Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    labyrinthine

    lae b@ rIn thihn  [or]  lae b@ rIn thin

    adjective
    1.  of, resembling, or forming a labyrinth.
    We followed our guide through the labyrinthine catacombs.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    landlocked

    laend lakt

    adjective
    lacking access to the sea.
    Paraguay and Bolivia are the only landlocked countries in South America; all the other countries border the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or both in the case of Colombia.

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Sep
04
2013

Meet the “Dame of Dictionaries.”

“I read and read and read and read and read,” she says. In fifth grade, her parents gave her a Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and that changed everything. “It unlocked the world for me because I could read at any vocabulary level I wanted,” she says, and went on to negotiate more sophisticated titles, like Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin, Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception and The Frogs by Aristophanes. She was diligent about learning words, and would enter all the new ones she came across daily in a notebook. Then she would review them, trying to commit them to memory. The next day, she would add ten or fifteen more, review the words from the prior day, and at the end of each week review the entire week. She carried on this routine for years.”

Her West Village loft is home to 20,000 dictionaries, collected over a lifetime. She is the “Dame of Dictionaries,” Madeline Kripke. Daniel Krieger’s fine article about Kripke is peppered with links to dictionary lore.  Read it here.