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Dictionary Definitions

Want a definition for your search terms? It’s just a click away.

Google looks for dictionary definitions for your search terms. If it finds any definitions, it shows those words as underlined links or includes a definition link in the statistics bar section of the results page (located below the search box showing your query). Google is able to find definitions for acronyms, colloquialisms, and slang, as well as words that you would expect to find in a dictionary.

Google search box with [ triumvirate ].  

Click on the underlined terms or the definition link in the statistics bar to link to their dictionary definition, which also may include information on pronunciation, part of speech, etymology, and usage.

Screen shot of the underlined terms in the statistics bar, which are linked to their dictionary definitions.

For example, learn what co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and CEO Eric Schmidt mean when they say they “run Google as a triumvirate” by clicking on the link triumvirate to look up “triumvirate” on dictionary.reference.com.

Screen shot of one of the dictionary definitions for "triumvirate" Screen shot of one of the dictionary definitions for "triumvirate"

Phrases with idiomatic meanings that aren’t necessarily implied by the definitions of the individual words will be linked to their dictionary definitions, e.g., “happy hour,” “put off,” “greasy spoon,” and “raise the roof.

Google search box with [ happy hour ].  

If Google doesn’t find a definition for a term, try using Google Glossary.

Exercises

These problems give you practice in finding dictionary definitions. For hints and answers to selected problems, see the Solutions page.

  1. According to the dictionary, what is an “urban legend”?
  2. Find the history of the word chivalry. From which language does it come and from what word?
  3. Does Google provide a link to dictionary for definitions of terms in languages other than English?
  4. What does zeitgeist mean? What’s on the Google Zeitgeist page www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html?

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This page was last modified on: Tuesday March 13, 2007

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