Front page | CyberDictionary | Spelling: Long version (Short version)

A few of the most common spelling errors/mixups found on the internet.
This version of the dictionary includes thorough definitions of the words borrowed from the Oxford Concise Dictionary and the Webster Dictionary. See the short version for a quick reference.

Wrong word/spelling
Right word
Two way mix-up

Word Meaning
buy (see by) [baI] v. & n. --v. (buys, buying; past and past part. bought) 1 tr. a obtain in exchange for money etc. b (usu. in neg.) serve to obtain (money can't buy happiness). 2 tr. a procure (the loyalty etc.) of a person by bribery, promises, etc. b win over (a person) in this way. 3 tr. get by sacrifice, great effort, etc. (dearly bought; bought with our sweat). 4 tr. sl. accept, believe in, approve of (it's a good scheme, I'll buy it; he bought it, he's so gullible). 5 absol. be a buyer for a store etc. (buys for Selfridges; are you buying or selling?). --n. colloq. a purchase (that sofa was a good buy). /best buy the purchase giving the best value in proportion to its price; a bargain. buy in 1 buy a stock of. 2 withdraw (an item) at auction because of failure to reach the reserve price. buy into obtain a share in (an enterprise) by payment. buy it (usu. in past) sl. be killed. buy off get rid of (a claim, a claimant, a blackmailer) by payment. buy oneself out obtain one's release (esp. from the armed services) by payment. buy out pay (a person) to give up an ownership, interest, etc. buy-out n. the purchase of a controlling share in a company etc. buy over bribe. buy time delay an event, conclusion, etc., temporarily. buy up 1 buy as much as possible of. 2 absorb (another firm etc.) by purchase. [OE bycgan f. Gmc]
by [baI] prep., adv., & n. --prep. 1 near, beside, in the region of (stand by the door; sit by me; path by the river). 2 through the agency, means, instrumentality, or causation of (by proxy; bought by a millionaire; a poem by Donne; went by bus; succeeded by persisting; divide four by two). 3 not later than; as soon as (by next week; by now; by the time he arrives). 4 a past, beyond (drove by the church; came by us). b passing through; via (went by Paris). 5 in the circumstances of (by day; by daylight). 6 to the extent of (missed by a foot; better by far). 7 according to; using as a standard or unit (judge by appearances; paid by the hour). 8 with the succession of (worse by the minute; day by day; one by one). 9 concerning; in respect of (did our duty by them; Smith by name; all right by me). 10 used in mild oaths (orig. = as surely as one believes in) (by God; by gum; swear by all that is sacred). 11 placed between specified lengths in two directions (three feet by two). 12 avoiding, ignoring (pass by him; passed us by). 13 inclining to (north by north-west). --adv. 1 near (sat by, watching; lives close by). 2 aside; in reserve (put 5 by). 3 past (they marched by). --n. = BYE. /by and by before long; eventually. by and large on the whole, everything considered. by the by (or bye) incidentally, parenthetically. by oneself 1 a unaided. b without prompting. 2 alone; without company. [OE bi, bi, be f. Gmc]
copywrite (see copyright) Spelling by ear. The word doesn't exist.
copyright cop-y-right ['k0pirait] n., adj., & v. --n. the exclusive legal right granted for a specified period to an author, designer, etc., or another appointed person, to print, publish, perform, film, or record original literary, artistic, or musical material. --adj. (of such material) protected by copyright. secure copyright for (material). /copyright library Brit. a library entitled to a free copy of each book published in the UK.
could have or might have
could of (see could have) Spelling by ear. Wrong use of the word 'of'.
definately (see definitely) - misspelling
definitely def-i-nite-ly ['defIn@tlI] adv. & int. --adv. 1 in a definite manner. 2 certainly; without doubt (they were definitely there). --int. colloq. yes, certainly.
