Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com May Be for Sale | DomainInvesting.com
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Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com May Be for Sale


According to an article in the Wall St. Journal, IAC may be looking to sell two of its websites, which use exceptional domain names. Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com may both be for sale:

Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s WSJ article:

“Dictionary.com is for sale—you can look it up.

The online definition resource is being put on the block by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp , IAC -1.84% the company said.

IAC said it has hired investment bank Allen & Co. to explore a sale after two parties separately approached the company expressing interest in a possible acquisition of the property and its sister site, Thesaurus.com.”

Obviously this would be far more than a domain name sale. Both Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com are well developed and have active websites. From the domain name point of view, both of these properties use exceptional exact match domain names. Not only does the branding tell visitors exactly what they can expect to find on each of these websites, but they are also strong brand names.

I regularly encounter resistance from people who declare that domain names don’t matter as much anymore as they once did. While I would agree with the sentiment on long tail keyword domain names, I still strongly believe that short, relevant .com domain names still hold tremendous value. They can be used in the brandable sense (like Apple.com or Amazon.com) or in the literal sense like Dictionary.com or Thesaurus.com.

We’ll see if these two domain names move in the nearterm. If they do, perhaps we will see how much the buyer values the domain name vs. the underlying business in a subsequent SEC filing from the publicly traded IAC.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (15)


    Don’t see a ton of upside there, Google has killed their biz model with featured snippets and the brands will be super tough to pivot, if I had a 6-7 figure budget, I would pass and invest somewhere else.

    March 27th, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Yigal Ben Efraim

      These websites generate millions of dollars in revenue — you’d wish you could get them for 6-7 figures…

      In reply to don | March 27th, 2018 at 2:29 pm


      That’s not the point. It’s not about where these sites have been, or where they are now in terms of profitability. It’s about where they’re headed, and it isn’t a pretty outlook. Google has absolutely hurt these sites, and will continue to do so. Sad

      In reply to Yigal Ben Efraim | March 27th, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Jeff Schneider

      Hello D ? who ?

      We are here to tell you a news flash!
      After world regulators get through with google, they will be an also ran story , and (( .COM Equimoditty Platform assets )) will fill their space.(Watch and learn)

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

      In reply to D | March 27th, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Yigal Ben Efraim

      Even if they headed down, it’d only take a year to get the 6-7 figures investment back…

      In reply to D | March 27th, 2018 at 4:48 pm


      The U.S. Government is not breaking up Google in the next 10 years, and I doubt the EU regulations will disrupt their platform. Companies that net 20 billion per year in net income tend to stick around a while.

      In reply to Jeff Schneider | March 28th, 2018 at 7:21 am


    I like Dictionary, but Thesaurus seems like almost just another word for that.

    March 27th, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I use Thesaurus.com regularly to get keyword ideas for inquiries.

      In reply to John | March 27th, 2018 at 4:36 pm


      Writers (professional to bloggers), students & those learning languages commonly use the Thesauras.

      In reply to John | March 28th, 2018 at 12:57 pm


      “almost just another word for that” was my attempt at humor there, but interesting points both. Perhaps I’ll start using it too.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | March 28th, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Rich Leto

    Amazing properties!

    And very cool that my last name (LETO) is listed in dictionary.com – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/leto
    Glad I grabbed my name back in the mid 90’s

    March 27th, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Dan Gustafson

    I use them both regularly, combined with Webster’s. Google does not get to define words in my book, pun intended.

    March 27th, 2018 at 9:30 pm


    It seems they also own dictionary.co.uk and thesaurus.co.uk. I wonder if they would be included in the package.

    March 28th, 2018 at 8:16 am


    Just looking at some headlines searching news I found the following info. According to articles, Comscore stats said – Dictionary.com had 15 million unique visitors in February (20 million a year ago). Thesauras.com had 13.7 million unique visitors in February (13.2 million last year).

    The two sites combined had over 20 million in revenue last year. I’m not sure if that figure is before expenses but I’m sure expenses are a small fraction compared to revenue taken in. I’d imagine they would be looking at some type of 9 figure sale.

    March 28th, 2018 at 12:53 pm


    Diller is letting parties know the web products are available for the right acquirers – most likely Google (…all the world’s information…) and Amazon (…books…) and both could utilize the corpus of words in training and building AI products” chatbots, voice assistants and more….

    Value: between 500 million and 1 billion USD

    March 29th, 2018 at 11:26 am

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