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This content is taken from the Coventry University, The Alan Turing Institute & Macmillan Education's online course, Understanding English Dictionaries. Join the course to learn more.

Definitions: try it yourself

We would like you to write definitions for four common words. You will have tried this before during Week 3 (Step 3.10), but by now you will have a better idea of how to do it.

Your task

Write your own definitions for four words: ‘colander’, ‘embarrassment’, ‘parachute’, ‘imagine’.

How you phrase your definition is completely up to you. The definition needs to explain what the word means to someone who doesn’t know it, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be written in a ‘dictionary-ish’ style.

There are only three rules:

  • Don’t consult a dictionary before you do this.

  • Try not to exceed 25 words per definition.

  • Don’t use the word which you’re defining in the definition of that word.

When you have finished, post your definitions to the forum for review by other participants.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding English Dictionaries

Coventry University