knew [nju] past of KNOW
new (see knew) [nju] adj. & adv. --adj. 1 a of recent origin or arrival. b made, invented, discovered, acquired, or experienced recently or now for the first time (a new star; has many new ideas). 2 in original condition; not worn or used. 3 a renewed or reformed (a new life; the new order). b reinvigorated (felt like a new person). 4 different from a recent previous one (has a new job). 5 in addition to others already existing (have you been to the new supermarket?). 6 (often foll. by to) unfamiliar or strange (a new sensation; the idea was new to me). 7 (often foll. by at) (of a person) inexperienced, unaccustomed (to doing something) (am new at this business). 8 (usu. prec. by the) often derog. a later, modern. b newfangled. c given to new or modern ideas (the new man). d recently affected by social change (the new rich). 9 (often prec. by the) advanced in method or theory (the new formula). 10 (in place-names) discovered or founded later than and named after (New York; New Zealand). --adv. (usu. in comb.) 1 newly, recently (new-found; new-baked). 2 anew, afresh. /new birth Theol. spiritual regeneration. new broom see BROOM. new deal new arrangements or conditions, esp. when better than the earlier ones. new-laid (of an egg) freshly laid. new look a new or revised appearance or presentation, esp. of something familiar. the new mathematics (or maths) a system of teaching mathematics to children, with emphasis on investigation by them and on set theory. new moon 1 the moon when first seen as a crescent after conjunction with the sun. 2 the time of its appearance. a new one (often foll. by on) colloq. an account or idea not previously encountered (by a person). new potatoes the earliest potatoes of a new crop. new star a nova. new style dating reckoned by the Gregorian Calendar. New Testament the part of the Bible concerned with the life and teachings of Christ and his earliest followers. new town Brit. a town established as a completely new settlement with government sponsorship. new wave 1 = NOUVELLE VAGUE. 2 a style of rock music popular in the 1970s. New World North and South America regarded collectively in relation to Europe. new year 1 the calendar year just begun or about to begin. 2 the first few days of a year. New Year's Day 1 January. New Year's Eve 31 December. //newish adj. newness n. [OE niwe f. Gmc]
of (see also off) [0v] prep. connecting a noun (often a verbal noun) or pronoun with a preceding noun, adjective, adverb, or verb, expressing a wide range of relations broadly describable as follows: 1 origin, cause, or authorship (paintings of Turner; people of Rome; died of malnutrition). 2 the material or substance constituting or identifying a thing (a house of cards; was built of bricks). 3 belonging, connection, or possession (a thing of the past; articles of clothing; the head of the business; the tip of the iceberg). 4 identity or close relation (the city of Rome; a pound of apples; a fool of a man). 5 removal, separation, or privation (north of the city; got rid of them; robbed us of). 6 reference, direction, or respect (beware of the dog; suspected of lying; very good of you; short of money; the selling of goods). 7 objective relation (love of music; in search of peace). 8 partition, classification, or inclusion (no more of that; part of the story; a friend of mine; this sort of book; some of us will stay). 9 description, quality, or condition (the hour of prayer; a person of tact; a girl of ten; on the point of leaving). 10 US time in relation to the following hour (a quarter of three). /be of possess intrinsically; give rise to (is of great interest). of all designating the (nominally) least likely or expected example (you of all people!). of all the nerve (or cheek etc.) an exclamation of indignation at a person's impudence etc. of an evening (or morning etc.) colloq. 1 on most evenings (or mornings etc.). 2 at some time in the evenings (or mornings etc.). of late recently. of old formerly; long ago.
