There are a lot of good reasons why we should try to improve our vocabulary. When we have a good vocabulary, we not only sound smarter, but we are smarter. We can learn more things. We can understand deeper concepts and learn the connections between various bits of knowledge that we already have.

When we don’t have a good vocabulary, we won’t understand as much. We will miss out on understanding important ideas and facts because our word power is lacking.

With a good vocabulary, we can express ourselves better. Having a good vocabulary might even help us get a job promotion.

Even if you don’t use your improved vocabulary a lot, you will definitely improve your skill as a scrabble player or a crossword puzzle aficionado when you learn more words.

So, if you want to have a good vocabulary, should you just spend time every day reading a dictionary? It might be a good idea for some people to simply read a dictionary and try to memorize a few new words every day. Most people however will find it kind of boring to read a dictionary. Reading about new words that you will never use might not be very interesting for most people.

Instead, most of us would be better off trying to keep a record of all the new words we encounter in a day, and look them up as soon as we can. That way, the words will be fresh in our minds, and we know that these words already play a part in our lives.

It’s a lot easier to learn new words and ideas if we feel they are a useful part of our lives. When we know we have actually encountered a particular word, it gives us more incentive to master its meaning. We know that if we have encountered that word once, we may encounter it again.

Whenever you come across a new word, whether it’s in a conversation or a lecture, or in a documentary or news broadcast on television, or in something you are reading, write down the new word so you won’t forget it.

Here are some ways to get your brain a bit involved in the exercise of learning the meaning of the word.

First, before you look up the meaning of the word, try to guess what the meaning might be. If you look at all the parts of the word, does any of the word look or sound familiar to you? Does any part of it resemble a word you already know?

Look at the context of the sentence and the way the word was used. Can you guess what the word might mean based on the way it is used?

If there is someone you can ask for the meaning of the word, feel free to ask them if you are comfortable doing so. Often, we don’t want to expose our ignorance by admitting that we don’t know the meaning of the particular word. So, we persist in our ignorance because we don’t want to feel foolish.

If there isn’t anyone you can ask to explain the meaning of a new word, be sure to make a note of the word and look up the meaning as quickly as you can, before you forget.

Once you have read the meaning of the new word, be sure to use it right away, even if you are all alone. Quickly write out or say aloud a few sentences using the new word correctly. This will help “cement” the meaning of the new word in your mind.

These exercises help to get your brain more involved with the new word you are using, so that you understand the meaning of the word and you know how to use it.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Royane Real, author of the popular book "How to Get Smarter" Read more self improvement articles by Royane Real and other self help authors at