Most English speakers talk about “the dictionary” (not “a dictionary”) as though there were only one. In fact, there are many, and lexicographers (word specialists) are constantly trying to keep them updated. One of yesterday’s posts featured the Double-Tongued Dictionary, a project by Grant Barrett (et al), which attempts to document new words, slang, and other lexical items on the fringe. This site contained a link to OneLook, a free resource which deserves it’s own entry in this blog: OneLook Dictionary Search.
OneLook is an impressive resource because it allows you to search over 19 million words from over 1000 dictionaries. It has been called one of the best ways to cheat on crossword puzzles, but it also serves an important function for (1) teaching about morphological structures, (2) building student’s vocabulary, and (3) educating people about how to use a dictionary (helping students to understand that a good dictionary changes over time to keep up with the language).