18 Online Resources to Build Your English Vocabulary

If you want to master the English language, the web is one of the best resources available to you. Knowing the right sites and spending time on them, you can easily take the way you read, speak and write English to the next level.

Even if you’re a native speaker, it doesn’t hurt to improve your vocabulary once in a while. New words are coined all the time thanks to the web, a prime example being “to google” for something.

Here we have listed 18 resources that will help you expand your vocabulary.

Online English dictionaries and thesaurus

Let’s first look at the online dictionaries and thesauri available.

1. Dictionary.com

Unlike other dictionary sites, Dictionary.com offers more than definitions and origins. It helps you improve your vocabulary through various games and wordlists and maintains a list of slang, emoji, tech, and other new words. You can visit its sister site, Thesaurus.com, to find synonyms.

2. The free dictionary

Get ready to learn a lot at The Free Dictionary. It’s an awesome resource that has categorized information, helps you with definitions, spelling games, and more. The site also offers a start page where you can add your favorite modules and learn new things every day.

3. Visual Thesaurus

At Visual Thesaurus, you can have a great time exploring words and related terms and playing with them. It includes a pronunciation aid, so you don’t have to worry about having a word mispronounced.

Some other features include usage examples and additional tips to prevent you from mistakenly using the wrong word. It is available for download and requires a subscription, costing $2.95 per month.

4. Google’s Define Operator

Since people have become accustomed to searching for everything on Google, it’s no surprise that Google has included a small feature in its search engine. If you want to know the meaning of a word, just type define: follow the word in the Google search box, and get the definitions instantly on your screen. For example, set: intuitive.

Likewise, you can refer to our Google search cheat sheet for more operators and tips.

5. How to say

This is a handy audio dictionary available on the web and as a mobile app. Simply type a word and immediately get its definition or pronunciation. It has a large database of words, divided into categories. This site is especially very useful for non-native speakers.

6. Merriam Webster

Founded in 1828, Merriam-Webster is one of America’s most popular dictionaries. Its website offers an online dictionary, thesaurus, games and quizzes. There are separate dictionaries for legal and medical terms. Merriam-Webster offers mobile apps to improve vocabulary, in case you want to practice on the go.

7. Wordnik

Wordnik is a non-profit organization and claims to have the largest collection of English words online. It is not a dictionary itself, but retrieves meanings from many sources. It also displays words related to the one you entered.

You can create your own word list on Wordnik and display random words to improve vocabulary. Wordnik is an extremely useful tool if you want to display the meaning of a single word from multiple sources simultaneously for comparison or double-checking.

Offline English Dictionaries

8. Word Web

WordWeb works as a dictionary tool with the features you expect from any dictionary. Select a word in any app then tap a shortcut to find out its meaning in WordWeb. Something you will love is the way its interface has been designed.

If you need synonyms, related terms, etc., just click on the appropriate tab and you’re done. The Pro version includes a few extra features, although the free version might be more than enough for your needs.

English grammar resources

9. BBC Learn English

The BBC Learning English site has a lot of information about English vocabulary and grammar, such as FAQs, exercises and quizzes. The vocabulary section is divided into basic and intermediate levels, depending on your skills. There are several activities in these two categories that take six minutes to complete.

If you still need more, you can test yourself in these quizzes:

One word a day to learn new English vocabulary

The following sites are updated daily with words you may never have heard of. You can see their origin, etymology, pronunciation and much more. You can subscribe to their newsletters and spend less than a minute a day building up your English vocabulary,

10. One Word A Day by Wordsmith

The newsletter shares a new word daily and has over 400,000 subscribers. You can subscribe to it for free and consult the archives.

11. Britannica Dictionary Word of the Day

You can visit the Britannica Dictionary’s Word of the Day page to learn a new word every day. It doesn’t have a newsletter, so you’ll have to bookmark it or check the archives periodically. Besides that, it offers quizzes and a list of the 3,000 most common words.


If you’re an auditory learner or don’t have much time to read, you can tune into one of the many English language podcasts.

12. Grammar Girl Podcast

Hosted by Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl podcast aims to help you improve your songwriting. To this end, it deals with grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.

English e-books

13. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg offers over 60,000 free downloadable ebooks. These included dictionaries and books on the English language. But reading books on other subjects is also a great way to improve vocabulary. Books in many languages ​​are available, just choose from Gutenberg’s online catalog.

Besides that, you can visit the other sites to find and download ebooks.

Educational games

Looking for a fun way to learn? Try these games.

14. The Chicago Tribune Jumble

The Chicago Tribune offers a variety of fun activities on its sites, including a scrambled word game called Jumble. They don’t take much time, are quite interesting and help you learn new words.

15. Play Scrabble

You can play scrabble on this site, either with the computer or with other players. To make it more interesting, invite your friends.

16. Many things

ManyThings has many vocabulary games and quizzes, including picture games.


There are countless blogs that provide tips for improving your English, such as:

17. Daily Writing Tips

Daily Writing Tips covers all aspects of writing, but you’ll find a ton of articles on vocabulary and word usage. You can view by category to find relevant posts.

Start Pages

These are pretty awesome and can save you a lot of time. A start page is a web page that you can customize with things you need to monitor. For example, my homepage has modules that give me access to a few blogs, top news, and weather.

18. Netvibes

Using Netvibes, you can create a start page with modules like a dictionary, a word a day, etc. It offers plenty of customization options, allowing you to add apps, feeds, and panels to your start page. Once you get used to them, these will not only help you learn new words, but also keep track of all the important information.

Learn new English words daily

Improving your vocabulary doesn’t have to be boring. Whether you enjoy playing games or listening to podcasts, you can benefit from the online resources mentioned above for learning new words.

Besides adding new words to your vocabulary, mastering your grammar is essential. This too can be done using sites and apps.

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