Google Puts Its Own Dictionary in the Spotlight

    December 6, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google Dictionary is in the spotlight because Google is now using it for its "definition" link on search results pages for word searches. Previously Google pointed users to

Mark Milian at the LA Times brought this change to the industry’s attention, saying that Google was "quietly" rolling out its own dictionary. Google Dictionary has actually been around for a while, but "quietly" is still an accurate adverb for Google’s promotion of the service.

Define Apple

The service is worth bringing to the attention of the masses, because it showcases yet another area where Google is attempting to "organize the world’s information." Definitions are a significant part of that. Of course this isn’t the only way Google users can access word definitions. The search engine has long had a search operator in place, which allows users to simply type "define:" before the word they wish to look up in order to get a set of definitions from various sources.

The search operator is perhaps a more convenient way to access definitions via Google, but Google Dictionary itself has some extra frills. For example, you can "star" words just as you would star a message in Gmail or an article in Google Reader. That way you have it in a list for quick future reference.

Star Words

Google Dictionary also gives you quick access to nearly 30 dictionaries for different languages. Google’s integration of its dictionary service into its search results is not the only example of a translation feature going into mainstream Google Search. Google is also in the process of rolling out a "Translated Search Option."

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