The “Define” feature in iOS has been renamed to “Look Up” in iOS 10, and has been enhanced to provide more than just definitions. Look Up now presents you with results from the App Store, Apple Music, websites, and Wikipedia.

To use the Look Up feature, select some text in an app, such as a web browser or an email app and then tap “Look Up” on the popup.

The first time you use the newly enhanced Look Up feature, the following dialog box displays, describing what Look Up does. Tap “Continue”.

The results from various sources display as semi-translucent overlays on top of the content. If there is a definition for the selected text in iOS’s built-in dictionary, it displays at the top. You may also see results from the iTunes Store, Wikipedia…

RELATED: How to Use Google for Safari Search on Your iPhone or iPad

…and suggested web pages and videos. The results are interactive, so tap on any of the results to explore further. You can also search the web for the selected text by tapping “Search Web” at the bottom of the list of results. A new tab in Safari opens and the selected text is searched for using your default search engine.

After following links, when you return to the original app where you selected text, the results stay open over the content until you close them by tapping “Done”.

Another example, is selecting something like “Star Trek” and tapping “Look Up”.

There is no definition for Star Trek, but you’ll see news and wikipedia links and links to TV shows on iTunes.

You can also get information about the availability of movies, whether they’re still showing in theaters or available on iTunes.

We tapped on the Star Trek Beyond movie to find out where it’s playing locally. To find more theaters playing this movie, we can tap “View More in Fandango”. Again, tap “Done” to close the overlay and return to the app.

The enhanced Look Up feature is basically the same as the web-based results in Spotlight Search and Siri Suggestions. Now, you have those results in almost any app that supports selecting text.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
Read Full Bio »