Having a good dictionary app on your iPhone and iPad is very convenient as it helps you whenever you encounter a new word. Lets check the best 3 free English dictionary apps and see which one is the most suitable for you.
1) Dictionary.com Dictionary –
Dictionary.com offers free dictionary app which is ad supported. Interface of this app is simple and Home Screen provides Word of the day along with additional information. This app is both a Dictionary and a Thesaurus, and it has marked it as two segments which can be used for searching any word.
Searching any word will populate real time suggestions and results are good and detailed. Results are shown in tab interface, where swiping left will show you synonyms and origin of word. You can also listen to audio for every word and know how should it be pronounced.
Complete functionality of this Dictionary.com app is available offline so it is not compulsory to have Internet working on your mobile for using this dictionary. In offline mode this dictionary has largest collection of words.
2) Marriam-Webster Dictionary –
When you open this Dictionary it looks very graceful with its clean and beautiful home screen. It shows Word of the day on home screen along with a search bar. It supports search suggestions while typing a word. It works offline and results were detailed and with audio for pronunciation.
One interesting feature of Marriam-Webster is that while reading anything, you can tap on any word and it will bring you meaning of that new word, however this feature is also in dictionary.com app. Like other dictionaries, this also supports voice based search.
Marriam-Webster supports features like Word of the day and favorites. This Dictionary is ad supported but ads appear at the bottom of screen which is not intrusive while reading.
Overall Marriam-Webster lived to its reputation, however number of words is less than Dictonary.com dictionary. It has also got a paid version which is more feature rich and comes with more words.
3) Farlex Dictionary –
Farlex dictionary is also ad based free dictionary app, but its entirely web based and it doesn’t work offline. For offline uses it offers an Offline Mode where you will need to download a separate offline dictionaries.
As soon as you open it you will notice that Farlex has utilized their home page very intelligently. They show Word of the day, Article of the day, Quote of the day and much more on home page. These home page items can be customized.
Similarly you will notice option to change the language. So this Dictionary is not limited to English only, it can be used with other languages also.
When you search for a term it provides you the suggestions like other Dictionaries but it’s suggestions include words from other languages also. As a result most of the suggestions are useless and you end up typing the whole word.
Results shown by this Dictionary app are good and detailed. You also get thesaurus with word meaning.Farlex was the only Dictionary which gives you both British and American Pronunciation. Voice search is also supported.
Overall Farlex Dictionary is more suitable for people who want translation of words from one language to another language. Its not most suitable for English to English translation. Farlex Dictionary is available for iOS (iPhone/iPad) as full featured Paid Version and limited Free Version
Marriam-Webster and Dictionary.com had many similarities such as both provide voice based search using Nuance, so voice based features are almost similar.However out of these three apps I would recommend Dictionary app of Dictionary.com, because in offline mode this app has biggest database of words.
For serious dictionary users I would recommend to check paid apps also because they are more feature rich and comes with a much bigger offline word database. This is one time investment which will benefit you every day. At the end of this article few most famous paid apps are listed.
Alternative Apps –