Frequently Asked Questions

Updated November 20, 2014

Do you have questions about the YourDictionary website or its services? Or about language in general? Well, we have answers!

The chances are your question has been asked already by another curious reader (or maybe more than one!); so, we have prepared this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to quickly get answers to you for the most common questions that we receive from our readers.

For a quick reference, click on the infographic. It shows you how to be a "Word Detective" to find most of the information about a word on YourDictionary such as its definition, origin, or pronunciation. It also shows where to find synonyms, sentence examples and articles with more detailed information.

If you don't find what you need here, just contact us.

Looking Up a Word

1. How do I look up a word?

Just enter the word into the search box found on the top of most YourDictionary screens. Then, click "Search" or press the ENTER/RETURN key on your keyboard. You will automatically be taken to the definition screen for your word.

2. Do I have to know how to spell the word to find its definition?

If you enter a misspelled word, the search engine will still try to find results for a similar word. For example, if you enter "monky," the search results will show results for "monkey."

If you only enter a few characters from the word, the search engine will autocomplete with additional characters to provide a spelling suggestion.

If you don't know the exact spelling of a word, you can also use "wild cards" in your search to represent any letter. For more info and tips on "wild cards" check out the YourDictionary help section.

3. Can I browse for a word, or do I have to search for a specific word?

Yes, you can browse YourDictionary in several ways:

  • From the bottom of the home page - By clicking the right and left arrows, you can move through all definitions included in YourDictionary.
It's easy to browse through the various YourDictionary entries. For example, you can see all words included from "box" to "burn" by clicking "box-burn" in the Browse YourDictionary section. You will be taken to a list of all words between "box" and "burn," all clickable to take you immediately to the definition for the word you have selected. Not the word you want? Then, just click your return arrow in your browser and you are taken back to the entire list of clickable words between "box" and "burn."

Learning More About a Word

1. How can I find examples of a word or phrase that is defined in YourDictionary? For example, what if I want to see examples of "accept" or "adverb phrases"?

  • To find full sentences that contain a specific word - Just click on "See in a sentence" from the "Dictionary" tab. Then, just enter the word or phrase into the search box, click enter, and the sentence examples for the word will appear on a new screen.
  • If you are already looking at the screen with the definition for the word, just click the "Sentence examples" tab above the definition and you will be taken to the screen with the sentence examples for that word.

The definition screen for a word will also list any articles that have been written listing examples of that word. For example, the definition screen for "adverb" shows that there are over 20 articles available, including an article entitled "Adverb Phrase Examples."

2. What is a part of speech? How do I know the part of speech of a word?

A part of speech is defined as a class of words based on the word's function and the way it works in a sentence.

The parts of speech include: verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection.

For more information about parts of speech and grammar rules for useage of each part of speech, just check out the YourDictionary articles on English Grammar Rules & Usage.

3. How can I hear the pronunciation of a word?

YourDictionary provides audio pronunciations on many words to show you how to correctly pronounce a word. To hear the pronunciation, just click on the audio icon and the audio pronunciation will play automatically.

4. I'm not sure how to read the pronunciation symbols.

The symbols represent how to correctly pronounce a word. Each vowel and consonant sound is represented by a specific symbol. To understand the pronunciation symbols used in this phonetic pronunciation, visit the Pronunciation Key.

5. How can I learn the etymology (original source) of a word?

YourDictionary has included the etymologies of words from the Webster's New World College Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary and Wiktionary. The editors and linguists at each of these dictionaries provide a slightly different style when preparing etymologies - some present a lot of detail and others will be very precise and only present a few pieces of information. It is always good practice to review all the etymologies presented and select the one that best meets your needs.

6. I see definitions from other dictionaries when I search for a definition. Is there a way to go directly to those specialty dictionaries without searching for a word?

Yes. You can find all specialty dictionaries listed in the "Dictionary" tab in the navigation bar at the top of the screen. Just select the dictionary in which you want to search. You can then enter a word and search within the specific dictionary or you can browse definitions within the dictionary by selecting the letter grouping that represents the word you want to search.


