Amazon.Com -The World's Greatest Internet Company - Vocabulary

Amazon is the world's largest internet company. It started out as an online bookstore in the middle of the 1990s and grew gradually over the years. Today Amazon sells almost everything from CDs and DVDs to sportswear and electrical appliances. The company also produces its own tablets and e-readers and lets users upload their own photos and other files to the Amazon-based cloud.

Amazon offers its services all over the world. It operates its own websites in the UK, Germany, China, , as well as many South American and Asian countries.

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. It first operated out of a small garage in Washington state. Within a year Amazon offered hundreds of thousands of books. People could not only order books from an online catalogue but also write their own reviews. In 1997 Amazon started trading shares on the NASDAQ stock exchange. By 2000 it made over a billion dollars in sales.

As time went on Amazon grew gradually. It bought many of its rivals and today cooperates with other companies and lets them sell their products via the Amazon website.

In 2007 Amazon went a step further. It surprised the electronics world with a revolutionary eBook reader, the Kindle, which today dominates the market. In 2011 a tablet computer followed, the Amazon Fire. In the following years the company started selling music downloads and videos on demand. Amazon customers can store everything they buy on their private cloud and download it anytime they want.

Today, Amazon serves 20 million customers every day. Its annual income is over 34 billion dollars.


  • although = while

  • Amazon-based = here: something that only works with Amazon and its own computers

  • ambitious = hard-working, very motivated

  • annual = yearly

  • appliance = machine that you use for doing something at home

  • billion = a thousand million

  • cloud = when you work on your own computer but use software or store files on other computers on the Internet

  • condition= situation

  • cooperate = work together with

  • customer = a person who buys a product

  • dominate = control, lead

  • downturn = here: sales go down

  • empire = here: very large company or group of companies

  • employee = worker

  • experience = event, something that happens

  • found – founded = start something new

  • gradually = slowly

  • income = the money you get from selling products

  • monopoly = a large company that controls all or most of the business

  • operate = work

  • personalize = to organize something so that it fits the habits of a certain person

  • point out = want to show

  • retailer = person that sells products to customers

  • review = an opinion about a book, movie etc..

  • revolutionary = something new or not done before

  • rival = other company that wants to sell the same products

  • sales = selling products

  • serve = sell products to

  • services = what a company offers its customers

  • share = part of a company

  • sportswear = clothes you need for doing sports

  • stock exchange = a place where you can buy and sell parts of a company

  • store = save something in order to use it later

  • tablet = small computer with a touch screen, but without a keyboard and mouse

  • video on demand = you can download a video to watch on your computer or TV whenever you want to

  • visionary = someone who has clear ideas and strong feelings about the future

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