I don’t know how many of you have ever used Google Dictionary or were even aware that it existed. I have used it a few times in the past, and became aware of it after reading a post in the Google blogspot blog titled: This week in search 4/15/2011. Which would imply that it first saw the light of day on 4/15/2011 or shortly there after.
I even wrote about Google Dictionary on the main part of this website about 6 months ago give or take, which you can read here if interested: Google Images and Dictionary.
Now just 6 short months later it appears as though Google killed it because it is completely gone.
Most likely it has been dead for longer than I was aware of. I did find a post where people were asking about what happened to Google Dictionary dated August 5th, 2011. Which would put it somewhere along the lines of a 4 month lifespan. Talk about a short-lived idea and project. I wonder how much money they spent on that one for a whopping 4 months of service.
I found this over in the Google support forum:
What happened to google dictionary? I really want it back.
It consists mostly of people asking what happened to dictionary along with some complaining about it disappearing or being discontinued. There is no official answer or update by a Google employee about what really happened to it, or why they killed it.
Not that I am a big fan of dictionary word searches when we have all these spelling and grammar checkers built into to most programs now anyway. However, every now and then I have one of those brain freeze moments and do look up a word definition to make sure I am using the correct form. It was kind of convenient to just punch the word into Google search and simply click on the Dictionary link in the left hand column. A very quick way to double check a word.
I have no idea if they killed Google Dictionary due to a lack of use and popularity, or what the actual reason was. Maybe it just wasn’t profitable enough for them to justify keeping it around for all I know.
It is a little strange that something simple like the Dictionary service/feature disappeared so suddenly and without warning or announcement. I only happened to notice because I went to check a word and BOOM it is long gone. I assumed that Google would have announced this in a blog post somewhere, and I would have heard about it by now. I guess they are more likely to announce new features and services rather than talk about the ones they remove or do away with.
So occasionally there are a few things that don’t work out for Google, and they don’t own the market on everything…At least in the exciting world of dictionary definitions and results.
I guess whatever happened to Google Dictionary will remain an unsolved mystery at least for the time being.
Update Google Dictionary Mystery solved
Although Google Dictionary takes you to a page that indicates Google Dictionary is no longer available apparently we are supposed to enter define word into a Google search.
The Google Dictionary page is somewhat misleading because it says no longer available. However, if you click the link that says: You can use Google web search to find definitions, etc., etc. it becomes apparent what you need to do.
I have typed something like: What is hello into a Google search in the past. Sometimes it would return the definition and sometimes it would not, depending on the word.
Be sure to use (define word) in Google search to get a dictionary type of definition.