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Last Updated on November 14, 2017

The 10 Best Online Dictionaries

The 10 Best Online Dictionaries

The best online dictionaries are spread across the wild, wild, web, using a variety of methods to create something that helps you understand words in manners that are either extremely reliable or wholly unique. Here are ten of the very best online dictionaries.

1. Wiktionary

Wiktionary-logo_wpstyle-en_with_transparency

    Founded on the same ideology as encyclopedia project Wikipedia, Wiktionary is another testament to what internet users can create together. It has many of the same downsides as Wikipedia, though, mainly that anyone can edit a page. That ultimately leaves accuracy a bit of a question mark. But, like Wikipedia, Wiktionary has a community of editors determined to make Wiktionary as accurate as possible. Don’t treat this as the be-all end-all source, but it could be one of the best online dictionaries for your needs if used responsibly.

    2. Google Dictionary

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    google-dictionary-oxford

      Google Dictionary has a lot of different languages with features like voice pronunciation, definitions, example sentences, related phrases, related phrases and more. It’s among the most expansive and maybe best online dictionaries, and comes with some very solid brand recognition.

      3. Dictionary.com

      Dictionary.com

        The site with the best domain name of all online dictionaries is also one of the most useful. It’s partnered with Ask.com, but don’t hold that association against it. It offers definitions, pronunciations, word origins and world history. It also is responsible for one of the best mobile dictionary apps, hands down.

        4. The Free Dictionary

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        the free dictionary

          The Free Dictionary offers you the ability to search via words, characters or text. It gives you multiple definitions, a thesaurus, intransitive verbs and voice pronunciations, along with a translator that works with common language like French, German and Greek. It’s not particularly fancy, but you may not be looking for fancy. Overall, The Free Dictionary is among the best online dictionaries.

          5. Merriam-Webster Online

          merriamwebster

            One of the most respected print dictionaries also has a website for your convenience. It’s made up of a typical dictionary, a thesaurus, a Spanish to English translation and a medical dictionary. It’s features are relatively sparse but if you’re looking for online dictionaries with good pedigrees Merriam-Webster Online should be of interest to you.

            6. Cambridge Dictionary Online

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            Cambridge

              The Cambridge Dictionary is another well-respected print dictionary with a lot of history behind it that has a web counterpart. 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. It’s a big website that you might want to explore if you’re looking for one of the more serious online dictionaries.

              7. Visuwords

              visuwords

                This online graphical dictionary creates diagrams between words and concepts to help you understand how they associate. It’s a really unique concept, so if you’re looking for unique Visuwords is one of the best online dictionaries.

                8. Wordia

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                wordia-19c17jb

                  Wordia is a fun option for young people to learn vocabulary, made up of word-based learning games along with an interactive video vocabulary. Not something for someone past a middle-school reading level in English, but it has potential for either children or people learning English as a second language.

                  9. NetLingo

                  netlingo

                    Not sure what some of the multitude of acronyms you see online stand for? NetLingo is one of the best online dictionaries that will explain what LOL, FWIW, and more obscure internet lingo mean, if you’re not familiar. I’m in my mid-twenties, and this is still an invaluable resource for me, with all the new terms that pop up every day.

                    10. Urban Dictionary

                    urban

                      Laugh if you want, but the Urban Dictionary is a valuable tool if you come across some slang you’re not familiar with. If that’s what you need to learn, this is one of the online dictionaries you’ll benefit most from. Just be wary about going on too many random searches…

                      Featured photo credit: jwyg via flickr.com

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                      Matt OKeefe

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                      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

                      Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

                      When you train your brain, you will:

                      • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
                      • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
                      • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

                      So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

                      1. Work your memory

                      Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

                      When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

                      If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

                      The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

                      Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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                      Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

                      What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

                      For example, say you just met someone new:

                      “Hi, my name is George”

                      Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

                      Got it? Good.

                      2. Do something different repeatedly

                      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

                      Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

                      It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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                      And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

                      But how does this apply to your life right now?

                      Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

                      Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

                      Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

                      So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

                      You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

                      That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

                      3. Learn something new

                      It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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                      For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

                      Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

                      You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

                      4. Follow a brain training program

                      The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

                      5. Work your body

                      You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

                      Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

                      Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

                      Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

                      6. Spend time with your loved ones

                      If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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                      If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

                      I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

                      7. Avoid crossword puzzles

                      Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

                      Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

                      Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

                      8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

                      Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

                      When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

                      So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

                      The bottom line

                      Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

                      Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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