Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

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For any word, see constituent roots; for any root, see composite words [migrated]

Definition lookup in Google will show the origin or etymology of a word, usually based on root. Is there an application, web or otherwise, that returns composite words for any given root?
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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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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
112 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
38 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
41 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
41 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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44 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
100 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
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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
40 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
60 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
101 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
115 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
312 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
561 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
55 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
47 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
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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
43 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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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
82 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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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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147 views

An example sentence of Oxford Dictionary seems to be wrong

When i look up the word"sheer" in the 7th edition oxford advanced learner's English-Chinese Dictionary,it gives me an example sentence"The concert was sheer delight",but i think there should be an ...
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When you want to do something but don’t because it hurts [closed]

What is it called when you should to do something but don’t want to because it hurts but doing it would make you hurt less. For example, You don’t want to be positive because you’re unhappy but ...
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1answer
103 views

Why phonemic symbols are different among dictionaries

I find the phonemic symbols are different for the same word among dictionaries. Take the word "tuck" for example. In Oxford Learner's Dictionary, its /tʌk/ for both British English and North American ...
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711 views

Why is this meaning of “snipped” not in dictionaries?

The word "snipped" can seemingly be used to mean "said in a snippy manner": "No," she snipped, obviously annoyed —http://rosemarinetheater.blogspot.com/2013/05/white-boy-can-rap-looking-at-...
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1answer
58 views

What do the bold numerals in parentheses mean in Merriam Webster Dictionary? [closed]

Here is the specific word I am referring to: The bold numerals in parentheses are under the 2nd definition. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/just Are those sub-sub senses? Or are they ...
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1answer
67 views

Do dictionaries like Oxford and Cambridge delete words?

We all know dictionaries around the world add words to include recent words, More than 600 new words, senses, and subentries have been added to the OED in December 2018 and the last Spanish language ...
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727 views

How is “plenty” a pronoun in “plenty of time”?

The Oxford Dictionaries list "plenty" as a pronoun. Example sentences include: I would have plenty of time to get home before my parents arrived There are shops in plenty But pronoun by ...
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In a world of descriptivist dictionaries, how is linguistic relativism avoided in discussions?

“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” —Voltaire During discussions and debates, especially those of a more academic or technical nature, it is important to establish agreed upon ...
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491 views

Is this the right definition of literal?

I just asked whether dictionaries (specifically the OED) might, for one lemma, state several different definitions which are literal. And there seems to be some confusion about my use of 'literal' ...
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In the OED, are definitions that don't explictly indicate it is figurative use always with literal examples only, or can they be figurative?

In the OED, are definitions that don't explicitly indicate it is figurative use always with literal examples only, or can they be figurative? My recent answer has caused quite some confusion among ...
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1answer
73 views

In the OED, one definition has three explanations separated by a semicolon and two use 'with' in italics: what does it mean?

In the OED, oen definition has three explanations separated by a semicolon and two use 'with' in italics: do I have to use 'with' to use that definition? 'Crowd' a. To fill or occupy with a ...
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Axioms in English: If we try to find the root meaning of every English word in the dictionary,which word will we land on the most

Assume an alien has landed on Earth and wants to learn English with the help of an English Dictionary. He looks up the meaning of "the". Meaning of "the": "denoting one or more people or things ...
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How to find which adjectives modify which nouns?

I've always wanted to to find the answer to such questions as the following: Which adjectives are commonly used to describe pain? Which nouns are commonly modified by the adjective acute? You can ...
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1answer
53 views

Where can I find statistics about count of words starting by letter?

I have found only this statistic: Words by Length Words by First and Second Letter But I want to find words count which start by z and x (or any other letter) Does anybody know such stat?
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1answer
55 views

Cloudy pillar or pillar of cloud [closed]

Could someone help me understand the difference between a cloudy pillar and a pillar of cloud? I know they could be used synonymously, but I want to know if there is any discrapancy between the two in ...
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2answers
637 views

Is “deacceleratingly” a valid word?

Deaccelerate means the same as decelerate, though it seems to be a much less common alternative. I did not know this until recently, as I had used this alternative all my life. It just seemed logical ...
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1answer
137 views

There are how many types of dictionaries? [closed]

There are so many dictionaries e.g. unbridged, concise, bridge, etymological, etc.. So, can anyone please tell me. There are how many types of dictionaries and their usages. Even some site link ...
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Is “his husband” grammatically valid? [duplicate]

I was surprised to see "his husband" in the Cambridge dictionary’s entry for compliment: He complained that his husband never paid him any compliments anymore. Isn't that a grammatical ...
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4answers
372 views

Hyphenation (end-of-line division) of “Germany” and some other common words

I am currently trying to build a database of English words and their hyphenations (end-of-line divisions) (en-US, if it matters), and thereby have come across some words which I have found ...
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1answer
109 views

Use of “low” in a dictionary definition as a paralexical indicator

What is the meaning of "low" in this definition? puff, … 4. Life; existence: tailors' > (low) gen.: from ca. 1880. As in never in one's puff, never … In Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and ...
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364 views

What word describes the act of convincing someone to buy you a meal or drink?

The context of this question is as followed: I was in a meeting where two people had placed a bet on the outcome of an event. The deal was that the loser would buy the winner a drink. As they were ...
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797 views

Is waterfall a place or a fall of water?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines 'waterfall' in this way: water, especially from a river or stream, dropping from a higher to a lower point, sometimes from a great height. However, the Collins ...
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1answer
121 views

Difference between the -genous and -ginous word suffixes

I was wondering whether anyone knows the exact difference between the English suffixes -agenous and -aginous. I believe the difference is that the first suffix has to do with describing the rough ...
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1answer
438 views

Is “startlement” a word?

I have always thought that startlement is a word in the lexicon. But one day when I was writing in a google doc, I saw it underlined like a typo. I googled it to see if it was indeed a word, or a ...

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