Google Updates Search Page Dictionary, Now Provides Word Etymology

Google Search has long been a favorite tool of many to quickly check for word definitions, time zones, weather and flight details apart from the good old web search. Back in 2010, Google introduced the Dictionary OneBox that showed up with a definition whenever you looked up a word. Google updated the feature in 2011 and added synonyms and audio diction.

Google has today updated the OneBox with word etymologies, a translate feature and word usage trends. You’ll have to click the down arrow on the box on the search page in order to expand the box and see the new information.


If you choose a language, Google will translate the word for you right there. What you see after that will be the word trend chart showing how the usage of your word has been affected with time.

Google OpenBox Dictionary

Wanna try? Google for “define word”

Google Dictionary Shutdown – I Hate You For the First Time

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.

Old Google Dictionary logo

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.”

google dictionary not available

In response to a few furious users, Google employees responded with the following explanations.

Hi everyone,

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

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 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, by typing the word “define” in front of the word you want to search for, as shown in the following image.


Google definition search

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.

image of google dictionary extension at work

If you are using the Firefox web browser, I recommend the 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.

Firefox Addon for definitions

Now you can comfortably keep on HATING Google, while looking up every crazy word in the world.


From Rag-Time to Woot, Oxford English Dictionary Celebrates 100 Years

Word lovers rejoice! The Concise Oxford English Dictionary celebrates a century with the announcement of its 12th Edition today. Angus Stevenson, in a post titled “A century of defining our language“, announced the history making edition on the Oxford Dictionaries blog today.

According to the blog the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (COED for short) is a “different kind of dictionary,  one that sought primarily to cover the language of its own time.” The editor of the first edition, Henry and Hank Fowler, were quoted as saying, “we admit colloquial, facetious, slang, and vulgar expressions with freedom, merely attaching a cautionary label”.  Perhaps this is why the COED has survived even into the digital age. I must admit, I found reading through the blog very interesting. It is amazing when you consider how much the English language has changed in a relatively short amount of time.

The COED continues today to move with the times. You can now find words like cyberbullying, domestic goddess, and even woot! New meanings to old words have been added as well. For instance, the word friend now has the added meaning of  “a contact on a social networking website”.

The COED has devoted a page entirely to the centenary edition which can be found here. There is a lot of information about the history of the COED. You can watch a short video (embedded below) which provides a “quick history” of the COED.

You can even send a “photographic journey of words through the century” e-card. Pictured below you will see one of the e-cards from the year I was born. I had to laugh when I saw that year’s phrase was neighborhood watch! They must have known I was coming.


I am glad to see that the Concise Oxford Dictionary is doing what it can to stay relevant in this technology driven world.  In a world where we are inundated by words, I think sometimes we underestimate the affect words can have. They can inspire, inform, and motivate. I believe that words, carefully chosen, can have a lasting positive impact on their reader, otherwise, I wouldn’t bother to write. I leave you with this quote from Mark Twain, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”


Cut the Rope, Sports Tracker and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary App Hit the Android Market

Cut the Rope for Android was recently released by ZeptoLab for free on GetJar, with ads. Today, ZeptoLab has released Cut the Rope on the Android market, for a mere 0.99$. To know more about Cut the Rope, users can check out our previous article on the game. Android handset owners can download the game from here.

For sports freaks using an Android phone, the most popular sports tracking application for Nokia smartphones Sports Tracker, is now available on the Android Market.


I used the app for a short period of time, and I must say that the app has a very polished look and feel to it. When comparing the UI, Sports Tracker is definitely one of the best sports tracking application for Android.

The app also sports a variety of sports activities, and also includes an option to create manual presets. Sports Tracker also uploads all the data relating to the users sporting activity online for analyzing the results and sharing with friends. The app can be downloaded from free from here.

Last but not the least; Merriam-Webster’s official Dictionary app has hit the Android Market, for free. Merriam-Webster is one of the most popular and respected dictionary in the United States.


The app does what it is intended for. Finally, I can uninstall the crappy official application from my phone. The app can be downloaded for free from here.

Oxford Discards Printed Dictionary, moves to Online Publications only

The Oxford English Dictionary is held in high esteem by everyone. It has established a name for itself over time. However, the presence of innumerable online alternatives has killed the business based around printed dictionaries.

Seeing this trend, the Oxford University Press has decided not to publish a hard copy of the next version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Instead, they are stressing more on the online publication system.

Therefore, the Oxford English Dictionary will now be available only as e-books. The current OED available online receives two million page views per month and is a subscription based service.

Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of OUP, told the Sunday Times,

The print dictionary market is just disappearing; it is falling away by tens of per cent a year.

That is a considerable drop and by that rate, it will take the OED 4 years to drop to a poor 65%. Considering that the next full edition is a decade away and by that time, the figure would have reached around 35% at 10% per year.

