Find Academic Word List Vocabulary Practice

Use this alphabetical listing for information about Academic Word List vocabulary or pages to practice these words on EnglishHints.

Learning the 570 word families on the Academic Word List (AWL-- see Academic Vocabulary) can help you prepare for academic or professional tests as well as increase your reading comprehension.

Alphabetical Academic Word List Vocabulary, with 3-4 examples of words from each level of the AWL.Examples from the Academic Word List

These words are also essential to understand and participate in academic (or business or professional) discussions in English.

This list of AWL words starts here with A and B, and continues on for four more pages (with links at the bottom of this page). 

It provides three or four useful pieces of information about each of these word families:

  • their most common forms,
  •  the issues of the English Detective newsletter that feature that word in readings, discussion, and practice activities,
  • and an explanation (& sometimes an example) for some of the less common or more difficult words.

The newsletter number is linked to practice activities on the four pages of Academic Vocabulary Word Lists, with the pages for later issues linked from the bottom of the first page-- and given below.

How to Use These Lists

Each entry gives the words of a word family on the AWL with their parts of speech and the newsletter(s) in which they are practiced.

The first word listed is usually the most common form given on the AWL. (However, if that form is the past tense of a verb ending in -ed, I have put the base form of the verb instead, unless the word is also frequently used as an adjective.)

After it are other forms in the same word family, since the Academic Word List is a list of families, not just single words.

Each word is followed by an abbreviation for its part of speech (v. for verb, n. for noun, adj. for adjective, adv. for adverb, conj. for conjunction, prep. for preposition), so you will have an idea how it is used.

Many words can be used both as nouns and as verbs, and many -ed or -ing forms of verbs can also be used as adjectives.

Almost any noun will also have a plural form ending in -s (or -es), so those forms are not listed.

Verbs will also have a form ending in -s or -es (for 3rd person singular: he or she), as well as forms ending in -ing and -ed for other tenses (and as adjective forms.) Those are not listed either, unless they are commonly used as adjectives.

Most other commonly used forms will be listed. These include

·       words beginning with in- or un- (negative forms making its meaning the opposite of the original),

·       words ending in -able or -ible  (usually adjectives meaning possible,)

·       words ending in -ly (usually adverbs). Many adjectives can be made into adverbs by adding -ly. I have only listed the adverb forms when they are quite common.

·       nouns ending in -ion or -ment, etc. 

For more information on these endings and what they mean, see Word Families, and List of Suffixes.

Finding Practice+ for Each Word

If you are interested in studying a specific word, note the newsletter number and go to the appropriate page of the Academic Vocabulary Word Lists to find the issue where it is discussed, which readings include it, and which pages practice it.

  • Issues 1-5 are on that first page, 
  • issues 6-10 are on Academic Vocabulary Word List 2 
  • For links to the readings, go to the English Detectives back issues list. (Those issues also link to the practice activities.)

Newsletters 1- 23 practiced the complete AWL. Issues. newsletters after that review important vocabulary within the newsletter but are not usually on the Academic Vocabulary Lists.

See each back issue for a list of words taught, the readings that practice them, and practice exercises or crosswords. 

(The first Academic Vocabulary Word List page also explains how to use Find on your browser to find the word you want within an article or reading’s text.)

Because of its length, this alphabetical Academic Word List vocabulary page was split into sections. For words beginning with A- B, see belowFor links to the rest of the alphabet, go to the bottom of this page.

For explanations and practice with many individual AWL words, see also 

  • Printable Crossword Puzzles (CrP--arranged by newsletter, so you’ll know which vocabulary each emphasizes. Get quick practice with many words at once.)

AWL Vocabulary A -- in issue(s) #:  

