Did you know?

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


 - definitions and thesaurus

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. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb not pronunciation in American English /nɑt/
  1. 1
    used for making negatives
    1. a.
      used for making a sentence, expression, or word negative

      He would not listen to anything she said.

      Barbara’s not coming to the party.

      I don’t feel sorry for her.

      Do not forget your promise.

      They told me not to worry.

      Not all children have the opportunity for preschool education.

      not even:

      The teacher could not even remember my name.

      The oven’s not even warm yet.

    2. b.
      used instead of repeating something in the negative
      or not:

      Are you coming with me or not?

      if not:

      I’ll probably see you on Sunday; if not, it’ll be Monday.

      hope/suppose/think etc. not:

      “Is it going to be very expensive?” “I hope not.”

  2. 2
    used for showing that you mean the opposite of the word or phrase that follows

    It’s not much fun living with a drug addict.

    I was astonished and not a little shocked by what she said.

    Not surprisingly, Greg forgot to bring the key.

  3. 3
    used for asking questions spoken
    1. a.
      used for forming a question when you expect the answer to beyes

      Did you not get my letter?

      Isn’t it a beautiful day?

      That was easy, wasn’t it?

    2. b.
      used for forming questions that show you think someone should have done something

      Shouldn’t you have brought the laundry in out of the rain?

      Did I not tell you to be ready by ten o’clock?

  4. 4
    used before a distance, length of time, amount, etc. to say that something is less than that amount

    We got there not five minutes before Fran arrived.

    He was not three miles from home when his car broke down.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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