I have about a dozen or more paperback and hard cover dictionaries. They sit on my shelf a few feet away. They contain thousands, possibly millions, of words that will help me write a story.
But sometimes I’m lazy, and I don’t want to get up. Sometimes I have my feet soaking in warm water and essential oils, so I can’t get up without making a mess. Sometimes I need to check on current changes to spelling and grammar use.
So sometimes, I use an online dictionary. There are many, and you don’t have to settle on one. Almost all are free.
The MacMillan Dictionary is one I’ve used many times. It gives the basic information about a word like many other dictionaries. It also has a button to click to hear the pronunciation of the word.
The dictionary provides various examples of how the word can be used. For example, more than one person has wondered which is correct in a given circumstance: died of, died from and died with.
She is dying of (or from) cancer.
One in three people over 65 will die with dementia.
They were ready to die for their country.
Each entry comes with related phrases: die laughing, be dying for something, I nearly died, etc. There’s also phrasal verbs: die away, die back, die down, etc.
If like many people, you are confused by the verbs lay and lie, you’ll find several good examples on how to use them to decide if you are using them correctly.
He laid the book on the desk.
I always lay my clothes carefully on the chair when I undress.
He loves to lie on the beach all day.
Papers were lying all over the desk.
The book lay on the floor where I’d left it.
Will you lay the table while I get breakfast?
The MacMillan Dictionary has several other features too, such as a thesaurus, language resource centre and word of the day (which today is durian: a large tropical fruit with a strong, unpleasant smell but a sweet flavour).