Macmillan Dictionary has a great deal of valuable information about words and also phrases – information that sometimes can be an overwhelming to navigate. Top top this web page we administer answers to few of the commonly asked questions about what a dictionary entry includes.

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If there are any terms you space not familiar with, you could find our Glossary of thesaurus Terms helpful.

What is a dictionary entry?

A dictionary entry is a set of details that explains a word or phrase.


A common entry in Macmillan Dictionary is composed of: a headword <1>, i m sorry is presented in either black or red at the optimal of the entry; information around the word"s an interpretation or meanings, dubbed definition(s) <2>. In ~ the top of the entrance you have the right to see the number of meanings <3> listed; information around the word"s grammatical behaviour: word course <4> and also any various other relevant grammatical information.

At the peak of the entry over there is an symbol for the headword"s talked pronunciation <5> and also the phonetic transcription that the word"s pronunciation (using the global Phonetic Alphabet or IPA signs <6>). This information is not provided for unit volume verbs, phrases, and entries that are included to the crowdsourced Open dictionary (e.g. autofiction). Compouns will frequently have videotaped pronunciations yet not IPA transcriptions since those deserve to be looked up separately at the contributing parts of the headword.

The word"s inflections have the right to be viewed by opened the "Word Forms" <7> box.

When a headword is shown in red, beside it girlfriend will find information around how frequent words is, in the kind of red stars <8>. The Red Words and Stars page provides an ext detailed information around word frequency in Macmillan Dictionary.

How are definitions shown?

If a indigenous has much more than one meaning, this are presented in separate numbered senses <9>. Definitions that are very closely pertained to the main meaning are presented in subsenses <10> (see further down the web page for this) so that the link is clear. Part entries save derived words <11>. These space words pertained to the headword whose meaning is clear sufficient not to require a definition. These are found at the bottom of the entry.

Words the have 5 or more meanings will likewise include an extremely brief interpretations at the top of the page, with links to the pertinent senses. These "menus" can help identify the definition you need for expertise a indigenous in a particular context, too as aid navigate come the correct component of the entry come find more detailed information.


Most entries also give one or an ext examples <12> of exactly how the native is used. Words that belong come so-called "decoding" vocabulary will certainly not encompass an example; high-frequency words will always have at the very least one instance to show how words is provided in context.

What other varieties of details are included?

Every feeling in the dictionary consists of a Thesaurus <13> attach to one or more lists the synonyms and related words. Clicking on this link will take you to the list on the Macmillan Thesaurus website, and also from over there you can accessibility every entry in the list and also browse because that the best synonym or connected term to use.


If a word belongs to more than one indigenous class, for example if that is both a verb and also a noun (e.g. question (noun) / question (verb)), or a noun, one adjective and a verb (pink (noun) / pink (adjective) / pink (verb)), this are shown in separate entries on different pages, with links in a box on the best of the display screen (desktop) or in ~ the optimal of the entrance (mobile). This box additionally contains web links to compound headwords, idiomatic phrases and also phrasal verbs <14> include the headword, so the entries pertained to the headword are immediately visible.


Some entries contain extr information, because that example around a word"s origin (in a "Word Story"), grammar and also usage, collocations, related vocabulary and metaphorical meanings.

What carry out the different parts call us about the entry?

Frequency: in ~ the top of countless entries you will see one, two or 3 red stars. A word with three red stars is just one of the most constant words in English, two-star words are frequent and also one-star words are fairly common. If an entry has actually no stars it is among the less regular words in English.

Definitions: Macmillan dictionary was originally written making use of a strict defining Vocabulary, a list of 2,500 words that lexicographers stuck to as closely as feasible when composing definitions. An online dictionary makes a defining vocabulary much less essential, due to the fact that every vocabulary word used in every definition is connected to its dictionary entry, meaning that users deserve to easily uncover the interpretations of unfamiliar words. However, Macmillan Dictionary"s vocabulary still follow the rule of writing definitions in the simplest way possible so the they can quickly be construed by less advanced users of English.

Examples: many senses in Macmillan dictionary have one or much more examples the illustrate just how the native is provided with the meaning. These examples are selected from a substantial corpus or database containing many millions of examples of modern English as it is used roughly the world. Examples are frequently shortened or edited to make them perfect for usage in a dictionary, however they carry out authentic models of just how the word is used. Plenty of examples are preceded by information around collocation and also syntax: just how words combine and which frameworks they deserve to be used with.

Synonyms and related words: Every definition in Macmillan dictionary is linked to the Macmillan Thesaurus, a unique and rich resource that was arisen at the same time as the Dictionary and also in conjunction through it. In ~ the end of every sense and subsense friend will see "Synonyms and related words". Clicking this connect will take you to the thesaurus entry for the meaning. For example, the feeling of bargain that means "something that costs much much less than normal" is connected to the thesaurus entry "The high quality of being cheap and also cheap things", whereby you will discover a list of related words, each one linking directly to the appropriate meaning. The feeling of bargain that means "an agreement" web links to the thesaurus entry "Agreement and also agreements", wherein you will uncover links come senses through that meaning, such together "contract", "deal" and also "accord".

Labels: many entries in Macmillan dictionary are labelled to show you if a indigenous is used in specific contexts. These incorporate labels because that specialist vocabulary (medical, biology); because that dialects (if a native is used specifically or mostly in American, or Indian, or Philippine English, etc.); and for it is registered (if a indigenous is formal, informal, literary, offensive, etc). Friend can find a finish list that labels ~ above this page.

Additional resources: in ~ the finish of countless entries girlfriend will discover boxes containing extr information around the headword and guidance on how it is used. Because that example, at famous girlfriend will discover a list of other methods of speak "famous"; in ~ afford friend will find a "Get that Right!" box with guidance on the grammatical fads that can and can"t be offered with this verb; at pavement you will find a note around the differences in between British and also American usage of this word. Other boxes administer lists that collocations, metaphorical meanings of typical words, guidance on avoiding offence, and also word and also phrase origins.

Crowdsourced content: The Open Dictionary is Macmillan Dictionary"s crowdsourced dictionary. Users can submit entries because that words, meanings and also phrases that room not spanned in the dictionary. These room assessed to view if they really exist and also are used, and also accepted entries are published regularly.

If one Open dictionary entry merits consist of in the key dictionary, it might be "promoted" and also the submitter"s donation acknowledged. You deserve to submit one entry to the Open dictionary by clicking the button that says "Contribute come our open Dictionary".

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Glossary of thesaurus terms

Macmillan Dictionary likewise includes a advantageous Glossary of thesaurus Terms page, listing in alphabetical order words that you may come throughout when making use of dictionaries, or when you hear world talk about dictionaries.

Useful links

The complying with pages carry out further, an ext detailed, information about Macmillan Dictionary: