Users of Google Dictionary were met with frustration recently when they went to the page only to discover a stark and not-so-vague statement, “Google dictionary is no longer available.” With no big announcement from Google ahead of time, it seemed like a drastic and surprising measure, particularly to many translators, foreign internet users, and students who use Google Dictionary as a primary tool for their trade.
Google’s reason for discontinuing its Dictionary page, quite simply, is that it has the framework built into its search engine.
As a Google spokesman explains, “Because the dictionary tool offers the same functionality as Google Dictionary, we’ve decided to discontinue dictionary.google.com. For your definition needs, you can type your query into the web search and use the dictionary tool located in the left-hand panel of the results page, or you can type ‘define’ and the word directly into the search box.”
This seems like a reasonable thing for Google to do, however some are complaining that the search engine dictionary tool does not work as well as the standalone Google Dictionary. On Google Taiwan’s Help Forum, users complained that the new tool provides less information than the old version. One user stated, “The halt of Google Dictionary made me unwilling to study English…I’ve been so mad for a few days!!!”
It remains to be seen whether or not the dictionary tool on the search engine is indeed a scaled back version of Google Dictionary, or if in fact the backlash is mere hypochondria caused by an abrupt change to what people are used to, combined with a lack of notice on Google’s part.