toggle menu
1000+ books

What's New at

(click/touch triangles for details)
05/20/23 — Added Books to Lists with Popular Quizzes Computer algorithms do a decent job of selecting words to quiz and answer choices. An editor does a better job and has done so for all the quizzes on the "With Popular Quizzes" lists.

More books were added to those lists, and quizzes on the list were improved.

05/20/23 — Added Word Search Added a general Word Search page callable from the landing page. It also lists some commonly quizzed words with multiple meanings.

Also added a Search option to each book's Vocabulary List that becomes visible when the All Words option is selected for more than 20 words.

05/20/23 — Change Any Links to Popular Book Lists for Middle School Where we used to have a single page for each book list, we now have a separate page for middle school book lists where applicable.

05/20/23 — Change Any Links to Interactive Quizzes (Links to printable quizzes do not need to be changed.)
Change any links of the form t####??p.htm?mode=interactive#quiz to t####??pi.htm.

Without this change, the old link will go to a printable quiz. We're sorry to ask you to change links, but search engines were confused by quiz structure. Often, they were showing a less-popular quiz (or no quiz) for a typical quiz search.

For most books, there are 4 quizzes available. Each of the quizzes is available in either a printable or interactive mode.

05/20/23 — Removed Links to the Oxford English Dictionary & The sample-filled, Oxford English Dictionary is no longer available without a subscription, so we removed old links to it. We also removed links to since they were not getting much use and cluttered the screen; though we recommend the site for anyone who wants to compare dictionary definitions: OneLook Dictionary

We still provide our own dictionary and links to Google's dictionary. We also enhanced presentation and navigation of our own pages that show best sample sentences regardless of source.

05/20/23 — Improved Best Sample Usage Pages More samples are generally available.

When definitions for consecutive sentences share the exact contextual meaning, the meaning will be shown only for the first sentence in the series. Similarly, an explanation given for a prefix that makes a major change to a word's base definition; e.g., "unsatisfactory" as a form of "satisfactory", will be shown only for the first instance of the prefixed word (e.g., "unsatisfactory") on the page.

05/20/23 — Improved Pages with All Uses of a Word in a Book or Text All uses are shown in book order. The usage considered best by our editor or algorithm is followed by an asterisk.

When the database knows which contextual meaning of a word is used in a sentence, a color-coded meaning # will be shown to the right. That meaning # will correspond to a color-coded definition # shown below.

When definitions for consecutive sentences share the exact contextual meaning, the meaning will be shown only for the first sentence in the series. Similarly, an explanation given for a prefix that makes a major change to a word's base definition; e.g., "unsatisfactory" as a form of "satisfactory", will be shown only on the first instance of "unsatisfactory" on the page.

05/20/23 — Improved Vocabulary List Page for a Book or Text Shows a non-detailed word list upon entry and permits showing all exemplary examples with one click, and/or detail with book example with one click per word.
If you want to see sample usage from a book for a group of words, that is more easily seen by looking at printable quizzes.

05/20/23 — Many Misc. Changes The software that supports this site was re-written to use a different database. Many small improvements were made during the process. If you suggest an improvement, please let us know by writing to the email indicated by the feedback button at the bottom of most pages.

An example of a small but foundational improvement, is that when a word is used only once in a book, we no longer write a page for that word. Instead, the information that used to be in that page is shown in the Vocabulary List page for its book. Search engines were generally not indexing pages with so little information on them. In fact, Google was indexing only about 10% of our pages. We had hoped Google could be used as a search engine to find such a page, but it was not happening.

If you're looking for such a word, search engines probably won't take you to the new page either—at least not in the foreseeable future. You'll want to look at the Vocabulary List for the book, click the radio buttons to show all words, and use the Search Box. (Note that many words in a book are not in our dictionary of tracked academic words.)

By eliminating pages with little content, we hope search engines will index more of our other pages.

07/19/20 — Improved Popular Quizzes Reviewed and edited all quizzes for the lists Popular Quizzes – High School & Popular Quizzes – Middle School.

07/19/20 — Improved Internal Navigation When there are multiple senses of a word, and you ask to see "All Book Uses" or "Typical Usage" detail will be opened for the sense of the word that you were viewing when you made the request.

06/21/19 — Post-Reading Quizzes in Story Order Changed post-reading quizzes to present sentences from the book in story order.
(An exception is that when a word is quizzed for more than one meaning, questions for additional meanings immediately follow the first one that is quizzed.) Multiple choice answers are still randomized and can be shuffled.

