Ielts Essay Writing Vocabulary List

IELTS vocabulary lessons with word lists, practice exercises and pronunciation. Learn word lists for common topics and how to pronounce words correctly in English. Vocabulary  is 25% of your marks for IELTS writing and speaking and also plays a key role in listening and reading.



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Vocabulary for IELTS Topics

Below are IELTS topics for improving your vocabulary.

  1. Advertising
  2. Art: Paintings
  3. Body Language
  4. Camping
  5. Crime & Punishment
  6. Clothes: Casual and Formal
  7. Education: School & University
  8. Environmental Problems
  9. Films
  10. Food: Vegetables
  11. Musical Instruments
  12. Newspapers
  13. People: Parts of the Face
  14. Technology


Paraphrasing Successfully

Improve your IELTS vocabulary score by learn useful tips for paraphrasing in IELTS. You need to learn to paraphrase correctly and avoid errors to get a good score in all skills, particularly IELTS writing. Knowing which words to repeat and which words to paraphrase is essential.

Paraphrasing Video: How to paraphrase and avoid errors

Uncountable Nouns

Get a list of over 100 common uncountable nouns with practice exercises. This is an essential page to view before your IELTS test. The most common vocabulary mistake in IELTS is with uncountable nouns.

Common Uncountable Nouns List


Idioms count for your score of vocabulary. They are informal and should not be used in writing. But you can use some of them in IELTS speaking.

Individual Words for IELTS

Improve your vocabulary by learning the exact meaning of words and how to use them correctly. These lessons are either words lists or lessons which focus on how to use a particular word correctly. For students aiming to reduce the number of errors in their writing and speaking, these lessons are essential.

Vocabulary Lessons for IELTS Writing

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

  • affectation

    a deliberate pretense or exaggerated display

    To a vast majority, fountain pens are an affectation.

  • complacent

    contented to a fault with oneself or one's actions

    Paul believes the medical advances made in treating HIV over the past decade have led to people becoming more complacent and taking more risks.

    = self-satisfied

  • concomitant

    an event or situation that happens at the same time

    Quality and equity in education must be conceived as concomitant.Washington Post (Apr 17, 2012)

    = co-occurrence
    > subsequent

  • culpable

    deserving blame or censure as being wrong or injurious

    But the state is even more culpable, making bad decisions about the design of the program, particularly the contractual requirements related to field testing.New York Times (Jun 26, 2012)

    = blameworthy, blameable, guilty

  • depravity

    moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles

    The depravities of leading men in TV dramas traditionally don’t leave permanent scars.New York Times (Jul 6, 2011)

    = a corrupt or degenerate act or practice

  • espouse

    choose and follow a theory, idea, policy, etc.

    But one complicating factor potentially cancels out much of the optimism espoused yesterday.Scientific American (May 11, 2011)

    - adopt, embrace

  • galling

    causing irritation or annoyance

    The high pay phone costs in Germany are particularly galling for many troops because they can call home from combat areas for much less.New York Times (Mar 2, 2012)

    = annoying, irritating

  • hallmark

    a distinctive characteristic or attribute

    And within those types, they found hallmark genetic changes that are driving many cancers.

  • ignominious

    deserving or bringing disgrace or shame

    After an ignominious two years, the program was scrapped.BusinessWeek (Nov 4, 2011)

    = dishonourable,disgraceful, inglorious, shameful

  • nefarious

    extremely wicked

    According to my “hospitality insider,” nefarious guest activities are only becoming more foul and disturbing.Slate (Jul 3, 2012)

    = villainous

  • nonchalant

    marked by blithe unconcern

    Indian society's nonchalant attitude towards the disease must change as well.Nature (May 23, 2012)

    = unconcerned, casual

  • mitigate

    make less severe or harsh

    Here are a few ways to mitigate problems and frustrations.Nature (Jul 5, 2012)

    = lighten, palliate,

  • perpetuate

    cause to continue or prevail

    Many accused the show of mocking Islam and perpetuating racial stereotypes.

  • propensity

    a natural inclination

    Most unfortunate, and misleading, are the links these reporters imply between military service, mental health and an increased propensity for extreme violence.New York Times (Jul 3, 2012)

  • reconcile

    come to terms

    Fighting and reconciling is a major part of any healthy relationship.Slate (Apr 24, 2012)

    = harmonise

  • scapegoat

    someone who is punished for the errors of others

    “Our folks are so angry and frustrated about being used as a scapegoat that they’re going to continue to engage in this battle.”New York Times (Jun 9, 2012)

  • squander

    spend thoughtlessly; throw away

    In his world fortunes are constantly being made and squandered.

    = spend extravagantly

  • supersede

    take the place or move into the position of

    Company officials say they hoped to see a national sales tax law in place that will supersede state laws.

    = replace

  • ludicrous

    inviting ridicule

    A few years ago, the idea of blind drivers seemed ludicrous.

    = absurd, nonsensical, idiotic, humorous, laughable, ridiculous

  • latent

    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

    “Uncertainties about the fiscal outlook in the United States present a particular latent risk to global financial stability,” Mr. Viñals said.New York Times (Jul 16, 2012)

    = potential, possible
    > inactive (not presently active)

  • tenacity

    persistent determination

    The work is pushed steadily, with tenacity, but results are slow in coming.Orth, Samuel P.

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