My Favorite Dictionary Apps for Blogging

 
dictionary-apps-for-blogging

Just as many photographers believe the best camera is the one that’s always with you, I believe the best dictionary is the one that fits your workflow — whether you’re writing from a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

If you're serious about blogging, then you need at least one dictionary. Even though blogs should be written at a 9th-grade reading level that doesn’t imply you shouldn’t use a dictionary. You still need to confirm the spelling of words, look up definitions, find synonyms, review usage, etc. A dictionary is an essential resource in the blogger’s digital toolbox.

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite dictionary apps for blogging.

1. Dictionary

macos-dictionary

The Dictionary app on macOS is my default method to look up words when I’m working on my Mac. I use it when I’m drafting or writing a post in Ulysses and I use it when I’m finalizing or revising a post on Squarespace.

The Dictionary app comes preinstalled with the New Oxford American Dictionary in the US and can be accessed in the stand-alone Dictionary app or from within other apps.

To look up definitions from within other apps, use two fingers to click on a highlighted word. Then, click “Look Up [word]” from the context menu. After that, a pop-over menu will appear (see image).

Favorite Features

  • Autocomplete

  • Definitions (words and phrases), thesaurus & antonyms

  • Example sentences

  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)

  • Look up words and phrases from the Dictionary App or from within other apps

  • Multilingual & regional dictionaries

  • Siri Knowledge

  • Word origins

2. Look Up

ios-lookup

Apple doesn’t currently have a stand-alone dictionary app on iOS. However, it does have Look Up. I use it when I’m writing a post in Ulysses on my iPhone and I use it when I’m finalizing or revising a post in the Squarespace app.

One feature that I especially like about Look Up on iOS (and Dictionary on macOS, too) is Siri Knowledge. Even though a word like “freemium” isn’t listed in these dictionaries — Siri Knowledge is able to pull data from Wikipedia to provide a definition (see image).

Look Up comes preinstalled with the New Oxford American Dictionary in the US and can be accessed while working in apps from the Edit Menu.

To look up definitions, tap to highlight a word. Then, tap Look Up. If you don’t see Look Up, tap the right arrow to navigate through the Edit Menu. Tap the card to reveal more information.

Favorite Features

  • Definitions (words and phrases), thesaurus & antonyms

  • Example sentences

  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)

  • Look up words from within other apps

  • Multilingual & regional dictionaries

  • Siri Knowledge

  • Word origins



3. Dictionary.com Pro

dictionary.com-app

When I’m writing posts on my iPhone and want to compare definitions or simply need a more powerful dictionary or thesaurus — Dictionary.com Pro is my go-to dictionary.

Dictionary.com Pro is a comprehensive, feature-rich and well-designed app that offers compelling features. There’s even a freemium version called Dictionary.com.

Favorite Features

  • Audio pronunciations

  • Autocomplete

  • Content Collections (Word Trends & Stories, Word of the Day, etc.

  • Definitions (words and phrases), synonyms & antonyms

  • Favorite words

  • Grammar tips

  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)

  • Offline access

  • Search history

  • Share sheet

  • Voice search

  • Word origin

4. Google Search

google-autocomplete

When I’m finalizing a post using Squarespace on my Mac, I often use Google Search instead of the Dictionary app. I prefer Google when macOS can’t recommend the correct spelling of a word or I want a quick definition.

Spellcheck

For spellcheck, I use Google Autocomplete. For example, if I want to know how to spell “connoisseur,” I’d type connos into the search bar. Google only needs the first couple of letters to begin autocompleting the query — and that’s enough to confirm the correct spelling of a word.

Definitions

For definitions, I use the “define” operator. For example, if I want to know the definition of “permalink,” I’d type define permalink into the search bar. Google then provides the dictionary definition as the first result (see image).

Wrap Up

You just learned 4 of my favorite dictionary apps for blogging on desktop, mobile and tablet. Having a few go-to dictionaries for each device is an essential tool for blogging and will help to improve your productivity, vocabulary, spelling and more.

My Favorite Dictionary Apps for Blogging first appeared on the Bento Sites Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.