Tips & Tricks

Target Words You Know You Don't Know

Say you’ve always had a hard time remembering that somnolent means sleepy, soporific means sleep-inducing, and sonorous means low and deeply resonant, such as the noise one makes when snoring.

If you play the Challenge long enough, you’ll eventually encounter these words. But you don’t have to wait. You can look them up in our Dictionary at any time, click "Learn," and you’ll begin to see them right away.

Learn every word you look up.
Say you come across emolument in a text you’re reading and don’t know what it means. Look it up in our Dictionary and, while you’re on the emolument page, click "Learn." You'll soon see emolument cropping up in the Challenge. If you play frequently, the next time you encounter emolument, you’ll feel like you’re meeting an old friend.

Tell us when you guess right.
Sometimes, when you’re playing the Challenge, you’ll guess at an assessment question and get it right. Click "Look Up," then "Learn" to let us know you don’t actually know that word. Why? The more information you give us about what you don’t know, the better we can target what to give you next.

Have you found another great way to use this feature? Share your tip in the comments section below.

And keep in mind that adding a word to the Challenge is different from learning a Vocabulary List, where you learn just the words on that list. 


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Comments from our users:

Thursday February 16th 2012, 3:00 PM
Comment by: Gary M.
Great, I had wondered if my seldom lucky guess might be skewing your very clever analysis! Now I have the remedy :) Loving the site by the way! Thanks very much, have wanted an excellent vocabulary tool for so long, I love words - and it's a real pleasure to use your site !
Sunday February 19th 2012, 1:53 PM
Comment by: Stuart the Maniac
If only this utility were available with translations for words into multiple languages, and one could check or uncheck any languages to include in one's study.

If anybody knows a site like this (or even approximating this), message me. The only one I know of that comes close is Internet Polyglot.
Thursday May 31st 2012, 1:59 PM
Comment by: Vinayak S.
This site ROCKS!!
I love the creating a list and learning it up part. Will soon be posting a couple of good wordlists for the folks taking up GRE as soon as i get some time off.
Wednesday September 5th 2012, 2:08 PM
Comment by: Z (CO)
This is an awesome sight... Not only informative but diverse and actually interesting! :)
Sunday January 6th 2013, 9:27 PM
Comment by: Anita H.
I just joined this site and I love it already. It was something I was looking for and I'm so glad I found it. It's perfect in every way so far.

I was just thinking too, "what if I don't know a word but get it right anyway?". Thanks for the tip.
Monday January 14th 2013, 1:45 AM
Comment by: Jenny L.
If only I "learned words" right after reading them as a child. All those books...

Maybe it's just my brain overload, but I think when I look up a word via vocabulary.com and click to "learn" it, it sometimes is scheduled a lot later (or not at all). Although I don't keep track of all the words I enter in and click to learn.
Tuesday February 12th 2013, 2:56 AM
Comment by: T.Bladel (IA)
Awesome, I wondered what to do when I managed to push the correct answer.
Friday June 14th 2013, 9:10 AM
Comment by: Swedish Logophile (Sweden)
Ahum... "somnolent" means sleepy and "soporific" means sleep-inducing... But maybe you mixed up the definitions on purpose to keep us on our toes?

[Fixed! —Ed.]
Wednesday August 14th 2013, 5:19 PM
Comment by: farjana S.
wow.what a site...
Wednesday August 21st 2013, 1:55 PM
Comment by: DN
It's a great site: an excellent way to improve vocabulary. Not only does it test the dictionary meanings of the words, but also it checks you on the contextual meanings. I especially love the spell-a-word during the challenges; the awards are a great motivation too. Unlike the other prosaic websites, this one offers the etymology too, which distinguishes vocabulary.com from the plethora of online dictionaries.
Monday September 23rd 2013, 10:07 AM
Comment by: Bishwajit (India)
I always was in dilemma about how to face my lack of vocabulary power? This was due to less connection between me and mumming. It's really hard nut to crack for me. Today first time I confront with this site which has open a great platform for me to take a pace forward to overcome my dilemma ,my lack of vocabulary list.Thanks for creating such a great site and thanks for the tip provided above it was really helpful for me
Saturday September 28th 2013, 8:09 AM
Comment by: jazz N.
Love this site.. Its so engrossing..
Friday December 13th 2013, 10:50 AM
Comment by: Darth Yoda (ND)
This is the most awesome vocabulary site. Thanks for the tip, I never knew that at all. I love creating lists and am currently making a series of 15 word lists of all the letters of the alphabet. I might add more words to each. Who knows?

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