30 words for IELTS Band 8.0+ – use this list to improve your IELTS vocabulary and get a better score. Each word below has a definition and an example sentence.
Capricious: changing one’s mind quickly and often
Example: The boss’s capricious mood swings made it difficult for employees to know what to expect.
Cogent: convincing or believable
Example: The lawyer presented a cogent argument that swayed the jury in his client’s favor.
Didactic: intended to teach, often in a moralizing way
Example: The children’s book had a didactic tone, with a clear message about the importance of kindness.
Equanimity: calmness and composure, especially in difficult situations
Example: Despite the chaos around her, the doctor maintained her equanimity and focused on saving her patient’s life.
Fastidious: very attentive to detail, often excessively so
Example: The chef was fastidious about the freshness of the ingredients, carefully inspecting each one before using it in his dishes.
Gratuitous: unnecessary, without reason or cause
Example: The violence in the movie was gratuitous, serving no purpose other than to shock the audience.
Harbinger: a sign of things to come, often used to describe something negative
Example: The sudden drop in the stock market was a harbinger of an economic recession.
Inscrutable: difficult to understand or interpret, often used to describe people’s expressions or behavior
Example: The poker player’s inscrutable face made it impossible to tell if he had a good hand or not.
Meticulous: very careful and precise, paying close attention to detail
Example: The accountant was meticulous in her calculations, double-checking every figure to ensure accuracy.
Nebulous: vague or unclear, often used to describe ideas or concepts
Example: The politician’s platform was nebulous, with no clear plan for how to accomplish
Ostracize: to exclude someone from a group or society
Example: After the scandal, the company decided to ostracize the CEO, refusing to work with him again.
Pedantic: overly concerned with minor details, often in a way that is annoying or tedious
Example: The professor’s pedantic lecture on grammar was so boring that half the class fell asleep.
Quandary: a difficult situation or problem, often with no obvious solution
Example: The team was in a quandary when the star player was injured and unable to play in the championship game.
Rancor: bitter, long-lasting resentment or hatred
Example: Despite the passage of time, the two former friends still held rancor toward each other.
Sagacious: having good judgment or wisdom
Example: The CEO’s sagacious decision to invest in new technology helped the company stay ahead of its competitors.
Tenacious: persistent, not easily giving up or letting go
Example: The lawyer’s tenacious pursuit of justice helped her win a difficult case.
Ubiquitous: present, appearing, or found everywhere
Example: In today’s world, smartphones are ubiquitous, with almost everyone owning one.
Vex: to annoy or frustrate someone
Example: The constant interruptions from her coworker vexed the employee, making it difficult to focus on her work.
Wistful: having a feeling of sadness or regret, often with a longing for something that can’t be obtained
Example: The old man looked wistfully out the window, remembering his youth and the opportunities he had missed.
Zealot: a person who is fanatical or uncompromising in pursuit of their beliefs or goals
Example: The political zealot refused to listen to anyone who disagreed with him, insisting that he was always right.
Ostensible: seeming or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so
Example: The ostensible reason for the meeting was to discuss budget cuts, but in reality, it was a strategy session for the upcoming election.
Pedantic: overly concerned with minor details, often to the point of being annoying
Example: The English teacher’s pedantic corrections of students’ grammar and punctuation were not helpful to their overall understanding of the literature.
Quotidian: ordinary, mundane, or everyday
Example: Despite his fame and fortune, the actor’s life was largely filled with quotidian tasks like going to the grocery store and doing laundry.
Recalcitrant: stubbornly resistant to authority or control
Example: The recalcitrant student refused to follow the teacher’s instructions and ended up getting detention.
Sanguine: optimistic, cheerful, and confident, often in the face of difficulty
Example: Despite setbacks, the entrepreneur remained sanguine about the future of her business and continued to work hard.
Tenuous: weak or fragile, often used to describe a connection or relationship
Example: The tenuous bond between the two countries was strained even further by the recent conflict.
Ubiquitous: present, appearing, or found everywhere
Example: In today’s society, smartphones are ubiquitous and almost everyone has one.
Vacillate: to be indecisive, to waver back and forth between choices
Example: The politician vacillated on the issue, unable to make up his mind on how to proceed.
Wistful: yearning or longing, often for something that cannot be attained
Example: Looking out at the sunset, she felt wistful for the carefree days of her youth.
Zealous: enthusiastic and passionate, often to an extreme degree
Example: The zealous fan base of the band camped out for days to get tickets to their concert.