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A vocabulary (also known as a lexicon) is a set of words, typically the set in a language or the set known to an individual. The word vocabulary originated from the Latin vocabulum, meaning "a word, name". It forms an essential component of language and communication, helping convey thoughts, ideas, emotions, and information. Vocabulary can be oral, written, or signed and can be categorized into two main types: active vocabulary (words one uses regularly) and passive vocabulary (words one recognizes but doesn't use often). An individual's vocabulary continually evolves through various methods, including direct instruction, independent reading, and natural language exposure, but it can also shrink due to forgetting, trauma, or disease. Furthermore, vocabulary is a significant focus of study across various disciplines, like linguistics, education, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Vocabulary is not limited to single words; it also encompasses multi-word units known as collocations, idioms, and other types of phraseology. Acquiring an adequate vocabulary is one of the largest challenges in learning a second language.