Dictionary.com

News & Notes: Welcome to Our New Redesign!

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We’re excited to announce the most significant redesign of our definition pages in Dictionary.com’s 19-year history. To help you find what you need quickly and easily, we’ve streamlined the pages and elevated the word features you love. We’ve also introduced exciting new items that bring words to life in innovative ways. Here’s a look at what’s new:

  • For deeper comprehension of the terms you’re looking up, we’ve moved features that provide context and usage information to more prominent placements on the page: example sentences now show up below the definitions that they illustrate, and the new navigation bar beneath your headword allows easy access to synonyms, example sentences, and word origin.
  • To make it easier to save, share, cite, and translate the words you search, we’ve added a hovering toolbar that scrolls with you as you peruse the page. We receive many inquiries from researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and authors about the proper way to cite our words. Our “cite” button makes documenting your research easier by displaying proper citation formats for your word for MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, AMA, IEEE, and BibTe.

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  • Our brand-new word origin maps provide visualizations of where in the world words come from. English has been called a vacuum cleaner of a language because it picks up words from everywhere around the world. The new maps show words’ journeys en route to English. “Giraffe,” for instance, may have originated in Persian, but it passed through Arabic, Italian, and French before entering English in 1585.

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  • To give you an idea of how the word you’re looking up stacks against other words in the English language, we’ve added our proprietary difficulty index to every definition page. This feature ranks words based on their complexity and frequency of use.
  • Love Scrabble and Words with Friends? Located in the right column, our new Scrabble and Words With Friends tiles tell you how many points you can get for the word you’ve looked up, so that you can make sure that you’re always on top of your game.

Here’s some early feedback from our visitors:

“Loving the new site design guys, loads faster than ever!” –Omar C. via Facebook

“I just learned that dictionary.com provides you with both the scrabble and Words with Friends base score value when you look up a word” –Laura Creecy via Twitter

We look forward to hearing what you think! Check out the new look and feel of our pages and discover all the new features we have to offer. Your feedback is valuable to us, so drop us a line here.

56 Comments

  1. babajide rojaiye -  September 11, 2014 - 4:04 am

    i intend to return to the old version. would you please assist me with a link or suggestion on how to return?

    Reply
  2. Aneke Emeka -  August 21, 2014 - 8:34 am

    Why was it deemed necessary,to bring new design to the detriment of much more cherished site with edifying words. Is it better to have sparkling design with enormous removal words, than, to enhance comprehension?

    Reply
    • Luke -  August 21, 2014 - 4:17 pm

      THIS new looking platform is all based on YOUR (dictionary.com) Marketing and Advertising efforts to appeal to the Tech market, and sometimes what is considered new, fresh and innovated, is really dead and uncomfortable to the one who you serve. And since they are the ones that made you what you are today, you .com should honor that.

      But in the world of: How would we ever know unless we stepped outside of our comfort zone? Or, how would you the user ever know? To answer those questions is simple. YOU should easily know by stepping out of YOUR own box and giving the people what they want.

      This platform takes away the uniqueness and originality of the foundation that D.com originally built. There is less detail on this loud open beta page. The original D.com caries MUCH MORE CLASS and Character then dose baby-beta.

      The originals will always comeback and conquer the thumb sucking market OWNERS, because it’s not about your D.com, it’s about the PEOPLE YOU SERVE, and in the real world people matter more than YOUR CHOICE, and they matter MORE than any other market-force.

      And to lay the icing on the cake sort of speak: Imagine your mom, who really knows how to make YOUR favorite “dish of food”, she has made it for years, ever since you were a little guy.

      Then image one day, she says here’s your favorite dish little jonnie, and then adds but I made it completely different, but you just learn to love it that way. And if not, that’s OK because I know best!!??

      PS. IT IS WHAT IT IS, so do what you do “MARKETERS”!

      Reply
  3. Sandri -  August 21, 2014 - 6:17 am

    Dear Dictionary.com Staff,

    I have enjoyed using your online dictionary since 2004 and I really thank you for being among the first in the world to launch a free online dictionary.

    I have witnessed and experienced your continuous changes for improvement from time to time. Sometimes new things look inconvenient until we get accustomed to.

