word part dictionary?

Erin McKean editor at VERBATIMMAG.COM
Fri May 17 17:43:32 UTC 2002

>  >Does anyone have a handy (and preferably online) reference for looking
>>up words by constituent parts?  Of course prefixes can be found in any
>>regular dictionary, but I occasionally want to be able to look up words
>>by base part, suffix, or collocated particle.
>>Any ideas?

For parts, Michael Quinion's Ologies and Isms: A Dictionary of Word
Beginnings and Endings (emphasizing those, for, as Ron points out,
infixes are few and <wait-for-it> in-between. <ba-dump-bump>) is due
out from OUP in late summer/early fall.

For words-by-parts, this dictionary site allows regular expression searching:


They offer a number of different databases, including Webster's 1913,
Bierce's Devil's Dictionary (that was a surprise).

(Note: it not infrequently gives 'database engine error',if so, just
keep trying.)

There's an option to search a substring occurring anywhere in a word.
"Couth" got me:

web1913:  Couth  Selcouth  Uncouth  Uncouthly  Uncouthness
wn:  couth  couthie  couthy  uncouth  uncouthly  uncouthness

"wn" is Wordnet.

I couldn't get it to give me collocated particle, but I didn't spend
much time trying.

Have fun!

editor at verbatimmag.com

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