Questions about English dictionaries

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What would “in modern colourless use” mean in a dictionary definition?

While looking up the various senses of "while" in the Oxford English Dictionary, I came across the following: [B 2 c.] In modern colourless use: At the same time that, besides that, in addition to ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Word for a book that describes translations

I am looking for a word that is used to describe a book that contains one-to-one translations of words from one language to another. For example, a chinese-english dictionary is one of these types of ...
4
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2answers
64 views

Is there a kind of “official” dictionary for the English language?

Context On languages having an Academy (I know it's not the English case thanks to this SE site) it's usual that those academies edit and maintain a kind of official dictionary for that language. ...
3
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2answers
99 views

Do we have any English dictionary that shows precisely both letters and diacritics?

Dictionary uses IPA to depict the sound. However, most of them do not include diacritics, and thus it is very hard for learner to distinguish the sound. See this quote from Wiki IPA symbols are ...
1
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2answers
89 views

Proper term for “surity..??” [closed]

What's the proper word for "surity or sure-ness". E.g. "It's a surity that it will happen". I know "assurance" can be used. But is there an even closer term for this..?
3
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2answers
83 views

Do dictionaries use polysemes in definitions without sufficiently explaining which sense/s is/are involved?

I want to know if the definitions grouped in a dictionary are stated in unequivocal language. e.g. Wax has the following definition: [literary] become larger or stronger. his anger waxed – Is ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Does OED (and other major dictionaries) use the label “Slang” or only “Informal”?

I was just looking at some slang words in dictionaries. Surprisingly they are all (that I could find) labelled "informal". I couldn't find any labelled "slang". Same deal in other major ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Is there a dictionary with phonemic transcription for different dialects? [duplicate]

Sometimes I am not sure how a Northerner says "Winter is coming". I searched on the Internet but nothing showed up. I wonder if you know there is a dictionary (online or offline) that simply contains ...
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0answers
60 views

About how many words of four letters are there in English?

I was trying to determine about how many words there are in English, with four letters. (Ideally, excluding "s" plural, so cats and dogs would not be included.) Does anyone have any concrete ...
3
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0answers
112 views

How do emojis sort in a dictionary? [closed]

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… 😂 AKA the 'Face with Tears of Joy' emoji. Where will they file this in their dictionary? Have the people at Oxford made a large mistake, or ...
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0answers
24 views

Difference between Collocational Dictionary and Idiomatic Dictionary and Expressions Dictionary

I am happen to be a hard seeker of different expressions and/or word combinations meanings. so I came across collocation dictionary and idiomatic and expressions dictionaries. is there a difference ...
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2answers
66 views

What is this word in 19th century dictionary? [closed]

I was reading a passage from P. Austin Nuttall's 1869 book, Dictionary of Scientific Terms, and from what it looks like, in both the PDF and Page images views, the word seems to be pseudostella. ...
2
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5answers
214 views

Where did the phrase 'Uh Oh' come from?

Uh oh is defined as something you say when you made a mistake, or when something is going wrong or a bad thing is about to happen. An example of a time when you would say "uh oh" is when you ...
2
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2answers
113 views

Usage of the word 'Cachet' [closed]

When I was about 10-15 years younger, I lived near a club named Cache. It was pronouced like 'sachet'. I assumed at this time that this was the spelling of what is defined as 'Cachet'. Also, I ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Is “prayerlike” a word? [closed]

It's included the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I'm just curious if it is acknowledged as a proper form of "prayer."
2
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2answers
151 views

Is there any grammar rule for the usage of the re- prefix?

I've read carefully this question posted 4 years ago: Adding "re" prefix You can't use the prefix re- in any verb. Rebe, rebelieve, rehave, etc. However there are plenty of verbs that use ...
1
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2answers
140 views

Resources for native Anglo-Saxon vocabulary building. [closed]

Are there any dictionaries or thesaurus' out there that specialize in native English vocabulary, that is to say, real English words that are not of foreign (Latin, French, or Greek) origin? It's ...
4
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3answers
121 views

Does there exist a subset of words which can be used to define all others?

All words in the dictionary are defined by using other words. Has there been any research that has traced these definitions down to a subset of the English language which can define the rest of it? ...
0
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1answer
114 views

What is the best dictionary for learning a contemporary American accent? [closed]

I’m using the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th edition, 2011). I know how IPA phonemes work and can also fathom American notations. So, which dictionary would best help a rookie to learn ...
1
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1answer
96 views

Antonym of 'helper'?

This is my question. If 'helper' means 'someone who helps', then what is 'someone who got helped'? Whom does the helper help? Is there any term to define it? Thanks!
0
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0answers
51 views

Where can I get a collection of “word spectrums”?

I understand that the The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus includes "word spectrums" (see illustration below) for a number of words. Is there another source for such type of data? That is, I want ...
2
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3answers
358 views

Dictionary form - oneself vs. yourself

My colleagues and I are working on something and we have to frequently reference English dictionaries. We use all of them, Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Cambridge, Longman, the works. Anyway, we came ...
0
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1answer
67 views

In Apple's Dictionary app, what is the name of these characters?

