Essential Words to Improve Your TOEFL Vocabulary

TOEFL Vocabulary Essentials

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 1.5 billion people speaking it as their first or second language. It is the language of business, science, and technology, and it is also the primary language used in international communication. A strong vocabulary is important for standardised tests like the SAT, TOEFL and IELTS. As such, having a good command of English and a strong vocabulary is essential in today’s globalized world.

English and vocabulary are essential for success in the TOEFL exam, as it assesses a student’s proficiency in various aspects of the language. One of the critical components of the TOEFL exam is the reading section, which requires students to read and comprehend academic passages. The listening section of the TOEFL exam tests a student’s ability to understand spoken English in academic and non-academic contexts. A broad vocabulary is crucial for success in this section as it allows students to understand and identify the meaning of words used in spoken English.

In the speaking section of the TOEFL exam, students must be able to articulate their ideas and opinions on a given topic, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and maintain coherence and cohesion in their speech. Finally, in the writing section of the TOEFL exam, students must be able to use a wide range of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions to create well-written essays that demonstrate their proficiency in written English.

List of must-know TOEFL Vocabulary Words

WordMeaning
adamantadj. determined not to change a decision or opinion; unshakeable
aggregaten. assembled or combined into a whole or mass
arduousadj. involves tremendous effort and energy; difficult and tiring
bashfuladj. shy and hesitant; avoid drawing attention to oneself or being noticed
bestowv. to give something as a gift or tribute
blandishmentn. Pleasant words or actions intended to persuade; coax
circumventv. to get around or overcome something
cohesionn. state of working or sticking together
contemplatev. to consider or view as a possibility; to study or think carefully and thoroughly
dearthn. scarcity or lack or short supply of something
distortv. to become out of shape or misshapen; to give a false or misleading account of
eloquentadj. fluent, persuasive and clearly expressed through speech or writing
epitomen. a perfect or ideal example that represents something
exemplaryadj. serving as an ideal example to imitate; deserving respect and admiration
fettern. chain or shackle used to restrain a person, usually placed around the ankles
fluctuatev. to vary irregularly; to waver; to rise and fall irregularly
galvanisev. to stimulate sudden activity or take action
gullibleadj. easily deceived, fooled, or believes everything anyone says
haphazardadj. lacks planning, organisation and is not thorough; chaotic and random
hubrisn. excessive, unreasonable, or foolish pride and self-confidence
hypotheticaladj. based on an assumption or imagination as for understanding or discussing
ignominyn. dishonour; disgrace; public embarrassment or shame
intrepidadj. brave; fearless; endurance
ironyn. expression in which you say the opposite of what you intend for humorous effect
jargonn. special language, dialect used exclusively by a group, often a certain profession
jibev. make taunting or mocking remarks; to agree with someone or something
jocularadj. amusing, playful, or witty
keenadj. showing interest, eagerness or enthusiasm; having a sharp and fine edge
knottyadj. full of knots; complicated or complex; difficult to solve
legitimateadj. as per the established law or legal rules; real, genuine or authentic
lethaladj. extremely harmful or dangerous enough to  cause death
ludicrousadj. very foolish or ridiculous; unreasonable
menacen. act of threatening; perceived threat or danger
moratoriumn. suspension or temporary prohibition of an ongoing activity
moroseadj. ill-tempered; sulky and gloomy
nichen. a place, position or activity in life for which a person or thing is best fitted
novicen. one who is new or inexperienced in a particular subject or situation
nuisancen. something or someone that causes annoyance, trouble or inconvenience
obdurateadj. stubbornly persistent;  refusing to change opinion despite what others says
obviateadj. to avoid or prevent (difficult situation or something undesirable)
paramountadj. of the highest importance; supreme
permeatev. to enter and spread throughout
quandaryn. a state of uncertainty and hesitation; a dilemma; a difficult decision
quirkn. an unusual or strange aspect about the manner or style of something or someone
redolentadj. having a sweet scent; fragrant or aromatic; suggestive or reminiscent scent
reminiscentadj. tending to bring some memory or remind something
scrutinisev. to examine something closely with great care or detail, as to look for hidden flaws
simperv. to smile in a foolish, coy and self-conscious way
subtleadj. fine and precise as to hard to analyse; barely noticeable
tantamountadj. equivalent in meaning, significance, or effect
tutelagen. state of being a guardian, protector, authority or instructor
unilateraladj. done by or affecting only one group or one side of the subject
vantagen. a place or position affording some favourable situation, opportunity, advantage
vitaladj. extremely necessary or essential for the existence of something; life-giving
whollyadv. completely and entirely; to the fullest extent
xenocurrencyn. a currency traded in a market outside its country of origin
yearnv. to long for something or someone from the past
yoren. time in the past, or of the past; time long past
zephyrn. a light refreshing wind; fine and light quality fabric
zealousadj. showing enthusiasm and eagerness; full of zeal or energy

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