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Technique G70:Providing a function to search an online dictionary

About this Technique


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This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to provide the definition of words, phrases, jargon, or abbreviation expansions by adding a mechanism to access an on-line dictionary to the Web page. This technique uses existing resources on the Web to provide the definition rather than requiring the author to create a glossary or other mechanism within the site. By providing access from within the Web page, a user can easily locate the desired definition. This technique can only be used if the online dictionary returns the correct definition.


Example 1

A site that describes how a computer works would include a search feature on each Web page. The search would be performed against an on-line dictionary of computer terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. Since the dictionary is specialized for computer terms, the acronym expansion found should be more accurate than with a general dictionary.

Example 2

An online course in English grammar provides a paragraph of text which introduces new vocabulary words. Each of the vocabulary words is a link to an on-line dictionary to find the definition of the word. Activating a link will open up a new window to an online dictionary site with the specific vocabulary word defined.



For each word, phrase, or abbreviation to be defined:

  1. Check that a mechanism exists within the Web page to search for the word, phrase, or abbreviation via an on-line dictionary.
  2. Check that the result of the search of the dictionary for the word, phrase, or abbreviation is the correct definition.

Expected Results

  • Checks #1 and #2 are true.

Note: The definition of abbreviation used in WCAG is: "shortened form of a word, phrase, or name where the original expansion has not been rejected by the organization that it refers to and where the abbreviation has not become part of the language."

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