How to search the dictionary

When you click on Search in the menu, you will be able to access the main search function for the dictionary. Here you can enter search terms into the Search box. Clicking the Search button will then search the dictionary for the words that you enter.

Explanation of search result ordering


The search results are weighted so that entries which a person is more likely to be interested in will rise to the top of the search results. For example, if “salt” is found in a headword, that entry will rise to the top. But if “salt” is found in the definition of an entry, it will sink lower in search results.
The weighting is as follows:

  1. headwords
  2. complex forms of headwords e.g., compound words, derived forms, phrases, etc.
  3. variant forms of headwords
  4. definitions of headwords
  5. semantic domains, i.e., areas of meanings of headwords
  6. singular or plural forms of headwords
  7. example sentences

If you get too many search results, you can limit your search by using the drop-down boxes for Language, or Part of Speech.

Searching for partial words

You can search on parts of words. If your search consists of three characters or less the search will not proceed (due to the possibility of getting too many results) and you will receive the following message:

Because of the brevity of your search term, partial search was omitted.
Click here to include searching through partial words.

If you actually do want to search on such a brief item, click where the message says to click, and your search will proceed.

Highlighting of search results

In search results your search term is highlighted in light blue. This helps you focus on the parts that contain your search term.

Search results are links

Most items in search results are links. If you hover your mouse over a link it is highlighted with an underline, and your mouse pointer changes to a pointing finger. Click a word or phrase to display all dictionary entries that contain the word or words that you clicked on.

In future, you will be able to click a Semantic Domain to display all dictionary entries that are similar in meaning. Semantic domains have not yet been specified in the Achumawi database.