what words to focus on in your personalized learning program.


Vocabulary List

A Personalized List of Words Just for You

As you answer questions, we begin to compile a list of words to learn. If you get a question wrong or choose to use a hint, the word is added to the list. Once we add a word to this list, we keep working with you until you’ve mastered that word. You can see your list by visiting the My Progress / Words I'm Learning section.


Hints

Hints and Explanations Help You Learn

If you’re having trouble with a question, we will sometimes provide a hint to help you along. Depending on the word, you can use your hint to eliminate a choice, to see sentence examples, or to see definitions of the word. If you get a question wrong, we provide you with a friendly Vocabulary.com description of the word. Read it! It’s designed to help you remember the word.


Path to Mastery

A Path to Mastery

If you answer enough questions correctly on a word that you’re learning, you’ve mastered it. You can see the progress on one of the words you’re learning in the small bar graph next to the word. Once you’ve mastered a word, the bar turns gold.


Four Question Categories

On the upper right hand corner of each question is a question category and a point value. There are four question categories:

  • Assessment

    These questions can be about any word and are chosen based on how you’ve done on all previous questions.
    (100 points without a hint, 50 points with a hint)
  • Review

    If you get a question wrong or ask for a hint, we’ll give it to you again as a review question.
    (75 points)
  • Progress

    Once a word has been added to the list of words you’re learning, we’ll continue to ask you new Progress questions about it until you’ve mastered the word.
    (100 points)
  • Mastery Review

    Even after you’ve mastered a word, we still check up on you every once in a while with a Mastery Review question.
    (100 points)

Earn Points and Achievements

Earn Points and Achievements

As you answer questions correctly and learn words, you earn points. And as you earn more points, you are assigned a badge that represents your level. You start as a “novice,” and then as you hit different point goals, you’ll earn new badges.

You can also earn extra badges based on various achievements, such as answering 5 questions correctly in a row, or acing a round. Click on My Progress to see a list of available achievements and levels.


Chart Your Progress

Chart Your Progress

You can find out more about how you’re doing by visiting the My Progress section. From there you’ll see charts on overall progress, as well as progress on any individual word.

The Dictionary


Easy-to-Read Definitions with a Little Bit of Attitude

Easy-to-Read Definitions with a Little Bit of Attitude

We made an exhaustive review of the dictionaries out there, and we came to a not-so-startling conclusion. Current dictionary definitions can be difficult to understand and not much fun to read. This is fine if you’re looking up a word for reference, but if you’re actually trying to learn how a word is used in the real world and to make it part of your vocabulary, the typical dictionary definition is not going to do it.

Our dictionary is different. Most vocabulary words include a short blurb that describes what the word means and how the word is used. These blurbs are easy to understand and fun to read. If there’s an entertaining story about the word, we include it. If the word can be confused with another, we include that information as well. The point is to help you learn and remember the words you look up without having to look it up a hundred times.


Predictive Magic

Predictive Magic

Our search box is smart. So smart that it predicts what you’re looking up as you type. Try it. You’ll see that as you type, we’re making our best guess as to what word you’re looking for. If you see your word in one of the first five choices, you can click on it to see the word page, or if your word is number one, we’ll choose it for you.


Ever confuse affect and effect?

Ever confuse affect and effect? flair and flare?

We’ll help you out. For all the most confusing English words, we’ve provided articles that describe the difference. So if you look up affect, you’ll see both a short blurb describing the word as well as a longer discussion of how it differs from effect.


Over 100 Million Sentence Examples

Over 100 Million Sentence Examples

Each word has usage examples from our corpus of over 100 million sentences. You’ll see how words are used in edited language by some of the best writers in the world, from periodicals such as The New York Times, Scientific American, and from great works of fiction by writers as diverse as T. S. Elliot and Upton Sinclair. Seeing a word in context is a great way to understand how it’s used in the wild.


Vocabulary Lists

Learn the Words You Need to Know with Vocabulary Lists

One of the best features of Vocabulary.com is that you can easily make and share Vocabulary lists. Create a Vocabulary List quickly from assigned words, grab words from any text, or generate a list from the Advanced Search. Then, you can master all the words on your list, or practice them for an upcoming quiz. You can also easily add notes and example sentences to your words so that you can jog your memory and see them in context while your are learning.


Share the Wealth, Share your Words

Share the Wealth, Share your Words

By making your vocabulary lists public, you can share them with your friends and colleagues. People can comment on the lists, favorite them, and even use them as the basis for a new list.


Check Out Our Blog

If You Really Love Words, Check Out Our Blog.

The Vocabulary.com Blog features articles about language and the creative process written by a super talented group of writers, linguists, and other word mavens. You’ll find articles about new words being used in the news, discussions about grammar, and research into how dictionaries are put together.

It’s More than a Blog; It’s a Community

The people who read our blog participate through comments and article suggestions. By reading, you are joining a community passionate about words, language and creativity.