How-ToTech

Expand Your Vocabulary With These 6 Dictionary Apps for Android and iPhone

If you’ve ever held a physical dictionary in your hands, you know how large and heavy they can be. With the modern marvel of smartphones, all those words and definitions that fill the pages of a physical dictionary can be accessed at any time, anywhere you are.

As you’d expect, dictionary apps tell you a lot about a single word, like what it means, where it comes from, and how to use or pronounce it properly. But many of these apps also contain a thesaurus, as well as fun word games to expand your vocabulary. Plus, some can even be used offline. Let’s take a look at the best dictionary apps for iOS and Android.

1. Merriam-Webster

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary app has a clean user interface with a beautiful blue background. On the home screen, you’ll see the easy-access search bar, word of the day, and a word games category to browse through. There’s also a handy microphone in the top right corner in case you aren’t sure how to spell a word that you want the definition of.

When you search for a word, you’ll see all its possible definitions, along with other helpful info like its part of speech, pronunciation, examples, first known use, and the word’s history and etymology. On each word’s dictionary entry, you’ll see a few synonyms and antonyms, but you can also quickly tab over to the Thesaurus for more ideas.

The three word games you can play to make you smarter include How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?, True or False, and Name That Thing. You have to start out on the light difficulty for each game, and then when you earn enough points, you can try out one of the harder difficulties.

Download: Merriam-Webster Dictionary for Android | iOS (Free)

Download: Merriam-Webster Premium for Android ($7.99) | iOS ($9.99)

2. Dictionary.com

This helpful app from Dictionary.com shows you a unique word of the day on the home screen, which you can tap to see the definition and examples of it in use. You can also browse through previous words that earned a historical spot as the word of the day.

Scrolling down, you’ll see the Word Games section, where you can complete a word puzzle and take a vocab quiz to test your knowledge. The Dictionary.com app also shows trending words, articles on linguistics and other fun language-related content, and the synonym of the day.

One of the app’s coolest features is the ability to discover a random word, so you can learn new words you might have never come across otherwise.

Download: Dictionary.com for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

3. The Free Dictionary

The Free Dictionary’s user interface leaves something to be desired, but there’s a lot of useful content all on one screen. In addition to the classic Word of the Day sections that many dictionary apps have, there’s also a daily idiom, article, quote, holiday, famous birthday, and a historical event.

Then, there are quite a few unique games to play. With WordHub, you’re given certain letters and the number of possible words, and you earn points for each word you create. The Hangman game follows the same rules as the classic schoolroom game, and the Spelling Bee game lets you listen to a word, see its definition, and then try to guess its spelling.

There are also matching activities, where you match the word in one column to its synonym or antonym in the other column. The only in-app purchase with this particular app is to remove ads for $1.99, but there’s also a separate Dictionary Pro app with no ads and more offline content.

Download: The Free Dictionary for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Download: Dictionary Pro for Android ($3.99) | iOS ($3.99)

4. Oxford Dictionary of English

The Oxford Dictionary of English is such a classic option when it comes to looking something up on the web or in a physical book. On the home screen of this dictionary app, you’ll see the Word of the Day section up top, and can easily press the left arrow within the box to view past words.

You can enable the Oxford Dictionary app to appear on top of other apps, so you can always look up a word you don’t know the meaning of, no matter which app you’re in. While there’s a lot of content to access in the free version of this app, the ads can be a bit pesky. But to access content offline and without ads, you have to pay an annual subscription fee of $19.99.

Download: Oxford Dictionary of English for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

5. WordWeb Dictionary

If you’re looking for a no-frills dictionary app, this one from WordWeb is perfect for you. There are no ads, and the app is completely free. When you first open the app, it launches right into the search menu, with whatever word you searched last highlighted in the search bar.

Searching for a word gives you multiple possible definitions, along with its part of speech, different participles, and other related words or phrases. You can bookmark interesting words, phrases, or abbreviations you come across.

There are also advanced search tools that allow you to search for a noun, verb, or any other part of speech specifically, as well as construct a word using special characters. For example, a question mark symbol represents “any letter,” while a pound sign represents “consonant.”

Download: WordWeb Dictionary for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Erudite Dictionary

Erudite Dictionary is one of the best reference apps to look up words as well as translations if you’re in a foreign country. When you open the app, you’ll always see a unique word at the top with its definition underneath. If you close the app and then reopen it, you’ll see a new word; so you can easily learn more than one new word per day.

Or, you can simply tap the search bar to find a word that you want to know more about. You can bookmark interesting or challenging words to look at later. Tapping the Translator box on the home screen opens up a quick translator that lets you easily change the input and output languages and get your point across in an instant.

Download: Erudite Dictionary for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Have Fun Learning New Words

While there are apps and websites with a specific focus on sending you a new word every day, most dictionary apps have this feature too. So you get to keep learning new words, while also sharpening your mind with word games and looking up any word’s definition at a moment’s notice.


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