Google kills Google Dictionary

By on August 5, 2011, 1:35 PM

Google has closed down its Dictionary service at google.com/dictionary. A message on the webpage reads: "Google Dictionary is no longer available. You can use Google web search to find definitions or Google Translate for your translation needs."

Google has allowed you to check definitions for words by attaching the "define:" prefix to your query for a very long time. In July 2010, Google even started adding dictionary definitions for certain words above the linked results for web searches.

The search giant did not announce that the service was going away on its official blog or anywhere else on its website. It's thus not exactly clear when Dictionary was discontinued.

Someone noticed the axing today though, and signed up on the company's support forum today as "I need Dictionary" to find out what had happened. He or she posted the question "Why Google Dictionary is no longer available???" followed by a very angry message saying that Google web search and Google's translate service are not enough to replace the Dictionary website.

Oren Naim, a Google Product Manager, posted this official response:

Google Dictionary was recently integrated into Google Web Search. Simply search for "define X" where X is the word you want to look up. Clicking on the "more" link (or on the toolbelt "Dictionary" link on the left) will give you practically the same experience that was available on dictionary.google.com.

We're working hard to make the dictionary experience even better on google.com so it will be easier for our users to get the dictionary experience without the need to go to a separate property.

Best,
Oren.

This explanation was not enough to appease the users posting on the support thread. Many insist that the integrated version is not the same as the Dictionary service, noting in particular that they have lost all their starred words.

I am a regular use of the "define:" function; I use it a handful of times every day. As for the actual Dictionary service, I was not even aware it existed. I guess that's why Google killed it: few people were aware of it. Google hopes that these users will simply just go to the main Google website, but clearly there are some that don't like this solution at all.




User Comments: 25

Got something to say? Post a comment
TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't know why Google even bothered trying to go down that road. Dictionary.com has had a lock on that service for years and years and does a great job which includes a Thesaurus, Quotes, References, Translator, etc.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Yep just like you I was never aware it existed, I've always used 'define:{word}' for finding definitions on Google.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Daily - I used define: at least every day. I've even taught my 6 year old daughter to do it. I thought it looked a little different but I chalked it up to my decaying memory.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That sucks, I like the Google Dictionary plug in for Chrome. At least the double click functionality works, but when you try to follow the link it's broken. Hopefully they'll update it.

Guest said:

I love google dictionary. I used it everyday, since it has different language options. I don't know whey they shut it done.

Guest said:

I know using define:{} helps you get the definition for many words, but I still want Google dictionary to be back because it has many great features which Google search does not. :(

Google dictionary does a really good job for English-as-a-second-language learners. When you enter a word, Google dictionary will automatically recognize its language and provide detailed dictionary explanations and example sentences using BOTH languages. You only need one click and get everything you want.

Now when you search a word you can only get English to English explanations. English to other language dictionary functionality has been removed. Google suggest you use Google translate instead, but Google translate sucks, and it is definitely not a dictionary.

Billylie said:

Guest said:

I know using define:{} helps you get the definition for many words, but I still want Google dictionary to be back because it has many great features which Google search does not. :(

Google dictionary does a really good job for English-as-a-second-language learners. When you enter a word, Google dictionary will automatically recognize its language and provide detailed dictionary explanations and example sentences using BOTH languages. You only need one click and get everything you want.

Now when you search a word you can only get English to English explanations. English to other language dictionary functionality has been removed. Google suggest you use Google translate instead, but Google translate sucks, and it is definitely not a dictionary.

Agree!

Google dictionary is essential for me.

Please come back!

Guest said:

You know, after you search for "define:<word>", you can always just hit the "More " link to get to a more extensive, more familiar page. And you don't even need to mess with the search options on the left.

And, by the way, I use Google more than Dictionary.com aka Reference.com because while Google has ads, they're mostly text-based, while Reference.com's stuff is a busy mess of pictures and bright colors. If I'm looking stuff up like a word definition, I'm focusing on finding a very specific bit of information.

(Of course, I also use an offline thesaurus/dictionary for when I'm writing something extensive and clear focus is essential.)

Guest said:

I'm a non native user of google dictionary. While English people find there's no difference between this and "difine ...", I DO! Please bring it back, FOR THE SAKE OF THE WHOLE WORLD!

Guest said:

Google Dictionary quit us, I quit Google Search. No point standing beside it...

Guest said:

Send an email to gblog@google.com and let Google hear our voice!

Guest said:

As foreigner, we found that the Google Dictionary is the best dictionary for us. It helps us English study every day. Please bring it back!!! We really need it!!!

Guest said:

..if I do market it ( Blue) I get definition for that word immidiately...that was before..

Now they say :.." you can always just hit the "More " ...?

Please, I don't have the "More " ...

so who I should take it???

Google this was not a good think what you did..!

you can always just hit the "More " where???????????????????

PinothyJ said:

Why would you bother with any of those services when OneLook.com search all dictionaries for you in one go?

Silly humans...

Guest said:

Dictionary was very helpful tool. Google made this stupid move for force the people install the chrome. Personally never in my life will not install the chrome because that.

Guest said:

I disagree with this article says that "few people aware of it". How do you know only "few people" aware of it???? Can please give me a statistic number?

If you never use "Google Dictionary" before, please dont make comments on that, and compare with how you search for a word's definition.

chiangyufan said:

i want google dictionary come back~

i think google dictionary is one of best online dictionary, i used it every day, currently, i'm writing my dissertation, but they killed this service ~ is very bad news for me~

i hope google dictionary can come back~~ welcome everybody join "I want google dictionary come back": Facebook page, sharing your experience of using google dictionary~

just key in " I want google dictionary come back" on Facebook

Guest said:

what about the words that we have bookmarked in Google Dictionary?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Thinking outside the (browser) box"...........

what about the words that we have bookmarked in Google Dictionary?
You could probably just try and learn to spell.

Guest said:

good alternatives:

http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english.html

http://dictionary.com/

Guest said:

I love google dictionary.this solution by googe is a damn.nothing can replace goolge dictionary.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I use a webster's dictionary like a good red blooded american!

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I use a webster's dictionary like a good red blooded american!
A "Guest" necro-bumperd this thread and you took the bait.

Oh well, as long as we're here I'll pose this question, "can Google Dictionary ever really die"? I say no, since it was never alive in the first place. Nevertheless, or "sin embargo" as they say in Spanish, I'm sure it resides in the hearts and minds of all those lives it has touched with its goodness and grace.Its cyber spirit crawls the interweb which brought it forth from its very loins.

I can say these thing with courage and conviction, as I personally have just returned from a seance wherein I reached out into the great cyber beyond, and summoned it to me. Typing the term "dictionary" into its grieving parent Google, I received about 101,000,000 responses in 0.14 seconds, from beyond the grave. The first of these was indeed http://www.merriam-webster.com/ which as it seems, has forgiven the little Google prodigal plagiarizer, and taken it into its bosom.

Now join me in an ancient tradition, and cheer loud and proud, in solidarity with me, "the dictionary is dead, long live the dictionary".........

(I'm also available for eulogies to someone's dearly departed Thanksgiving turkey. Although God knows, I bet not a one of you cares about the poor birds right to life issues, now do you)?

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