Using YourDictionary

1. How do I suggest a new word, add a new or different definition or sentence example for a current word, or report an error?

If you want to make a comment or a suggestion, or if you find something that isn't working quite right, just let us know using the comments section at the bottom of most screens. Or, you can send us an email to admin at

2. Is there any cost to use Word Finder?

No, there is no cost. Word Finder does not require a special application or fee.

3. How can I learn about how to use a specific part of speech?

For more information about parts of speech and grammar rules for usage of each part of speech, just check out the YourDictionary articles on English Grammar Rules & Usage.

4. How do I cite YourDictionary as a source using MLA and APA style?

YourDictionary wants to make it easy for you to correctly cite the source of your information. Just look for the "LINK/CITE" at the bottom of most definition screens as well as at the bottom of articles. By rolling over the "LINK/CITE" link you will see the correct way to cite this screen using the MLA and APA styles.

5. Is there special information on YourDictionary for teachers?

YourDictionary is an excellent resource for teachers. In addition to basic information about words and grammar, there are lesson plans, worksheets, activities and games to present the information in a variety of ways that are interesting and fun for students.

Consider these tips for building a comprehensive lesson plan using YourDictionary:

  • Use a variety of activities and lesson plans to provide your students with many different ways of learning about a word or concept. For example, use Adjective Lesson Plans to plan your teaching approach, combined with Adjective Activities and Adjective Worksheet for Middle School to create a fun learning environment.
  • Print off an activity sheet or worksheet for students to practice a concept that they just learned. For example, the "Practice with Root Words" section of the Real Practice with Root Words article is a great way for students to get some practice with prefixes and suffixes. You can print one copy for each student, or have them work in teams.
  • Create a word list and flash cards that reflect all the words (and the definitions) of words to be covered in a special science lesson. Show students how to access the word list and flash cards, being sure to send home the url on YourDictionary where the word list and flash cards can be found during homework time.

6. Is there any special information for students who speak English as a second language (ESL)? How can I find teaching tools and classroom activities for ESL teachers?

YourDictionary has a wealth of information and resources for ESL students and teachers. Need lesson plan help? Check out the lesson plans developed for different grade levels as well as different skill levels.

The lesson plans can be supplemented with printable worksheets, classroom activites and quizzes that are designed to help ESL students of all ages.

7. How do I print a screen?

To print the full screen, just use the Print function on your browser.

Many screens which might be of particular interest to teachers are also provided on the screen as a .pdf file. Just click on the thumbnail (small image) of the screen and you will be automatically taken to a full-size screen that is printable on your browser. For example, the ESL article titled Building a Successful ESL Lesson Plan has a thumbnail image of a form for a lesson plan at the top right. If you click on this image you will be taken to the .pdf file which you can print off for your use in developing lesson plans.

8. Can I get updates or info from YourDictionary using social media?

Yes. To stay in touch with what's new, interesting and seasonal on YourDictionary, just follow us on social media including:

9. Is there a special toolbar for using YourDictionary?

Yes. There are two special tools that make it even easier to use YourDictionary:

  • Bookmarklet - The YourDictionary bookmarklet is a handy button that you push whenever you want to see the definition of a word. You can install the bookmarklet on your bookmark bar (the space underneath the url). It can be used with any browser.
  • Toolbar - The YourDictionary toolbar gives you direct access to all of the features you love on YourDictionary. It is easy to install.

General Questions

1. Can I advertise on YourDictionary? How do I get more information about advertising?

Information on YourDictionary advertising opportunities are detailed on Advertising with YourDictionary.

2. I have a suggestion. Who do I contact?

We value your opinions and suggestions and we would love for you to contact us! You can get in touch with us in a variety of ways:

  • Comments - Send us your thoughts, ideas or questions using the comments section on the bottom of this screen and most YourDictionary screens.
  • Ideas - Send your suggestions to our Suggestion Box
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Email:
  • General e-mail: admin at
  • For advertising or sales questions: advertise at

Whatever avenue you use to get in touch with us, keep those suggestions and ideas coming. Tell us what works, and doesn't work, for you on YourDictionary. Many of our best ideas come from our readers.