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Best Online Dictionaries for Students

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Best Online Dictionaries for Students

No matter what education level you're at, if you're in school, having the best dictionary is essential. However, unlike our parents, who had to tote around paperback or hardback books, we have more options. Between dictionary apps and dictionary websites, we can keep a reliable dictionary on our phones and computer.

Online dictionaries are terrific resources for fast word lookups. Online dictionaries will help you learn any new word you encounter and boost your business English confidence. These online dictionaries can be very useful, as they are available online and can be used everywhere students have access to the Internet.

There are tons of online dictionaries available, so you may be overwhelmed by choices. That’s where I come in. We've compiled a list of the best online dictionaries for learners of English.

1. is one of the best online dictionaries for English. It provides English definitions, synonyms, word origins, audio pronunciations, examples, slang phrases, idioms and so much more. If you are looking for word synonyms, is a way to go. is a part of

It gives you definitions, synonyms, word origin, audio pronunciations, example sentences, slang phrases, idioms, word games, legal and medical terms, word of the day,  etc. This dictionary is available for more than 20 years and it is helping millions of people to improve their English language.

You can also find similar features such as Word of the Year, New Words, and World Trends & Stories on the site, along with more niche sections – Slang Dictionary, Acronyms Dictionary (for abbreviations), and Memes Dictionary.

If you want to improve your writing skills, pay attention to the Grammar section of the website – there are interesting writing prompts, tips, and a handy Ways to Say It Better section. If you prefer to learn while playing, you can find Word Puzzle, Crossword Solver, Scrabble Word Finder, and other games in a dedicated section.

2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Merriam-Webster is an ideal online dictionary for those who want to learn how to spell a particular word correctly and fluently. Supports over 2,75,000 synonyms, antonyms, idioms and phrases, and related words. This online dictionary has robust features like Dictionary, Thesaurus, Games, Browse the Thesaurus, Words at play, etc that enhance your vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar. While you typing a word on the search bar, the autosuggest feature makes you pick a related word.

There are other internal options you can find like choose the right synonym, more example sentences, learn more about the word, phrases related to the word, more definitions for the word, etc. You can also listen to the audio pronunciation of the unknown word, which is the strongest feature of this dictionary that makes you spell the word correctly and fluently.

3. Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary is a better guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600000 words. It is different from other dictionaries of current English because it focuses on present-day meanings and it also gives the history of individual words. There is a record of the American and British pronunciation of each word, as well as a transcription to each of these variants.

This Dictionary won’t give you a quick definition of words but it helps you to know about the meaning of the word and its history. Every three months, they revise existing entries and add new words to the dictionary.

One of its most valuable sections is Oxford Learner's Word Lists. Here you can find lists of the most common words, phrases, and vocabulary for academic English. 

4. Google Dictionary

Google Dictionary is a free and simple online dictionary for English learners. The definitions are usually simple, and the tool has an enormous collection of words.

Google dictionary is one of the most famous dictionaries since it boasts one of the most comprehensive online word directories. Have students use it to easily access definitions of words they may not know or understand, or have students use it to scratch the surface of a researchable topic.

Not just English words, either, but also Chinese, Czech, German, Russian, Korean, and words in other languages. You can also highlight a word and click Dictionary's address bar icon to display a more extensive and detailed definition that includes Web entries such as Wikipedia.

One helpful aspect of this extension is that it can store a history of all words defined and their definitions. Students could download this as a CSV file, and they could use other Chrome or Google Drive extensions to make flash cards.

5. Collins Dictionary

When learning English online, it’s important to have a solid and reliable English language dictionary.

Enter, Collins! One of the most well-known English dictionaries in the world. Along with the online dictionary, thesaurus and translation sections, you’ll also find the latest news from Collins and other great articles all about the English language.

Simply click on the “Definitions” for dictionary entries for any English word. Once you look up the word, you’ll see important information about it such as its meaning, origins, pronunciation and grammatical information.

The thesaurus is great for finding synonyms, and the translation section allows you to find out the meaning of the English word in another language such as Russian or Japanese.

Collins also has an English grammar section with articles on grammar topics like nouns, verbs and prepositions. You can also learn about “Scrabble,” a popular English word game. There are lots of articles about how to play the game and how popular it is in the English-speaking world.

Make sure to keep this website handy when you’re studying to help make the learning as easy as possible.

6. Cambridge Online Dictionary

Cambridge Dictionary is probably one of the most simple dictionaries for English learners. The definitions usually use simple words and so are easy to understand. In addition to the definitions, throughout the dictionary there are examples, pictures and usage notes. 

The Cambridge Dictionary includes definitions, example sentences, and collocations for each word to help you understand in which context it is better to use vocabulary.

The online version is made up of four dictionaries: the Cambridge Dictionary of American English, the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary, the Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs and the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms.

There is also a Thesaurus for finding synonyms and antonyms of words, the Explore the English Grammar section, and a blog that discusses in detail word origins, slang phrases, idioms, and abbreviations, as well as provides vocabulary on specific topics.

The Cambridge Learner's Dictionary is also available on the site – a more suitable version for intermediate learners.

7. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Longman is one of the best online dictionaries used by both teachers and students. It is designed to allow you to memorize new words and related phrases clearly and quickly.

There is a grammar block on the word's page explaining whether you should use a singular or plural verb with this word. For many words, common lexical and grammatical errors are also indicated in this section. It is followed by collocations and a Thesaurus block with related phrases and fixed expressions.

You will see a few red dots to the word’s right – one, two, or three. The more dots there are, the more often a word is used by native speakers. Furthermore, some words are even illustrated to help you better understand their meanings. You can find the transcription in British and American versions of the English language.

To practice what you have learned, you can look into the English Language Exercises section – there are exercises on vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, and even exam preparation. There is also an English Vocabulary Quiz block to practice synonyms, phrasal verbs, phrases, and expressions, making it a handy tool for active English learning.

8. Macmillan Online Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is very helpful in finding some word-combinations which are unavailable in other dictionaries. Macmillan Dictionary is very user-friendly, with easy and clear explanations. This online dictionary is the best place to learn something new every day. It is fully integrated with Thesaurus, and it provides synonyms and a ton of related other terms.

Lexicographers from the UK and the USA are working on Macmillan Dictionaries, so one of its main advantages is that you can find both British and American spelling and pronunciation. 

9. Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary  is the place to search for slang brought about by people. While Webster's dictionary may be great for everyday proper language where do you find slang language? Look no further than this app. You'll be able to key in your search and take full advantage of the unlimited free searches available to you. That’s right: you can use this app as often as you want for as long as you want with no hidden fees. It defines terms that are often used in the streets.

As you can see, there are many online dictionaries you can use – it all depends on your current needs and English level. Most of them provide multiple meanings, pronunciations, translations, and additional tools like Thesaurus or the Word of the Day to expand your knowledge of synonyms and etymology.

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