Dictionary Word .com Has to be Meaningful to be Valuable

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One of my absolute favorite types of domain names to buy (and sell) is dictionary .com domain names. There are companies of all sizes that operate on dictionary .com domain names, including financial institutions, sports teams, media companies, tech businesses, and many other fields and industries. As a result, the demand for good dictionary .com domain names is strong and the values tend to correlate with the demand.

I am regularly on the hunt for good one word .com domain names. I also see buy requests on NamePros for this type of domain name. The budget varies depending on the buyer, but good one word .com domain names can be quite valuable.

In order for a dictionary .com domain name to have value, the word has to be meaningful. A frustrating aspect of making a buy request is that people continually send completely meaningless domain names for consideration. There are many words in the English language (and other languages) that mean something but are not meaningful. Domain names with a meaningless keyword is probably not worth much.

There are likely two things to consider when evaluating whether a one word .com domain name has value:

1a – Are there companies called that word? There are a number of tools to look up company names.
1b – Are there trademarks with only that word? USPTO is a good start to search.
1c – Is there a well known or popular product sold at retail with that word?

2 – Do you need to provide a definition when trying to sell the domain name? If you told your friends or family about the domain name, would they ask “what does that mean?”

If the answer to the three sections of #1 is “no” and the answer to #2 is yes, the domain name is probably not worth much. Perhaps it is worth something to someone, but I think there is a far greater chance the domain name doesn’t really have value.

45 COMMENTS

    • Well, yeah, I do see things from my own vantage point. Please elaborate on how it is hurting my vision, especially related to this post.

      I must receive at least one email a week from someone trying to sell me a “dictionary .com” domain name that is rubbish and nobody would ever use in real life.

  1. Well, by definition (pun intended), a dictionary word is “meaningful.” What you really mean is “popular,” i.e. popular to a “meaningful” (pun intended) degree.

    Otherwise, couldn’t agree more and can’t see why Gregg has a problem here.

    For example, not that long ago I found and registered a short two word phrase. Shortly after doing that, to my surprise I discovered it was also a single “dictionary word.” Not the most obscure word in the world, but definitely obscure and far from popular enough to be very valuable. Or even just “valuable” at all, let alone just “not very valuable.”

      • Put it this way: it relates to an industry I would suggest is only one step above the marketing of something like “bird watching” supplies. It has nothing to do with that, and was totally unrelated to the two word phrase I intended, but was just very amusing to realize after the reg. I was not familiar with the word myself, though it has goog results, but if it had been very “popular” as a word it no doubt would have not been available to reg.

        • Bird watching? I love watching chicken browning in the oven. Thinking about whether I should bid on SpaceOven on Dropcatch. Funny if you google that name up, you’ll see a site using .space extension – the first time I’ve seen one in use.

          • That is surprising to find a .space in the wild like that.

            More of a red meat kind of guy but I bought a rotisserie chicken not that long ago for the first time in a very long time. (PS, you’ll be wasting time and money if you go after a domain like that.)

      • And now for the most insane thing ever:

        “birdwatchingsupplies.com” is actually a registered domain.

        In the words of Daffy Duck, just shoot me now. Please.

  2. The post is spot on, doesn’t matter if the name is technically in the dictionary, the only person that would impress is a domainer on a forum with a $7 budget. The idea of dictionary .com’s is it is supposed to signify known words, not obscure stuff that nobody is using as a brand.

    • Domainers are trying to buy something like Love.com for 10$ at forum. But End Users often use the not popular one word .com. Let’s say Flock, Blesh, Swoop, Skrill, Twitch, they are all using meaningless English Dictionary or Urban Dictionary names.

      • Those are mostly words that people would know (except for Skrill which is made up, and Blesh which I haven’t heard of before).

      • You’re right. Usually words which are not popular have higher brandability. On the contrary, words which are more generic and context-related have less brandability, and they often need to be mentioned together with TLD in order to not confuse audience.

  3. How about when someone describes a word as pronounceable and 90% of the time its a tounge twister.
    They be like ” Highly prounceable 6 letter word xdgah is for sale” i’m proficient in english and let me tell you thats not friggin pronounceable. I get irked because i have to click a post sometimes to see the random group of unpronounceable which wasted a few seconds of my life i will never get back.

    As for the dictionary words they be like “Premium dictionary word Euouae is for sale” I’d be like “what the heck does it mean” and they’d be like “look it up in the dictionary”. I’d be like “how would you pronounce it and they be like ” the dictionary will tell you” then id be like “how do you spell it” and they’d be like “one minute while i look it up in the dictionary”.

    They should describe these type of words more accurately as “dictionary words nobody knows, can spell, or pronounce”.

