350+ Vocabulary words for IELTS: Difficult & New English Words List For 2024

10 min read

International English Language Testing System is a widely accepted English proficiency test by students intending to pursue foreign education or employment abroad. The test assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate in English based on four parameters: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

For IELTS, it’s crucial to employ a variety of vocabulary words for IELTS with flexibility because the examiner will look for it in all the sections. Additionally, you must read well to comprehend the texts because they contain many challenging vocabulary words for IELTS.

A strong vocabulary is crucial to get a band 7 or higher on the IELTS. Here, we have compiled a list of vocabulary words for IELTS that you can utilise for their preparation.

Topic-wise Vocabulary words for IELTS

You should have a wide range of vocabulary to help them discuss various topics. If one cannot appropriately use the correct words, this becomes a major drawback and can hamper the overall score. 

We have identified the latest and most popular topics used in the IELTS exam. In the list below, you will find topic-wise IELTS vocabulary words with their meaning and usage next to them for better understanding.

Phrasal Verb for IELTS vocabulary

Phrasal verb consists of two or three words from different grammatical groups. When all of them are combined, a different meaning is put forward and must be used according to the context. Besides, phrasal verbs belong to the IELTS vocabulary list, and you can use them to demonstrate your command of the English language.

Before that, you must try to understand the meaning of the phrasal verb, as the wrong usage can reduce the band score.

Here is the list of phrasal verbs that you can use:

Phrasal VerbMeaningExample
Quarrel withDispute or disagree with
something
I am not quarrelling with their idea, but
I think there are other possibilities.
Romp inWin easilyIn the first race, the favorite romped in.
Salt awaySave moneyShe’s making a lot of money but salts it away rather than spending it.
Venture forthLeave somewhere safe or
comfortable
If the storm has finished, we could venture
forth.
Stick withNot change somethingWe’d better stick with our original idea.
Tee offStart or launch an eventThe new project will tee off next month.
Go byThe passing of timeTen years went by before we saw each other
again
Kick backRelaxRather than go out tonight, we plan to kick
back and watch television
Limber up forPrepare for something that
will require a great effort
They are limbering up for the end of the
financial year.
Measure againstEvaluate or judge by
comparison
The work doesn’t look good if you measure
it against what our competitors have done.
Pass overIgnore, refuse to discussLet’s pass over what they said and get on.
Peel awayFrom Leave a group by
moving in a different
direction.
They peeled away from the crowd and
went down a side road

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Idioms for IELTS Vocabulary

The IELTS speaking section is another challenging area for many. However, in this section, you can show your fluency, pronunciation and vocabulary for IELTS.

Idioms in this section help us express our ideas more clearly and make them sound rather natural. However, it would help if you only used idioms to understand their meaning, which will lead to a mark deduction. Hence, it would help if you used it in tasks only when you’re confident about its meaning and context.

We have compiled a list of common idioms for IELTS vocabulary that can be used in the speaking section. Remember, vocabulary words for IELTS will lead to a great band score when used properly.

  • To be on the top of the world 
  • To be on cloud nine 
  • If my memory serves me well 
  • Over the moon 
  • Once in a blue moon 
  • Piece of cake 
  • A drop in the ocean 
  • To be like a dog with two tails 
  • It makes my blood boil 
  • Change one’s mind 
  • Call it a day 
  • Put all your eggs in one basket 
  • Blessing in disguise 
  • Actions speak louder than words 
  • I hit the ceiling 
  • Fresh as a daisy
  • Couch potato
  • Full of beans   
  • A bad egg
  • Eager beaver

Also read: Latest IELTS Idioms: Top Phrases Asked in Speaking Section of IELTS

Collocations for Vocabulary words for IELTS

Collocations can be understood as the proper arrangement of new English words with meaning in a sentence or the combination of words that appear natural. They can be paired in this manner:

  • Verb & noun 
  • Verb & adverb 
  • Adverb & adjective 
  • Adjective & noun 
  • Noun & noun 

