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How to use the Dictionary

Words that have more than one part of speech
Words that have the same spelling, but have different parts of speech, are listed separately and given different numbers.

Words that have more than one spelling

If a word is spelled differently in British and American English, the definition and examples are shown at the British spelling, and there is a crossreference from the American spelling. If a word has more than one spelling, the different spellings are shown together at the beginning of the entry.

Derived words

Position of idioms and phrases

Idioms and phrases are shown at the first important word of the phrase or idiom. For example the jury is (still) out on sth is shown at jury. Idioms and phrases are listed with the other senses of the word in frequency order.

Phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are listed in alphabetical order after the main verb. If the phrasal verb has an object, this is shown as sb (=somebody) or sth (=something). The symbol means that the object can come before or after the particle.



Compound words are treated like ordinary words and listed in alphabetical order as if there were no space or hyphen in them.

Compound words

Derived words are shown at the end of the entry. These are words that can easily be understood if you know the meaning of the main word. Many of them end in -ly or -ness.




Pronunciation is shown using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). If the British and American pronunciations are different, the British pronunciation is shown first and the American pronunciation has a dollar sign ($) in front of it. For compound words, the primary stress () and the secondary stress () are shown. See inside front cover for a list of IPA symbols.


200 400 600 800 1000 per million

The meanings of each word are listed in order of frequency. The most common meaning is shown first. The 3000 most common words in English the Longman Communication 3000 are printed in red letters. This shows you which are the most important words to know. S1 S2 S2 means that the word is one of the 1000/2000/3000 most common words in spoken English. W1 W2 W3 means that the word is one of the 1000/2000/3000 most common words in written English. See the end of the book for further information and a full list of the Longman Communication 3000. There are also graphs that give you extra information about spoken and written frequency.

Frequencies of the verb let in spoken and written English.



Labels before the definition show you if a word is used in informal, formal, spoken, literary, legal, or technical English. Register notes give additional information about the formality of a word or phrase, helping you to choose the most appropriate word for a particular context. See page i for a list of the labels used. See page A1 for further information about formality in spoken and written English.

American and British English

This dictionary has full coverage of both American and British English. If a word is only used in American English, it is marked AmE. If a word is only used in British English, it is marked BrE. If there is another word with the same meaning in British or American English, it is shown after the definition.


The label AC indicates that a word is included in the Academic Word List. These are important words to know if you are studying in an English-speaking environment, or if you are writing academic assignments. For further information about the Academic Word List, go to:


Academic words





The Longman Defining Vocabulary
Definitions explain the meaning of the word in clear simple language, using the 2000-word Longman Defining Vocabulary. See the end of the book for further information about the Longman Defining Vocabulary, including a complete list of all 2000 words. If a word used in a definition is not part of the Longman Defining Vocabulary, it is shown in SMALL CAPITAL LETTERS.


If a word has a lot of different meanings, signposts help to guide you quickly to the meaning you want.



Part of speech and grammar information


Information about irregular forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives is shown at the beginning of the entry.

Grammar patterns

Common grammar patterns are shown in bold before the examples so that you can see clearly how the word operates in a sentence. Common prepositions are also shown in bold before the examples.

Grammar Notes

Grammar Notes provide detailed information about areas of grammar. Common Error Notes are introduced by a warning triangle and provide information about common mistakes that people make when using a word, based on research from the Longman Learners Corpus (a database of over 10 million words of English written by students from around the world).

Common Error Notes


The part of speech is shown first, followed by information about whether a word is countable, uncountable, transitive, intransitive etc. See pages i and ii for lists of parts of speech and grammar codes.


There are thousands of useful examples, based on information from the Longman Corpus Network and the Longman Web Corpus, which will help you to produce natural English. The Longman Corpus Network is a database of 390 million words of written and spoken British and American English from books, newspapers, conversations, advertisements, and many other sources. In addition to the Corpus, we also use the Internet to discover new words and new meanings of existing words.



Synonyms, antonyms, and related words
Synonyms (=words with the same meaning), antonyms (=words with the opposite meaning), and related words are shown after the definition.


Collocations are words that are often used with a particular word. Collocations are shown in bold. If a word has a lot of collocations, they are listed in a box at the end of the entry.

Thesaurus Notes explain the differences between words which are similar in meaning and give examples that show how they are used differently.


Thesaurus Notes