Ace the IELTS: 100 Essential Vocabulary for IELTS to Boost Your Score!

100 Essential Vocabulary for IELTS to Boost Your Score

Are you struggling to improve your vocabulary for IELTS exam? Look no further! We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top 100 essential IELTS vocabulary words, complete with definitions and examples to help you ace the exam. From “abstemious” to “zest,” this list has everything you need to expand your vocabulary and impress the examiners. So grab a pencil and a notebook, and let’s get studying!

100 Essential Vocabulary for IELTS to Boost Your Score
100 Essential Vocabulary for IELTS to Boost Your Score

How to study vocabulary for IELTS?

To effectively study vocabulary for the IELTS exam, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make a list of the words you need to learn and review them regularly. Repetition is key when it comes to memorization, so be sure to review your list regularly until the words become second nature to you.
  2. Use flashcards to help with memorization. Write the word on one side of the card and the definition on the other. You can also include an example sentence to help you understand how the word is used in context.
  3. Practice using the words in sentences. One of the best ways to learn a new word is to use it in a sentence. This will help you understand how the word functions in language and will also help you remember it better.
  4. Take practice tests and pay attention to the vocabulary used. As you take practice tests, pay attention to the vocabulary being used in the questions and practice using those words in your own writing and speaking.
  5. Use online resources to help with learning. There are many online tools and resources available to help you learn new vocabulary, including vocabulary games and quizzes. These can be a fun and engaging way to study and reinforce your learning.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your study routine, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the vocabulary needed to succeed on the IELTS exam.

Synonyms and Antonyms in IELTS exam

Synonyms and antonyms are words that have similar or opposite meanings, respectively. They can be a useful tool to vary your vocabulary and make your writing and speaking more interesting and effective.

To use synonyms effectively, it’s important to consider the context in which the word is being used and choose the synonym that best fits. For example, if you are writing about a happy event, you might use the synonym “joyful” instead of the word “happy.” It’s also important to avoid using too many synonyms for the same word, as this can make your writing repetitive and confusing for the reader.

Antonyms, on the other hand, can be used to contrast ideas or to emphasize a point. For example, if you are writing about the importance of physical exercise, you might use the antonym “inactive” to contrast with the idea of being physically active.

When using synonyms and antonyms in your writing and speaking for the IELTS exam, it’s important to choose words that are appropriate for the level of formality and academic language expected.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the meanings of these words and to practice using them in context. By doing so, you’ll be able to effectively expand your vocabulary and impress the examiners.

Different types of language and vocabulary used on the IELTS exam

The IELTS exam tests your ability to use language effectively in a variety of contexts, including formal, informal, and academic settings. It’s important to understand the differences between these types of language and to know when to use them appropriately.

Formal language is used in more formal or professional settings, such as business meetings or academic writing. It is characterized by:

  • The use of more formal vocabulary
  • Complex sentence structures
  • Proper grammar

Informal language, on the other hand, is used in casual or friendly settings, such as conversations with friends or in casual writing. It is characterized by:

  • The use of slang
  • Contractions
  • Less formal vocabulary

Academic language is used in academic settings, such as university lectures or research papers. It is characterized by:

  • The use of technical terms
  • Jargon specific to a particular field of study

On the IELTS exam, you will be expected to use all three types of language depending on the task.

For example, in the writing section, you may be asked to write a formal letter or an academic essay, while in the speaking section, you may be asked to have a casual conversation with the examiner.

It’s important to understand the differences between these types of language and to use them appropriately to demonstrate your language skills and improve your chances of success on the exam.

Top 100 Vocabulary for IELTS

Here is a list of common IELTS vocabulary words and their meanings to help you prepare for the test