For easier understanding, some examples are listed below: 

  • Make someone’s bed
  • I have a preference for continental cuisine
  • I prefer reading
  • Parents can assist their children with financial responsibility
  • I have to take the test if I want to take the course 
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A List of Vocabulary Words for IELTS

Here is the first list of vocabulary words for IELTS:

WordMeaning
Blamelessinnocent
Crazyinsane
Notedfamous
Madnessinsanity
Arroganthaughty
Awfulterrible
To disclaimto deny
To varyto differ
Accuratecorrect
Sacristyvestry
Dreadfulterrible
Immoderateexcessive
Cozycomfortable
Garbage cantrashcan
Perceptioninsight
Warrantyguarantee
Immediateinstant
Mindintellect
Vagueindistinct
Understandablecomprehensible
Indisputableundeniable
Terrorfright
Highbrowintellectual
Cubedice
Remotedisolated
Well timedtimely
Gratuitytip
Disadvantageddeprived
Abundantample
To misconceiveto misunderstand
Denimsjeans
Connectjoin
Ecstasyjoy
Magistratejustice of the peace
Eagerkeen
Wiseknowing
Crusadecampaign
To establishto set up
Neutralimpartial
Viciousferocious
Interplayinteraction
To desertto abandon
Touchdownlanding
Obliqueindirect
To accomplishto achieve
Hashishcannabis
To closeto shut
Defectivefaulty
Mischievousimpish
Dormantinactive
Idlelazy
Turbulentblustering
To discloseto reveal
Dallyloiter
Isolatedlonely
Missinglost
Drabdull
Fortunatelucky
Hearsayrumor
Mendacitylying
Superbmagnificent
Leadingmain
Chieflymainly
Aggressivemilitant
Noonmidday
Vagueindistinct
Misfortunemishap
Misreadmisinterpret
Deceptivemisleading
Lackingmissing
Jealousenvious
Doubtmistrust
Wrongmistaken
Awayabsent
To notifyto inform
Mannequinmodel
Diceyrisky
Emptydrain
Miserydistress
Impartialneutral
Impartialneutral
To behaveto act
Bendyflexible
Extraadditional

Here is the second list of vocabulary words for IELTS:

WordMeaning
To administerto manage
Murdererassassin
To maintainto preserve
Mediocrefair
Aromaticfragrant
Disputedebate
Ambitiousaspiring
To foretellto predict
To ignoreto disregard
Virtueadvantage
To copeto manage
Appreciableconsiderable
Disagreeableunpleasant
Rubbishnonsense
To bear on sth.to affect
Lousyawful
To consultto refer to
Crankycross
Mackintoshwaterproof coat
Pocket booknotebook
Middlemanintermediary
Paper moneynotes
Infamousnotorious
Mirthfun
Selectionchoice
To quaketo tremble
Todaynowadays
Hateloathe
Meanunkind
Contaminatedefile
Impedimentobstacle
Construction interpretation
Hostileantagonistic
To functionto operate
Apparentobvious
Comfortconsolation
Unstatedunspoken
Enormoushuge, immense
Sincerehonest
Imperfectfaulty
Obsoleteout of date
Aboveoverhead
Totalentire,
Twosomepair
Especiallyparticularly
Monotonousboring
To hurryto rush
Ardorpassion
Gutintestine
Identicalduplicate
Immodestconceited
Untrueunfaithful
Achieveaccomplish
To annoyto irritate, to bother
Awkwardclumsy
Completelytotally
To elevateto raise, to promote
Insolventbankrupt
To rueto regret
Essentialfundamental
Peaceablepeaceful
Nightfalldusk
Handsomegood
Stupiddense
Zenithpeak
Vacantempty
Fragranceperfume
Maybeperhaps, possibly
Aidhelp, assist
Bad (not good)poor, naughty
Magicianconjurer
Unfortunateunlucky
Gravestoneheadstone
Housebreakingburglary
To grabto seize
Refrainchorus
To disappearto vanish
Paintingportray
Adjournpostpone
Instructionsdirections
Momentouspowerful
Priorityprecedence
Stationaryfixed
Praisecompliment
Insufferableunbearable
Previouspreceding
Exactlyprecisely
Mistrustdistrust
Earlypremature
Untimelypremature
Antagonizeprovoke
Citationquotation
Naughtydisobedient
Cheesycorny, tacky
Hugevast
Holegap
Magnifyexpand
Lethaldeadly
Immuneexempt
Mourngrieve
Banforbid
Infrequentrare
Spontaneousautomatic
To citeto quote
Uncookedraw
Arrivereach, come
Darkdismal
Unlawfulillegal
Knowinglydeliberately
Moderatelyreasonably
Insurgentrebel
Uprisingrebellion
Clerkreceptionist
Miserabledepressing
Curativehealing
Equityfairness
Immatureinexperienced
Artfulcrafty
Practicallyvirtually
Consciousaware
To arriveto reach
Apparentevident
Crookcriminal
Unvoicedvoiceless

