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A new look for Macmillan Dictionary

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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

Macmillan Dictionary has recently relaunched with a new design. Some of you might have wondered ‘Why the new look?’

The dictionary site’s content has grown substantially over the years and the main aim of the redesign was to make our most popular and dynamic content easier to find and navigate. Most of our users come to Macmillan Dictionary to find out about the meanings of words; so on the dictionary entry pages we have sharpened the focus on the elements of an entry which are the most important ones for our users: definitions, grammatical information, and examples of use. Other types of information, such as word forms, synonyms, usage information, etc. are quickly accessed by clicking on a + sign. In addition, we set out to better integrate the dictionary’s content with other related resources such as the Macmillan Thesaurus and this blog.

Some key features of the new design are:

  • a clearer and simpler navigation in the popular sections for resources, games and videos as well as the Open Dictionary and BuzzWord features of the site;
  • the option of hiding extra information such as synonyms, usage notes, cultural notes, cross references, etc. on entry pages if it is not needed;
  • improved signposting of related resources such as the thesaurus and the blog by using different colours;
  • the conversion of our most popular language game, the verb wheel, so it can be played by both desktop and mobile users.

As well as giving the site a new look, we also recently published one of the regular updates to our dictionary A-Z. This blog post describes the new content, which includes updates to many of our entries for gender-specific language, bringing them into line with current usage, as well as lots of new entries, many of them based on submissions to the crowdsourced Open Dictionary. We also added a large number of high-quality images to vocabulary where a picture (or a slideshow) is worth a thousand words. To see what we mean, take a look at coffee, Old English sheepdog, coral, or gold.

We didn’t just add images: we have also added to our sound effects – a unique feature of the dictionary – with high-quality sound files. To hear these, just click on the musical note symbol at the entries for rumba, nocturne, fortissimo, or hornpipe. If you fancy browsing further, the link to ‘Synonyms and related words’ will lead you to entries related to that headword.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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