Wordy: The Logophile’s Primer Reference Dictionary

In the app store there are plenty of dictionaries to choose from. Some of these apps may cost a pretty penny, others are offered for free. But rarely do you find an app that has the functionality of a dictionary which backs up from multiple data sources.

Wordy is branded as “The Logophile’s Primer” for good reason. The app lets you browse through a large collection of dictionary definitions, synonyms and antonyms, and behaves as a powerful reference tool. And the best part is that it’s entirely free to download for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users.

The Basics

When the app is first launched you’re presented with a beautiful startup view. This includes a branding logo along with the current release edition below. A neat feature I’ve noticed here is the word of the day.

Main View "Word of the Day"

Main View "Word of the Day"

A lot of applications do offer this feature but not as exclusively as Wordy. Directly on the front page you can tap this button to load the new definition view. This displays both synonyms and antonyms if there are any available. It’s also just as simple to get back onto the main page view.

Searching for Words

The biggest reason you’d have a dictionary application is to look up specific words. I find myself writing articles where I constantly need to locate similar words to mix up my language. Writers know this feeling all too well, and it’s just not as practical to break and pull out a thesaurus.

Google does work well as an alternative, but why not utilize the application’s core functionality? Simply tap in the search bar at the top to bring up a keyboard view. From here you can enter characters and a table will populate in the bottom screen area. This acts in a similar manner to Google Instant, and the reference guide will pull from many different sources.

Instant Search Results

Instant Search Results

Another favorite feature of mine is that going to a new definition view doesn’t erase your search results. After tapping on a word, the app will load into a definition view and the back button will return you to the original search listing. All of the UI elements function as you would expect and do not come out as too surprising.

Possible Additions

Currently, Wordy is still within version 1.0 having only been admitted into the App Store on January 13, 2012. But for such a fresh new application I can see a lot of potential here. Their user interface is gorgeous and boasts a pixel-perfect app icon to boot.

Listing of synonyms + antonyms

Listing of synonyms + antonyms

The only additions I’d like to see revolve around newer functionality. For example, there’s no way I can tell to check out yesterday’s featured word. It would be very cool to have a history of daily words so you can go back and browse the archives. Granted that would only be a couple of weeks, but the developers have time to come up with such exciting new features.

Word References

Another neat feature which could use some additional work is the Reference view. On any common word the final tab in the navigation reads Reference. This displays a list of popular mannerisms which include the word you’re looking at.

For example I searched for “Point” and got a whole list of similar referenced words. This list is only helpful based on specific context, and you may not find it helpful at all. I believe it pulls from Wordy’s remote server to search through related key words.

Word references

Word references

All-in-all, it’s just another reason Wordy stands out among the many dictionary apps in the store. You’ll notice there are so many awesome features here, yet the implementation does require a bit more work. It’s absolutely a usable app, but there is room for a bit of housecleaning on the interface. I expect great things to come from these developers in the near future.

Handy for Writer’s Block

Whenever I’m sitting at the computer typing it can be annoying to switch off the screen. I really enjoy the speed of Wordy and how quickly you can access new terminology. Writers will especially enjoy the synonyms and word references to push forward when you hit a wall.

Many times I have been reviewing my own writing work and come across the same adjectives repeatedly. Wordy makes editing a whole lot simpler and the process can even become exhilarating! I’ve learned a handful of new synonyms and even some antonyms which work nicely. Wordy may have future plans to update their database which would see a surprisingly quick and studious user base to follow.

Final Thoughts

Wordy is fantastic for mobile users who just need a free dictionary app. It’s also a wonderful tool for writers not only looking up definitions but synonyms to common adjectives & verbs. Writing is all about detailed and descriptive language to set a common relatable theme.

And packaged as a free reference guide, you really can’t ask for much more. The developers will surely be pushing out new releases in the coming months, so it’s an application to keep your eyes on. If you have thoughts or similar ideas on iOS dictionaries let us know in the post discussion area.


A mobile dictionary and primer for word junkies. You can find the most popular references including Webster and American Heritage Dictionary.