Memorizing the dictionary is the ultimate way to increase your vocabulary and learn about words. Granted, there isn't really a practical application for knowing so many words, but it can certainly be fascinating and enjoyable. It's worth the effort if you're interested in language.
Start by looking at smaller vocabulary lists and memorizing new words you don't know. SAT and GRE prep lists are a good source for new words, and learning them will make navigating the dictionary a bit easier.
Read through a little bit of the dictionary each day. You can go in whatever order you like, although alphabetical seems to make the most sense. Make sure you know what you've read and what you haven't.
Keep an alphabetized list of new words and their definitions as you read. It's really helpful to be able to go straight to the words you didn't know instead of trying to find them again in the dictionary.
Sign up for a word-a-day e-mail service. Getting unalphabetized words in your inbox reinforces what you've already learned and is an easy way to test your growing vocabulary.
Avoid devoting too much time to memorizing obscure words as you're reading through the dictionary for the first time. Build your vocabulary from the base up by focusing on words that are difficult, but memorable, before tackling ones that are really tough.
Use mnemonic techniques to make memorizing tough words a little easier. Acrostics, rhymes and image associations are all fun ways to make words stick in your long-term memory.
- Keep your word list on your computer in a word document or text file. This makes it readily available, portable (via e-mail or a flash drive) and easy to edit.