About Cobuild Dictionaries
The Collins COBUILD dictionaries have been written to meet the needs of learners of English. They were the very first dictionaries to be based completely on corpus data; the very first dictionaries to give examples of real language in use from corpus (the Bank of English™); and were the first dictionaries to use a full-sentence defining style that follows how a teacher might explain meanings in the classroom.
Collins full-sentence definitions – our Definitions Plus – give:
Collocations: Each definition is written using the high-frequency words native English speakers naturally use with the target word.
Grammar: Each definition includes naturally occurring grammatical patterns to improve accurate language used.
Natural English: Each definition is a model of how to use language appropriately.
Examples of real English
All COBUILD dictionaries give examples of real English, taken from the Bank of English™. This means that learners can rely on COBUILD dictionaries to give them a true picture of how English is used, and examples that can be safely followed as models in the learners own speech and writing.
Since 2007, Collins and Heinle ELT have been working together to ensure that the COBUILD dictionaries continue to meet the needs of learners, and to develop the dictionaries into an even richer resource for learning English. These new COBUILD dictionaries include these new features:
Word Webs: These present topic-related vocabulary through encyclopaedia-like readings combined with illustrations, and create opportunities for deeper understanding of the language and concepts. In these readings, key words are in bold to encourage the user to explore other related words. This encourages learners to spend more time exploring language in the dictionary, and helps them learn a wider and richer range of words.
Picture Dictionary boxes: These give illustrations of vocabulary and concepts. The words are chosen for their usefulness for study, and often show a concept or process that learners can understand more easily from pictures or graphics.
Word Partnerships: Word partnerships show high-frequency word patterns, and give the complete collocation with the headword in place to demonstrate use.
Word Links: Word links can help increase language awareness by showing how words are built in English. Focusing on prefixes, suffixes, and root words, each Word Link provides a simple definition of the building block, and then gives examples of it used in words.
Thesaurus boxes: These give both alternative words and opposites for high-frequency words. They encourage learners to explore other words, and help them to expand their vocabulary.
Usage notes: Usage notes highlight and explain shades of meaning, clarify cultural references, and highlight important grammatical information.