AbolishTo do away with
AdjudicateTo make a decision or judgment about something
AdverseHarmful or unfavorable
AggregateThe total amount or number of something
AlleviateTo make something less severe or painful
AmeliorateTo make something better or more tolerable
AmorphousWithout a specific shape or form
ArduousDifficult or demanding a lot of effort
ArticulateClearly and effectively expressed
AspireTo have a strong desire or ambition to do or achieve something
AtrophyTo waste away or decrease in size or strength
AttenuateTo weaken or reduce in intensity
AusterityThe quality or state of being strict or severe
BlandLacking in flavor or excitement
BombasticUsing complex words in a pompous or pretentious way
BombastPretentious or pompous speech or writing
BoorishRude or ill-mannered
BuxomPlump and healthy-looking, often used to describe a woman
CapriciousChangeable or unpredictable, especially in mood or behavior
CarnalRelating to the physical or bodily desires or pleasures
CastigateTo criticize or punish severely
CausticCapable of burning or corroding
CautiousCareful or wary, especially in order to avoid danger or risk
CerebralRelating to the intellect or the brain
ChicaneryDeception or trickery
CoalesceTo come together or unite to form a single entity
CognizantBeing aware or informed of something
ComplementarySomething that enhances or improves something else
ComplaisantWilling to please or comply with others
CompunctionA feeling of guilt or remorse for doing something wrong
ConciliatoryTending to reconcile or make peace
ConcomitantAccompanying or occurring at the same time as something else
CondoneTo forgive or overlook an offense or fault
CongenialFavorable or suitable, often used to describe a person’s personality or environment
ConjugalRelating to marriage or the relationship between a husband and wife
ConniveTo secretly plot or scheme, often with a dishonest or malicious intent
ConspicuousNoticeable or easy to see
ConsternationA feeling of anxiety or dismay
ContemptuousShowing or feeling scorn or disrespect
ContriteFeeling remorse or regret for a wrong committed
ConventionalFollowing or based on accepted standards or norms
CovetousGreedy or envious
CowerTo shrink back or crouch in fear or submission
CumbersomeDifficult to handle or manage, often because of being large or heavy
DearthA lack or scarcity of something
DebacleA complete failure or disaster
DebaucheryIndulgence in or inclination for sensual pleasure or excess
DeferenceRespect or reverence shown to someone or something
DeignTo consider something beneath one’s dignity or worth
DemagogueA leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices
DemurTo express doubt or hesitation
DenigrateTo speak badly of or criticize unfairly
DerideTo speak or write about with contempt or ridicule
DesiccateTo dry out completely
DesuetudeDisuse or inactivity
DesultoryLacking in purpose or consistency
DeviateTo depart from an established course or norm
DilateTo make something wider or larger
DilatoryTending to delay or procrastinate
DisabuseTo set right or correct a mistake or misunderstanding
DiscernTo perceive or recognize something, often with insight or understanding
DisconcertTo disturb or upset the composure of
DiscursiveWandering from one topic to another
DisenfranchiseTo deprive someone of a right or privilege
DisparageTo speak of or think of as being of little worth or value
DispiritTo cause to lose hope or enthusiasm
DissentTo disagree or hold a different opinion
DissuadeTo persuade someone not to do something
DitherTo hesitate or be indecisive
DiversionaryIntended to distract or divert attention
DiverseVaried or different
DogmaticUnwilling to consider other viewpoints or alternatives
EbullientCheerful and full of enthusiasm
EchelonA level or rank within an organization or society
EffervescentBubbly or lively
EgocentricFocused on one’s own interests or desires
EmollientSomething that soothes or softens
EmpiricalBased on observation or experimentation
EnervateTo weaken or tire out
EngenderTo cause or bring about
EnigmaA puzzle or mystery
EnunciateTo pronounce or articulate clearly
EphemeralShort-lived or fleeting
EquanimityCalmness or composure, especially in difficult situations
EquivocateTo use ambiguous or unclear language in order to deceive or mislead
EruditeScholarly or learned
EsotericIntended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest
EvanescentLikely to disappear or fade away quickly
EvocativeTending to call to mind or suggest something
ExacerbateTo make something worse or more severe
ExemplarA model or example to be followed or imitated
ExigentUrgent or pressing
ExpurgateTo remove or censor offensive or inappropriate parts
ExtemporaneousDone or spoken without prior preparation
ExtolTo praise or glorify highly
FastidiousVery attentive to detail or correctness
FecundCapable of producing offspring or new growth
FerventIntense or passionate
FloutTo disrespect or disregard a rule or standard
FortitudeCourage or strength of mind in facing adversity
GarrulousTalkative, especially in a tedious or rambling way
GoadTo incite or encourage someone to do something
GrandioseImpressive or elaborate, often in an excessive or pompous way
GregariousOutgoing and sociable
HalcyonCalm and peaceful
HarangueA long, aggressive speech
HeinousExtremely wicked or cruel
HierarchyA system of ranking or organization
HyperboleExtreme exaggeration
IconoclastSomeone who challenges or attacks traditional beliefs or institutions
IdiosyncrasyA peculiar habit or characteristic
ImbueTo infuse or fill with a quality or emotion
ImmutableUnable to be changed or altered
ImpassiveShowing no emotion or response
ImpecuniousLacking in funds or financial resources
ImperturbableUnable to be disturbed or upset
ImperviousUnable to be affected or penetrated
ImpingeTo have an impact or influence on something
ImplacableUnyielding or stubborn
ImplicitImplied or understood without being directly stated
ImpudentDisrespectful or insolent
InchoateIncomplete or rudimentary
IncongruousInconsistent or incompatible with something else
IndeterminateUnable to be determined or resolved
IndolentLazy or unwilling to work
InertLacking in energy or activity
InfelicitousUnfortunate or inappropriate
IngenuousHonest and naive
InimicalHarmful or damaging
InnocuousHarmless or benign
InsidiousSneaky or subtle in a harmful way
IntractableDifficult to manage or control
IntransigentUnwilling to compromise or change
InureTo become accustomed or toughened to something
InveighTo speak out strongly against something
InveterateDeep-seated or long-standing
IrascibleEasily angered or irritable
IrresoluteUnable to make a decision or take action
ItinerantTravelling from place to place, often for work
JocularPlayfully humorous
JuxtaposeTo place side by side, often for comparison or contrast
LaconicUsing very few words, especially in speech
LanguidLacking in energy or vitality
LassitudeA feeling of weariness or exhaustion
LoatheTo strongly dislike or detest something
LoquaciousTalkative or chatty
LudicrousAbsurd or ridiculous
MalleableCapable of being shaped or formed
MaverickSomeone who does not conform to the norms or expectations of their group
MelancholyA feeling of sadness or depression
MeretriciousSuperficial or insincere
MisapprehensionA misunderstanding or incorrect belief
MisconstrueTo interpret wrongly or incorrectly
MitigateTo make something less severe or harmful
MollifyTo soothe or pacify

