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Online Searchable Dictionary

Published 03/28/2011 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by AppAppeal Editor
What can you use the app for?

Definr is a very fast dictionary based on Princeton’s open WordNet 2.0. It is based on Ruby on Rails and provides extremely speedy results with auto-suggestion features and more.

Definr screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Definr has an approximate average of 9,000 unique visitors per month. There is no history or development information available other than the developer’s name: Christian von Kleist. The developer has responded to some blog posts about Definr, but there is no information or interviews available.

What are the differences to other apps?

Results are extremely fast. Definr may be paired with Firefox or utilized independently. It works very well either way.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Definr bills itself as an “incredibly fast dictionary” and this is absolutely true – no matter how you define “fast”. The page doesn’t even reload before yielding results. In fact, suggestions begin to appear as users are entering words. Apparently this works by caching definitions in its memory.

The number of cached definitions is dependent upon the load on the site at any giving time. Definr lists its usual cache as 10,000. During review 78,540 definitions were cached. This all works to provide results within microseconds. For reference, one microsecond is one millionth of a second. During review, the status page indicated the average word lookup speed in the past hour was 119.7 microseconds (0.0001197 seconds).

The word completion function that makes suggestions based on what the user is typing, searches a cache of about 200,000 words using a special module and server so that it can provide about 10,000 completions per second.

The Top 50 Words page lists the top words searched on the site. During review, the top word was apostasy: n 1: the state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes) [syn: renunciation, defection] 2: the act of abandoning a party or cause [syn: tergiversation]

There was one curse word in the top fifty, and it contained an asterisk rather than the full word. This keeps Definr from being flagged by web filters, and is actually respectful to users. Note that clicking on the word will yield no matches, but the actual vulgar term will be offered as an alternative, complete with definition – so the site is NOT completely kid-safe.

Definr can be used as a standalone app or be integrated with the Firefox web browser. This can be achieved in the following ways:

The first option is to add the Definr search extension to Firefox. This is easily achieved by clicking the arrow near the Google icon and clicking “Add Definr dictionary search”.

If you prefer to avoid adding the extension, from Definr right click the search box and select Add a Keyword for this Search. In Name, enter Definr and in Keyword, type d and click Add. This enables users to type “d” and the word they want defined in the address bar and it will redirect to Definr. This only works in Firefox.

Another method, again only Firefox workable, is to type definr/xxxx (the x’s being the word a user needs defined) and press Ctrl+Enter.

Lastly, Definr offers a Firefox toolbar bookmarklet for easy access. One disadvantage was that, after returning to the Chrome browser, the Definr application seemed to interfere with Google. Google reverted to Definr whenever anything was entered into the address bar.

All of these methods work equally well with Firefox. The application will work with any browser by simply entering a word in the define box.

The Word of the Day feature has apparently been abandoned. It has not been updated for several months. It would be interesting to have this reinstated, as it allowed users to have it delivered via RSS feed daily.

How does the registration process work?

No registration is necessary.

What does it cost to use the application?

Definr is free to use and there is no distracting advertising on the site.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Firefox users will benefit from the integrated application. Anyone can use the Definr app directly from the website to find incredibly fast definitions.

  • Free to use
  • Optional integration with Firefox
  • No registration needed
  • Very fast results

Definr video

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Definr pricing

FREE - Permanently free version