off (see also of) [0f] ( OJ), [Of] (A OJ), [0f] (prep.) adv., prep., adj., & n. --adv. 1 away; at or to a distance (drove off; is three miles off). 2 out of position; not on or touching or attached; loose, separate, gone (has come off; take your coat off). 3 so as to be rid of (sleep it off). 4 so as to break continuity or continuance; discontinued, stopped (turn off the radio; take a day off; the game is off). 5 not available as a choice, e.g. on a menu (chips are off). 6 to the end; entirely; so as to be clear (clear off; finish off; pay off). 7 situated as regards money, supplies, etc. (is badly off; is not very well off). 8 off-stage (noises off). 9 (of food etc.) beginning to decay. 10 (with preceding numeral) denoting a quantity produced or made at one time (esp. one-off). --prep. 1 a from; away or down or up from (fell off the chair; took something off the price; jumped off the edge). b not on (was already off the pitch). 2 a (temporarily) relieved of or abstaining from (off duty; am off my diet). b not attracted by for the time being (off their food; off smoking). c not achieving or doing one's best in (off form; off one's game). 3 using as a source or means of support (live off the land). 4 leading from; not far from (a street off the Strand). 5 at a short distance to sea from (sank off Cape Horn). --adj. 1 far, further (the off side of the wall). 2 (of a part of a vehicle, animal, or road) right (the off front wheel). 3 Cricket designating the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) to which the striker's feet are pointed. --n. 1 Cricket the off side. 2 the start of a race. /a bit off Brit. colloq. 1 rather annoying or unfair. 2 somewhat unwell (am feeling a bit off). off and on intermittently; now and then. off-centre not quite coinciding with a central position. the off chance see CHANCE. off colour 1 not in good health. 2 US somewhat indecent. off the cuff see CUFF(1). off-day a day when one is not at one's best. off-drive Cricket drive (the ball) to the off side. off one's feet see FOOT. off form see FORM. off guard see GUARD. off one's hands see HAND. off one's head see HEAD. off-key 1 out of tune. 2 not quite suitable or fitting. off-licence Brit. 1 a shop selling alcoholic drink for consumption elsewhere. 2 a licence for this. off limits see LIMIT. off-line Computing (of a computer terminal or process) not directly controlled by or connected to a central processor. off of sl. disp. = OFF prep. (picked it off of the floor). off-peak used or for use at times other than those of greatest demand. off the peg see PEG. off-piste (of skiing) away from prepared ski runs. off the point adj. irrelevant. --adv. irrelevantly. off-putting Brit. disconcerting; repellent. off the record see RECORD. off-road attrib.adj. 1 away from the road, on rough terrain. 2 (of a vehicle etc.) designed for rough terrain or for cross-country driving. off-season a time when business etc. is slack. off-stage adj. & adv. not on the stage and so not visible or audible to the audience. off-street (esp. of parking vehicles) other than on a street. off-time a time when business etc. is slack. off-the-wall sl. crazy, absurd, outlandish. off-white white with a grey or yellowish tinge. [orig. var. of OF, to distinguish the sense]
sight (see site) [saIt] n. & v. --n. 1 a the faculty of seeing with the eyes (lost his sight). b the act or an instance of seeing; the state of being seen. 2 a thing seen; a display, show, or spectacle (not a pretty sight; a beautiful sight). 3 a way of looking at or considering a thing (in my sight he can do no wrong). 4 a range of space within which a person etc. can see or an object be seen (he's out of sight; they are just coming into sight). 5 (usu. in pl.) noteworthy features of a town, area, etc. (went to see the sights). 6 a a device on a gun or optical instrument used for assisting the precise aim or observation. b the aim or observation so gained (got a sight of him). 7 colloq. a person or thing having a ridiculous, repulsive, or dishevelled appearance (looked a perfect sight). 8 colloq. a great quantity (will cost a sight of money; is a sight better than he was). 1 get sight of, esp. by approaching (they sighted land). 2 observe the presence of (esp. aircraft, animals, etc.) (sighted buffalo). 3 take observations of (a star etc.) with an instrument. 4 a provide (a gun, quadrant, etc.) with sights. b adjust the sight of (a gun etc.). c aim (a gun etc.) with sights. /at first sight on first glimpse or impression. at (or on) sight as soon as a person or a thing has been seen (plays music at sight; liked him on sight). catch (or lose) sight of begin (or cease) to see or be aware of. get a sight of manage to see; glimpse. have lost sight of no longer know the whereabouts of. in sight 1 visible. 2 near at hand (salvation is in sight). in (or within) sight of so as to see or be seen from. lower one's sights become less ambitious. out of my sight! go at once! out of sight 1 not visible. 2 colloq. excellent; delightful. out of sight out of mind we forget the absent. put out of sight hide, ignore. set one's sights on aim at (set her sights on a directorship). sight for the gods (or sight for sore eyes) a welcome person or thing, esp. a visitor. sight-glass a transparent device for observing the interior of apparatus etc. sighting shot an experimental shot to guide riflemen in adjusting their sights. sight-line a hypothetical line from a person's eye to what is seen. sight-read (past and past part. -read) read and perform (music) at sight. sight-reader a person who sight-reads. sight-screen Cricket a large white screen on wheels placed near the boundary in line with the wicket to help the batsman see the ball. sight-sing sing (music) at sight. sight unseen without previous inspection. //sighter n. [OE (ge)sihth]
