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Word finder help - Word tools

Word finder help

How do I use the word finder?

Using the word finder to locate a word:

Go to the word finder home page. Decide what series of letters you want your word/s to contain - this must be a minimum of three letters - and type them into the search box.

Next, decide whether these letters should appear at the start of the word (starts with), the end of the word (ends with), or in any position in the word (contains).

Click the find word button. The results of your search will be listed below in alphabetical order. You will be told how many words matched your search criteria. If there are more than 200 matches, you will be show the first 200 results and be invited to refine your search term.

Here's an example of a word finder search:

I'm looking for the word cryoprostatectomy - I'm not sure how this word is spelled but I know it starts with the letter series cryo. I type these letters into the word finder search box, make sure the starts with button is checked, and then click the find word button.

My search returns an alphabetic list of words starting with the letter series cryo. I browse down the list until I find cryoprostatectomy.

To search for another word, clear the word finder search box by deleting the contents and typing in your new search term. Alternatively, you can click word finder on the menu and this will take you back to the word finder homepage.

Using the word finder as a spell checker:

Go to the word finder homepage and type in the word you want to check. Click the find word button. If you have spelled the word correctly it will appear in the list of returned words. If the word is spelled incorrectly, try entering a series of letters that appear in that word (as above) and browse the word list for the correct spelling of your word.

Take a look at the example:

I want to check I have spelled the word hippocampus correctly. I enter the word into the word finder and click the find word button. Success! Hippocampus is returned, so I've spelled it correctly.

If I was unsure how hippocampus was spelled, I could enter a series of letters that I know appear in this word (minimum of 3); for example, I could enter campus into the word finder, click find word and browse the list of returned words to find the correct spelling for this term.

How does the starts with, contains and ends with functionality work?

The starts with option will return words where the letters entered match the start of the word. For example, you may search for "teac", and words which start with those letters will be returned. See the screenshot below:

starts with

The contains option will return words where the letters entered match any part of the word. For example, you may search for "revel", and words which contain those letters will be returned. See the screenshot below:

contains

The ends with option will return words where the letters entered match the end of the word. For example, you may search for "nated", and words which end with those letters will be returned. See the screenshot below:

ends with

My search has returned more than 200 words, what should I do?

If your search returns more than 200 words, the first 200 words returned will be listed alphabetically. You will be invited to refine your search to reduce the number of results returned. You can refine your search by typing in a longer series of letters into the search box.

Here's an example:

You are unsure how to spell the word anterior. You enter the letter series ant into the search box and check the starts with button. Your search returns nearly 700 words, only the first 200 words are displayed and anterior isn't among them. You could refine your search by searching for ante, returning a more manageable 79 words. You can then browse this list of returned words to find your term.

Searching for words with unusual spellings

The word finder is a great way of finding words that are hard to spell - words containing silent letters, for example. You have heard the word ptosis, you want to know what it means, but you're unsure how it's spelled. You take a guess at the spelling and search for tosis in the dictionary, but no results are returned. If you carry out a word finder search for words ending with tosis, the correct spelling (ptosis) would be listed.

Does the word finder include all words?

No, presently the word finder contains purely medical words; this ensures that a manageable number of search results are returned.

We've outlined a few of the main uses for the word finder, but if you find it useful for other tasks, please get in touch and let us know. We can share your word finder tips with other users. Also, if there's any features you would like to see added to the word finder, please tell us and we'll see what we can do.

How do I use the 'select word list' feature?

By choosing to search the full word list your search will return all the relevant words in the word finder word database. You can restrict your search to return only words included in the SOWPODS Scrabble dictionary by choosing the Scrabble word list.

Can I use wildcard letters?

If you wish to find words which match a certain pattern but have unknown letters inbetween known letters, our crossword solver is what you are looking for.