There are roughly 170,000 words in use in the English language. Thankfully, most native English speakers only have a vocabulary of around 35,000 words. Still, that’s a lot of language for you to study!

The good news is, with the right app in your pocket, it has never been easier – or more fun – to learn vocabulary in your free time.

We’ve put together a list of our 7 top apps to learn new vocabulary. Read on to find out what they are!


1. Busuu – The best all-rounder


Does learning vocabulary sometimes feel like a chore? Try Busuu. Just like Duolingo, Busuu uses gamification to make learning English a lot more enjoyable. However, unlike Duolingo, Busuu is actually useful for learning real-world language.

Busuu teaches you how a word sounds and gives an example sentence for each one. Topics cover everything from business, to travel, to language from The Economist. It also tests you with gap-fills and true or false questions, and includes a section for weak words to show you where you need to improve.

Download Busuu here

Busuu - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

2. Memrise – The best for user-generated content


If you’re part of the TikTok generation, and you love memes, Memrise might be the app for you. It uses short clips, from real-life local people, to demonstrate how words and phrases are used in natural conversation.

An added bonus is that it offers a translation in your native language as well. There’s also the Immerse videos. These work a bit like Instagram Reels, featuring short, funny video dialogues with captions. Just listen for the tone and pronunciation – then copy it just like the person in the video!

Download Memrise here

Memrise - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

3. LinGo Play – The best for basics


Ahh. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a simple picture flashcard. That’s why beginner learners of English might enjoy the app LinGo Play. You’ll find a range of basic vocabulary on topics such as Fruits and vegetables, Clothing and Furniture.

First learn the word with the flashcard, and listen to the pronunciation. Then, test yourself on what you’ve learnt with one of the in-built, spelling or listening activities. When you’re feeling really confident, have a go at playing a game against a genuine opponent!

Download LinGo Play here

Lingo Play - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

4. Quizlet – The best for exam prep


Have you got an English test coming up? Need to memorise a list of new words quickly? Consider downloading Quizlet. This is by far the best app for English exam preparation on our list. With matching games, memory tests, and quizzes, it offers more than flashcards. There are a huge number of study sets, which means you’re sure to find the topic you’re looking for. And if you can’t find it, why not create your own?

Download Quizlet here

Quizlet - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

For more ways to use Quizlet check out our article: 5 tips to get the best out of Quizlet.


5. Alphabear 2 – The best for word puzzles


This Scrabble-style app must be the cutest word app on the planet. Players have to spell out words by selecting letters from a grid. When they spell a word correctly, bears appear! The longer the word the bigger the bear.

There’s also a dictionary function which makes it great for language learners. Kids will love it too. Get them to create their own bear character, follow the story and navigate the map on their mission to build new words.

Download Alphabear 2 here

Alphabear 2 - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

6. WordReference – The best dictionary translation


Looking for a good, reliable, dictionary translation app? Look no further. This classroom favourite comes highly recommended by teachers and students alike. What makes it stand out from the crowd? WordReference offers multiple accurate translations of a word, and gives you an example sentence for each in both languages. It’s also an excellent tool for learning colloquial words, slang, synonyms and collocations on the go.

Download WordReference here


7. Word of the Day – the best for daily vocabulary


Do you know what procrastinate means? We’ll tell you later.

Advanced English learners looking for more challenging and clever words to add their vocabulary might appreciate Word of the Day.

Not only does it give you a daily word complete with definition, there’s also an option to search the whole database for more popular vocabulary. And, if you’re bored on the bus, have a go at the word search function. Look up any words you don’t know the meaning of on the list, or click on the word to see the definition!

Download Word of the Day here

Word of the Day - 7 Apps for Learning English Vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

Do you have a favourite app for learning English vocabulary? We’d love to know! Leave us a comment in the box below.

If you haven’t already, check out our hugely popular post 8 of the best apps for learning English.

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Chore (n): a routine task e.g. housework.

Captions (n): subtitles.

Range (n): variety.

Cute (adj): sweet or adorable.

Stand out from the crowd (exp): to be more noticeable than other people or things.

Clever (adj): intelligent.


n = noun

adj = adjective

exp = expression

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