Help: Search Box

Search TheFreeDictionary using our four different search options, or search the web.

Search TheFreeDictionary

A default search includes all of TheFreeDictionary reference databases (all dictionaries and encyclopedias). Your initial search results will correspond to whatever tab (representing a dictionary or encyclopedia) is currently active. If the Wikipedia tab is active, the display results will originate from Wikipedia. If you are on the homepage, results displayed will originate from the default Dictionary/Thesaurus tab.

Every time you perform a search, you can easily access the relevant entries in our other dictionaries and encyclopedias; just click on another tab.


This is the most common type of search, and it satisfies most search needs. For example, if you search for the word dog, you will see something like this:


(dog, dŏg)
1. A domesticated carnivorous mammal (Canis familiaris syn. Canis lupus subsp. familiaris) occurring as a wide variety of breeds, many of which are traditionally used for hunting, herding, drawing sleds, and other tasks, and are kept as pets.
2. Any of various carnivorous mammals of the family Canidae, such as the dingo.
3. A male animal of the family Canidae, especially of a fox or a domesticated breed.
4. Any of various other animals, such as the prairie dog.
5. Informal
a. A person: You won, you lucky dog.
b. A person regarded as contemptible: You stole my watch, you dog.
6. Slang
a. A person regarded as unattractive or uninteresting.
b. Something of inferior or low quality: "The President had read the speech to some of his friends and they told him it was a dog" (John P. Roche).
c. An investment that produces a low return or a loss.
7. dogs Slang The feet.
8. See andiron.
9. Slang A hot dog; a wiener.
10. Any of various hooked or U-shaped metallic devices used for gripping or holding heavy objects.
11. Astronomy A sundog.
Totally; completely. Often used in combination: dog-tired.
tr.v. dogged, dog·ging, dogs
1. To track or trail persistently: "A stranger then is still dogging us" (Arthur Conan Doyle).
2. To hold or fasten with a mechanical device: "Watertight doors and hatches were dropped into place and dogged down to give the ship full watertight integrity" (Tom Clancy).
a. To be persistently or inescapably associated with: Questions about his youthful indiscretions dogged him throughout his career.
b. To be recurrently or persistently in the mind; haunt: Despair dogged him in his final years.
dog it Slang
To fail to expend the effort needed to do or accomplish something.
go to the dogs
To go to ruin; degenerate.
put on the dog Informal
To make an ostentatious display of elegance, wealth, or culture.

[Middle English dogge, from Old English docga.]

Starts with

If you want to find a phrase that starts with "London", your search results will be restricted to articles that begin with the word "London" and you will see something like this:

Ends with

If you want to find a phrase that ends with the word "Stones", your search results will be restricted to articles that end with "Stones", and you will see something like this:

Words ending with Stones:


A text search scans all articles for any mention of your search term. This type of search will return the widest range of results. For example, if you search for the word "carbon", your results will originate from all existing tabs, and you will see something like this:

Search elsewhere on the web

In addition to the TheFreeDictionary, you can also search Google.

The Word / Article, Starts with, Ends with and Text options are not available for web searches.

This feature is especially useful if you make TheFreeDictionary your homepage: your search options become unlimited.

The external search is a good option when you find that TheFreeDictionary has reached its limitations. For example, once you have searched "GPS" on TheFreeDictionary and have learned that it stands for "Global Positioning System", you may want to check out prices for the device and perform a search on Google. Another example could be a word like "giclee," which is not very well defined in current dictionaries; you may want to find additional information about "giclee" elsewhere on the web by clicking the Google radio button.