Did you know?

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

cleft sentence - definition and synonyms


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.



Thesaurus diagram

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] linguistics     cleft sentence pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
singularcleft sentence
pluralcleft sentences
  1. a way of emphasizing a word or words by re-ordering the information in a sentence. A cleft sentence consists of impersonal ‘it’, the verb ‘be’, the important word or words, and a clause. For example the sentences ‘It is the answers that matter’ and ‘It was the money he wanted’ are cleft sentences. The non-emphatic alternatives would be ‘The answers matter’ and ‘He wanted the money’.
quiz invitation


the practice of looking at a product online before going to a conventional store to buy it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a person who has or claims to have a lot of influence

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
Macmillan learn live love play