9 Fun Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary

by Staff & Contributors

Have you ever been frustrated by your inability to find the right words? Do you think that your vocabulary does not reflect your cognitive abilities? If the answer is, you’re not alone. The good news is that expanding your vocabulary isn’t difficult, and, unlike several other fields of study, many of the things you can do to increase your knowledge of words are actually quite fun. Below are 9 habits that can improve your vocabulary and show you that learning new words can be a lot more fun than you ever thought.

1. Play Word Games

Whether it’s the classic Scrabble or one of its online counterparts, word games are a great and fun tool that can help you in your quest for expanding your vocabulary.

Because you can’t win these games using only basic words, you’ll be pretty much forced to learn new, uncommon words.

This can be challenging at times. Luckily, there are many online tools that can help you unscramble even the toughest of Scrabble’s anagrams. All you have to do is browse here, enter the anagram, and you’ll have an armory of words that you can use during the game. So the next time you’re about to place a basic 3-letter word on the board, use one of these tools to find a longer, more sophisticated words that’ll earn you more points and add to your vocabulary at the same time.

2. Read, Read, Read!

It goes without saying that the more you read, the more likely you are to come across new words that you don’t already know. However, if you read the same genre of books or the same kinds of magazines, day in and day out, you will not be exposing yourself to a wide enough range of vocabulary. To amplify the effect that reading has on your vocabulary, expand your reading list, and diversify the topics and genres you typically read.


You can learn a lot just by reading different publication formats with different writing styles. Luckily, there are more books and articles on this earth that any of us can possibly read in a single lifetime, so you’re definitely going to find something you like outside of your typical reading list.

3. Do Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are more than just a fun way to kill time; they’re also great for improving your vocabulary. By challenging you to search your memory for words that you know, but don’t normally use, crossword puzzles can help you uncover forgotten words from your memory banks and move them into your working set of vocabulary.

4. Learn a Word a Day

Using a word-of-the-day calendar, website, or app is a great technique many people use to improve their vocabulary one word at a time with minimal effort. These tools usually teach you very uncommon words that otherwise, you may never have encountered, giving you a great opportunity to flaunt your extensive knowledge of complicated words.

5. Study the History of Words

Understanding the history of how different words came to be will expand your horizons as well as your vocabulary. Learning about the origin and definitions of words can be truly fascinating; not only will it teach you new words, but it’ll also teach you about the history, customs, and cultures in past times.

6. Make New Friends

The best way to learn new words is to practice new words. And what’s even better is practicing new words by communicating with people who speak a different native language than you. Thanks to the internet, making new friends across the world can now be done from the comfort of your home. Learning to communicate with others who don’t have a perfect command of the language you speak can help you practice ways to clearly communicate with others and increase your knowledge of simple but concise words.

7. Keep a Vocabulary Journal

Keeping a vocabulary journal is another great way to expand your vocabulary and keep track of all the new words you are learning. Creating a vocabulary journal is very easy to do; start by writing a word for the day, it can be a new one you’ve recently learned or one that you use on a daily basis. Once you have a word, write down a simple definition for it without looking up its meaning. This can be challenging for the words you constantly use, so if you’re struggling, ask yourself how would you explain this word to someone who doesn’t speak your language.

Besides giving you a reference then you can refer back to whenever you want, keeping a journal of all your new words can also provide positive reinforcement for learning more words, especially when you skim through it and see how many new words you’ve already learned.

8. Go Back to Your Roots

Learning the meaning of root words, suffixes, and prefixes are one of the most powerful tools that’ll help you improve your vocabulary and decipher the meaning of other words  you might encounter, without necessarily needing to look them up. Because most common words in the English language are built from a common root, suffix, and the prefix, once you learn a root, you’ll begin to understand other words that use the same root.

9. Take Vocabulary Quizzes

Online quizzes are generally entertaining, and vocabulary quizzes are no different. Taking online vocabulary quizzes can help you learn new words as well as refresh your knowledge of older ones. The quizzes typically get harder as the questions progress, which aims to keep you challenged and engaged. Additionally, most quizzes usually invite users to share their results with their friends who can spark friendly competition and further motivate you to learn new vocabulary.

Words are powerful. Whether you want to improve your vocabulary for academic, personal, or professional reasons, a wider vocabulary will enable you to conjure the right words you need to express yourself eloquently and concisely. Take your pick from the above suggestions and make them part of your routine, and before you know it, you’ll be armed with a much more powerful vocabulary than when you first started.


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