Worried about losing your edge while on Summer break? Whether you already have a great vocabulary or are looking to “beef it up”, Vocabulary.com is a great (free!) service to keep you on your toes!
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with “The Challenge,” an interactive game in which the user is asked to define a series of words. There are three types of questions. Many of the questions are assessment questions to find out which words you are having trouble with. If you get any question wrong, you’ll see it again, as a review question. Then you’ll continue to get new progress questions on the word until you’ve mastered it. Sometimes you’ll get a sentence to give you context, sometimes you’ll be asked to choose the proper definition. They definitely mix it up to keep you engaged.
It doesn’t take long for the service to challenge you right to the level you need to be challenged. I found that after two short visits, I was learning nearly all new words; neither too difficult nor easy.
Of course, the site functions as a dictionary so you can look up words that you need to know, too. There is an entire social side where you can hook up with friends and challenge one another. You can also create vocabulary lists of your own, including ones associated with specific documents such as the Declaration of Sentiments (Women’s Suffrage) or the Emancipation Proclaimation or The Magna Carta (I mean, who knows what “socage” is in these modern times, anyway?)
A weekly reminder email won’t go too long between visits, or turn off the emails and simply visit the site when you’re looking for a challenge. Give it a try and let us know in the comments what you think of it!