Questions tagged [dictionaries]

For questions about English dictionaries

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
24
votes
5answers
5k views

How much should I trust Wiktionary?

My first reference that I use for English words is Wiktionary. I primarily do so because it's a not-for-profit project, so I don't have to worry about it suddenly charging for subscriptions, or that ...
18
votes
3answers
19k views

SB and STH in dictionaries

tell sb to do sth (Cambridge Learner's Dictionary) When I look in dictionaries, I often see the words sb and sth. Are these proper words? What do they mean? Can I use these words in my essays, for ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it wrong to hyphenate a phrasal verb like “log in” or is it a matter of style?

People log in to Facebook. In this sentence, if I change log in to log-in, will it be grammatically incorrect? Or the adding/omission of a hyphen is just a matter of style? The other thing is, if ...
7
votes
1answer
988 views

Looking for a 1000 most frequent english words

Is there a free list of 1000 most frequent words used in everyday English? If there is a list with usage examples (as each of those words has multiple meanings for sure, not to cound phrasal verbs), ...
7
votes
1answer
886 views

Is there a standard dictionary to use for vocabulary?

I have come across many kinds of English dictionaries like Oxford, Cambridge, Collins and other similar ones which are commonly used. Suppose I wanted to look for a word, apparently each of them gives ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Why do dictionaries not use capitalization in the beginning of their “sentences”?

When I look up a dictionary, the example sentences always use small letters at the beginning of the sentence. For examples: exacerbate make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse: the ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the meaning of “earthy”?

Earthy : referring to sex and the human body in a direct way Example: She has an earthy sense of humor. I don't understand the example with the meaning. I got this from Cambridge Dictionary.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is 'The reason is because …' redundant?

[Source:] The phrase "the reason is" implies a causal relationship between two events or states. For example, the reason that the wagon is red is that I painted it with red paint. I could also ...
4
votes
1answer
287 views

Meaning of 'stark'

What is the meaning of stark? I have got from Cambridge dictionary: empty, simple or obvious, especially without decoration or anything which is not necessary; severe or extreme Simple and severe ...
4
votes
1answer
344 views

acreage - measured in acres or not?

I've encountered a contradiction in different dictionaries regarding the definition of acreage. Oxford Dictionary says An area of land, typically when used for agricultural purposes, but not ...
4
votes
6answers
202 views

does stutter only refer to speech?

Can an action be stuttered? Or is it only referring to talking only? I see in the dictionary that it means to speak in such a way that the rhythm is interrupted by repetitions. What if an action is ...
3
votes
1answer
387 views

Pronunciations of “class” as found in Collins American English Dictionary

The Collins American English Dictionary gives class two pronunciations, presumably with respect to American English. Does this mean American English speakers use both equally and that both are okay?...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are the syllables in “elephant” divided in two different ways?

When I'm using Merriam-Webster dictionary to confirm the pronunciation and I found out that the syllables divided in the word and its phonetic are different. For example, elephant, and experience. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Pronunciation symbols of the American Heritage Dictionary

The American Heritage Dictionary describes pronunciation with symbols unfamiliar to me. Do Americans have no difficulty reading these symbols, which are so different from IPA’s? : American Heritage ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Valid line breaks in adverbs “…ly” in US English? [closed]

According to Merriam-Webster and Oxford online dictionaries for AmE, the right way to hyphenate "mathematically" is "math·e·mat·i·cal·ly". However, some style guides for AmE insist on never leaving ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

‘Biscuit’ as modifier, according to the online OED

If you look up the word ‘biscuit’ in the Oxford online dictionary, you'll see this biscuit noun 1   British     A small baked unleavened cake, typically crisp, flat, and ...
2
votes
3answers
240 views

How to find proper phrasal verbs or idioms for the sentence you're translating?

Let's assume you're translating a sentence. You can translate everything in English but sometimes there are idioms and phrasal verbs that you can use to make your sentnce more clear and compact. e.g., ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Meaning of 'to' in the dictionaries [closed]

The word 'set' is defined in certain dictionaries as: [OED] put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position [Random House] to put (something or someone) in a particular place The ...
2
votes
2answers
269 views

A dictionary that gives usage frequencies for each meaning of a phrase and word

Is there a dictionary (preferably on-line) that would offer usage frequency information for each possible meaning of a word or phrase? I mean more detailed than the usual marking of some meanings (...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Local English-English dictionaries [closed]

Are there local English-English dictionaries, for example, Aussies, Kiwis, etc their own? I guess there may be some good needs or reasons to upload their own vocabularies and pronunciations, but I’ve ...
2
votes
1answer
311 views

Which verbs can be used with possessive pronouns?

The OALD says "some verbs can be used with both a noun phrase and an 'ing phrase'. The frame for this is <somebody>/<something> doing <something>. and, (1) the noun phrase can be ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Is *fixate* a modern word, though OLD doesn't include it?

OLD has definitions for fixated, fixative, but not fixate. This suggests that fixate is not a normal, modern word that one can use in everyday speech or writing... Is this right? Note: ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

sentence from Cambridge dictionary: ‘his’ vs. ‘he'

Is this sentence from Cambridge dictionary correct? He was there and saw what happened, so his is the only authentic account. (from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/...
1
vote
1answer
939 views

is 'worthful' a word?

Though I have heard 'worthful' in some usages and also I have checked it in the Meriam-Webster website, I am still in doubt if it is a formal word, because lots of the grammar checkers show it as ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What do these [Greek alphabet] forms in the OED signify?

