The Dictionary

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Our dictionary zeroes in on the word you’re looking for and its meaning faster than any other online dictionary. Just start typing a word and the dictionary will display the most likely results. We want you to find the word’s definition as quickly as possible, without having to look through a lot of clutter.

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Our dictionary goes beyond definitions. We explain words in a way you can easily understand. For most vocabulary words, you'll find explanations that break down meanings using language that is clear, accessible, and fun to read.

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The best way to understand a word is to see examples of its use “in the wild.” For every word in the dictionary you’ll find examples from real-world sources, covering everything from literature to breaking news. We have tens of millions of example sentences, and we’re adding more every day.

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choose your words

Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
principal/ principle

If offered a choice, would you rather have principles or principals? Continue reading...

indict/ indite

If you're using indite to talk about people being formally accused of lawbreaking, you're using the wrong word: it's indict. Continue reading...

endemic/ epidemic

Endemic and epidemic are both words that diseases love, but something endemic is found in a certain placeand is ongoing, and epidemic describes a disease that’s widespread. Continue reading...

appraise/ apprise

To appraise is to estimate the value of something, but remove the second “a,” and you have apprise, which means “to tell.” If you hire someone to appraise your house, you might have to apprise your family of the fact that you now owe the bank more than your house is worth. Continue reading...

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FEATURED WORD

innovator

Innovators innovate — that is, they create new ideas or ways of doing things. The Wright brothers were the ultimate innovators: they were the first to fly.

The Unites States has a reputation as a country of innovators because, for generations, many of the world's most exciting new ideas came from its people and companies. Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Mark Zuckerberg: these are just three of the innovators who pioneered whole new technologies and industries. No one had thought the way they did before. Anyone who blazes a trail into new territory can be an innovator — athletes, artists, business people, and chefs, to name just a few.