In a previous blog post, I offered you bookmark-worthy resources regarding online dictionaries and thesauruses. All well and good, but a tech-savvy friend gently reminded me that many peeps would prefer an app version when they’re reading (or writing) via mobile device.
I’ve taken the time to review a cross section of available dictionary apps, so I’m making these recommendations with some confidence. I have an iPhone, but I promise not to leave you Droid, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone users in dictionary app purgatory. Regardless of your smartphone’s operating system, proper spelling and word usage are important habits. Select a dictionary app and use it!
Swipe Away Your Difficult Words with Dictionary.com: I have strong preferences regarding my print reference books, but I must admit: Dictionary.com offers a great dictionary app for iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry devices. Even better, it’s free! Because the thesaurus tags along for the ride (similar to the website version), you only need the one app.
Dictionary.com’s massive word bank (2 million strong) provides the expected definitions, antonyms, and synonyms. Also, if you say your troublesome word out loud, Dictionary.com will search and find it for you! This app also works offline.
Spell Out Some Appreciation for My True Love, Merriam-Webster: Yes, I am biased when it comes to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. This dictionary app is available for both iPhone/iPad and Android platforms. The Merriam-Webster (M-W) app naturally offers you a huge word bank and provides sample sentences (so you better understand how to use any word in question).
Both the Dictionary.com and M-W apps offer you a daily ‘featured word’ and the voice search tool, but the thesaurus feature is where they differ. While the Dictionary.com app includes a separate thesaurus, M-W’s version of a thesaurus merely integrates synonyms and antonyms into all the word entries. Fortunately, M-W is also a free app, so check it out!
With Urban Dictionary, Go Ahead and Sling Your Slang: Why should the regular dictionary apps get all the attention? Sometimes, you need to get down and dirty with your street language; Urban Dictionary is the most fun you’ll ever have with a dictionary app! Available for both iPhone/iPad and Android users, this collection of hip words and phrases is written by people just like you. Because you can vote up or down on the definitions, Urban Dictionary is a most democratic resource. Yep, this one is another free app…
Other Dictionary Apps for Your Thinking Caps: Another reference app available for the iOS platform is Dictionary! While this free dictionary app has a noticeably smaller word bank of about 200,000 entries, you can access it either online or offline, and its definitions are brief and easy to digest.
One more app I’ll offer to both iPhone/iPad and Android lovers is the WordWeb Dictionary. This app offers almost 300,000 words as well as a smaller subset of usage samples and text pronunciations. You can also filter your word searches by noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. WordWeb is free on both platforms and can be accessed offline.
An app version of the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary is available to BlackBerry users for download. It appears to be free, but if you’re a CrackBerry fanatic, please double check before downloading.
I’m not the sharpest tool in the gourmet knife block when it comes to mobile device apps, so any additional dictionary suggestions you have would be swell. What other word-related apps do you find handy to have in your business or personal life? As always, thanks for your reading attention.
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!