Is there a program/website that allows me to input text to describe an idea and find the word for it? I use The Sage and Lingoes but they're not ideal.

For instance, a little while ago I asked Google for a 'word for repeating received ideas' and settled on 'stereotypical'.

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    Onelook Reverse Dictionary might help: onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml
    – user66974
    Jan 9, 2017 at 19:14
  • Really? Other than how clearly you put the question, how would Google fail at that (other search engines are available) Jan 22, 2017 at 1:16
  • @RobbieGoodwin Google is pretty sophisticated but I imagine OP would prefer a database strictly of words and definitions. The example search, for example, could return results that include 'word', 'repeating' and 'ideas'—like articles about speech. This could be helpful but isn't precisely what the searcher is looking for
    – Unrelated
    Jan 22, 2017 at 21:44
  • Oh… OK. By the way, doesn't 'stereotypical' describe the idea? Wouldn't a 'word for repeating received ideas' be something like 'reinforcing' 'reinforcement'? Jan 23, 2017 at 20:35

2 Answers 2


Your best bet is probably the Words and Linguistics section of the Wolfram Alpha search engine.

This has a number of ways of entering searches and can return words matching requirements.
I find this to be an excellent resource.


OneLook lets you perform reverse lookups. This means that you can type words that you expect to be part of the definition of a term, and terms whose definition contains those words will be listed in order of match quality.

This can be used in a way that's pretty close in practice to just typing a description of the word you're seeking, and the site actually encourages using it that way ("this tool lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept").

However, you must not expect any actual understanding of "concept": no natural language processing is involved, which could narrow down the results considerably but also fail to yield anything meaningful in a majority of cases, and would also be much more difficult to implement. This is ultimately just an unusual but simple type of dictionary search.

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