Questions tagged [dictionaries]

Questions about English dictionaries

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
87 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
37 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
2
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
122 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'" ...
5
votes
3answers
254 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
65 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
43 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
695 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
210 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 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....
1
vote
2answers
337 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

I wish to know meaning of phrase / expression wacky duck

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
32 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
22 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
19 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 ...
-1
votes
5answers
165 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-...
0
votes
2answers
108 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
39 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 "...
1
vote
4answers
93 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
589 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" ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 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 "...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

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?
0
votes
0answers
37 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
173 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?
8
votes
2answers
4k 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
28 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
46 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 ...
-1
votes
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://...
-1
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
102 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 - ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
64 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® ...
0
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
342 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

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?
-1
votes
2answers
311 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
460 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"...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 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, ...

1
2 3 4 5
7