    Writing for the first time I’d like to leave my comment about the actual layout of Dictionary.com:
    1. In general it looks good, more compact and orientating.
    2. The size of the word we are looking at should be smaller, so that it does not shout at us (it’s a joke).
    3. If the definitions of words could be in the middle of the page, it would be better for the eyes and mind, which feel more relaxed in symmetry.
    4. The font of the text you have chosen leaves too much space in between, making us scroll time and again, and I think that the previous font was better.
    5. If you include a small box near the word to show the proficiency level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), it would be better.

    I decided to spend my time writing to you so that I could also express my gratitude to the facilities Dictionary.com has provided for me from the moment I first encountered it.

    Faithfully yours,
    Sandri

    Reply
    • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 21, 2014 - 11:34 am

      Dear Sandri, Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to write us with your detailed comment. We are always looking to improve our site so specific examples such as yours are always helpful to us. We appreciate your patience as we review suggestions to provide a better experience for everyone who uses our site. Thanks for being part of our journey for the last ten years!

      Reply
      • Sandri -  August 23, 2014 - 12:37 pm

        Well done, Dictionary.com staff!
        This kind of public correspondence makes us feel that DICTIONARY.COM is created to MEET PEOPLE’S NEEDS and we appreciate that. We must be aware that in the market economy it is impossible to offer a free service like yours to the world, if advertisements or sponsorship would not exist. You must be sure that the more convenient the service is, the more wishes you get from your customers for endless profit from advertisements, because you are doing hard work for that and work must be paid in one way or another.
        There are many free online dictionaries nowadays, but Dictionary.com comes first for me, and I believe that your journey to further progress is our journey too.
        I have never seen/met any of you, except through this correspondence, but the dictionary shows a lot about the staff.
        May Dictionary.com be among the first dictionaries in the world forever!
        Absolutely sincere,
        Sandri

        Reply
  4. Debbie -  August 21, 2014 - 5:05 am

    Why o why have the designers of the “new look” filled it with completely useless information and taken away the features that are actually needed? And how could this be approved by your Directors? I agree with the posts before me. I will also look for another site. Shame.

    Reply
  5. Name -  August 21, 2014 - 3:54 am

    Love the redesign.

    Reply
  6. Matthew -  August 21, 2014 - 1:52 am

    All the way around, I much prefer the more efficient old design. Is there any chance that it could be brought back as the “classic” version and users given a choice?

    Reply
  7. Frank K. -  August 20, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    Okay, I’m disappointed with the new format, which I noted elsewhere; but I forgot to say that dictionary.com deserves a lot of credit for not only seeking feedback but making it available for everyone to see.

    Reply
  8. LS -  August 20, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    I do not like this newest site; it is less comprehensive in comparison to what you had before. I used the long list of synonyms, the antonyms, the list of definitions. If the old schema was great why change what is working for most of us? The thesaurus is relevant when accessing the dictionary as well. Perhaps it’s time for me to purchase a PC collegiate software rather than depending on this source of venue. Quite sad, really.

    Reply
    • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 21, 2014 - 11:39 am

      Hi LS, thanks for your comment. Underneath the word there are links to available synonyms, examples and word origin to help navigate the new page. If you want the broad range of synonyms, you can always access them by clicking on the word “Thesaurus” that always stays on top of the page in the header. Feel free to email me with any other specific concerns at support@dictionary.zendesk.com. Thanks again for your comment.

      Reply
  9. Dean Crocker -  August 20, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Ugly. HUGE fonts. Missing material. All in all a terrible choice. It looks like a big blowup of a cell phone screen. YUK!!!

    Reply
  10. Jim -  August 20, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    I like your new format as it is clean and uncluttered. I also appreciate the fact that you continue with your agenda to improve. Here are a few suggestions (1) Keep the pages formatted in a standardized layout, (2) Move the “Feedback tab to another location because it distracts from the scroll bar, (3) When you changed, the voice pronouncing words became garbled–maybe just my computer, but this happened at the same time and the sound otherwise is normal, (4) Provide more examples of usage.

    Reply
    • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 21, 2014 - 11:49 am

      Hi Jim, I tested the pronunciation on a few words and didn’t find any issue. If the problem persists, please free to email me at support@dictionary.zendesk.com with specific words. Thank you for the rest of your suggestions!

      Reply
  11. R.N. -  August 20, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    What are the steps necesary to go back to using the old version?

    Reply
  12. Gary -  August 20, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    You light up my life, seriously. Thanks a million plus!

