Questions about English dictionaries

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3
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4answers
315 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 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
61 views

Resources for native Anglo-Saxon vocabulary building.

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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Best resources for word popularity [closed]

I am looking for a good resource that can give me some idea of how popular or commonly used a word is. Some of these may be: WordCount.org -- Indexes the words based on the popularity count. For ...
-2
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0answers
46 views

How to notify Merriam-Webster of errors in their dictionary? [closed]

Lately I’ve been consulting Merriam-Webster online with regard to ELU. More than once I’ve found an error — usually in the example sentences. Here’s one: Examples of AUDIT The audit showed ...
4
votes
3answers
77 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
votes
1answer
2k views

Dictionary which shows plural form?

I am looking for a dictionary (program / app) that tells me about the plural form of a word. I have tried Dictionary.com, Meriam-Webster and OED but they are not. I know if I look for media, it ...
0
votes
1answer
77 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
vote
1answer
44 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
33 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
6k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
2
votes
3answers
61 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
53 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? ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
37 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
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
12
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5answers
7k views

Is “criterions” a valid plural for “criterion”?

Is criterions a valid plural for criterion? Dictionary.com says it is, but Oxford does not confirm or reject it.
3
votes
2answers
315 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
493 views

Source for etymological study

It has always been interesting for me to know how words are made and where they are coming from. Is there any reliable source for etymological studies? any books, or dictionaries out there?
29
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13answers
6k views

What is a verb for “illusion”?

What is a verb for illusion? I want to use it in a sentence like the following: The optical effect [illudes] my perception of its real shape. But illude does not exist. But I cannot find illude ...
1
vote
1answer
62 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
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
518 views

What is the name for “pronunciation spelling”?

Dictionaries often have "pronunciation spelling" listed next to the word. For example: port·man·teau - noun \pȯrt-ˈman-(ˌ)tō\ What is the name for this alphabet/system? Is it a universal ...
13
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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
votes
3answers
306 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
744 views

What is the accepted definition of the following words in this sentence?

Quoting DailyWTF: The Matrix! No, not the the uburbulous deprodication errebelously conceived by “The Architect”. What is the accepted definition of the following words in the preceding quote? ...
0
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3answers
94 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 ...
0
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2answers
158 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
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
5k views

Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English

Some languages have a "regulatory body" issuing recommendations and guidelines regarding the use of that language. For example in the case of Spanish it's the Real Academia Española whose status is ...
3
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
116 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
votes
1answer
376 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
476 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
176 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
220 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
votes
5answers
575 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
160 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any dictionary that decomposes an English word into prefix, root, and suffix?

Is there any dictionary that shows the decomposition of each word into these three parts, if application at all? For instance, "incapable" is divided into prefix "in", root "cap", and suffix "able". ...
2
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
327 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
41k views

Why are “scaring” and “scarring” confused by some dictionaries? [closed]

Scaring is related to the word scare, while scarring is related to the word scar. Why is it that some dictionaries get these two words confused? For example, when you use Mac OS X Lion's lookup ...
5
votes
16answers
6k 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' ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

Another meaning of the vulgar word “slut”

I guess people who speak American and Philippine English will unanimously agree that the word "slut" is a very offensive term referring to a promiscuous woman. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford ...
17
votes
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
38k views

“Smooths” versus “Smoothes”

I am interested in the rapid rise (since about 1993) in frequency of the spelling smoothes as against smooths. An Ngram Viewer graph tracking the frequency of usage of the two words from 1800 to ...
4
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
16
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5answers
7k views

Where can I obtain an English dictionary with structured data?

I would like to download an English dictionary -- not just a word list -- in a structured format such as TXT, XML, or SQL. Specifically, I need phonetic pronunciation and parts of speech (definition ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Creating a new word [duplicate]

If you invent a new word, how do you go about getting this recognised as a real word in dictionaries?