Finally, a dictionary with a soul.

Our dictionary was written for humans, by humans. Look up a word, and you’ll read a friendly explanation that you'll actually remember. It’s as if your favorite teacher were explaining it to you.

Real world examples, hot off the presses.

Read thousands of example sentences from current newspapers, magazines, and literature. We show you how words live in the wild and give you usage tips so that you're more confident about using the words you learn.

Try the world’s smartest, fastest dictionary.

Find the word you’re looking for faster than with any other online dictionary. Just start typing a word and our 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.

axis

An axis is a straight line, sometimes seen, sometimes not, that is important in mathematics, art, science and our survival. The most famous axis is the one the earth spins around, giving us the 24-hour day.

In graphs, one side is usually the "X axis" and the other the "Y axis." Axis lines are also the lines that run through spheres, like our earth, around which those spheres rotate. In a totally different area, axis is used to describe countries in an alliance. In World War II, Germany, Japan and Italy were known as the Axis Powers. More recently, George W. Bush referred to Iraq, Iran, and North Korean as an Axis of Evil.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

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.
read more...

abhorrent/ aberrant

Abhorrent describes something truly horrible like finding a dead rat in your soup, but something aberrant is just abnormal, like a cat in a pink fedora.
read more...

elusive/ illusive

An elusive fairy is one you can't catch, but an illusive one was never really there at all. It was just an illusion!
read more...

pore/ pour

A pore is small opening in a surface that lets stuff through. To pour, on the other hand, means to flow continuously and rapidly. read more...

lose/ loose

Lose sounds like snooze. If you lose something, you don’t have it anymore. Add an “o” and loose rhymes with goose and describes something that’s not attached. read more...

precede/ proceed

These two words have similar sounds. They also have similar definitions, encompassing an idea of forward movement. This leads to some confusion. read more...

See all Choose Your Words articles »
Header Photo Credit: Ben Cooper, Launch Photography