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Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

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Is this sentence considered a double negative? [duplicate]

"There is no way it doesn't work on your phone." Is this considered a double negative?
Guest001's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
90 views

Is ‘with in’ in the phrase ‘be used with in construction’ grammatically correct? [closed]

In the ‘2. p. Grammar’ section of the ‘Webster’s New World College Dictionary’, I found the phrase ‘be used with in construction’. The phrase ‘in construction’ is idiomatic and has an adjectival ...
Hyeen Soo Han's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
209 views

Why does the online OED show precipitous declines in new word entries in the 20th and 21st centuries?

Using a simple trick, the online OED provides counts of new word entries from its earliest recorded years (1400 CE) to the present. New Word Entries are defined to be the year a word first appeared in ...
user97231's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
65 views

Let's assume X+into is a phrasal verb meaning A. X is also used with into again but with a different meaning (B) Can we count it as a phrasal verb?

Let's assume that we have 2 words: X and into. In dictionary the phrase X+into is accepted as a phrasal verb when it means A. We can also use X with the word into again, but then it literally means ...
Melis's user avatar
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-3 votes
2 answers
89 views

Is there a way to find out if a word is commendatory, derogatory/pejorative, or either? [closed]

Is there a way to find out if a word is commendatory, derogatory / pejorative, or either? Does any dictionary say that out explicitly, instead of requiring users to infer from the given senses? For ...
Tim's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
707 views

Merriam Webster vs Oxford Languages Dictionary phonetic transcriptions of 'man'

I've noticed that in MW words "now" and "man" have the same middle sound (ˈnau̇ vs ˈman), but in Oxford dictionary these two words have two different sounds (naʊ vs mæn). So which ...
ExP's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
296 views

Has the word “supposably” really been added to the Oxford Dictionary? [closed]

I used to always correct my illiterate friends whenever they would say the word “supposably” instead of supposedly, by snarkingly saying, “There’s no B in suposeDly!” Then I read that one of the big ...
T.S. Ellivan's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
125 views

Is hilarious pronounced /hɪˈlɛriəs/?

For the word hilarious, the pronunciation transcription in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary is /hɪˈlɛriəs/ but if I click on the speaker icon, I hear /həˈlɛriəs/. Am I listening to it wrong or ...
Nam N's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
99 views

What's the accent in Oxford Advanced American Dictionary?

Can someone please clarify if the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary uses General American English accent? I assume it uses General American English accent which is the accent I am learning. But ...
Nam N's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
81 views

Is "wiliness" a word? [closed]

I am wondering whether wiliness is a legit/valid word. Google Translate seems to translate it properly, and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiliness and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...
sined's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why do the words "Africa" and "Asia" not appear in the OED?

I was surprised the other day, looking for the etymology of "Africa" (to refute my friend's fantasy that the word means "not cold"), that there is no entry for "Africa" ...
Korky's user avatar
  • 109
4 votes
3 answers
561 views

What part of speech is ‘just’ in the sentence “It’s just me”? [closed]

I looked up just in some dictionaries, and they all say it’s an adverb (or at least, that it can be an adverb; apparently it can also be an adjective, a noun, a verb, or even an interjection): ...
Andrew Li's user avatar
  • 161
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is /ʌ/ really a stressed schwa, appearing only in stressed syllables?

If /ʌ/ occurs only in stressed syllables, why does punctilious /pʌŋkˈtɪliəs/ have it in an unstressed syllable? Same with upbraid /ʌpˈbreɪd/.
Movies Sea's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
677 views

Is "Up" an adverb or not?

Since I heard that "He climbed the mountain up" is incorrect, I've been asking people why that is. The composition He (Subject) + climbed (transitive verb) + the mountain (direct object) + ...
A S's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

What is a dictionary that gives descriptions instead of definitions called?

In Collins Dictionary if you search for a word, it gives you a description of the word, not a definition. Like "if someone is rueful he express..." Is there any term for this kind of ...
Yaroslav Kadetov's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
168 views

Is there a difference between the first vowels of ‘bother’ and ‘August’ in American English?

