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Reverse-lookup Online Dictionary

You know -- that word that means insufficiently thought out or ill-conceived...?
  [vote for,

You give the definition, it spits out a list of probable matches.

I've searched, but I can't seem to find one.

MrWrong, Jun 15 2001

Roget's Thesaurus http://www.thesauru...et-Outline-Top.html
The database is too small, but you get the idea. [jutta, Jun 15 2001]

Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus http://www.visualthesaurus.com/
Interesting, but ultimately not terribly useful thesaurus following thought threads [Lemon, Jun 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) That animal with spots... http://www.sfc.wcape.school.za/encyc.htm
Mind you, searching on Google for "that animal with spots that runs really fast" did turn up some entertaining (and informative) results... [MrWrong, Jun 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Merriam Webster http://www.m-w.com
The best online thesaurus I've found so far [goff, Jun 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

xrefer http://www.xrefer.com/
Access to over 50 reference titles containing more than 500,000 entries, it's now one year old. 'Select All' or divide into one of 15 categories. Excellent site. [thumbwax, Jun 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

WordNet - a Lexical Database for English http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/~wn/
What happens when cognitive scientists write a thesaurus. [wiml, Jun 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Reverse Alphabet Dictionary http://www.schneertz.com/revalph/
It alphabetizes words beginning with the last letter. This is as close I as could find. [bilal_fan, Oct 04 2004]

Onelook.com' Reverse Dictionary http://www.onelook....se-dictionary.shtml
BAKED!!! OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. [CrAsSuS, Oct 04 2004]


       [insert obligatory remark that phrase searches in google need to be put in quotes if the result count is to be meaningful.]   

       You don't need to be able to think of a synonym to use a (conventional) thesaurus. All you need to know is how to navigate a thesaurus - it's like a big game of "animal".   

       (This has the advantage of existing, in contrast to the text comprehension system you'd need to "understand" your definition.)   

       [egnor, no clue. The two I've used did. I didn't until now realize that thesaurus has an alternate meaning that doesn't include the ontology.]
jutta, Jun 15 2001, last modified Jun 16 2001

       Google doesn't seem to pay attention to quotes...I put in '"breast pillow"' for another link and it came up with millions of hits involving 'breast' and 'pillow', mostly completely unrelated to each other. That's the reason I still use Alta Vista...
StarChaser, Jun 16 2001

       I get "about 99" (in reality, fewer) links for that search term. Don't know what we're doing differently. (Add a link to your search if it still does that.)   

       (Both my experience and google's documentation contradict what beauxeault and waugsqueke talk about in the two annotations below; send email if you want to argue this out.)
jutta, Jun 16 2001, last modified Jun 22 2001

       I believe I remember reading on the "about Google" page when it was a youngster that the engine specifically ignored quotation marks intended to delimit phrases.
beauxeault, Jun 18 2001

       Good points, all, but not quite baked.   

       For example, trying to find "that animal with the spots that runs really fast" in a thesaurus won't help much. Google can help pick up the things I can't find in the thesaurus... Once I sift through the 17-bazillion results, that is. [link]
MrWrong, Jun 18 2001

       It's a friggin dog, fer chrissakes!
thumbwax, Jun 19 2001

       [thumbwax] Not "that animal *named* Spots that runs really fast"...   

       BTW, awesome link. Just what the doctor ordered.
MrWrong, Jun 19 2001

       Here's a true "reverse lookup" dictionary.   

meadow, Jan 06 2003

       What is the process of delegating some production or processing tasks to suppliers and distributors?
coreyeary, Jun 04 2003

       //outsaucing//... isn't that the job of the Sous Chef?
Cedar Park, Jun 04 2003

       Onelook.com's Reverse Dictionary   

       More often than not, when we cant think of the right word, its not a common word we are looking for. Its a more obscure word with a complex definition that eludes us. Onelook's reverse dictionary is the closest thing we can get to a solution, but it still fails to efficiently provide an accurate result. Its all generally in the same category, but not what I am looking for. Still great though!
CrAsSuS, May 07 2004

       I assumed something like this would be fully baked, and my Yahoo search for "reverse dictionary lookup" took me directly to the HB, where I found exactly the links I needed. [+]
ed, Aug 09 2007


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