I have 7 printed (physical) dictionaries in by book shelf. And it has been nearly five years since I used any of them. Just like with other books, I use the electronic versions of dictionaries. Be it the digital versions of dictionaries from prominent publishers like Oxford and Cambridge or the online dictionaries like Dictionary.com and the freedictionary.com, digital dictionaries have made it very easy to look for the meanings of words. But digital versions of dictionaries from big publishers are not free and it takes time to open to access online dictionaries and search for a word.
WordWeb is a free dictionary software for Windows from the online dictionary wordwebonline.com which can look for meanings of words very fast. All you need to do is enter the word for which you want to see the meaning for in the search box and press Enter or click on the search icon. The software displays a list of related words even before you press Enter. Different meanings of the word, pronunciation (both text and audio), usage, and other derived forms of the word are displayed by the software immediately. Another small section below displays the nearest words to the word you have searched the meaning for, their synonyms, and similar words. If you want to know the meaning of the word from multiple sources, the software displays it from online sources like Wikipedia and Wiktionary. Interface of the software is very simple and you can understand it very easily.
You can bookmark any of the words you have searched for in the ‘Bookmarks’ dropdown menu. The ‘Random Word’ option under the ‘View’ menu lets you learn a random word every day or when ever you want (see image below). The software has both free and pro versions. The free version has limited number of root words (150,000), limited audio pronunciations, and other limitations while the pro version has some other additional features like full text definition search, custom web references, custom glossaries, etc. A unique license condition for the users of the free version is that they need to take not more than two commercial flights every year. It is not clear how they are going to ensure that the users of the software are complying with this license condition. If you have a pro version installed, you can also buy and use other third party dictionaries from publishers like Oxford and Cambridge from the software itself.
The free version should be enough for ordinary users. Give this excellent free dictionary software for windows a try and leave your printed dictionaries in your book shelves.
Price: Free (Pro version costs US$ 19)
Version reviewed: 7
Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Download size: 21.3 MB
Download link to the Software