What are the meanings of dot in word what show in Oxford Dictionary advanced learners for mobile (licensed subscription)?

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Example word: ability . Web version of Oxford dictionary for advanced learners has not this dot. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/ability_1?q=ability .

Why it is not a - bi - li - ty? What are benefit of this dot for English learners?

Related link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oup.elt.oald10_gp

  • I'd guess it indicates hyphenation (abil-ity), but you should check the documentation.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 7, 2023 at 12:53
  • I see stress mark at b, I don't understand why it is not a-BIL-ity . Stress mark made dot character irrationale, and I don't understand.
    – Vy Do
    Sep 7, 2023 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


They are word division dots.

From merriam-webster.com,

Within a dictionary entry, the dots that break up a word are known as end-of-line division dots. These dots indicate where the word can be broken if it doesn't fit on a line of text.

The word ability therefore according to this system, can be broken down (while writing not reading and only if there are no spaces left in the same line) as: abil-ity and cannot be as a-bility or abili-ty

Also see this english SE post

  • But why are these word division dots present in the mobile version of the dictionary and not in the web version? Is there a way to enable/disable them? Does the dictionary have anywhere explaining them?
    – Showsni
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:46

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