    Reply
  13. Quick -  August 20, 2014 - 7:45 am

    I don’t mind the change. From my perspective, not much has changed. When I go to dictionary.com, I still see the search box along with links to all the various blogs, games, etc. The results look different, and I agree that the word does not need to be in such a large font, but the definition is right there on top just like it always was. That is my main use of the site, though, so maybe there are other features that changed that I am not noticing.

    Reply
    • Bob -  August 20, 2014 - 3:10 pm

      I think it’s obvious to everyone that “Quick’s” not doing real research.

      Reply
  14. Manil Gunawardene -  August 20, 2014 - 5:57 am

    By the numerous comments so far made by the users, it is apparent that the majority prefers the earlier version, as it has provided the required information without any hassle of going back and forth. It would be sensible for those who effected this change to put it back without any further loss of time. Let sanity prevail!

    Reply
  15. Peter -  August 20, 2014 - 5:06 am

    The ‘new format’ is basically DUMBED DOWN. The ‘new format’ requires the user jump from page to page, rather than scan the major definitions all on one page. In addition to being really ugly and clumsy, the ‘new’ format takes up far too much space on the screen, even if the focus is zoomed. Frankly, I’ll look around for much more professional competition.

    Reply
  16. Anirban -  August 20, 2014 - 5:02 am

    I see a lot of the users are raising the same concerns like me, are you guys ( The owners of the website) doing anything ? Or we have to find a new go to site.

    Reply
  17. Anirban -  August 20, 2014 - 4:56 am

    The new version of the UI does not work for me, is there anyway people like me can get back to the old classic version, that was way way better than this one, proper usage sentences are not here, one needs the example sentences more. Please have a way to switch back to the old look.

    Reply
  18. Phoebe -  August 20, 2014 - 1:22 am

    I hate to say this but I agree with the people who do not like this new site. I think it is perfect for a mobile site but disorganized and garish for a computer site. I love the new logo and had a hand in the surveys for that but I cannot remember if there was ever a survey or questionnaire for the ‘revamp’ of the site. It is a real shame that they spent all the time and money on a complete waste but its true. The new font is quite nice but the blue is too light to be on a predominantly white background. Same with the grey font colour – it cannot be seen. Overall it is really unfortunate that this update is so bad as the content that is given is really useful and interesting. Power of people should never be underestimated: always give us a vote or at least some notice that is well in advance of the final change, then we can be aware of these things.

    Reply
  19. Simone -  August 20, 2014 - 1:20 am

    Why in heaven’s name would one screw up a perfectly good reference site is beyond my comprehension! It happened before with the Thesaurus section. And now it happens again with the Dictionary section. It was perfectly fine the way it was!! It boggles the mind that the great minds behind the site cannot understand a simple equation … what works well needs no alterations, no refinements, no nothin’! Could we please have our old Dictionary site back??? My feeling is that there are a lot of youngish (very youngish and immature people, I have to stress!), who THINK that change is innovative and will attract more interest. It does not! It only confuses people, and they end up giving up altogether. This site was perfect before. Now it is less than perfect, confusing, and ouch! … too complicated!

    Reply
  20. JD -  August 19, 2014 - 9:19 pm

    The new design sucks! The information displayed in the old format is more useful.

    Reply
  21. Robert -  August 19, 2014 - 9:03 pm

    Note: they removed the World English Dictionary in place of the British Dictionary? This is America.Who cares about a British dictionary. We need an option to go back to the old format.

    Reply
  22. Bob S. -  August 19, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Does anyone know of another web dictionary site that hasn’t screwed itself up the way this one has? I’m ready to move on.
    This one is trying to be everything to everybody when all I want is the meaning of a word and the synonyms and word recommendations. I couldn’t care less what country it originated in and I certainly don’t need a map to show where that country is located.
    You geeks all want to gear everything to the intelligence level of idiots.

    Reply
  23. Jesse Hogan -  August 19, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    I like the new design, but it doesn’t really work for me. Is there a way to get back to the classic design?

    Reply
  24. Tony -  August 19, 2014 - 3:21 am

    I agree with this new format.

    Reply
    • Brandon Ligon -  August 19, 2014 - 9:54 am

      It would be nice if there was an option to return to the old layout. Because it’s hard to get used to this one. It’s too confusing.

