Retrieve a definition for any selected word from a glossary/online resource
This feature retrieves and displays definitions and/or images for selected words. These definitions may be retrieved from a local/personal glossary, a dictionary, or a collaborative knowledge base (such as Wikipedia). Numerous browser plugins are already available to do this, as well as automatic definition features in chat programs (such as Trillian’s interface to Wiktionary definitions).
This feature often times also displays synonyms of the selected word and the context in which the synonym can be used.The way that text is defined may vary depending on the implementation and the user group.
Discussion by Disabilities
Cognitive, Language, Learning Disabilities & Low Literacy
For people with cognitive, learning, and language disabilities or literacy problems, these definitions make it easier to read and understand pages that may otherwise have difficult language. Displaying pictures along with the definition, helps people associate the word in a visual form.
Please note that these products are not necessarily endorsed by RtF, but represent the range of available options.
This feature is built into many word processors and office programs. Many products are available as plugins to Firefox and other browsers, including the following:
Products that provide definitions
- Dictionary Search
- Dictionary ToolTip
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search
- Define Word
- The Free Dictionary
- Word Web
- Google Dictionary
- Macmillan Dictionary
- Lingoes Project
- Wiktionary - Wikimedia Foundation
- Instant Dictionary
Products that provide images along with definitions
Related Research and Papers
Papers related to use of dictionaries for people with disabilities
- Supported eText: Assistive technology through text transformations- Anderson-Innman, Lynne and Horney, Mark A. (2011)
- Assistive technology and mild disabilities-University of Central Florida - Edyburn, Dave L.
- Assistive technology and learning disabilities: Today's realities and tomorrow's promises- Lewis, Rena B. (1998)
- Assistive technology for postsecondary students with learning disabilities: An overview- Raskind, Marshall H. and Higgins, Eleanor L. (1998)
- Combining HCI, Natural Language Processing, and Knowledge Discovery-Potential of IBM Content Analytics as an assistive technology in the biomedical field- Holzinger, Andreas ; Stocker, Christof (2013)
Papers related to use of picture dictionaries for people with disabilities
- Use of picture dictionaries to promote written communication by students with hearing and cognitive impairments- Cohen, Elizabeth Tucker ; Allgood, Margaret ; Heller, Katherine Wolff ; Castelle, Melanie (2009)
- Using technology to enhance the writing processes of students with learning disabilities- MacArthur, Charles L.
- Use of picture dictionaries to promote functional communication in students with deafness and intellectual disabilities- Allgood, Margaret ; Heller, Katherine Wolff ; Easterbrooks, Susan R. (2008)
- The identification, implementation, and evaluation of critical user interface design features of computer-assisted instruction programs in mathematics for students with learning disabilities- Seo, You-Jin ; Woo Honguk
- Learning from text-Edyburn, Charles L.