Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Is there a place where I can find example sentences for words I am looking up?

It is good to use dictionaries that include example sentences (also called illustrative examples, illustrative phrases, illustrative quotations, illustrative sentences) in the dictionary entries. These can be quotations or invented phrases or sentences that exemplify the usage of particular senses. It is critical to understanding a word sense to be able to see how that sense is used. An example phrase or sentence can convey a great deal of information about collocation (words that your target word is used with), variety of usage (degree of formality, typical context), connotation (additional implied meaning), grammatical context (if a verb's action is usually or only performed by a human), and designative meaning (a meaning specific to a purpose or subject field). There is often no better way to convey this information than a phrase or sentence using the word. In some cases, especially for common words, short illustrative phrases are essential to tell the dictionary user how the word sense is used in context. If you are not having any luck finding example sentences in dictionaries, you can use the Internet as a tool to see the word in actual usage - but take note of the sources using the word.

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