      Reply
  25. Manil Gunawardene -  August 19, 2014 - 2:03 am

    It is human nature that majority of people, to whatever cast and creed they belong, are conservative. Due to this, many (including me) find it difficult to adapt to new changes, and this is same with Dictionary Boss too. As in the case of many who have adversely commented on the new change, the new format will seem alien for some time until we get the hang of it through continuous usage. Till then, it’s an uphill journey with no sight of a slope. Naturally, it will take time to know the locations – what to click to get the stuff. Comparatively, in the former format, any search was instant due to its over-familiarization through long usage. This is like being dumped in a large house without knowing which door leads where. Let’s roam around for some time…… Anyway, what is the purpose of banner headline font for the head word? It looks so gawky!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Wyatt -  August 19, 2014 - 11:47 am

      No offense but why do you assume that the fact that people don’t like the new format is simply a matter of “getting used to it.” It isn’t a matter of getting used to it if it no longer provides the information I need — no matter how long I “roam around.” (Plus, honestly, who has time to ‘roam around?’ I’m here to find an answer and get on with my work.) Just scrolling quickly through the comments, it is obvious that the majority of commentors feel the same way. I’ll sum up my dislike of the changes by agreeing with the person who said they will no longer be using this site. What a shame since this was my “go to” site when needing clear, concise help quickly. Dictionary.com — If you ever return to the old format, I’ll return to being a die-hard fan.

      Reply
  26. diptiranjan -  August 18, 2014 - 11:58 pm

    new design sucks big time! Right from the fonts to overall experience- real pain. Why 1. difficulty index (it lies in the IQ of the beholder!); 2. why the origin map; 3. why scroll down to find something. One of most lousy attempt to refurbish – it has failed miserably. Quick action pl…

    Reply
  27. PJ -  August 18, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Why does everyone think consumers want to be constantly bombarded by more bells and whistles? The site is more awkward than ever and filled now with useless information. Too busy, and it is so very obvious the new format is built around more ads in each screen–very distracting, and hence, not the place I’ll go online anymore for dictionary help, as the site takes me off focus from my writing work with the barrages of ads. Too bad. Was a nice web platform.

    Reply
  28. Robert Nault -  August 18, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    I hate the new format. If they really want to spend their time changing something, they ought to make a concerted effort in removing ALL of the advertising that still pops up for their “Premium” subscribers.

    Reply
  29. Dave H. -  August 18, 2014 - 7:23 pm

    Please bring back the list of synonyms, the antonyms, the “sometimes confused with” section, the long list of definitions from multiple sources, etc.

    I *liked* the old format. It was dense with useful information at a glance. This new layout is mostly white space and I have to scroll to see *half* of what I used to get on one screen! The left column is a complete waste of screen real estate. Please bring back all the great features that used to be there!

    This layout is fine for a mobile app where you just want a quick answer. For desktop writing and research, the old layout was MUCH better.

    Reply
    • Jo H -  August 19, 2014 - 1:48 pm

      I agree with Dave. I really liked the denseness of the old format. Made it far quicker to scan down with our eyes when looking for information. It is true that we don’t like change, by human nature, but it would be great if we had a choice to use the old layout, like Brandon L suggests.

      Reply
    • CWH -  August 19, 2014 - 1:51 pm

      Dave H. is hitting the nail on the head. I use the synonyms list constantly and was shocked to see it gone. What has apparently replaced it is horribly inadequate as far as I can tell. Please bring back the old format. This one is blown up with white space. It’s terrible.

      Reply
    • Hobbes -  August 20, 2014 - 4:52 am

      The old site was ugly, the new site is sexy. I like that. On the other hand, the old site was full of useful information that I could find easily. This new site is either missing what I liked, or I have to scroll forever to find it. I’ll give it a chance to see if I can adapt, but a dictionary is one of those things that I don’t mind if it’s a little bit crowded.

      Reply
    • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 22, 2014 - 9:57 am

      Hi Dave, we appreciate your thoughtful feedback on the layout. Underneath the word there are links to available synonyms, examples and word origin to help navigate the new page. If you want the broader range of synonyms, you can always access them by clicking on the word “Thesaurus” that always stays on top of the page in the header. We appreciate your patience as we review suggestions to provide a better experience for everyone who uses our site. Feel free to email me with any other specific concerns at support@dictionary.zendesk.com.

      Reply
  30. Claire -  August 18, 2014 - 6:44 pm

    I also agree with Wayne and Cindy. Why mess with something that worked so well?

    Reply
  31. Phil -  August 18, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    It’s better than before, more space less ads (for now!), just essential words needed!

    Reply
  32. chris -  August 18, 2014 - 1:27 pm

    Your new design SUCKS terribly compared to prior version. I hate using the site now. Too bad for your advertisers!!!

