TOEFL vocabulary list: Essential words for success

Updated on: Jul 18, 2024
TOEFL vocabulary list: Essential words for success
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The TOEFL exam measures your ability to understand and use English in an academic setting, and it requires a wide range of words. As someone who is not a native speaker of English, it is important that you have a large vocabulary if you want to do well on the TOEFL exam or any other language test for that matter.

We’ve put together this comprehensive TOEFL vocabulary list. These words are selected because they commonly appear on standardized tests like SATs and ACTs as well as being frequently seen in textbooks used by college students throughout America. They cover various subjects such as science, technology, history; so no matter what your interests may be – there should be something here for everyone!

This TOEFL Vocabulary List can help anyone – from students who are hoping to study abroad or professionals looking for new job opportunities overseas – improve their reading comprehension skills in English while also expanding upon their writing abilities too! Having access to these words will definitely give you confidence when speaking with others about complex topics. 

So without further ado let us get started with our journey through some key terms which will surely pave your path towards success during the TOEFL exam.

Also read: 10 tips to help prepare for the TOEFL exam

Ultimate TOEFL vocabulary list

Ultimate list of TOEFL vocabularies

The definitive list of TOEFL vocabularies contains different types of words including nouns, verbs adjectives adverbs idiomatic expressions etcetera. This selection was made systematically considering the frequency with which they appear within academic/professional contexts; oftentimes being encountered over again in text books, lectures, research papers among other materials used throughout studies at higher levels education establishments across nations where higher learning institutions exist globally today.

Here are some essential words that form the ultimate TOEFL vocabulary:

Abateto become less intense or widespread
Abhorto regard with extreme dislike or hatred
Abundantpresent in great quantity; plentiful
Accuratefree from error; precise
Acquireto gain possession or control of something
Banishto force someone to leave a place or country
Barriersomething that blocks or obstructs
Belieto fail to give a true impression; to contradict
Benevolentkind and generous
Brevitythe quality of being brief; concise
Candidhonest; frank
Capriciousimpulsive; unpredictable
Censureto express severe disapproval
Coherentlogically connected; clear and easy to understand
Debilitateto weaken; to make feeble
Deceptivemisleading; not truthful
Decipherto interpret or understand the meaning of
Deficientlacking in some necessary quality or element
Depleteto use up or exhaust
Eccentricunconventional; peculiar
Elaboratedetailed; complex
Eloquentfluent in speaking or writing; persuasive
Emphasiseto give special importance or prominence to
Endorseto express support or approval of
Fallaciousbased on a mistaken belief; false
Fanatica person with extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal
Fathomto understand deeply; to penetrate the meaning of
Feasiblecapable of being done; possible
Ficklelikely to change; not consistent or loyal
Garnerto gather or collect
Genialfriendly; pleasant
Glaringobvious; easily seen
Gregarioussociable; enjoying the company of others
Guiledeceitful cunning; slyness
Hamperto hinder or impede progress
Haughtyarrogant; excessively proud
Heedto pay attention to; to take notice of
Heresybelief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious doctrine
Hinderto obstruct or prevent progress
Impartialunbiased; treating all equally
Impedeto obstruct or hinder progress
Incisiveclear and sharp in thought or expression
Indifferentnot caring; unconcerned
Induceto bring about or cause
Jeopardiseto put at risk; to endanger
Judiciouswise; showing good judgement
Juxtaposeto place side by side for comparison or contrast
Keensharp; intellectually alert
Kineticrelating to motion; active
Lamentto express sorrow or regret
Laudto praise; to extol
Lavishextravagant; abundant
Lethargicsluggish; lacking energy
Loatheto feel strong dislike or disgust for
Maliciousintending to harm or cause damage
Meagrelacking in quantity or quality; scanty
Melancholysad; gloomy
Meticulousextremely careful and precise
Mitigateto make less severe or intense
Nefariouswicked; evil
Nostalgiaa sentimental longing for the past
Notoriouswidely known for a bad quality or deed
Novelnew; original
Nurtureto care for; to foster
Obliterateto destroy completely; to wipe out
Obsoleteno longer in use; outdated
Obstinatestubborn; refusing to change
Obtusedull; not sharp in perception or intellect
Occurrencean event or incident
Pensivedeeply thoughtful; reflective
Perceiveto become aware of; to understand
Perishto die or come to an end
Pervasivespreading widely; prevalent
Plausibleseemingly reasonable or probable; believable
Quandarya state of uncertainty or perplexity
Quellto suppress or subdue; to calm
Quirka peculiar behaviour or characteristic
Quotaa fixed share or portion; a limit on quantity
Rebutto refute or disprove an argument or claim
Recedeto move back or withdraw; to diminish
Reconcileto restore harmony or resolve differences
Redundantrepetitive; exceeding what is necessary
Refuteto prove to be false or incorrect
Sagaciouswise; discerning
Scrutiniseto examine closely and critically
Serenecalm; peaceful
Scepticaldoubting; questioning
Sootheto calm or comfort; to alleviate
Tenaciouspersistent; determined
Terminateto end or bring to a conclusion
Thriveto prosper; to grow vigorously
Timidshy; lacking in self
Transparentclear; easily understood
Ubiquitouspresent or found everywhere
Unanimousin complete agreement; united
Unprecedentednever before seen or experienced
Unravelto untangle; to solve or clarify
Utopiaan ideal or perfect place
Vacillateto waver between different opinions or actions
Vagueunclear; not definite or precise
Validsound; based on truth or reason
Vanishto disappear; to cease to exist
Venerateto regard with deep respect or awe
Waneto decrease gradually; to decline
Whimsicalfanciful; unpredictable
Widespreadwidely diffused or prevalent; common
Witherto dry up; to fade away
Wrathextreme anger; fury
Xenophobiafear or hatred of foreigners or strangers
Yearnto have a strong desire or longing
Yieldto give in; to produce or generate
Yonderat or in that place; over there
Zealgreat enthusiasm or passion
Zeniththe highest point; the peak
Zephyra gentle breeze
Zestgreat enthusiasm or enjoyment
Zigzaga line or course with abrupt changes in direction

Also read: Daily used English words

A strong command over language is necessary if one wants to succeed not only at but also beyond exams like these ones designed specifically for non native speakers who have had their schooling conducted primarily in languages other than English. What this means is that such individuals must put in extra effort towards building up their word power which will subsequently enhance all four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Preparing to study abroad?
While you crack TOEFL, get started on the application process with Edvoy

Frequently asked questions

Why is a strong vocabulary important for the TOEFL exam?

A strong vocabulary is crucial for the TOEFL exam as it helps you understand and use English in an academic setting. It allows you to comprehend complex texts, express your ideas clearly, and answer questions effectively. A rich vocabulary also enhances your overall English language proficiency and helps you communicate confidently in various contexts.

Are all the words in the TOEFL vocabulary list equally important?

While all the words in the TOEFL vocabulary list are carefully selected to be relevant for the exam, some words may be more commonly used or have a higher priority in certain sections of the exam. It's important to understand the context and usage of each word and prioritize your learning based on your specific needs and strengths.

Can I use the words from the TOEFL vocabulary list in real-life English communication?

Yes, the words from the TOEFL vocabulary list are not only relevant for the exam but are also commonly used in real-life English communication, especially in academic and professional contexts. By mastering these words, you will be able to enhance your overall English language proficiency and effectively communicate in various situations beyond the TOEFL exam.

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