One Look Reverse Dictionary

Someone on Compuserve recommended the One Look Reverse Dictionary.

There are two kinds of reverse dictionary. In this kind, you enter some general phrases to remind you of a specific word.

The díctionary allows you to:

find words from their definition
explore related concepts
create a list of words in a category
answer basic questions (e.g. what is the capital of Vietnam?
solve crossword clues using wildcards

It apparently indexes hundreds of other online reference sites.

I have such a dictionary in print form, dated early 1990s.
Reader’s Digest Reverse Dictionary, 1989, ISBN 0 276 49541 1
Bizarrely, this was ‘translated’ into German:
Der schnelle Weg zum richtigen Wort, ADAD-Verlag, 1992, ISBN 3 87003 473 4

There are also reverse dictionaries that classify words by their endings, so that a group of words ending in ‘erely’ will be together.

Is there one of those online? There must be. All I have is a GDR one, Martin Lehnert’s Rückläufiges Wörterbuch der englischen Gegenwartssprache, VEB Leipzig 1971. The first three words are a, baa, sahaa, and the last buzz, abuzz, fuzz.

LATER NOTE: For those who found this information exciting, I must say I discovered I have already blogged it: my mind must be going.

STILL LATER NOTE: As Abnu points out in the comments (in a discussion as to which of us has not had enough coffee today), the OneLook dictionary can be used to find patterns and thus does the work of a rückläufiges Wörterbuch. Here are the results of a search for *nch.

6 thoughts on “One Look Reverse Dictionary

  1. I must have misunderstood you when you wrote, “There are also reverse dictionaries that classify words by their endings, so that a group of words ending in ‘erely’ will be together.

    Is there one of those online?” It’s very early over here in the colony, and I haven’t yet had my morning coffee, so perhaps my head is a little fuzz*.

  2. These international misunderstandings are inevitable, especially if you haven’t had any coffee. I have had only Nescafé and have only just put the espresso machine on (Livia), and I have cleaned the stairs, as I am lucky enough to live in a part of Germany where no-one minds if you do your communal stair-cleaning on Sunday.

  3. Okay, this is off topic, but it might be of interest to note for you that the problem of computer translations has finally been solved completely and anyone can now get perfect English translations here. (Found at discourse.net).

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