Collins has taken the step of publishing its famous dictionary content online, the first time a dictionary from a major publisher has been made available on the web.
The Press Association spotted this move, with the dictionary which contains some 120,000 entries to be made available for free from tomorrow.
However, the site is already up and running in beta form, you can take a look here. It works just as you’d expect, type in a word and you’ll be presented with the definition, or a list of possible searches if you’ve misspelled the word in question.
The Collins site also offers translations into French, German and Spanish, which can be accessed by the click of a tab, along with synonyms.
Apparently the number of definitions is set to expand swiftly, with a further 100,000 to be added to the site by March to make a total of 220,000 words.
35 different language translations will also be available.
The site has reportedly been under development by a Scottish-based team for the past year and a half.
Alex Brown, head of digital at HarperCollins, told the PA: “We are extremely proud of this new online tool for lovers and users of the English language everywhere. This is part of an ongoing strategy to make Collins’ content available to as wide an audience as possible through new digital media.”
“We’ve brought together the web designers’ creativity with our own experience of language and how it’s used to create a really nice, user friendly but sharply designed website.”
The move is an acknowledgement that people are increasingly looking online for reference material, particularly with the growth in smartphones ensuring the net is pretty much constantly at the user’s disposal (data plan willing, of course).