Skip main navigation

What’s in a dictionary?

Now we know which type of dictionary we need to use, let's look at some examples.
Now we know which type of dictionary we need to use, let’s look at some examples in more detail.

Look at the following definition of the word ‘independent’ from a monolingual dictionary:

An online dictionary entry contains the word you searched for, the type of word it is, a recording of how it is pronounced, the phonemic transcription, one or more definitions, an example sentence showing the word in context, and synonymsThe Parts of A Monolingual Dictionary Entry (Click to expand)

Your task

Can you match the words to the features in the learner dictionary below, labelled ah?
• headword • pronunciation • definition • example sentence • type of word • phonemic transcription • more definitions • synonyms and related words
The entry for 'independent' in a learners' dictionary contains the same features plus some additional information to help you understand different contexts in which the word is used. The definitions are also simpler Dictionary entry (Click to expand)
  • What differences can you see between the monolingual dictionary entry and the learner dictionary entry?
  • Does the learner dictionary have the same elements as a monolingual dictionary?
  • What do you think is different?

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

English for Academic Study

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now