Did you know?

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

hedonic treadmill - 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.


or hedonic adaptation

  1. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    the human tendency to return to the same level of happiness after something very good or very bad has happened

    ... the "hedonic treadmill" trap, whereby we work harder and harder without ever achieving happiness.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 08/03/2013
quiz invitation

Open Dictionary


a volume of articles, essays, etc., contributed by many authors in honor of a colleague, usually published on the occasion of their retirement, an important anniversary and the like

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