A Roundup Of 5 Online Video Dictionaries You Can Have Fun With Or Use To Look Up Words

Saikat Basu 06-04-2012

Even the dictionary is changing its face. Thankfully, names like Webster and Oxford still exist in the hardbound physical form and haven’t gone the way of Encyclopedia Britannica. But dictionaries have been evolving especially in the digital world. A dictionary as a web application gives you instant benefits like audio pronunciations and hyperlinked references.


We have already seen some examples of online dictionaries that give us one-click access to meanings, synonyms, antonyms, usage, and more. Now in another helpful twist, we see the arrival of video dictionaries. Are video dictionaries really helpful, or are they mere entertaining video memes? You decide as I give you a roundup of five online video dictionaries to make use of.


online dictionaries

The word sounds dangerously close to “vilification”. Perhaps, Vifinition is the most well thought out video dictionary yet. It is a crowdsourced urban dictionary where anyone can submit their explanation with the help of videos. So, the second you land on the site, you are greeted with the “Vinification of the Day”. Submitted videos get rated by the community. Though, some of the words (or phrases) haven’t entered the English language yet, they find a place here in the user-defined urban dictionary.

Don’t come here looking to make sense of a word – come here to have your five seconds of fun. With more creative users, Vifinition could grow into a cultural capsule of the times we live in and the language we speak.

I won’t take you into the video urban dictionary here because Joshua did his Vifine ALL The Things With Vifinition, The Crowdsourced Video Dictionary Vifine ALL The Things With Vifinition, The Crowdsourced Video Dictionary A while back, I wrote a little bit about Tagdef, an online Twitter hashtag dictionary. Just as a recap, it's a whole lot like the old Urban Dictionary, something that most of us have visited... Read More .


UrbanDictionary TV

list of online dictionaries

Vifinition could be the new urban dictionary of the masses, but UrbanDictionary TV surely is putting up a fight. It’s a fight for the popularity stakes, and UrbanDictionary being older is ahead so far. Behind it is the definitive source for urban slang – the original Urban Dictionary. If you want to contribute, look up words on Urban Dictionary and submit your own video (YouTube and Vimeo uploads will also do). The good ones get pulled here into UD TV.

UD TV is like a continuously playing reel of videos. There is no particular way of searching for an urban slang. You have to work through the words by clicking the Next button on the player.


list of online dictionaries


Wordia is a learning platform that uses interactive games. The learning games are based around words and vocabulary. Wordia games focus on four key areas of the English language – oracy, grammar, spelling and auditory (Phonics). Wordia is a great learning resource for kids as the games are continuously evolving with new ones also getting added to the roster. Some word definitions are described by eminent personalities.

The video definitions are more elaborate than the textual ones (taken from Harper Collins) which are also mentioned on the sides of the videos. You can search for a word from the search box or drill down the alphabetical listing. Some words come with meanings in video alone, while some also have games associated with them.


list of online dictionaries

Vidtionary is a very simple video dictionary on a WordPress platform. It is a simple collection of words and 247 videos that can be associated with them to better illustrate their meanings. You can browse them alphabetically. There are also collections of videos on specific topics like animals, insects, places, transportation etc.


Signing Savvy

online dictionaries

Signing Savvy is a very useful sign language video dictionary to have around. It’s great if you want to learn sign language as it has several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, finger spelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.

It is a complete resource where you can do more than interpret the visual cues. You can build word lists, flash cards, and quizzes, plus more to get to a level of proficiency. Use the search box or the topic groups given by its side. Signing Savvy also has free iOS and Android apps if you want your reference to be mobile.

The five online video dictionaries underscore the potential for both fun and serious learning. Taking these five as an example, a more complete resource could be easily built…something like a ‘video Wikipedia’. If you are running short of dictionaries to reference, try the ones we have covered before:


How do you rate these four video dictionaries? Do you think with some tinkering they can become essential reference sites? Give us a word or two of your opinion in the comments.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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  1. games land
    April 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hello, Neat post. There's a problem along with your web site in internet explorer, would test this? IE nonetheless is the market leader and a good component of other people will omit your excellent writing because of this problem.

  2. Theo
    April 8, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Was searching for visual dictionaries when I came across this article. These are not very helpful yet for an English teacher like myself, but are fun.Thanks.

    • Saikat Basu
      April 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Yes, these are still fun tool INMHO. They need some serious inputs before one can take them as reference sources.

  3. Ricks27
    April 7, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Video dictionaries can be great tools. But it would take a huge effort to build one. Sort of like a YouTube for words. And I don't see it as being free.

    • Saikat
      April 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Yes, but the possibilities are endless. Could be expensive, but even a niche one could be an useful learning tool, especially for kids.