Let’s say you want to find the definition of “French”. You would first type “French” into the search box found on the top of every page.
Then click “Search” or press the ENTER key on your keyboard. You will automatically be taken to the definition page for “French” http://www.yourdictionary.com/french. By default, “Definitions” is always selected.
Now, let’s say instead you were interested in finding French language articles, not the definition of “French”. You would still type “French” in the search box, but this time you would select “Entire Site”. You will be taken to a page with a list of all the places on our website where “French” appears.
You may search for any form of a term, such as its plural or past tense form, or variant spellings. The dictionary also contains biographical and geographical names, such as "Washington," the city and the president, common foreign words used in English, and many abbreviations.
If you don’t know the exact spelling of a word, you can use "wild cards" in your search.
A question mark [?] can represent any letter of the alphabet. For example, if you type in "rec??ve" it will return "receive" and “peng?in” will return “penguin”.
An asterisk [*] can represent any number of unknown letters. For example, typing in "monk*" will return "monkey," even if you don't know whether it is spelled "monky," "monkie," or "monkey." (If you use this character at the beginning of a word, the search will take longer, since we will have to search every letter of the alphabet.)
The wild card search can help solve crossword puzzles and other word games.
You can browse the dictionary from the bottom of the home page.
At the bottom of every definition page, we offer you the entries alphabetically near the defined word for browsing. For example, at the bottom of the definition page for “discard”, you would find the following list:
Or, you can type http://www.yourdictionary.com/index/ into your browser to see the entire browsing index.
You can usually find a short phrase or hyphenated word by simply typing it into the search box. For example, typing “fly by night” into the search box will return the definition for “fly-by-night”. If this does not return the results you are seeking, try typing in just one or two of the words.
Etymologies are usually returned when you define a word. The etymology will appear after the primary definition in a light blue box. For example, searching on “desiccate” will return the following entry:
Each word you search on will return slightly different results. You will always see the pronunciation and definition for the word. But some words will also have additional information. For example, if you search on “arrest”, you will see below the entry all the additional information YourDictionary.com has for that word—Related Forms, Idioms, Synonyms, Law Definition and Usage Examples. You can click on any of the hyperlinks to navigate to that section of the page.