The 13 Best Vocabulary Apps for English Learners in 2024

Vocabulary is arguably the most important aspect of learning English.

It is the foundation for everything else—grammar, idioms, etc.

Luckily, we have combed the World Wide Web to find the best vocabulary apps to learn English for you. 

No matter what type of learner you are, you can pick up at least a few English words from our choices below!

Contents

1. Best for Busy Learners: Word of the Day

word of the day

Summary: True to its name, Word of the Day provides a quick and easy way to pick up new words every day.

Available on: iOS

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Pros: 

  • Easy and straightforward to use
  • Gives you the basics (definition and pronunciation)
  • Clean interface

Cons:

  • The ads may be off-putting
  • Alternate meanings may not be available
  • Lack of customization

Word of the Day is exactly what it sounds like. By tapping on any word shown in the app, you can learn its spelling, pronunciation and a basic definition.

word of the day

The best way to learn new words is to make them a daily habit. If you are busy and cannot devote much time to learning, this is a very simple app to help you out.

2. Best for Learning in Context: FluentU

Summary: FluentU allows you to learn new words by using them in context—specifically, through videos with interactive subtitles where the words are featured.

Available on: iOSAndroid 

Price: Monthly subscription (free trial available)

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

It uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.

FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:

-learn-english-with-videos

FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.

learn-english-with-captioned-television-show-clips

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:

learn-english-with-interactive-subtitled-dialogue

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

practice-english-with-adaptive-quizzes

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

  FluentU Ad

Pros:

  • Content allows you to see the words in context
  • Works best for visual learners
  • Interactive subtitles allow you to look up valuable information about words and phrases

Cons:

  • Not an all-around language-learning app
  • Free version is fairly limited
  • Not designed to teach you about culture (there are other resources for that)

FluentU works as a video dictionary, letting you look up any word and find all clips in the library that feature your search. After you finish a video, you can review new vocabulary through quizzes and multimedia flashcards.

fluentu english android beginner

The app uses authentic videos such as music, news, politics and more to grow your English vocabulary. The videos are targeted toward native speakers, so you will learn words as they are actually used. 

3. Best for Serious Learners: Voxy

voxy

Summary: Voxy is a great way for corporate employees to boost and brush up on their English skills in a structured environment.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free (with in-app purchases in the form of tutoring credits)

Pros: 

  • Allows you to focus your lessons on what you need to learn
  • Has content for audio and visual learners
  • Allows you to get real-time feedback

Cons:

  • Not available for individual use
  • May not be comprehensive enough for some learners
  • May suffer from bugs at times

Voxy focuses on English training for corporate employees. The app adapts to your needs and gives you personalized lessons.

Whether you need English words to pass an exam or meet a client, Voxy ensures you pick up the relevant vocabulary. It does so by analyzing your learning needs and providing audio and visual content. You can take your lessons anywhere and get fun practice options like karaoke-style music lessons.

You can schedule a one-on-one live tutoring session and receive feedback. If you are learning with others, Voxy is specially designed to help with that. 

4. Best for Conversational Phrases: Memrise

memrise

Summary: If you want a flashcard app packed with a few more features, Memrise is a good one to try.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free (premium subscriptions available)

Pros:

  • Designed to help you make the most of your language learning
  • Customizable lessons
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Suffers from the usual issues with flashcards (i.e., new vocabulary and concepts are taught in isolation)
  • Decks are sometimes user-generated, so the accuracy of the content can be questionable 

Memrise is essentially a flashcard app. But it is more than that: the app uses SRS (Spaced Repetition System), which helps you remember words and phrases faster. 

memrise

The app uses video examples of language used in real life. The gamified method of learning will also keep you entertained and motivated to continue learning. 

Memrise also has courses created by the company and other users, giving you tons of options to suit your learning style. If you want a more methodical (structured) approach, you can start from their beginner courses and move on to the advanced ones. 

See our full review of Memrise here. 

5. Best for Visual Learners: English Vocabulary by Picture

english vocabulary

Summary: English Vocabulary by Picture helps you learn new vocabulary through images with audio clips.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

Pros:

  • Straightforward vocabulary app
  • Good variety in vocabulary words
  • Can be effective for visual learners

Cons:

  • Contains ads
  • Images may not load properly
  • Crashes at times

English Vocabulary by Picture gives you access to thousands of vocabulary words divided into topics. Each word comes with a clear image and audio clip. You can browse different words and use the test function to quiz yourself.

english vocabulary by picture

This app also has a translation feature that allows you to translate English words into your mother language. If you do not use the Latin or Roman alphabet (A, B, C and so on), you can also test your typing skills for different vocabulary words.

