Advanced dictionary search
June 11, 2010 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Advanced dictionary search : I'm trying to find a list of 4-letter adjectives in English. What online tools are available?

Really, I need a more general-purpose tool : a dictionary where I can use regular expressions or wildcard characters in combination with filtering on types of words (nouns, verbs, etc) and word length. Would also be nice to be able to search for a root word (something in Latin, say) and see words that partially derive from it. I'm actually surprised that I'm having trouble finding this, but now I'm starting to think it just might not exist?
posted by phoeniciansailor to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Try Onelook. It seems to be an online dictionary aggregator that uses wildcards in it's search protocol.
posted by Isosceles at 1:27 PM on June 11, 2010

The Oxford Dictionary Site also allows wildcards, as well filters for parts of speech ( pronouns, verbs, etc. ), but it requires a subscription.
posted by Isosceles at 1:38 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: RegEx Dictionary and/or COCA. Both of these allow you to specify word categories (adjective, noun, etc.) and then you can specify 4 wildcard letters only. You can also restrict lemmas if you wish.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:56 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: The MRC Linguistic Database lets you search by number of letters and part of speech, and wildcard/string searches, among many other options.
posted by supramarginal at 9:09 AM on June 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! For what I needed, iamkimiam's 2 links were perfect. They've been bookmarked and double-bookmarked.
posted by phoeniciansailor at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2010

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