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.
- The RAE - spanish royal academy - and the RAE spanish dictionary
- The RAG - galician royal academy - and the RAG dictionary
I speak galician and spanish natively, and use that dictionaries to access a kind of official definition for some words when writing documents, I trust that resources because are widely accepted by both language communities. I do it often:
- to ensure quality choosing words, especially within assertions. (Ex: this words are sinonyms but what should I use here?)
- for grammar doubts (Ex: is that word masculine or femenine? Is that word a plural or singular).
Usually I find myself using the definitions feature of google translate (see an example) to know a kind of formal definition for a word, but I don't know where that definitions come from. That definitions seem enough valid to me for reading purposes (knowing the meaning of a word) but for writing with a proper terminology I would like to access something more official, if there is any.
Is there a kind of "official" dictionary for the English language?
If there isn't, are there good alternatives? With good I mean:
- Free, at least to access and use.
- Trustable - being widely supported by the English language community
- Online accesibility is a nice plus
- The intents of the questions above are nothing but finding a good dictionary to daily use for the writing purposes I explained within the context.
- Sorry if my English hurts your eyes ;)