Tag: vocabulary

It has been claimed that 52 percent of words in use aren’t included in dictionaries – is this true? Elyse Graham investigates how this figure arose, and suggests why it’s not quite right.

Are 52% of words really not included in dictionaries?

In 2011, a remarkable article appeared in the journal Science that argued, based on a computational analysis of five million books, that “52 percent of the English lexicon—the majority of the words used in English books—consists of lexical ‘dark matter’ undocumented in standard references”. Taken at face value, this might seem like an astonishing claim. Fifty-two […]

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How well do you know literary words?

A quiz of literary words

Poetry is traditionally characterized by the use of a more elevated, literary language intended to evoke emotion in the reader. Words like beseech or Rhadamanthine suggest a strongly poetic tone — but do you also know what they mean? See whether you can match the literary words with their correct definitions in the quiz below.

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Words containing 'mother'

Mother’s milk, mother wit, and other words containing ‘mother’

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day, also known as Mothering Sunday, in the UK: that day of the year on which mothers are particularly honoured by their children. In North America and South Africa, Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday in May instead. According to A Dictionary of English Folklore, Mother’s Day as we […]

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Highland cow

How well do you know Scottish words and phrases?

Scotland is observing St Andrew’s Day today — the feast day of their patron saint. Let’s celebrate with them by testing our knowledge of the Scottish tongue:

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September WOTD quiz

Vocabulary quiz: how well do you know September’s Words of the Day?

Habitus, balayage, Wissenschaft: do you know what these words mean? Test your knowledge with our September Word of the Day quiz. Not yet signed up to our free Word of the Day service? Click here to receive your daily word. 

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cupcakes

How well do you know our new words?

Cakeage, Mx, bants – you’ve (hopefully) heard about the new words we’ve just added to OxfordDictionaries.com, but do you also know what they mean? Take this quick quiz to see if you can match the word with the correct definition.

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May WOTD quiz

Vocabulary quiz: how well do you know May’s Words of the Day?

Cajole, camarilla, and parergon: do you remember last month’s Words of the Day? Take our vocabulary quiz to test your knowledge. Not yet signed up to our free Word of the Day service? Click here to receive your daily word.

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April WOTD quiz

Vocabulary quiz: how well do you know April’s Words of the Day?

Have you paid attention to April’s Words of the Day? Take the quiz to find out if you can match the words with the correct definitions. Not yet signed up to our free Word of the Day service? Click here to receive your daily word. 

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