Google has just revealed a couple of new features that will not only delight lovers of words but will also help learners and researches get a better grasp of the English Language. Now featuring on Google Search are usage samples, etymologies, and translations into supported languages.
Hardcore Google users might already be familiar with the Google word search feature, but for those who aren’t, here’s the lowdown. Prefixing a word with “define”, such as “define fortuitous” in Google’s example, will bring up a Google Now card that used to show only a couple of definitions as well as links to the sources of those definitions. That has now changed with Google augmenting the results with more relevant and helpful information.
Google Search will now include example sentences that make use of the word as well as other synonyms. But a probably more interesting feature is the Origin section of the card which shows not only the etymological source of the word but also its historical origin. It even has a graph for the word’s usage over time since the 1800! Users who fear that the new features will clutter up search results need not worry as the additional information are not displayed by default and can be shown or hidden at a click of a button.
The word origin feature is not available for all words yet. According to Google, these new features have only rolled out on desktop and mobile in the US only, but seems to be available in other regions as well, at least for web browser searches.