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.

adjective spontaneous pronunciation in British English /spɒnˈteɪniəs/

Related dictionary definitions

  1. happening in a natural way without being planned or thought about

    spontaneous applause/cheers

    He was suddenly filled with tears of spontaneous emotion.

    1. b.
      science used about chemical or biological changes or processes that happen suddenly in a natural way

      spontaneous wildfires

      spontaneous contractions of the muscles in the oesophagus

derived words




noun [uncountable]

Open Dictionary

breakfast rave

a rave … that takes place early in the morning and where there is no alcohol or drugs …

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