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How to Use the Kindle's Dictionary

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  chco's Photo
Posted Aug 11 2010 09:06 AM

The Kindle comes with a very thorough dictionary and the following excerpt from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual helps you tap into and get the most use out of yours.
Wanna see something neat? Go grab a dictionary off your bookshelf. (This assumes you have one, considering the likelihood that the Internet is your dictionary.) Now stand it up next to your Kindle. Odds are the dictionary is larger than the Kindle; at the very least it's thicker.

Well, whatever dictionary you grabbed, there’s also a good chance that it’s smaller than the one built in to your Kindle. Inside your svelte little device, Amazon baked in the New Oxford American Dictionary (Second Edition), a tome that in its printed form has 2,096 pages and weighs almost seven pounds! Your Kindle, if you have a Kindle 2, weighs just two-thirds of a pound. The Kindle DX weighs just a bit over a pound.

All of this word-defining power can be unleashed in two incredibly simple ways: You can define words as you read, or you can search and browse the dictionary proper.

Defining Words As You Read

If your book’s author makes a reference to “the Derrida continental style of incomprehensible philosophy,” and you find the statement itself incomprehensible, just scroll the cursor down next to the word. Down at the bottom of your screen, a definition appears (Figure 4-6).

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From this definition, you learn that Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher and literary critic. Press the ↵ key to go directly to the dictionary and read the full definition, which tells you that Derrida was an important figure in the theory of deconstructionism. Well, that helps (a little). Press the Back key to return to your book.

Looking Up Words

While reading or going through your book list, you can easily look up any words in the dictionary:

  • Just start typing the word you want to look up. (This assumes you know how to spell it correctly.) The word appears on the bottom of your screen.

  • Once you’ve typed the whole word, click right on the joystick twice. The bottom of your screen changes to show different sources you can search. Use the joystick to select the dictionary. The dictionary comes into view with the word you typed at the top of the page.

  • Use the Next Page and Prev Page button to read surrounding definitions.

  • Press Back to return to wherever you were before using your dictionary. Now you’re one word smarter!


Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual

Learn more about this topic from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual.

So, you have your Kindle and are ready to start reading. Great! But did you know that you can play music on the Kindle while you are reading that new bestselling novel? How about sharing your thoughts about the book with friends via Facebook and Twitter? More than just an e-reader, Amazon's popular device lets you do those things and much more. You can create a custom calendar to help plan your day or remember your mom's birthday, calculate the tip at your favorite restaurant, and waste a little time and have fun playing games or surfing the web. Check out Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual to learn how to get the most out of your device.

See what you'll learn


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  Kindle Blogger's Photo
Posted Nov 24 2010 08:40 AM

You can also use Kindle dictionary for translation from one language to another. Here's a good collection of Kindle Dictionaries that can be used just for that