Here is the third list of vocabulary words for IELTS:

WordMeaning
Negligentinattentive
To differentiateto distinguish
Inferiorsubstandard
Winsucceed
Holdgrasp
To nominateto appoint
To nearto approach
To impactto affect
Charterconstitution
Eccentricunusual
Consecutivesuccessive
Morosesullen
Disagreediffer
Invoicebill
To withstandto resist
Insupportableintolerable
Meetingassembly
To conveyto communicate
To denationalizeto privatize
Abstractsummary
Attractiveappealing
Illiberalintolerant
To overhaulto overtake
Anywaybesides
To respondto reply
Precissummary
Dryarid
To minimizeto play down
Satisfiedconvinced
Vainuseless
To conformto comply
Conflictclash
Twistertornado
To floatto drift
Instinctintuition
To admitto confess
To intensifyto heighten
Intriguingfascinating
Moderatelenient
Minorlesser
To infectto contaminate
To vacuumto hoover
Removabledetachable
Sundownsunset
Joydelight
Encouragesupport
Classlesson, course
To vanquishto conquer
Turmoildisturbance
To transformto convert
To depraveto corrupt
To chopto cut
To diminishto decrease
To involveto entail
To magnifyto exaggerate
Constancyfidelity
Ornamentdecoration
Diminishcurtail
Nugatoryworthless
Revoltingdisgusting
Torpidlethargic
Promptimmediate
To operateto function
Vasthuge
To inspectto examine
To collectto gather
Impetuousreckless
To receiveto get
Beneficentgenerous
Namelessanonymous
To confuseto mix up
Overseasabroad
To deduceto infer
Highelevated
Convalescerecover
Outsideexternal
To renounceto give up
More and moreincreasingly
To grouseto grumble
To assureto guarantee
Advocatesupport
Coiffurehairstyle
Foreheadbrow
Discountreduction
To appearto seem
Exceptapart from
To surviveto outlive
Migrantdrifting
Deadlifeless
Notwithstandinghowever
A nativea local
To visualizeto imagine
Informalcasual
To beginto start
Infuriateenrage
Animatedlively
Chorusrefrain
Necessaryessential
Providedif
Remorseregret
Domesticatecultivate
Steadyregular
Testamenttestimony
Ifwhether
Applicablerelevant
Difficulthard
Trustworthyreliable
Mendrepair
Moralethical
Nobilitythe aristocracy
Reputereputation
Abbreviatecondense
Unhurtunharmed
Imperativecrucial
Diluteweaken, thin
Prosperousaffluent
To fabricateto manufacture
Reasonablefair
Idlerloafer
Mandatoryrequired
Suppressrestrain
Dossierfile
Lucidclear
Completetotal
Diversedistinct
Backsidebehind, bottom
To answerto reply
Homedomestic
Mattersthings
Correctright
Browforehead
Remainderthe rest
Objectthing
Hermeticairtight
To learnto memorize
Consideratethoughtful
Consideratethoughtful
Urgentimportant
Inconsideratethoughtless
Sillyfoolish

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking List

The speaking module tests your ability to communicate fluently in English. However, this means that the student must be able to pronounce the words correctly without hesitation.

