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.
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...

alternate/ alternative

To alternate is to take turns; an alternative is an option. When you wear your checkered blazer, the black and white squares alternate. But if you’re not feeling like an ’80s guitar hero, the green plaid jacket is a nice alternative. Continue reading...

ado/ adieu

An ado is a fuss, and adieu is French for farewell. They sound similar but aren't exactly twins. Ado sounds like "uh-doo" and adieu is like "a-dyoo," you know, in a cool French accent. Continue reading...

exercise/ exorcise

While both words can refer to ways to get rid of something — belly fat, Satan — that's where the similarities end. Exercise is physical activity but to exorcise is to cast out evil. Continue reading...

All Choose Your Words »
FEATURED WORD

founding

Founding is the act of starting something new. The founding of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a boarding school for girls in South Africa, was possible because of Oprah's massive donation of money toward the cause.

A founder is someone responsible for founding or getting something started. In American history, the Founding Fathers were responsible for establishing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. These political leaders, including George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, were instrumental in initiating, or founding American Independence.