Did you know?

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

tatterdemalion - 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.

  1. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    an old word meaning old, torn and in bad condition

    The ten- and fifteen-story tower blocks are adorned in an improbable and tatterdemalion layer of colorful laundry.

    Submitted by Jordy from Australia on 18/11/2014
  2. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    also a noun: a person wearing old and ragged clothes

    The enfeebled American army was as usual suffering for want of clothing, arms, and food, "ragged tatterdemalions," as the British officers contemptuously called them.

    Submitted by Jordy from Australia on 18/11/2014
quiz invitation

gig economy

an employment concept in which people are paid for each specific, short-term task that they do and don't have conventional contracts of employment

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

fake news

a sensational piece of news which does not map to reality, created to attract attention or damage somebody's reputation

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