      • What about names that are already used by Startup like Flock, Blesh, Skrill, Twitch, Swoop, are they meaningfull or not by your definition? They are from English Dictionary. Skrill even money in Urban Dictionary, not English Dictionary..

    • Mighty Uzgakh be speaking you, human. You don’t know Orc’s tongue. Xdgah is sound nice and sweet, like a beard of young virgin orcess. Stop discriminating against Orcs and Orkish tongue. We uses dorghxmains too!

  4. “In order for a dictionary .com domain name to have value, the word has to be meaningful.”
    “Domain names with a meaningless keyword is probably not worth much.”

    I get what you’re saying but this is confusing. Any ‘dictionary domain’ has a ‘meaningful keyword’. It’s a dictionary domain……

    I think it’s better to use more precise terminology here.

    “In order for a dictionary .com domain name to have value, the word has to have COMMERCIAL value”
    “Domain names with a NON-COMMERCIAL keyword is probably not worth much.”

      • Covered by my first comment, but I didn’t get an “I agree – my bad” from you, Elliot Silver. 😉

        And as I just said to WordPress Girl, supposedly “non-commercial” keywords are often extremely valuable, and useful commercially as well.

        • As I have said multiple times in the past, I do not read all comments, especially those that are approved by default.

          • You are a prolific commenter and I overlooked that hoping to see what domain name you bought.

            You were correct, too. It was my mistake.

    • The Word Press Girl is correct — Commercial Value.

      The test question is:

      “Would the CEO or CMO of a large, global corporation ever want to acquire the dictionary-word domain name as a strategic asset of their company for the purposes of marketing and branding to consumers around the world?”

      If the answer is no, the domain name likely isn’t worth much. Doesn’t mean you still can’t sell it to a small business or a hobbyist or another domain investor; you just won’t get much money for it because the domain name isn’t worth all that much commercially on a global scale.

      • The bottom line for me (and I assume others) is if someone needs to explain what a word means or it is a word that nobody ever ever ever uses, it’s almost certainly not worth anything.

        That said, even non-commercial keywords have value to someone. Something like prayer.com or religious.com are not really commercial, but they could theoretically be used commercially.

    • Covered by my first comment which I guess you didn’t read, WordPress Girl.

      And supposedly “non-commercial” keywords are often extremely valuable, and useful commercially as well.

    • Could be used commercially but it’s awkward, vague, not normal, and not worth much. Don’t put much hope in it. I’ve let go of a one word domain of similar quality before after holding it for however many years. After a while you realize that just because it’s a real word it’s still not worth holding.

      • I wouldn’t drop a domain like activating.com – it might not set the world on fire, but it certainly has some value. Could be applied to sport (activating your core etc are popular sporting terms), self-improvement (activating your potential etc). You’d be mad to drop a domain like this – at the very least it has some liquidity and could easy be sold at reseller level on something like NamePros. Personally, if this was mine, I’d probably outbound it like crazy.

        • That’s why I added the last statement below, but I would still get rid of it or sell it off cheap if nothing ever happened after trying to capitalize on the few decent angles it has and years went by.

    • PS, this is a classic example, by the way: there are three and four word domains that are worth *far* more than one like that, even some longer.

        • What part of “by the way” do you not understand, Snoopy dog? That’s how you acknowledge something is a side note, which while not directly related to the immediate topic at hand (or paw in your case) is nonetheless worth noting as important in itself to the larger topic and overall concerns of the industry or group. Ergo, it is well worth noting there are three and four word domains (and more) which are much better and more valuable than a one word domain like “activating.com.” Moreover, all the more worth noting since it is likely that people are prone to confusing this topic with that of “short vs. long” to begin with, as Chen so clearly illustrated above, though you had no problem with Chen’s remark.

          So yes, everyone knows by now how much animosity you have toward domains longer than two words and .us and anything else not to your liking – so you give it up.

    • PPS, this one is slightly better than the one I got rid of imo, however, so may still be worth holding a bit longer, but it’s still a crapshoot and a lottery ticket compared to ones of clear, compelling and solid worth.

  5. I get it, Elliot it has be a tried and true word; like “Dictionary.com” “Thesaurus.com” which were sold in one package & included aloot of content,
    for 540 million Nov 2018. They were full-fledged businesses,but hey on flip side, whats “google”?

    Question relevance all want, just thought cool. Every time I read “Dictionary word .com” knew what u meant but mind still took me back to this;

    https://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/2018/11/15/detroit-based-rock-holdings-acquires-dictionary-com-and-thesaurus-com/

  6. Hi Elliot. I have a one word dictionary dot com. Degloving.com Ok, I am really curious to hear your expert advise on this. How should I market this domain? Appreciate your kind opinion.

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