Compared to the millions of dollars the OED invests in research of new words and managing lexicographers, its profits from the sale of OED is minimal. The dropping sale figure looks disappointing and moving to an e-book format is the best decision the OUP can take at this time.

Most of the printed media is also trying to maintain a parallel system of digital publications on the Internet. Most newspapers do it nowadays. This system proves beneficial to all and makes the business failsafe.


Google Search Now More Dictionary Definition Friendly

Have you ever used Google to lookup meanings of words? Well, I have done it several times and have found it a bit of an hassle when it comes to searching dictionary meanings because of the way Google presented search results. However, I just came across a really awesome feature in Google Search which will make search for dictionary meanings a piece of cake.


As you can see from the screenshot above, Google Search now displays dictionary definitions more prominently and also includes options to browse on more information about the words you are searching. This is not limited to a single word and can be used for several other words as seen in the screenshot below.

This is definitely a very big improvement on what I used to see earlier and will make life easier for people who use Google to actually find definitions and meanings for words. Really very helpful. This is just one of the several improvements I have been seeing with Google Search. Earlier, Google had also introduced a Answering and Feedback system which would allow them to improve search results.

What do you think of the new Dictionary definition improvements in Google? Do you like them? Will you find it useful? Do let me know your thoughts.

Google Dictionary Is Pretty Good

that Google had a dictionary, we knew it for a while but did not think much about it. However, we did put it to use and were pretty happy with it. It can be a really good place to get distraction less definitions of words.


The best part about this dictionary is that it provides you definitions in 30 languages, it also supports starring and recent searches, a feature which is very similar to other Google Products.

Google Dictionary [via The Next Web]

Visual Vocabulary/Dictionary Learning Service

Back in school our teachers used to ask us to make use of words to create full sentences. Though a difficult task in itself, it definitely helped improve our vocabulary. Now imagine learning new words the same way albeit visually.

WeboWord is a interesting online service that helps you learn word definitions and understand the vocabulary visually.


To make users understand a word they create situational comics that help you in remembering the words better.

Definitely a great way to learn English definitions as the visuals are pretty good and leave a lasting effect.

What do you think? Will this help you learn the English vocabulary better?

Visit WeboWord

WordWeb: Quick Dictionary Lookup [Software]

A language can only be learnt through experience and practice, and honing a language as weird as English can be a devil of a job. In a language in which you can spend the last evening evening out a pile of dirtor in which a soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert, a language which is official in 53 countries, spoken by more than a billion people and has several families and styles, can no doubt be a hard nut to crack.

For a language which has far too many words, people often use a dictionary. Ok, that’s an underestimation. People always use dictionaries to lookup word definitions. Earlier, we had printed books and hand printed manuscripts, but today, even though we still have hard copy dictionaries, most people just use their computers to quickly look up words or type in queries in their iPhones for quick meanings.

WordWeb is one such desktop application, that you can install on your PCs and fire it up whenever you find a word that even your cat hasn’t heard of. A superstition has it, that cats have seven lives. So even in seven lives, if your cat hasn’t heard of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, you should accept that your cat is dumb and dig in a dictionary to see what it means.

WordWeb is a comprehensive one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links.


Looking up a word in WordWeb is a piece of cake. Either use the keyboard hotkeys to fire it up (CTRL+ALT+<modifier>) or click the right mouse button while the CTRL key is pressed down. WordWeb is available in two editions. A free edition which has 150,000 root words and 120,000 synonym sets and a pro edition which will cost you $19. The pro edition has 6000 more definitions and some extra features such as a editable word database and wildcard word search.

In all, WordWeb makes up for a amazing quick look up dictionary and thesaurus. Although the pro version has some extra features, the free edition will be more than enough for an average user’s unfathomable, arcane and deviant word needs.

Oriango | Online Dictionary of Web Content

Welcome to Oriango.

It is a repository of web content, which allows you to quickly store and share your favorite web links, news, videos, sites, profiles, music, blogs, anything you need. Like most of the other user driven sites, characteristic of Web 2.0, the content on this site is user driven. People submit the content and share it with others. This makes it always updated and informative.


Use of Oriango is extremely easy. It does not require you to register with it. A unique feature of Oriango is that its interface looks like a dictionary, which is familiar even to a child. Users are provided with an easy but powerful search option.

But why Dictionary ? Let’s see what they say…

All the information added to Oriango is arranged alphabetically, as in a dictionary, this way is certain that only the name or the title will matter, allowing independence on their choices. Therefore it’s the user that chooses what is relevant, important or cool, not a group selection, votes or page rank.

Could you get the reasoning ? At least I couldn’t make out much of it.

Although, it is a new site, but it is yet to be seen, how they are going to differentiate themselves in this era of  information overload.