The Ultimate TOEFL Vocabulary Guide – Part 1

September 25, 2015
25 September 2015,
Want to score high in TOEFL Vocabulary? Yes, we can help. Language exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE and GMAT are designed to test English language proficiency, both in understanding and expression.  Lot of students consider the vocabulary sections in these exams as a challenge because of the way they study – most students study for these sections by cramming up endless word lists and forgetting everything as soon as the exam is over.  This is definitely a recipe for failure, as well as a huge waste of time and effort. Students should really view the vocabulary sections of these exams as a way to expand one’s vocabulary. The real test comes when you start living and working in an English speaking country. If you truly prepare for these exams, you will reap the real benefits when you move to your final destination.

TOEFL Vocabulary List

With that said, let’s dive right in to the list of words we are going to share today. Like we have said in the past, please don’t try to memorize all these words within the next hour. Learn a few words now, try to apply them in real life situations, re visit them later, and make them part of your active vernacular. So this is part 1 of our The Ultimate TOEFL Vocabulary Guide:

The Ultimate TOEFL Vocabulary Guide

Onus – someone’s duty or responsibility. E.g. “The onus is on the prosecutor to prove that man is guilty”. Synonym: responsibility.

Ludicrous – silly, unreasonable or out of place. E.g. “It is ludicrous that the man is demanding payment from me when the accident was his fault”. Synonym: ridiculous.

Whim – an unexplained or unexpected change of mind or desire. E.g. “She went away for the weekend on a whim”. Synonym: impulse.

Panacea – a miraculous solution or cure for everything. E.g. “The panacea for obesity is exercise.” Synonym: cure-all.

Renegade – a person who has changed their loyalties, usually to an oranisation or country. E.g. “Jim used to be in the army but now he’s a renegade bodyguard for the enemy”. Synonym: traitor.

Zenith – highest point. E.g. “The sun is at its zenith at noon”. Synonym: peak.

Elucidate – explain something to make it clear, understandable. E.g. “we must elucidate so that their are no gray areas in the policy”. Synonym: clarify.

Clamorous – making loud, undefined noises. E.g. “The protestesters were a clamorous group when the police showed up”. Synonym: raucous.

Dictum – a formal announcement or statement from a source of authority. E.g. “It was the mayor’s dictum that kept everyone off the streets after 7pm”. Synonym: pronouncement.

Indomitable – impossible to conquer or beat. E.g. “The mountaineer’s spirit was indomitable and he eventually reached the summit”. Synonym: unconquerable.


Activate your vocabulary by using one of these words in conversation today.  Using new words, in context, is the best way to learn and remember. Learning a new word a day is the best way to improve your vocabulary.

This is part of a blog article series we are going to publish continuously. Our goal is to provide additional resources to students preparing for exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE and GMAT.