Differences Between the Merriam-Webster Print and Online Dictionaries

Differences Between the Merriam-Webster Print and Online Dictionaries

In 2017, the Scripps National Spelling Bee transitioned from the print version of the Merriam-Webster Third New International dictionary (which is also the CD ROM version) to the online Unabridged dictionary (unabridged.merriam-webster.com).

This blog post will discuss the differences between these two versions of the dictionaries so you are familiar with the changes.

Pronunciation of Words

There are some slight differences in pronunciation between the two versions of the dictionary. Some examples are:

Word Print/CD Dictionary Online Dictionary
mattock mad.ǝk, -atǝk ˈmatək, -atək
tare ta(a)](ǝ)r, ‘te], ]ǝ ˈter
flair fla(a)](ǝ)r, ‘fle], ]ǝ ˈfler
square skwa(a)](ǝ)r, -we], ]ǝ ˈskwer
aerolithology a(ǝ)(͵)rōli’thälǝjē ¦er-ə-li-¦thä-lə-jē
airbus a(a)(ǝ)r͵bǝs ˈer-ˌbəs
revert rə̇’vǝr]t, rē’-, -vӛ], -vǝi], usu ]t+V ri-ˈvərt
redress rə̇’dres, rē’- ri-ˈdres
steer sti(ǝ)r, -iǝ ˈstir
board bō(ǝ)rd, -ȯ(ǝ)rd, -ōǝd, -ȯ(ǝ)d ˈbȯrd
forth fō(ǝ)rth, ‘fȯ(ǝ)rth, ‘fōǝth, ‘fȯ(ǝ)th ˈfȯrth
coarse kō(ǝ)rs, -ȯ(ǝ)rs, -ōǝs, -ȯ(ǝ)s ˈkȯrs
panda pandǝ, ‘paan- ˈpan-də
forth fō(ǝ)rth, ‘fȯ(ǝ)rth, ‘fōǝth, ‘fȯ(ǝ)th ˈfȯrth
answer an(t)sǝ(r), ‘aan-, ‘ain-, ‘ån- ˈan(t)-sər

 

Note: While the print dictionary has the diacritical symbol /d./, the online dictionary has replace this with /t/.

 

Some words have different alternative pronunciations between the two dictionaries. Here are some of these words:

Word Print/CD Dictionary Online Dictionary
jacana jakənə jə-ˈkä-nə, ˌzhä-sə-ˈnäⁿ
chelator kē͵lātǝ(r) ˈkē-ˌlā-tər; kē-ˈlā-tər also chē-
sleazy slēzē, -zi ˈslē-zē also ˈslā-
archenteron (‘)ärk.’entǝ͵rän (ˈ)är-ˈken-tə-ˌrän, -rən
raptore rap͵tō(ǝ)r ˈrap-tər, -ˌtȯr
Aristotelian ¦arə̇stǝ¦tēlyǝn, ¦a͵ris-, -lēǝn also ¦er- or ǝ¦ris- or a¦ris- ¦a-rə-stə-¦tēl-yən
ctenophore tenǝ͵fō(ǝ)r ˈte-nə-ˌfȯr
om ȯm ˈōm, ˈȯm
flotsam flätsǝm    -lōt- ˈflät-səm
luxe lǝks ˈlu̇ks, ˈləks, ˈlüks
leopoldville ˈlē-ə-ˌpōld-ˌvil ˈlē-ə-ˌpōld-ˌvil, ˈlā-
crevalle krǝ’valē, -lǝ, -lā kri-ˈva-lē
aminophylline ǝ͵mēnō’fi͵lēn, |amǝ͵nō’-; ͵amǝ’näfǝ͵- ˌa-mə-ˈnä-fə-lən
leipzig līpsi]g, -sē] ˈlīp-sig, -sik

 

Spelling

Some words are spelled differently between both dictionaries, such as:

Print/CD Dictionary Online Dictionary
amizilia amazilia
bogsha bogshah
vilnyus vilnius

 

New Online Words

The online dictionary has a lot of new words that the print dictionary did not have. Scripps has asked a lot of these new online words in their bees, such as xylorimba, turducken, mizuna, and Beringia. In fact, a few of these new words were asked at the National Spelling Bee in 2017, such as arribada, clafouti, Bruneian, and bucatini.

 

SpellPundit is one of the only study resources that has completely incorporated all the spelling/pronunciation changes in the online dictionary. Our New Online Words Module has with over 4000 words for spellers to learn these words and test themselves.

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