Vocabulary & Idioms


Online Dictionaries

1. Dave's ESL Cafe Dictionaries
A useful list of dictionaries with brief descriptions and in some cases recommendations

2. Cambridge Dictionaries Online
You can search in 7 dictionaries including an idiom dictionary. This is an easy to use site and nicely formatted.

3. Dictionary.com
A comprehensive dictionary with some audio support for a small fee. You can practice your spelling, find a good thesaurus, and do many other things at this popular student site.

4. Foreignword.com
A great reference for many languages and popular with students!

5. Merriam-Webster Online
This is a popular reference with students and recommended as one of the very best online dictionaries. You can listen to the words pronounced too!

6. Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary Online
Merriam-Webster now has a special dictionary for English learners! After free registration, you can even create your own dictionary and flash cards. You can also ask questions to the editors.

7. Great Books Online
From this Bartleby site, you can link to encyclopedias, famous quotations, a thesaurus, and other useful reference materials.

8. Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English
Another popular site with students for its clear definitions and easy to follow examples.

9. One Look Dictionary Search
Search multiple dictionaries from this site and access translations as well.

10. The Free Dictionary
There are many useful links on the homepage of this popular site including pages linked to medical, financial, and legal vocabulary. There are links to encyclopedias and Wikipedia and a variety of vocabulary games you can play. This site comes student recommended for its idiom resources provided by Cambridge dictionaries.

11. Longman English Dictionary Online - LDOCE
Recommended by most ESL instructors.

12. Ozdic.com
Very easy-to-use collocation dictionary. If you want to use a new word in your writing or speech, you can visit this website to understand how to use it and which other words are commonly used before and after your target word. 

Idioms & Vocabulary

1. ESL Idiom Page by Dennis Oliver

2. The Idiom Connection
You can find a comprehensive list of idioms with definitions, examples, and practice quizzez at this easy to use site. I highly recommend this site.

3. Daily Page for Students of English (ESL/EFL)
This is nice site to visit. After you visit once, you will want to go back every day! You can find a vocabulary quiz, an expression for the day, and links to popular search engines and dictionaries. This page is part of a larger website called Many Interesting Things for ESL Students where you can find tongue twisters to listen to for pronunciation practice.

4. Toon In To Idioms
You can listen to some idioms here and the dialogues are illustrated with entertaining cartoons. You need to become a member to gain access to most of the materials but membership is free. Adam Rado, who is a teacher, created the materials and illustrations.

5. ESL: Idioms and Slang
A list of sites from the TESL Internet Journal. Check out American slang for ESL students!

6. English Vocabulary: English.com
Idioms are nicely organized in categories, e.g., body idioms, color, and geography. Check out the sports idioms and definitions here--complete with practice quizzes.

7. Ye Olde English Sayings
For more background and history about some English idioms, try this website.

8. Dave Sperling's ESL Slang Page
For the latest slang, try this website. With more than 100 expressions, this page will provide you with at least one contemporary expression you can use today!

9. Quia - Idioms
a. Matching Game: Practice matching idioms.

Play this matching game to discover how many heart idioms you know.

b. Idiom Balloon Game: More practice.

10. Idioms and Proverbs
You will find good clear definitions and excellent illustrations on this Brigham Young University site.

11. ESL Mania
This site is sponsored by Language Success Press but still offers some very nice resources and activities for students and teachers.

12. English Works!
This website, which is part of The Tutorial and Instructional Programs at Gallaudet University, has many useful links. Check out the vocabulary and reading links. You can also focus on parts of speech if you go to the grammar section and there is a nice summary of all the verb tenses and a list of irregular verbs there too.

13. English Learner Movie Guides!
You will learn a lot about popular American movies when you visit this site. You will learn more about the characters, ideas, and vocabulary from a wide range of different types of movies. Check out this site!

14. Get in the Swim of things with Mary Donahue!
Visit Mary Donahue's De Anza page for all kinds of useful swimming vocabulary and interactive illustrations.

The list was originally created by MaryAnne Ifft.

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