More IELTS vocabulary

NefariousWicked or evil
NemesisA person or thing that is a source of harm or defeat
NonplussedSurprised or puzzled
ObdurateUnyielding or stubborn
ObsequiousOverly eager to please or obey
ObviateTo make unnecessary or to prevent
OnerousBurdensome or oppressive
OpaqueNot transparent or easily understood
OpprobriumDisgrace or shame
OracularMysterious or obscure, as if spoken by a prophet
PacifyTo calm or bring peace to
PalatableAcceptable or pleasing
PalliateTo make something less severe or painful
ParagonA model of excellence or perfection
ParegoricCalming or soothing
PeccadilloA minor fault or wrongdoing
PedagogueA teacher, especially one who is overly strict or didactic
PejorativeDisparaging or derogatory
PenultimateNext to the last
PerfidiousDishonest or untrustworthy
PerfunctoryDone in a routine or careless way
PermeateTo spread or penetrate throughout
PersiflageLight or playful banter
PersnicketyFussy or finicky
PeruseTo read or examine carefully
PetulantIrritable or peevish
PhilanthropyA desire to help others, especially through charitable giving
PineTo long for or yearn for something
PlacateTo pacify or calm
PlauditAn expression of praise or admiration
PlethoraAn excess or abundance of something
PoignantDeeply moving or touching
PonderousHeavy or burdensome
PragmaticPractical or matter-of-fact
PrecariousUncertain or insecure
PredecessorSomeone who held a position or job before another person
PreemptTo take the place of or prevent something from happening
PreemptiveDone in advance in order to prevent something from happening
PresageTo be a warning or sign of something to come
PretentiousClaiming or pretending to be more important or talented than is warranted
ProclivityA natural tendency or inclination
ProfligateWasteful or extravagant
PromulgateTo make known or public, often through formal announcement or declaration
ProscribeTo forbid or prohibit something
PusillanimousCowardly or timid
QuaffTo drink deeply or heartily
QuailTo shrink back in fear or cowardice
QuandaryA state of uncertainty or confusion
QuaverTo tremble or shake
QuerulousInclined to complain or whine
QuiescentInactive or at rest
QuirkA peculiar or unusual characteristic
RackTo cause great suffering or torment
RampantUncontrolled or unchecked
RarefyTo make something thin or less dense
RaptFilled with wonder or delight
RebukeTo reprimand or criticize sharply

