Questions about English dictionaries

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4
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1answer
44 views

Are dictionaries using 'big data'?

Note: I might walk the line of this site's usage here. Let me know if you think I should delete, or move. I ask it here because, though it is not about using English, it is about how we know how to ...
7
votes
1answer
182 views

In phonetic writing, what does italics mean?

The word government is supposed to be pronounced guhv-ern-muh nt See here http://www.dictionary.com/browse/government?s=t
0
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1answer
50 views

How do you pronounce these Greek letters in English dictionary definitions?

Dictionary definitions for the English language usually have the word spelled out in Greek letters to indicate how the word is pronounced phonetically. Examples highlighted: What are these Greek ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Are there any English words that contain a number or symbol? (excluding hyphenated words) [duplicate]

I realize these would probably be neologisms or maybe trademarks, but are there some obvious example "words" to use that contain a number or symbol? (eg 0123456789!@#$%^&*() For the purpose of ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Is it correct for an author to decide the level of restriction of a words definition?

For example the word "religion" is defined as : The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods And also: 1.1 A particular system of faith and ...
7
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5answers
6k views

US Equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary

Apologies if this question is inappropriate for the site. In the US, what would be equivalent to the OED? The de facto standard. I know there's the New Oxford American Dictionary but in the US does ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Hyphenating “process” in the meaning “series of actions” in AmE

Where to break the word "process" at the end of a line in the meaning "a series of actions" in US English? Dictionaries disagree on this (or I am misinterpreting what they say): Merriam-Webster ...
0
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4answers
90 views

How to chose the meaning of a word from many meanings [closed]

To increase my vocabulary, I collect words from my daily study and then find them in the Cambridge dictionary. But one word has many meanings. It is sometimes hard to memorize all of them, and it is ...
8
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7answers
4k views

Definition of “kissing cousins”— Are the dictionaries wrong/incomplete?

With relatives in the US south, I always thought that the definition of "kissing cousin" was a second cousin (or more distant) whom you could kiss and subsequently marry (FWIW I never did either!). ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

List of English word subjunctives

I'm working on a word cloud application and thought it would be useful to group different forms of the same word together. For example, "rides", "ride", "riding", and "rode" would all be grouped as "...
9
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2answers
1k views

American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's home-made-English-spelling-...
21
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5answers
10k views

Where can I obtain an English dictionary with structured data? [closed]

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
1answer
23 views

Help with “Rush the net”

It didn’t feel any more disjunctive than seeing Suzanne Lenglen rush the net in a full-length dress in say, 1916. Hey guys! I did not get meaning of "rush the net" exactly. Any idea? Thanks a ...
1
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0answers
43 views

Is it Possible to Learn Indo-Proto-European?

Is there a reputable and/or notable dictionary that lists all the words in Proto-Indo-European that can be translated to their literal equivalent in Modern English?
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Why are headwords in some dictionaries, such as Oxford's, hyphenated?

Why are headwords in some dictionaries, such as Oxford's, hyphenated? It doesn't seem to break words down into morphemes (hyp-no-tize only has two morphemes) or into syllables (eas-ily has three ...
9
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4answers
8k views

What is the best paper-based dictionary? [closed]

I'd like to have a dictionary in paper that won't be very big, at least there should be one tome, and it should be something like thefreedictionary.com but in paper, to use it offline. Please advise.
0
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1answer
83 views

Where can we find a list of English words classified by frequency of use? [closed]

I need at least the first 10 000 most commonly used words, but more would be better. It’s not a problem if the list is a little imprecise.
-5
votes
1answer
120 views

How many words are there in English if we don’t count duplicates? [closed]

How many words are there in English if: we don't count plurals: 'dogs' doesn't count; only 'dog' counts. we don't count different conjugations or different tenses: 'walks', 'walked' and 'walking' ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Is weary a common portmanteau of “wary” and “leary”? [closed]

In a comment on a different SE-page, someone misspelt (or intentionally used a different word?) wary, using weary instead: Someone else jokingly pointed this out, the original commenter then ...
0
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

What does “akin to” mean in etymologies in dictionary entries?

Many etymologies in dictionaries say that some word is “akin to” a word in some other language. For example, here is part of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary entry for salt: Main Entry: 1salt ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

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
39 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 ...
9
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6answers
4k 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 be....
4
votes
2answers
156 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
votes
1answer
112 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
vote
2answers
672 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..?
0
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
86 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
50 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 dictionaries....
0
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1answer
53 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 ...
2
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5answers
400 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 ...
1
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0answers
78 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
votes
0answers
118 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Which was the first dictionary and how was it decided which words went into it?

I've heard the riddle: "If Websters' was the first dictionary where did he get all the words from?" It has quite since intrigued me, honestly. Which was the first English language dictionary and how ...
0
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0answers
34 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 ...
12
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3answers
930 views

Is 'compatriate' really an English word?

I recently saw the word 'compatriate' used in a newspaper article. Upon looking it up, suspecting a typo (or even an eggcorn: it is easy to see how compatriot would be mixed-up with expatriate etc.), ...
0
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2answers
135 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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2answers
138 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 ...
1
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3answers
451 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 ...
0
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1answer
57 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."
3
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4answers
413 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 ...
2
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2answers
222 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
vote
2answers
173 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 ...
0
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2answers
2k 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 ...
4
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3answers
147 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? I'...
0
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1answer
127 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
113 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
66 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
8k 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? ...