The word “dictionary” doesn’t really sound fun, does it? Especially when you’re in school or college every day, but the truth is, dictionary apps can save you a lot of time. Back when I was in school I was always extremely hesitant to use them, because back then, you’d have to go to the library, find this gigantic book and start searching – sometimes even for a few minutes just to find a single word. It was a boring task to an already boring job.
Today, like everything else, dictionaries have also transferred to the internet and then to apps. Although yes, they are still boring (I mean, they are words) it’s now much easier to find the definition or translation to a word you need. Websites like Webster Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary offer verified definitions and there are even websites like Urban Dictionary with a clever, entertaining twist.
So, I started doing the same thing I did all those years ago back in that library – exploring. But this time not for physical dictionaries but for dictionary apps. Here I bring you what I think are the most helpful apps when you’re having trouble with certain words and phrases.
Dictionary – Simple Name, Useful Features
The name is as simple as it gets. And who can blame the developers? The name Dictionary has a ring to it, especially when you’re creating a dictionary app. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found out the app is a bit more than just an average “book filled with word descriptions”. Besides the expected search feature, the app also has a couple of mini-features like Word of the Day and games to help you learn new phrases. Initially, I thought the games are intended for school-kids, but you can get some really complex, new words. So this is great if you want to learn new words as well. If you’re only in the market for the dictionary, then the interactive search feature is more than enough. Oh, and you can use it offline – don’t want to forget mentioning that.
But, I did find out some features like the word of the day don’t work when you’re offline. Which isn’t surprising when you think about it, so I think I was expecting a bit too much. Another thing that’s more concerning is that I had a bit trouble downloading dictionaries for offline usage. I had to restart a couple of time to have it work. It likely will be fixed in the update, but for now, the bug is a bit annoying.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary – A Well-Polished App
You probably know this one as it’s the most likely one to pop up whenever you google the word “dictionary”. So it was only logical to check if they have an app as well. The app feels more stable than the first one and you can also use it offline, it comes with extra features and so on. But the thing I like the most is the overall design. It’s simple and you can see the developers put extra thought in making the app as user-friendly as possible. So I definitely have to give them points for that. Find a definition is intuitive and when you discover it, you are instantly met with a clean design that gives you the definition, pronunciation and extra words that are connected to the original one. It works and I hope they will stick to the golden rule that says: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Speaking of a polished app; although the overall performance is great, there are some minor hiccups. The pronunciation button doesn’t work sometimes, also there’s this weird glitch where sometimes the searched words mix up with words you tagged as a favorite. Not sure if it’s supposed to do that, but it does seem like a flaw to me. Hope they fix it soon.
Dictionary.com, Premium Edition
The last one is for those who want the option of a little extra. So if you’re looking just for a working dictionary app, the first two are more than enough. As far as this one goes, it’s not that it’s better than the other two, but it has something some might find extremely useful – thesaurus. And before I learned that thesaurus is a book that gathers all synonyms, antonyms and so on, I thought thesaurus was a dinosaur. I guess it serves me right for not using a dictionary a bit more.
Anyway, the premium version is fairly priced and it comes with a helpful thesaurus that definitely makes expanding your vocabulary. It’s user-friendly, similar to the Webster one and it has a useful audio search. You can simply speak the word and the app will find the definition for it. You just need to be sure you say the word correctly and with a correct pronouncement.
As I said, this is definitely not a mandatory version as the free ones provide the most important tools you need. One thing that’s off putting is that even though it’s a paid version, it doesn’t seem to be working offline. So I hope same as with the previous apps, the developers do something about it pretty soon.
So here you go, my top 3 dictionary app recommendations. I think most of you will find one of the 3 useful, but in case you don’t, here’s one final suggestion. I found the first and third one on a top 10 list of dictionary apps that provides information to help you decide which app to download. So in case you need more, choices, here’s the web page for you to check out:
As said, I think the 3 are more than enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of more choices – especially when it comes to apps. Finally, I wish you the best of luck and hope the apps will help you find everything word-related. If you discover or are already using a dictionary app you think is great, do let me know so I can check it out. Better that than going to a library, right?