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Some entries have several parts of speech. In these cases the information about each of these aspects of the headword are collected together in one entry. The homonym number is an index number, used for reference purposes, to distinguish two or more headwords with the same spelling and part of speech, but different derivations. The homonym number distinguishes between words spelt in the same way, but with different origins or etymologies :. A label is a term, usually displayed in italics, which gives brief information, usually in abbreviated form, on the context in which that term is used.
For instance, a label will give a term's regional origin e. Biology, Chemistry, Music , the status or level of language to which it belongs e. These labels tell us that the second adjective MURAL is a term from the vocabulary of chemistry; that it is obsolete; and that even when it was used, it was rare in fact, that it has only been recorded in a single context :. Variant forms are the alternative spellings in which a word has been found over the centuries.
Centuries of use are denoted by the first two digits of their years, e. The etymology is the derivation of a word. The etymology section explains how a word became part of the English language. The section includes information on the process of derivation whether a word came into English through borrowing or was formed from elements already existing in English, etc.
The etymology section may also give detailed information on the meanings, history, or aspects of grammar that are relevant to a word. Etymologies can be very simple, just noting the words or parts of words from which a new word is formed. Regimentalism, for example, is formed as follows:.
Follow the cross-reference links in the entry to see how the constituent parts of regimentalism are formed. The same link shows a more detailed etymology.
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The longest etymology section in the dictionary is the revised one at the verb to be. While the headword section of an entry provides generic information about a headword, the sense section explains the headword's meaning or meanings. The sense section consists of one or more definitions, each with its paragraph of illustrative quotations, arranged chronologically.
Some words, especially those that have existed for centuries, have acquired many meanings. Because of this, the sense section for some entries is quite extensive.
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For example, the status symbol tells whether a term is obsolete, used in an irregular manner, etc. These symbols appear before the sense number or before a part of the meaning. The status symbols used in the sense section are an obelisk or dagger, which indicates obsolete meanings, a catachrestic symbol, which indicates irregular or confused usage, and vertical parallel lines, which indicate non-naturalized or partially naturalized status though it is not usually necessary to indicate non-naturalization of individual senses.
The revised and new entries use only the dagger; irregular and non-naturalized usages are indicated in the definition text or in an etymological note. Senses, or meanings, are ordered according to a structure resembling a family tree, so that the development of one meaning from another can be plotted. The individual meanings are numbered within this structure for ease of reference.
At sense 2b in this same entry, they imply that any 'common' words in the definition could be interpreted as part of the vocabulary of baseball:. The definition shows the meaning of the word. Definitions can be descriptive or explanatory describing or explaining the meaning of a word , structural explaining a word's structure in a grammatical or syntactic sense , or can consist solely of a cross-reference to another related item within the dictionary.
Some words have many different meanings, which are ordered systematically to illustrate the word's development over time. This usage implies that the term cross-referred to is the more common or significant term:. The paragraph of illustrative quotations contains a selection of authentic examples of usage illustrating a definition. The quotations document the history of a term from its earliest recorded usage, and can be extremely helpful tools for clarifying grammatical and syntactic aspects of a definition. Quotations are selected on a number of criteria, including genre and register of typical sources, geographical spread of evidence, etc.
In almost all cases the quotations published are a selection of those available. The date of publication is placed at the head of each quotation. For older texts, especially for those dating from before the invention of printing, this date may be a manuscript date or the date at which the text is thought to have been composed.
The author of a quotation is displayed in capitals. Further information may be found by clicking on adjacent work title.
Books | Caribbean Association of Home Economists Inc. CAHE
The title of the quoted text cited is displayed in italic type. The title is often presented in an abbreviated style. Further information may be found by clicking on the title. The text of a quotation is the quotation as it appears in the source cited, and is normally preceded by its location in the source chapter, page, etc. Unless otherwise stated, the reference is typically to the source's first edition. Information on other editions used may be found in the dictionary's bibliography.
A compound occurs when simple words are joined and function as a single grammatical unit e.
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Compounds are frequently collected together in a section or group of sections at or near the end of an entry. They are followed by a quotation block in which examples of each compound are presented in alphabetical order of the compound. Some major compounds are entered as headwords in their own right. The noun ROCK n. Here are how two adjacent ones are displayed. They are structured like main entries in miniature, with many of the same features and structure. Derivatives are words formed from the headword by the addition of a suffix for example, enshrined at the entry for enshrine.
These are often entered as the final section of an entry. Many derivatives are included as headwords in their own right. They are followed by a quotation block illustrating examples of usage. Derivatives, following the model of Compounds, are structured like min-main entries, but are placed at the foot of the entry in which they are nested:. Each letter of the alphabet is entered in the Dictionary as a headword in its own right.
These headwords occur at the start of the range of entries beginning with the letter. Entries for letters of the alphabet also include many initialisms and documentary evidence for their use, and explain the letter as a technical symbol and in abbreviations.
Initialisms are sequences of letters representing the initial letters of the expression they stand for e. Sometimes initialisms are pronounced as words e. Abbreviations are shortened forms of longer words, which are used as words in their own right e. In this dictionary many initialisms and acronyms are found under initial-letter entries e. HQ at the entry for H.
In some cases they are entered in the dictionary as headwords. Abbreviations are normally entered as headwords. A standard initialisms style, with the entry nested within the entry for its initial letter:. The dictionary often treats the history of these terms under their own headwords. The words which they help to create are then either entered under the relevant affix or combining-form entry, or are given headword status in their own right. The beginning of a combining-form entry.
Further psycho- words are entered later in the entry. Major words formed with psycho- are entered as main entries e. Proper names are not systematically covered by the dictionary, though many are entered because the terms themselves are used in extended or allusive meanings, or because they are in some way culturally significant.
Typically these are the result of misreadings of manuscripts or of typographical errors by printers. The dictionary includes a number of these entries, indicating that the words have been used incorrectly in former editions of texts or have otherwise achieved some spurious existence. They do not necessarily follow the regular dictionary structure typically in not being provided with a formal etymology. This entry illustrates the same form, but apparently as a misreading of one-yeared. The length of each entry is normally determined by the number of meanings a word has accumulated during its history.
Some words - often rather short ones - have developed a vast range of meanings, and this results in some very lengthy entries. The entry in the dictionary which has the most senses is the word set as a verb, which in its unrevised state has some meanings and sub-meanings including those of phrasal idioms nested within the same entry.
The longest entry in terms of text characters is put the verb , but this contains a mere subsenses. All rights reserved. Oxford English Dictionary The definitive record of the English language.
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Subscribe Sign in Take a look. Scope and purpose Headword section Sense section Quotation block Compound or Special Uses section Derivative section Special types of main entries Scope and purpose The Oxford English Dictionary is the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language. Dictionary structure The Oxford English Dictionary has a highly organized structure, the principal building block of which is the main entry.