When it comes to improving your vocabulary, there is no substitute for reading more books. That said, reading books is not the only way. Dedicated apps like GRE Vocabulary Builder or Red Herring have given options to learn in a fun way, but there are many more apps you should know about. So without further ado, here are the best apps/games to boost your vocabulary.
Best Vocabulary Builder Apps
1. 7 Little Words
Crossword puzzles are a great way to discover and learn new words. It also helps in retaining the ones you already know. But what if rather than showing you multiple rows and columns, you get to work your way with only 7 words?
7 Little Words is a simple app and it’ll develop your love for trivia quizzes. In each puzzle, you get seven mystery words and seven clues. To solve the clue, you have to choose from 21 tiles which consist of the right words but in scrambled form. Besides thousands of puzzles that you get with a purchase, you get 25 puzzles for free and two new are added every day, accessible without any purchase. There are five themes in total to choose from. In addition to that, you also have a puzzle store that offers puzzles from very easy to impossible to solve.
- Access from multiple devices without losing data
- New daily puzzles every day
- Less words, hence better retaining power
- Daily Puzzle Reminder
2. Moon+ Reader
What better can you do, by building your vocabulary while reading?
While there are plenty of apps that ebook readers out there, I found Moon+ Reader the best out of all.
It supports the majority of formats (EPUB, PDF, DJVU, AZW3, MOBI, FB2, PRC) and is highly customizable in terms of text size, color, etc. You can translate, filter blue-light, highlight and even search for words in the dictionary. So, if you still can get yourself to concentrate and read, download the app and start right away. Choose your favorite book, mark the words you find difficult and learn in a holistic way.
Get Moon+ Reader for Android
3. Red Herring
A way of boosting vocabulary is grouping familiar words together. To put it into perspective, if you’re given a few words and I tell you to categorize it, let’s say US coins, you’ll be able to find, remember and recall more words after you’re done solving the puzzle. But if we add a twist, a Red Herring, which are similar words but not related to the puzzle, it’ll confuse you. That’s what this app essentially does.
You get free daily puzzles every day with three difficulty levels. You can ask for a hint or restart the puzzle anytime. There are three puzzle packs, imagination which consists of 25 free puzzles, curiosity and brilliant which are paid. There are in-app purchases also if you want to access older puzzles. For those of you who get hooked up to a games easily, there is support for night mode as well.
- Grouping boosts connecting similar words
- Easy way to learn
4. GRE Vocabulary Builder
Whether you’re taking GRE or simply looking to boost your vocabulary, this app can be used either way. It’s made for students so, the quality of information and the difficulty will leave you satisfied.
The quiz is divided based on the exam. So you’ve GRE, GMAT, ACT, SAT, etc. Simply select any of these and choose from three difficulty levels, that are basic, intermediate and advanced. You’ll further find various levels in these sections which will gradually increase in difficulty. The meaning of each word is defined with usage in a sentence. This example approach creates a lasting impression. In addition to this, you can also play puzzles with strangers, guess words and remain in the challenge until you go wrong.
- Words picked by experts
- Audio pronunciation
- Example sentences
- Progress tracker
- Play with strangers
5. Mnemonic Dictionary
Mnemonic is a great tool for productivity. So, next time you can’t recall a word, use these methods or make your mnemonic.
It’s a dictionary but I’ve been using this as a vocabulary boosting tool. You just have to select a section, which then shows you multiple lessons to choose from. Sections include the Manhattan GRE world list, Magoosh’s 100-word vocabulary and more. The words are given with the meaning and you can also enable Hindi and Bangla languages as well.
At the bottom, you see mnemonic generated by users which you can edit report and share. In addition to this, you have the option to add your mnemonic as well.
- Creative ways to recall words
- User can add Mnemonics
- Limited database
Get Mnemonic Dictionary on Android
6. Orphic, Learn Unique Words
This app shows you a new word every day. To see the meaning you can click on the specific card, know the pronunciation, add to favorites, hear it in audio and even find synonyms.
In addition to this, you can also make notes and write observations with every word. There is an integration with Dictionary.com, Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and Wikipedia In terms of UI you can switch between dark and light theme and also enable pitch backs if you have an AMOLED display. Customizable widget support also makes this app stand out amongst all.
- Feature of adding custom notes
- Integration with other dictionaries
- Unusual repository of words
Get Orphic on Android
7. WordUp Vocabulary
The audience had to switch on the subtitles for watching Peaky Blinders because of the accent. I couldn’t understand it and some of the words were way out of my league. I wished I could watch and learn, while I enjoy it. WordUp exactly tackles that and provides a complete package in terms of boosting one’s vocabulary in interactive ways.
You start with a vocabulary test to ascertain your level. You can choose between British or American English and also add your native language as a translation of the English words.
Remember forever feature enables the app to prompt you if you remember the word after 3 days, a week and then a month, so it gets distilled inside your mind, moreover setting a goal (Specific minutes a day) and a reminder keeps you motivated. You can track your progress, know the words you’ve discovered and create a knowledge map as well to know which level you’re at. There is a pro version that targets specific themes like animals, colors, etc. Another distinct feature(pro mode) is the option to watch a movie/TV show or take an exam to make your leisure time, a great time to practice.
- Track your progress
- Watch movies/TV shows to learn new words
- Multiple games to sharpen your vocab
8. Free Rice UN
Considered tackling world hunger? This game could help you do that by guessing the right meaning. So every time you choose the right meaning, you see a pop-up ad from the World Food Programme sponsor. Hence, when you play the game, you’re paying approximately 10 grains of rice, which is represented by the bowl in the UI. Sounds interesting?
It is a bit on the easier side. You get one word and you’ve to choose one out of the four words, which is the closest match. Five difficulty level makes the game more dynamic so that the user can easily choose their level. In addition to that, you can sign-in and create or join groups and follow the leaderboard.
In case you feel bored, there are several categories besides Vocabulary to choose from like, identifying countries, flags of the world, world capitals, etc. So, help yourself grow and be a part of the change!
- Social contribution
- Multiple sections besides vocabulary to choose from
The less information the better, right? Taking this concept forward Wordly is another vocabulary building app that helps you learn, but with just one word a day. It’s the most minimal app in the list. You see one new highlighted word every day with the date at the top. The word is in large bold font with the meaning below it. There is further explanation in a paragraph form to give more context and a clear understanding of the user. So you can easily understand how the word is used in a sentence.
There is only one setting you can tweak, which is to show the word of the day as a daily notification. There is an option to share it with others as well.
- Minimal Interface
- Easy to grasp
- Can’t look-up word history
- No home-screen widget
Get Wordly here.
Best Vocabulary Builder Apps
Reading can’t be substituted so that’s out of the way. Out of all the apps that I suggested, 7 Little Words and Red Herring are great apps if you’re not on the serious side. While Free Rice UN lets you learn by contributing to a social cause, the Mnemonic dictionary provides tricks to learn and recall new words. But if you consider yourself a disciplined student and want to follow a test pattern, GRE Vocabulary Builder and WordUp are apps with features like tracking progress, content updates and a gradual learning curve, which helps you stick to it for longer. I haven’t left out Orphic, but it doesn’t have a lot of common conversational words, so if you’re an artist or a poet, Orphic might push your creative side ahead.
You can alternatively buy a Kindle and stick to reading books, plus, you’ve options to highlight text, add words to the dictionary and even a dedicated vocabulary builder.
Whatever your reason might be, it’s never too late to start learning. Hope to see you master the dictionary.