Sunday, March 25, 2007

Using Google's Dictionary in Genealogy

Did you know you can find definitions of words and phrases using Google? Google has always had a dictionary, but it has never been well publicized. There are 3 different ways to access the Google dictionary:

Method 1
Type a word such as apoplexy into the Google search box and on the Google results page on the right hand side of the blue bar you will see:
Personalized Results 1 - 100 of about 1,320,000 for apoplexy [definition] (0.29 seconds)

Click on the word definition to receive the word meaning. This generally only works for definitions of single words.

Method 2
Into the Google search box, type in the word define followed by a colon, then the word or phrase you want defined. There is NO space after the define:

This method will work definitions of one word:

For Latin terms found in wills:
define:ab nepos

For words with hyphens:

For multiple words:
define:relationship chart

For acronyms:

For words no longer in common use:

For words found in old documents that have multiple meanings:

Method 3
Google now allows asking a question in the search box to access the Google Dictionary. Type this into the Google search box:

What is apoplexy?

What is a perpetual calendar?

Google will give web definitions at the top of the search results. You can also click on "More definitions" for further variations, and the websites where the definitions are found.

I find it easier to use Google's dictionary than to pull a dictionary book off the shelf to look up a word. And since Google has terms in its dictionary that are no longer in common usage, it is actually better than some dictionaries for genealogy use.

Give it a try, and I think you'll be hooked.

Easy Google Genealogy Searcher
Use the Easy Google Genealogy Searcher for effective genealogy internet searches.

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