IELTS® Vocabulary List

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Words that start with f
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fabricate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fab-ri-cate/ [f.ae1.b.r.ah0.k.ey2.t]

Definition: Construct or manufacture (an industrial product), especially from prepared components; to make up; lie

Example sentences:

  • Only master craftsmen could design and fabricate such a product.
  • It is upsetting that he would fabricate a story about having survived that horrible tragedy.

facet keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/facet/ [f.ae1.s.ah0.t]

Definition: a distinct feature or element in a problem

Example sentences:

  • The Cold War has ended; technology has refashioned the biggest industries and the tiniest facets of everyday life.
  • You should first consider every facet of what your new life would be like if you are thinking quitting your job to become a freelancer.

factor keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fac-tor/ [f.ae1.k.t.er0]
ondemand_video

Okay! The next word is ‘factor’. A factor is a part or an element that contributes to a result. For example,

  • There are many factors that contribute to global warming.

Normally when you are making a decision, you think about many different factors. For example,

  • If you are making a decision on where to go to university, money, distance and quality will all be factors in your decision. Notice the preposition ‘in’ is used after the word “factor”.

The word "factor" can also be used as a verb. To factor means to consider something relevant when making a decision or conclusion. For example,

  • We need to factor in the weather and traffic when figuring out how long the drive will be.

 

Now! Let’s see three common patterns and expressions used with the word ‘factor’. Note that A is the cause. B is the result.

  • One factor in B is A
  • A is one factor in B
  • Another factor in B is A

 

Let’s look at some example sentences.

Note that we often use adjectives such as "key", "critical", "contributing", and "crucial" with the noun ‘factor‘.

  • The key factor in the current growth in population is mortality rate.
  • One critical factor in the current growth in population is mortality rate.
  • Decreasing the number of cars on the road is one crucial factor in the effort to reduce air pollution.
  • Decreasing the number of cars on the road is one contributing factor in the effort to reduce air pollution.
  • Another factor in water population is the increase in fertilized use by farmers.
  • Another crucial factor in water population is the increase in fertilized use by farmers.

 

If you don’t want to use ‘factor in’ in any of above sentences, you can use ‘factor that contributes to something’ instead. Take this sentence for example.

  • “One critical factor in the current growth in population is mortality rate.”

You can change it to:

  • “One critical factor that contributes to the current growth in population is mortality rate.”

 

fall short of keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fall short of/ [no ipa available]

The phrase "fall short of" means to fail to meet expectations or requirements.  The collocation 'fall short of requirements' and 'fall short of expectations'  are often used. 

Example sentences:

  • The phone falls quite short of the company’s unusual quality, feeling a bit cheap as a result.
  • Unfortunately, your application fell short of the requirements for entry, so it has been denied.
  • August car sales fell short of the industry's expectations.
  • I fell short of the requirements for the university.
faulting keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fault-ing/ [f.ao1.l.t.ih0.ng]

Definition: (Of a rock formation) be broken by a fault or faults

Example sentences:

  • Faulting occurs when there is stress on the crust of the earth and layers of layers of rocks fold causing a fault or break in the rock.

fauna keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fau-na/ [f.ao1.n.ah0]

When you go on a nature walk in a school setting, your teacher might tell you to observe the flora and fauna in the woods. Flora is plant life; fauna refers to animals.

feline keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fe-line/ [f.iy1.l.ay2.n]

Definition: Relating to or affecting cats or other members of the cat family

Example sentences:

  • My cat, being a fully paid-up member of the fastidious feline world, now refuses to eat anything else.

fertile keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fer-tile/ [f.er1.t.ah0.l]

The adjective "fertile" describes

  • land that can produce a large number of good quality crops
  • animals or plants are able to produce (a lot of) young or fruit
  • mind or imagination is active and produces a lot of interesting and unusual ideas.

Here are example sentences:

  • He has a fertile mind.
  • People get less fertile as they get older.
  • In order to turn the deserts into fertile and productive land, engineers built an 800-mile canal.
  • Organic farmers don't put chemicals into the soil but keep it fertile by adding manure.

 

fertilization keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fer-til-iza-tion/ [f.er2.t.ah0.l.ih0.z.ey1.sh.ah0.n]

Fertilization is the process of fertilizing. Here are example sentences:

  • The process of soil fertilization restores essential nutrients to farmland.
  • In humans, fertilization is more likely to occur at certain times of the month.
  • Corals can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Corals reproduce sexually by either internal or external fertilization.
fertilizer keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fer-til-iz-er/ [f.er1.t.ah0.l.ay2.z.er0]

Definition: A chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility

Example sentences:

  • The only way to be a successful farmer is to use lots of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

figurative keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fig-u-ra-tive/ [f.ih1.g.y.er0.ah0.t.ih0.v]

Definition: (Of an artist or work of art) representing forms that are recognizably derived from life.

Example sentences:

  • Duncan creates elegant female forms and her work is figurative, though not representational.

fine-tune keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fine-tune/ [no ipa available]

Definition: Make small adjustments to (something) in order to achieve the best or a desired performance:

Example sentences:

  • They can fine-tune the computer programs to focus on a small region of space

fishery keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fish-ery/ [f.ih1.sh.er0.iy0]

Definition: A place where fish are reared for commercial purposes.

Example sentences:

  • Although some stream fed commercial fisheries do contain natural fish, the fast majority are artificially stocked.

flammable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flam-ma-ble/ [f.l.ae1.m.ah0.b.ah0.l]

Definition: Easily set on fire

Example sentences:

  • Kerosene is volatile, flammable and leaks very easily from containers.

flaw keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flaw/ [f.l.ao1]

Definition: an imperfection in an object or machine; make imperfect or defective

Example sentences:

  • Jack and his friends are smart, realistically flawed, clever and quirky.
  • They were exceptional cameras, even with a handful of notable flaws.

flora keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flo-ra/ [f.l.ao1.r.ah0]

When you go on a nature walk in a school setting, your teacher might tell you to observe the flora and fauna in the woods. Flora is plant life; fauna refers to animals.

flourishing keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flour-ish-ing/ [f.l.er1.ih0.sh.ih0.ng]

Definition: very lively and profitable

Example sentences:

  • Scientists in the program announced today that the quick-diving birds are flourishing in Illinois and are no longer in immediate danger.
  • Small flourishing companies would be harmed by an increase in the minimum wage.

foliage keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fo-liage/ [f.ow1.l.ih0.jh]

Definition: Plant leaves, collectively

Example sentences:

  • Spent flower stems can be removed as well as dead leaves but leave healthy foliage to die back naturally.

forage keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-age/ [f.ao1.r.ih0.jh]

Forage has two meanings.

The first meaning is to search for food. The phrase “forage for something‘ is often used. Here are example sentences:

  • Jackass penguins forage at sea and dive to a depth of 130 meters in search of food.
  • The foraging behavior varies considerably among penguin species. Adélie penguins feed primarily on small krill, while chinstraps forage for large krill.

The second meaning is to eat grass.

  • The cows were foraging in the pasture.

foraging keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-ag-ing/ [f.ao1.r.ih0.jh.ih0.ng]

The adjective “foraging” describes the act of searching for food. The term “foraging behavior” is often used.

  • Animals exhibit several different types of foraging behavior.​
  • Scratching, a common foraging behavior for many ground-feeding birds, including sparrows, uses one foot or both feet simultaneously to remove or loosen debris from the ground to reveal seeds, bugs or other food.
forfeit keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-feit/ [f.ao1.r.f.ih0.t]

Definition: Lose or be deprived of (property or a right or privilege) as a penalty for wrongdoing

Example sentences:

  • Those unable to meet their taxes were liable to forfeit their property

formation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-ma-tion/ [f.ao0.r.m.ey1.sh.ah0.n]

Definition: The action of forming or process of being formed:

Example senences:

  • During this time the molecular processes of memory formation which underlie addiction are accelerated.

 

fossil keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fos-sil/ [f.aa1.s.ah0.l]

fossil is the hard remains of a prehistoric animal or plant that are found inside a rock. The synonym is fossilized remains or remains.

fossilized keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fos-silized/ [f.aa1.s.ah0.l.ay2.z.d]

Definition: Preserved to become a fossil:

Example sentences:

  • Even more remarkable than the evidence of prehistoric man was the discovery of thousands of fossilised animal bones.

fragrant keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fra-grant/ [f.r.ey1.g.r.ah0.n.t]

Definition: Having a pleasant or sweet smell.

Example sentences:

  • The myriad of colours and the sweet, fragrant scent of the blooms overwhelmed the senses to the point of excess

franchise keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fran-chise/ [f.r.ae1.n.ch.ay2.z]

Definition: An authorization granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities, for example acting as an agent for a company’s products:

Example sentences:

  • We are at an advanced stage of negotiations with a large number of individuals about possible franchises.

frenzied keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fren-zied/ [f.r.eh1.n.z.iy0.d]

Definition: Wildly excited or uncontrolled:

Example sentences:

  • We took our seats and tried to make sense of the frenzied activity and furious number calling all around us.

frigid keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/frigid/ [f.r.ih1.jh.ah0.d]

Definition: Very cold in temperature:

Example sentences:

  • The sea here is as cold as Cornwall in winter and you have to wear a full wetsuit, boots, gloves and a hood to insulate you from the frigid waters and equally cold winds

fulfillment keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ful-fill-ment/ [f.uh0.l.f.ih1.l.m.ah0.n.t]

Fulfillment is the completion of something, like the fulfillment of a promise. It is the noun of the verb “fulfill.” 

Example sentences using the word fulfillment:

  • Starting my own business was the fulfillment of my childhood dream.
  • You cannot advance in your course until the fulfillment of three classes​ 
fundamental keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fun-da-men-tal/ [f.ah2.n.d.ah0.m.eh1.n.t.ah0.l]

Definition: serving as an essential component

Example sentences:

  • The likely accelerating effect of recent advances in artificial intelligence on technological change is going to roil our labor markets in many fundamental ways.

face keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/face/ [f.ey1.s]

Definition: to be in the presence of and oppose

Example sentences:

  • Information on whether the project is effective would have been useful for policymakers who are facing difficult choices about where to invest limited resources.
  • The researchers say the discovery could be of concern in the face of climate change and melting ice.

facilitate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fa-cil-i-tate/ [f.ah0.s.ih1.l.ah0.t.ey2.t]

Definition: make easier; increase the likelihood of (a response)

Example sentences:

  • More often than not, hacking attacks are facilitated by carelessness.

fahrenheit keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fahren-heit/ [f.eh1.r.ah0.n.hh.ay2.t]

Definition: Of or denoting a scale of temperature on which water freezes at 32° and boils at 212° under standard conditions

Example sentences:

  • The temperature was steady at 65° Fahrenheit.

fallacious keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fal-la-cious/ [f.ah0.l.ey1.sh.ah0.s]

Definition: containing or based on a fallacy

Example sentences:

  • The gravity of the problem has been masked over the years by a series of fallacious arguments.

faults keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/faults/ [f.ao1.l.t.s]

Definition: An extended break in a rock formation, marked by the relative displacement and discontinuity of strata on either side of a particular plane

Example sentences:

  • Iranian leaders have promised to rebuild the town, which is on a major earthquake fault line. Most transform faults are found on the ocean floor.

feign keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/feign/ [f.ey1.n]

Definition: make believe with the intent to deceive

Example sentences:

  • A controlling boss, demanding co-worker, or aggressive customer may be masking their lack of mental strength with a feigned air of toughness.
  • She feigned illness when it was time to visit the dentist.

ferocity keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fe-roc-i-ty/ [f.er0.aa1.s.ah0.t.iy0]

Definition: The state or quality of being ferocious

Example sentences:

  • The ferocity of the storm caught them by surprise.

fertility keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fer-til-i-ty/ [f.er0.t.ih1.l.ah0.t.iy0]

 

Fertility refers to the quality of being able to fertilize, so it can have the following meanings:

  • the quality of producing a large number of good quality crops
  • the quality of being able to produce young or fruit:
  • the quality of producing a lot of unusual and interesting ideas 

Example sentences:

  • Farmers began to alternate the cultivation to maintain fertility. 
  • Crop rotation can improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.
  • Globally, the fertility rate has fallen to 2.5 children per woman and low fertility rates are the norm in most parts of the world.
fertilize keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fer-til-ize/ [f.er1.t.ah0.l.ay2.z]

To fertilize is to spread a natural or chemical substance on land or plants, in order to make the plants grow well. Here are example sentences:

  • In organic farming, only natural materials may be used to fertilize crops.
  • Much of the soil in our nation has become infertile due to the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.

