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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
The difference between LearnersDictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com
Thursday May 2nd 2013
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The difference between LearnersDictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com
Answer

Question

What's the difference between LearnersDictionary.com and Merrriam-Webster.com? – Hubery, China

Answer

The main difference between LearnersDictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com (or m-w.com) is that LearnersDictionary.com is intended for non-native speakers of English, and Merriam-Webster.com is intended for native speakers. But practically speaking, what does this mean? Read below to find out. 

 

1. More word entries at Merriam-Webster.com
Merriam-Webster.com includes entries for many words that are not included at LearnersDictionary.com because they are rarely used and not essential for learners, such as demulcent and nepenthe.

2. Definitions are simpler at LearnersDictionary.com
The definitions at LearnersDictionary.com are shorter and are written in simpler and clearer language, so that non-native speakers of English can understand them. They focus on the most important meanings of a word, and leave out meanings that are rare or unusual. Compare the two definitions for constructive, below, and you will see the difference:

LearnersDictionary.com

constructive (adjective)
: helping to develop or improve something : helpful to someone instead of upsetting and negative


Merriam-Webster.com

constructive (adjective)
1: declared such by judicial construction or interpretation
2: of or relating to construction or creation
3: promoting improvement or development

3. More example sentences at LearnersDictionary.com
LearnersDictionary.com entries include more example sentences and phrases, highlighted in blue, to show how a word is used. These example sentences were chosen to illustrate typical uses of the word, and they include common phrases, which are shown in bold. See the excerpt from the entry for behavior, below, for an example.

LearnersDictionary.com

behavior (noun)
1 : the way a person or animal acts or behaves [noncount] I'm surprised by her bad behavior toward her friends. Students will be rewarded for good behavior. scientists studying the behavior of elephants normal adolescent behavior criminal behavior an interesting pattern of behavior = an interesting behavior pattern The children were all on their best behavior [=were all behaving very well and politely] at the museum.

4. LearnersDictionary.com includes 22,000 phrasal verbs and idioms
In LearnersDictionary.com, the phrasal verbs and idioms associated with a word are included in the entry, giving learners access to information that typical dictionaries do not provide. There are 22,000 idioms and phrasal verbs presented in all. Here are some examples from the entry for the verb shake:

more than you can shake a stick at
chiefly US, informal : more than you can count

shake up[phrasal verb]
1. shake (someone) up or shake up (someone) : to upset (someone) : to shock or frighten (someone)

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