Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

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14 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 ...
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15 views

Online Dictionary that shows “Word Family”? [migrated]

I want an online dictionary where I will look for a word and it will show the definition with the word family. For example: If I search "Enigma" It will show the definition along with the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
44 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-...
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2answers
50 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 ...
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3answers
346 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. ...
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2answers
29 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 "...
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4answers
75 views

Free hand: uncountable

Free hand [countable; singular] ​ Unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the director a free hand to cut the budget wherever she wanted​ https://www.wordreference.com/definition/free%20hand ...
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1answer
509 views

“turn me into” idiom for hobbies

I have a vague memory of an idiom involving "turn me into" and hobbies, but I can't find it on dictionaries online. Maybe I'm using a wrong word? "My friend turned me into DJing" ...
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1answer
45 views

“then” used after “but”

THEN adv Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement Idiom: then again https://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=then Wiktionary has an entry for but then again as an "...
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What means share the feelings of another? [closed]

I understand it like having the same feelings (experience the same feelings of another), that's right?
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31 views

Plural affix in the Oxford English Dictionary

I cannot find an entry for the plural affix in the OED (-es, -s , 's, s), unlike say for -en. Also for -ed we have : -ed, suffix1, -ed, suffix2, -d, -t, suffix1, -t, suffix2, etc. What are the ...
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2answers
57 views

Is a villian neccesarily evil?

Webster's dictionary gives one definition of villian as somone who opposes the hero giving no qualifications on whether the villian is evil or not. merriam-webster.com On the other hand, other ...
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1answer
55 views

The meaning of “bestatued”

From "The Magus" by John Fowles: "Beyond that rose the Regency façade, bestatued, many and elegantly windowed, of Cumberland Terrace." What does "bestatued" mean here?
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1answer
1k views

Is the word “psithurism” really used in English?

‎ I have seen people using this word to refer to the sound wind makes as it moves through trees. However, 1. No reputable dictionary seems to have acknowledged this term as a valid english word. 2. ...
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1answer
65 views

How is malice different from aggression?

I am having trouble understanding exactly what malice is and how it is different from aggression? In social psychology, aggression (which is contrasted with accidental harm) is defined as intentional ...
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23 views

Italics Usage in Dictionaries

I've only recently realized that the example sentences in many English dictionaries are italicized. And I've yet to find out any other medium that uses italics in examples. What is the history of ...
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40 views

Grammatical terms used in the definitions of the Oxford English Dictionary

For example, the entry for the noun "counsel" reads: (Usually a collective plural, but sometimes treated as a numeral plural; formerly, in ‘to desire the benefit of counsel’, treated as a ...
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1answer
54 views

Why is “pen” of “submarine pen” not in the dictionary?

I saw this word a long time ago while playing red alert https://cnc.fandom.com/wiki/Submarine_pen_(Red_Alert_1) Since then i had forgotten about it, until a watched a youtube video on u-boats https://...
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2answers
67 views

Why are names of proteins not in dictionaries and not considered to be words?

It makes sense to not include unwieldy scientific names in dictionaries, as they would cause dictionaries to swell in size unreasonably. However, I was wondering how and when this decision was made ...
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1answer
83 views

unparallleled versus unprecedented

I am looking up these two words and they seem to have the same meaning. I thought that they mean same.Reading one of each definitions of these below, I undestood they meant same. unparalleled - ...
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37 views

Conjuring is listed as a noun on Google and Longman but then why does it appear as an adjective in the examples listed at these places?

E.g., on Google, the meaning is: "the performance of tricks which are seemingly magical, typically involving sleight of hand." But the given example is: "a conjuring trick". Similarly, the example in ...
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1answer
55 views

Get around (intransitive): say or do something at last

Get around (intransitive verb): finally to say or do something after delay, hesitation, or being involved with other things I wondered when you'd get around to telling me that. Microsoft® ...
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40 views

measure of quantity: a hundred of bricks

According to the entry of "hundred" in the OED Only in measures of quantity, the structure is a hundred of bricks. What does measure of quantity mean here, especially as opposed to a hundred ...
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47 views

Words “transitoriness” and “transientness” not in all dictionaries

I know that many adjectives can be transformed into nouns by adding -ness suffix. Usually, I check if the word is present in a dictionary (preferably Merriam-Webster). This time I was not satisfied ...
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102 views

What is the difference between a curiosity and having a sexual desire? [closed]

What is the difference between a curiosity and having a sexual desire? Can they be used interchangeably? From what I understand, "Sexual Desires" are what you get when you "know" what that something ...
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7answers
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Is there a term for “non-words” like “ha”, “ugh”, “huh”, etc? [closed]

What would these words be called, and are there any related rules on how to use them and what they each mean?
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2answers
73 views

Why do different dictionaries seem to have different nuances in word definitions?

I always viewed dictionaries as a collection that formalized the definitions of words and phrases. However, I've seen that different dictionaries give different definitions for the same word, which ...
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2answers
284 views

Which spelling would be more correct: “Evictor” or “Evicter”?

Both "Evictor" and "Evicter" show up at Lexico.com. The "Evicter" page is much more substantial, though. At Dictionary.com, "Evictor" is the only accepted spelling. Google Trends shows that "Evictor"...
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1answer
40 views

What we call a dictionary that link positional synonymous words? Is there one already?

I found a dictionary that list words with the same root meaning but different in position, either as subject or object or even predicate, useful. As an example, when we look for the word "eat", it ...
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1answer
44 views

Does “stand” have the meaning of “be helpful for”?

"something stands somebody in good stead" is a common idiom, which means "something is helpful for somebody in the present and future". However, under the entry "stand" in the OXFORD dictionary, ...
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1answer
66 views

just the concept of evenness and oddness

I have the text in one mathematical book: It certainly is a huge step beyond just the concept of evenness and oddness, which is all that the Pythagorean proof uses. Can you explain to me what is "...
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Downloadable word lists? [duplicate]

What is the best downloadable US-English word list? Similar to a dictionary without the definitions. I've found https://github.com/en-wl/wordlist which is the source list for he English dictionary ...
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45 views

Is “anymore” a word? [duplicate]

Quite often when I type the word "anymore" in software featuring built-in spell check, I get the following kind of warning: (this one is courtesy of TortoiseGit). i.e., the "anymore" word gets ...
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1answer
352 views

Where was the term “A1” first used?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that "A1" means "of the finest quality" and it says that the term was first used in the year 1801 (with no reference): https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/...
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by (the) way: incidentally

Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. defines incidentally as by way: used to introduce additional information such as something that the speaker has just thought of by chance: by chance or by accident Is the ...
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1answer
45 views

Is revolutionist a real word? [closed]

I was talking to a friend of mine and at one point I said So, you're a revolutionist. He corrected me (in a very polite way) by saying that "revolutionist" is a word that does not exist, the ...
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1answer
48 views

Suffers from -> tends to?

Does "suffer from" have the meaning of "tend to"? I looked up the Collins dictionary, and found that "suffer from" can mean "given to", which means "tend to". E.g. A chemical element suffers from ...
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1answer
104 views

Inquiries Concerning Context Clues, Syllables, and the Use of the Dictionary [closed]

The following are consists of three questions with the possible choices for each along with my reasoning for each question. I ask of you to provide me assistance in guiding me towards the answer for ...
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2answers
135 views

Is there an adverb for “ungodly”?

All dictionaries listed ungodly only as an adjective. Ungodlily was listed on Word Hippo, but I'm not so sure if it's reliable. So, is there an adverb for ungodly, and if so, what is it? Ungodlily ...
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1answer
161 views

Capital letter “L” in Oxford English Dictionary entry

I just started Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and am wondering what the “L.” in the first line of the definition for “virus” means. I checked the online Oxford English Dictionary commonly used ...
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3answers
536 views

Can you have a conjugal relationship with someone without being married?

I looked up the word "cohabit" and saw these definitions: cohabit 1.to live together as husband and wife, esp. when not legally married Webster's New World College Dictionary cohabit (...
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2answers
1k views

What's the relationship between various Oxford dictionaries? (OED vs ODO vs ODE vs NOAD)

Things I know so far: The OED is the Oxford English Dictionary. It's widely regarded as the definitive record of the English language. The ODE is the Oxford Dictionary of English, previously The New ...
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2answers
65 views

Can words be removed from language? Are there examples of such?

My research has shown that lexicographers typically look to determine whether a word is currently widely used and whether there is a gap by no alternative being available before it being considered ...
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1answer
48 views

New words invented but how to propagate? [closed]

To write is to invent words, and one invents words from everyday experiences. Today during a long disGussion with a juvenile mind I thought up diaPERtribe, evidently from diatribe and diaper. Is there ...
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1answer
36 views

Bug-out- bag among list of new words [closed]

I was just informed on CBS news that this is now an official word. Is the label 'word' appropriate for a group of words strung together with hyphens, or is there a more accurate term?
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1answer
47 views

Confusion in meaning of word “classic”? [closed]

I have searched the meaning of "classic" in Cambridge dictionary, but I am not satisfied about its meaning as adjective What is difference between terms classic and old? As we often use terms like ...
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64 views

Why don't dictionaries include the most common meaning of the word “punt”? [duplicate]

Why don't dictionaries include what is, in my opinion, the most common meaning of the word "punt", which is to "(strategically) give up" They punted on the hard problem. Neither Oxford's, nor M-W ...
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3answers
102 views

Word that means every outcome is worse?

What word means that every outcome is worse than where you started, For example, You must make a choice but the choices are a worse situation than your current one.
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3answers
3k views

What was required to accept “troll”?

At what point did the concept of internet troll become incorporated into an English dictionary?

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