|A good dictionary has always been a staple of writers everywhere. You probably write using Word or a writing program like Scrivener, which both highlight the most common spelling mistakes. However, these programs don’t know the proper spellings of words that are outside the mainstream, many names, and technical terms. To know how to spell these less-used words right, you need a comprehensive dictionary.
This is one area where an online tool is quicker to use and may have far more features than traditional book-based versions, assuming that you have an internet connection where you write.
For quickly looking up most words, Merriam Webster Online does a great job. In addition to the kinds of things you would expect from a full-featured dictionary, you’ll also find synonyms, related words, antonyms, Spanish-English dictionary, medical terms, and an encyclopedia.
One of the features that I like about Merriam Webster Online (m-w.com) is its Word of the Day feature. Sign up and you’ll get an email each day with a word and its definition, helping you to build your vocabulary over time.
Overall, Merriam Webster Online is a great service, but there’s really nothing that I have found that really sets it apart from other online dictionaries.