Google is great at assuming, but terrible at mind reading. If your search is ambiguous, and you want results in a specific Google Dictionary language, make the query less ambiguous. For example, trigger Google Dictionary using the intended language:
Same Question, Different Year
While your question is 7 years old, similar questions continue to be posted today.
They are usually variations of the same theme:
"Google Search makes incorrect assumptions about the results I want, how do I fix this?"
Some examples, How to make Google default to local currency? and also How to get rid of Mathway, GeoGebra, QuickMath, and Symbolab stuff?
Google Search makes a host of assumptions on your behalf. The same search query can return slightly different, even drastically different, results from user to user. A single user can get different results over time, or by simply changing the device or location. For example, an identical search performed seconds apart by the same user from the same location and device can provide different results.
Google Search doesn't know in advance what a user will search, nor the role it is expected to fill. Is it to be a Dictionary? A Translator? A Calculator? A Map? Your Research assistant? A Personal Shopper? A News Aggregator?
While Search will guess what results a user prefers, users can also narrow the scope, for example, by switching to translation mode or searching only in Maps, the Dictionary, or the Calculator.
This extra navigation can often be avoided if users adapt their search queries to return what they prefer, and some of these Search roles can be specified directly in queries.
Define / Definition
While Search might assume you are looking for a definition, your example of adding the Google Dictionary trigger term
define (there are others) before the word vanish, illustrates a great way to narrow a search. The same term when applied to the word perspicacious, also illustrates the nuance and variability of Search.
[vanish] doesn't trigger Google Dictionary for you and me,
[define vanish] does.
For you and I, a search for either
[define perspicacious] both trigger the Google Dictionary definition of perspicacious
But, while those two perspicacious searches both trigger the Google Dictionary, the searches are not identical, and the search results themselves are also different:
Moving on to your question about searches for French definitions of French words.
When a French word also exists in English, Search must make a judgment call. Without other clues or cues, Search naturally assumes it is a word from your default language. You can however "help" Search understand it's a French word.
There is a certain irony in this specific case that
definition, two of the words that will trigger Google Dictionary, both exist in both English and French and share the same meaning in both languages. Depending on your locale, simply trying to
define a French word with accents that isn't also an English word, such as véritable may be enough to trigger the French dictionary.
Search Query Variations
Here are some search variations in my locale. I indicate wherever the word is ambiguous, which means that it could be English or French:
Adding French Definition Search to Chrome
You can use Chrome's site search shortcuts to make a French definition search available from Chrome's address bar:
- In Chrome's address bar type
chrome://settings/searchEngines then press ENTER
- In the Site search section click Add
- Then in the Add search Engine dialog put the following:
f (change this if you prefer)
- Then click Add
- Now, to search for a French definition using Chrome you will type:
Note: You can do the same for your English dictionary searches if they are frequent. This will allow you to type dSpace (or whatever you choose) instead of defineSpace