6. Best All-in-one App: Busuu

busuu

Summary: Busuu is an app that can help not only with vocabulary but also with reading, writing and speaking. 

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free (premium subscriptions available)

Pros:

  • Comprehensive
  • Emphasizes learning with others
  • Customizable

Cons:

  • Quality of lessons is not consistent
  • Can get inaccurate feedback on language skills
  • May be “boring” for some users

Busuu is a great app for connecting with one of the largest online learning communities. According to its website, millions of language lovers are part of its worldwide network. The features are focused on community-based learning—like a video chat platform, for example.

busuu

The app covers all areas of language acquisition, meaning it can be used as a comprehensive learning approach. Not only will you pick up English vocabulary, but you can also practice writing, speaking and reading every word you learn. 

Once you have mastered the basics, you can connect with native speakers and learners from all over the world to help you with difficult vocabulary. 

See our full review of Busuu here.

7. Best for Flashcards: VocApp English Flashcards

vocapp

Summary: VocApp English Flashcards give you not only the definition of a word, but also important information like pronunciation and example sentences.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free (with in-app purchases available)

Pros:

  • Classifies vocabulary into clear categories
  • Gives you the option to use flashcards and listen to the words
  • Can fit the lessons according to your level

Cons:

  • Only teaches vocabulary words
  • Those looking for a more systematic progression through lessons may feel that this falls short
  • Notifications can be intrusive

VocApp English Flashcards is unique in that it teaches you every aspect of a vocabulary word—from pronunciation to example sentences to definitions. You can even create your own flashcards in the app for a more customized experience depending on the category you want to learn (e.g., American slang).

vocapp english flashcards

Flashcards are still popular for a reason—they really do work when teaching vocabulary words! And this little flashcard app is perfect for English learners at any level. 

8. Best for Beginners: English Vocabulary Builder

english vocabulary builder

Summary: English Vocabulary Builder classifies words according to categories, where you can test yourself on how well you know those words.

Available on: Android

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Pros:

  • Teaches essential information like the type of word, definition and example sentence
  • Allows you to test yourself
  • Allows you to easily navigate mastered / not mastered words

Cons:

  • Has intrusive ads
  • Example sentences may be too lengthy
  • Clicking a word automatically marks it as “mastered,” whether you have actually mastered the word or not

This app’s interface is simple and user-friendly. Choose a word theme (such as “Important Words” or “Antonyms”) and take the test to see how well you know that particular word set. Then, you can review the words you incorrectly defined and save them to a custom list to study later.

english vocabulary builder

All levels of learners can use this handy vocabulary builder, but beginners will benefit the most from the vocabulary words provided.

9. Best for Intermediate Vocabulary: Ultimate GRE® Vocabulary Prep

ultimate GRE vocabulary prep

Summary: GRE takers can benefit from Ultimate GRE® Vocabulary Prep—but so can beginners.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

Pros:

  • Gauges your level of understanding of vocabulary words
  • Provides audio and pronunciation tips
  • Logical progression of lessons

Cons:

  • Does not provide information like synonyms and antonyms
  • Has some bugs
  • Covers only the vocabulary section of the GRE

This app is one of the most popular English vocabulary apps on the Google Play store and for good reason. Not only is it great for learning English words, but the design and game-like functions make it addictive.

For every word you correctly define, you earn points. With these points, you can unlock more words as you improve your fluency. 

ultimate GRE vocabulary prep

If you are studying for the GRE—the test graduate school candidates take in North America—you are in luck. This app teaches you the small nuances (details) of different English words, which you need to pass the GRE.

This app works bests for intermediate and advanced learners, but beginners who want a challenge can try it out too!

10. Best for TOEFL Takers: TOEFL English Vocabulary Cards

best vocabulary apps

Summary: The name speaks for itself—you can certainly prepare for TOEFL with this vocabulary card app.

