Essential Words For TOEFL


adj. clearly noticed; different
adv. distinctly
syn. definite
adj. distinctive
n. distinction

  • There was a distinct aroma of coffee in the restaurant.
  • The two theories are distinctly different from each other.


adj. primary or principal; having or exercising control over something
adv. dominantly
syn. major
v. dominate
n. domination

  • The dominant life forms of the Paleozoic era lived in the water.
  • The skyscraper dominated the skyline.


adj. not growing or producing; asleep
n. dormitory
syn. inactive

  • The volcano had been dormant for hundreds of years before the eruption last month.
  • The seniors live in the new dormitory.


adj. lacking color; uninteresting, boring
adv. drably syn. colorless
n. drabness

  • Their clothing was quite drab.
  • The drabness of the desert made driving less interesting.


adj. something that captures the imagination; exciting
adv. dramatically
syn. emotional
v. dramatize
n. drama

  • The dramatic finish to the game left us speechless.
  • The hurricane dramatically changed the coastline.


adj. to select or represent something chosen from many sources or places
adv. eclectically
syn. diverse

  • He has an eclectic taste in music, from hard rock to classical.
  • The eclectic group of students came from fifteen different countries.


adj. something with a large number of parts; full of details
adv. elaborately
v. elaborate
n. elaboration

  • An elaborate head dress indicated rank within the Aztec community.
  • His elaboration of the issue was quite thorough.


adj. unusual in a positive way
adv. exceptionally
syn. phenomenal

  • The orchestra‚Äôs performance was exceptional.
  • The North Star is exceptionally bright.


adj. honest or true; real
adv. genuinely
syn. authentic
n. genuineness

  • She was genuinely concerned about world hunger.
  • This is a genuine artifact from the American Civil War.


adj. very risky, unsafe
adv. hazardously
syn. dangerous
n. hazard

  • Handling flammable liquids is hazardous.
  • There are many hazards involved with starting a business.


adj. of little consequence; very small
adj. minute
syn. tiny
n. minutia

  • The sale of the building had a minuscule effect on the profits of the corporation.
  • Some leaves are covered with minute hairs.


v. to make ready;
adj. primed *first in importance or in time
adj. prime*
syn. prepare
n. prime

  • The directors primed the actors before the performance.
  • Mozart passed away in the prime of his life.


adj. simple; not complex
n. rudiment
syn. basic

  • He has a rudimentary knowledge of computers.
  • The rudiments of grammar are taught in all English classes.


adj. to question the truthfulness of information presented as fact; to not trust
adv. skeptically
syn. unconvinced
n. skeptic

  • The professor was skeptical about the theories of climate change.
  • To answer his skeptics, the scientist presented proof of his conclusions at the conference.


adj. showing no emotion; appearing disinterested
adv. stoically
syn. indifferent
n. stoicism

  • His stoic reaction to the event surprised his friends.
  • His stoicism was unusual, since he is normally an emotional boy.


adj. simple; not deep; near the surface
adv. superficially
syn. shallow

  • The inspector determined that the crack in the bridge was only superficial.
  • You should not try to answer the question superficially.


adj. powerful, full of action
adv. vigorously
syn. strong
n. vigor

  • His vigorous defense of the issues impressed everyone.
  • He approached his work with vigor.