Kindle Word Wise – A Hidden Gem that Expands your Vocabulary

 Minute Read
November 23, 2023
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• Word Wise provides simple definitions to difficult words.
• The feature can be easily enabled or disabled.
• This feature may not be included in every ebook.

Kindle Word Wise is a wonderful feature that really highlights the advantages of reading on digital devices. 

What is Kindle Word Wise

Word Wise provides instant definitions to more challenging words while you read. A brief explanation of a word is inserted just above the fold.

You can expand on this further by tapping on the definition. This will open Word Wise with a more detailed definition as well as other possible meanings for the word.

It aims to simplify and streamline your interaction with complex texts, allowing you to better understand more challenging books.

It’s a fantastic way for anyone to expand their vocabulary without interrupting their reading flow and is just one of the features that sets Kindle above all other ereaders.

And the best news is that you can easily turn it on/off as you please.

Activating and Deactivating Kindle Word Wise

Kindle word wise does not come enabled out-of-the-box. You need to enable this for it to work.

How to Enable Kindle Word Wise

To enable Word Wise on your Kindle, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open a book on your Kindle device.
  2. Tap the upper part of the screen to reveal the menu options.
  3. Tap the "Aa" icon (Display Options).
  4. Scroll down to Word Wise.
  5. Tap the toggle switch to turn it on.

Using Kindle Word Wise

Once enabled you will see definitions and synonyms for challenging words above the word itself.

When using Word Wise, you can easily access more information about a word by performing a long press on it.

This will bring up the Word Wise panel, which provides additional meanings and context for the selected word. Within this panel, you can view other meanings of the word along with example sentences for better understanding.

In the example of a “rocket” below you can see there are several meanings for the term “rocket”.

How to Disable Kindle Word Wise

If you no longer want to use the Word Wise, you can easily disable it by following these steps:

  1. Open a book on your Kindle device.
  2. Tap the upper part of the screen to reveal the menu options.
  3. Tap the "Aa" icon (Display Options).
  4. Scroll down to Word Wise.
  5. Tap the toggle switch to turn it off.

Once disabled, Word Wise will return to its original state without any additional definitions or synonyms displayed.

Remember that you can always re-enable Word Wise again by following the same steps mentioned above and toggling the switch.

Word Wise can be Annoying for Some

The only issue with enabling Word Wise is that it takes up a lot of space.

Every other line in the book.

This means you suddenly lose half the space on the screen and only have half a page to see any one time.

Whilst it may not be a problem for you, it may be a problem for others, especially if your reading speed is above average.

Not all Books have Word Wise

It’s important to know that not all Kindle books have this feature.

To check whether a book has Word Wise embedded, you’ll need to look up the title on Amazon and scroll down to the Product Details section which verifies whether Word Wise is “Enable” or “Not Enabled”.

Reading Options with Kindle Word Wise

Too many Word Wise definitions making it difficult to read?

No problem. You can the adjust the frequency of definitions being displayed, or the reading level and tailor this to your preference. By customizing the Word Wise settings, you can find a level that’s right for you.

Kindle Word Wise on PDF

Unfortunately, Kindle Word Wise is not available on PDF documents.

Word Wise is specifically designed for ebooks in English purchased through the Kindle Store and is not compatible with PDF files. However, you can still utilize the built-in dictionary feature on your Kindle device or app to look up any unfamiliar words you may come across.

Word Wise on Different Platforms

In this section, we’ll discuss how Kindle Word Wise works on various platforms, including Android, iOS, and Fire Tablets.

Kindle Word Wise on Android

Using the Kindle app on Android, you can access Word Wise for supported books purchased from the Kindle Store.

To enable Word Wise you simply follow similar steps as you did on Kindle. Simply open the book, tap the screen to display the menu, and then enable Word Wise in the reading settings.

Kindle Word Wise on iOS

Similar to Android, the Kindle iOS app also supports Word Wise.

Open the book on your iPhone or iPad, tap the screen, and enable Word Wise in the reading settings. Now, you can seamlessly expand your vocabulary while reading on Kindle iOS.

Kindle Word Wise on Fire Tablets

Amazon's Fire Tablets, such as the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10, also support Kindle Word Wise.

To enable it, open the book in the Kindle app on your Fire Tablet, tap the screen, and activate Word Wise from the reading settings menu. It’s very similar to the Android and Kindle setup.

Functionalities of Kindle Word Wise

Kindle Word Wise Difficulty Level

To customize the difficulty level of words for which Word Wise provides definitions, you can use the Word Wise slider.

By moving the slider, you can choose to display more hints for less difficult words, or fewer hints for only the most challenging vocabulary.

This allows you to tailor your learning experience to your needs and preferences.

Vocabulary Learning with Kindle Word Wise

In addition to providing inline definitions, Kindle Word Wise helps you learn vocabulary by offering multiple choice hints for more complex words.

These suggestions appear in the form of synonyms or basic definitions, encouraging you to actively engage with new vocabulary.

Once you select the correct hint or tap on the word for the full definition, the Word Wise system reinforces your understanding by briefly highlighting the word and its hint.

Word Wise as an Effective Tool for Children's Learning

As a parent myself, I’m always keen to find new ways to improve my child’s reading fluency and their ability to understand challenging books.

Word Wise adds an extra layer of tuition allowing them to expand their vocabulary without the need to ask me “what does this mean?” every couple of minutes.

With Word Wise, short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, allowing kids to grasp the meaning of new words without interrupting the flow of their reading experience.

Not only does Word Wise support a child’s vocabulary development, but it also helps reinforce the concepts that your child is picking up through their reading.

Other Features you should know about

It’s not just Word Wise that you have available to you at your fingertips. Here are two other features that are just a swipe away.


You may or may not be aware that Kindle comes with The Oxford English Dictionary included!

Right next to Word Wise you should see Dictionary which you can swipe across.

As you would expect, Dictionary contains a more detailed definition of the term highlighted with several examples of when to you this term.


I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that Wikipedia was also included in Kindle.

If you are unaware it's similar to Kindle x-ray, Wikipedia is an online version of the encyclopaedia but cover every possible subject you could imagine. With millions of pages on their site, it is the most comprehensive informative medium on the web.

From the Dictionary window, swipe right once more to display Wikipedia which can provide more in-depth understanding of specific people and events in particular.

With all of these features available on Kindle it truly makes reading even more fascinating.

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Dave is our resident tech expert with a 25-year track record as a hardware design consultant and specializes in E-ink and battery management design. He holds a bachelor’s degree BEng in Electronic Engineering and is a member of the IET,
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Mehed Hasan Shis
Mehed Hasan Shis
4 months ago

Thanks for information.

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