If I’m writing on my computer, I hardly ever consult a paper dictionary anymore. Instead, I head to an online dictionary. Most are quick, convenient, and just as reliable as the paper versions. In fact, they are often based on the paper versions. Here are some of my favorite sites:
If you’re looking for a quick definition, Dictionary.com is a great place to start. The site provides definitions from multiple dictionaries, which means you don’t have to go hunting all over the Internet if you want more than one definition of the word. The site includes thesaurus and encyclopedia entries as well.
For more thorough coverage, try OneLook Dictionary Search. One Look is “a search engine for words and phrases,” meaning that the site is kind of like the Google of online dictionaries. One Look indexes more than 1000 dictionaries. One of the site’s coolest features is its reverse dictionary, which “lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept.”
If you’re interested in the origins of a word, try the Online Etymology Dictionary, which provides “explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.”
If you’re ever stuck on a rhyme while writing a song or poem, try this rhyming dictionary at rhymezone.com. The site allows you to search for rhymes, near rhymes, similar sounding words, homophones, and more.