Previously questions were in random order. Questions for the pre-reading quiz (which does not use sample sentences from the book) are still in random order.

06/21/19 — Made Page #s More Accessible Note, however, that not all books have page # data to show. If you would like page # information for your class, please click on the Give us feedback link at the bottom of most pages to tell us for which book and which edition of the book your class uses. Teacher requests are given precedence. So, if you're a teacher, you might want to include a .edu address to demonstrate that. We will write back to you if appropriate, and your email addresses will not be added to any database or used in any mass mailing.

08/07/18 — Added Lists of Popular Quizzes Quizzes for books on the lists Popular Quizzes – High School & Popular Quizzes – Middle School are fully edited. The computer usually does a fair job of creating quizzes, but word ranking and multiple choice questions benefit from human editing. You can see the quiz status of any book by looking at the bottom of the page linked from its Vocabulary List.
Quizzed words from the Popular Quizzes list will not be changed during the school year (mid-August to mid-June). We will also resist changing quizzed words for any book during that time. Please let us know if there's a quiz you need better-edited for a class. And please let us know if it's important to add a word to a quiz to aid book comprehension. In that event, we will also need to remove a word, so a suggestion on which word to remove would also be helpful.

06/15/18 — Misc. Enhancements Hand-edited many of the most important words in the most popular books—especially where words have multiple meanings. Added Additional Tips for Teachers to the Teacher Central page. Misc. enhancements and bug fixes.

08/01/17 — Removed Use of Cookies The site no longer uses cookies.

08/01/17 — Improved Smartphone Support at a Cost To better support smartphones and tablets, wide word tables and automatic information from a mouse-hover were removed from most pages.

Be sure to turn your phone sideways when browsing words for a book. That type of page is still more easily viewed on a computer than a phone.

08/01/17 — Changed Quiz Format to Be More Like the SAT® & ACT® Changed quizzes so students must select the correct definition for a word rather than selecting and typing the correct word. This is more like what happens while reading and matches the format of vocabulary questions on the SAT® & ACT®.

Three possible definitions are shown for each word. The computer is not very good at selecting reasonable-looking wrong answers. To make the quizzes more challenging, we are hand-editing definition choices to make wrong choices look more reasonable, but there are tens of thousands to edit. We are editing the most common questions on standard quizzes for the most popular books first. If you need a book or extra credit quiz edited for a class, please tell us and we'll move it to the top of the list.

Teacher requests get priority, so if you're a teacher, please say so. You can write us by clicking on the Give us feedback link at the bottom of most pages. Be sure to tell us which book.

08/01/17 — Changed Algorithm That Selects Top-Ranked Words in Each Book Words are now selected upon these three main criteria:
  • How often they are in the book.
  • How often they are encountered in general communications relative to the book's reading level.
  • How often they appear on review lists for SAT-type tests.
The second criterion has changed as follows:
  • The algorithm now establishes an emerging vocabulary level for each book.
  • For the standard quiz, it tries to pick a handful of words at the book's emerging vocabulary level.
  • For the rest of the words, the algorithm tries to select words with which we hope the student is somewhat familiar, but which are not too easy for the book's difficulty level.

08/15/16 — Added More Middle School Books Please provide feedback about the middle school books being added:
  • What books do you need added?
  • Which existing books need more human editing of words and selected excerpts?
  • Are there any definitions that are too complex or obscure for middle school?
  • Are there any links you suggest for lists of middle school books or that this site should link to for lesson plans, etc.

01/13/16 — Different Words for New SAT® Changed word-ranking to reflect the redesigned SAT. (fewer obscure words) Added new tier two words considered of high interest for the SAT®, ACT®, and other standardized tests. More tier two words will continue to be added and books will continue to be re-edited to highlight them. That editing is being done based on the popularity of the book (on this site) and the importance of the word. Also changed verbiage discussing the SAT®.

The computer gives preference to human-approved words for ranking and quizzing, so books with status prototype may not yet rank the redesigned SAT® words at the top. (Though it may well have the desired word rank and be considered prototype status because other editing is desired.) We are updating the most popular books and highest priority words first.

If you want a book edited, please write by clicking on the Give us feedback link at the bottom of most pages and indicate which book. Teacher requests get priority, so if you're a teacher, please say so.