An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

May 16, 2011

Google's Define Operator, No Longer Useful

Last month, Google added a new search options in the sidebar: dictionary. It's a new interface for Google Dictionary that combines definitions from a reputable dictionary with definitions from the Web, usage examples and other useful information.

At the same time, some users reported that Google's define: operator no longer works. The operator was useful to find definitions obtained from Web pages, so you could type [define:iffy] and find a list of definitions. Now the operator is no longer broken, but it only shows the definition from Google Dictionary and links to the dictionary page. You could type [define iffy] and get similar results.


Maybe Google should send users to the dictionary page when they use the define: operator. It's an advanced feature that's not used by many people, but it's very useful.

Here's how it looked:


{ Thanks, Henry. }

18 comments:

  1. At least it's still available if you click "More."

    ReplyDelete
  2. To bad, I use it all time and didn't realize it was an "advanced" feature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A step backwards.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This post feels like a post of posts sake. The fact is that the "define:" feature is still there in all its glory. Only now you get a quick definition + other pages that may relate to the word in a non-definition context, while still being given the option to quickly press "More" for a detailed page relating to the word. This is a step in the right direction as far as I can tell.

    Those just looking for a quick definition get just that, while those wanting use usage examples have there information just one click away. I like it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bummer. I use the Define: feature all the time. I agree, if it went straight to the dictionary page, I'd be most satisfied.

    ReplyDelete
  6. i prefer the define: function to go directly to the dictionary page. love the new dictionary layout though

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate the updated version :/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Define works for me just fine, what are you talking about?

    ReplyDelete
  9. An short row of small icons below the search box would make a better implementation and doesn't rely on the user to remember search phrases.

    Example. Click the question icon and write search query to define something. Click the YouTube icon to search for videos.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The old page was better because you got several dictionaries and not just one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have 'dict' as a trigger(Edit Search Engines) in chrome to search Google definitions.

    Now I have changed it to http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&qscrl=1&q=%s&tbs=dfn:1

    Not missing much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Most used google feature, it is very disappointing that they changed the functionality this way, would be nicer if it went right to the page. Obviously its only one more click, but that's why I always love google products and use them religiously, its always one LESS click.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This new treatment of define is dreadful. If I wanted a dictionary, I'd go to a dictionary. The old define: culled definitions from glossaries that are much harder to find and it presented results clearly. define: itself is broken. define without the colon is a bit better but no match for what Google used to provide. I get the sense that Google doesn't care about the serious searcher.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hated the New dictionary, the old one is better. It gives me example for the words.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It appears that Google doesn't want users to experience the true power of their search engine. It reminds me of a'governor' on a minibike to keep kids from going to fast. Thanks for looking out for us Google. I'll make sure to wear my helmet in the shower for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nothing here.

    define:word gives vanilla search engine results
    define: word gives vanilla search engine results
    define word gives vanilla search engine results

    Not even a Google dictionary link anymore. Countless pages of undifferentiated search results and link-chasing required to, at best, subsequently browse through individual third-party definition pages of mediocre depth. Google has lost the f*cking plot.

    ReplyDelete