There are no shortcuts to developing a sophisticated vocabulary. These dictionaries and related resources are highly recommended:
Please Note: Most of the following links provide unpaid access to these online publications.
- Cambridge Dictionaries : an elegant resource that tells you 'what is usually meant' by a word, and gives you an accessible example of the word in its grammatical context.
- OneLook : offers a short definition and links to other dictionaries that define the word in depth.
- OED : the Oxford English Dictionary provides you with word derivations and history, back to earliest usage.
- Wordnik.com : this site provides a wealth of contemporary examples of words in context, and thereby strengthens your understanding of new terms. You can also hear words pronounced, and link to a thesaurus and visual dictionary.
- Merriam Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms will help you perceive the subtlety of and distinguish between similar terms. This can be ordered online for less than $5, including shipping.