Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

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1answer
38 views

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

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
74 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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3answers
12k views

Descent, Ancestry, Lineage

Please help me with the words 'descent', 'ancestry', and 'lineage'. Dictionaries show that they are loosely the same: 1a. He has German descent. 1b. He is of German descent. 2a. He has ...
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1answer
37 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
84 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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4answers
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Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English

Some languages have a "regulatory body" issuing recommendations and guidelines regarding the use of that language. For example in the case of Spanish it's the Real Academia Española whose status is ...
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1answer
133 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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1answer
706 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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2answers
15k views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
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2answers
51 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
37 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
35 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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American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's home-made-English-spelling-...
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2answers
236 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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2answers
826 views

How do you pronounce these Greek letters in English dictionary definitions?

Dictionary definitions for the English language usually have the word spelled out in Greek letters to indicate how the word is pronounced phonetically. Examples highlighted: What are these Greek ...
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1answer
35 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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0answers
57 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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1answer
69k views

Is “Customizable” a valid English word? [closed]

Is the word "Customizable" a valid English word? Every time I write that word, the spell checker underlines it, and it suggests using "Customization" or "Customize". I'm not a native English speaker, ...
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3answers
67 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
2k 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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1answer
93 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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3answers
72 views

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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3answers
6k views

Is esquivalience now a bona fide word?

Today, I came across WP's entry for the word esquivalience: "Esquivalience" is a fictitious entry in the New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD), which was designed and included to protect copyright ...
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5answers
386 views

What are comparative strong points of online dictionaries and other useful reference sites?

NOTE: This question was composed in an attempt to follow Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions. I hope I do not fail them too hard, but if you see how the question can be improved please edit it ...
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1answer
57 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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3answers
582 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
52 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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3answers
2k views

Is the Word Homeopathy Used Inappropriately?

It seems this word is used synonymously with home cures, whereas the definition is much more specific, and also more detracting. The definition from Merriam-Webster: Homeopathy a system for ...
3
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1answer
57 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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4answers
5k views

What is the word for the reflected sun light?

I can't remember what is the word for those funny light spots created when you take a mirror or any reflecting surface and make a spot of light that can be moved all over the room, walls, etc. Does ...
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2answers
385 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
79 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 ...
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1answer
7k views

Why is “exhorbitant” a common mis-spelling of “exorbitant”?

I discovered that my natural (British English) spelling of "exorbitant" added an "h", and upon looking it up on oxforddictionaries.com discovered that it is a common mis-spelling. Can you help me ...
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3answers
373 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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2answers
59 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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2answers
88 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 ...
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1answer
71 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
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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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1answer
42 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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6k views

Is there a kind of “official” dictionary for the English language?

Context 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. ...
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0answers
593 views

What is the meaning of formal behavior? [closed]

I've looked in the dictionaries and I looked in Dictionary.com for "Formal" and it says "excessively ceremonious" what would ceremonious mean? According to the dictionary it says "following ceremony" ...
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1answer
38 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
216 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
52 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
5k 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
512 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 ...
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4answers
763 views

How to choose the meaning of a word from many meanings [closed]

To increase my vocabulary, I collect words from my daily study and then find them in the Cambridge dictionary. But one word has many meanings. It is sometimes hard to memorize all of them, and it is ...
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1answer
91 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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2answers
268 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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1answer
404 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 ...