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Wildcard Dictionary Search

Search an online dictionary with wildcard characters
  [vote for,

This is a feature of an alphanumeric search function for an online dictionary (including proper names) using wildcards ("*" would match an indeterminate length string of letters, "?" would match a single letter.)

I should be able to enter "a*a" and get results. e.g. Alaska, alpaca, alopecia, Amanda, Andrea, Altadena, etc.

"r*e" would return rose, ride, rye, reference, etc.

"r??e" would return rose, ride, rice, etc.

I think if the the number of missing letters is known, perhaps a crossword dictionary would work, but I don't think I've ever seen "*" used in this fashion.

csea, May 01 2013


       Looks like [bigsleep]'s link has what I'm looking for. Thanks!   

       Further thought: subscripts on question marks (?1, ?2, ?3) could be used to search for palindromes.   

       e.g. "?1?2?3?4?5?5?4?3?2?1" would search for 10-letter palindromes. Should be extensible to ignore spaces.
csea, May 01 2013

       This functionality is built-in to Unix, actually. Every Unix system comes with a word list (usually in /usr/share/dict/words) and the grep program which allows you to search any text file using regular expressions.   

       Regular expressions are awesome—they're basically wildcard matching on steroids. Your palindrome example (or rather, one to find a five letter palindrome) would be written as the following regexp: /^([a-z])([a-z])([a-z])\2\1$/
ytk, May 01 2013

       I see a movie of a sad little robot wandering door to door asking to check the house dictionary for "a*a" and reporting back to a big sad robot every new hit. " Have not had a hit in days" it sobs "down to my last backup battery" it sniffs.
popbottle, May 03 2013


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