Type the word or phrase you’re looking for into the search box and press ‘search’. The best match will be returned. Have a look in the Search Results list to see other close matches for what you’ve typed.
If you’re using a desktop browser, when you’re reading an entry and don’t know the meaning of a word in it, double click on the unknown word to look it up. See Section 10 below for more details on OALD for mobile devices.
Don’t worry. Spell the word as best as you can in the box. A spellchecker will suggest a list of words that you might be looking for based on what you’ve typed. Choose your word from that list to go to the entry.
The entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary are chosen on the basis of their frequency and usefulness for learners of English.
Dictionary editors consult a corpus (= a database of real English, spoken and written) to analyse the usage of words. Based on this information, and based on their experience as English teachers, the editors decide which words are important enough to be included in the dictionary.
The size of the English language means that, unfortunately, OALD cannot include every word in existence. Some words are excluded because they are rare or highly specialized.
If you are interested in rare or more specialized words, we recommend that you also consult a dictionary that is not designed specifically for learners of English. For example, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary of English, or the New Oxford American Dictionary. For more information, please go to http://www.oup.com/
Information on word origins is not available on this website. However, this information is available on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary CD-ROM, and on the OALD app.
Some entries include synonyms (= words that mean the same thing) and antonyms/opposites. If your word does not include this information, you may be interested in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary CD-ROM that has an integrated thesaurus.
You can hear how words are pronounced in British or American English by clicking on the speaker icons within the entries. You can use these as a reliable model to practise your own pronunciation. Pronunciation is also shown in the dictionary using phonetic symbols. If you need help reading these symbols, look at this pronunciation guide.
By subscribing to the OALD Word of the Day, you can automatically receive an entry from us every day! Use it to test yourself. Do you know what each word means and how to use it?
If you click on the RSS icon, you will be taken to a page where you need to specify the RSS reader that you want to use to receive the Word of the Day. Many recent browsers (including Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Safari and Chrome) include RSS readers already, but you may choose to download a new reader for your computer or phone.
Symbols and labels used in the dictionary are explained in this Guide to Labels.
The social bookmarks provide a way for you to share an entry with your online community or to bookmark it for you to easily find again later.
The website contains lists of the Oxford 3000™, Academic Word List words, entries with a picture and entries with a usage note. Narrow down your selection by choosing one of the sections to see a list of entries. Use the wordlists as a study aid. How many words on each list do you already know?
For instant, easy access to the full Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary via your mobile device, why not get our OALD app? Searching for words is simple, and you can hear not only spoken words but also full spoken example sentences. In addition, you can choose which parts of the entry you want to show on screen with the "My View" feature. You can find out more information, and see what other apps are available on the Oxford University Press ELT apps page.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is full of information that can help you to become a better writer in English.
The dictionary entries not only tell you what words mean, they also tell you how words are used. If you want to use a word correctly, look carefully at the grammar information, the example sentences, and the labels which tell you whether a word is formal or informal.
The dictionary also contains thousands of usage notes that will help you build your vocabulary and improve your accuracy. There are several different types of note, including Synonyms, Collocations, Language Bank, Vocabulary Building, Which word?, Grammar Point, and British/American.
For even more help with writing, including a wide variety of model texts, look at the Oxford Writing Tutor in the book version of the dictionary and the Oxford iWriter on the CD-ROM.
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