Skip to Content

Can you use a dictionary in Scrabble?

Sharing is caring!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Players take their turn by using the seven tiles issued on their rack to form words on the scrabble board grid squares. Play only legitimate words in the game as failure to play legal words will cost you a turn.

A dictionary is one of the essential tools for playing the game Scrabble. All players must agree to the dictionary selection before they start playing, since any word must be contained in the agreed-upon dictionary. 

Can you use a dictionary in Scrabble? Yes, a player can use a dictionary, but only the one all the players agreed on before the game began. The dictionary is not allowed to be used to find words to play using the letters on your rack.

Therefore, the dictionary is only permitted to be used if a dispute arises. If one player feels a wordplay on the board is not legitimate, they can challenge. 

The adjudication process is done using the agreed upon dictionary, and if possible, the dispute should be settled by a third party and not between the two players engaged in the dispute. 

If the challenged player is found guilty, they lose their turn and record zero points for that round, and the word is removed from the board.

A player cannot use the dictionary to consult or use a dictionary to spell a word before playing it on the board. That’s cheating according to official scrabble rules and is worth a penalty.

When the game is played among friends, house rules may allow a dictionary as long as all the players agree. Answered below are frequently used questions about using a dictionary while playing Scrabble.

Can you use a dictionary before your turn in scrabble?

No, it is considered cheating to use a dictionary to make a word before your turn in Scrabble. When creating a word, a player cannot use a dictionary as a tool for spelling or word search. 

Instead, they should use their brain because that’s where the game’s competitiveness comes in hand. Otherwise, gameplay would be very easy, making the game lose its intended purpose. 

A dictionary should only be used if a player challenges another word on the board as an arbiter. If the player has misspelt the word wrongly, they lose their turn and record a zero score in that round. 

What is different between a Scrabble dictionary and a regular dictionary?

The difference between these two dictionaries it’s that they are used for two different purposes. 

The standard English dictionary seeks references to understand the English language based on both writing and spoken aspect. Therefore, it contains a full list of possible words that can be used in the same dialogue and all the definitions in different context for every word, making it a bit complex and comprehensive in size. 

For this reason, it undergoes an editorial process mostly for selecting commonly used words, leaving several words that someone might find in a Scrabble dictionary.

Scrabble dictionaries are used to check for reference in the board game to outline playable words for gameplay. It may leave out some words that are common in the standard dictionary because it’s not that comprehensive.

Some words meet the English conversation threshold, but are blocked out by Scrabble rules. For instance, hyphened words are too short, words that are always capitalized, pronouns and more. 

In addition, Scrabble dictionary does not require the meaning of the listed word, making its size much smaller than the volume of a standard dictionary.

Can you google a word in Scrabble?

Yes, there exists a google Scrabble dictionary that can be used in case of a dispute. Again, like the normal scrabble dictionary, the online dictionary cannot be used to check a word before taking a turn. 

A player should enter the word on the search icon and click ok for the Google finder to list the words starting with the letter a player is searching for. An online dictionary checker is an important tool since a player can search words quickly without losing the game’s momentum.

Can you use a dictionary in scrabble

Scrabble Dictionary: Conclusion 

A scrabble game is based on competency between players sharing memorizing power in vocabulary mastery. Hints in scrabble games are considered cheating, and that’s why a player cannot use a dictionary before forming a word

If caught doing so, the player can lose a turn and score zero in that round. Again, this is not the right behavior because of the good sportsmanship aspect of the game.

When a scrabble game is played amongst friends, a dictionary can be adapted as long as players are ok with it. When the game is played at the tournament level, players must strictly follow the rules.

Most cheating in Scrabble games occur when players are forming bingo with all 7 letters on their rack. Check the competitor keenly when such a case arises to avoid being cheated, since such words carry heavy point bonuses that can unfairly disadvantage the gameplay.

Using a dictionary to form words in Scrabble is considered cheating, however players can use it to check for errors in spelling or to verify whether or not the word is considered legal in the game. Play fairly so that every enjoys the game and use the Scrabble dictionary to arbitrate spelling and word check disputes.

Sharing is caring!