How I Use It
As a bellringer or quick reference while reading Merriam-Webster's mobile app is a reliable word-building go to. Quick to boot and easy-to-use the app's clean interface gives concise definitions, relevant examples, and other key information, including synonyms, which are hyperlinked. The word of the day makes a good bellringer because it includes a brief narrative that gives etymological backgrounds, encouraging student understanding and curiosity of word-meanings in particular and language in general. Also, thwarting the "how can you find a word when you can't spell it" complaint, the app allows the user to pronounce the lookup entry. I have students create lists of favorites-to-learn, done by simply clicking a star. Newly added: three word games to try.
For quick reference, the mobile app is faster than logging on to the excellent website version and keeps the favorites list for personalization and review. There's really no fluff, just clear definitions, and interesting facts. The Word-of-the-Day narratives are usually engaging, and encourage students to think about how words and their meanings develop and continue to develop. The audio pronunciations are a great aid, especially with high school vocabulary and SAT practice. The app also allows students to copy and share definitions to notes or social media.