The 17 Best English Vocabulary Apps in 2022

English vocabulary is arguably the most important aspect of learning English. 

Nowadays, just looking up “English vocabulary” in the App Store or on Google Play will give you infinite results. So how do you choose the best one for you?

Thankfully, we have combed through tons of great apps to learn English and picked out the very best that help with word acquisition. 

In this article, we’ll help you find the resources to study English words for each unique type of learner.

Contents

1. Best for Busy Learners: Word of the Day

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

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The best way to learn new words is to make them a daily habit. Learning one or two new words each day will help you in the long run. If you’re already busy with jobs and other work and therefore can’t devote much time to learning, there’s a very simple app to help you out.

With Word of the Day, you’ll learn a new word each day, remember your favorite words and even browse and find out what other people like. They also have a number of pronunciation options, so you’ll know exactly where to put the accents and the stresses!

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2. Best for Learning in Context: FluentU

Available on: iOSAndroid 

Price: Monthly subscription, Free trial available

FluentU uses authentic videos such as music, news, politics and more to can grow your English vocabulary and build your English cultural knowledge at the same time. The videos are targeted toward native speakers, so you will be learning with authentic and relevant content. 

You can start by watching any video in the extensive library that interests you—they’re easily organized by topic and difficulty (beginner to advanced). As you watch, you can click on the interactive subtitles for an instant definition of any word, as well as its pronunciation and example sentences.

FluentU also works as a video dictionary, letting you look up any word and discover all clips in the library that feature your search.

After you finish a video, you can review new vocabulary through quizzes and multimedia flashcards to make sure you remember all the new words.

3. Best for Serious Learners: Voxy

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Monthly subscription, Free trial available

Voxy is focused on providing English training for employees of companies and corporations.

Voxy adapts to your needs and gives you personalized lessons. So whether you need English words to ace an exam or meet a client, Voxy ensures that 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 with the app and even get fun practice options, like karaoke-style music lessons.

You can schedule a one-on-one live tutoring session and receive feedback. If you’re learning with others—for example, a team of employees—Voxy is specially designed to help with that. 

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4. Best for Conversational Phrases: Memrise

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free, Premium subscription available

free-english-learning-appsMemrise is essentially a flashcard app. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s simple. The app uses SRS, or a Spaced Repetition System, which is a unique algorithm proven to help you remember words and phrases faster. 

The app uses video examples of language being used in real life, so you will be listening to real native speakers use their language in a natural way while you learn. 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, which gives you tons of options to choose from while you learn. If you want a more methodical approach, you can go through their courses that start from beginner and move on to advanced. 

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See our full review of Memrise here. 

5. Best for Visual Learners: English Vocabulary by Picture

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Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

Are you a visual learner? Lots of people are! You can definitely learn English vocabulary words through pictures and this app from oCoder proves it.

With this app, you can access thousands of vocabulary words divided into 100 topics. Each word is accompanied by a clear image and audio clip. You can browse different words and use the test function to quiz yourself.

This app also has a translation feature that allows you to look up and translate English words into your mother language. If you’re not used to Latin lettering, you can also test your typing skills for different vocabulary words. This app really is packed with a lot of features that all levels of learners can enjoy.

6. Best All-in-one App: Busuu

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free, Premium subscription available

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

The app boasts that it covers all areas of language acquisition, which means it can be used as a comprehensive learning approach. Not only will you pick up English vocabulary in their lessons, but you will also be able to practice writing, speaking and reading every word you learn. 

And once you have the basics down, you can connect with native speakers and learners from all over the world to help you with tricky vocab. 

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See our full review of Busuu here.

7. Best for Flashcards: VocApp English Flashcards

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Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

Flashcards are still popular for a reason—they really do work at teaching vocabulary words!

This little flashcard tool from VocApp is perfect for English learners at any level. You can select your preferred difficulty within the app.

This flashcard vocabulary app is unique in that it uses more complex elements to teach you every aspect of a vocabulary word, from the pronunciation to example sentences to definitions.

You can even create your own flashcards in the app for a more customized experience.

8. Best for Beginners: English Vocabulary Builder

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Available on: Android

Price: Free

This vocabulary builder app is a must-have for English learners of any level.

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

It’s really a simple app, but sometimes simple is good! 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: Galvanize Test Prep Ultimate Vocabulary Builder

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Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

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

For every word you correctly define, you earn points. With these points you can unlock more words as you improve your fluency. The challenge aspect is really fun!

If you’re studying for the GRE—the test that graduate school candidates take in North America—you’re also in luck. This app teaches you the small nuances and details of different English words, which is necessary to pass the GRE.

This app would best suit intermediate and advanced learners, but beginners who want a challenge can certainly try it out.

10. Best for Offline Practice: Fortitude Vocabulary Builder

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Available on: Android

Price: Free

Don’t want to use up your data plan? Don’t worry, this vocabulary app from Fortitude works offline.

This app boasts a vocabulary bank of over 1,400 words, complete with accurate and simple definitions, plenty of real-world examples and crystal-clear audio pronunciation. There are pictures to help you understand and remember the words, so even absolute beginners can use this app to power through vocabulary words in English.

You can select beginner, intermediate or advanced and get live updates on how well you’re doing at each level.

If you love a simple and clean design and also want something that can teach you vocabulary offline, this app is for you.

11. Best for TOEFL Takers: TOEFL English Vocabulary Cards

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Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

While this is yet another English flashcard vocabulary app, it’s perfect for any English learner who’s currently cramming for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in order to enroll in an English-speaking university.