I found, in the Cambridge dictionary, that the first vowels in American English of the two words August and bother are the same. They are all notated as a /ɑː/. However, I found in other dictionaries, ...
zzzgoo's user avatar
  • 273
3 votes
1 answer
241 views

Is "before" also an adjective? [duplicate]

I searched "define before" in Google and found out "before" is not listed as an adjective in most dictionaries. Google's built-in dictionary, which is one of the Oxford ...
xiver77's user avatar
  • 185
0 votes
2 answers
387 views

Phonetic symbols for Port are different: Webster Internet vs Webster paper

Phonetic symbols are different for the same word Port. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary on the Internet: port noun (1) \ ˈpȯrt \ Definition of port (Entry 1 of 10) 1: a place where ships may ride ...
imida k's user avatar
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0 answers
437 views

Phonetic symbol - superscript h in Which [duplicate]

Q1) What is the meaning of the small h (superscript h) in the phonetic symbols of which shown in Collins? ʰwɪ̠tʃ the small h means 'complete silence' (= just ignore h) the small h means 'pronounce ...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253
0 votes
1 answer
149 views

What is the meaning of "used to show disapproval" in dictionaries?

I see some words and phrases in Longman dictionary and there is a sentence at the end of their definition: "used to show disapproval". I'm not sure what exactly it means. For example, I ...
Asad's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
90 views

How common is the secondary pronunciation of chestnut (non-silent t) [closed]

Until recently, I was convinced that the first t in chestnut is silent. However, the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary includes ['tʃestnʌt] as a secondary variant. Interestingly, the Oxford Learner's ...
painfulenglish's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the status of the verb "booster"? (1) Should we say "Get boosted" or "Get boostered"? and (2) Its use in AmE meaning "to promote"

I'm interested in booster as a verb with regard to two meanings: (1) to get or give a booster shot and (2) to act as a promotor of something or somebody. (1) I haven't found booster as a verb in ...
DjinTonic's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
120 views

Google Oxford dictionary word differences

I want to know on what basis do dictionaries place certain equivalent words into separate sections. Below is an example when performing a Google search (which uses Oxford dictionary) for the word fly. ...
Michael Munta's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
131 views

4 dictionaries give "at face value" a slightly different meaning, what should I do? [duplicate]

I notice someone had asked What does "to take someone at face value" mean? before. But my question is a bit different. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/at-face-value ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

Disinterested vs Uninterested [duplicate]

I've always understood 'disinterested' to mean impartial and 'uninterested' to mean not interested. Using 'disinterested' to mean not interested is wrong based on my experience and various sources ...
user994165's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
320 views

"man" vs. "men" pronunciation in American English

Here are 10 audio clips taken (more or less randomly) from a book narrated by a professional American narrator. In 5 of them, he is saying man, and in the other 5, men. Is it possible for a native ...
Danylo Mysak's user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
113 views

Passive voice non-existent in the active

III. Passive, to be concerned. This occurs in some senses which are non-existent or obsolete in the active; in other senses it is much more used than the active. https://www.oed.com/oed2/00046215 Are ...
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
51 views

Is there a word in a dead or lost language that we lost the definition to? [closed]

Is there a word we lost the definition to? A word whose definition we lost to history? Something that is a part of our history but we forgot the meaning with time
Ro Belle's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
2 answers
153 views

What does Merriam-Webster mean by "being such in practice or effect"?

I was looking at the definition of "practical" and found a phrase that I couldn't understand. The phrase that I'm talking about is being such in practice or effect And also, according to ...
申の刻's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Which is correct in using "consider as" of Cambridge and Oxford dictionary?

I get a bit confused when counterchecking the dictionaries of Cambridge and Oxford against one another. In the Cambridge dictionary, it is written that "We don’t use 'as' with 'consider'" ...
Myn13's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Publick or Public? in the 18th and 19th Century Britain

The spelling of -ck was more popular than -c in many words in Britain. But in America, Noah Webster proposed around 1800 to replace -ck by -c, which caused the widespread of this -c spelling in US. In ...
samhana's user avatar
  • 849
0 votes
1 answer
203 views

‘Thank you’ has an exceptionally special place among ‘good’ words used as irony?

A. A. Milne, best known for his books about Winnie-the-Pooh, is much less noted as a prolific playwright of about forty plays. They are carefully crafted works that continue to entertain and delight ...
samhana's user avatar
  • 849
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there a distinction between “victuals” and “vittles” that exists in writing but not in speech?

As I set out on this project I noticed that there are already several questions at EL&U referring to the words here in question. But what can I do? In Merriam-Webster’s entry for victuals, it is ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 3,015
1 vote
0 answers
124 views

How hard would it be to create a truly free dictionary? [closed]

How many words would be required for a comprehensive English learners dictionary and what level of effort would be required to create such a dictionary from scratch? "Comprehensive" means it ...
Kairei's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
89 views

What are some antonyms for salvation? [closed]

I'm writing an essay on how immigrants came to the US in the 1900s for salvation, but instead, they got the opposite. However, I'm looking for a more complex word; it'll sound boring if I just say it ...
alani kairyu's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
96 views

What is the word for digressing from a topic to talk passionately about something?

Basically when someone jumps to a kind of related topic and talks about it very passionately for a while. What is the word for that? As in, "I hate to go on a -------- but I want to tell the ...
GUEST 1233's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

How is 'chortle' different to 'laugh'?

Chortle is a very common synonym for 'laugh', although arguably more specific in the type of laugh. I've been ignoring this word for some time since whenever I think I finally know how to use it I see ...
FrontEnd's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
1k views

Uncorrect vs. Incorrect; Do the two words have the same meaning?

I often heard professors at the University I was enrolled in use the word "uncorrect." The word 'uncorrect' is in some reputable English dictionaries, and conspicuous by its absence in ...
Campaigner8's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Why don't dictionaries employ both positive and negative claims when defining a word?

Although a definition can take the form of a positive claim, often employing language such as "of or relating to", or a negative claim, employing similar language as "not of, relating ...
TomDot Com's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
466 views

Translating the Phrase from 20th to the 18th century [closed]

Needing to write a novel that is set in the 1800's finding the correct phrases and words used back then is challenging. I just want to know where I can find the correct phrases and words for the novel....
Liza vd Westhuizen's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What is "pursue an agenda" meaning?

I have read a "pursue" word meaning here https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/pursue?q=pursue, but I can't understand the second meaning, especially one of its ...
Denis's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
144 views

Do dictionaries make negative claims?

Although as stated in this question (concerning the seemingly contradictory senses of the definition of peruse) it's like saying "peruse is A" and "peruse is not A" The senses ...
TomDot Com's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

I wish to know meaning of phrase / expression wacky duck [closed]

I am writing a story at the moment about one villain from a horror movie and I often need rhymes. English is not my mother tongue. I read on Urban Dictionary that "wacky duck" means a hit to ...
rhyme_searcher's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

Is there any dictionary look-up frequency list?

The Online Portuguese Dictionary Dicio offers a (arbitrarily long) list of words ordered by look-up frequency. I find such a list very useful when selecting words to learn as a native speaker because ...
Bourbaki Wannabe's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
72 views

Names for the levels of a dictionary entry

What are the names for the different "levels" of a dictionary entry, especially for the Oxford English Dictionary entries displayed by Google? E.g., I find a LOT of levels in the dictionary ...
lowndrul's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
0 answers
85 views

The meaning of “caterpillar” as a verb

From "Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man" by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, quoting RWS's Captain Walter Clough-Taylor: "... I noticed there were girders, rising to about a foot in height in the ...
Michael's user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
205 views

Can a Secondary Definition Violate/Negate the First Definition

I have a specific word in mind, but I'd rather not use it to avoid potential bias. I'll edit and post the word if I need to. Hypothetically, I have a word, "CanHoldWater", defined by Merriam-...
John's user avatar
  • 1,027
0 votes
2 answers
186 views

definition and usage for whipsaw?

My understanding of the whipsaw term is that can, according to Wiktionary, be used rhetorically as in these examples: verb (transitive) To defeat someone in two different ways at once. 2014 November ...
Nicholas Saunders's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the difference between fervor and ardor?

I am trying to increase my vocabulary skills and I have a hard time seeing the nuanced differences between these two words. Both have intense passion and enthusiasm as their common dictionary meaning. ...
TLo's user avatar
  • 215
0 votes
2 answers
84 views

What's the word for "synonyms of a phrase"?

I'm looking for multiple ways to say "Call the Police". When searching the thesaurus, I couldn't find anything. In my head, I can come up with "report to the authorities", or "...
HDPZR's user avatar
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