use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

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. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

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.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

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

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

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

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

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

strand 1 (strănd)
Share:
n.
Land, typically a beach, bordering a body of water.
v. strand·ed, strand·ing, strands
v.tr.
1.
a. To drive or run (a boat, for example) ashore or aground.
b. To cause (a whale or other sea animal) to be unable to swim free from a beach or from shallow water.
2. To bring into or leave in a difficult or helpless position: The convoy was stranded in the desert.
3. Baseball To leave (a base runner) on base at the end of an inning.
4. Linguistics To separate (a grammatical element) from other elements in a construction, either by moving it out of the construction or moving the rest of the construction. In the sentence What are you aiming at, the preposition at has been stranded.
v.intr.
1. To be driven or run ashore or aground: The boat stranded on the rocks.
2. To be stranded, as on a beach. Used of sea animals.

[Middle English, from Old English.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
strand 2 (strănd)
Share:
n.
1. A complex of fibers or filaments that have been twisted together to form a cable, rope, thread, or yarn.
2.
a. A single filament, such as a fiber or thread, of a woven or braided material.
b. A ropelike length of something: a strand of pearls; a strand of DNA.
c. A wisp or lock of hair.
3. One of the elements woven together to make an intricate whole, such as the plot of a novel.
tr.v. strand·ed, strand·ing, strands
1. To make or form (a rope, for example) by twisting strands together.
2. To break a strand of (a rope, for example).

[Middle English strond.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Strand (strănd)
Share:
A thoroughfare in west-central London, England, running parallel to the northern bank of the Thames River and eastward from Trafalgar Square in the West End to the City of London. Among its well-known fixtures is the Savoy Hotel.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.