It seems the plug has been pulled on Google Dictionary. If you visit the website now, there is a simple ‘Google Dictionary is no longer available message’.
From the four years leading up to late 2009, Google’s search engine definitions feature linked to Answers.com. Google Dictionary replaced Answer.com in December 2009, and it’s thought that it was initially built using Collins COBUILD dictionary, and eventually changed to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English.
We’re not too sure whether anyone will miss the service or not, as the Google search engine can be used as a dictionary in itself. Simply type the word ‘definition’ next to the word you’re looking to define, and the definition is presented in the search results, and you can then click through to various sources, such as Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Answers.com and Merriam-Webster.
A Google Product Manager explained the closure on a Google Support Forum:
“Google Dictionary was recently integrated into Google Web Search. Simply search for “define X” where X is the word you want to look up. Clicking on the “more” link (or on the toolbelt “Dictionary” link on the left) will give you practically the same experience that was available on dictionary.google.com.
We’re working hard to make the dictionary experience even better on google.com so it will be easier for our users to get the dictionary experience without the need to go to a separate property.”