The TOEFL is a big deal for students who want to study abroad in English-speaking countries and this app can be a real lifesaver during the study process. You can access hundreds of vocabulary words that’ve been selected by a professional TOEFL tutor and quiz yourself on their meaning through digital flashcards.

It’s simple, accurate and perfect for intermediate and advanced learners.

12. Best for Proficiency Tests: Test Your English Vocabulary

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Available on: Android

Price: Free

If you’re preparing for an English proficiency test and want to get caught up on more complex English vocabulary words, this is the perfect app to use.

Search through thousands of words that you’ll need for English proficiency exams that are popular around the globe. Test your knowledge of these words by matching them with their definitions or vice-versa. You can also play word games for a little bit of entertainment.

This app is also handy because it allows you to define English words in your mother tongue, so beginners can really benefit from this one.

13. Best for Spelling Practice: Catena

Available on: iOS

Price: Free

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Catena is a very unique word game that’s especially suited for those who make frequent spelling mistakes or are exceptionally eager to learn moderate or difficult words.

The game is rather simple—you have to use the last or last few letters of the opponent’s word to form a new word. In this way, you’ll build a word chain. So if your opponent had spelled “mostly” you can begin a new word with “lying.”

There are a number of difficulty modes, and you can even challenge other players to a battle of words! With online opponents, both of you will take turns forming new words, building a word chain and earning points accordingly.

This vocabulary app will force you to think on your feet, come up with the right word at the right time and help you pick up words you wouldn’t have encountered in an average class.

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

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

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If you love riddles and prefer a visual learning approach, then 4 Pics 1 Word is the app for you. It’ll not only help you sharpen your mental skills, but also help you build a vocabulary for everyday objects and other commonly-used words.

The premise is simple. You’ll be provided with four pictures that share a common quality or element. You must guess the word that connects them together.

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

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15. Best for Advanced Learners: Words with Friends

Available on:  iOS | Android

Price: Free

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Many of us loved the board game Scrabble as kids. We have fond memories of just how much fun it was putting random letters together to create the highest-scoring words.

Well, Words with Friends provides a similar experience and much more.

Even if you haven’t played Scrabble, it’s pretty easy to learn. There’s a grid and certain areas offer a certain number of points. You have to select letters and form words in the right parts of the grid to earn maximum points. Your opponent may use some of your letters to form new words and score points.

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Not only can you challenge your Facebook friends to a match, but you can also match up with other opponents with similar skills. There’s also a “hindsight” option that shows you the best word you could’ve played in the previous turn, an offline mode and weekly challenges to make you play more often.

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

16. Best for Puzzle Lovers: Alphabear

Available on:  iOS | Android

Price: Free, VIP subscription available

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For those who love puzzle games, Alphabear is an extremely fun game to kick-start your vocabulary learning. You have to spell new words and when you select letters that are adjacent to each other, cartoon bears will appear. These bears may increase the points, extend the timer or help you out in some other way.

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

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17. Best for Casual Learners: Words of Wonders

Available on: iOS | Android

Price: Free

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Solving crosswords is an enjoyable way to pass the time in transit or while you’re waiting for something. If you like crosswords and you’re keen to improve your general knowledge about this world, then Words of Wonders is the game that will test your English vocabulary to its limits.

You’ll be provided with a few letters as clues. You’ll use them to create new words and connect them to figure out the final solution to a crossword. With every right answer, you’ll virtually travel to different cities and visit new wonders.

Not only will you be learning new words, but you’ll also discover new and interesting things about this planet. At the same time, you’ll sharpen problem-solving skills that will benefit you in real life.

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How Do Vocabulary Apps Help You Learn English Words Faster?

Many vocabulary apps are designed to help you learn words faster and remember them better, compared to traditional teaching methods. Here are some of the reasons why.

  • They usually have the relevant vocabulary to suit your needs: English learners have diverse needs. A student of business English won’t benefit much from studying engineering or medical vocabulary—while a general English learner doesn’t need to know academic terms.

Therefore choosing resources to cater to your needs is very important.

  • They’re often in the form of interesting and engaging games that make it more fun: You’re not likely to remember much if you memorize a bunch of words from a list. But if you encounter those same words in a game, you’re bound to remember them and their meanings.
  • They encourage you to use them daily: Practice makes perfect and unless you devote time every day to learning something, you won’t get very far. These apps come with daily reminders and motivational messages so that you become enthusiastic about learning and getting your English vocabulary exercises on the regular.
  • They constantly give you new words to learn. Many of these apps have enormous dictionary banks of vocabulary words. Whether you’re a beginner learner, an intermediate learner or an advanced learner, most of these apps are worth having on hand for their vocabulary banks alone.
  • They often have multiplayer options, so you can learn and compete in a study group: Learning on your own isn’t as fun as being part of a study circle. Many of these apps allow you to compete with your friends or have a scoreboard where you can compete with other players. This will make you more invested in the game and help you learn faster.
  • They let you practice English on the go and on your own time since you can take apps anywhere on your device.  When you’re on the bus or on a work break, you can easily learn a couple of new words with these apps on hand.

If you’re serious about improving your English vocabulary, using apps such as the ones mentioned above is a must. Try to pick up English phrases and words that are relevant to you and review them periodically.

Look for opportunities to use these newly-learned words often, and even if you make mistakes, learn from them and keep at it.

As long as you remain passionate and disciplined about your learning, you’re sure to be successful in growing a beautiful English word garden!

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