How to use the dictionary in Microsoft Edge [Guide]

Microsoft Edge doesn’t come with any ground breaking features that will make you want to abandon Chrome or Firefox. It does have one or two features that the other two browsers do not. Edge has a built-in dictionary. When enabled, it allows you to view the meaning of a word when you hover your cursor over it. This is something that requires an add-on or extension if you’re using either Firefox or Chrome. Here’s how you can enable and use the dictionary in Microsoft Edge.

Dictionary in Microsoft Edge

Open Microsoft Edge and click the more options button at the top right and from the menu that opens, click Settings. On the General tab, look for the Show definitions inline for section. Enable it and check the three options under it.

Navigate to a website that you want to read. Once you’re on the website, click the Reading View icon in the URL bar. It looks like a book and the Reading View is available for most websites but there are some exceptions.

Once you’re in reading view, double-click the word you want to look up the meaning for. If a definition is available, a little pop-up will appear giving you the definition.

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If you click the More option at the bottom, a panel will open giving you additional details about the word. The dictionary is powered by the Oxford Dictionary.

This will work for all eBooks i.e., ePub files and PDF files.When you have either one open, you can double-click a word and the same popup will open giving you the meaning of the word. This works if you’re online however, you can click the Download Offline Dictionary button and use the feature offline.

When you download the dictionary, an app called Immersive Reader will be installed on your system. It’s a Microsoft app that doesn’t do anything in itself. It will add complimentary features to Microsoft Edge. Why it exists as a separate app instead of as an add-on for Microsoft Edge is something only Microsoft knows. Maybe the app will, eventually, do something more.

If you want a similar feature for Chrome or Firefox, you need an add-on or extension. There’s no shortage of them. If you don’t want your browser being dragged down by an extension, you can always select a word, right-click it, and select the option to search for the word on your default search engine.

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