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Advanced search lets you expand your search beyond the headwords themselves more

Advanced search lets you expand your search beyond the headwords themselves, to search the full text of the entries (the default) or the illustrative quotations only. less

Exclude quotations: Limit your full-text search to non-quotation text more

Exclude quotations: Limit your full-text search to non-quotation text by choosing ‘exclude quotations’. This lets you limit your search to the non-quotation text, which may include definitions, explanatory text, and other material. less

Search either of the source dictionaries more

Search either of the source dictionaries You can limit your search to either of the source dictionaries if you want to restrict the results to words in use before or after the year 1700. less

Boolean search: Use ‘AND’, ‘OR’ or ‘NOT’ (Boolean operators), or a combination of these, to search for more than one specific word or phrase, or exclude them from your search. more

Boolean search: Use ‘AND’, ‘OR’ or ‘NOT’ (Boolean operators), or a combination of these, to search for more than one specific word or phrase, or exclude them from your search.
AND
Use the Boolean operator upper case AND to find, for example, all entries that include both the words ‘wind’ and ‘rain’ by entering wind AND rain in the search box. This will then find any entry that includes both words, anywhere in the entry. It’s important that the Boolean operator is keyed in upper case. If you key it in lower case, e.g. wind and rain, then this will find instances of the phrase wind and rain.
OR
Use upper case OR to find all entries that include any of the search terms. For example, searching for wind OR rain will find all entries that contain either wind or rain (or both) anywhere in the entry.
NOT
Use upper case NOT to exclude specific words or phrases from your search. For example, searching for wind NOT rain will find all entries that contain the word wind but not the word rain.
Combining Boolean operators
You can use the same operator more than once in your search, e.g. wind AND rain AND snow) or use a combination of different operators in the same search, e.g. wind AND rain AND snow NOT hail less

Wildcard characters: You can use wildcard characters in your advanced search term to help you find what you’re looking for. more

Wildcard characters: You can use wildcard characters in your advanced search term to help you find what you’re looking for.
Use ? to indicate only one wildcard character.
Use * for one or more wildcard characters.
Wildcards can be used in any kind of headword search, including phrasal headwords, whether using Quick Search or Advanced Search.
Note, however, that for searches of the full text or of quotations only, wildcards cannot be used in phrases – only in single words. Wildcards cannot be used to replace whole words, only one or more characters within a word.
E.g. you couldn’t do a full text search for ca cann* to find all instances of either ca canny or ca cannie. You could, however, use Boolean search (see above) to look for ca AND cann*, which would find entries which contain both ca and words beginning with cann, although not necessarily together. However you couldn’t search for ca AND * as wildcards cannot be used to replace a whole word. less

Advanced search, in addition to searching the dictionary entries, lets you search the bibliographies for the texts from which the illustrative quotations in the dictionary entries are taken.

You can also limit your search to either of the source dictionaries if you want to restrict the results to words in use before or after the year 1700.

Wildcard characters
You can use wildcard characters in your search term to help you find what you’re looking for.
Use ? to indicate only one wildcard character.
Use * for one or more wildcard characters.