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Google Search beefs up its online dictionary

When typing "define ..." into the Web giant's search engine, users now get the word definition, sample sentences, synonyms, origins, translations, spoken response, and more.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
What Google's new online word search looks like. Google

When I was growing up and didn't know what a word meant, my parents would send me to the bookshelf to look up the word up in a hardbound dictionary. The youth of today would laugh at this notion.

Online dictionaries now seem to be the go-to for finding word definitions. And, Google announced Thursday that it's making this process even easier.

In Google Search's revamped dictionary, besides the good old-fashioned word definition, people can now get sample sentences, synonyms, translations, spoken responses for words, and more.

For example, when a user types in "define artful," they get the definition, which is "clever or skillful, typically in a crafty or cunning way." They also get a sentence, "her artful wiles," along with synonyms (sly), and antonyms (ingenuous). Users can also see the origin and use of the word over time, and also translate it into more than 60 languages.

Google Search's advanced dictionary is available in the US on both desktop and mobile. Within the Google Search app, users can also get spoken responses for words.

"If you tap the microphone on your Google Search app, you'll hear answers spoken back when you ask questions like "What's the definition of fortuitous?" and "What are synonyms for fortuitous?" Google wrote on its Google+ page on Thursday. "Give it a whirl the next time you're reading an article online and you stumble across an unfamiliar word."

Over the past couple of years, Google has been working on building a massive database called Knowledge Graph, which is designed to make its search engine faster and easier to use. The Google dictionary comes directly from this project, along with other features, like currency conversions, nutrition data, unit conversions, translations, dates, times, and facts, and more.

(Via 9to5Google).