Questions about English dictionaries

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5
votes
5answers
266 views

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

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 ...
29
votes
13answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
314 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
votes
0answers
46 views

Should Stranger (with capital S) be in the OED? [closed]

The Strangers were refugees from the Low Countries (now Belgium and Netherlands), starting in the reign of Elizabeth I, who were protestants fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. By the late eighteenth ...
2
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
825 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
307 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
1answer
68 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
207 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 following ...
5
votes
16answers
1k 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
5k 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
25k 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
126 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
873 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?
7
votes
3answers
934 views

What part of speech is “methinks”?

Dictionaries call this word a verb, but it doesn't seem to behave like any other verb in the English language. Another question on this site calls it a “conjoined pronoun-verb combination”, which ...
1
vote
1answer
36 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
5k 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.
5
votes
4answers
13k views

Is “pronunciate” a word?

Is "pronunciate" a word? At first it doesn't seem to be, but why not? "Pronunciation" and "pronunciative" seem to be words, so it would seem natural that "pronunciate" would be. After Googling, I ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

From a non-native's standpoint: Which dictionary should I pay attention to when I find semantically contradictory definitions of a word?

[The following is one of dozens of cases I come across on a daily basis] By accident, I have recently noticed that the phrasal verb go through (as in experience) -- which I've been using so far in my ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Online rhyme dictionary/rhyming resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)

Anyone know of an online rhyming dictionary or rhyme resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)? RhymeZone.com doesn't have such an option.
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Where does “acutilobate” originate from?

I see the claim that acutilobate is a “dictionary-only” word, for example seen in the 1913 Webster’s dictionary. How would a word get into a dictionary that only appears in dictionaries and is not ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Looking for a dictionary that would provide information on the “flavor” of the word [closed]

I'm working on my chatbot program and it could really use an extension to its vocabulary. Currently it picks words out of a list of just a few hundred, all entries containing data like the word ...
0
votes
2answers
268 views

Capitalization of bpm/BPM meaning beats per minute

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "bpm" as an abbreviation of "beats per minute" and gives the example: a pulse rate of 40 bpm Is there an explanation for the curious feature that this ...
3
votes
9answers
837 views
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there such thing as an online preposition dictionary?

Is there such a thing as an online preposition dictionary? For example, I want to use the word "interpretation" but I am not sure of its preposition. I don't know if the correct preposition should ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Is there any dictionary to look up for words that have similar vowel pronunciation?

I would like to make smooth-sounding sentences and slogans, so it is important to me to find words with similar pronunciations. Is there any dictionary that can help me find words like that?
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Is “analeptical” correct? Form of “analepses”

My teacher was editing my essay and change analepses (plural of analepsis) to analeptical. I'm trying to use the definition of a flashback. Here is the context: Original sentence: Analepses in ...
-1
votes
2answers
279 views

'Marked by' vs 'having' in dictionary definitions

I've read definitions that differ from each other only by the words marked by and having. E.g. 'Marked by a calm demeanor' and 'having a calm demeanor'. I see this often enough that I suspect ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Can “womenomics” be considered a neologism?

It is not the first time I come cross the term womenomics used to refer to a wider presence of women in the economic activities of a country. In this case it refers to Japan, a country where women ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

'(death) throes' - countability?

In my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary the word 'throe' is not listed, only 'throes'. With other nouns, the dictionary clearly indicates whether nouns are countable or uncountable, however, with ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Is there a dictionary guidebook?

I know books of episodes of OED, and short guides for a few dictionaries, but I don't know a dictionary guidebook. The book has more than 200 pages, and a long list of viewpoints to evaluate ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Does an analytic dictionary of English exist? [closed]

I read about this type of definition in a linguistics glossary. Analytic definition: a description of the range of reference of a lexical unit. This description is made up of ageneric term ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Is the definition of browser generally poor? [closed]

In regards to this question on meta Stackoverflow I had a look at what definitions one find for "browser". My definition of to browse is in short looking for information or things of interest. In ...
1
vote
7answers
982 views
1
vote
2answers
889 views

Is 'biasedness' a real word?

I am curious about the usage of word biasedness, I am unable to find it in Oxford's advance learners dictionary but on the internet. When tried to consult some expert, he said that it's a colloquial ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

What dictionary should be used when citing the dictionary in an American PhD-level dissertation? [closed]

In an Australian PhD dissertation, the Oxford English Dictionary would be the obvious choice when needing to make reference to a dictionary definition. However, I am writing for an audience of ...
-1
votes
2answers
103 views

Is there dictionary of roots of words? [closed]

E.g. zeal -> zealot -> zealotry I'm interesting in short dictionary, in this case it will contain only zeal. Of cource, every english roots.
1
vote
3answers
107 views

Uniformalize vs uniformize

In my standard college dictionary "uniformalize" is listed as rare, while "uniformize" is not listed at all, yet wikipedia is the opposite.
2
votes
1answer
3k views

English dictionary for download [duplicate]

I'm looking for dictionaries for download. I have found word lists from some Scrabble game sites, etc. but these lists are incomplete and do not cover word definitions and, perhaps, a thesaurus. I ...
0
votes
3answers
147 views

Why is “underhaul” not listed in dictionaries? [closed]

“underhaul” is not listed in dictionaries. Did I spell it wrong? Or is it slang?
3
votes
4answers
519 views

What is a “sounds like” thesaurus called?

A dictionary contains word definitions. A thesaurus contains words that mean the same (synonyms). I'm looking for a name for a word dictionary that will give you rhymes (or "sounds like") of a word. ...
0
votes
2answers
947 views

Are there any dictionaries that be able to look up words in word families? [duplicate]

I was wondering there are any dictionaries/a dictionary that if I search for a word, for example: news, the dictionary will provide its word family or any types of usages related to this word, for ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

The word “afterclap”

Merriam-Webster defines "afterclap" as "an unexpected damaging or unsettling event following a supposedly closed affair." However, a pastor from Oregon, John Mark Comer, wrote an article about ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

What makes an English word, an English word? [duplicate]

There are many new words being added to the dictionary at all times. These include "twerking" or "Google" but who decides if it should be in the dictionary and be an English word? Here is my theory. ...
0
votes
3answers
381 views

When could you take the “Urban Dictionary” seriously? [closed]

I have always had a serious problem with Urban Dictionary as I do not know when to take it seriously and when not! Sometimes it seems very useful to me to understand what ordinary people on the ...