American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition Reference App Review (iOS, Free)


Languages: Arabic, BS, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, HE, Hindi, Hungarian, ID, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Malay, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese

Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Minor improvements

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
2 Ratings
All Versions:
23 Ratings


Celebrating the relaunch of the American Heritage Dictionary®. The Fifth Edition of The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language is one of the most comprehensive and accessible resources available on any mobile device.

*** This is ""free-to-download"" but not a free app. It requires a single use, single device redeem code OR an InApp purchase. ***
• For new users, an InApp purchase is required to activate the dictionary.
• For previous AHD5 owners: if the app does not activate automatically, please email support.

This latest edition has been much anticipated:
10 Years
20 Lexicographers
200 Usage Experts
10,000 New Words and Senses
1 Defining Achievement

Keep the hardcopy at home and take the app with you wherever you need it.

Main Features
• entire text of this landmark new edition
• complete offline use — no Internet connection needed
• complete front matter and appendices
• real-time progressive searching
• three-way cross-referencing indexes
• wildcard pattern searches
• spelling suggestions
• internal hyperlinking
• word-of-the-day
• zoomable graphics
• full pronunciation symbols chart
• IPA pronunciation symbol conversion
• detailed etymologies with links to root appendices
• professionally recorded sound files
• automatic search history
• two-way external application interaction
• bookmarks with editable notations
• OS-independent app localization
• iPod, iPhone & iPad compatible “universal app”
• retina display support
• make-your-own flashcards
• external monitor and TV output supported

Social Media
• Facebook APIs supported
• Twitter & Evernote posting
• full layout for definition e-mails and Evernote posts

In keeping with the American Heritage® tradition of cutting-edge research, the Fifth Edition represents the work of a dedicated team of experts, scholars, and contributors. Thousands of definitions have been revised in rapidly changing fields such as astronomy and biology; geographical entries and maps have been completely updated; and the dictionary’s signature feature notes on word history, synonymy, and language variation have been enhanced and improved.

Word meanings are made easier to understand with thousands of new quotations from classic and contemporary writers. Etymologies explaining word origins and development have been newly created or revised to reflect the very latest scholarship. Many words are traced back to their roots in prehistory through two unique appendices showing word roots from the ancient Indo-European and Semitic languages.

Easy to navigate, enlightening, and visually stunning, the Fifth Edition of The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language gives you the opportunity to make your mark in the best possible way.

Customer Reviews

  • Has all the words, but insufficient etymology.

    by alwaysmprest

    I wanted to love this dictionary, as the interface is easy, and the connections with the Roget's Thesaurus (same publisher) are very smooth, and it's American, but the lack of deep etymology is annoying. . Note: I own both the Merriam-Webster Third International Unabridged and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in both app and book versions. I have owned a copy of Eric Partridge's "Origins" book for 30 years. So, my perspective is that of someone who want to steep in the current and former meaning of a word. (In short, I'm an etymology nerd, and the American Heritage Dictionary doesn't make the cut). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary app is good for etymology, and there's a Merriam-Webster dictionary with a little outline of a microphone in the upper right hand of the screen shots. Tap the microphone, and it lets you say the word in question, so it will help if you can't spell the word. Word recognition is pretty good. Tip: type in "Merriam-Webster Third International" or "Shorter Oxford" for the the big ones, or "Merriam-Webster" for the smaller one. Just "Webster" gets everything, because Noah Webster's name is now like "Kleenex", when you just want a generic tissue, or "Xerox" when you want a photocopier.

  • American treasure

    by Mr. Cheerful

    The American Heritage Dictionary is like blue jeans or jazz or baseball--just one of the best things our country ever produced. No other American dictionary comes close. Nothing more to say.

  • Awesome dictionary... good support.

    by RtfFan

    I've had this dictionary since version 4 and love it. The detailed definitions, audio, pictures, and wealth of background material make it a real joy to use. While the long gap in availability on the App Store was painful, I always got quick help with licensing to make the old version I had keep limping along as iOS upgrades caused problems. It's great to have things back to full functionality!

  • Great App

    by Windsponge

    I would like to say that the service was excellent on this app. I was taken care of when there was an issue and I think that says a lot since I purchased this app so long ago. You will find this to be one of the best dictionarys in App Store. Very easy to use and many features you will love.

  • glad to have it back!

    by vsigler

    was gone from app store for a while, this is my favorite and been using long as i can remember!

  • The Best

    by Levo Dextro

    It's back! And it's still the most wonderful dictionary on the planet! It has the best definitions, the best word origins and the one-and-only Indo-European Roots!

