Free Word Search Puzzles

These free word search puzzles can help you review important English vocabulary. Unlike crosswords, they don’t help you practice the word meanings. 

Picture of part of a word search puzzle with words running horizontally, vertically, and diagonally circled with different colors.
Text: 'How many words can you find?'

However, once you have learned the meanings, word searches help you focus your attention on them. They can help you practice spelling as well.

The best way to use word search puzzles is along with other review of the same words, so many of the puzzles are followed by links to related reading selections or practice. 

There are several types of word searches here: irregular past tense verbs, words made from word roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and academic vocabulary practice. (Use these links to go straight to that section.)

The words in the puzzle run left to right, top to bottom, or diagonally, but not backwards. Most word searches include about 50 words, using mixed forms: nouns, verbs, adjectives and sometimes adverbs. 

The words to search for are listed at the bottom. If you want more of a challenge, just cover the word list until you have found all you can without that help.

Irregular Past Tense Verb Word Searches

Irregular Past Tense Verbs Word Search includes almost all the verbs in 12 Lists for Irregular Verbs in the Past Tense, with the verb list on the bottom arranged in basically that order. For extra practice, make up a sentence with each. (Word Search Answers.)

We use past participles after ‘have’ (or ‘had’) to form the perfect tenses. (See that page for an explanation.) Most past participles are the same as the simple past form, regular or irregular. It’s worth practicing the irregular ones, and you can do that with Irregular Past Participles Word Search and its answers.

Free Word Search Puzzles: Words from Latin Roots

There are several word searches in this section, from relatively easy to words with challenging spellings (and meanings!)

This ‘easier’ words puzzle (probably still not TOO easy) uses some of the words from 50 Latin Word Roots. (The word search answers are here.) It takes words based on from the Latin roots 

• actum- to act, 

• claudere (clude/clus)- to close, 

• dicere (dict)- to say, 

• finis- end, 

• formare- to form, 

• gradi (grad/gress)- to step, 

• portare- to carry, 

• rectus/regere- right/to lead straight or rule, 

• spirare- to breathe

• turbare- to trouble or cause disorder.

See if you can guess the word meanings from root and prefix combinations! (Examples: exclude- to shut out, reformer- someone who makes changes: forms something again, rectify- to make right.)

The Important Latin Roots Word Search (answers here) includes words you can study on (surprise!) the Important Latin Roots page. (I thought a clear name with easy-to-find practice was more important than a clever name.) 

Words from Two Latin Roots Word Search (answers here) includes words from mittere- to send, the example root at the beginning of the 50 Latin Word Roots page (used because it demonstrates the meaning of many prefixes clearly), and ponere- to put, with its own page: The Latin Root Ponere. Each is the base of many useful English words. (Each also has two base forms, from the infinitive form and the past participle: mit/mis and pon/pose.)

Academic Vocabulary Word Searches

The first two academic vocabulary word search puzzles include all the words originally in the Top 100 List of Vocabulary Words. (A few words on the list have changed as I've tried to choose THE most useful words to start with.) That page links to practice pages for each group. (Academic Vocabulary Word Search 1 includes list 1 and 3; Word Search 2 is for list 2 and 4. Don’t ask why they’re not in numerical order!) Answers are here for puzzle 1 and here for #2.

The next two puzzles include a total of 100 more important academic word families. I don’t have practice pages for most of these words yet, but many are included in the practice pages for the top 100.

Academic Vocabulary Word Search 3 includes lots of words related to scientific inquiry (affect, bias, convincing, equipment, hypothesis, technique, etc.) (Answers here.) I did make a set of flashcards in Quizlet for 25 of these words. You can study their definitions or play games to practice them here. (Try the timed matching game.)

Academic Voc. Word Search 4 is mostly words related to university study and life. (Answers here.) It includes academic writing terms such as cite, clause, coherent, draft, revise, and thesis, as well as institutional vocabulary like aid, annual, fees, license, regulation, restricted, role, sector, voluntary, etc.

I made the Science Word Search and Methods of Science Word Search years ago. They use many of the words above (especially from Ac. WS #3), but they also have some unique words. (Science WS Answers. Methods of Science Answers.)

The Teamwork and Design Word Search is also old, with more unique words as well as a few from above. (Answers.) You can practice many of its words on the Product Design Vocabulary page and the page on Teamwork and Cooperation Vocabulary.

You might also be interested in some crossword puzzles (to practice identifying and matching word meanings).

I will be adding word searches from time to time—check back in a couple of months for more! Happy puzzle searching!

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