Macquarie Dictionary



Select Dictionary or Thesaurus by clicking the appropriate button.
Enter the word you are looking for in the box above.
Click the “Go” button or press the “Enter” key.

A screen will appear giving the complete entry for the top hit, along with the number of other hits and a link to a listing of all results. If you have searched in both the Dictionary and Thesaurus, the top hit is from the Dictionary, and there are links to all results in each of the Dictionary and the Thesaurus.

If you are looking up a word which has an accent, key it into the the search panel without the accent. If the word is in the dictionary, it should appear in the results. For example, if you are looking up the word appliqué, just key in ‘applique

English has many compounds. The presence or absence of a hyphen or space can affect the search results. If you are having trouble finding the word you’re after, you can try the following:

Fuzzy search:

Did you mean…?

Fuzzy search is now built into our search engine, meaning you no longer need to toggle the feature when you aren’t quite sure what word you are looking for, or your finger slips! For example, if you search for sinamon you will get the hit cinnamon, if you search for dipthong, you will get diphthong, and if you search for fayshel, you will get facial.

Wildcard search:

  • A question mark, ?, matches zero or more characters.
    For example, searching for bush? will find bushbushelbush lemon, etc.
  • A question mark followed by a number, ?n, matches zero to n characters.
    For example, searching for col?2r will find collar and colour.
  • A hash, #, matches exactly one character.
    For example, searching for wom#n will find woman and women. Searching for hon### will find all 6-letter words beginning with ‘hon’.

Why are some words in red?

The item that appears in red text in a dictionary entry matches the form of a word you have searched for. If that word is the headword, then that will be in red. For example, if you search on the term ‘eye’ then the headword ‘eye’ will appear in red.

The left-hand section lists entries where the term appears either as the headword (eye), as part of the headword (apple of the eye), as part of a phrase definition (blink — in the blink of an eye), or as a variant. When you click on any of these results, ‘eye’ will show in red to highlight its position, making it easier to locate within an entry.

Similarly, in the thesaurus, the red text helps you find a word within the strings of synonyms. After clicking in the left-hand section on the keyword that best suits the sense you are after, the red text highlights the position of your search term.

Suggest a word

If you can’t find a word or phrase but think it should be in the Macquarie Dictionary, you can send it to us for consideration. Many thanks to all those who have contributed so far. These are valuable contributions to our knowledge of Australian English.