Did you know?

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


 - definition

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 entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] blow pronunciation in British English /bləʊ/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a hard hit from someone's hand or an object

    The victim was apparently killed by a blow to the head with a heavy object.

    They knocked him down and pummelled him with blows.

  2. 2
    an event that spoils your chances of success

    Losing a second match would be a major blow to his world title hopes.

    deal a blow to something:

    The closure of the factory dealt a devastating blow to the local economy.

    1. a.
      an event that causes you to feel very sad, disappointed, or shocked
      a real blow:

      Her mother's death was a real blow to her.

      come as a blow:

      It came as a bit of a blow when he found out she was married.



a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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