How to Improve Vocabulary for Adults

A good vocabulary is fundamental to reading comprehension and effective written and oral communication. Adults who improve their vocabulary will be able to write more precisely and clearly communicate their ideas. Improving vocabulary is as easy as reading and doing some pleasurable activities like word puzzles. Adults with a good vocabulary read faster than those who have a more limited vocabulary. Reading and writing skills will improve as well, which can be beneficial in your job.

Do crossword puzzles to improve vocabulary. Crossword puzzles are available for free download at a number of sites on the Internet. Bookstores offer crossword puzzle books and most newspapers print a daily or weekly crossword puzzle.

Use a dictionary and a thesaurus when reading. When you read a new word, immediately look it up in the dictionary. Next, use the thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms for the word. By using a thesaurus in addition to the dictionary, you will increase your vocabulary by learning several new words at once.

Write down new words as you learn them. You may want to keep a notebook especially for new words and their definitions. List synonyms and antonyms across from or beneath the new word for additional improvement in your vocabulary.

Use new words you have learned in your writing and conversation when appropriate. Dictionaries provide pronunciation guides to help you pronounce new words properly. Online dictionaries frequently provide a link to a verbal pronunciation of words.

Determine to learn a new word every day. Use a notepad or a calendar that is large enough for you to write a word and its definition. Select a new word each day from your dictionary. Write the word on your calendar or notepad and use the word in a sentence. This method is effective in improving vocabulary, but requires dedication.

Read something new every day. Set aside a time each day to read an article in the newspaper, on a website, or in a magazine. The more you read, the more words you will encounter, which will improve your vocabulary.


Read a variety of materials so that you can encounter new words regularly.


The meaning of new words can often be determined in the context in which they are written. The words before and after can help you learn the meanings of new words.

Things You'll Need

  • Access to a variety of books
  • Dictionary
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