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July 26, 2010

Google's New Dictionary OneBox

Google added a new OneBox result for definitions. The OneBox uses data from Google Dictionary, shows pronunciation information, short definitions and links to other reference sites like and Google shows the definition of an English word only if it's likely to be useful, so you'll usually see the OneBox when you search for obscure words or technical terms.

"We added implicit triggering, which means you can simply search for [flummox] and find the definition, you don't have to search for [define flummox] or [what is flummox]. We've also improved the definition result snippet to show more details such as parts of speech and pronunciation," explains Google.

Unfortunately, Google's new OneBox is redundant and inconsistent. If you type [salient] in Google's search box, Google Suggest already shows a definition of the word from Princeton's WordNet.

Search for [define salient] and Google shows a definition from WordNet, not from Google Dictionary.

Tip: to trigger the new OneBox when it's not displayed by default, add en:en to your query. For example, search for [en:en emulsion].


  1. Yeah, some words aren't recognized as words... But still, great improvement though!

  2. "Unfortunately, Google's new OneBox is redundant and inconsistent."

    This statement is just absurd! You need to get out of your self-made shell before making ridiculous assumptions like these! I hardly ever go to Google's homepage to search as I use Chrome/smartphone all the time!

    As for the inconsistent part, have you ever heard about testing?

  3. I search from the chrome toolbar all of the time and the [definition] button was perfect. If this isn't as simple and reliable as that, then I have to say that I don't care.

    Bring back the [definition] link.

  4. Having used (installed and loved) the Google Dictionary extension for Chrome, I don't know why it's not fully available and searching brings up Princeton. Still, the define and translate (and convert) strings are very useful.

    Well, it must be a matter of time, I hope so.

  5. I love the old google dictionary. Nice to get it back again at

    Even if you update it please keep the features of keeping starred words and search history.

    With thanks.

    -- Saint Atique
    My Tech Blog


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