In 2009, Google added it’s own dictionary, called Google Dictionary. Many people used it and loved some of the features, such as the ability to “star” some entries and recall them later.
On August 5th, Google suddenly declared that it had shut down Google Dictionary. This prompted a flurry of questions in the Google support forums. One person in particular voiced their concern in a big way:
You shut down “Google Dictionary”. I HATE you for the first time.
If you go to the Dictionary site now, you’ll see Google’s sweet little message telling you that “Google Dictionary is no longer available.”
In response to a few furious users, Google employees responded with the following explanations.
As many of you know, we’ve recently introduced a dictionary tool into Google Web Search to help you quickly look up the definition of a word,. Because the dictionary tool offers the same functionality as Google Dictionary, we’ve decided to discontinue dictionary.google.com.
For your definition needs, you can type your query right into the search box and use the dictionary tool located in the left-hand panel on the results page, or you can type [define (your word)] right into the search box.
I want to thank those of who who’ve been loyal users of dictionary.google.com and welcome you to share your feedback on how the dictionary tool can be improved.
Google is right about that. You can still access most of the same functions from the normal search box at Google.com, by typing the word “define” in front of the word you want to search for, as shown in the following image.
If you click on the word “More >>” at the end of the first result, you’ll be tossed over to what’s left of the now defunct Google Dictionary page. So, all is not lost, except for the “star” feature.
There are some nice alternatives if you still want quick access to dictionary definitions. The first one is the Google Dictionary extension for Google Chrome web browser. This extension allows you to double click on any word in a web page and get a quick pop-up definition. It’s very nice, and once again, clicking on the “More >>” link sends you over to the old Google Dictionary page.
If you are using the Firefox web browser, I recommend the Answer.com addon. After installing it, point at any word, hold the Alt key (Ctrl in Linux) and click. A pop-up will appear on the screen, explaining the term.
Now you can comfortably keep on HATING Google, while looking up every crazy word in the world.