Do you ever have those moments when you just can’t find the right word to use in your writing? Or when you think you know the meaning of a word, but you’re just not certain you’re using it right? I’m willing to bet you have–it happens to me all the time!
This is where dictionaries, thesauruses, and other reference materials come in handy. You can look up the word and find the definition, usage, antonyms, synonyms, etymology, and so much more. They are a writer’s best friend for creative writing!
Here are a few of the best online dictionaries, thesauruses, and other reference materials to use:
Dictionary.com -- It’s as simple and straightforward as it gets, but you’ll find that this is an amazing search tool to help you learn more about the words you want to use–including etymology, pronunciation, and usage.
Thesaurus.com — Yet another amazing resource, and probably one of the best online thesauri! Very helpful if you need to find synonyms and antonyms for writing.
Urban Dictionary.com — Not the place to go for ACTUAL definitions, but great to find the meaning of more “pop culture” words and sayings. Browse with extreme caution!
MacMillan Dictionary — More comprehensive than Dictionary.com, but with less helpful information about the words searched.
One Look Dictionary Search — If you’re looking for a word that you can’t find in the average dictionary, this is the search engine for you! It will browse all the popular online dictionaries to find definitions of the word, and provide you a link to the site where you can find it.
Med Terms — If you need medical jargon for your writing, this is the place to search for it! It has the definitions and explanations of more than 16,000 medical terms.
Merriam Webster — This is the “posh” dictionary, and it gets into so much more than just the definition of the word–including etymology, translation, rhyming words, etc.
Google Translate — Want to find out how to say a word in another language? Google Translate is probably the best translation tool online, and it will help you to create (mostly) accurate translations.
Note: To be certain your translations are correct, make sure to run it by someone who actually speaks the language. Google Translate can get the simpler stuff right, but it is a fairly literal translator.