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. And apart from these, 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
Wordly follows the old-conventional saying – “One new word a day”. It’s the most minimal app on 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 with 1-word a day
- Easy to grasp
- No word history or pronunciation
Download Wordly (Android)
Similar to Wordly, Orphic shows you a new word every day. However, unlike Wordly, it shows you the pronunciation f the word. In addition to this, you can add to favorites, hear it in audio, and even find synonyms. Moreover, Orphic provides you with space to take quick notes with every word.
In terms of UI, you can switch between dark and light themes. You can also enable pitch blacks 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 like Dictionary.com, Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and Wikipedia
- Unusual repository of words
Download Orphic (Android)
3. 7 Little Words
Crossword puzzles are a great way to discover and learn new words. On top of that, it also helps in remembering the words 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 Word 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
- Fewer words, hence better retaining power
- Daily Puzzle Reminder
4. Red Herring
A way of boosting vocabulary is grouping familiar words together. To put it into perspective, suppose you’re given a few words and I tell you to categorize it based on similarity. If you’re able to do it, you’ll not only learn new words but you’ll also be able to recall their synonyms. For instance, in the following screenshot consider US Coins. You have 4 different words for it and it’ll expand your vocabulary further.
That’s the basic plot of the Red Herring game. But, to make things trickier, there are 4 trick words that don’t belong to any category. You get free daily puzzles every day with 3 different difficulty levels. You can ask for a hint or restart the puzzle anytime. There are three puzzle packs – imagination (25 free puzzles), curiosity (paid), and brilliant (paid). There are in-app purchases also if you want to access older puzzles. For those of you who get hooked up to games easily, there is support for night mode as well.
- Grouping boosts connecting similar words
- Easy and fun way to learn
5. 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 and hence the quality of information and the difficulty is satisfyingly amazing.
The quiz is divided based on the exam. So you’ve GMAT, ACT, SAT, etc. These exams are further divided into 3 different difficulty levels – basic, intermediate, and advanced. You can select any of these and as the rounds progress the difficulty gradually increases. The meaning of each word is defined with its usage. This 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 with audio pronunciation
- Example sentences
- Progress tracker
- Play with strangers
6. Mnemonic Dictionary
Mnemonic is a productivity tool rather than a vocabulary builder. So, next time you can’t recall a word, visit mnemonic.com or the app and search for the word. It’ll provide you a quick mnemonic (Memory Aids) at the bottom for the word.
Apart from this, you have multiple sections like 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
Download Mnemonic Dictionary (Android)
7. Moon+ Reader
Now, the best way to learn new words is to read more books. In the sea of multiple e-book reader apps, I would recommend Moon+ Reader. It has a huge catalog of free books from Project Gutenberg, feedbooks.com, etc. In case you have your own books, Moon+ Reader supports the majority of formats (EPUB, PDF, DJVU, AZW3, MOBI, FB2, PRC). The reading view is highly customizable in terms of text size, color, etc. You can translate, highlight, and even search for words in the app’s dictionary right from the reader.
- Largest catalog of free books
- Inbuilt dictionary for searching words
- Supports a majority of file formats like EPUB, PDF, DJVU, AZW3, MOBI, FB2, PRC, etc
Download Moon+ Reader (Android)
8. WordUp Vocabulary
The audience had to switch on the subtitles for watching Peaky Blinders because of the accent. I wished I could watch and learn, while I enjoyed it. WordUp exactly tackles that problem 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.
My most favorite feature is “Remember forever” which enables the app to prompt the word every 3 days, a week, and then a month. This ensures that the word is distilled inside your mind. Moreover, you can track your progress, know the words you’ve discovered, and create a knowledge map to know which level you’re at. There is a pro version that targets specific themes like animals, colors, etc. Pro Mode also provides 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
9. 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 1 word and you’ve to choose the meaning out of the 4 available options. In addition to it, you can also sign-up and compete with other people on the leaderboard. In case you feel bored, there are several categories besides Vocabulary to choose from. For instance, 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
Ulangi is an app based on the popular open-source Anki flashcard technique (spaced repetition). If you see a word repetitively after a certain interval, it gets fixed in your memory. It has mostly GRE-based content. It shows you flashcards of your saved words. Next, you have to recollect the pronunciation and meaning. Further, you rate your memory of the word, and based on it, it’ll flash the word later. For instance, if you couldn’t guess the word, it’ll flash it immediately. In case you performed well, it’ll show you the flashcard after 12 hours.
In addition to this, you also have word quizzes and idioms to browse.
- Based on Anki flashcard
- Mostly GRE-based content
- Quizzes to test your knowledge
Best Vocabulary Builder Apps
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. But if you consider yourself a disciplined student and want to follow a test pattern, GRE Vocabulary Builder and WordUp are the ideal apps with features like tracking progress, content updates, and a gradual learning curve, which helps you stick to it for longer.
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.
Also Read: 6 Best Android and iOS Apps for Writers