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HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

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Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

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THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

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NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

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INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

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AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

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INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

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See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

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100 Words
100 Words to Make You Sound Great

All great communicators know that the right word can make the difference between rousing and losing an audience, between sounding distinguished and sounding dull.

The latest title in the best-selling 100 Words series, 100 Words to Make You Sound Great, presents 100 words that have been put to effective use by presidential greats as well as famous scientists, economists, academics, figures of conscience, and even humorists. Tried and tested by movers and shakers such as Rachel Carson, Shirley Chisholm, Barry Goldwater, Al Gore, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Princess Diana, they work to get a point across with verve and effect. The quotations that bring these words to life—painstakingly culled from public speeches, widely read books and periodicals, and poignant private letters—are insightful, moving, and funny.

Tear through this book, and before you know it, you’ll feel an affinity for cosmopolitan communication, even if you’re a mere tyro when you start out. You’ll incorporate these words into everyday conversation without being dogmatic or pompous, and you’ll always have the right riposte if someone accuses you of being pusillanimous, amoral, or—heaven forbid—nefarious

Here is a complete list of the words in 100 Words to Make You Sound Great:

adamant
affectation
affinity
allay
amelioration
amenable
amoral
assuage
bauble
beguile
beset
bulwark
busybody
complacent
concomitant
consign
contend
cosmopolitan
culpable
depravity
derelict
dissimulate
dissipate
distill
dogmatic
elicit
epithet
espouse
expediency
forestall
furtive
galling
gloat
gratuitous
hallmark
happenstance
ignominious
imperturbable
ingratiate
innocuous
intemperate
interpolate
inure
jingoism
juggernaut
ken
latent
legacy
ludicrous
mandate
maven
mawkish
modus operandi
nefarious
nicety
nonchalance
obdurate
orthodoxy
palliate
patina
penury
pernicious
perpetuate
pittance
pompous
precipitate
prescience
profusion
propensity
pugnacity
pusillanimous
quip
rankle
reconciliation
resiliency
respite
riposte
sacrosanct
scapegoat
spurious
squander
supersede
surreptitious
tenacity
tenuous
travail
truculence
turpitude
tyro
unbridled
uncanny
urbane
velleity
venial
verbose
vexation
vista
wanton
wheedle
yammer


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