Language learning has never been as easier as it is right now. The Internet is teeming with all kinds of resources from online tutoring services to mobile apps focused exclusively on helping people learn new languages. One can learn to speak a language fluently right from the comforts of their own place.
Dictionaries are key in this regard. In fact, they are central tools in the toolkit of not only language learners but any literate individual. Language is full of neologisms and technical jargon which require explanation.
Therefore, whether you are a native speaker or a beginner learner, you will always need a dictionary by your side.
[ Related: Best grammar apps for students]
Thankfully, the Internet has made it super easy to access and find different types of dictionaries. It has also saved us the conundrum of having to keep with us physical copies of dictionaries wherever we go. Now, with a single click from within your browser you can search for the definition of any word.
Not only that, you can also search the right way to pronounce the word, see examples of usages in real contexts, get help with idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and many more.
The purpose of today’s post is to share with you some of the best dictionary websites online. You and your students can use them to search for word definitions, word usages, grammar tips, synonyms and antonyms, and many more. To improve students vocabulary, check out best vocabulary websites for students.
Online Dictionaries for Students
Here are our picks for the best online dictionaries for students
1- Google Dictionary
If you are looking for a quick and handy way to search for definitions of words online Google dictionary is your go-to tool. The way it works is easy: open Google search, type in the search operator Define followed by the word you want to define and hit search.
You will be able to access the definition of the word, examples of usage, antonyms and synonyms, origin of the words, translation, a graph showing the use of the word over time and many more.
Merriam Webster dictionary is both a dictionary and Thesaurus. When you search for a word on Merriam Webster you will get the following: definition with pronunciation of the term, synonyms and antonyms of the word, examples of the word in a sentence, recent examples on the web where the words appeared, history and etymology of the word and many more.
Merriam Webster also offers the following features: usage and grammar, commonly confused, trending words, a 10-question challenge to test one’s vocabulary, a daily crossword challenge, spelling word quizzes, word of the day and several other games and educational resources.
This is a powerful online Thesaurus that offers students access to a huge library of community-driven synonyms and antonyms. When you search a word on Power Thesaurus you will be able to get the following results: definition and pronunciation of the word, synonyms and antonyms, sentences exemplifying usages, synonymic phrases, idioms, and more.
Power Thesaurus also enables you to save your searches to your list of favourites so you can keep track of your searched words. The service is free but it also offers a premium plan which is ad-free and offers more features.
Another excellent dictionary website for students and learners. Macmillan dictionary offers various services including definitions, pronunciations, synonyms, idioms, collocations, videos, images, and sound effects. Macmillan also offers a crowdsourced Open Dictionary where users submit words, expressions and phrases for the site to consider adding to the dictionary.
Use Open Dictionary to search for latest additions or search for specific terms. Another cool feature in Macmillan is BuzzWord where users discover new ways of using words. Macmillan also includes over 50 emoji, pragmatics lessons, William Shakespeare resources for use in classrooms, language infographics, metaphors, jokes and humor, and many more.
Collins Dictionary is a dictionary website that offers several services including: thesaurus, translator, word lists, conjugations, tools for learning grammar, English dictionary, English-French dictionary, English-German dictionary, English-Italian dictionary, English-Portuguese dictionary, English-Spanish dictionary, English-Chinese dictionary, English-Hindi dictionary, English-Korean dictionary, and more.
Ludwig is an online sentence search engine. What it does is that it finds examples of word usage from ‘newspapers, reliable and well written scientific journals, official documents and more!’ The way it works is easy: you type in your sentence (or word) and Ludwig brings you examples of the sentence being used in various sources in the Internet.
Also, users can type using any language they want and Ludwig automatically translates it into English. The advanced search features are especially helpful to use to compare the frequency of two similar expressions, to paraphrase sentences, to find missing words, etc.
Ludwig free plan offers very limited features including only 15 search results and daily queries for registered members. The premium plan offers more features (e.g., unlimited daily queries, interactive results, library, advanced filter, etc)
WordReference is a bilingual dictionary and translation service. It offers dictionaries in several languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and many more. The Language Forums section includes discussions about contextual usage of language. Users pose their questions and native speakers provide answers. To learn more check out WordReference full review.
8- Word Hippo
Word Hippo is an online thesaurus that allows users to easily find synonyms and antonyms for any word. It also offers a number of other interesting features including: example sentences, rhyming words, word types (e.g., derivatives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, etc), matching words, word definitions, translations, quizzes, picture of the day, word of the day, and many more.
Visuwords is both a dictionary and a thesaurus that offers visual representations of words. When you search a word on Visuwords you will be able to access its definition, examples of usage when available, and the term’s associations with other words and concepts.
I think the strength of Visuwords lies in its ability to visualize word associations allowing users to discover a wide range of related terms and concepts.