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Online dictionaries have become part and parcel of the writing and reading culture. Most people rely on online dictionaries to get a clear meaning of different words they come across when reading. However, considering that there are several of them on the internet, you need to know what dictionary to use in different scenarios. This write-up gives you a detailed outlook of the best dictionaries on the web, their unique features, and their pros and cons.
Collins dictionary is one of the best platforms for learners, translators, and teachers. Boasting over 4.5 billion words, Collins is an embodiment of top-tier features. It comes with unique options that can help you improve your grammar and fluency. These include Thesaurus, video, translator, and scrabble. Its search engine features an autosuggest feature that enables you to select the word you are looking for by just typing a few letters.
- Boasts several modes to allow various searches that help improve their grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
- Features over 4.5 billion words
- Has both audio and video pronunciations
- It doesn’t feature urban words
- The translator mode doesn’t always give correct translations
Established using an ideology that is similar to Wikipedia, Wiktionary goes beyond the standard dictionary to provide an in-depth explanation for words using definitions and illustrations. It comes with outstanding features such as autosuggest, pronunciation, synonyms, etymology, anagrams, and related terms, among others. It also integrates new options such as the Thesaurus, language statistics, extensive appendices, and phrasebooks.
- The etymology feature permits users to see the origin of a word
- It supports several languages
- The “anagrams” feature helps you to learn new terms by rearranging letters in a word.
- Users question their credibility since users can edit anything on the site
Google dictionary is one of the most famous dictionaries since it boasts one of the most comprehensive online word directories. Its strongest attribute is the fact that it supports several languages. It also provides synonyms, use case examples, the origin of a word, and antonyms. It also comes with an audio pronunciation tool, autosuggest feature, and displays a word’s present tense, past tense, present, and past participle.
- It supports several languages
- It carries the credibility and reliability of Google as a brand
- Boasts meanings of nearly every English word
- Word translations are not always correct
- There are concerns that it doesn’t feature old-school English words
Urban dictionary is an online platform where you can find definitions, pronunciation, and synonyms for urban words or slang. Although it doesn’t come handy for scholars and academicians, it can help you decipher slangs or urban words you come across around the web. It defines terms that are often used in the streets.
- It incorporates words that are often not found in standard dictionaries
- It boasts new words from the streets or those that are borrowed from the showbiz
- Doesn’t feature more formal words
- You sometimes have to do many searches without getting desired results
Renowned as the best tool for students and learners, Oxford online dictionary is a robust platform that helps define words both in British and American English. For enhanced clarity, Oxford dictionary features pictures, example sentences, synonyms, and audio pronunciation, among others. It also boasts critical symbols that help show how important a word is to the English language. It is the ideal dictionary to use when writing a thesis or research paper.
- It one of the oldest, and most trusted online dictionary
- The wordfinder feature helps build vocabulary by helping you learn more about related words.
- Boasts both American and British pronunciations
- There are claims of the dictionary having complex word definitions and unclear explanations
Macmillan dictionary is the best place to learn something new every day. It is fully integrated with Thesaurus, and it provides synonyms and a ton of related other terms. It is one of the best dictionaries for English speaking users from all over the world. It comes with stars and colors to display how frequently words are used in English.
- Every word defined in this dictionary links to a thesaurus entry
- It defines words with commonly occurring English terms
- It features new words daily to help improve your grammar
- It has limited features when compared to other dictionaries
Cambridge dictionary is another highly respected online dictionary for official and academic purposes. It boasts three outstanding features which are dictionary, grammar, and translator. The dictionary supports translation for over 20 languages. Other features include audio pronunciations, phrasal verbs, Thesaurus and idioms among others
- The online version boasts idioms, American English, learners, international, and phrasal verb dictionaries
- Pronunciations, synonyms, and translations features help users enhance their vocabulary
- Supports several languages
- Boasts lots of information that might make it hard to get desired results
Having been in existence for more than two decades, Dictionary.com is a top-quality dictionary that has gained the trust of millions of users from around the world. It boasts various features such as audio pronunciation, idioms, synonyms, word origins, and slang phrases, among others. It is considered to be one of the leading sources of word definitions on the internet.
- It features a word directory that has been created in over two decades
- It comes with outstanding features such as word games, synonyms, slang phrases, audio pronunciation and more
- It provides word use cases in sentences, as well as includes definitions for medical terms
- Its association with Ask.com is not going well with some users