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Double-click dictionary

The Double-click Dictionary

This feature started life as the Global Glossary on the British Council's LearnEnglish site, offering language support for learners of English. Users can double-click on any word, and get a definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online. LearnEnglish has now negotiated rights to use the dictionary on the corporate site and on a couple of other named British Council sites.

The way it works is to first look up the double-clicked word in a Learner's dictionary to find the simplest explanation. If the word cannot be found, or if users want a more detailed explanation, they are offered a link to other relevant dictionaries: CUP's Advanced Learner's dictionary, their dictionary of American English, or their phrasal verb and idiom dictionaries

If the word has more than one use, you will need to make an initial choice, such as whether the word is a verb or a noun. Let's say you double-click on the word 'find' in 'find your favourite pages'.

The dictionary asks you to choose one of the following:

find v
find (sth) out v
find n

We click on the first use. We then get a list of possible meanings, and also the choice of whether to see how to pronounce the word or not using phonetic symbols.

An illustrated example:

On the zerocarboncity page, we find 'greenhouse gas emissions'

Greenhouse gas emissions

You double-click on 'greenhouse', and the dictionary offers the following:

Dictionary explanation

We can see 'greenhouse' and 'greenhouse effect'. However, we click 'Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary' link, and we are offered the following:

Dictionary - further explanation

We now get 'greenhouse gas' – the definition we wanted. If we click on that, we get:'

CUP give an explanation of the codes used in the Learner Dictionary here:

And if you're not sure about nouns, verbs, adverbs, '(sth)', etc., you can find an explanation of all the codes and phonetic symbols here:

Warning! If you double-click on a different word, the definition will open in the same pop-up window as before. If you double-click on a word and nothing happens, make sure the pop-up isn't hiding in another window behind the one you are reading!


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