But that is not all; you must grasp the vocabulary words for IELTS and use them when and where they are required, as that can give them a good score.

Here is a comprehensive list of IELTS vocabulary words

IELTS Vocabulary list

To achieve a band score of 9 in the speaking section is a dream for many. Indian students specially struggle in this section.

For detailed content on how to prepare for the IELTS speaking section, you can read:

Band 8 Sample Answer

IELTS Speaking Tips

How to Improve Speaking Section Score

For specific content on cue cards, task type samples and latest topics, visit:

IELTS Speaking Part 1

Latest Speaking Topics

IELTS Cue Cards

Reading and Writing : Vocabulary Words for IELTS

Most candidates lose out marks as they do not use synonyms in the reading and writing section.

Here is a list of popular words and their synonyms to help you expand your IELTS vocabulary for the reading and writing sections:

Words Synonyms 
Amazing Incredible 
Answer Respond 
Awful Bad 
Beautiful Pretty 
Begin Start 
Come Arrive 
Cool Frosty 
Dangerous Risky 
Decide Settle 
Definite Certain 
Delicious Savoury 
Wrong Mistaken 
Tell Narrate, Inform 
Show Display, Exhibit 
New Recent, current 
Neat Clean 
Interesting Intriguing 
Important Vital, crucial 
Help Assist 
Happy Content 
Famous Well-known 
Funny Amusing 
Place Procedure 

You can also check out IELTS courses by Leap Scholar for a detailed guide on the IELTS Reading Section to get help on reading tips & strategy.

Also, get access to guidance from the best IELTS tutors, attend mock tests, and get all sample materials to practise your IELTS vocabulary for reading section.

IELTS Listening Vocabulary Words

Pronouncing the word, writing it down, verifying it, and then repeating the process can enhance your ability to remember the correct spelling of words for the IELTS Listening test.

Ready to put your skills to the test? Attempt to spell all the frequently misspelt words listed in the table below:

consciousdisappearexciting
necessaryoriginalrealistic
obesitymarriagesolar
beautifulhighwaypercentage
fluctuatepeakrecover
videomurdertopic
argumentWednesdayneighbour
boringrhythmimmediately
receiveFebruarytendency
fuelfriendlyuntil
millionthousandhundred
musiciancomputersoftware
temporaryunfortunatelydisadvantage
foreignopportunitybecause

Tips to prepare for Vocabulary Words for IELTS

Candidates should follow these tips diligently while preparing for their IELTS exam. At the end of the day, attaining a good score is the stepping stone towards pursuing their dream of studying abroad

  • Read, listen and converse in English. 

Candidates should read English newspapers and get into the habit of reading. While reading, if they find any new word, they should note it down and look for its meaning. 

  • Practice 

Practice makes a man perfect and hence is the key to nailing a good score. Whether it’s reading, writing, speaking or listening, practising each of these sections is necessary. 

  • Use YouTube 

Candidates should use YouTube to understand how academic words are pronounced. They can also watch English shows to learn new vocabulary for IELTS.

  • Avoid memorising in all circumstances

Memorising words is an activity that should be avoided as the meaning of words change according to their context. 

Besides the list of vocabulary words for IELTS, candidates can also make use of audio and videos as this can amp up the preparation process. Following the syllabus for each section is also essential. 

Are you looking for a professional coaching for IELTS? 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Q. Is there any IELTS vocabulary test ? 

    A: No, the IELTS exam does not have a specific vocabulary test. However, a strong and diverse vocabulary is essential for performing well across all sections. You are encouraged to explore our list of vocabulary words for IELTS as a valuable resource to enhance your language proficiency.

  • Q. Is 7.5 a good score? 

    A: Yes, a score of 7.5 reflects a high level of proficiency in English. It demonstrates that the candidate can communicate effectively in both academic and professional contexts. This score is widely accepted by universities worldwide, making it a commendable achievement for individuals aspiring to pursue higher education or professional opportunities in an English-speaking environment.