Here are more common IELTS vocabulary words and their meanings:

RecantTo withdraw or take back a statement or belief
RecluseA person who lives in solitude or seclusion
ReconditeDeeply learned or obscure
RedolentHaving a strong and pleasant smell
RefractoryDifficult to control or manage
RenounceTo give up or disown something
RepudiateTo reject or refuse to accept something
RescindTo cancel or revoke something
ResignationAcceptance of something undesirable but inevitable
ResilientAble to bounce back or recover quickly from difficult situations
ResolveTo make a firm decision to do something
RestiveRestless or impatient
ReticentReserved or reluctant to speak or express oneself
RifePrevalent or common
RuminativeThinking deeply or meditating on something
SagaciousWise or having good judgment
SalubriousHealthful or beneficial
SanctimoniousPretending to be holy or virtuous
SanguineOptimistic or hopeful
SateTo satisfy fully or to the point of excess
SatiateTo satisfy fully or to the point of excess
SaturnineGloomy or sullen
ScrupulousCareful and thorough in observing rules or principles
SinecureA position that requires little or no work but provides a salary or other benefits
SkepticalDoubtful or questioning
SolecismA linguistic mistake or error
SolicitousConcerned or attentive to someone’s needs or welfare
SomnolentDrowsy or sleepy
Sotto voceIn a low voice, especially to avoid being overheard
SparseScanty or thin
SpeciousDeceptively attractive or seemingly true but actually false
SpuriousFalse or counterfeit
SquanderTo waste or spend extravagantly
StallTo delay or hold back something
StaticNot changing or moving
StaunchLoyal or committed
StentorianVery loud or booming
StoicAccepting something without complaint or emotion
StultifyTo render someone or something ineffective or useless
SublimeExalted or grand in a way that inspires awe or admiration
SubpoenaA court order requiring someone to appear in court as a witness
SuccinctConcise or brief
SuccorAssistance or relief in times of hardship or distress
SuperfluousMore than is necessary or required
SuperlativeExcellent or outstanding
SupplantTo replace or take the place of something or someone
SurfeitAn excess or overabundance of something
SusurrationA whispering or rustling sound
TaciturnReserved or uncommunicative in speech
TenaciousPersistent or stubborn
TractableEasily managed or controlled
TranscendentExceeding or surpassing normal limits
TransientLasting only for a short time
TrepidationAnxiety or fear
TriteOverused or banal

more common IELTS vocabulary words and their meanings:

UbiquitousPresent or appearing everywhere at the same time
UnctuousOily or smooth in a way that is insincere or ingratiating
UnfeignedGenuine or sincere
UpbraidTo scold or criticize sharply
VapidLacking in liveliness or flavor
VehementStrong or forceful in expression or action
VelitationA hesitation or indecision
VenalOpen to bribery or corruption
VerdantLush or green with vegetation
VestigeA trace or remnant of something that once existed
VexTo cause annoyance or frustration
VexationAnnoyance or frustration
VigorEnergy or vitality
VilifyTo speak badly of or defame
VilipendTo treat as unworthy or insignificant
VindicateTo clear from blame or suspicion
VisceralRelating to deep inner feelings or emotions
VitriolicBitter or venomous in language or tone
VolubleTalkative or chatty
VoraciousHaving a very strong desire or appetite, especially for something
WaverTo be uncertain or indecisive
WhimsicalPlayfully or fancifully odd
WilyClever or cunning, especially in a deceptive way
XenophobiaFear or hatred of strangers or foreign things
YokeA bond or restraint
ZephyrA gentle or soft breeze
ZestEnthusiasm or excitement


In conclusion, mastering the vocabulary on the IELTS exam is essential to achieving a high score.

With the help of our comprehensive list of the top 100 essential IELTS vocabulary words, complete with definitions and examples, you now have the tools to expand your vocabulary and impress the examiners.

Remember to regularly review the words, use flashcards, practice using the words in sentences, take practice tests and pay attention to the vocabulary used and use online resources.

With dedication and practice, you’ll be able to master the vocabulary needed to succeed on the IELTS exam.

So, don’t wait, start studying today and take your IELTS exam with confidence!

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