Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Words Worth Looking Up

For the first time ever, Collins Dictionary is available free online. Collins Language, the dictionary arm of HarperCollins, has launched the website www.collinsdictionary.com. 

The service means that you can now access 220,000 dictionary entries, including, translations, synonyms and illustrative photos. It is possible to find correct spellings, use the thesaurus and even find words in over 35 languages. The website features more than one million audio pronunciations, highlighting British and American audio differences. 

The site offers access to two million full sentence usage examples. These have been taken from fiction, non-fiction, newspapers and magazines. Helping to put words into context. 

You can even access a word frequency graph, demonstrating the historical and contemporary use of the word over the last 500 years. This could be very helpful if you are thinking of writing historical fiction. 

Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins Language, said: "We've a big editorial team and 200 years of experience so we think we can bring something more to that online space than others." (Writers' Forum, April '12)

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