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 [Example] 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 the search text is found in a headword, that entry will rise to the top. But if the search text 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 and/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 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 on the message and your search will proceed.

Highlighting of search results

When search results are displayed your search term will be highlighted in light blue. This enables you to see at a glance the results that contain your search term.

Search results are links

When search results are displayed, you will notice that most items are links. If you hover your mouse over a link it will be highlighted with an underline and your mouse pointer will change to a pointed-finger. You can then click on the link. If the link is a [Example] or French word, then clicking will display all dictionary entries that contain the word or words that you clicked on.