A digital dictionary is available in electronic form, typically on a computer or mobile device. It provides definitions, synonyms, and other information about words. A digital dictionary is often referred to as an online dictionary. Most are also available as an English dictionary app.
Many digital dictionaries also include audio pronunciation, example sentences, and other features to help users understand and use words correctly. Digital dictionaries are a convenient and efficient way to look up words and learn new vocabulary.
Let’s look at the best digital dictionaries available for English words.
Best Online Dictionary
There are many digital dictionaries available, and the best one for you may depend on your needs and preferences. Popular online dictionaries include:
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Available online and as an app for iOS and Android devices. The free dictionary includes definitions, synonyms, and antonyms for words in American English.
- Oxford English Dictionary: A comprehensive dictionary of English, published by the Oxford University Press. The free online dictionary is also available as an app.
- Cambridge Dictionary: Published by the Cambridge University Press and is available online and as an app for iOS and Android devices. The Cambridge Dictionary includes definitions, examples, and audio pronunciation for words in British English. It is a shorter, more general-purpose version of the Cambridge International Dictionary and is suitable for learners of English as a second language.
- Collins Dictionary: Available online and as an app for iOS and Android devices. The free digital dictionary has definitions, synonyms, and examples for words in both British and American English.
Ultimately, the best digital dictionary for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It may be helpful to try out a few different options to see which one works best.
Types of Digital Dictionaries
Digital dictionaries vary in terms of the languages they cover, the information they provide, and the formats available. Common types of digital dictionaries include:
- Bilingual dictionaries: Provide translations between two languages, such as English-Spanish or French-German. They can be helpful for learners of a foreign language or for people who need to communicate with others in a different language.
- Specialized dictionaries: Focus on a specific subject or field, such as medicine, law, or science. They provide specialized vocabulary and definitions related to the subject matter.
- Thesauri: Provide synonyms and antonyms for words, as well as related words and phrases. They can be helpful for writers and speakers looking for alternative words to use.
- Idiomatic dictionaries: Give you meanings and translations for common phrases and expressions that may not be immediately apparent from the individual words.
- Historical dictionaries: Deliver information about the development and evolution of words over time, including their etymology and historical usage.
Overall, there are many different types of online dictionaries available, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and interests.
The Urban Dictionary
Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced online dictionary of slang and colloquial terms. It was founded in 1999 as a way for people to share their own definitions and interpretations of words and phrases that are not found in traditional dictionaries.
Urban Dictionary is not considered a reliable source for academic or professional use. The definitions and examples provided are often written by users rather than trained lexicographers, and they may not be accurate or appropriate.
This free online dictionary can be entertaining to browse, but it is important to use caution and critical thinking when using it as a reference. It’s always a good idea to consult multiple sources and to verify information before using it.
History of the Digital Dictionary
The world is truly becoming smaller with the help of computer devices and technology. Technology like the Internet and mobile phones bring people closer together. One can be sure to pick up the phone anytime and anywhere because it’s so handy and portable. On the Internet, one can talk to a person in the other side of the world in real time and even see these people through video calls.
Another gadget that brings the world closer together is the digital dictionary. Language is still a barrier that we have to get through in many cases; and armed with a dictionary translator, which is one of the features of a digital dictionary, it gets easier to communicate in another language as the days pass. Imagine that you have to carry around with you a big bulky bilingual dictionary. Most likely, it would be a hassle and you’d rather gesture and do charades than actually learn another language. Even a paperback dictionary is hard to bring around since it can be a pretty thick book to have with you.
With digital dictionary products like Franklin Webster’s Unabridged International Dictionary, you’re armed with the perfect English words with the comprehensive knowledge of the contents of the Webster English dictionary that it has. Even if you’re not learning a new language, there are still so many words in the English language alone that we don’t really know about. With a digital dictionary, you will get instantly access to around hundreds of thousands of definitions, synonyms, geographical and biographical entries, as well as a grammar guide.
You can teach yourself to be proficient in the English language or any other language and even know exactly how a variety of words should be pronounced. A digital dictionary fosters learning with use since it is so compact in size that you can bring it around wherever you go. With it fitting in your backpack, purse or briefcase, you can quickly cross reference between various dictionaries and even other languages with just the click of a button. Just type in the word and it will define it for you, and there are also sample sentences provided for better understanding.
When you click on the megaphone icon on the screen of these gadgets, it will pronounce the word for you so you can be sure you’re pronouncing it correctly. With time and guidance, you can learn any language with ease.