Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Comparing different dictionaries

Learners find entries in various dictionaries, to compare the degree of information provided.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

In Step 2.5 we saw that an entry in a dictionary is likely to contain:

  • The spelling(s) of the uninflected form of the word (the lemma)
  • The pronunciation(s) of this form
  • The word class the word belongs to
  • A definition, and/or translation

In Step 2.6, we read and learned that a dictionary entry might also contain additional information about the form, context, function and meaning of the word.

Now we would like you to look up the adjective ‘wicked’ in a dictionary of your choice – either expert-produced, collaborative or crowdsourced (see Week 1).

Are all the expected types of information provided?

Is there any additional information provided about form, context, usage or meaning?

Your task

Make a note of all the types of information that are provided in the entry for the adjective ‘wicked’ in a dictionary of your choice. You may find it helpful to use the table in the downloadable PDF at the bottom of this page.

Share your findings

In the discussion area, share your reflections on what you learned from completing this task. The following questions will help you as starting points in your response.

Do some dictionaries provide more information than others?

Is information provided in different ways in different dictionaries?

Are some types of information more useful than others?

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

Understanding English Dictionaries

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education