  • abandon, v., abandonment, n., abandoned, adj.--  17 (To practice, see Back Issue-#17 or the related Academic Voc. Word List page-- here pg.3. See links in the section above.) 
  • To abandon means to leave someone or something completely behind. For example: sometimes people take unwanted pets into the country and abandon them there. 
  • abstract, adj; abstraction, n.--  8 (use above links to find all back issues)
  • academic, adj., academy, n.-- 12
  • access, n or v, accessible, adj.-- 7
  • accommodation, n., accommodate, v.- 18. To accommodate means to make room for someone or something. 
  • accompany, v., accompaniment, n.-- 21
  • accumulation, n.; accumulate, v.-- 15. To accumulate is to gather or bring together a large amount of something over time. 
  • accurate, adj; accurately, adv.-- 1, 2 (& see SH in yellow box above)
  • achieve, v; achievement, n., achievable, adj.-- 3
  • acknowledge, v., acknowledgement, n.-- 10   
  • acquisition, n, acquire, v., acquisitive, adj.-- 1 (& see SH in yellow box)
  • adaptation, n., adapt, v., adaptable, adj.-- 11 (& see Soc-- yellow box) 
  • adequate, adj., adequately, adv.-- 14
  • adjacent, adj.-- 20
  • adjustment, n., adjust, v., adjustable, adj.-- 22, 26 (& see Soc-- yellow box) 
  • administration, n., administer,v., administrator,n.-- 11  
  • adult, n. or adj. -- 9
  • advocate, n. or v.-- 17. An advocate is a person who represents someone and speaks on their behalf. To advocate something is to argue for it. 
  • affect, v; affected, adj., affection, n.-- 2
  • aggregate, v., aggregation, n.-- 21
  • aid, n or v-- 8, 13, 14  
  • albeit, conj.- 20  
  • allocation, n. allocate,v.-- 12  
  • alter, v., altered, adj.-- 21, 26  
  • alternative, n.or adj., alternatively, adv., alternate, n. or v.-- 15  
  • ambiguous, adj-- 5. Ambiguous means that something can be understood in more than one way.   
  • amendment, n, amend,v.,amended, adj.--16
  • analogous, adj., analogy, n.-- 5
  • analysis, n; analyze,v., analytic or analytical, adj., analytically, adv., analyst, n.-- 1
  • annual, adj., annually, adv.-- 11 
  • anticipate, v., anticipation, n., anticipated, adj.-- 20  
  • apparent, adj., apparently, adv.-- 13. Apparent comes from the verb ‘appear’—-evident or easy to see; something that appears to be a certain way. 
  • appendix, n.-- 16 (& see WrW-- yellow box above). 
  • appreciation, n., appreciate, v., appreciable, adj., appreciably, adv.-- 20
  • approach, v or n; approachable, adj., approaching, adj,-- 4
  • appropriate, adj; appropriately,adv., inappropriate, adj.-- 2
  • approximate, v. or adj., approximately, adv.-- 17
  • arbitrary, adj., arbitrarily, (not closely related: arbitrate-v., arbitration, n.)-- 10, 28. An arbitrary decision is one that’s made without a good reason, based on simple chance or a momentary feeling rather than careful planning.
  • area, n.-- 1, 6
  • aspect, n.-- 1 (& see SH-- yellow box) 
  • assembly, n., assemble,v.-- 15
  • assessment, n., assess, v.-- 9,13
  • assign, v., assignment, n., assigned, adj-- 20
  • assistance, n., assist,v. assistant,n., assisted, adj.-- 4
  • assume, v., assumption,n., assumable, adj.-- 5, 25
  • assurance,n., assure,v.,assured, adj, assuredly, adv.-- 23. Assurance can mean confidence, or it can refer to someone’s message of encouragement and confidence. 
  • Examples: If a good student worries about a test after studying, a friend can assure him that he will do well. If he hasn’t really studied, such an assurance would be false. Someone who is self-assured has lots of confidence in him/herself. 
  • attach, v., attached, adj., attachment,n,-- 23, 27. Attachment is connection, physical or emotional. Exs: Nails attach pieces of wood to each other; staples or tape attach paper. An email attachment is a file sent with the email but not in its text. 
  • attained, v., attainment, attainable-- 1, 3 (& see SH-- yellow box above) 
  • attitude, n.-- 3
  • attribute, v., attribution,n.-- 17, 26. To attribute is to give credit for something: “The couple attributed the success of their marriage to good communication.” 
  • author, n.--1
  • authority,n., authoritative, adj., authoritarian,adj., authorize, v., authorization, n.-- 13 
  • automatically, adv., automatic,adj., automate,v., automation,n.-- 9, 27  
  • available, adj.-- 2, 7

AWL Vocabulary: B

  • behalf, n. (only used in expressions: 'on behalf of' [a name] or 'on [someone's] behalf')-- 17
  • benefit, n. or v., beneficial, adj., beneficiary, n.-- 3
  • bias, n. (or v.), biased, adj.-- 2, 16, 24, 26
  • bond, n. or v., bonding, adj.-- 21
  • brief, adj., briefly, adv.-- 15
  • bulk, n., bulk, adj.-- 21

For C-E. see Academic Word List Vocabulary C-E.  Go to AWL Vocabulary F-M, N-R. or S-Z for the rest of the lists.

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