Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] forerunner pronunciation in American English /ˈfɔrˌrʌnər/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    an institution, custom, or thing that existed before a newer but similar thing
    forerunner of:

    Small country schools were forerunners of the modern public schools in most American towns.

  2. 2
    an animal or plant that existed before an animal or plant that it is related to

    Tree shrews are believed to be forerunners of monkeys.


… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog