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Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

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1answer
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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 ...
11
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3answers
497 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-...
1
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1answer
44 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 ...
3
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1answer
48 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 ...
4
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2answers
217 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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1answer
72 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
209 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' ...
0
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2answers
86 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
63 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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0answers
45 views

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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2answers
48 views

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
38 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?
0
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1answer
32 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 ...
2
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2answers
123 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 ...
0
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1answer
35 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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3answers
4k views

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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1answer
64 views

“descriptivist” and/or “prescriptivist” dictionaries [closed]

Early dictionaries told people how to use language (prescriptivist), first in England ~ 400 years ago, then in America. In the ~ 1960's America, the 'descriptivist' dictionaries came to the fore. ...
3
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1answer
155 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 ...
2
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1answer
48 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 ...
0
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2answers
176 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 ...
1
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1answer
237 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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0answers
48 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 ...
2
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1answer
158 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 ...
4
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3answers
148 views

The recent invention of the word “heterosexual”

I read an article on the BBC whose title caught my interest. It's called "The invention of heterosexuality". It's quite a lengthy article, and goes through what it claims is the very short history of ...
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2answers
391 views

Is the Concise Oxford Dictionary British English?

Last year I submitted a manuscript to a journal. The guidelines said that it can be written in British English or in American English, but not mixed. So I chose British English. Now I must resubmit ...
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2answers
1k views

What does boop/boope means? (Is it a valid word)

I didn't find this word: boop/boope in dictionary. But I heard it many times in life. I want to know the meaning of this word and can this word be used in a "cute" context? I want to buy a domain ...
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0answers
52 views

Is there a term for noises which CAN'T be written as normal text?

Hard to give examples, as if I'm able to do it, I won't be asking this, but consider some sounds made by the tongue. I'm giving examples of sounds which CAN be written to give you an idea: Dog ...
0
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1answer
715 views

What is the past simple and past participle of spit? Each online dictionary has different form

Cambridge: past tense and past participle : here is the cambridge link:spat.https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/spit#british-1-1-2 Oxford:spits, spitting, spat, spitted Oxford link :...
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1answer
100 views

For those who use American English, how do you use your dictionary for this? [closed]

Please DO NOT answer this question if you use British English. You might help by answering the other question I posted just before this one. I have found examples suggesting there is a fundamental ...
0
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1answer
242 views

Missing definition of “night and day”

I am trying to see if the colloquial usage of night and day is non-standard and is improper register, or if it is simply an ommitted definition in the dictionaries: night and day: Describing a ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Do AmE and BrE dictionaries treat compound adjectives differently?

My (BrE) OED and (AmE) dictionary.com both list the adjective 'middle-class' with a hyphen. The OED provides these examples: a middle-class attitude The magazine is very middle-class. The (AmE)...
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3answers
259 views

Does “liege” mean master or servant?

Searching online, I see the two definitions for liege (noun) given by Merriam-Webster a: a vassal bound to feudal service and allegiance b: a loyal subject a feudal superior to whom ...
3
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1answer
48 views

Did the verb “to start” originally mean “to spring involuntarily” or “to begin”?

I looked up the word "start" recently on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, and I seem to remember that the order of definitions is historical: the first historical definition comes first, followed ...
1
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1answer
45 views

Phrase “If you don't go, I will not go”

I am trying to find a term/word for the phrase "If you do not go, I will not go" in the context of trying to put pressures on others to attend events. I have begun to hear this heavily as we approach ...
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0answers
24 views

Specific vocabulary request for a family of words [duplicate]

This is my first question on this website, so I hope I don't embarrass myself. While I was helping my friend study for the GRE exam, I noticed that a lot of the vocabulary lists contained two word ...
1
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1answer
358 views

Is 'deconfigured' a valid English word or could you suggest an alternative

I am writing an IT technical report and raising an issue in it, generally using a passive voice. I am struggling to find a phrase that is concise, does not have an alternative or confusing meaning yet ...
2
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2answers
261 views

“Languish” meaning: Cambridge or Oxford? [closed]

I was trying to look up the meaning of the word "Languish", and as usual, I looked it up using Cambridge Online Dictionary, and got the meaning: to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often ...
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1answer
232 views

Why do online dictionaries not include a definition for the phrase “Thanks a mint”? [closed]

Granted, "Thanks a mint" is an old timey phrase from when people said quaint things like 23 skidoo. But search engines do return instances of people still using the phrase, and the Google question ...
1
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1answer
64 views

A possessive affix for words ending in 've'?

I was playing with my spell-checker, and decided to download up-to-date English (British) dictionaries from there. One of the files that is essential for spell-checkers, in addition to the .dic files ...
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0answers
87 views

How do you say “to brown-bag it” in your neck of the woods?

Is the North American phrase "to brown-bag it"--which means to take a packed lunch to work, school, etc.--used or at least readily understood in the UK and other English-speaking countries? How would ...
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2answers
1k views

Single word for copy paste errors [closed]

Is there a single word for copy paste errors? Just like "typo"
2
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1answer
2k views

What does the abbreviation 'compl.' mean in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

*Note: One might (understandably) think my question off-topic because the OED should list the abbreviations it uses, and if not, surely Google will have the answer. Please bear with me while I explain....
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1answer
507 views

Open source word database with semantic information

I am looking for an open source word database for French and English that contain information beyond the grammatical category (noun, verb, etc). I need information such as whether a word is an object, ...
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1answer
336 views

Why do dictionaries transcribe the nasal in 'think' and 'language' with /ŋ/, yet 'input' and 'inbox' with /n/, not /m/?

In English, coda nasals assimilate to the following consonant, so 'n' in "in mail" and "own goal" is pronounced with [m] and [ŋ] respectively, right? If so, then why do most dictionaries transcribe ...
2
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1answer
484 views

Why does the Cambridge Dictionary use /eɪ/ for the vowel sound in “Sea Bass”?

Why does the Cambridge Dictionary use /eɪ/ as the vowel sound in bass in "Sea Bass"? Is this caused by the plosive sound of B? I think my ear is not distorted. It should be: Sea Bass = /ˈsiː ...
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1answer
60 views

Need help understanding act and process for the definition of communication?

When I looked up the word "communication" at www.dictionary.com, it gave the following meaning below: the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated. My question is based on the ...
3
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1answer
163 views

“for the nonce” in dictionaries

I've seen that "for the nonce", which doesn't appear very often in the online versions of dictionaries, is just designated as "somewhat formal" in Merriam-Webster and not designated in the Oxford ...
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0answers
267 views

Figurative use of words

I love creative writing and especially figurative language. So, very often I dig dictionaries to find the idiomatic uses of words that would potentially 'add spice' in a way I want. All dictionaries ...
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0answers
45 views

Is there an online resource or software application that can tell if a noun is derived from a verb?

Is there an online resource or software application that can tell if a noun is derived from a verb? I tried some online dictionaries without success.
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2answers
494 views

What does “a grand scheme of themes” mean?

Here, from "The all-conquering Wikipedia?" in the Times Literary Supplement, is the sentence, with context provided by the surrounding paragraph: Equally seriously, a listicle with entries of near-...