4 Ways To Build A Better Vocabulary

Black woman doing homework with daughter

Words are tools that we use to express thoughts and ideas. The more of them we have, the more varied and concise our communication with other people is. Most people consider adding to and improving their vocabulary a point of pride, in addition to being immensely useful. With that in mind, below are four ways to build a better vocabulary today. 

Play Word Games 

Playing word games is another great way to add new words to your vocabulary and have fun while doing it. Classic games like Scrabble, for instance, which are now easily played online using your desktop or mobile, work your verbal intelligence out while also showing you the word combinations your opponents come up with. If you are new to Scrabble or returning after a long hiatus, there are very helpful word unscrambling tools like Unscramblex to help you build high-scoring combinations. 

Make Use of Mnemonics 

A mnemonic device is a popular way to memorize new words and add them to your vocabulary using word association. This method involves creating associations that are meaningful to you when you encounter new and particularly difficult words. Take the word “asinine,” for example, which means “extremely stupid or foolish.”

A way to help you remember this word might be to take the first syllable–pronounced “ass”–and think of a donkey (a synonym for “ass” and also a commonly used allusion to stupidity) and then take the third syllable “nine” and combine it into the mnemonic device “nine (jack)asses-worth of stupidity.” 

Read More 

In order to build a better and wider vocabulary, you have to read more; it is as simple as that. Reading is how we are exposed to new language and, when we read regularly, where we see it repeated in different contexts. This, along with a trusty dictionary, is how people learn what words mean and where and how they are used. 

Reading and writing are two skills that go hand in hand. In order to be a good writer, a person needs to possess an expansive enough vocabulary to be able to choose the right words for the right contexts and scenarios. 

Use New Words 

Another great way to make sure any new words you are attempting to add to your vocabulary actually stick is to use them after learning them. Reading and researching the definition of a new word or term is one thing; having it become a part of your working memory and easily accessible when writing and speaking is another. If you can find an opportunity to use new words while speaking or writing, it is more likely they will ingrain themselves. 


Building a larger, more expansive vocabulary is something most people work on, both consciously and subconsciously, throughout their entire lives. The words we read and hear as we discover books, newspapers and magazines, speak to friends and family and watch a wide variety of media all add new words, terms, expressions and concepts to our lexicon. Keep the above three vocabulary-boosting methods in mind and make discovering and adopting new words part of your daily routine. 

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