Kindle Paperwhite Updated With Improved Search Features

paperwhite-display._V389377334_[1]Amazon may have announced a new Kindle Paperwhite earlier this week but that doesn’t mean they forgot about last year’s model.

Amazon has just rolled out an update for the Kindle Paperwhite (get it here). While it doesn’t offer all the features promised on the new model’s product listing this update does offer some useful improvements to search.

The v5.3.8 update will enable readers to look up a word in a dictation and then search for the same word in however many dictionaries they have on the device. The update also brings better support for switching between the each of the available definitions for a given word. This should be useful with homonyms which can have multiple meanings depending on how they’re used.

And dictionary search isn’t the only place where the search functions have been tweaked. After this update has been installed you’ll see a different search results page when you search for a word or phrase in an ebook. The search term will be highlighted within the results, and if you navigate to a page with the search term it will be highlighted on that page.

Amazon is going to push out this update to all Kindle Paperwhites over the next few weeks. If you don’t wish to wait then you can download the app from the Amazon website.


  • Search terms highlighted in search results

When you search for a word or phrase within a book, the search terms will appear highlighted within the search results. When you tap a result to go to that location in the book, the search terms will appear highlighted on the page.

  • Select other dictionaries when looking up a word

When you look up a word in the dictionary, you can choose to look up the word in other dictionaries on your device from within the dictionary definition window.

  • View other definitions of a word

When you look up a word that has multiple meanings for the same spelling (homonym), you can navigate through each of the available definitions from within the dictionary definition window.


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. Dummy000016 September, 2013

    Can one correct spelling if word is not found in the dictionary?

    Does Paperwhite already allow to actually open a dictionary and search for a random word?

  2. Dummy000026 September, 2013

    Sure you can open a dictionary just like opening a book

  3. Edwin M8 April, 2014

    I want to search for the occurrences of a WORD in the paperwhite, So I go to the book, tap the magnifying glass, type in the word. The machine says “14 occurrences found” and displays “1 of 14”

    HOW do I go to the other occurrences? “Go To” is no help, and I have tried various tappings, but it always comes back to the first occurrence.


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