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.

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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.

horizontal

The opposite of vertical, something horizontal is arranged sideways, like a person lying down.

When you sleep (unless you're a horse), your body is horizontal: horizontal things are parallel to the ground or running in the same direction as the horizon. If you stack books horizontally, then they're on their side. You hear a lot about horizontal lines in geometry: If you picture a square, the top and bottom lines are horizontal lines.

Choose your words

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

insidious/ invidious

Neither insidious nor invidious are happy words: insidious describes something that lies in wait to get you, and invidious is something offensive or defamatory. Cancer can be insidious, lurking in your body without your knowing it. Invidious doesn’t hide; it’s hateful right away.
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morbid/ moribund

Morbid describes something gruesome, like smallpox or Frankenstein's monster. Moribund refers to the act of dying. Goths love both. What fun!
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principal/ principle

If offered a choice, would you rather have principles or principals?
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indict/ indite

If you're using indite to talk about people being formally accused of lawbreaking, you're using the wrong word: it's indict. read more...

endemic/ epidemic

Endemic and epidemic are both words that diseases love, but something endemic is found in a certain placeand is ongoing, and epidemic describes a disease that’s widespread. read more...

appraise/ apprise

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. read more...

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