If you are the type of person that likes to see a new word used in a sentence to better understand the meaning, then an online dictionary with sentences is perfect for you.
How an Online Dictionary with Sentences Can Help
For many years, elementary schools utilized repetition in order to teach children the meaning of words. By repeating the word and definition over and over, or writing the definitions in the form of "lines" on a piece of paper, teachers hoped to "drill" the meanings of words into the children.
More recently, the educational community established a better understanding of what fosters better reading comprehension for children. Part of reading comprehension is the act of understanding the meaning of new words by using the context of the paragraph around it.
Context Helps with Understanding
The term for the surrounding words and sentences that help a reader "guess" at the meaning of the unknown word is "context clues." Since the reader understands the meaning of the words around the unknown word, and in general can use the surrounding text to appreciate what the author is trying to say, it's much easier to make an educated guess at the meaning of the word.
In fact, this process is exactly how emergent readers learn to read and increase their overall vocabulary. New readers work to understand new words using context clues so that they can better understand the overall story. This is why an online dictionary with sentences is a much more effective tool to learn new words than a standard online dictionary.
Where to Find an Online Dictionary with Sentences
The following resources are some of the best online dictionaries that you'll find online. What sets them apart is the fact that they provide a sample sentence that uses the word that you want to learn in a sentence. By seeing how the word is used, it'll help you better understand its meaning.
- The Free Dictionary is a wonderful page for anyone that loves language and words. You'll find a word of a day (also used in a sentence), a forum and even a quick hangman game you can play.
- The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English is a well designed site where you can quickly look up a word or phrase and see the definition as well as how it is used in a sentence.
- The Newbury House Dictionary of American English is impressive. With over 40,000 words in the database as well as idioms and a word of the day, it's a reference site that you'll definitely want to check out.
- MacMillian Dictionary focuses on the most frequently used 7,500 words of the English language. For anyone that is just learning English and would like to understand the most commonly used words, this website is an excellent resource.
Grow Your Vocabulary
By focusing on using online dictionaries that provide the context clues to help you better appreciate the meaning of new words, you'll grow your overall vocabulary faster than you ever thought possible.