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] British English pronunciation: criminal /ˈkrɪmɪn(ə)l/ 
Word Forms
  1. someone who has committed a crime

    The system is designed to prevent criminals from reoffending.

    a convicted criminal (=one who has been judged guilty in a court of law):

    Convicted criminals should not profit from publicizing their crimes.

    a hardened criminal (=someone who has committed many crimes):

    Most of the offenders are not hardened criminals.


a face mask worn on the beach in order to protect the face from the sun

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


dirty and sometimes untidy or smelling bad

Open Dictionary


a set of photographs which show what different clothes styles look like and is used to advertise those clothes

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