9 Apps That’ll Increase Your Vocabulary (and Make You Sound Smarter)

updated Nov 11, 2022
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You know those people who effortlessly drop complex, little-known words in casual conversation, sounding ever-so-charming and smart? Ever wonder how they do it, and wish you could? While this enviable skill comes naturally to some, there’s hope for the rest of us in the form of vocabulary apps. 

Vocabulary building apps are designed to help you learn new words while having fun on your phone. From Scrabble-style games with friends to flash card quizzes, learn more about nine apps that’ll increase your verbiage in no time below.

And up next, check out these apps for meditation, getting more sleep, and even finding your lost dog.

1. Word of the Day

Learning a new word every day is one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. That’s why we love Word of the Day, an app for Apple devices that sends one “rare and inspiring” word each day, curated just for you. 

Available for iOs, free with in-app purchases

2. Word to Word

Making word associations is a great way to commit new and unfamiliar words to memory. The Word to Word app gives you lists of words and challenges you to make different connections between them. Pro tip: the connections between the words aren’t always as straightforward as they seem! 

Available for iOs, free with in-app purchases

3. WordUp 

WordUp uses examples from movies, songs, famous quotes, and more to help you learn new words. It utilizes repetition to aid you in remembering. 

Available for iOs, free download with in-app purchases

4. Magoosh Vocabulary Builder

While this is actually a GRE test prep app, it creates a game out of learning new vocabulary words. You get to beat levels, each of which offers more challenging vocabulary words than the last. 

Available for iOs and Android, free download


Designed with sophisticated algorithms that customize exercises based on your responses, is an app that helps you learn new words via short quizzes and games. Download the app for free and answer a series of short vocab questions to reveal a whole new world of words.

Available for iOs and Android, free download

(Image credit: Trymph Inc.)

6. Words with Friends

If you haven’t already been hooked on the game Words with Friends, then chances are you’ve at least heard of it. The insanely popular game from Zynga—the people that created Farmville—has been around for nearly a decade and still perseveres for a reason. Kind of like Scrabble for your smartphone, Words with Friends forces you to learn new (and often uncommon) words while allowing you to play (and keep in touch) with friends.

Available for iOs and Android, free download with in-app purchases

7. PowerVocab

Sort of like a flash card quiz for your android, the PowerVocab app for Android builds your vocabulary with timed mini-tests where players match words with multiple-choice definitions. Even cooler, you can play against other people when you feel like showing off your new vocab skills.

8. Anki

If you’re searching for a more old-school style vocab builder then Anki is the app for you. Equipped with shared flashcard decks and mega-downloads such as “4,000 Essential English Words,” Anki uses images and sounds to offer a multimedia vocabulary-boosting experience that still relies on flashcard-style techniques.

Available for iOs and Android, $24.99 to download

9. 7 Little Words

Short and sweet, 7 Little Words is a clever vocabulary game that gives you seven different definitions and lettered tiles to arrange into words. The idea is that you’ll learn new words as you narrow down your choices from the ones you already know, while still having fun playing on your phone.

Available for iOs and Android, free download with in-app purchases

10. Reverse Dictionary

Thesaurus lovers, rejoice: There’s an app that actually lets you search for words by description. Reverse Dictionary has a reverse lookup engine that generates dozens of potential words based on your description phrase, so you can always find the perfect word (and learn a whole lot of new ones).

Available for Android, free download

11. Duolingo

Okay so technically this isn’t going to better your native vocabulary, but Duolingo will help you learn a whole new language in just a few minutes a day. Duolingo lets you learn a new language for free, in less than 10 minutes per session, through reading, writing, and pronunciation exercises.

Available for iOs and Android, free download with in-app purchases

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann