Culture Vocabulary List: Most Common Words And Phrases


Whether you wish to take the IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL, CAE, FCE, BRIDGE, BULATS (Linguaskill) or even the BRIGHT ENGLISH, you need to enhance your English vocabulary in order to prepare for your test. It is also crucial to learn new vocabulary words if you wish to learn English on your own! We have have made a long list of vocabulary worksheets:

  • Anthropology Vocabulary
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  • Stock Market Vocabulary
  • Real Estate Vocabulary
  • Purchase Vocabulary
  • Product Vocabulary
  • Research Vocabulary
  • Phone Vocabulary
  • Payment Vocabulary
  • Office Supplies Vocabulary
  • Management Vocabulary
  • Law Vocabulary
  • Human Resources Vocabulary
  • The Factory Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary List: Bank and Finance
  • Computer Vocabulary
  • Marketing Vocabulary
  • Social Media Vocabulary
  • Meteorology Vocabulary
  • Architecture Vocabulary
  • Sociology Vocabulary

What Is the Meaning and the Definition of Culture?

The English word culture takes its roots in the Latin word cultura, which stands for grow, farm, or honor. Cultura itself derives from the noun colere, which means both grow and celebrate.

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In this instance, culture can be defined as the shared values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, and traditions of a group of people across any domain such as art, religion, science, language or food.

In English, the word culture encompasses various—and sometimes opposite—meanings. Today, we won’t be talking about the culture of the land : farming ; but about the culture of the art.

renaissance painting

Culture Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Culture

Let’s start by learning about common terms used to discuss Culture, with a capital C.

WordDefinition Beliefsideas shared among a group of people Cultural Institutionestablished organization working for the preservation of culture Designto draw plans showing the look and function of any object before it is made Dialectform of a language specific to a region or social group Diffusionspreading of a concept or idea widely Ethicset of moral principles shared by a group or a field Heritagelegacy of cultural resources in a group or society Knowledgefacts and skills acquired through education or experience Morescustoms and norms of a society or a community Researchthorough study of a field to reach new conclusions Resourcesdocumentation of past work that can be used to conduct new studies Studydetailed investigation of a subject or a field Valuesmoral principles and beliefs that serve to assess the importance of things

Music Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Music

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Now that we’ve seen terms around the notion of culture, it’s time to channel your inner musician and learn practical words to talk about the music craft.

The components of Music

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Music is an intricate art revolving around many different sonorities put together. Here are some of its main components:

WordDefinition Acousticraw performance of a song without electric amplifier Beatbasic unit of time, tempo, and rhythm used in music theory Chorusrepetitive part of a song Chordstwo or more notes played together Collaborate (collab)to work with another artist to produce a song Lyricswritten words composing a song Melodynotes forming a song Rhythmpattern of beats and sounds present in a song

Music Genres and Important Terms

Like any art form, music has tons of different genres :

WordDefinition Bluessecular folk music born in the early 20th century created by African Americans Classical musictraditional music following established principles Pop musicpopular music genre with easy to remember beats and lyrics Rapspeaking in rhymes over hip-hop instrumental Recorddisc where the music is recorded, imprinted, and sold / synonym of song and track Reggae musicmusic genre born in Jamaica in the 1960s recognizable for its engaged lyrics, drum and bass downbeat, and its offbeat rhythm Rock musicrhythmic music with a heavy presence of guitar, drums, and bass Samplereuse of a portion of a song in another song Setseries of songs performed one after the other Singerperson who speaks melodically over a song Singlesong released digitally or physically on its own Tracksynonym of song and record

Art Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Art

In this section, we’ll be highlighting the most important terms related to the art of writing and painting.

Written Art

You’ll find below some key terms about the writing craft and the different genres of books.

WordDefinition Biographybook around someone’s life Dramatype of story which involves conflict and tragedy among characters Essayconcise piece of writing on a particular subject Memoirnonfiction narrative writings based on personal memories Literaturewritten works widely praised Novelfiction prose narrative dealing with human experience Poetryliterary work which revolves around the expression of feelings through the use of style and rhythms Quillwriting tool made from a feather, which was dipped into ink to write on paper Romancewritten work that places its primary focus on the romantic relationship between two characters Scenariowritten outline of a film Typewritermechanical machine used to type characters on a sheet of paper

Art of Painting

In this list, you’ll learn terms about painting styles and techniques.

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WordDefinition Brushstrokeway of applying paint to a surface with a brush Calligraphyart of decorative handwriting Canvaspiece of cloth used by an artist to paint on Contrastjuxtaposition of opposite tones and color in a work of art Cubismearly 20th-century movement revolving around the use of simple geometric shapes Expressionismartistic style in which the image of reality is distorted to better express the artist’s feelings or ideas Gouachepaint consisting of a mix of natural pigment, water, and binding agents ImpressionismFrench 19th-century style of painting that attempts to capture the feeling of a scene rather than its details Landscapegenre of art depicting natural scenery Palettespectrum of colors used in a painting Pastelpaste made of pigment used to make crayons Perspectiverepresentation of three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional artworks Pigmentcoloring substance of paint derived from natural or synthetic sources Portraitpainting depicting only the face or the head of shoulders of a person Sketchrough drawing made to assist in making a finished painting Solventliquid used for dissolving another substance allowing to clean or mix paint

Places of Art

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You’ll find here some of the most common places where art is displayed to the public.

WordDefinition Exhibitionpublic display of works of art Galleryroom in which people look at works of art Museumbuilding in which objects of art, culture, history or science are displayed to the public Theatrebuilding in which plays, shows or motion pictures are displayed

Cinema Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Cinema

Talking about theatre, let’s now see the main terms related to the art of making motion pictures movies: the Seventh Art. Cinema.

WordDefinition Actto perform in a movie or a play Box officeplace where tickets are bought / commercial success of a film Camera anglepoint of view from where the camera is filming Castgroup of actors chosen by the director to play parts in a movie Creditslist of people involved in the production of a film Dialoguewritten conversations between characters of a play Distributionprocess of diffusion of a movie to make it available to a wide audience Dubto translate dialogues of a film in a different language Film studioroom used to shoot movies Moviea recording of moving images that tell a story Plotwritten events of a film Premierefirst public performance of a new film Scenariowritten outline of a film Screenplayscript and shooting directions of a movie Setlocation where a movie or scene is shot Shotseries of frame produced by having the camera in a certain position Stuntdangerous physical feat, popular in action movies Subtitletranscript or translation of dialogues displayed at the bottom of the screen Takesingle continuous recorded experience Voice-overnarration made by someone who doesn’t appear on-screen

a painting brush in watercolor

Now that you know the important terms to talk about each and every cultural activity, it’s time to see how they’re used in a sentence.

Speaking about Art

  • Pablo Picasso produced more than 150.000 works of art, making him the world’s most prolific painter in the history of mankind.
  • The Louvre is the largest museum in France.
  • Besides being one of the most well-known writers in the world, William Shakespeare also used to be an established actor.

Speaking about Cinema

  • He went to the flicks with his friends.
  • This thriller was a huge box-office success.
  • The producer chose a young actor to play the lead role in its movie.

Speaking about Music

  • This pop song has catchy melodies that linger in the mind.
  • Playing the piano requires great hand-eye coordination.
  • In 2020, rap music was the most popular type of music among youngsters, while rock music was at an all-time low.

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