Merriam-Webster is an online language information application. It contains a dictionary, news, search engines, a translator, thesaurus, and medical dictionary search. Users can find answers to most word and language-related queries on this app.
Merriam-Webster is a division of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. It provides this web app and several print editions of dictionaries. The website is based on the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, print version.
The company has been in the language business since 1832. They published their first dictionary in 1847. The application has the benefit of this experience in that it is very complete in its content. In addition to the usual dictionary capabilities, the application contains word games, word trends, new words and slang, and more.
The application is very easy and intuitive to use. Unfortunately, the advertising is intrusive and overwhelming. It dominates the top and bottom banners, as well as both sides of the content on most pages. This is very distracting and makes it more difficult to focus on the available content.
The dictionary function works well. Results include a definition, examples, origin of the word, synonyms, rhymes, a link to the encyclopedia entry for the word, and links to the previous and next words in the dictionary. The thesaurus provides synonyms and related words. The Spanish-English tab provides a Spanish definition. The Medical search is dedicated to words of medical origin and provides definitions only.
The Trend Watch provides descriptions of words that have prompted users to search for definitions based on news events. For example, a snow storm may make the use of the word “inclement” spike in lookups as people seek clarification of news stories.
The Word of the Day feature defines a different word each day. Users may sign up for a daily email notification of the word.
The New Words & Slang section features made-up words from users, along with their definitions.
Top Ten Lists are collections of words for various topics. For example, a February entry includes the Top 10 Words for Valentine’s Day.
Videos offer grammar and language tips from editors of the dictionary.
No registration is necessary.
There is no cost related to using Merriam-Webster.
Anyone who needs a resource for words and language could potentially benefit from using this application. It will also appeal to those who enjoy language, fun lists, and word games. Unfortunately, the advertising is intrusive and overwhelming.