To fertilize can also mean to cause an egg or seed to start to develop into a new young animal or plant by joining it with a male cell. Here are example sentences:

  • Bees fertilize the flowers by bringing pollen.
  • Once an egg is fertilized by the sperm, it becomes an embryo.
  • Plants that can self-fertilize can still benefit from cross-pollination because it can lead to more or higher quality fruit.
feudal keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/feu-dal/ [f.y.uw1.d.ah0.l]

Anything that is feudal is something that is related to feudalism. Feudalism is the social system that developed in Europe in the 8th century in which vassals were protected by lords who they had to serve in war. Used in examples:

  • In a feudal society, laborers do not own the land that they work on.
  • The Black Death, and a combination of other factors, led to the decline of feudalism.
filmmaker keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/film-mak-er/ [f.ih1.l.m.ey2.k.er0]

Definition: A person who directs or produces movies for the theater or television.

Example sentences:

  • Being a documentary filmmaker is hard work, and isn't as rewarding financially as making TV shows or feature films.

finite keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fi-nite/ [f.ay1.n.ay2.t]

Definition: Having limits or bounds:

Example sentences:

  • Every computer has a finite amount of memory

flamboyant keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flam-boy-ant/ [f.l.ae0.m.b.oy1.ah0.n.t]

Definition: (Of a person or their behaviour) tending to attract attention because of their exuberance, confidence, and stylishness; Bright, colourful, and very noticeable

Example sentences:

  • These vibrant colours and flamboyant designs distinguished Art Deco from previous artistic styles, along with its respect for Japanese heritage and its contribution to modernism.

flatulence keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flat-u-lence/ [no ipa available]

Definition: The accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal

Example sentences:

  • Gas, flatulence, and bloating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Foods that may cause flatulence.

flight-of-fancy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flight-of-fan-cy/ [no ipa available]

Definition: An idea, narrative, suggestion, etc. which is extremely imaginative and which appears to be entirely unrealistic, untrue, or impractical; thinking which is very speculative

Example sentences:

  • With images that stir such flights of fancy, it's no wonder that Scotland's far-flung locations are a magnet for film-makers.

flourish keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/flour-ish/ [f.l.er1.ih0.sh]

If something like an idea, a trend, a civilization, or a business..etc flourishes, it is successful, active, or common, and developing quickly and strongly. Used in example sentences:

  • The Indus civilization flourished for half a millennium from about 2600 bc to 1900 bc. Then it mysteriously declined and vanished from view. 
  • Romanticism was a movement in the arts that flourished in Europe and America between 1750 and 1870.
  • The economy flourishes despite a fairly high rate of chronic unemployment.
  • If businesses flourish they will attract more industries and more people.

 

If a plant or animal flourishes, it grows well or is healthy because the conditions are right for it. Used in example sentences:

  • The plant flourishes particularly well in slightly harsher climes.
  • With the advent of global warming, farmers needed diversity more than ever because it was unclear what varieties would flourish in unfamiliar conditions.
fluctuate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fluc-tu-ate/ [f.l.ah1.k.ch.ah0.w.ey2.t]

Definition: Rise and fall irregularly in number or amount; as adjective( fluctuating)

Example sentences:

  • They stare into an infinite chasm that opens up in the face of using a limited amount of notes that fluctuate from serene moments to bawling noise storms.

footprint keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/foot-print/ [f.uh1.t.p.r.ih2.n.t]

Definition: The impact on the environment of human activity in terms of pollution, damage to ecosystems, and the depletion of natural resources

Example sentences:

  • Music streaming can be bad for your carbon footprint - the computer has to be on to play audio files from its hard drive.

forager keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-ager/ [no ipa available]

forager is one who forages. For roughly 90% of history, humans were foragers who used simple technology to gather, fish, and hunt wild food resources. Today only about a quarter million people living in marginal environments, e.g., deserts, the Arctic, and tropical forests, forage as their primary subsistence strategy. 

force keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/force/ [f.ao1.r.s]

Force has several meanings and can be used in the form of a noun or verb. Force means power or strength, which can be physical or not physical.  Force can also mean pressure, which makes someone do something. 

In both the noun and verb form it can be used as count and noncount in a sentence. First, let’s take a look at noncount sentences in the noun form which means physical strength or power:

  • The front of the car took the full force of the collision.
  • These instruments are used to measure the force of the wind
  • The police were accused of using excessive force when they made the arrest.
  • We discourage the use of force.

