An excellent feature of nearly all search engines is if a user searches for the definition of a word, not only is a list of dictionary sites provided, but a simple info card with the definition will also appear right at the top. This is convenient as the user doesn’t have to go any further and I am pleased to see Brave Search has this feature. However, I noticed that the source of the definition Brave provides for that info card is from Merriam-Webster Dictionaries. I don’t know if this is because of a deal Brave made with Merriam-Webster, or if this source was simply chosen for convenience, but I implore Brave to pick another dictionary to source for these info cards.
The reason for this is because Merriam-Webster is what’s known as a “prescriptive” dictionary and not a “descriptive” one. The difference is a descriptive dictionary’s lexicographers will attempt to study the real-world use of words by everyone and seek to define words from that organic use. Meanwhile, those of a prescriptive dictionary will define words as they think they should be used regardless of how the majority of English speakers speak them. I think it is obvious to anyone that a prescriptive dictionary can be prone to incredible bias and abuse and in the case of Merriam-Webster and other prescriptive works like the Radom House Dictionary (Dictionary.com), there are several documented cases where that was shown.
So to reiterate, if Brave is going to have an info card for word definition searches, I implore Brave to change the source used for those definitions. I am happy to say I’ve already done some research on this topic and can recommend with confidence definitions sourced from Oxford English Dictionaries (actually used by Google and Bing for their sources). Another one that I haven’t researched as extensively, but still provides a good amount of confidence is the American Heritage Dictionary (used as a source by DuckDuckGo). Either is a good descriptive dictionary that can be used to source from, and by doing so, Brave Search can provide its users with assurance that the info cards provided in their searches are free from bias and special interest.