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The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Webster’s Essential Mini Dictionary

With short definitions that are easy to understand, this monolingual dictionary is suitable for beginners and pre-intermediate students.

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Webster's Essential Mini Dictionary has all the words and phrases that you need to learn in American English. Select "Essential American English" from the list of dictionaries at the top of any page on Cambridge Dictionaries Online to search this dictionary.

Key Features

Understand the meaning

Simple definitions use the words that you know: The definition at accelerate is written to explain the word if you do not already know it.

See which words to learn first

Clear symbols tell you the level of the most important words in English: At about, the first sense is marked A1, which tells you that this is a very important sense. The phrase what/how about…? has two senses marked A2 and B1 that are important for more advanced users.

Learn how to use the word

Thousands of short, natural example sentences show words in context: At able, the example shows how to use be able to, because these are words that are often used together.

American Pronunciation

Hear the words spoken online with thousands of American English recordings: Try listening to the different pronunciations for the verb advise and the noun advice.

Also available as a book

Get Webster’s Essential Mini Dictionary from Cambridge ESL.

  • Special notes that tell you the most common mistakes in English – and how to avoid them.
  • 600 pictures
  • 16-page Guide to the Dictionary with exercises for use in class or at home.
  • 16 color pages help with learning vocabulary for topics such as Clothes and Sports.
  • Essential Phrasal Verbs section gives extra help with phrasal verbs.

Other dictionaries

In other dictionaries...

“expenditure” in other dictionaries

If you search for a word, then decide you want to see what another Cambridge dictionary says about it, you can use the ‘In other dictionaries’ section on the right.

For example if you look up the definition for expenditure in British English, then want to find out what the American English dictionary says, click on ‘American English’. If you then want to find a Spanish translation for that word, click on ‘in Spanish’.

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