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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Don’t torture yourself trying to remember the difference between tortuous and torturous. Tortuous describes something like the long and winding road. But torturous is what a room full of masochists might say: “Torture us!” It describes something painful, like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Continue reading...
A student who is fascinated with the causes of disease and death might decide to go to medical school and become a pathologist.
A medical doctor who performs autopsies to learn how patients died is a pathologist. Other pathologists trace illness back to their root causes, or diagnose diseases such as cancer. When a doctor decides to to become a pathologist, her field is called "pathology." The Greek root of both words is pathologikos, "treating of disease," which combines pathos, "suffering," with logia, "study, or the study of."