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Main Entries

A boldface letter, word, or phrase appearing flush with the left-hand margin of each column of type is a main entry or entry word. The main entry may consist of letters set solid, of letters joined by a hyphen, or of letters separated by a space:

cafetalero1, -ra adjective . . . 
eye-opener . . . noun  . . . 
walk out intransitive verb . . .

The main entry, together with the material that follows it on the same line and succeeding indented lines, constitutes a dictionary entry.

Order of Entries

Alphabetical order of the dictionary follows the order of the English alphabet, with one exception: words beginning with the Spanish letter n follow all entries for the letter n. The main entries follow one another alphabetically letter by letter without regard to intervening spaces or hyphens; for example, shake-up follows shaker Homographs (words with the same spelling) having different parts of speech are usually given separate dictionary entries. These entries are distinguished by superscript numerals following the entry word:

hail1 . . . transitive verb . . . 
hail2 noun . . . 
hail3 interjection . . . 
madrileiio1, -na adjective . . . 
madrileiio2, -na noun . . . 

Numbered homograph entries are listed in the following order: verb, adverb, adjective, noun, conjunction, preposition, pronoun, interjection, article.

Homographs having the same part of speech are normally included at the same dictionary entry, without regard to their different semantic origins. On the English-to-Spanish side, however, separate entries are made if the homographs have distinct inflected forms or if they have distinct pronunciations.


When a main entry is followed by the word or and another spelling, the two spellings are variants. Both are standard, and either one may be used according to personal inclination:

jailer or jailor  . . . noun . . . 
quizá or quizás adverb . . . 

Occasionally, a variant spelling is used only for a particular sense of a word. In these cases, the variant spelling is listed after the sense number of the sense to which it pertains:

electric . . . adjective 1 or electrical . . . 

Sometimes the entry word is used interchangeably with a longer phrase containing the entry word. For the purposes of this dictionary, such phrases are considered variants of the headword:

bunk2 noun 1 or bunk bed . . . 
angina noun feminine 1 or angina de pecho : angina . . . 

Variant wordings of boldface phrases may also be shown:

madera noun feminine . . . 3 madera dura or madera noble . . . 
atención1 noun feminine . . . 2 poner atención or prestar atención . . . 

Run-on Entries

A main entry may be followed by one or more derivatives or by a homograph with a different functional label. These are run-on entries. Each is introduced by a dash and each has a functional label. They are not defined, however, since their equivalents can be readily derived by adding the corresponding foreign-language suffix to the terms used to define the entry word or, in the case of homographs, simply substituting the appropriate part of speech:

illegal . . . adjective : illegal — illegally adverb
(the Spanish adverb is ilegalmente)

transferir . . . transitive verb TRASLADAR : to transfer — transferable adjective
(the English adjective is transferable)

Bosnian noun : bosnio masculine, -nia feminineBosnian adjective
(the Spanish adjective is bosnio, -nia)

On the Spanish side, reflexive verbs are sometimes run on undefined:

enrollar transitive verb : to roll up, to coil — enrollarse reflexive verb

The absence of a definition means that enrollarse has the simple reflexive meaning "to become rolled up or coiled," "to roll itself up."

Bold Notes

A main entry may be followed by one or more phrases containing the entry word or an inflected form of the entry word. These are bold notes. Each bold note is defined at its own numbered sense:

álamo noun masculine 1 : poplar 2 álamo temblón : aspen
hold1 . . . intransitive verb . . . 4 to hold to : . . .  5 to hold with : . . . 

The same bold note phrase may appear at two or more senses if it has more than one distinct meaning:

wear1 . . . transitive verb . . . 3 to wear out : gastar <he wore out his shoes . . . > 4 to wear out EXHAUST : agotar, fatigar <to wear oneself out . . . >
estar . . . intransitive verb . . . 15 estar por : to be in favor of 16 estar por : to be about to <está por cerrar . . . >

If the use of the entry word is commonly restricted to one particular phrase, then a bold note may be given as the entry word's only sense:

ward1 . . . transitive verb to ward off : . . .