08 April 2007

#15. WordWeb, Your Dictionary On Disk

Words are on the menu at today’s Tool Bar & Grill. All the words you can eat, with plenty left over for the doggie bag. They’re all served up piping hot by WordWeb, an excellent dictionary, thesaurus, and linguistic tool.

Where do you go to look up word definitions, spelling, synonyms, and antonyms? There’s the thick dictionary on the bookshelf, but that’s so 1980s. There are lots of good free dictionaries on the Internet; some of my favorites are Merriam-Webster (m-w.com), dictionary.com, and answers.com. But you have to be on line, and the answers can come rather slowly. Multi-glossary Babylon is another valuable tool, but it costs $59. My choice is WordWeb.

WordWeb puts a fairly complete dictionary on your hard disk (the whole package takes up about 13 MB). It’s fast, easy to use, and best of all, free. Select a word on screen and hit the hot key or the tray icon, and WordWeb pops up with the word’s definition. Or just open WordWeb and type the desired word.

WordWeb version 5.0 has just been released. Among its useful features:

  • Definitions
  • Synonyms and antonyms
  • Filter by part of speech
  • Relationships to other words according by concept, as classified by the WordNet project of Princeton University
  • Click to hear the word spoken (using Windows’ text-to-speech facility)
  • Click to see other definitions on the Web

Here’s how WordWeb looks:

You can find more information about WordWeb’s free and paid Pro versions (with a larger word base and more advanced linguistic tools) at http://www.wordweb.info/. Download the free version from http://wordweb.info/free.

Do you have a better idea? Type your comments, complaints, and compliments below, or mail me at jonathanstoolbar@gmail.com. And do come back next week for more valuable tips on the best utilities and Web sites.


  1. Hi Jonathan,

    Even now, I cannot remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but now that I have, I am not sure if its you I should be thanking or that invisible helper who made me come here! :)

    Thanks a TON for all the info you have squuezed into your blog!!!

    This dictionary thing, which you have mentioned here, is exactly what I was looking for, and as you said, online dictionaries are a real pain especially when your internet connections is a dial-up, like mine!!!

    I will be visiting all the other areas in your blog in the coming days, as and when I get some free time, but despite my hectic schedule, I felt I MUST write this thank you note immediately to let you know your efforts are deeply appreciated!!! Thanks again for all the time you are keeping aside to help the not-so-net-savvy dumbos like me! :)


  2. Thank you very much, Dilip, for your kind words! This blog is a labor of love for me, so it is very gratifying when it is helpful to someone, and especially when that someone troubles himself to tell me about it. I hope my other posts will be equally useful, and I hope you'll tell all your friends about my blog too!

  3. Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about
    before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.
    will be referring a lot of friends about this.Keep blogging.