7 word-a-day resources to expand your vocabulary

These apps, websites and services can boost your word knowledge on a daily basis.

I’ve often written of my love of words.

I’ve explored words that are fun to pronounce, words that make writers swoon, made-up words and words to describe people. There are also words to describe words and Janus words.

For this week’s post, I went searching for new sources of words and found several “word-a-day” resources, apps, and websites. Here are some you might find worthwhile:

A Word A Day

For 20 years, the wordsmith.org online service has been emailing a word a day to subscribers all over the world. The New York Times has called the service “the most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace.”

The word of the day for May 7, 2015, was astringent.


Wordnik — “the world’s biggest online English dictionary, by number of words” —also has a subscription word-of-the-day service. However, Wordnik listings are different because they show definitions from multiple sources.

The Wordnik word of the day for May 7, 2015, was cassation.


WordThink takes a practical approach, focusing on every day words.

The site’s “about” page explains: “The WordThink staff routinely examines hundreds of daily news media stories to find words that are compelling and persuasive in getting your point across — without wasting time on cryptic words that would never be spoken or sound too pretentious.”

The WordThink word for May 7, 2015 was incredulous.


Listings for words of the day on this site include audio pronunciations and American and British definitions. Dictionary.com also offers a quiz on the words from the week.

The Dictionary.com word for May 7, 2015, was volitant.


Word-of-the-day offerings from Merriam-Webster include a daily word podcast.

The Merriam-Webster word for May 7, 2015, was virtuoso.

Oxford English Dictionary

Even the world’s most definitive dictionary has word-of-the-day offerings.

The OED word for May 7, 2015, was gallantry show.

The New York Times Learning Network

Definitions include the visual thesaurus listing and how many times the word has been used in The New York Times in the past year.

The New York Times word for May 7, 2015, was indicative, which has been used in the publication 338 times.

Ragan.com readers, do you have any word-a-day websites or resources to share?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.


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