Dictionary.com Alternatives
April 21, 2004 11:47 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone else noticed some severe hangtime over at dictionary.com the past couple days? Can anyone recommend another online dictionary that loads quickly and is at least as extensive (and hopfully reputable)?
posted by quasistoic to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
posted by SpecialK at 1:03 AM on April 22, 2004

OneLook searches across several online dictionaries, including over a dozen general purpose dictionaries (M-W, Encarta, Cambridge, Wordsmyth, American Heritage, Infoplease, Wikipedia, etc), a few historical dictionaries, and a a bunch of specialized field-specific dictionaries.
posted by Tallguy at 4:30 AM on April 22, 2004

I second OneLook -- and TheFreeDictionary's not bad either.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:05 AM on April 22, 2004

I use Google. Type
define: xxx
into the search criteria, where "xxx" is the term you need a definition for.
posted by SlappyPeterson at 5:35 AM on April 22, 2004

Dict.org which hits many databases, including the awesome WordNet, and can be accessed with stand-alone clients. Myself, I access it from the terminal by typing "dict wordtodefine."
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:48 AM on April 22, 2004

I recommend hyperdictionary. It's fast and the site design is minimal. The only bad thing is the length of the URL.
posted by estey at 7:09 AM on April 22, 2004

I use oed.com. Fast to type, easy to use, extensive as all hell, and, dude, it's the goddamned OED for chrissakes.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:35 AM on April 22, 2004

I have found that bartleby's offers a lot of free services that others charge for (pronunciation and such)
posted by milovoo at 7:55 AM on April 22, 2004

Second what SpecialK said. Not only is m-w.com a better dictionary than Dictionary.com, it responds much more quickly.
posted by Vidiot at 8:12 AM on April 22, 2004

hypertext webster. not pretty, no fluff, searches multiple databases, kicks ass.
posted by quonsar at 8:42 AM on April 22, 2004

Regarding oed.com ...

It's not a free site ($29.95 per month), but if you're a student and using a computer from within your University's IP block -- there's a great chance that they subscribe.
posted by RavinDave at 8:46 AM on April 22, 2004

I have never understood why people consider dictionary.com reptuable. It's always struck me as half-assed and crassly commercial.

For nuts-and-bolts definitions, I like Merriam-Webster. When you're trying to parse nuances, American Heritage at Bartleby is the better choice.
posted by jjg at 10:29 AM on April 22, 2004

Let me third the Merriam-Webster recommendation, and also point out the M-W browser toolbar for I.E. It's a small, un-intrusive field that saves you from having an additional browser window open. Quick, free download, too.
posted by jeffmshaw at 10:38 AM on April 22, 2004

Mirriam-Webster: I like the interface; the site is clean, fast, and the requested definition is shown prominently on the page, but for words with multiple entries only one entry is shown at a time. Similar complaint with OneLook (although that seems to be my best option).

Dict.org shows definitions 'below the fold.' Hypertext webster has too many linked words (as a result, the definitions are lost on the page).

OED: $295.....per year...

I wish Hyperdictionary were more extensive: I like their interface most. OneLook is perfect except that instead of displaying the entries in the dictionaries it searches, it gives hyperlinks to them, which makes it a pain to compare and contrast them. The free dictionary is a decent compromise, but placing a big block of Sponsored Links ABOVE the definitions as well as intermingling the definitions of related words decreases contentfind ability on the results page.

SlappyPeterson: That would be a GREAT solution...if only google didn't use dictionary.com for definitions. Seriously, though, has anyone else noticed a > 1 minute lagtime in results loading on dictionary.com?
posted by quasistoic at 12:25 PM on April 22, 2004

Dunno if it's still the case, but at least a year ago, when I was a member, you could get free access to the OED if you were a member of the Quality Paperback Book club. There's a link on the QPB site after you've logged in.
posted by Vidiot at 5:21 AM on April 23, 2004

« Older Methotrexate complications?   |   Wireless Networking Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.