    Reply
  33. Richard L. -  August 18, 2014 - 12:58 pm

    I hate the new format. There is too much useless information. It is user unfriendly. There is a need of constant scrolling down and up. I use dictionary on a daily bases and the new format is pain in the neck.
    When I use dictionary I need to find the meaning of the word fast and simple.
    Synonyms and antonyms were very friendly and I used to have most important things at the top of the page. If I needed to know more then I could scroll down. New format is overloaded and impractical. I guess some computer geek(s) took big money for making users life miserable.If it works – do not fix it.

    Reply
    • Frank K. -  August 18, 2014 - 9:38 pm

      I totally agree with Richard. As a research tool for writers the format has become less useful. Too much fat and not enough linguistic meat. For example, I used to use the word list to find compound nouns. I could look up the word “brain” and scroll down the list of compound expressions, such as idioms, using that word. Now I keep Webster’s online dictionary open for that purpose. Another advantage of Webster’s is all the definitions of a word and its synonyms can be easily found. Of course, I keep Thesaurus.com open as well and would often switch back and forth between it and Dictionary.com. Now I use the latter only about a third of the time I used to and mostly for quick definitions. I have no need for maps or access to social networking. Dictionary.com has always moved in the direction of being more entertaining and less useful as a tool for writers and scholars. In other words, it’s less about words and more about becoming a fun site for people who use the Net as a playground.

      Reply
  34. Davis L -  August 18, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Keywords to be weary of “exciting”, “streamlined”, and “easier”. Having to search to find features that have been moved or removed is not easier, nor exciting and absolutely not streamlined.

    Yes I will eventually adjust to the changes, whether by persistence or changing my dictionary source. But my ability to adapt doesn’t validate your assault on my comfort zone. I have a STRONG distaste for the modifications.

    Reply
  35. Bob S. -  August 18, 2014 - 10:05 am

    I think the new format stinks. The old one was better and more user friendly. Computer geeks seem to think just rearranging things makes it better.
    For the way I use it, usually several times a day, the old way worked well. I liked and used the info that was on the left side where it was available without scrolling for it.
    My vote is to restore it to the way it was

    Reply
  36. Wayne R -  August 15, 2014 - 6:45 pm

    I sort of like the new design, but I feel that the toolbar on the left side has replaced some useful things like quick viewing of synonyms and word recommendations. I would prefer that the links on the left toolbar return but other things seem okay. The quick link to word origin will help a lot.

    Reply
    • leo -  August 18, 2014 - 11:41 am

      make the “get more info” label have at least a void button…so that we don’t have it on the page while searching…just annoying.

      Reply
    • Cindy -  August 18, 2014 - 1:25 pm

      I totally agree w/Wayne. Viewing of synonyms and word recommendations was so easy and was in view right there in front of you. I was so happy and comfortable w/the old design, and used it to do my daily studies for hours a day pretty much on a daily basis. I am discouraged now that I have to deal w/this.

      Reply
      • gris ma -  August 18, 2014 - 8:23 pm

        First off, I like the newly designed dictionary site. I use Firefox web browser whose text is set in white and the background in black color. In this setup, the word pronunciation speaker icon is invisible to me on such black background pages. Other navigational tools and symbols in the dictionary pages are also buried and became invisible under the black color background. I would be grateful if you could somehow make them stand out and visible against the black background in your next round of site improvements. Thanks.

        Reply
        • Wal -  August 20, 2014 - 4:52 am

          Hello,

          I like this new design quite a lot but I really miss Thesaurus.
          Hope you will restore this fantastic feature.

          Reply
          • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 25, 2014 - 2:20 pm

            Hi Wal, If you want the broad range of synonyms, you can always access them by clicking on the word “Thesaurus” that always stays on top of the page in the header. Feel free to email me with any other specific concerns at support@dictionary.zendesk.com. Thanks again for your comment.

        • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 25, 2014 - 2:19 pm

          Hi, thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will forward this issue to our designers. We thank you for your patience as we improve our site for everyone.

          Reply
    • Evelyn, Dictionary.com Support -  August 21, 2014 - 10:56 am

      Hi Wayne, thanks for your feedback. Underneath the word there are links to available synonyms, examples and word origin to help navigate the new page. Feel free to email me with any other specific concerns at support@dictionary.zendesk.com. Thanks again for your comments!

      Reply

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