How Many Words Are There in the English Language?

There is no way to truly answer this question; however, one can figure out a rough estimate.

Numerous experts figured out that the English language is comprised of more than a million words. In reality, researchers from Harvard University and Google in 2010 estimated that there are 1,022,000 English words and that number could grow by about 8,500 every year. When you see a substantial number like this, it is very crucial to keep in mind that this contains different sorts of identical words. It likewise has lots of words that we might call antiquated. In other words, phrases that are no longer used in contemporary English.

How Many Words Are There in English?

In the Oxford English dictionary, there are about 600,000-words that are defined in the English language. Once more, this consists of several antique words that are not in daily use any longer. This dictionary increases yearly to stay on top of new terms created to clarify new material around us or include new meaning to important words that already exist in English.

A much different number from the Oxford English dictionary would be the 171,476 words currently related to people in specific professions. These are not precisely the same words in the overall dictionary. These pertain to people’s profession, education, and passions.

It’s also difficult to establish what counts as English. The Oxford English Thesaurus of 1989 includes full definitions for 171,476 words in current use and 47,156 out-of-date words. Another 9,500 words could be added to this as subentries. Over fifty percent of these words are nouns, about a quarter adjectives, and also verbs; the remainder comprised of exclamations, mixes, prepositions, suffixes, and so on. The point is, there are over a quarter million new words in English and over a half million worldwide. If there was a more defined way to count, the total would perhaps resemble three-quarters of a million.

An Ever-Expanding Vocabulary

New words can enter into the language at any time. In 2019, no individual could have forecasted what has ended up being a defining word of 2020: COVID-19. At the same time, this term is here to stay. Another new concept is when you hear the term Tweets and all the words associated with this new terminology. Old words fall away; for example, we don’t use Shakespearean language anymore.

The introduction to lexemes, or a family of related terms, brings us to expressions like Black Lives Matter and emotional support pet. We think about them as systems, yet do we count them as singular words?

Where the English Language Came From

English is a Germanic language with many German and Dutch terminology. They share some core structures, vocabulary, as well as sound. A number of the most regularly used terms in English are Germanic; however, over half the vocabulary is stemmed from Latin and French. Throughout the years, English has been influenced by and welcomed words from various languages, and even today, it has words from many different languages. These words make up about 80% of the English language. When it comes to English, we have a vast number of terms from various places.

Some people think, why isn’t as simple as counting the words in a thesaurus? Unfortunately, the thesaurus doesn’t have enough space. The thesaurus includes key terms that a lot of individuals take to be partial words. Nonetheless, these partial words are prefixes, suffixes, and various other word types which are parts of words. We do not always think about or classify these affixes as words, but some of them can be words of their own.

Furthermore, thesaurus’ differs from one another depending on the target audience. For instance, the student’s thesaurus, for those who need to recognize the principles of a language, and scientific thesaurus with those specific terms that only deal with forensic would certainly be different. That indicates each thesaurus will have a different variety of words, with some words turning up in countless dictionaries while various other overly technical words do not.

Today, online thesaurus enable us to search as well as record English words freely. The thesaurus makes it possible for synonym replacement phrases to keep growing.

Digital development allows us to capture a collection of phrases like never before. A corpus is yet a different method to envision the English language. A corpus most regularly explains a substantial or detailed collection of imaginative phrases, to grammatically describe a whole set of particular etymological within a language. In other words, we are able to go online and read the different books with different genres.

The Vocabulary of an Individual

It’s safe to claim that the individual’s typical vocabulary is less than the complete range of English words. There is just no other way to identify and use day-to-day words in the English language.

According to some research, the ordinary 20-year-old English speaker uses around 42,000 words. In a 2011 conference with the BBC, lexicographer Susie Dent estimated that while an English speaker may identify around 40,000 words, they proactively utilize 20,000 of them.

The reality is English-speaking adults use between 20,000 and 30,000 words. The good news is that they are probably able to recognize additional words when reading by using context clues.


All in all, how many words are there in the English language? One famous corpus is the Corpus of Contemporary American English, which consists of more than one billion words drawn from publications, TV programs, blog websites, and many more sources. Yet, these consist of numerous variations of the same specific word. According to the Worldwide Language Display, which tracks language usage patterns, the English language currently covers a massive one million distinctive words.

Contained in such English language listings are bunches and many clinical words that many do not acknowledge yet, naturally, still certify as words. They’re daunting; nevertheless, they are part of the working life of some people.

How many words are there in English? We can only make an educated guess. Words are regularly added and modified, so it would be difficult to choose an ever-evolving number.

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