Urban Dictionary

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Urban Dictionary Website Poster Image
Words you won't find in Webster's are mostly mature.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 38 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

Although some of the terms are completely innocent, many describe violent sexual acts, use swear words or are otherwise inappropriate for younger users.

Violence

The site features 10 definitions for the word "violence" -- and several definitions for made-up violent terms, like "violence porn" and "violent f**k."

Sex

Many of the terms include sexual references -- and there's a whole section featuring user-submitted definitions of the word "sex."

Language

Words like "d**k" and "s**t" appear in definitions and instantly in live chats.

Consumerism

The site contains ads for T-shirt companies, a college, and other businesses. Users also can order mugs, magnets, and other items based on any of the dictionary entries. There are also street slang dictionaries and flashcards.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some definitions encourage drug use, saying things like "substances like marijuana ... and LSD, to name a few, can all be used responsibly."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this online dictionary of slang terms can delve into areas of sex, drugs, and violence. But it also has its finger on the pulse of of-the-moment expressions and can be humorous and thought-provoking. The content can also be shocking -- the site's guidelines say
it will "publish racial and sexual slurs" because "people use slurs in
everyday speech" -- but will reject racist and sexist entries. (Editors
are encouraged to approve terms that document but don't endorse
discrimination -- which can be a fine line). The site's usage terms say
the content "is frequently presented in a coarse and direct manner that
some may find offensive" and suggest the site isn’t for users under 13.
However, kids can easily find a number of edgy definitions; the terms
are listed alphabetically, and there's also a search function.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJonathanLee5595 August 12, 2018

Crazy Inappropiate Words, Only Publish Slang Words but not Educational and Funny Ones, Editors Reject Almost Every Definitions Except Gross Ones, Load of F-words

What is Urban Dictionary? a useless community dictionary that has SO MANY SEXUAL DEFINITONS, There are more than 700 definitions of sex!!! But, there are few ed... Continue reading
Adult Written byRagzi September 10, 2010

Funny but inappropriate

Most entries involve sex, drugs or curse words. The definitions can be funny for older teens and adults but are very inappropriate for children.
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheDalekDiva September 7, 2016

CSM, what are you thinking???!!!

This is insane. Urban Dictionary is, by far, one of the most un-family-friendly websites on the internet! Trust me, if your child goes on this site, they will l... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 30, 2020

Inappropriate and guilt-bringing

This is the kind of site which draws kids in and makes them feel really grown up and secretive. They should have some sort of age verification as well. I tried... Continue reading

Is it any good?

The Urban Dictionary gets points for encouraging creativity, and some of the tamer terms are funny or feature earnest definitions. However, while the site might help increase your tween's interest in words, the risk of your child running across some made-up monikers that you won't want repeated is pretty high -- so supervision is recommended.

Online interaction: Users can instantly chat live -- via text or video -- with other users. There's no language filter, and conversations can get heated.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What is a slur? What kind of words and terms -- involving gender, race, appearance or other things -- should you not say to offend people or hurt their feelings?

  • If you hear someone else use a term that you think may offend people or hurt their feelings, is it OK to repeat it -- or is that just as bad as saying it? Is there a difference between talking about discrimination and actually discriminating against people -- and how do you not cross that line?

  • Why would you not want to video chat with a stranger? What kind of things could happen that would be different or not as safe during a chat if you're able to see the person you're chatting with, instead of just typing back and forth?

Website details

  • Genre: Educational
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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