Define: App – Creating a personal vocabulary or dictionary list

As many apps, I just stumble upon them when searching for another app, when perusing educational apps, iDevice info or free app offerings.

Define: app was one of those stumbled upon apps. It is simple but provides an easy method to create a vocabulary list from an existing dictionary base that is not dependent on Wi-Fi services unless you want to use Wikipedia, Wiktionary or do a Web Search of the word.

Define: provides a search tool to look up a work typed into the search text box. Once the word is typed it will look up the word and provide a definition. The word is entered into the beginning page of the app in a listing by date, creating a simple vocabulary list of words and definitions at your finger tips in this app. A speak tool is available to read only the word searched, not the definition. If you have Speak Selection turned on in the Accessibility options of your iDevice you will have tools to speak the definition aloud.

For more definitions, selecting the Definitions tool provides you with other uses and definitions of the word. You also have the option of looking up the word in Wiktionary, Wikipedia and by Web Search. A camera in the right upper corner allows you to take a picture or select a photo from your Photos app. If you brought in a picture or image a Media category is listed where the pictures or web clips related to the word are able to be reviewed. I found that if I wanted content from any of the web services it was easier to take a screen shot (Press home button and power button simultaneously) putting the image in the Photo app and ready to use as Media for one of your defined words.

This is a very simple app, but I see application of this app for a student who would benefit from a word list with definition  and  media that support unfamiliar vocabulary. Although many of the dictionaries allow for a favorites category where you can create a custom word list, this app is simple and provides opportunities to include media with the word and definition. I have some learning disability and ASD students that I believe would benefit from this app, even if it only was on a teachers iPad, allowing them an immediate reference and word definition (with media) for visual learners.

Define: is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and currently is free. There is limited information on the Internet on the app, but can be found in the App Store by searching Define: .

Another tool for your OT iToolkit depending on the ages and needs of your students.


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, Dictionary app, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Language Arts, Middle School, Occupational Therapy, Special education and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Define: App – Creating a personal vocabulary or dictionary list

  1. Dawn says:

    I can’t find this app.

  2. Federica says:

    is that still possible to customize the word lists?
    i’d like to use it to create a kind of personlized dictionary for a language different from English…

    • Fedrica,
      The last I worked with Define: I could still create a customized word list although it had changed and was a cost with the new version.

      If you want to create word lists you can do that in many of the dictionary apps, Merriam Webster,, etc by adding words to a favorites list.
      I also have found that the dictionary app, Word WEb audio version has some great word list features (puts list in alphabetical order, reads aloud, etc.). I recently reviewed a number of dictionary apps for features needed for individuals with LD , You will find more information in this post:

      Hope that helps!
      Thank you for visiting and your comment.

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