Home > The Treasure Hunt Club > No. 18 Dictionaries

No. 18 Dictionaries (2006年07月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Hello everyone. Got a word and need a definition? Well the web can help. Is it a strange word, say like prestidigitation? Where can you get a quick definition? Maybe it’s a slang term like bling that you can’t find in a traditional dictionary. Or maybe it’s a word you think you understand but are not quite sure of the range of the meaning, like blogosphere. Or maybe it’s something that seems more like gibberish than language, like FAWC. The web can help with all of these. The trick is to look in the right places.

The first thing to try is a search engine because it’s fast. At the Yahoo or Google USA home page (and the Google Japan but not the Yahoo Japan sites) you can do a quick vocabulary search in the search engine by simply typing “define” plus the word you want into the search engine field (for example, “define prestidigitation”).

The OneLook online dictionary searches many different dictionaries and displays the results in an organized way. You get a quick definition and a list of pages to look further if you need to. http://onelook.com/ This is great if you want a little more background.

The Urban Dictionary is a wiki dictionary where you can probably find definitions for any slang term, though often with less-than-definitive definitions. http://www.urbandictionary.com/ There are often multiple definitions for terms so you may not be sure if what you find is the best definition. But the site is huge and will almost certainly give you some sort of definition.

Netlingo is a dictionary of all things connected to the Internet and the online world of business, technology, and communication, especially online acronyms used in chat rooms and in text messaging (cell phone e-mail). http://www.netlingo.com/ A great resource and very well organized. Test your knowledge with their top-20 lists.

World Wide Words. This is an interesting site that gives word etymologies for vocabulary words in the news ( such as cronyism), weird words (like lollygag) or strange turns of phrase (like fair to middling). It is very interesting because of the detail of explanations. http://www.worldwidewords.org/

Lastly, here is a picture dictionary that can help with those who have lower-level learners http://www.pdictionary.com/ It is also available is French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

And that’s the end of this month’s column. CUL8R.