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10 Tech Tools to Teach You New Words

A young learner studies English on his laptop.

A young learner studies English on his laptop.

Technology has given us new tools and ways to learn languages faster and easier. Here are a few tools that could help you.

Websites that can help you are: will give you the definition for any word. It also explains usage. Functions include teaching a new word daily, translating words into other languages, and games. It also offers word facts, word trends and quizzes. has a free app for Apple or Android that provides the same features. You can even work on it when you are not connected to the Internet.

You can also follow on Twitter to learn their new word of the day.

Named one of Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2012, can help people of all ages learn. adjusts the words it teaches you based on words you already know.

You can see words in sentences to help you learn how to use them in language. You can compete with others online.

The website is free, but its apps are available for a fee for mobile devices.

Learner’s Dictionary

Learner’s Dictionary has simple definitions to help you understand their meaning.

Learner's Dictionary has useful tools such as Word of the Day, quizzes and the most popular words looked up on the site.

Google Search

If you want to find the meaning of a word quickly and easily, use Google (or your favorite search engine).

Type “define [word]” in your web address bar and hit Enter. Search results will show you the definition of the word and give you more information about it.

Voice of America Learning English

Our website -- Voice of America Learning English -- provides news and information in simple American English. Stories have an audio feature that allows you to hear what you are reading. Other features include quizzes, stories, videos, audio, podcasts and a Facebook page.

Each article includes definitions under the heading "Words in This Story."

Mobile Tools

Just Ask

You can use your voice to learn a new word.

Maybe you heard a new word on TV or from someone speaking to you. Maybe you know how to pronounce a word but don’t know how to spell it.

You can ask Siri on your iPhone or Google Now on your Android phone to define words. You can ask Microsoft’s Cortana on your computer running Windows 10.

Press and Hold

iPhone Dictionary

iPhone Dictionary

You can easily look up words on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. A pop-up dictionary shows the definition of words in Safari, iBooks, Messages and other apps.

Press and hold a word. A list appear above the word.

Tap Define to see the definition of the word. A new page will open showing you the definition.

Tap Done to go back to the original page.

Want a pop-up dictionary for Android? See ilovefreesoftware.

Other Tools

Google Dictionary Chrome Extension

Google Dictionary Chrome Extension

Google Dictionary Chrome Extension

If you use Chrome on your computer you can get the free Google Dictionary Chrome extension. Just double-click on the word.

This extension defines words in 13 different languages.

Million Dollar Words

You may not have a million dollars but these words can make you feel as if you do!

Well, almost…

Check out Million Dollar Words by Seth Godin and Margery Mandell to learn over 1,000 new words.


You can quickly learn the meaning of words when reading Kindle books. Amazon says that “85 percent of readers look up a word while reading.”

Just press and hold a word to see a pop-up definition appear.

Most Looked Up Kindle Words

In honor of World Dictionary Day, Amazon released a list of the words looked up most when reading Kindle books.

Here are 10 of the words on that list. How many of them do you know?


I'm Jonathan Evans.

Do you use these websites and apps or do you have other favorite ones? Let us know in the Comments or on our Facebook page.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.


Words in This Story

celebratev. to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc.

vocabulary – n. the words that make up a language

quiz - n. a short spoken or written test that is often taken without preparation

definition – n. an explanation of the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.

Do you try to learn new words? What are your favorite ways of finding the definition of a word? What was the last word you looked up?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page!

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