Want to learn new words? Choose these free ways to learn the definitions, pronunciations, etymologies, and usage of words that may well be new to you. Most are free services that offer a new word each day. If you make an effort to use the word when speaking or writing you’ll be more likely to remember it. And remember the etymology to help make an educated guess about meanings and spellings of related words you may not know. Ready to get started?
* A Word A Day – Sign up at http://wordsmith.org/awad/ to receive a new word in your inbox each day. Etymologies are given along with usage examples and a quote. Great resource!
* Oxford English Dictionary – The premier dictionary offers a word every day at http://www.oed.com/cgi/display/wotd. There you’ll find pronunciations, etymology, and quotes. Sign up for the free email or RSS feed.
* FreeRice.com – When you visit FreeRice.com you can choose the definition for the given word. If you’re right a donation will be made to the World Food Program, and you’ll get another vocabulary word. Keep learning new words to feed your mind and someone’s belly.
* Merriem-Webster – The dictionary folks offer a daily word at http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/mwwod.pl . Sign up to receive your word, pronunciation, usage example, and interesting fact. You can also get a podcast!
* Reference.com – Visit http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/ to find their word of the day, pronunciation, and usage examples. Sign up to get your word by email and check out their archive!
* New York Times – Surf to http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/wordofday/ to find their word of the day along with a usage example from the NY Times. Links are provided to the Visual Thesaurus, which also has the pronunciation.
* Yahoo – The search company provides a word each day at http://education.yahoo.com/college/wotd/. You can also add it to your MyYahoo page or sign up for the RSS feed.
* InfoPlease.com – When you visit http://www.oed.com/cgi/display/wotd you’ll find a word with three definition choices. Choose your answer and see if it’s right!
* Read – Reading varied books and other publications is the best way to improve your vocabulary. Go to the library to keep it free and keep your dictionary handy!
* Use a dictionary – There are lots of free dictionaries online. Choose the one you like best to quickly look up words you don’t know. Try http://dictionary.reference.com/ for starters. It also has a thesaurus and encyclopedia. Or make a list of words you don’t know and visit the library regularly to use their paper dictionary.
Have fun with your new and improved vocabulary!