What are the Different Word Game Dictionaries

By - 03/09/2023

When it comes to word games, there is no one set dictionary that they all use. This poses a challenge because what is accepted in one word game is not always accepted in another. What this means is just because a Word is valid in Words with Friends that doesn’t mean the same word will be a correct option in Scrabble.

Words with Friends uses the ENABLE dictionary, so any word finder tools for that game will program their algorithm to use that dictionary. One thing about the ENABLE dictionary compared to the dictionaries used in Scrabble is it has eliminated obsolete words. The ENABLE dictionary also does not recognize words that are spelled with hyphens or apostrophes. Another difference to keep in mind is proper nouns and abbreviations are not a part of the ENABLE dictionary, and neither are suffixes or prefixes used as a standalone word.

Scrabble uses two main word lists. Players in the USA use one list, the other list is used by players outside of the USA, including Canada. The list used for players in the US is known as the OWL or TWL list, which stands for the Official Tournament and Club List. The words found on this list are from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The CSW, which is the Collins Scrabble words, is used by players living outside of the US and is compromised of words found in the Collins dictionary.

When it comes to word finder games is it is up to the players to decide what words are acceptable. Based on the rules described in Scrabble gameplay, players must decide before the game starts, which dictionary they will be utilized when dealing with challenges. What this means is just because there are specific dictionaries used in gameplay, that doesn’t mean only those dictionaries are allowed. If everybody agrees beforehand, players can even use the Oxford Dictionary rather than the Merriam-Webster.

Now that you know more about the different dictionaries used in word games, try our Word Unscrambler to help you out!