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 British English pronunciation: licence /ˈlaɪs(ə)ns/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something

    Have you got your driving licence yet?

    He was charged with possessing a shotgun without a licence.

    lose your licence (=be no longer allowed to do something):

    Anyone caught driving dangerously will automatically lose their licence.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] freedom to say or do what you want

    The designers were allowed great licence to let their imaginations run.

    Being angry doesn't give you licence to treat others so rudely.

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


old and no longer in good condition

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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