Don’t Forget the (Online) Dictionary

With built-in spell checkers, it’s easy to forget about dictionaries.

But online dictionaries can provide a wealth of information about a word:

  • Pronunciation: play online audio to learn how to pronounce a word.
  • Definition: check to see if the word is the right choice for your sentence.
  • Examples: see how other people have used the word.
  • Synonyms: go shopping for a similar–but better–word choice.
  • Antonyms: find language to use for counterexamples.

I also find dictionaries to be great procrastination tools. For example, word etymology is especially fascinating. I like guessing when, where, and why a word came into usage, then looking online to see if I’m right. Browsing an online dictionary is just close enough to writing to make it feel almost like I’m accomplishing something.

Some great online dictionaries include:

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