Word Dynamo




Excellent searchable dictionary includes word lists, games.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Creating word lists is easy, and accessing and reviewing existing lists is intuitive.


Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.


Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.


Word Dynamo includes a full dictionary of words, including profanity. Kids can easily search specific words and can access lists created by others -- including several lists of profanity and sexual terms (like "bad words" and "sexual or sex related," though others are more vaguely titled "101" or "vocabulary").


An option in the about section links to other apps available from Dictionary.com in the App Store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Word Dynamo is a word-study app developed by Dictionary.com that can be used by kids from elementary age through college and beyond. It includes preloaded study lists for different grade levels and tests, like PSAT, SAT, GRE, and LSAT, and kids can create their own lists and share them via email or social media. As with any good dictionary, definitions for sex, drugs, and curse words give useful objective information, not dramatization or glorification. Some users have created lists to highlight profanity and sexual content, and those lists are accessible through the search function.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary



  • academic development
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support


Thanks to the Word Dynamo Challenge that assesses kids' current vocabulary skill level, kids start off being challenged.

Learning Approach

The format of word lists, flashcards, and quizzes is nothing too novel or exciting, but it is effective and thorough.


Accounts sync between Dictionary.com's site and the app. Kids can see an estimation of the total vocabulary with their word score.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary



  • academic development
  • work to achieve goals

Kids can learn vocabulary words for a range of levels -- from elementary school up to post-graduate. Dictionary.com is the fully featured dictionary that powers Word Dynamo, so kids can learn almost any word. If kids have a word list from school, they can build their own list, or they can work from existing lists and lists recommended for their level (determined by their Word Dynamo Challenge score). Some lists focus on Greek and Latin roots and prefixes and suffixes to help kids build deciphering skills, too. Word Dynamo is an easy-to-use vocabulary-building app that can grow with the whole family.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids start off with the Word Dynamo Challenge, which assesses vocabulary level (starting at elementary school, middle school, high school, or college level) and then gives lists and word studies to improve vocabulary along with quizzes built in to each of the 20 levels. Kids will need to set up an account with Dictionary.com, and multiple users can play on the same device as long as they have separate accounts. Kids can also create their own lists of words or review the numerous existing lists or search for specific words. Within each list, kids can review the list of words and definitions, do a Quick Study with flashcards, or take matching quizzes on the words and definitions. Based on the Word Dynamo Challenge, kids get recommended lists, or they can browse all of the lists, which are sorted by subjects, grade levels, test prep, and foreign language.

Is it any good?


WORD DYNAMO is an app the whole family can use and learn from. The exhaustive word lists include words for every grade level, many tests, specific areas of study, and even foreign languages. Kids have a variety of options for learning and practicing the words. The ability to create your own word lists and then study them with flash cards or review them in a quiz is very helpful. Kids (and parents) will get a kick out of the Word Dynamo Challenge, as well as be appropriately challenged, since the game serves as a pre-test to guide the recommended lists.

Families can talk about...

  • Watch as your kid takes the Word Dynamo Challenge to get an idea of his or her vocabulary starting point.

  • Encourage kids to read a variety of texts. Reading is the best vocabulary builder.

App details

Pricing structure:Paid
Subscription price:iOS 4.2 or later
Release date:May 10, 2012
Size:22.10 MB
Publisher:Dictionary.com, LLC

This review of Word Dynamo was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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; OK 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.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

Top advice and articles

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

Parent Written byemmastanley August 14, 2015
What other families should know
Too much consumerism


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

Star Wars Guide