Word Central

Website review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
Word Central Website Poster Image
Kid-friendly definitions make site a great reference.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to spell, define, and discover the origin of words through interactive games and studying the dictionary. A different buzzword is offered every day, along with a short history lesson about the language it stems from. Interactive word games help kids learn the definitions and spelling of homophones. Ample opportunities for reflection help kids learn from their mistakes. Budding wordsmiths can amp up their vocabulary with this site.

Positive Messages

Promotes learning and creating new vocabulary words.

Violence & Scariness

Kids can look up the definition of violent words (kill, murder, fight etc.). However, this is not the purpose of the site.

Sexy Stuff

The complete dictionary offers definitions of sexual organs that are given in proper and straightforward terms.


Vulgar curse words are omitted, however proper definitions of "bitch" and "ass" are included.


Advertisements encourage users to purchase Merriam-Webster items.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The definitions of drugs are written in a biased tone reminding kids that they are habit-forming and illegal.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Central is an educational site that offers a full children's dictionary, word games, and daily buzzwords. The exercises included on this site give kids an opportunity to better their vocabulary and to learn about the origin of language. Word Central does a great job of catering their definitions to a younger audience and has clearly placed effort on providing appropriate terminology. A "Build Your Own Dictionary" section allows users to create their own words, parts of speech, and definitions. The only advertisements on site are promoting Merriam-Webster merchandise.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8-year-old Written bynetsbar November 21, 2018


They're simply fantastic!

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

Interactive crossword puzzles and games serve to expand kids' vocabulary on Merriam-Webster's Word Central. Kids spell words that are read aloud to them in games such as Alpha-bot. Robo-Bee provides cute clues and definitions kids can use to solve word puzzles. Educators will find a short list of reference books for extending reading and vocabulary acquisition from the same mother publisher.

Is it any good?

WORD CENTRAL provides a safe place where kids can create their own dictionary, look up words, and play vocabulary games without worrying about online interaction from outside sources. Users can search for words directly in the search engine or alphabetically. Also, the "Thesaurus" and "Rhyming" categories offer lists of synonyms, antonyms, and rhyming words. The "For Educators" section is a bonus that provides a short history of the English Language, a list of book distributors, and links to more educational sites.

What's disappointing about this site is that the games are very few, there isn't a whole lot to do, and the site hasn't changed in years. With an update, the site could be spectacular.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about building vocabulary. When you come across a word you don't know, do you look it up? Ask someone what it means? Skip over it?

  • Families can also discuss how to stay safe online.

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, spelling, vocabulary
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, defining problems, memorization
  • Genre: Educational
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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