I have been using Apple's dictionary app on my Mac, could someone tell me what the formal name of the characters are next to word 'Causation' in the screenshot and what is their purpose? ...
1
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1answer
111 views

Which English to use in Portugal: British or American? [closed]

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this, but any help is appreciated. I'm Portuguese, but I also use English for my work. For that, I use dictionaries in my computer. My question is: which ...
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0answers
48 views

Dictionary grouped by English levels and word's popularity

I am looking for dictionary where words would be grouped by English levels (Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate...) and popularity of them, or event just list of words grouped by levels. Thanks in ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Proper usage of “engendered”

"His actions engendered a revolution in the Capitol." This sounds a bit off to me. But going by the dictionary meaning, this is legal and correct. Is this correct in terms of readability and ...
1
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1answer
96 views

word for widestly (adverb of widest)

I am going to paraphrase this sentence: It is one of the mostly used methods in .... and I want to replace mostly with widest, but it is an adjective, not an adverb: It is one of the ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Categorized dictionary of the English language [closed]

What dictionaries are there available which offer some kind of classification of words into different categories? I am looking for a free alternative to WordStat. I would like to use the ...
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3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “archaic” and “obsolete” in dictionaries?

I have come across both of these terms when searching words via google. Is there a difference between these two terms, or is it just a case of one dictionary prefering one term over another?
4
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3answers
326 views

bemustached versus mustached

I’ve just read an article in The Huffington Post in which the phrase “bemustached 26-year-old” was used: Sex and sword swallowing beg some pretty obvious comparisons, but the similarities aren’t ...
0
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3answers
163 views

“come on as” versus “come across as”

Would you say that both sentences sound correct? On the whole, I think you came ON as sincere and credible, and your soft-spoken demeanor, laced with a dash of wry humor, was quite charming. On the ...
3
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4answers
380 views

On the duplicity of “peruse” [duplicate]

The following are the two main definitions of the verb peruse that the editors at Merriam-Webster.com have put forward: : to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way : to ...
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3answers
327 views

What does the semicolon in the dictionary definition of a word mean?

Many dictionaries use a semicolon in a meaning for a word. For instance for the word impertinent I have seen: "outside the bounds of proper speech or behaviour; impudent; insolent; saucy" Then ...
3
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1answer
128 views

What's the earliest reference to a non-article word that still exists today?

Assuming around 1800 is "par" for "earliest mention" of an English word by most of our esteemed GR (GR: General Reference) text, is this for any particular reason strongly cut off at that time? I'm ...
0
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2answers
152 views

When are operational definitions appropriate and when can one conclude that a poor word choice was made?

In the book Making is Creating the author, David Gauntlett, seems to use the word "creativity" to refer to the act of creating anything. The example is given that it is creative to make one's own ...
2
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1answer
1k views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
3
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1answer
154 views

How do dictionaries cope with new meanings of words? [closed]

Scientists are working on every aspect of our lives and find out different information which is sometimes contradictory to the previous information or definitions. Or sometimes there are some ...
4
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4answers
210 views

Source for tracing evolution of specific polysemes, e.g. “catamaran”?

Does anyone know a dictionary (or other resource) that traces the etymologies of words in such detail as to show how two, three ... different meanings may have come to apply to a given word? This ...
0
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1answer
291 views

What is this letter/symbol called?

I found it in an old dictionary and I'm not sure what it means. It looks like the number "3", but the top of the three has been flattened(and slightly curved). I've only seen this in three or four ...
5
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5answers
681 views

Can one ever say for certain a word does not exist? [closed]

Can it ever be concluded that an alleged word is not actually a word? Obviously, if a word is not in a particular dictionary, it does not mean the word is any less of a word than the ones that do ...
0
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2answers
223 views

Teaching of smuh? [closed]

I was helping my child with her homework and noticed that she has to learn words starting with with sm..., st.... I found word "smuh" which i had never seen before as English is not my native ...
2
votes
1answer
330 views

The lost English dictionary

There is an old dictionary of the English language where words are defined from a pessimistic/skeptical/sadistic perspective. I seem to have lost the link to that dictionary in my bookmarks. I wonder ...
8
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1answer
585 views

Syllable — Phonetic Online List/Dictionary with word examples

Is there a homepage or online tool that gives you a list of, let's say, the 2000 most common syllables sorted by their international phonetic alphabet spelling? (e.g. /sɜː(r)/ = the first syllable ...
0
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1answer
497 views

Where can I find a dictionary for homonyms?

I want to know where I can find a dictionary that I can look up homonyms of a word. For instance if I type in alien it will show me the word salient. That dictionary should base on the sound itself, ...
3
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2answers
397 views

Historical Basis for “To Graduate” Being Only a Transitive Verb

About nine years ago, I received from a quite insistent source the claim that the verb "to graduate" is transitive, and, specifically, that the intransitive usage was wrong. For example, the ...
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16answers
14k views

What is the word or term used to describe a person who intentionally ignores a rule/regulation/order

There is a girl in my lab who, despite having been corrected numerous times in the past, continues to disregard the lab procedures regarding chain of command. She constantly goes over supervisors' ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of the word “inriation”?

I looked up the definition of the word elation in Webster's Revised Unabridged 1913 dictionary and found the following definition (Page: 476): Elation E*la"tion (?), n. [L. elatio. See ...
1
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1answer
55 views

What algorithm decideds whether to retain a word or drop it while downsizing a dictionary? [closed]

One approach I can think of is eliminating most of the words that are very commonly used in spoken English(since a prospective reader is likely to know meaning of most frequently used words, or he/she ...
3
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4answers
9k views

'Upgradation' not universally accepted?

While copy-editing an article for a journal, I came across the word 'upgradation' underlined red by MS Word (It's underlined red even as I type it in Chrome). The publishers of the journal recommend ...
5
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2answers
197 views

“Personified” in an OED definition

While writing an answer to this question, I looked up the word ennui in the full version of the Oxford English Dictionary. (I'd give you a link, but I access the OED through my local library's proxy ...