How to Enable and Use Word Wise on Your Kindle

Kindles are fantastic devices, allowing you to carry a whole library in your pocket and enjoy the convenience of reading your books anywhere. However, it can be incredibly frustrating if your reading flow gets disrupted because you encounter an unfamiliar word. Kindle’s Word Wise feature solves this problem, allowing you to keep on reading without having to go and consult a dictionary. Here’s how Word Wise works.

What Is Kindle Word Wise?

Word Wise provides immediate definitions for difficult words as you read your Kindle book. You can set and adjust the difficulty level according to your current vocabulary knowledge, making it perfect for language learners.

And Word Wise is more than just a quick dictionary. It provides easy access to tools that allow you to view more definitions, synonyms, and more. It’s like having a language teacher within your device.

At the time of writing, Word Wise is available in only two languages: English (US) and Chinese.

How to Enable and Disable Word Wise on Your Kindle

Screenshot of Amazon Kindle showing Word Wise multiple choice hints and language options

Word Wise can be enabled easily on your Kindle device or app. From within your book, tap the top of the screen to access the menu and choose the Aa menu. Choose More from the menu that appears and scroll to the Word Wise option. Here you can toggle Word Wise on or off.

You can also adjust the settings from this menu. Tick the Show Multiple Choice Hints to enable Word Wise to display a list of possible meanings when unsure of the correct hint for a word so you can choose the most helpful one.

Generally, this feature can be switched off safely, as it may add too much extra information and ultimately cause confusion.

How to Use Kindle Word Wise and Adjust Its Settings

Screenshot of Amazon Kindle showing Word Wise function enabled

Once you’ve turned the feature on, you’ll see the phrase Word Wise displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. You don’t need to do anymore because definitions for words or phrases you may find difficult are automatically shown above them in the text.

If you think too many easy words are being highlighted, there’s an easy way to adjust this. Tap on the Word Wise phrase at the foot of the page to reveal a pop-up that contains a five-level slider from Fewer Hints to More Hints. You can see the number of definitions changing on the page as you use the slider. If you’re only getting stuck on the most challenging phrases, it’s probably better to choose Fewer Hints, so you won’t get too many easy words defined.

There’s also an option within this pop-up to Show or Hide Word Wise altogether, making it simple to hide the feature temporarily.

How to Access More Detailed Information via Word Wise

Screenshot of Amazon Kindle showing Word Wise alternative definitions panel

To get more than a basic definition for a word via Word Wise, tap on the definition. This brings up the Word Wise panel and Dictionary, Wikipedia, and Translation panels.

If a word has more than one meaning, tap on Other Meanings within the Word Wise panel. If you prefer one of the alternatives, then tap Use This Meaning. Combining all these sources of help should enable you to interpret the vocabulary correctly.

Troubleshooting Solutions for Word Wise

If you can’t get Word Wise working on your Kindle, there are a few things you can try.

First, check that your device supports Word Wise. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on every device, which is why it’s important to choose the right Kindle. Fortunately, Word Wise works on most Kindles and apps, including:

  • Kindle Fire tablets (3rd generation and above)
  • Kindle eReaders (6th generation and above)
  • Kindle app for Android
  • Kindle app for Samsung

At the time of writing, Word Wise is not available on the Kindle iOS app.

Second, check that your Kindle software is up-to-date. Amazon’s Help Center can provide the latest information.

Finally, check that the book you’re reading supports Word Wise. You can see this in the book description on the Amazon or Kindle Store product page. Thousands of titles within the catalog are already supported, with more added all the time, including lots of the Amazon Prime Reading catalog.

Screenshot of Amazon website showing Word Wise enabled on a product page

Get the Most From Your Reading With Kindle’s Word Wise

Amazon Kindle already offers readers several tools to access vocabulary definitions. Word Wise makes the process even easier, providing instant definitions without having to long press on words and leave the page you’re reading. As a result, your reading will be interrupted less often, which will help with your reading fluency. Overall, Word Wise is an excellent addition to Kindle’s impressive range of features.

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