  • Q. Are vocabulary words for IELTS important ?

    A: Yes, vocabulary words for IELTS are crucial as they constitutes up to 25% of the total score. This emphasis underscores its significance in both the Speaking and Writing sections, making it essential for candidates to focus on building a diverse and accurate vocabulary to enhance their chances of success.

  • Q. How to enrich your IELTS vocabulary?

    A: To enhance your knowledge about vocabulary words for IELTS, engage in activities such as reading newspapers, which exposes you to diverse vocabulary used in real-world contexts. Watching English movies with subtitles enhances your listening skills and introduces you to colloquial expressions. Maintaining a daily diary and jotting down new words and phrases encountered during your studies or daily life aids in continuous learning and retention.

  • Q. Is it necessary to use vocabulary words for IELTS ?

    A: No, there is no strict rule that using complex words is necessary for scoring well in IELTS. While using a diverse vocabulary is encouraged, there is no obligation to incorporate unnecessarily complex words. The key is to prioritise effective usage and understanding of words. The emphasis should be on effective communication rather than the complexity of the vocabulary.

  • Q. Why is it important to improve vocabulary words for IELTS?

    A. Yes. Vocabulary is your foundation. Vocabulary makes up to 25% of your total IELTS Writing and Speaking marks. Without a strong vocabulary, having an efficient conversation or writing a good content piece is difficult. And when you move out to an English-speaking country, it is ideal to build a strong vocabulary.

  • Q. What is the best way to memorise vocabulary words for IELTS easily?

    A. The best way to memorise vocabulary is by using mnemonics. These are mental shortcuts that help you remember more complex concepts or words. For example, you can create connections between words. The longer you think about acronyms or the connection, the better you will remember the associated words.

  • Q: Why is vocabulary important in the IELTS exam?

    A: Having a robust vocabulary ensures that candidates can convey nuanced meanings, avoiding repetition and showcasing a depth of understanding. In the Writing section, a diverse vocabulary allows for the expression of complex ideas and enhances the overall coherence of the response. The Speaking section facilitates fluency and eloquence, portraying the candidate as a proficient English speaker. A strong vocabulary is not just about showcasing linguistic prowess; it is a tool for effectively communicating ideas and demonstrating a higher level of language proficiency.

  • Q: How can I expand my IELTS vocabulary?

    A: To delve deeper into vocabulary expansion, engage in extensive reading across various genres, including newspapers, articles, and academic texts. This exposes you to a wide array of words used in diverse contexts. Practice actively using new words in different situations, ensuring a solid understanding of their nuances. Additionally, make use of vocabulary-building tools such as word lists and flashcards. Consistent and deliberate efforts in these areas will contribute significantly to the gradual expansion of your IELTS vocabulary.

  • Q: Are there specific words I should focus on for IELTS?

    A: Recognising the thematic preferences of the IELTS exam, candidates should prioritise building vocabulary related to prevalent subjects; for instance, in Writing Task 2, where essays often revolve around global issues, having a repertoire of words related to environmental sustainability or technological advancements is beneficial. This strategic focus ensures that candidates are well-equipped to address various topics and can adapt their vocabulary to suit the exam context.

  • Q: Can I use informal words in the IELTS exam?

    A: While informal words may be a part of everyday communication, the IELTS exam demands a higher level of formality and precision. Using informal language may detract from the overall academic tone expected in both written and spoken responses. Therefore, you are encouraged to adhere to a formal register, showcasing your ability to communicate proficiently in settings requiring more polished and professional language use.

  • Q: How can I memorise new words effectively?

    A: Establish associations between new words and familiar concepts to make the memorisation process more effective. Creating a story around a group of words can help you recall your memory. Furthermore, practice actively using the words in sentences, integrating them into your daily language use. This approach solidifies your understanding of the words and enhances your ability to recall and employ them appropriately during the exam.


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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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