Macmillan Dictionary contains a good deal of beneficial information about words and also phrases – info that sometimes can be an overwhelming to navigate. On this page we provide answers to some of the generally asked questions around what a thesaurus entry includes.

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If there are any kind of terms you room not acquainted with, you could find our Glossary of thesaurus Terms helpful.

What is a thesaurus entry?

A dictionary entry is a set of information that explains a native or phrase.


A usual entry in Macmillan Dictionary consists of: a headword <1>, which is shown in either black color or red at the top of the entry; information about the word"s definition or meanings, referred to as definition(s) <2>. In ~ the height of the entry you can see the number of definitions <3> listed; information about the word"s grammatical behaviour: word course <4> and also any various other relevant grammatical information.

At the optimal of the entry there is an icon for the headword"s talked pronunciation <5> and the voice transcription the the word"s pronunciation (using the international Phonetic Alphabet or IPA signs <6>). This information is not detailed for phrasal verbs, phrases, and entries that are added to the crowdsourced Open dictionary (e.g. autofiction). Compouns will often have recorded 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 opening the "Word Forms" <7> box.

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

How are meanings shown?

If a word has much more than one meaning, these are displayed in separate numbered senses <9>. Meanings that are an extremely closely regarded the main an interpretation are presented in subsenses <10> (see further down the page for this) so the the link is clear. Part entries save derived words <11>. These space words concerned the headword whose definition is clear sufficient not to need a definition. This are uncovered at the bottom the the entry.

Words the have 5 or more meanings will additionally include really brief definitions at the height of the page, with web links to the pertinent senses. These "menus" can help identify the definition you require for understanding a word in a certain context, too as help navigate come the correct part of the entry to find an ext detailed information.


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

What other types of information are included?

Every feeling in the dictionary includes a Thesaurus <13> attach to one or much more lists the synonyms and related words. Clicking this connect will take it you come the perform on the Macmillan Thesaurus website, and also from over there you can access every entry in the list and also browse because that the finest synonym or connected term come use.


If a native belongs to an ext than one native class, for instance if that is both a verb and also a noun (e.g. question (noun) / question (verb)), or a noun, an adjective and a verb (pink (noun) / pink (adjective) / pink (verb)), these are shown in separate entries on different pages, with links in a box on the ideal of the display screen (desktop) or in ~ the peak of the entrance (mobile). This box likewise contains web links to compound headwords, idiomatic phrases and also phrasal verb <14> comprise the headword, so that entries related to the headword are automatically visible.


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

What perform the different parts phone call us about the entry?

Frequency: in ~ the peak of countless entries you will watch one, two or 3 red stars. A indigenous with 3 red stars is one of the most frequent words in English, two-star words space frequent and one-star native are reasonably common. If one entry has actually no stars it is just one of the less regular words in English.

Definitions: Macmillan dictionary was initially written using a strict defining Vocabulary, a perform of 2,500 words that lexicographers stuck to as closely as possible when creating definitions. One online dictionary makes a defining vocabulary less essential, since every vocabulary word supplied in every definition is attached to its thesaurus entry, an interpretation that users can easily discover the interpretations of unfamiliar words. However, Macmillan Dictionary"s vocabulary still monitor the rule of writing interpretations in the simplest way possible so the they can conveniently be understood by less progressed users of English.

Examples: many senses in Macmillan dictionary have one or more examples that illustrate just how the indigenous is offered with the meaning. These instances are selected indigenous a substantial corpus or database containing plenty of millions of examples of modern-day English together it is used around the world. Instances are often shortened or edited to do them perfect for usage in a dictionary, yet they administer authentic models of exactly how the indigenous is used. Numerous examples are preceded by information about collocation and also syntax: how words combine and also which frameworks they deserve to be offered with.

Synonyms and also related words: Every meaning in Macmillan thesaurus is connected to the Macmillan Thesaurus, a unique and rich resource that was arisen at the same time together the Dictionary and in conjunction through it. In ~ the finish of every sense and subsense girlfriend will watch "Synonyms and related words". Clicking on this connect will take you to the thesaurus entry because that the meaning. For example, the sense of bargain that way "something that prices much much less than normal" is linked to the thesaurus entry "The quality of gift cheap and also cheap things", where you will discover a list of connected words, every one linking directly to the appropriate meaning. The sense of bargain that means "an agreement" links to the thesaurus entry "Agreement and agreements", whereby you will uncover links come senses v that meaning, such as "contract", "deal" and "accord".

Labels: numerous entries in Macmillan dictionary are labelled to show you if a word is provided in certain contexts. These encompass labels because that specialist vocabulary (medical, biology); because that dialects (if a indigenous is used specifically or mainly 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 complete list of labels top top this page.

Additional resources: at the finish of plenty of entries girlfriend will discover boxes containing added information around the headword and also guidance on just how it is used. For example, in ~ famous girlfriend will uncover a perform of other ways of saying "famous"; at afford friend will uncover a "Get the Right!" box through guidance on the grammatical patterns that can and can"t be used with this verb; in ~ pavement girlfriend will uncover a note about the differences between British and also American usage of this word. Various other boxes carry out lists the 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 deserve to submit entries because that words, meanings and phrases that room not extended in the dictionary. These space assessed to see if they really exist and are used, and also accepted entries are published regularly.

If an Open dictionary entry merits consist of in the main dictionary, it may be "promoted" and also the submitter"s contribution acknowledged. You deserve to submit one entry come the Open dictionary by clicking on the button that claims "Contribute to our open Dictionary".

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Glossary of thesaurus terms

Macmillan Dictionary likewise includes a beneficial Glossary of dictionary Terms page, listing in alphabetical order words that you may come across when making use of dictionaries, or once you hear human being talk around dictionaries.

Useful links

The adhering to pages administer further, much more detailed, information about Macmillan Dictionary: