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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Six Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri

Here are six visual dictionaries and thesauri that can help your students better understand the meanings of words.

Snappy Words is a free visual dictionary and thesaurus. Enter any word or phrase into the Snappy Words search box and it will create a web of related words, phrases, and definitions. Hover your cursor over any word or phrase in the web to read its definition. Click and drag any node to explore other branches of the web. Double click on a node and it will generate new web branches.

Visuwords uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words. To use Visuwords just type a word into the search box and Visuwords will generate a web of related words. Place your cursor over any of the words and the definition appears. Use the color-coded key to understand the connections between the words in any web.

Lexipedia, like Visuwords, provides the definitions of words along with a webbed diagram of related words and their definitions. In addition to definitions and diagrams, Lexipedia offers audio pronunciations of words although when I tested it the audio didn't seem to be working properly. In my side-by-side comparison of Lexipedia and Visuwords, both performed equally well, but occasionally offered different definitions and connections for the same word.

Merriam Webster's Visual Dictionary is divided into fifteen thematic categories containing more than 6,000 words defined and accompanied by images. You can find words and definitions by browsing through the categorized images or by using the text search bar.

Wordia is a free visual, video dictionary. Wordia features a selection of user-submitted and professionally created videos explaining the meaning of a word. The videos focus on the everyday use of words while the text accompanying each video provides the dictionary definition of the word.
Got Brainy features two sections; Brainy Flix and Brainy Pics. Brainy Pics is comprised of images that demonstrate the meaning of a word. Most of the pictures are submitted by students. Brainy Flix is comprised of short videos that illustrate the meaning of words. Just like with Brainy Pics, most of the videos are submitted by students.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Resources for ESL & Foreign Language Students
22 Frames - Captioned Videos & More for ESL

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