  • Great, but still no thesaurus.

    by John424

    This is a great dictionary and, like others, I'm pleased to see it in the App Store again. I had some trouble installing the new version, but customer service promptly fixed things. The app works splendidly now. However, I originally purchased the "Deluxe" version of AHD4, which included Roget's Thesaurus. When I "upgraded" to AHD5, I was assured that the thesaurus would eventually be integrated into the newer version. Well, all these months later, it still isn't. I still have access to it, but it requires that I keep AHD4 installed, which eats up a lot of my precious iPad storage. This should have been corrected by now. Other than that, I'm very happy with this app, and highly recommend it.

  • Better Than Ever!

    by akarp

    This is the best English language dictionary in the App Store. I'm pleased to have AHD-5 supported again—pleasantly surprised to find that audio for offline pronunciation came with the app.

  • Best Dictionary App

    by wilsonthomasjoseph

    Love AHD. Great panel on language. Credibility is top notch. But the best part is the bookmarking of words, which are saved across devices so I can learn new words with the built-in flash cards on my iPad or iPhone.

  • Outstanding Customer Service and App

    by Sweetpea129

    Beyond being the most impressive dictionary app available, this developer's customer service was outstanding. I contacted the developer support team with my concerns regarding the disappearing act of the Fourth Edition from the App Store. They expediently activated the 5th Version at no additional cost and provided very congenial service (a lost art in conducting business today). This developer truly makes an effort to understand their customers and tailor their product accordingly. Can't ask for more than that. Easy 5 stars.

  • Please bring back the fourth edition as well

    by leuzh

    Totally agreed with other people on the disappearance of the fourth edition: please bring it back soon! How can people trust you and buy apps you developed when you remove them from the store arbitrarily without an explanation.

  • The best dictionary app I've ever used

    by Jae-wan Yoon

    AHD app suggests precise and detailed definition and practical usage on almost every word. And email support team helped me instantly validate the new version AHD5 couple of hours ago. Thanks. If you find a excellent dictionary app, I recommend the AHD5 app.

  • AHD5 is the best dictionary on iOS!!!!!!

    by lionofjudah55

    I've been waiting for the return of this app for months. I'm glad it's back. This is the best dictionary on iOS. Love the quick response from customer service as well. I was unable to restore my in app purchase fro previous version. I emailed them and had a response within an hour. Awesome job. Thank you. May God bless, protect and provide for you and your family. His will be done. In Jesus Name, Amen.

  • Welcome back

    by Abidalkareem

    One of the best authorities in the English language has finally returned to the app store after a gaping hiatus, and we are very thankful for the great effort behind this elegant work.

  • Great dictionary, frustrating development

    by rcniman

    I really want to love this app. I have been patient through all the development woes and delays. When restoring my purchase in the latest edition didn't work, I emailed tech support and they straightened things out. My biggest frustration is with transferring bookmarks from the 4th to 5th edition. The good news is that it now exists (they've said it was coming since the first released the 5th edition). The bad news is twofold: First, when you do the import it will tell you that a certain number of the words are 'bad'. What does that mean? Which words? Are there words that were in the 4th that ARENT'T in the 5th? It makes no sense. Second, all imported bookmarks are imported into a folder called 'Imported' and given the date of the import. Basically, you lose the dates of bookmarking and can't move them out of that folder. So if you want to see all the words you bookmarked around the same time, or from the same book, you are out of luck. I hope they improve the importing feature. Even better would to include full search history in the export/import. But in the grand scheme of app development, this doesn't seem like something that should have taken so long or been this difficult. If none of this applies to you you may love the dictionary. But just beware that the developers have had a history of problematic updates and slow responses (it was even missing from the App Store for many months). Just know what you're getting into.

  • Expensive, so-so, and might disappear

    by DanoSchmano

    I recently purchased a previous version of this app for $29.95. Now, unfortunately, the old version it's no longer available in the App Store. Now that I have a new iPad, I guess if I wanted to use this app I'd have to buy it all over again. Obviously, not doing that! Regarding the quality I found to be just so-so: not so great (for example, I would frequently not find words that should be in any comprehensive dictionary), but not terrible. So overall, if you're okay with buying a so-so but fairly expensive dictionary that you might have to repurchase all over again, I say buy it.

  • Where is the previous app?

    by MasterTurner

    I bought a previous edition and I thought this was it until I read the reviews. So where is the previous edition I paid 20+ bucks for? No way I would buy this again!

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