15 of the best dictionary apps for all your nerdy needs


Languages ​​are harsh. As soon as you think you have mastered a grammar rule, a dozen exceptions appear. When you think you’ve learned the definition of a word, you find that it has seven other connotations. Fortunately, there are many awesome dictionary apps out there to help you out. (And there’s no shortage of word game apps to keep you entertained, too!)

We’ve compiled fifteen of the best dictionary apps so you can brush up on your vocabulary on the go. Whether you are learning English as a Foreign Language or are a native speaker looking to impress your friends with the latest lingo, we have the perfect app for you.

1. Word reference dictionary

Type: English, multilingual

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: It’s one of my favorite apps as a language student. If you are learning a foreign language, WordReference, with its 18 languages, is truly the holy grail of free dictionaries. Not only does it provide translations, but it also offers definitions in the target language. and helps you navigate these delicate conjugations. It also offers several language combinations other than English, so you’re bound to find a dictionary suited to your needs.

2. Merriam Webster

Type: English

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: Merriam-Webster is perhaps one of the best-known dictionaries in the English-speaking world, having been founded in 1828. Almost 200 years later, the team has kept up to date, especially with the option of voice search. Now you can search for a word just by saying it, even if you can’t quite spell it. Plus, the app offers additional features like word of the day and quizzes to help you build your vocabulary.

3. English

Type: Spanish English

Devices: Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: Remember when you said you definitively to learn spanish this year? Well, Nglish is definitely an app to add to your arsenal. You can take personalized quizzes that record your mistakes so you can review them later and revise everyday words and phrases. It is also a perfect app for Spanish speakers who want to develop their English skills! With its advanced tools, you can prepare for proficiency exams like TOEFL and TOEIC.

4. Picture dictionary for children

Type: Children

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: If your little one is starting to move beyond ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ this is a great app for building vocabulary. There are more than enough vivid images to capture and hold your child’s attention, and the wide range of words allow siblings to learn together. To top it off, kids can have even more fun by recording their own pronunciation guides.

5. Urban dictionary

Type: Slang

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: We all like to think we’re trendy, cool, and modern, but no one can always keep up with changing languages. Urban Dictionary now offers an app version of its popular website so you can brush up on your slang on the go. It is also an essential tool for anyone learning English as a Foreign Language, because sometimes words don’t mean what we think they mean.

6. BBC Learn English

Type: English as a foreign language

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: The BBC Learning English website is packed with resources for all levels of English, and is now available as an app. Programs vary widely, so whether you want to brush up on your business English or improve yourself while keeping up with the latest news, this app is for you. As an added bonus, there are even lessons that appear on the app before the website.

7. English Arabic translator, dictionary and learning

Type: Arabic English

Devices: Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: Gone are the days of flipping through the giant encyclopedias on your grandmother’s shelf, but Encyclaepedia Brittanica continues to educate. Besides their general knowledge repository, the company has partnered with Merrriam-Webster to create this reliable dictionary which translates from Arabic to English and vice versa. You can translate full texts and learn from themed quizzes, safe in the knowledge that the app is constantly updated with the latest lingo.

8. Scrabble Dictionary

Type: English

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: $ 4.99

Why you will like it: Look, we all got a little too heated during a game of Scrabble, because this is definitively not a word. Where is it? You can check if a word is accepted in the game with the official Scrabble dictionary. It’s been endorsed by Hasbro and the North American Scrabble Players Association, so you know you’re in good hands.

9. Dictionary of giant images

Type: Children

Devices: iOS | Android | the Windows

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: It is a children’s dictionary with giant pictures, as it is written on the box. Children can easily navigate this dictionary which contains over 1800 words. They can learn to take initiative through the simple search function. That said, the free version only includes words up to F, so if you do, you’ll have to pay for the full experience.

10. Free Chinese English Dictionary and Translator

Type: Chinese, English

Devices: Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: This app is best known for its use of Traditional Chinese rather than Simplified Chinese. Much of the content in Chinese is simplified because it is much more prevalent, which can leave Traditional Chinese users a bit confused. So if you are, say, Taiwanese and looking to improve your English vocabulary, this is a solid choice that will save you the extra step of translating from simplified to traditional. It understands both Mandarin and Cantonese.

11. SAT Word Slam

Type: Preparation for testing

Devices: Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: Back when I was taking the SAT at the time, I had to lug around giant test prep books. But now you can hone your skills with this app specially designed for people taking the SAT. It features eye-catching examples to help you remember difficult words, with the best puns you can think of. While the app probably won’t banish your stressful dreams entirely, it will certainly alleviate them somewhat. The website has an iOS button, but the iTunes Store tells us that the app is not available.

12. Linguee Dictionary

Type: English, multilingual

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: Translating is always tricky. You have to take linguistic and cultural differences into account, and often there is no full equivalent. But with over 400 professional lexicographers and lecturers on the team, this app is as reliable as it gets. Bonus points for the super clean and uncluttered look, of course!

13. English Persian Dictionary – Dict Box

Type: Persian, English

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Why you will like it: As you go through multilingual dictionaries page after page, you will find that there are not many options outside of the few more common languages. Fortunately, whether you are an English speaker learning Farsi or vice versa, this app is a reliable choice. It offers definitions in both languages, translates text in other apps, and even has a picture dictionary for more visual learners.

14. GRE Vocabulary Builder – Preparation for the test

Type: Preparation for testing

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: Different tests have different requirements, and sometimes general dictionaries are not enough. This Magoosh app is suitable for all of your GRE needs. The vocabulary is divided into sections and you can unlock more advanced words by beating each level like in a video game. Despite the name, this app also prepares you for the SAT and TOEFL.

15. Legal dictionary – Definitions of law and thesaurus

Type: Legal

Devices: iOS | Android

Price: To free

Why you will like it: Growing up can be a huge puzzle, which certainly isn’t helped by the legal jargon you may come across. So here is an app that helps break down those obscure words and opaque definitions, clearing up any confusion so that you can take your time doing other pesky errands. Alternatively, it’s a great way to improve your legal knowledge for a sophisticated little conversation around appetizers.


Share your favorite dictionary apps in the comments! Looking to accomplish your inner dictionary nerd even more? Then take a look at this episode of Annoté, where Rebecca and Jeff go through the details of the Dictionary War (yes, you read that right).


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