Basic Search

Basic Search provides the following features and capabilities:

  • Provides full multilingual search and display of results
  • Finds words by meaning as well as characters of the word (all or some)
  • Displays Related Words such as synonyms, antonyms, and semantically related concepts
  • Displays Complements of Words such as adjectives and verbs that match nouns, and adverbs that match adjectives and verbs. Complements accent, modify, and clarify words. For example, 'delightful' and 'loquacious' accent the word 'girl'. They are just two of the over 2,000 Complements for 'girl' in WordDiscovery. WordDiscovery provides millions of complements relating to tens of thousands of words.
  • Displays multiple definitions and Wiktionary data
  • Displays Graphs of related words such as synonyms
  • Finds and displays Rhyming words

Starting the Basic Search

To start the Basic Search, select Basic Search from the Main Menu. The starting grid displays similar to below.

Using Advanced Search

Initially you will want to search for word(s) meeting your criteria. You use Advanced Search to search. First, in the picture above, look to the right of the Advanced Search button. You use the language drop-down to select a language for your search. The default is English. After selecting your desired language, click the Advanced Search button and the Advanced Search dialog displays like this (we're showing in English):

Note that there are 19 Search Fields. Here are hints on using them.

  • Word: First select whether you want to search using Contains, Equal, Starts With, or Ends with. For example, to find words containing 'social' select Contains in the drop down and enter 'social' in the word field.
  • Definition: Often you don't know the word you want, only that it may mean or be about something. In this case, use the Topic search field and enter a term. WordDiscovery will then attempt to find that term in all the words in the dictionary or those upon which you have already filtered your search.
  • Noun Class contains nouns associated with People, Animals, Events, Emotions, etc
  • Verb Class contains verbs associated with Being, Buying, Eating, Feeling, etc.
  • The Length field search is useful such as for puzzles or perhaps in writing a newspaper column when space is a premium. You can choose from several Length parameters.
  • The six Qualitative Factors are drop downs that let you drill into many factors. For example, the Tones display words in about 30 different tones such as harsh and comical.
  • The Key fields display words focused on implications such as Accord and Happiness, or principle emotions.

Let's begin our example search by searching for Words which contain 'social' as below where the Word field Contains 'social'. 

After entering our search criteria above, we click the Advanced Search button to see the results below. (Use the scroll bar on the image to see all the fields.)

WordDiscovery has found 117 words containing 'social'. It has highlighted our search term in yellow.

What if You Don't Know the Word But Know What It's About?

With most dictionaries, you need to know the word before you can look it up.  What's the point of that? With WordDiscovery, you can know a little about the word and find it as shown above. But if all you know is you want a word that is About Something, then you need another approach. WordDiscovery has many ways of doing this. One of them is Definition Search.

Click the Advanced Search button and this time we'll use the Definition field like this (Definition contains 'social'):

And here are the results.

There are over 1,000 results, so maybe we want to refine our search, but still use these definition search results as a starting point. Here's how we do it searching both Definition and Short Definition (one example of many possibilities). This will find words that have both 'social' and 'people' in their definitions.

Viewing Related Words

As alluded to above, you want a word that has a definition close to one of the resulting words, but for aesthetic or other reasons, maybe a synonym or other related word would be better for you. These are found by viewing Related Words. To View Related Words, click the Related Words info icon on the row with the word that looks like the best option at this point. For example, let's click on the info icon for the word 'alienated'.  Here are the results after paging to page 2. (To see the Related Words column in the above grid, slide the horizontal scroll bar to the right).

There are about 70 Related Words, and we page forward to page 2 and find 'disaffected', which sounds just right.  But we would like to convey the degree to which the person is 'disaffected' so we'll look at Complements of 'disaffected' by clicking its View Complements icon.  Here is how we view Complements.

Viewing Complements

We want to find words that Complement 'disaffected' so we click on its info icon and here are the results.

So perhaps we like 'bitterly'.  We can also look for synonyms or words related to 'bitterly' by clicking is View Related info icon.  Here are the results.

We decide to use 'balefully' partly because 'bitterly' is often used and doesn't convey as specific a meaning.

Other Word Information

In addition to Related Words and Complements, WordDiscovery provides additional information for words including:

  • Extended Definitions
  • Wiktionary Information
  • Graphs of Related Words
  • Rhyming Words

Each of these is displayed by clicking on its associated info icon.

For example, here is the word 'girl' in the Basic Dictionary.

First note that there are five words 'girl' in the dictionary. This is because there are five different definitions of the word in the dictionary. Now we look at the extended definition. Click the info icon for any of the words 'girl'. Below the grid of the word 'girl' there is now an iframe with a scrolling extended definition of 'girl'

Now click on the info icon for the Wiktionary entry. The extended definition is replaced by an iframe containing the Wiktionary information for the word 'girl'.

The Wiktionary entry is also scrolling. Often it contains the word in multiple languages as well as an audio pronunciation of the word.

Now click on the Graph info icon for any of the words 'girl'. This displays words related to 'girl' in a spatial representation as described in the Graphical Display section of this Help.

The graph is interactive. If you hover your mouse over the @ intersections, the definition common to that branch is displayed. If you click on a word in the graph, its relationship graph is displayed and a breadcrumb is added so you can keep track and back up. You can change the shape of the word frame to Circle, Dot, or Rectangle by clicking on the graph's menu bar. You can also click and unclick Noun, Verb, Adverb, Adjective to display or remove display of these words if they exist in the relationship. For ease of viewing, the graph limits the number of relationships displayed on a page. If there are more relationships, they can be displayed by clicking the numbered drop down on the right side of the graph's menu.

Now let's click the Rhymes info icon for a word 'girl'. Here are the resulting rhymes displayed in an iframe below the grid.

Viewing Complements for Words

We can also view Complements for 'girl' by clicking the View Complements info icon and here are the results.

Note that there about 2,000 Complements for the word 'girl'.  We can Search them as well as display words Related to them, plus other information including Extended Definition, Wiktionary data, Graphs, and Rhymes.

Viewing the Basic Dictionary in Other Languages

The Basic Dictionary can be viewed and searched in 30 languages. There are 2 steps in setting up for viewing in a language. One is to set the Grid itself to a selected language. The other is to set the Search Language to a selected language.

To set the Grid to a selected language, click the down arrow in the Google language selection box like this for Spanish.

Here is the resulting grid now in Spanish.


In summary, the Basic Dictionary provides powerful word discovery, display of related words and complements, graphic representation of word relationships, and multilingual support. The Basic Dictionary is a great place to begin using WordDiscovery!