Internet Glossaries

Barbara J. Feldman

No matter your age or your level of expertise, technology changes so fast, we all need somewhere to lookup technical jargon and obscure acronyms. Today’s picks are online dictionaries specializing in Internet and computer terms: some are designed for elementary school students, and others for techies of all ages. [Editor's note: for an updated version of this article, check out Internet Glossaries.]

  • Acronym Finder5 stars

    An acronym is a word or abbreviation formed from the initial letters or successive parts of a compound term. When you don't know what they mean, acronyms can be a major source of technology confusion, but acronyms are not limited to the world of computers. After receiving your PSAT scores, you might decide to not take an extra AP course so you can devote more time to studying for the SAT. Don't despair, Acronym Finder will guide through the acronym jungle. Definitions can be listed Most Common First, or you can specifically select Slang and Chat (BRB, I'm LOL) or Information Technology.

  • Google Define5 stars

    Google now supplies definitions through its search function. Simply search for either "what is your-term-here" or "define your-term-here" and you will see a Web definition at the top of the search results. To see only definitions (and no search results) try "define: your-term-here" . What's interesting about the results is that they do not come from a single glossary, but rather are culled from a large variety of sources. For a single, more definitive result from Dictionary.com, simply search on your word in Google, and then click the "[definition]" link at the right-hand margin of the blue bar.

  • Webopedia5 stars

    Designed for professionals who need to keep up with technology, Webopedia has a number of features you won't find in the other glossaries. Visit their home page to learn what's hot ("Top 15 Terms"), what's new ( "Recently Added") and to sign up for the Term of the Day newsletter. Once you've arrived at a definition page, you'll see links to related categories and terms, and the ability to email a definition to a friend. The site is maintained by professional editors who verify their work against multiple sources, so if technology is your game, Webpedia deserves a spot in your favorites list.

  • Yahoo! Kids3 stars

    Designed for elementary grades, Yahooligans! Glossary is browseable, but not searchable, which means you'll need to click around to find your definition. If you strike out, Yahooligans's includes a link to Matisse's Glossary of Internet Terms ( http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html ) on every page. Matisse's looks dry, but does include some tongue-in-check humor. Check out the definition for CATP.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Internet Glossaries." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 5 May. 2004. Web. 26 Jul. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/glossary/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published May 5, 2004. Last modified July 9, 2014.

  • Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms
    Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms
    by Douglas Downing Ph.D., Michael Covington Ph.D., Melody Covington, Catherine Anne Barrett, Sharon Covington
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $5.99

    Dictionary of Computer and Internet Words: An A to Z Guide to Hardware, Software, and Cyberspace
    Dictionary of Computer and Internet Words: An A to Z Guide to Hardware,...
    from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    (Paperback)
    Price: $4.60

    Internet and Computer Slang Dictionary
    Internet and Computer Slang Dictionary
    by James S Kittell II
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $9.90