Having trouble finding the right word?

Want to make sure your grammar or punctuation is spot-on?

It’s never been easier to find an online writing to help you tackle  any assignment – or indeed, write for fun. Here’s three to check out for yourself.

1. Word Hippo

What’s not to like about a website that features a pretty pink hippo? Exactly, what I thought. And, even more importantly, it’s actually a handy-dandy language tool to keep on hand in the virtual toolbox.

There’s such a lot to like about this site and it features a ton of word search options. It’s one that I know many of my professional writing friends use regularly (as do I), but it’s also an easy-to-use tool for those whose literacy skills aren’t as strong.

At the top of the page are nine tabs, where users have nine different search options: 

  • Synonyms 
  • Antonyms
  • Definitions
  • Rhymes
  • Sentences
  • Translations
  • Find words
  • Word forms
  • Pronunciations

Click on each tab and you’ll see a simple, straightforward prompt or definition. For example, click on ‘synonym’ and you’ll see a definition to the left of the search box that says ‘What’s another word for’. Click ‘antonym’ and up comes the reminder: ‘What’s the opposite of’. Looking for a sentence to explain the word in context? Click the ‘sentence’ tab and up comes the prompt ‘sentences with the word in’. 

These explanations are helpful for students who may feel overwhelmed by a traditional dictionary’s layout, or don’t remember what terms like ‘synonym’, ‘antonym’ and ‘word forms’ actually means.

But, this is only the start of the search options. It’s also a helpful tool for crossword lovers, Scrabble or Words with Friends players, or writers just trying to remember words meaning such-and-such and starting with …… 

And, it can also be used to look up parts of speech like nouns, adjectives and verbs and so on, as well as verb tenses.

I’ll work on doing a video tutorial of this very cool words tool, but in the meantime, have a play and bookmark it as a dictionary and thesaurus.

Check out Word Hippo for yourself.

 2. One Look Dictionary Search

One Look Dictionary Search browses the results of more than 1000 dictionaries, including dictionaries of foreign languages and disciplines and interests such as the Arts, Business, Religion, Science, Medicine and Sport. 

It has several search options, including definitions, related words and a reverse dictionary.

On the site’s home page, you’ll see a number of example searches that introduce you to One Look’s capabilities. Want to look up the meaning of ‘bluebird’, for example? Too easy. How about words that include the prefix of ‘blue’, or the suffix of ‘bird’? Can do. Can’t think of a word, but have a vague idea of some of the letters you recall the word having? One Look will help you there as well.

Understanding how words are constructed is a really important skill for developing the vocabulary of readers. Using the ‘definitions’ search option, you’ll be taken to a page that includes links to multiple dictionaries and definitions of the search term. You’ll also find similar words, adjectives commonly used to describe your word, and other helpful related words. It also has information (as dictionaries tend to) on related parts of speech and word origins. You can click through to the ‘related words’ or thesaurus tool from the home page. 

If anything, I would say One Look Dictionary Search is more suitable for competent readers, or for use by parents or teachers working with students. It’s text-heavy and this makes the site look quite cluttered – something that would be an issue for students whose literacy isn’t strong.

Still, there’s plenty of linked sites that will keep any word nerd happy for some serious procrasti-browsing, as well as for more instructional uses.

Browse One Look’s search options, and let me know your thoughts.

3. Power Thesaurus

Many years ago, back in high school when I first start started writing, one of the best presents I ever got was my very own copy of Roget’s Thesaurus. Technically, this classic of the thesaurus world was a reverse dictionary, and wasn’t, strictly speaking, a reference book just for looking up synonyms. 

But, this little budding writer thought it was the bee’s knees and I’d happily flick through it for hours looking for the perfect word when writing the stories I’d compose just for the fun of doing so.

I still have my copy, and like me, it’s a little ratty and tatty around the edges from use. 😉

These days, I tend to use an online thesaurus and Power Thesaurus is a favourite. 

Power Thesaurus describes itself as being ‘built by writers for writers’. There’s not much in the way of visual clutter on this site and looking up definitions, examples, synonyms and antonyms is easy. 

One feature I like in particular is how it keeps track of your most recent searches. That can be handy if you get waylaid from your original purpose for looking up any word you were searching for.

Try Power Thesaurus for yourself or with your child or student. 


There’s no shortage of tools that let you look up word meanings and explore other related words. Granted, each probably does the same thing, but it never hurts to have a few options up your sleeve, or in your Bookmarks. Try them out and see what you reckon.

Over to you

Do you have a favourite writing tool? Have you discovered a resource that’s super-helpful for your child or yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

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