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Best English Dictionary Apps

After scouring through tens of pages of dictionaries in the app store from foreign languages, slang, and bibles to medical, law, and pranks (yes, pranks), I’ve decided that the app store is in no dictionary shortage crisis at the moment. Let this AppGuide lead you in the right direction as to what English language dictionary will serve you, your situation, and your iDevice the best.

Essential Apps

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition

by Paragon Technologie GmbH

Merriam-Webster has been a household name for decades, whether you use dictionaries or not. This universal app for the iPhone and iPad doesn’t disappoint with its 225,000 definitions and audio pronunciations from native English speakers. No Internet connection is required, just download and you have everything you need wherever you are. Hyperlinks are supported between articles, and it supports a search history for the last 100 entries that can be cleared if desired. Don't want to shell out the dough for this one? Check out the link to the free, ad-supported version below.

Ninjawords Dictionary

by Matchstick Software

Ninjawords Dictionary is built upon three ninja facts: they are smart, fast, and deadly accurate. Three other things this app boasts are freshness, high quality, and ease of use. Words all stay on the same page while looking them up, avoiding flipping back and forth through page after page. Other features include recents, favorites, a thesaurus, and pronunciations.

WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus

by TranCreative Software

WordBook English Dictionary has been the top-selling English dictionary on the app store since 2008, and made the top 15 Best iPhone Apps for English Majors list from But you don’t have to be an English major to use and enjoy this dictionary. Others will find the 150,000 entries, 220,000 definitions, and 70,000 usage samples of great benefit. Things like word of the day, bookmarks, a built-in thesaurus, and browser-like definition content navigation has made this app one to have on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

American Heritage® Dictionary — 4th Edition (AHD4) - powered by UniDict®

by Enfour, Inc.

Ditch that seven-and-a-half pound monstrosity in favor of this version, which weighs as much as your iDevice does. American Heritage Dictionary includes all 2,074 pages and almost 300,000 terms in this big boy, all in your pocket. American Heritage also includes over 64,000 sound files for extra clarity. This dictionary also features external linking, internal hyperlinking, zoomable graphics, automatic search history, and real-time progressive lookup. Welcome to your new digital dictionary.

Notable Apps

WordWeb Dictionary

by WordWeb Software

This universal app for both iPhone and iPad is free, and it includes 285,000 words, 225,000 word sense definitions, 70,000 usage examples, 85,000 text pronunciations, and tons of other features. WordWeb Dictionary rivals other dictionaries that cost lots of money, so give this one a shot.



This dictionary has all of the same features of the others with some notable exceptions. First, Dictionary has high quality Text-to-Speech capabilities so you can pronounce definitions out loud to sound intelligent. Secondly, it has over 2,000 illustrations for more than 4,000 terms including maps and national flags for most countries. It has a respectable amount of definitions and a Word Shake feature that lets you shake your phone to learn new words and definitions. Dictionary & Thesaurus - Free

by, LLC

My personal choice of dictionary, boasts over a million words and definitions and 90,000 synonyms and antonyms. In fact, it has so many words that this app takes several minutes to download over a Wi-Fi connection, so the developers recommend installing over a wired connection first. However, when downloaded, everything runs ultra smoothly and no lag is noticeable. Cool features that make me like are its example sentences, alphabetical indexing, similarly spelled words, phonetic and audio pronunciations, and a dictionary/thesaurus combo. Me likey.

Audio Cambridge Dictionary of American English

by Mobile Systems

Cambridge Dictionary is similar to many other dictionary apps in the App Store. It has standard definitions, a thesaurus, spoken pronunciations, use cases for words and usage notes. Cambridge Dictionary also supports offline mode and other small features such as bookmarking definitions. While not bringing enough to the table to justify its high price, this dictionary does work well and is pretty stable as well. Overall, a decent option for those who are looking for a Dictionary app on their iDevice.

Concise English Dictionary & Thesaurus

by jDictionary Mobile

Nothing gives you more peace of mind than a dictionary that has the word “concise” in its name. The same guy that developed the award-winning English Dictionary for Blackberry and Symbian developed Concise English Dictionary & Thesaurus. It features fast, reliable, easy-to-use, and up-to-date information that premium dictionaries don’t even have. CED includes biographical and geographical data, scientific terms and data, and lots more. Also check out jDictionary Mobile’s sister app Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus.

Collins English Dictionary Unabridged

by Mobile Systems

This dictionary is intended for grades 12+ and general business users. It is stuffed full of over 500,000 words, and also covers world, regional, and dialect English. Collins English Dictionary Unabridged includes the latest vocabulary based on their database of over 2.5 billion words that is constantly updated. Three filters help searching for words a breeze, like the Fuzzy filter used if you’re not sure of the spelling of a word, the Keyword search to locate instances of a key word within compound words, and a Wild Card search using symbols like a question mark and an asterisk to replace letters of certain words or groups of letters.

Webster's New World Dictionary

by AcroDesign Technologies

This dictionary is very well recognized and is the official dictionary of the Associated Press, if that holds any water for you. It has an average amount of words and definitions in a small database of 10MB, so it’s speedy. The one thing this dictionary lacks is the etymology from the print edition. If that were a deal-breaker, then I would avoid this one. Otherwise, go download it!

Decent Apps


by Catlin Software, LLC

This dictionary app has 200,000 definitions, an advanced spell check, and short, simple definitions, unless you have an Internet connection, in which case you will have access to longer and more detailed definitions. This app is free with the option of purchasing the full version inside the app for ad-free searching.

English Dictionary and Thesaurus with Verbs

by Ultralingua, Inc.

You have to appreciate a developer who takes the time to make their app universal to iPhone and iPad, and that’s exactly what Ultralingua has done with this dictionary app. Enjoy all the usual aspects of a great dictionary plus a number tool that automatically converts numbers to text, a search-as-you-type tool, a search history that holds that last 50 searches automatically, and a verb tool that conjugates thousands of regular and irregular verbs into standard tenses.

Longman Advanced American Dictionary (with audio)

by Pearson Education

This Longman Advanced American Dictionary app has your expected features of any standard dictionary, but has two versions: one with audio and one without. The difference? Besides the obvious audio definitions, there is a whopping 135 MB difference in file size. That is huge. The storage space of your iDevice may determine which one you go with.

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