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9 Apps That’ll Increase Your Vocabulary (and Make You Sound Smarter)

by Martha Adams

You know those people who effortlessly drop those dictionary Word s of t he Da y in casual conversation, sounding ever-so-charming and smart? Yeah, we’re not one of them. But we’d sure like to be. And luckily, there’s an app for that.

Vocabulary building apps are designed to help you learn new words while having fun on your phone. From Scrabble-style games with friends to flash card quizzes, learn more about nine apps that’ll increase your verbiage in no time below.

And up next, check out these apps f or m editat ion , getting more sleep , and even find ing your lost dog .

1. WordUp

Thi s app uses examples from movies, songs, famous quotes, and more to help you learn new words. It utilizes repetition to aid you in remembering.

2. Magoosh Vocabulary Builder

While this is actually a GRE test prep app, it creates a g ame out of learning new vocabulary wor ds . You get to beat levels, each of which offers more challenging vocabulary words than the last.

3. Vocabulary.com

Designed with sophisticated algorithms that customize exercises based on your responses, Vocabulary.com is an app that helps you learn new words via short quizzes and games. Download the app for free and answer a series of short vocab questions to reveal a whole new world of words.

4. Words with Friends

If you haven’t already been hooked on the game Words with Friends , then chances are you’ve at least heard of it. The insanely popular game from Zynga—the people that created Farmville —has been around for nearly a decade and still perseveres for a reason. Kind of like Scrabble for your smartphone, Words with Friends forces you to learn new (and often uncommon) words while allowing you to play (and keep in touch) with friends.

5. PowerVocab

Sort of like a flash card quiz for your android, the Pow erVocab app for Android builds your vocabulary with timed mini-tests where players match words with multiple-choice definitions. Even cooler, you can play against other people when you feel like showing off your new vocab skills.

6. Anki

If you’re searching for a more old-school style vocab builder then Anki is the app for you. Equipped with shared flashcard decks and mega-downloads such as “4,000 Essential English Words,” Anki uses images and sounds to offer a multimedia vocabulary-boosting experience that still relies on flashcard-style techniques.

7. 7 Little Words

Short and sweet, 7 Little W ords is a clever vocabulary game that gives you seven different definitions and lettered tiles to arrange into words. The idea is that you’ll learn new words as you narrow down your choices from the ones you already know, while still having fun playing on your phone.

8. Reverse Dictionary

Thesaurus lovers, rejoice: There’s an app that actually lets you search for words by description. Revers e Dictionary has a reverse lookup engine that generates dozens of potential words based on your description phrase, so you can always find the perfect word (and learn a whole lot of new ones).

9. Duolingo

Okay so technically this isn’t going to better your native vocabulary, but Duolingo will help you learn a whole new language in just a few minutes a day. Duolingo lets you learn a new language for free, in less than 10 minutes per session, through reading, writing, and pronunciation exercises.

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann

Caroline Biggs


Caroline is a writer living in New York City. When she’s not covering art, interiors, and celebrity lifestyles, she’s usually buying sneakers, eating cupcakes, or hanging with her rescue bunnies, Daisy and Daffodil.

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