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Voice of America Broadcast Dictionary - A

This Special English Dictionary contains about 1,500 words and makes an excellent vocabulary goal for intermediate level learners.


Parts of Speech Key

n. (noun) - a name word
v. (verb) - an action word
ad. (adjective/adverb) - a describing word
prep. (preposition) - a word used to show a relation
pro. (pronoun) - a word used in place of a noun
conj. (conjunction) - a joining word

To hear the correct pronunciation, click on the audio symbol next to the word. To return to this page, click on "back" in your browser.

a (an) - ad. one; any; each

able - v. having the power to do something

about - ad. almost ("about half"); of or having a relation to ("We talk about the weather.")

above - ad. at a higher place

accept - v. to agree to receive

accident - n. something that happens by chance or mistake; an unplanned event

accuse - v. to say a person is responsible for an act or crime; to make a statement against someone

across - ad. from side to side; to the other side

act - v. to do something

activist - n. one who seeks change through action

actor - n. someone acting in a play or show

add - v. to put (something) with another to make it larger; to say more

administration - n. the executive part of a government, usually headed by a president or prime minister

admit - v. to accept ("admitted to the United Nations"); to express one's guilt or responsibility ("He admitted that what he did was wrong.")

adult - n. a grown person

advise - v. to help with information, knowledge or ideas in making a decision

affect - v. to produce an effect on; to influence ("A lack of sleep affected the singer's performance.")

afraid - ad. feeling fear

after - ad. later; behind

again - ad. another time; as before

against - ad. opposed to; not agreeing with something

age - n. how old a person or thing is

agency - n. an organization that is part of a larger group ("an agency of the United Nations")

aggression - n. an attack against a person or country; the violation of a country's borders

ago - ad. of time past; before now

agree - v. to have the same belief as someone; to be willing to do something

agriculture - n. farming

aid - v. to help; to support; n. help, assistance

aim - v. to point a gun at; n. a goal or purpose

air - n. the mixture of gases around the earth, mostly nitrogen and oxygen, that we breathe

air force - n. a military organization using airplanes

airplane - n. a vehicle with wings that flies

airport - n. a place where airplanes take off and land

album - n. a collection of recorded music

alcohol - n. a strong, colorless liquid, usually made from grain, used as a drug or in industrial products

alive - ad. having life; not dead

all - ad. everything; everyone; the complete amount

ally - n. a nation or person joined with another for a special purpose

almost - ad. a little less than completely

alone - ad. separated from others

along - ad. near or on ("along the road")

already - ad. before now; even now

also - ad. added to; too

although - conj. even if it is true that

always - ad. at all times; every time

ambassador - n. a nation's highest diplomatic representative (to another government)

amend - v. to add to or to change (a proposal or law)

ammunition - n. the bullets or shells fired from guns

among - ad. in or part of (a group)

amount - n. the number, size or weight of anything

anarchy - n. a lack of order; lawlessness

ancestor - n. a family member from the past

ancient - ad. very old; long ago

and - conj. also; in addition to; with

anger - n. a strong emotion against someone or something

animal - n. a living creature that moves, such as a dog or cat

anniversary - n. a yearly celebration or observance of an event that happened in the past

announce - v. to make known publicly; to declare officially

another - ad. one more; a different one

answer - n. a statement produced by a question; v. to make a statement after being asked a question

any - ad. one or more of no special kind

apologize - v. to express regret for a mistake or accident for which one accepts responsibility

appeal - v. to take to a higher court, person or group for a decision; to call on somebody for help

appear - v. to show oneself; to come into sight; to seem

appoint - v. to name; to choose ("appoint a judge")

approve - v. to agree with; to agree to support

archeology - n. the scientific study of past human life and activities

area - n. any place or part of it

argue - v. to offer reasons for or against something; to dispute; to disagree

arms - n. military equipment; weapons

army - n. military ground forces

around - ad. on every side (of)

arrest - v. to seize a person for legal action; to take as a prisoner

arrive - v. to come to a place, especially at the end of a trip

art - n. expressions or creations by humans, such as paintings, music, writing or statues

artillery - n. big guns

as - conj. equally ("as fast as"); when; while

ash - n. the part left after something burns

ask - v. to question; to say something is wanted ("We ask the teacher questions every day.")

assist - v. to help

astronaut - n. a person who travels in space

astronomy - n. the scientific study of stars and the universe

asylum - n. political protection given by a government to a person from another country

at - prep. in or near ("at the edge"); where ("look at"); when ("at noon")

atmosphere - n. the gases surrounding any star or planet

attach - v. to tie together; to connect

attack - n. a violent attempt to damage, injure or kill; v. to start a fight

attempt - v. to work toward something; to try; to make an effort

attend - v. to be present at

automobile - n. a vehicle with wheels used to carry people; a car

autumn - n. the time of the year between summer and winter

average - n. something (a number) representing the middle; ad. common; normal

avoid - v. to stay away from

awake - ad. not sleeping

award - n. an honor or prize for an act or service

away - ad. not near

This dictionary was created by the VOA (Voice of English) Special English and Voice of America. It makes an excellent starting vocabulary selection for intermediate level learners. This dictionary is used as the basis on which listening selections vocabulary is chosen and can help you understand VOA broadcasts which can be found at the Voice of America Special English site.

Special English Dictionary Pages


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