I'm looking for a book, or any other source, which lists words that are morphologically related, like this:

imagine        verb
imagination    noun
imaginative    adjective

Or this:

medic          noun
medicine       noun
medical        adjective
medicinal      adjective

And also this kind of relationship:

head           noun
ahead          adverb, adjective

Dictionaries will give you only partial information, and in a very inconvenient way. For example, if you look at the definition of imagination, the words imagine and imaginative are not mentioned there, nor any reference to them. I've checked several dictionaries, and you may be lucky with other ones, but I have not found one which lists all the relevant information in a straightforward manner.

Etymology dictionary is also not suitable for this task. It doesn't give you all the relevant forms of the word, and it does give historical information which is not relevant here.

  • The normal layout of dictionaries (words listed in alphabetical order) doesn't exactly seem "inconvenient" to me. OED has about 30 words before and after the word "imagine" that all start with the same 6 letters - I'm not going to check them all, but I imagine most if not all are etymologically related. Nov 9, 2013 at 1:00
  • The Online Etymology Dictionary is readily available, and cross-references closely related words in red, so links such as you require are very easy to pick out. Nov 9, 2013 at 5:55
  • 1
    There is OneLook's wildcard feature, where you can look up imagin* or medic*.
    – J.R.
    Nov 9, 2013 at 7:17
  • This looks like a good question for meta.
    – Kris
    Nov 9, 2013 at 11:31
  • 1
    english.stackexchange.com/questions/29194/… This has an interesting slant as to how relevant it might be knowing or guessing the root word. Sometimes, common sense alone doesn't cut it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


Word by letter

Type the beginning of a word and just see how many results are churned out.


medic, medicable, medicably, medicaid, medicaids, medical, medically, medicals, medicament, medicamental, medicaments, medicant, medicare, medicares, medicaster, medicate, medicated, medicates, medicating, medication, medications, medicative, medicator, medicean, medicinable, medicinal, medicinally, medicine, medicined, medicines, medicining, medicks, medico, medicommissure, medicornu, medicornua, medicos, medics,

Your Dictionary

Has a more traditional approach but its resources are reliable; medic

Wordnet Click on any link and all will be revealed. Pretty amazing stuff, I say so myself.

Word Info has a box with the suffixes and the root word of imagination. Click on imag and imagi and a new page will open with a fair list of derivatives. imaginative

  • image
    1. A reproduction of the form of a person or object, especially a sculptured likeness. etc..
  • imageable (adjective)
  • imageless
  • imager
  • imagery
  • imaginable (adjective)
  • imaginably
  • imaginant
  • Imagining
  • imaginary
  • imaginarily
  • imaginariness
  • imagination
    (list of definitions)
  • imaginative
    (list of definitions)
  • imaginatively
  • imagine
  • Ok, but as an ESL, suppose you know the word imaginative, and don't know that the the root is imag, so you will not search for imagin*. The closest I have found is this: learnenglish.org.uk/wff . If I will not find exactly what I want I will except your answer.
    – Bohoo
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:03
  • Just to clarify myself: If an ESL know what imaginative means, he does not necessarily know that the word is derived from image, imagine, etc.
    – Bohoo
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:13
  • This will probably be true for speakers of non-Romance languages and it's a valid point. But a decent monolingual dictionary under imaginative will provide the adverbial expression, imaginatively; the adjective form, imaginative; idiomatic expressions such as "a figment of sb's imagination" ---> see figment; the mind/imagination boggles ---> see boggle; not by any stretch of the imagination ---> see stretch And nothing stops you from reading the words that precede and follow, imagination.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:19
  • 2
    In the age of high technology, and the frenzy to have all the answers within the click of a mouse; this has meant that the humble reference book is losing favour and popularity among learners. But this is a mistake, open a dictionary and on one page there will be a wealth of other information, details, expressions, curiosities, and the like which you will miss out by studying exclusively online. Your eye will glance down the page and spot something interesting which might never have occurred with a digital format.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:29
  • 1
    It's not so much lexical as it really is derivational-morphological. morewords.com/starts-with/med vs. morewords.com/starts-with/medic
    – Kris
    Nov 11, 2013 at 5:10

Generate Derivational Variants, Recursively

medicine|medicality|128|1|R|1|RULE|medical|medicality|$|adj|base|ity$|noun|base|dd|NounAdj| medicine|medicative|128|1|R|1|RULE|medicate|medicative|ate$|verb|base|ative$|noun|base|ddddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medication|128|1|R|1|RULE|medic|medication|$|verb|base|ation$|noun|base|ddddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medic|128|1|R|1|RULE|medical|medic|al$|adj|base|$|noun|base|dd|NounAdj| medicine|medicant|128|1|R|1|RULE|medic|medicant|$|verb|base|ant$|noun|base|ddddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medicate|1024|1|R|1|RULE|medicable|medicate|able$|adj|base|ate$|verb|base|dddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medic|1024|1|R|1|RULE|medicable|medic|able$|adj|base|$|verb|base|dddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medicinally|2|1|R|1|RULE|medicinal|medicinally|$|adj|base|ly$|adv|base|dd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medically|2|1|R|1|RULE|medical|medically|$|adj|base|ly$|adv|base|dd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medicinal|1|1|R|1|RULE|medicine|medicinal|e$|noun|base|al$|adj|base|d|NounAdj| medicine|medicant|1|1|R|1|RULE|medic|medicant|$|verb|base|ant$|adj|base|ddddd|NotNounAdj| medicine|medical|1|1|R|1|FACT|medicine|noun|medical|adj|d|NounAdj| medicine|medicable|1|1|R|1|RULE|medic|medicable|$|noun|base|able$|adj|base|ddd|NounAdj|

The link to the java source code is provided on that page; also visit the home page. Can that help?

  • Very interesting, but an overkill. I will not learn Java for this.. Anyway +1.
    – Bohoo
    Nov 10, 2013 at 18:15
  • @Bohoo Incidentally, not everyone that uses java applets (which is quite everyone who uses a computer, no exaggeration) needs to know java. Anyways, we are still researching for the root-to-derivations lists that some good Samaritan must have done already.
    – Kris
    Nov 11, 2013 at 4:54

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