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.

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.
unexceptional/ unexceptionable

Clearly, past writers have confused the meanings of unexceptional and unexceptionable to an extent that meanings are expanding. Continue reading...

peddle/ pedal/ petal

Sometimes the only way to choose your words with homophones is to memorize their spellings and meanings. Pedal/peddle/petal is one such set of homophones. Continue reading...

incredible/ incredulous

Incredible describes something you can’t believe because it’s so right, like an incredible double rainbow. Incredulous describes how you feel when you can’t believe something because it’s so wrong, like when someone tells you leprechauns left two pots of gold. Continue reading...

medal/ meddle/ mettle

Here we have a trio of words that sound the same (at least in American English) but mean very different things: medal, meddle, and mettle. Continue reading...

All Choose Your Words »


If you get into trouble in England, don't ask for a lawyer. Find a solicitor. England has two levels of attorneys: for big problems, you'll need a barrister, but for your hypothetical legal troubles, a solicitor should do nicely.

Some highly place attorneys in the U.S. are also called solicitors. The lawyer in charge of government cases that come before the Supreme Court is the Solicitor General, and that was Elena Kagan's job before President Barack Obama appointed her to the Supreme Court. Solicitor isn’t always a privileged position. The person who knocks on your door asking you to contribute to some worthy cause is also a solicitor — someone who asks for — or solicits — donations.