Google killing off more specialized search engines – /dictionary is the latest to go

Google have been killing off their older custom search engines for the past several months, and this week the dictionary search engine went up on the chopping block.

For those who never used it, there used to be a special page at Google .com/dictionary that you could use to look up definitions. It only pulled results from dictionary and thesaurus websites.

I’m surprised it hung around this long. I can’t tell you how many years it has been since I last used it. I’ve found it to be much faster to just google “define word”. That’s seven extra keystrokes vs waiting for another page to load.

Like the other redundant search engines, pretty much all of the functionality of the dictionary page can be found on the Google homepage. But if you’re pining for the lost page, there are alternatives. There are Chrome and Firefox plug-ins that specialize in definitions and you can add a dictionary specific search engine to the search window in the upper right corner of your browser.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. charlotte12 August, 2011

    Hey, google dictionary is never a redundant engine. It plays the key role for English-as-secondary-language leaners.

    When you key in other language words in the bar, it never gives so complete collection of related information.

    Be think more of others, not yourself!

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 August, 2011

      I’ve found that I can get a good result by googling “Translate WORD”. Usually there are enough results that I can better understand what the word means.

  2. charlotte14 August, 2011

    Maybe it will do for English-to-English translation. Try some other languages? It shows poor information about it.


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