Being a word nerd, I love it when I run across a word I don’t recognize. Being slightly obsessive, I also have to look it up. I use a wonderful, free tool for that called WordWeb, which gives me a handy icon at the bottom of my screen for quick reference. I can double-click on any word, click the WordWeb icon, and immediately find its meaning, synonyms, the words appearing before and after it in the dictionary, and other useful information.
CNET has more details about WordWeb, if you’re interested, and the program is also available to download there. (There is another version of it that you can buy, but I’ve never used it.)
Sometimes, though, a dictionary definition doesn’t give the whole picture of what a word or phrase means. The idea behind it may be harder to understand, or may be open to interpretation. Tomorrow I’ll go over a few of those words, and discuss how they apply to writers.
What is your favorite dictionary/ thesaurus site? Do you still use a printed dictionary/thesaurus?