Expanding Vocabulary For Adults (10 Best Tips & Tools)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 3rd, 2023

expanding vocabulary for adults - featured image

One of the best ways to prove your worth as a writer is to have a strong vocabulary.

Mastering language is about weaving words artfully into your narrative and conversations. Imagine opting for ‘splendid’ or ‘spectacular’ over the commonplace ‘beautiful’. A rich vocabulary doesn’t just elevate writing, be it journalism or fiction; it empowers it. In daily dialogues, the right word can impress and resonate. Thus, for adults, broadening one’s vocabulary isn’t just beneficial, it’s essential for impactful writing and eloquent speech.

10 Best Tips and Tools for Expanding Vocabulary For Adults

The English language is a vast ocean of beautiful words, and the more you pick them up, the more lovely you will sound. You can never run out of words to learn, literally! Every year, hundreds of words are coined and added to the English language. The Oxford English Dictionary included 1,100 new words to their list at the start of 2018 alone. Here are some tips and tools to learn new words and strengthen your power of articulation.

1. Become a voracious reader

To write and speak well with a rich vocabulary, you need to be a voracious reader first. Vocabulary building becomes natural when you read and come across new words and learn to use them in context. Take up any book, magazine, or newspaper you come across each day and keep reading. Make reading a daily habit to learn new words and the ways to apply them. Look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary, and that’s how you gradually learn to use them while writing.

Stephen King's quote about reading and writing

2. Keep a dictionary handy

Sit with a dictionary whenever you take a book to read. It helps you look up new words then and there instead of pushing off the task and forgetting about it. It’s best to know the meanings of unfamiliar words while reading them to understand the context and memorize them better. Online dictionaries are very helpful in this regard. You can use them while traveling or whenever you encounter a difficult word on some online platform. These dictionaries teach you the meaning and educate you about synonyms and antonyms of the words for better effect. Besides dictionaries, you should also take advantage of online thesauruses, since you’re also into writing.

3. Google every time you see or hear an unfamiliar word

There is no better teacher than curiosity and no better solution to curiosity than Google in present times. From checking the composition of a product to knowing the name of the president of a country, you know you can always Google anytime you want. Thus, when you come across words like “opacarophile”, “nonplussed”, “herculean”, or “circumvent”, Google them immediately to learn the meaning and know their application in sentences. Learn a multitude of synonyms or just Google 20 different ways of saying a simple word like “difficult” to boost your stock of words. Googling the right way can help you improve your vocabulary effectively.

4. Make word games a hobby

Playing classic word games like Boggle or Scrabble can be a fantastic way to learn new words. Children played these age-old games to master the language by knowing moderate to difficult words through play. But these games have always been equally attractive to adults and quite helpful as a hobby. Instead of whiling away your time on social media, play a round of Scrabble every evening to build your vocabulary.


Word games are fun and challenging, as well as useful for expanding vocabulary for adults and children alike.

5. Digital flashcards

You can learn a huge number of words through flashcards. Digital flashcards popping up on your phone can make you learn new words conveniently every day while doing other daily chores. Aim to learn one to two words each day.

6. Subscribe to “word of the day” features

Subscribe to “word of the day” features on your phone or your news feed on social platforms. You may also install an app to learn a new word each morning. Your phone can notify you about a new word, its meaning, and its usage as the sun rises to fulfill your daily quota of learning.

learning words from apps

Learn 365 new words a year from apps that send and teach you a word every day!

7. Install Grammarly on your devices

Grammarly is the best app to install on your phone or use as an extension for your computer. It corrects your grammar while you write each time. Another helpful feature of Grammarly is that it beautifies your language by suggesting synonyms and alternatives. For instance, if you write, “We shared a friendly relationship”, Grammarly may suggest you rephrase it as “We shared an amicable relationship”. It surely teaches you the art of English writing and beautifying your language with plenty of words you can use for impactful statements.

8. Install vocabulary apps

Using technology in the best way possible to master vocabulary skills is a fantastic idea. You can pick up words on the go in the world of smartphones. Take a look at the best-designed apps to enrich your vocabulary:

App Compatible with Rating
1. Vocabulary Upgrade II iPhone, iPad 5
2. Vocabulary.com Android 4.2
3. Word of the Day Android, iPhone, iPad 4.7
4. Magoosh Vocabulary Builder Android, iPhone, iPad 4.7
5. Quizlet Android, iPhone, iPad 4.7

Vocabulary.com is your go-to mobile app to learn new English words and memorize them, too. You can add words to your “Words I’m Learning” list and revise them until you know their meaning and commit them to your memory. Search the meaning of any word and save it for future reference. The app tests your knowledge by using those words in quizzes. You can also take advantage of lists like “Top 100 Vocabulary Words That Adults Should Know” or “100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know.”

vocabulary.com landing page

Another great app meant for expanding vocabulary for adults and boosting your English skills to prepare for the GRE, TOEFL, and SAT is Magoosh Vocabulary Builder. There are dozens of vocabulary lists featuring categories or levels like Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Keep progressing through each level while tracking how much you learned over time and by taking tests.

9. Vocabulary quiz and games apps

7 little words

Some people learn better through quizzes and games than through the flashcard technique. Take the help of apps like 7 Little Words to learn new words through puzzles, crosswords, and other games. The more you play, the more it increases your curiosity to learn the words and their meanings.

10. Use new words in conversation

The best way to fortify your vocabulary tower and see its effects is to try implementing whatever you learn. Your daily efforts to learn new words will be futile if you do not use them in written and oral communications. The purpose of strengthening your vocabulary is to improve your speaking and writing skills. See how much you improved by applying the newly learned words in conversation. Thus, when you would usually say, “I am such a lover of the moon”, try saying, “You can call me an absolute selenophile.” Bring words into your daily conversation from the list of words you memorized. Try praising something as “admirable” or “exquisite” instead of a plain “beautiful”, or call something “tedious” or “insipid” instead of “dull”. You may falter initially, but you can master the art of using new words in conversation to make it more effective with time and practice.


Those were the most effective ways of expanding vocabulary for adults. Explore and practice them to make you sound smarter and more intelligible in a few months. See your efforts bearing fruits when you perform better and impress everyone with your comments in both your professional and personal spheres. Next up, you may want to explore a list of the most beautiful words in the world.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.