Business

My Favorite Dictionary Apps for Blogging

Check out my favorite dictionary apps for blogging on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Launchpad on macOS, showcasing a grid of applications, including the Dictionary app.

Just as many photographers believe the best camera is the one that’s always with you, I believe the best dictionary is the one that fits your workflow — whether you’re writing from a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

If you're serious about blogging, then you need at least one dictionary. Even though blogs should be written at a 9th-grade reading level that doesn’t imply you shouldn’t use a dictionary. You still need to confirm the spelling of words, look up definitions, find synonyms, review usage, etc. A dictionary is an essential resource in the blogger’s digital toolbox.

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite dictionary apps for blogging.

1. Dictionary

Using the Dictionary app on a webpage on MacOS

The Dictionary app on macOS is the default method I use to look up words when working on my Mac. I use it when I’m writing a post in Coda and I use it when I’m finalizing or revising a post in the Webflow Editor.

The Dictionary app comes preinstalled with the New Oxford American Dictionary in the US and can be accessed in the stand-alone Dictionary app or from within other apps.

To look up definitions from within other apps, use two fingers to click on a highlighted word. Then, click “Look Up [word]” from the context menu. After that, a pop-over menu will appear (see image).

Favorite Features

  • Autocomplete
  • Definitions (words and phrases), thesaurus & antonyms
  • Example sentences
  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
  • Look up words and phrases from the Dictionary App or from within other apps
  • Multilingual & regional dictionaries
  • Siri Knowledge
  • Word origins

2. Look Up

Using the Look Up on a webpage on iOS

Apple doesn’t currently have a stand-alone dictionary app on iOS. However, it does have Look Up. I use Look Up when I’m writing a post in Coda on my iPhone and I use it when I’m finalizing or revising a post in the Webflow Editor on macOS.

One feature that I especially like about Look Up on iOS (and Dictionary on macOS, too) is Siri Knowledge. Even though a word like “freemium” isn’t listed in these dictionaries — Siri Knowledge can pull data from Wikipedia to provide a definition (see image).

Look Up comes preinstalled with the New Oxford American Dictionary in the US and can be accessed while working in apps from the Edit Menu.

To look up definitions, tap to highlight a word. Then, tap Look Up. If you don’t see Look Up, tap the right arrow to navigate through the Edit Menu. Tap the card to reveal more information.

Favorite Features

  • Definitions (words and phrases), thesaurus & antonyms
  • Example sentences
  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
  • Look up words from within other apps
  • Multilingual & regional dictionaries
  • Siri Knowledge
  • Word origins

3. Dictionary.com Pro

Using the Dictionary.com app on iOS

When I’m writing posts on my iPhone and want to compare definitions or simply need a more powerful dictionary or thesaurus — Dictionary.com Pro is my go-to dictionary.

Dictionary.com Pro is a comprehensive, feature-rich and well-designed app that offers compelling features. There’s even a freemium version called Dictionary.com.

Favorite Features

  • Audio pronunciations
  • Autocomplete
  • Content Collections (Word Trends & Stories, Word of the Day, etc.
  • Definitions (words and phrases), synonyms & antonyms
  • Favorite words
  • Grammar tips
  • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
  • Offline access
  • Search history
  • Share sheet
  • Voice search
  • Word origin

4. Google Search

Looking up definitions on Google Search

When I’m finalizing a post in the Webflow Editor on my macOS, I often use Google Search instead of the Dictionary app. I prefer Google when macOS can’t recommend the correct spelling of a word or I want a quick definition.

Spellcheck

For spellcheck, I use Google Autocomplete. For example, if I want to know how to spell “connoisseur,” I’d type connos into the search bar. Google only needs the first couple of letters to begin autocompleting the query — and that’s enough to confirm the correct spelling of a word.

Definitions

For definitions, I use the “define” operator. For example, if I want to know the definition of “permalink,” I’d type define permalink into the search bar. Google then provides the dictionary definition as the first result (see image).

Wrap Up

You just learned my favorite dictionary apps for blogging on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Having a few go-to dictionaries for each device is an essential tool for blogging and will help to improve your productivity, vocabulary, spelling and more.

My Favorite Dictionary Apps for Blogging first appeared on the Bento Sites Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a purchase Bento Sites will earn a very small commission — at no additional cost to you.

Close-up of Jeff Shibasaki.

Jeff Shibasaki

I’m an Atlanta web designer that specializes in website design and development on Webflow and Squarespace.

Get exclusive design and marketing tips.