I underlined them in red beneath. Screenshot:
1
vote
4answers
86 views

How do I understand Labels & Codes [ C or U ] in Cambridge dictionary correctly?

in Cambridge dictionary, [C] refers to Countable noun: a noun that has a plural [U] refers to Uncountable or singular noun: a noun that has no plural. What does [ C or U ] mean? Take this (...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

how do you use merriam webster dictionary?

I have a problem using Merriam-Webster dictionary. I can't use it properly. For example, if we search for Cramped in Google it says uncomfortably small or restricted. But I can't find any meaning ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Reference for the level of formality of words and expressions

I often wonder how formal a words or expression is (e.g. Is “by way of conclusion" more formal than "In conclusion"?). Is there some comprehensive reference that would list the level of ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is the relationship between the sub-items and the main one on Oxford Dictionary?

Oxford Dictionary (https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/just) gives a bunch of definitions about “just” there are 3 sub-items in 4th item, one of them is pointed out by blue rectangle in the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is there any free word-frequency dictionary?

Sometimes, despite I can see the meaning of a word in a dictionary, I don't know which variation of a word has the most application? For example, I find the word loathed in a text and I find it in an ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Is there a way to not use bilingual dictionaries when I try to think in English?

Is there a way to not use bilingual dictionaries when I try to think in English? For the physical objects of the world (such as a rafter, a scraper, a condenser, etc.) I can use visual dictionaries. ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Is there a dictionary, that describe a slight difference between synonyms? [closed]

For example, there are three synonyms "concern", "relate to", "be about". Is there a dictionary, that describe a slight difference between them?
0
votes
1answer
425 views

Roots of words. How better learn every word in English? [closed]

I'm learning English. For the first five years it was a school program, a gramma. I bring from this, that I don't know language very well, because, simply, do not know words. I'm partially remember ...
0
votes
1answer
439 views

How to choose the meaning of words from many meanings to prepare for tests

To increase my vocabulary i collect word from my daily study and then find them into Cambridge dictionary. But one word has many meaning. It is sometimes hard to memorize all of them and it is also ...
0
votes
2answers
905 views

Why isn't there a structure of “express something (to somebody)” in the dictionary?

Ok, now, in Oxford dictionary: to express: to show or make known a feeling, an opinion, etc. by words, looks or actions source so they got the structure "express something", ex: "Teachers have ...
0
votes
1answer
665 views

What's “(oft) with poss”?

Both [with poss] and [oft with poss] are instructions in Collins Dictionary. I can understand "oft" = "often", but what is "poss"? The dictionary doesn't give an answer, at least I didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Online English dictionaries which group words with identical roots together

I am wondering whether there are out there online English dictionaries which group words with identical roots together to simplify learning. For example when I learn verb "subdue" it would be great ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

When Americans hear a word he doesn't know, how they can find the word in a dictionary?

English is can be pronounced different way in many cases. I've been wondering how they can search the word at a dictionary? For example, if somebody heard the word "talk", it sounds like "tok" If he ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Are there dictionaries which classify words by UK and USA usage?

Are there dictionaries which classify words by UK and USA usage? This question supposes that there are words which are mainly used in the UK while others are used in the USA. Based on that, there ...
0
votes
1answer
339 views

Why is “jewel-bright” not found in the dictionaries?

Why can I not find "jewel-bright" in the dictionaries? Is it a set phrase? The meaning is as bright as a jewel, isn't it? The context wherein I found it: Twenty minutes later, they left Eeylops ...
0
votes
1answer
313 views

Literary words vs Formal English and Archaisms

Due to my previous question about the difference between terms I would like to also know about the way literary words work, especially in written English, formal English and with taking the archaisms ...
0
votes
3answers
446 views

Apartment as a type of house

As far as I know home is the place where you live such as a house or an apartment. So apartment is a type/subcategory of home as mentioned in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and its picture. ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

“Virtually” and wiktionary

I read Ordinary language, as most of us are at least vaguely aware, serves various functions in our day-to-day lives. The twentieth-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein thought the number of ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Can I say: “This server is healthy.” knowing that “server” is a material thing?

I was wondering, is it proper to say: "This server is healthy." knowing that "server" (https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/server) is a material thing? Thank you!
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to understand this definition sentence

arrogance:​the behaviour of a person when they feel that they are more important than other people, so that they are rude to them or do not consider them Oxford learner's dictionary I think the ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Article or no article. The word “Stage”

How to understand whether it is necessary to put the article before this word and before other words like this? Dictionaries like this(enter link description here) don't give explanations or something ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

What do you call a coined term like “Cobra effect”?

Looked on wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cobra_effect and it just says it's a noun. How do you look for coined words on Wiktionary. I want to search for coined words instead of ordinary ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What are the dictionaries that shows the meaning of words from the common to the less common meaning?

What are the online dictionaries that shows the meaning of words from the most common to the less common meaning? Normally I use the following dictionaries: Cambridge dictionary Oxford dictionary ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What does “This account may be true in itself” mean? [closed]

I don't understand what the sentence below say, please help me. in and of itself It is also put simply as in itself, as in: “This account may be true in itself.” Reference: http://www....
0
votes
1answer
836 views

What is the meaning of 'N-PLURAL' in the Collins COBUILD dictionary? [duplicate]

N-PLURAL represents plural noun according to the explanation in the Collins COBUILD dictionary. Can I interpret it as a noun that is countable but unable to be used in singular form and only able to ...