I generally use the "define" Google search tool to find what a word means, and how it should be pronounced correctly. Unlike websites like thefreedictionary.com, Google doesn't tell you what pronunciation it's using. I'd like to learn the British pronunciation, rather than the American one (or at least be aware of which one I'm being taught). Would any one know what pronunciation Google provides?

I've looked around the forum and found a question on what phonetic symbols Google Search uses. I think my query is a little different.

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    Knowing Google, it's quite possible that it gives you American pronunciation in the U.S. (I can confirm it does) and British pronunciation in the U.K. Can anybody in the U.K. check what pronunciation they get? Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


Google uses American pronunciation.

One of the most noticeable differences in pronunciation between AmE and BrE is that when words like hot, cop, cot, etc. are pronounced,

the o is pronounced as "ah" in AmE while it is pronounced as ɒ in BrE.

Here is a complete guide to learn British pronunciation (phonetic alphabet included) by BBC.

If you would like to hear how words are pronounced in British English, you may want to use the British Macmillan Dictionary. (But don't confuse yourself with the American Macmillan Dictionary, there is a small difference between their URLs.)

  • Thank you for the answer. I'll go look at the British Macmillan dictionary.
    – FranciscoD
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 7:17
  • @FranciscoD Welcome! I'm glad that it helps.
    – user19341
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 7:28
  • But www.google.co.uk gives phonetic symbols corresponding to the British pronunciation. Unfortunately, the sound still gives the American pronunciation. Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 23:27
  • .co.in gives phonetic symbols corresponding to the British prounciation. I also noted that .com google is not giving audio pronounciation for many words. For example, try searching for 'pretentious' in .co.in, .co.uk, and .com Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:31
  • Here in Germany I just go british pronunciation. Even though I have English (US) set everywhere with Google. Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 1:35

I can confirm Google uses American Pronunciation.

I searched for lambaste and the American pronunciation [lam'beist] was used where in British English it's [laem'baest] — hated it, really put my nose out of joint.

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    Hello, Tony. This might make a valid comment, but it's not really what is required for an 'answer'. Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 20:03
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    The OED has /læmˈbeɪst/, which surprised the heck out of me. I was sure it was /ˈlæmbæst/.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 23:25

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