What sorts of features are missing from dictionaries?

I'm not talking about new words, I'm talking about for any given word. what do current dictionaries not capture about it?

What -is- currently captured is:

  • existence of words
  • part of speech
  • changes in morphology
  • pronunciation
  • multiple senses

and sometimes - etymology - very rough register (e.g. slang, vulgar, archaic, obsolete) - very rough dialect (e.g. "Primarily BrE") - example sentences from literature - indications of technical ares (nautical, medical, sports, etc) - synonyms and antonyms (more properly contained in a separate volume a thesaurus) - locutions and idioms that the word participates in But really, these are almost always easily confirmed by a native speaker but opaque to the non-native speaker. You can't learn the usage of a word by looking it up in the dictionary (and as good as google translate is, it can really miss sometimes). - preferred/prescribed use vs. what people say.

So I think there are some very obvious things missing. Sure they might be hopelessly vague

  • connotations (associated contexts) not implied by the worded definition. These might be words that aren't synonyms but you find in the same contexts. This is the largest one that I think is missing.
  • frequency of use (you found a word that fits exactly the definition of the concept you want, but no one ever uses it (not the same as archaic or obsolete).
  • More refined register (this might need description of cultural contexts)

The question is, what do you think would be good additions to dictionary entries?

closed as off topic by kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt May 7 '11 at 18:45

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  • 3
    I know of a dictionary that marks the words in red with 1 to 3 stars if the words have a higher frequency. – Theta30 Apr 26 '11 at 0:06
  • Well, for starters: hot tubs, mixed drinks, lap dances, cherry pie, video games, scenic mountain vistas — yeah, I know, you can find them all in the dictionary, but somehow they're just better in real life. No, really. ^_^ – Robusto Apr 27 '11 at 0:04

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