Available on: iOS

Price: Free

Pros:

  • Specially designed for TOEFL test takers
  • Reviewed by language experts
  • Allows focused study

Cons:

  • May have limited value outside of TOEFL
  • As of this writing, is not available for users of newer Android versions

While this is yet another English flashcard vocabulary app, it works for any English learner currently cramming for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

You can access hundreds of vocabulary words selected by a professional TOEFL tutor and quiz yourself through digital flashcards.

TOEFL English Vocabulary Cards

Intermediate and advanced learners will benefit the most from this app.

11. Best for Word Picture Association: 4 Pics 1 Word

4 pics 1 word

Summary: If you are a visual learner who wants a challenge, 4 Pics 1 Word is worth a try.

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Pros:

  • Tests your pattern-spotting abilities
  • Difficulty level increases
  • Fun way to spend your free time

Cons:

  • No way to check for the dictionary definition of each word
  • Some puzzles may be too difficult
  • Existing levels may not be enough

If you love riddles and prefer a visual learning approach, 4 Pics 1 Word is the app for you.

Not only will it help you sharpen your mental skills, but it will also help you build a vocabulary for everyday objects and other common words.

The way it works is simple: you will get four pictures that share a common quality or element. You must guess the word that connects them together.

4 pics 1 word

New puzzles are always being added and there are many levels to explore, so you will not run out of material anytime soon.

12. Best for Advanced Learners: Words With Friends

words with friends

Summary: Words With Friends works like an online game of Scrabble—and then some.

Available on:  iOS | Android

Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Pros:

  • Added features elevate it beyond the standard Scrabble game
  • Has a competitive element
  • Addictive

Cons:

  • Some words have no definitions
  • Has intrusive ads
  • Can be buggy

Ever played the board game Scrabble? If you have, you know how fun it is to put random letters together to create the highest-scoring words.

Words with Friends provides a similar experience and much more.

Even if you do not know what Scrabble is, Words With Friends is pretty easy to learn. You have a grid and areas that offer a certain number of points. You have to choose letters and form words in the right parts of the grid to score as much as possible. Your opponent may use some of your letters to form new words and get points.

words with friends 2

There is also a “hindsight” option that shows you the best word you could have played in the previous turn, an offline mode and weekly challenges.

By playing regularly, you will better remember the new words you encounter and expand your vocabulary further.

13. Best for Puzzle Lovers: Alphabear

alphabear

Summary: Puzzle lovers will enjoy learning and having fun with Alphabear—not to mention make use of a built-in English dictionary.

Available on:  iOS

Price: Free (VIP subscription available)

Pros:

  • Provides definitions in-game
  • Rewards you for longer words
  • Adorable art

Cons:

  • Intrusive ads
  • Some words may be restricted

For those who love puzzle games, Alphabear is an extremely fun game to start your vocabulary learning.

You have to spell new words and when you select letters adjacent (next) to each other, cartoon bears will appear. These bears may increase the points, extend the timer or help you out in some other way.

alphabear 2

The game’s design is cute and fun so you have a good time while you play. There is even a built-in dictionary for English learners. If you are tired of memorizing new words, this game will help you pick up where you left off.

How Do Vocabulary Apps Help You Learn English Words Faster?

  • They usually have the relevant vocabulary to suit your needs. English learners have diverse needs. For example, a student of business English won’t benefit much from studying engineering or medical vocabulary.
  • They often feature interesting and fun games. You may not remember much if you memorize a bunch of words from a list. But if you encounter those same words in a game, you can better associate them with pictures or events.
  • They encourage you to use them daily: Practice makes perfect. These apps come with daily reminders and motivational messages so you have an incentive (reward) to learn and do your English vocabulary exercises regularly.
  • They constantly give you new words to learn. Most of these apps have a ton of vocabulary words. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner, most of these apps are worth having for their vocabulary banks alone.
  • They often have multiplayer options, so you can learn and compete in a study group. For some people, group study works better than studying on their own. Many of these apps allow you to compete with friends or have a scoreboard that allows you to see how you are doing. This makes you more invested in the game and helps you learn faster.
  • They let you practice English wherever and whenever your want. Even if you are on the bus or on lunch break, you can easily learn a couple of new words with the best vocabulary apps for English learners.

 

When using these apps, try to pick up English phrases and words relevant to you and review them now and then. Look for opportunities to use these newly-learned words often.

Even if you make mistakes, learn from them and keep at it. As long as you are passionate and disciplined about your learning, you can grow a beautiful English word garden!

 

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