There is a plethora of vocab words out there for you to study when prepping for the TOEFL exam, but which ones are crucial to learn to get that high score?



In this series of “7 Crucial Vocab”, every week, we will provide you with 7 words that are imperative for your TOEFL success.


Not only will we give you the right words for you to study, we’ll also:

  1. Show 3 synonyms that are spoken in daily English
  2. Sentence examples so you can learn how the words are used!


Keep reading until the end to complete a quick quiz!

1. circumvent

circumvent definition and synonyms

The millionaire was caught circumventing the law and paid his taxes.

One thing to note here is that circumvent is usually used when someone avoids a serious problem or the law.

2. scrutinize

scrutinize definition and synonyms

My professor scrutinized my project down to the smallest detail.

Scrutinized is usually used to describe how something or someone was closely examined in a disapproving way. Like when you’re being judged for doing something you should not be proud of.

3. permeate

permeate definition and synonyms

I could smell the freshly baked bread as it permeated the bakery.

A key thing to note here is that permeate doesn’t just describe smell or liquid. It can also describe how a culture or idea continues to spread across and permeate society.

4. coalesce

coalesce definition and synonyms

My friends coalesced their artwork into one big painting.

Coalesced may seem awkward to use, at first, but it’s a beautiful word to describe how multiple things or people can be combined to form something greater.


5. ambiguous

ambiguous definition and synonyms

I do a lot for the company that my role is ambiguous.

Ambiguous is very often used by English speakers, especially when they’re mentioning something that has so many different meanings. Like, happiness is such an ambiguous term because it depends on how you define it.

6. divulge

divulge definitions and synonyms

He finally divulged his feelings for me.

To divulge something means to tell something extremely secretive and important. It isn’t correct to use it like you’re casually telling someone something!

7. diffident

diffident definition and synonyms

Never be diffident when saying what you believe in!

Diffident describes someone who is quiet and unconfident whenever they talk or behave. So make sure when you’re saying an opinion you strongly believe in, be brave and confident saying it!


And finally, this week’s quiz!

permeate sentence quiz

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