Example sentences using the count:

  • gravitational/electromagnetic forces
  • The cliff was gradually eroded by the forces of nature.
  • natural forces

 

Sometimes the word force is used figuratively. Let’s look at an example below:

  • She gets people to do whatever she wants: she's a force of nature. = This means she's a very powerful person who cannot be easily controlled.

 

Example sentences in the verb form with an object:

  • They forced us to work long hours without pay.
  • He was forced to resign from office. This means he was forced out of office.
  • I really have to force myself (means to make a great effort) to get up and go to work these days.

 

The phrasal verb, “force on/upon” means to cause (someone or something that is not wanted) to be accepted by (someone).

  • They resent having these decisions forced on them.
  • I don't like the way he keeps forcing himself on us. (This means the way he keeps coming to be with us when we do not want to be with him)
formation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-ma-tion/ [f.ao0.r.m.ey1.sh.ah0.n]

Definition: The action of forming or process of being formed:

Example senences:

  • During this time the molecular processes of memory formation which underlie addiction are accelerated.

 

formidable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/for-mi-da-ble/ [f.ao1.r.m.ah0.d.ah0.b.ah0.l]

Definition: Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable:

Example sentences:

  • He is a formidable opponent

fossilization keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fos-siliza-tion/ [no ipa available]

Definition: The process of remains becoming fossils

Example sentences:

  • Fossilization usually occurs in organisms with hard, bony body parts, such as skeletons, teeth, or shells. Soft-bodied organisms, such as worms, are rarely fossilized.

foster keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fos-ter/ [f.aa1.s.t.er0]

Definition: to promote growth or development

Example sentences:

  • The programs foster connections and sometimes increase productivity among employees who are geographically dispersed and often working from home.
  • The industrial revolution fostered the rise of the middle class.

frail keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/frail/ [f.r.ey1.l]

Definition: (Of a person) weak and delicate

Example sentences:

  • He was desperately frail, too weak to move his limbs but still strong enough to let out that cry which tears at every human heart.

franchising keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fran-chis-ing/ [f.r.ae1.n.ch.ay0.z.ih0.ng]

Definition: the practice of selling the right to use a firm's successful business model.

Example sentences:

  • One advantage of franchising is a franchisee can instantly get a nationally recognized name with management training, so it is easier to find buyers

freshly keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fresh-ly/ [f.r.eh1.sh.l.iy0]

Definition: very recently

Example sentences:

  • A few months ago the college staged a jobs fair which attracted more than 25 employers looking to recruit new, freshly trained staff.
  • Always grate your parmesan cheese freshly, as you use it, to reap the most flavor.

fulfill keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ful-fill/ [f.uh0.l.f.ih1.l]

The verb "fulfill" means to do what is required, promised, or expected. The following collocations are often used 

  • fulfill the duties
  • fulfill the obligations
  • fulfill the role

Here are example sentences:

  • You are fired because you couldn't fulfill your duties.
  • She failed to fulfill her obligations.
  • You failed to fulfill your role as the manager.

 "To fulfill" can also mean to succeed in doing or providing. The following collocations are often used

  • fulfill the needs
  • fulfill the purpose
  • fulfilled [=met, satisfied] the requirements

Here are example sentences:

  • The program is intended to fulfill the basic needs of children in the community.
  • The committee was disbanded after it had fulfilled its purpose. [=after it had done what it was intended to do]
  • I have fulfilled [=met, satisfied] the requirements needed to graduate.

"To fulfill" can also mean to make (something, such as a dream) true or real. The following collocations are often used

  • fulfill one's ambition
  • fulfill one's wish

Here are example sentences:

  • fulfilled my life's ambition when I started my own business.
  • He fulfilled his childhood wish to become a professional baseball player.

 

function keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/func-tion/ [f.ah1.ng.k.sh.ah0.n]

Definition: the normal purpose of something

Example sentences:

  • I can’t think of a better function for a piece of technology than its rekindling of a passion for cultural exploration.
  • Most appliances cannot function without electricity

fungus keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/fun-gus/ [f.ah1.ng.g.ah0.s]

Definition: Any of a group of unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, including moulds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools

Example sentences:

  • A fungus is any member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms.

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