The Dictionary

Try the world’s smartest, fastest dictionary.
Start typing a word and get instant results.

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.

Read friendly, easy-to-understand definitions.

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.

See millions of usage examples.

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.

Look up a word and learn it forever.

Learn words you look up in the dictionary by adding them to The Challenge. We’ll assign you the words so you can start mastering their meanings right away. Create vocabulary lists to keep track of the words you’re interested in and share your favorites with others.

choose your words

Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
ambiguous/ ambivalent

Something ambiguous is unclear or vague, like the end of a short story that leaves you scratching your head. But if you're ambivalent about something, you can take it or leave it. Whatever. Continue reading...

envy/ jealousy

It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy. Continue reading...

assume/ presume

Assume and presume both mean to believe something before it happens, but when you assume you're not really sure. If someone bangs on your door in the middle of the night, you might assume it's your crazy neighbor. If your neighbor knocks on your door every night at 6:30, at 6:29 you can presume she's coming over in a minute. Continue reading...

hone/ home

To hone is to sharpen a knife or perfect a skill. Home is where you live, where your stuff is, is where the heart is, and all that. Continue reading...

All Choose Your Words »
FEATURED WORD

symphony

A symphony is the name of a type of classical music (a long, complex sonata) and the large orchestra that plays that music.

If you go to a concert hall to see a piece of Beethoven or another composer, you're going to hear a symphony — a type of complicated, orchestral music played by a symphony orchestra. A symphony usually includes strings, horns, drums, piano and has a conductor to lead the group by waving a baton. You can also use this word as a comparison: A gorgeous spring day could be called a symphony of beauty and new life.