Dictionary

The best free reference apps for your iPhone and iPad

Dictionary.com Word of the Day on iPhone

If there’s a handy spot to have references at your fingertips, it’s your iPhone or iPad. Physical books still hold a place in many people’s hearts but no one walks around with dictionaries, encyclopedias, and phone books nowadays.

So if you’re in the market for good references for school or work, you’ll like this list of the best free reference apps for iPhone and iPad.

How to add and remove words in your Mac’s dictionary

Learn Spelling in Pages Mac

If you do a lot of writing for work or school on your Mac, then you likely misspell a word here and there. And with handy built-in tools like autocorrect, you can have those errors corrected for you. But there are some words that are simply spelled uniquely like company names, people’s names, app names, or brands. That’s when autocorrect can be a detriment.

If you type a few words often that you want to your Mac to permanently recognize, you can add them to your Mac’s dictionary. This lets you bypass that squiggly line that screams out whenever you type the word your Mac thinks it misspelled.

Here, we’ll show you a couple of ways to add as well as remove words from the built-in dictionary on macOS.

New to Mac? Check out the built-in Dictionary app

Dictionary App Dictionary Mac

Your Mac has its Look Up tool for getting quick definitions and other details about a word or phrase. But if you’re brand new to Mac, you might not realize that there’s an actual Dictionary app. This app that comes with your Mac can be quite useful too.

What makes the Dictionary app on Mac handy is that you can customize it with the sources you want. This lets you get information on something from Wikipedia, a synonym with the thesaurus, and of course, a definition with the Oxford Dictionary. Plus, you can have the option of multiple languages.

If you’re curious about the Dictionary app on your Mac, or want to allow your child to use it for schoolwork, here’s how to customize and use it.

How to use the Mac Look Up reference tool for quick details

Open Mac Look Up tool Maps

Your Mac comes with a handy, built-in Look Up feature that lets you get information on just about anything. Whether it’s a simple word definition or a game on the App Store, with a click you can get what you need.

While this tool is convenient, it’s one of those things you may not think about using. We’ll show you how to access and give you tips for using the Mac Look Up reference tool.

How to use your iPhone to translate foreign words to English (no app required)

If you have ever tried to wrap your head around a second language, the effectiveness of reading books or news of that foreign origin will not have escaped you: aside from proactively memorizing words and grammar, it’s probably the quickest way to getting a grasp of the concept of any foreign language. While it is no longer a secret that Apple provides a set of built-in dictionaries for when you stumble upon a word unbeknownst to you, there is an important distinction between some of the dictionaries available to you.

The tutorial below is going to highlight the difference between the two main subsets of dictionaries (thesaurus vs. actual language to language translation) and scrutinize if your language of choice is one of the few lucky ones Apple decided to support beyond the thesaurus. Following that is a quick demonstration on how to translate the words in question to English. Read on to find out why some dictionaries are simply better than others.

SearchDefine: search for word definitions right from Spotlight

There come times when you need to define words quickly, and because iOS has no dedicated Dictionary app, there is really no convenient way to define a word when you're stuck.

Rather than downloading a third-party dictionary app from the App Store to clutter your Home screen even further, a new jailbreak tweak called SearchDefine lets you define words via the iOS dictionary right from Spotlight.

iOS 10 tidbit: “Define” has become “Look Up,” now supports Siri-powered web suggestions

As a non-native English speaker, I rely on a Define feature which helps me pull up the definition for any selected word in Safari and other apps, as determined by iOS's built-in Dictionary.

With iOS 10, Apple has rebranded this feature as Look Up and it's not just a marketing gimmick: On iOS 10, Look Up's greatly expanded scope now serves up any piece of Internet content that Siri Suggestions support.

Locktionary: search the iOS dictionary from the Lock screen

Locktionary is a new jailbreak tweak that can be had for free from Cydia's BigBoss repository that will let you search for the definition of any word right from the Lock screen.

The tweak offers a simple way to quickly figure the meaning of a word without having to be vocal with Siri and without even having to unlock your iPhone. In this piece, we'll walk you through how the tweak works and let you know what we think about it.