Best Free Dictionary and Thesaurus Utility

 
Introduction

Dictionary and thesaurus utilities help to find the meanings of words and suggest a list of words according to similarity of meaning on your computer screen. They are handy and helpful for daily use without the need to flip through a thick and heavy dictionary or thesaurus.

 
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Discussion

I've been using WordWeb for a while now and have seen enough to say this will be one of the rare utilities I review that ends up staying on my PC. WordWeb is an enhanced dictionary and thesaurus. I say "enhanced" because it does some tricky extra things like showing only the relevant synonyms and related words according to whether they are noun, verb, adjective or adverb. It can also find words by pattern match or dictionary adjacency.

Usage is simple; just select a word in any document and click the WordWeb tray icon. Immediately you'll get a pop-up with the word's meaning and synonyms. Additional features like "Wikipedia", "Wiktionary" and "WordWeb Online" can only be accessed if you're online. I recommend that it is best that you explore these amazing features yourself. Overall, it works efficiently and elegantly to help you find the just right word to use in your written reports. WordWeb is free for personal use and a Pro version with an enhanced dictionary costs a mere $29 and is well worth buying.

 

An equally attractive alternative to WordWeb is TheSage from Sequence Publishing. Like WordWeb, it's a comprehensive dictionary with over 140,000 references together with a powerful thesaurus. It differs in that it is free even for commercial use and offers a couple of features missing from the free version of WordWeb such as anagram solving and wildcard word matches.

On the minus side, WordWeb allows you to find meanings and synonyms in any application just by double clicking the word, with TheSage you have to cut and paste it into the application after you've launched it from its task bar icon.

 

If you just want a thesaurus consider Mobysaurus. It's much more comprehensive than the thesaurus in either WordWeb and TheSage but lacks a separate dictionary. However, for wordsmiths it's a must-have product. Mobysaurus is yet another outstanding free utility from the guys at DonationCoder. If you use Mobysaurus, do the right thing and support DonationCoder generously.

 

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Related Products and Links

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Quick Selection Guide

WordWeb
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple usage, popup with powerful word's meaning and synonyms, find words by pattern match or dictionary adjacency, additional online features.
Missing anagram solving and wildcard word matches.
http://wordweb.info/
7
21.4 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows 2000 to 7

v7 released 10 June, 2013

The online version is available at http://www.wordwebonline.com/

Portable version: http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Education/Portable-WordWe...

For iPod or iPhone lovers there is a surprise waiting here
http://www.wordwebsoftware.com/WordWebiPhone.html

TheSage
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Comprehensive dictionary with over 140,000 references together with a powerful thesaurus, anagram solving and wildcard word matches.
Not user friendly, need to cut and paste the word into the application.
5.1.1790
20.94 MB
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
Windows XP to Vista, 7

v5.1.1790 released 24 January, 2013

The Sage's dictionary is now online: http://www.sequencepublishing.com/thesageonline.php

Mobysaurus
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Much more comprehensive than the thesaurus in either WordWeb and The Sage.
Lacks a separate dictionary
1.0.55
4.71 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/2003/XP/Vista

Developer's homepage: http://moby.donationcoders.com/ (currently not available)
They offer a new free online thesaurus http://freethesaurus.net/

 
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Tags

dictionary, thesaurus, online dictionary, online thesaurus, free, freeware

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Comments

by UltraCraig64 on 8. May 2013 - 5:24  (107543)

I would like to warn others about a little caveat with Wordweb, as a former user. The program itself is excellent, and from what I could tell, is completely worthy of its Gizmo's Freeware award. But there is a condition if one wishes to use the free version after 30 days. Let me share with you an excerpt from the Wordweb developers' site:

"WordWeb free version may be used indefinitely only by people who take at most two commercial flights (not more than one return flight) in any 12 month period. People who fly more than this need to purchase the Pro version if they wish to continue to use it after a 30-day trial period."

I had not previously read this, and answered truthfully that I had in fact taken more than two one-way flights in the past year. Now I can supposedly never use the free version again, because of my alleged contribution to global warming. A real shame. And for a strong political stance on an issue that I largely call into question, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that it is conditional freeware, so I just wanted others to keep this in mind. Well, at least I didn't tell any "fibs" come the trial's end. No moral dilemmas here! I would still highly recommend the product, although I plan to check out the other programs featured here for my own personal use. Wordweb's free version is sadly no longer an option for me. Maybe in future updates, the author of this review can include a disclaimer.

by Drongo on 9. May 2013 - 7:31  (107582)

Try Lingoes. It has the same type of word lookup in most programs, can use multiple dictionaries, and can be set up for multiple languages if you like.

by superceeded on 13. March 2013 - 17:42  (106220)

Re Mobysaurus

Anyone planning to run the above on a Win 7 64bit or higher machine needs to download an updated DLL file in order for it to work. I couldn't find much on it other than an obscure post by the developer himself.

After installation the current "dc_lic.dll" needs to be replaced with the updated one.
Download the above named file & then paste same into the Mobysaurus directory which will replace the origional 32bit dll. After that it should work fine.

Link to the developer's note is here : http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=18066.0;wap2

Link to the updated version of said file is on the page.
[Moderator's note: Link to direct download of file edited out. Not allowed]

Copy & paste the new "dc_lic.dll" into :

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mobysaurus Thesaurus

Cheers

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