Dictionary.com

Common Sense Media says

Comprehensive tool with voice search, fun daily features.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Menus are simple and the navigation is intuitive. The ability to save favorites and view recent words facilitates continuity.

Violence

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Sex

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Language

Contains excellent definitions of slang and curse words.

Consumerism

The free version of the app has discreet banner ads at the bottom.Ā Dictionary.com participates in the mPOINTS rewards system. Users earn mPoints by completing tasks such as visiting the app daily, searching for words, viewing the word of the day, downloading other apps, and checking in on Twitter. Users can redeem mPoints for gift cards for iTunes, Xbox LIVE, McDonald's, and more. You can also choose to donate your points to a charity like one for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Privacy & safety

The "Nearby" feature mines and displays location data for words searched but apparently no other data. Users see a local Google map with pins indicating specific locations, then tap pins to display word searched at that location. To participate in the mPoints rewards system you can create an account using an email address and zip code or Facebook. If you choose to participate in the mPoints system, you will be asked your gender, year of birth, and other details, but providing the information is optional.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that theĀ Dictionary.comĀ app provides sophisticated dictionary content with intuitive menus and navigation. It's a semi-hip reference (as hip as a standard dictionary can be) for kids as young as 9 (with assistance) all the way to adults. Complete dictionary entries give a full experience including geographical, biographical, historical, and scientific terms. As with any good dictionary, definitions for sex, drugs, and curse words give useful objective information, not dramatization or glorification. Users can post word entries to Facebook or Twitter, or send via SMS or email. The free app includes banner ads at bottom. The app participates in the mPOINTS rewards system, where users complete tasks to earn points to redeem for gift cards, contest entries, or charitable donations.Ā 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • making conclusions
  • part-whole relationships
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • initiative

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Daily updates can give kids ideas. The rewards system prompts them to search. The Nearby featureĀ could be fodder for research and analysis. The Share featureĀ gives them access to social media, email, and SMS.

Learning Approach

You get no games or direction on how to read entries. The Recent and Favorites sections allow some customization and continuity.Ā 

Support

It doesn't include any extensions or links to the companion website. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • making conclusions
  • part-whole relationships
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • initiative

Kids can learn a basic but nearly endless body of knowledge in addition to basic English language skills like spelling, pronunciation, derivation or etymology, part of speech, synonyms, and antonyms. This is an adult-level dictionary with historical, geographical, biographical, and scientific entries, not to mention objective and non-glorified definitions of sex, drugs, and curse words. Dictionary.com spruces up our reliable old reference with modern technology: voice recognition searches, favorites, and relatively engaging daily updates.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Dictionary.com has two easily interchangeable modes: dictionary and thesaurus. The search box with voice recognition button (microphone) is present at the top of all pages. The main page lets users choose and read daily (and previous) updates, view recent searches, and access saved words. Links to referenced entries are an obvious but lacking feature, and illustrations are mentioned but do not seem to be present.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Dictionary.com is a pretty darn convenient way to improve spelling, vocabulary, and knowledge with modern bells and whistles not possible in a traditional book format -- voice recognition, daily updates, favorites, and search history. "Hot" words ("How the prefix 'Franken-' took on a life of its own"), Question of the Day ("What is the plural of virus?), and Spanish Word of the Day might hook older kids. Quite good but not perfect voice recognition ("babble" gave "Babel") solves the age-old problem of not knowing how to spell the word you want to look up. Dictionary.com destroys similar apps like Merriam-Webster (Android version) in downloads, ease of use, and overall functionality. Unfortunately, there are no built-in games and no interactivity outside of basic social sharing and relatively engaging and well-done daily updates.

Families can talk about...

  • Prepare a list of favorite words, then read definitions and see who can blurt the corresponding word fastest.

  • Play dictionary games. Choose a difficult word and send one player out. Have other players make up definitions and write them down, along with the correct definition. Have the player come back and guess the correct definition.

App details

Device:Android
Price:Free-$2.99
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
Release date:December 21, 2012
Category:Reference
Size:2.30 MB
Publisher:Dictionary.com, LLC
Version:3.2

This review of Dictionary.com was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old February 10, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Great app

This is a great dictionary app- what's better is that you can look up words OFFLINE! They have definitions for swear words and sex, but your child would have to look up the definitions themselves. Great!

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families