A Macmillan Dictionary can provide a great deal of useful information about words and phrases, but sometimes it can be difficult to navigate.You can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what a dictionary entry contains on this page.

For definitions of any terms you are unfamiliar with, please consult our Glossary of Dictionary Terms.

What is a dictionary entry?

In dictionaries, one entry describes a particular word or phrase.


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.It is not provided for phrasal verbs, phrases, and pieces of text added to the crowdsourced Open Dictionary (e.g., autofiction).The pronunciation of a compound is usually recorded but not its IPA transcription since that can be looked up separately for each part of the compound.

You can see a word's inflection by opening the "Word Forms" <7> box.

The form of a red star *8> is shown next to a red headword indicating how frequently the word occurs.Red Words and Stars provides more detailed information about word frequencies in Macmillan Dictionary.

How are meanings shown?

Each sense of a word is shown separately in separate brackets *9.Subsenses that are very closely related to the main meaning are shown in subsenses <10> (see further down the page for this) so that the connection is clear.Occasionally, derived words*11> are included.It is a set of words related to the headword whose meaning can be inferred without further explanation.You'll find them at the bottom of the entry.

The top of the page will also include very brief definitions of words with five or more senses, along with links to the senses.By navigating to the right part of this entry, you will be able to identify the meaning you need for understanding a word in a particular context.


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Additionally, most entries explain how the word is used by giving examples.

What other types of information are included?

A Thesaurus *13> link appears next to each sense in the dictionary to one or more synonyms and related words.If you click the link, you will be directed to the Macmillan Thesaurus website, where you can access every entry in the list and browse for the best synonym or related term to use.


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.Also included in this box are links to compound headwords, idiomatic phrases, and phrasal verbs (*14>) containing the headword, so the entries related to the headword are immediately visible.


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Additional information may be contained in the entries, such as information on a word's origin (in "Word Stories"), grammar and usage, collocations, related vocabulary, and metaphorical meanings.

What do the different parts tell us about the entry?

At the top of many entries, you will find one, two, or three red stars.English words with three red stars are among the most frequently used words, words with two stars are common, and words with one star are common.The entries with no stars are the less frequent words in English.

When Macmillan Dictionary was first written, lexicographers strictly adhered to a Defining Vocabulary comprising 2,500 words.A dictionary online reduces the importance of having a defining vocabulary because every lexical word used in the definition is linked to its definition, making it easier for users to find the meaning of unfamiliar terms.Nevertheless, Macmillan Dictionary's lexicographers stick to the principle of writing definitions in the simplest way possible so that less experienced English users can easily understand them.

Almost every sense in Macmillan Dictionary contains an example of the word's use in that sense.These examples are drawn from a large corpus of contemporary English, which contains many millions of examples.These examples are often edited or shortened to fit in a dictionary, but they provide authentic examples of how the word is used.These examples are often preceded by information about collocation and syntax: how words combine, and with what type of structure they can be used.

Every definition in Macmillan Dictionary is linked to the Macmillan Thesaurus, a unique and diverse resource that was developed at the same time as the Dictionary.You will see "Synonyms and related words" at the end of each sense and subsense.This link will take you to thesaurus entry for the definition. .A sense of bargain with the meaning "an agreement" links to the thesaurus entry "Agreements and agreements", where you will find links to senses with the same meaning, such as "deal," "contract," and "agreement.".

Labels tell you if a word is used in a particular context in Macmillan Dictionary. .On this page, you can find a list of all labels.

Resources: At the end of many entries, you will find sections that provide additional information about the heading and help with its use.

Content submitted by users: The Open Dictionary is Macmillan Dictionary's crowdsourced dictionary. Users are invited to submit entries for words, meanings, and phrases not found in the dictionary. These are evaluated to determine whether they are accepted and used enough, and accepted entries are published regularly.

It is possible that an Open Dictionary entry may be "promoted" and its author acknowledged. You can submit an entry to the Open Dictionary by clicking on the button that says "Contribute to our Open Dictionary".

Glossary of dictionary terms

Dictionary terms are also listed alphabetically in the Macmillan Dictionary's glossary: words you may see when using dictionaries or hearing people talk about them.


Useful links

For further information on Macmillan Dictionary, please visit the following pages: