Help: Search Box
A default search includes all of TheFreeDictionary reference databases (all dictionaries and encyclopedias). Your initial search results will correspond to whatever tab (representing a dictionary or encyclopedia) is currently active. If the Wikipedia tab is active, the display results will originate from Wikipedia. If you are on the homepage, results displayed will originate from the default Dictionary/Thesaurus tab.
Every time you perform a search, you can easily access the relevant entries in our other dictionaries and encyclopedias; just click on another tab.
This is the most common type of search, and it satisfies most search needs. For example, if you search for the word dog, you will see something like this:
If you want to find a phrase that starts with "London", your search results will be restricted to articles that begin with the word "London" and you will see something like this:
If you want to find a phrase that ends with the word "Stones", your search results will be restricted to articles that end with "Stones", and you will see something like this:
A text search scans all articles for any mention of your search term. This type of search will return the widest range of results. For example, if you search for the word "carbon", your results will originate from all existing tabs, and you will see something like this:
Search elsewhere on the web
In addition to the TheFreeDictionary, you can also search Google.
The Word / Article, Starts with, Ends with and Text options are not available for web searches.
This feature is especially useful if you make TheFreeDictionary your homepage: your search options become unlimited.
The external search is a good option when you find that TheFreeDictionary has reached its limitations. For example, once you have searched "GPS" on TheFreeDictionary and have learned that it stands for "Global Positioning System", you may want to check out prices for the device and perform a search on Google. Another example could be a word like "giclee," which is not very well defined in current dictionaries; you may want to find additional information about "giclee" elsewhere on the web by clicking the Google radio button.