site [saIt] n. & v. 1 the ground chosen or used for a town or building. 2 a place where some activity is or has been conducted (camping site; launching site). 3 internet site - one or more files on a computer made available on the internet via a common domain address (added by editor). 1 locate or place. 2 provide with a site. [ME f. AF site or L situs local position]
sole [s@Ul] (3) adj. 1 (attrib.) one and only; single, exclusive (the sole reason; has the sole right). 2 archaic or Law (esp. of a woman) unmarried. 3 archaic alone, unaccompanied. //solely adv. [ME f. OF soule f. L sola fem. of solus alone]
soul (see sole) [s@Ul] n. 1 the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being, often regarded as immortal. 2 the moral or emotional or intellectual nature of a person or animal. 3 the personification or pattern of something (the very soul of discretion). 4 an individual (not a soul in sight). 5 a a person regarded with familiarity or pity etc. (the poor soul was utterly confused). b a person regarded as embodying moral or intellectual qualities (left that to meaner souls). 6 a person regarded as the animating or essential part of something (the life and soul of the party). 7 emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, esp. as revealed in a work of art (pictures that lack soul). 8 Black American culture or music etc. /soul-destroying (of an activity etc.) deadeningly monotonous. soul food the traditional food of American Blacks. soul mate a person ideally suited to another. soul music a kind of music incorporating elements of rhythm and blues and gospel music, popularized by American Blacks. the soul of honour a person incapable of dishonourable conduct. soul-searching n. the examination of one's emotions and motives. --adj. characterized by this. upon my soul an exclamation of surprise. //-souled adj. (in comb.). [OE sawol, sawel, sawl, f. Gmc]
their (see also there) [De@(-r)] poss.pron. (attrib.) 1 of or belonging to them or themselves (their house; their own business). 2 (Their) (in titles) that they are (Their Majesties). 3 disp. as a third person sing. indefinite meaning 'his or her' (has anyone lost their purse?). [ME f. ON their(r)a of them, genit. pl. of s *** THE, THAT]
there (see also their) [De@(-r)] adv., n., & int. --adv. 1 in, at, or to that place or position (lived there for some years; goes there every day). 2 at that point (in speech, performance, writing, etc.) (there he stopped). 3 in that respect (I agree with you there). 4 used for emphasis in calling attention (you there!; there goes the bell). 5 used to indicate the fact or existence of something (there is a house on the corner). --n. that place (lives somewhere near there). --int. 1 expressing confirmation, triumph, dismay, etc. (there! what did I tell you?). 2 used to soothe a child etc. (there, there, never mind). /have been there before sl. know all about it. so there colloq. that is my final decision (whether you like it or not). there and then immediately and on the spot. there it is 1 that is the trouble. 2 nothing can be done about it. there's colloq. you are (by virtue of present or future obedience etc.) (there's a dear). there you are (or go) colloq. 1 this is what you wanted etc. 2 expressing confirmation, triumph, resignation, etc.
to (see too) The preposition to primarily indicates approach and arrival, motion made in the direction of a place or thing and attaining it, access; and also, motion or tendency without arrival; movement toward; -- opposed to from.
"To Canterbury they wend." Chaucer.
Stay with us, go not to Wittenberg. Shak.
So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbor smiled. Milton.
I'll to him again ... He'll tell me all his purpose. She stretched her arms to heaven. Dryden.
too Over; more than enough; -- noting excess; as, a thing is too long, too short, or too wide; too high; too many; too much.
His will, too strong to bend, too proud to learn. Cowley.
your (see also you're) [jO(-r)] poss.pron. (attrib.) 1 of or belonging to you or yourself or yourselves (your house; your own business). 2 colloq. usu. derog. much talked of; well known (none so fallible as your self-styled expert). [OE eower genit. of ge YE(1)]
you're (see also your) [jU@(-r)] contr. you are

(P) 1999-2004 Kristen Hyldgaard-Jensen • Updated 23-Sep-2004 (Fc) • Content updated 15-Nov-2002