Apple Dictionary vs Google Dictionary - which is best for browsers?

Which is best Google Dictionary for Chrome browser or Apple Dictionary for Safari? Both are handy for looking up definitions of words on web pages

Can you tell a bibliopole from a bichon frise? The web is full of wonderful words, but also strange ones you may not know. Apple and Google both have browser dictionaries, but which is best?

For those that don’t know, I am not going to tell you!

However, I will show how to use the dictionaries in Chrome and Safari to look up words on web pages that you don’t know. With a keypress or mouse click you can get dictionary definitions, examples of usage, Wikipedia entries and perform Google searches.

It takes just a minute to get to know the dictionaries for Apple’s and Google’s web browsers, and they are very useful when reading news stories, articles, Wikipedia entries and so on.

Don’t be stumped by a technical term, word or phrase you have not come across before, get a definition. You will expand your vocabulary and you might be able to slip your new words into conversations and impress your friends, or your boss.

Google Chrome Dictionary

Chrome browser does not have a dictionary built in, but there are many free dictionary extensions that can be added with a couple of clicks. Install Google Dictionary (by Google) from the Chrome Web Store.

The extension is enabled by default, but they can be enabled or disabled by going to the menu > More Tools > Extensions.

Right click the Dictionary icon in the toolbar and select Options. There are several ways to trigger the dictionary and the simplest is by double clicking a word on the page.

This displays a small pop-up that contains a short and simple definition of the word. If you are not sure how to pronounce it, click the speaker icon to hear it spoken. The small More link performs a Google search on the word. Among the results are definitions and explanations.

Google Chrome Dictionary extension

Usually this simple definition is sufficient, but if you want to see a more detailed definition, click the Dictionary icon in the toolbar.

This opens a panel that contains a more detailed explanation and also a list of synonyms - alternatives that broadly mean the same thing such as extensive, comprehensive, exhaustive and so on.

Google Chrome Dictionary extension

The synonyms are links, so you can click them and get more definitions and more synonyms.

Safari and Apple Dictionary

Apple Dictionary is an app in the Applications folder and you can run it like any other app. However, this is not always necessary and it is integrated into Safari for example.

Double click a word on a web page in Safari to highlight it, then press Ctrl+Command+D. A panel pops up with a comprehensive dictionary definition.

The information displayed can vary depending on the word. There is always a definition, but sometimes there are several different meanings. There are sometimes synonyms in a thesaurus section. Tiny more links expand the Dictionary and Thesaurus entries.

Look up a word on web page with Apple dictionary

It depends on the word, but at the bottom of the pop-up may be tabs. These can be Wikipedia, Films, App Store, and Twitter. These enable you see an extract from a Wikipedia entry, films related to the word, Apps related to it, or a Twitter tweet using the word in a hashtag. Clicking the tweet opens a new browser tab, opens Twitter and shows the full post.

Look up a word on web page with Apple dictionary

Look up a word on web page with Apple dictionary and see related Twitter tweets

There is also an option to open the Dictionary app. This has full Wikipedia articles where available, and lots of linked definitions and synonyms. It is almost fun to browse on its own, just exploring words in the dictionary.

Who has the best dictionary?

Google Dictionary is the quickest and easiest to access. It has plain and simple definitions and you can hear the word too. more comprehensive definitions are available if you need it.

The best dictionary has to be Apple’s though. You immediately get a comprehensive definition and the tabs for Wikipedia, films, apps and Twitter are sometimes fascinating.

The winner is Apple and Safari.



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