Vocabulary.com ($2.99) by Vocabulary.com is like an educational game that allows you to engage in vocabulary exercises on your iOS device. Especially for a writer like myself, there’s always room for improvement in one’s vocabulary. We do it every day through reading and conversation, but at some points it’s normal to feel like the logistic curve of your vocabulary’s growth has hit its plateau. This is where Vocabulary.com comes in, where the words you do or don’t already know can be taught to you in their entirety. It’s not at all surprising that we chose it as the best app to show up on the date of its release.
The app is based around the gamification of multiple choice exercises involving common and complex words. You may be asked to choose the best word for a sentence, identify synonyms or antonyms, or identify the correct definition. More difficult exercises include choosing a word that is related to another, or choosing which option is best associated with it.
The concept may sound easy, but before you go in, I must warn you: it’ll probably be a huge blow to your self esteem. Some questions are easy, but others are not so intuitive, or they’re real head-scratchers. For example, when provided with the word “outstanding,” your immediate reaction may be to choose its meaning as “deserving reward or praise.” However, if you actually read and think about every option, you’ll find that “outstanding” better describes “of major significance or importance.” Since it’s not necessarily about choosing the correct answer, but choosing whichever answer is “more” correct, Vocabulary.com may throw you for a loop.
While working through the exercises, you will gain points. More points are awarded for choosing the right answer sooner than later, and the words you stumble on will probably show up again. Since the goal is to actually teach you new words and to better your understanding of them, you can expect to see repeated ones in the “Words I’m Learning” section, along with those you haven’t seen in a while under “Words I’ve Mastered.” Finally, “Words I’ve Played” will show a list of every word you’ve come across in the exercises. All of these places within the app can be accessed by tapping the “hamburger” button at the top left.
Besides the standard vocabulary, users can also view and play with curated lists containing words from topics like “100 SAT Words Beginning With ‘A’,” or “Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865)” and many more. Vocabulary.com also contains a fascinating dictionary, which will provide explanations after every question in the game. It can also be accessed at any time.
Although the experience can be a huge eye-opener, Vocabulary.com provides a fantastic, free way to expand your knowledge about words. The gamification of learning vocabulary, which prioritizes teaching the words you struggle with most, is what makes the experience both fun and beneficial to your learning.
To get on your way to becoming a word guru, you can find the universal Vocabulary.com in the App Store for $2.99. You can also use their website by heading to www.vocabulary.com.