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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Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
disassemble/ dissemble

Disassemble is to take something apart, like an old car motor, but dissemble is sneaky — it means to hide your true self, like the guy who said he was a mechanic but had never actually seen a motor, much less put one back together. Continue reading...

pitiable/ pitiful/ piteous/ pitiless

We don't often look at four words that can be easily confused for each other, but this pack is an exception. Continue reading...

reluctant/ reticent

Reluctant means resisting or unwilling, while reticent means quiet, restrained, or unwilling to communicate. Is it a distinction worth preserving? Continue reading...

prostate/ prostrate

Oh, for the want of a letter! Prostate is a gland found in male mammals, but prostrate, with an r, means to lie face down. Get them mixed up and you’ll thoroughly confuse your doctor. Continue reading...

All Choose Your Words »
FEATURED WORD

proofread

To proofread is to look over a piece of writing for errors, watching out for spelling mistakes and grammar problems. If you don’t proofread your work, you might write “ham” instead of “harm” and confuse the heck out of your reader.

By the time you proofread a piece of writing, it should be almost done. It’s the very last step of the writing process after drafting, editing, and revising. To proofread is to look at the little details of a piece of writing, such as spelling, word choice, formatting, and sentence structure. When you proofread, you look for errors and fix them. You can proofread your own work, but sometimes it’s good to get someone else to proofread what you've written.