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Guide Words in a Dictionary- How to Seek and Learn

A word published or printed at the top of a page in a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, etc., typically the primary or final access at the web page. It also refers Guide words are those words that you see at the top of a dictionary page. Some guide words used in a dictionary are: definition, synonym, antonym, related words, and thesaurus.

Origin of Guide Words in a Dictionary

This word is first recorded in the era of 1925–30. The other words that entered in English language at around the same time. It includes: decibel, dropout, gimmick, hot spot, off-line.

Detail of Guide Words in a Dictionary

In this lesson we’re going to spend some time talking about how to use a dictionary effectively and specifically we’re going to take a look at dictionary guide words and how they can help us to find the word we’re looking for. So, let’s take a look at a sample entry first of all it’s important to know that all of the words that are found in the dictionary are called entry words and those entry words are arranged in alphabetical order.

Examples of Guide Words

After having look at the image below, you will easily get the topic concept. In page 101, the word starts with ‘b’ and ends at ‘e’ whereas the same case is at page 102.

Guide words
Guide words definition
Guide words example

In the above image, it is stated that a dictionary expresses two pages. The first page (101) have a supposed word “braille” and “break” printed on page 102 are guide words of respective pages. These words help the readers and learners to find the words by expressing the initial, middle, and ending letters of the concerned word.

Importance of Guide Words in a Dictionary

Can you imagine if the dictionary was not arranged in alphabetical order? How in the world would you find the word you’re looking for in the thousands and thousands of words that book contains. So thankfully somebody was smart enough to put them in alphabetical order and they were also smart enough to give us guide words.

If you look at the first page guide word antiquity that is going to be the very first word that you find defined on that dictionary page and when you look at anywhere that is the very last word that is found on the page. So, you know on this page the only words that you’re going to find are words that alphabetically fall between antiquity and anywhere. So, I would certainly suggest not looking for the word alligator on this page because alligator would not fall between these two words so guide words as you look at the tops of the page can really help you to kind of narrow down where you need to look.

Characteristics of a Dictionary

  1. Accuracy – The dictionary’s entries should be accurate and up to date.
  2. Comprehensive – The dictionary should be comprehensive, covering all the main words and meanings.
  3. Concise – The dictionary should be concise, providing only the essential information for each word.
  4. Easy to Use – The dictionary should be easy to use, with clear and concise entries.
  5. Helpful – The dictionary should be helpful, providing clear explanations of the word’s meaning and usage.

How do you determine Guide words?

Guide Words: These words are printed in bold at the top of each page of dictionary or thesarus that helps the reader to locate an entry word. The first guide word is the first word on the page whereas he second guide word is the last word on the page.

How to use a guide word?

Guide words appear or printed on each page of a dictionary at the top. They tell the reader the first word and last word on the page. The readers can find their required word with the help of guide words by considering alphabetical order because every guide word is based on alphabetical order of its spelling. So, we can estimate next letter in the word to find complete word.

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