looking for a good dictionary app

iOS and iPadOS

hey everybody I am looking for a completely accessible dictionary for IOS
all of the reckomendations I hav read here are several years old and I would realy like a strong tool as I head back into school
any help would b much appreciated.



Submitted by TJT 2001 on Friday, May 13, 2016

I believe that the American Heritage Dictionary app is accessible; however, not living in the United States, I have never tried it.

Submitted by SSWFTW on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hello thank you, this app doesn't seem to be accessible anymore. When I go in and it asks for the in app purchase which is prity expensive by the way, even on that page it is not accessible by swiping left and right.
If anyone here is using this app and can give us more info that would be appreciated as well as other options. I don't think I added above that I would like the app to have a pronunciation option

Submitted by OldBear on Saturday, May 14, 2016

I use the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD5), and I don't recall anything being inaccessible. It does have mp3 pronunciations for words; also suggestions if you don't know the spelling of the word you're looking up.
I've had it for over a year, so I don't remember what it cost. It's worked out well for me.

Submitted by peter on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Remember, you can always ask SIRI "what is the meaning of..." and get a definition. SIRI will give a brief definition, but if you touch the screen and swipe around, you will see a much more complete definition on the screen along with the part of speech and some examples.

Also, I think this is new, but now you can also ask SIRI to spell a word. Just ask "how do you spell..." and SIRI will spell the word letter by letter.

I am using iOS 9.3.


Submitted by tunmi13 on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Yes but not everyone has Siri, in fact Siri came out when the iPhone 4S was released, so people below that don't even have it.

Submitted by tunmi13 on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Siri cannot operate without a celular or WiFi connection. It would be better to have a dictionary app to bring along while offline, use Siri online. And sometimes it ieven better to just type the words in the dictionary rather than using Siri, because sometimes she will not recognize which word you are trying to say if it has many different meanings. And siri will pop that up, but sometimes it won't happen.
And sometimes I find the definitions to be too long and too many big words and too many long definitions. I just would like a short version.

Submitted by Amir on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition is accessible. One should go to its Settings and enable Accessibility there in order to remove hyperlinks, which get in the way of reading, from the definitions. I suggest the paid version of the app, here, instead of the one which is free and offers an in-app purchase. Note that one can't use the so-called free AHD 5 unless the In-app purchase option is selected first, so it's not a demo. Both cost the same, but the one whose URL I provided gets more updates.

As for its price, I do agree with you that it's expensive. However, well-known dictionaries from famous dictionary producers on the App Store aren't cheap at all. This one costs $24.99, but I've seen many inaccessible Oxford/Cambridge/Longman dictionaries which cost at least $29.99. They're not updated as frequently as AHD 5 either.

Finally, if you're looking for a cheap but more or less worthwhile alternative to AHD 5 -- which also ticks most boxes for accessibility, I suggest that you try Dictionary Pro - Offline & Ad-Free Dictionary and Thesaurus. It costs $3.99 and only one of its numerous online dictionaries can be later downloaded for offline use.


Submitted by SSWFTW on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Thank you everyone your input has been much appreciated and helpful. I definitely have used siri on many occasion but as someone said above you need to be online and sometimes I have found the definition to be not 100% satisfactory. But thank you for bringing to light the new edition of Siri being able to spell things it must be new because I remember trying to give that command about a year ago and not getting any results.
I think I will definitely download the American Heritage dictionary now that you have told me it is totally accessible with the switch of that setting. Also to mention, I live in Canada and the purchase of that app you gave me the link to is $34.99
thanks again hope you all have a great Saturday

Submitted by Adam Samec on Sunday, August 28, 2016


since the American Heritage English Dictionary is no longer accessible at all, although, its new developers should supposedly be working on its accessibility these days, what is your recommendation now?

There is an accessible alternative called:

Terminology 3 - Extensible Dictionary and Thesaurus

It costs 2,99 USD and offers nice features, such as integration with other apps and websites which helps to research a term more deeply. Maybe somebody can provide a comparison of the usability of its term definition text area with that of other dictionary apps. However, it does not use links in text that get in the way for a comfortable reading, and it purportedly makes a good use of headings to ease navigation.

Another criteria to compare might be the quality and extent of the dictionary content itself. In this case, the app is based on the Princeton University WordNet project version 3.1 and contains US English words.

Submitted by Rafal on Friday, April 6, 2018

Hey, I'm currently writing an article on language learning by blind people and I've checked two major dictionaries. The first one is Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary which I do not recomend in terms of accessibility. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 6th Eddition works fine with VoiceOver. It's quite expensive but a good dictionary must have its price. All in all, I do recomend the Longman Dictionary for the blind. Having checked a number of Oxford apps, it worries me that Oxford doesn't pay attention to accessibility.

Submitted by Edward Louie on Monday, October 11, 2021

Just go to settings and then tap the search field, once there, type the word, use your rotors to find edit, then swipe up until you see select all, after you click on that, hit look up, swipe up until you find look up and then double tap.

While I use the built-in iOS dictionary a lot as it's based on Oxford's productions, it's not a full-fledged solution for those who work with languages more seriously. Wish the interface itself had an edit box for looking up words because once you open it, you have to close it to look up other words. At the time of this writing I recommend the following:
1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, free: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/merriam-webster-dictionary/id399452287
2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary+, $9.99: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/merriam-webster-dictionary/id478126577
Both have become accessible recently and they do mention accessibility improvements in their changelogs.