Digital Dictionaries of South Asia
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Basic searching Searching with options Boolean searching Results display


By default, searches run on the whole dictionary text, both entry words and definitions. To look up any word in the dictionary, simply type it into the search box and either hit return or click the Search button.

To search specifically for entry words (the words that are defined in the dictionary), check the "Search entry words only" box in the section of the page below the Search button. In many of the dictionaries in this project, the entry words appear in more than one form: unaccented roman characters, accented roman characters, and South Asian Unicode characters. All the forms of the entry word are searchable. So for example, in A dictionary, Marathi and English by J.T. Molesworth, entry word searches for अमृतवेळ, amṛtavēḷa, and amrtavela all yield the same definition.

After entering two roman characters or one South Asian Unicode character in the search box, a scrollable list of search suggestions will pop up. Either click one of the suggestions to populate the search box or ignore suggestions and enter a query word completely.

By default, entry word searches expand off the end of the search term. In other words, searching the Molesworth dictionary for "ana" will generate results for entry words that begin with "ana" and have any number of trailing characters, like "aṇakucī" (अणकुची), "aṇakhara" (अणखर), aṇakhuraṇēṃ" (अणखुरणें), etc. To expand the front of a query -- but only an entry word delimited query -- enter the "%" wildcard character at the beginning of the search term. For example, "%ana" will find entry word results "aiñcaṇa" (अइंचण), "aūtabharaṇā" (अऊतभरणा), "aṅkacālana" (अंकचालन), etc. The wildcard character at the front of a word also expands search suggestions.
Advanced search options allow greater control over both fulltext and entry word searches. These options can be found in the section of the page below the Search button. They allow searches for a particular "string" of characters in a designated position in words. The default search mode is "Words beginning with." The other options are "Words ending with," "Exact matches only," and "Words containing." Select an option by clicking its radio button.

For instance, if the string ant is entered with the "Words beginning with" button checked, the results would include words such as antecedent. If the "Words ending with" button is checked, the results would include words such as elephant. If the "Words containing" button is checked the results would include words such as plantain. Finally, if the "Exact matches only" button is checked the results would only include instances of the word ant.
For fulltext multiword searching, a space between words is the equivalent of the Boolean AND operator between each word. The search will return results with each word in a definition. For example, a fulltext search in Molesworth for "animal kingdom" returns a result for the term "चारखाणी cārakhāṇī":
चारखाणी cārakhāṇī f pl (चार & खाण) The four classes under which the Hindús enumerate all creatures of the animal and vegetable kingdoms; viz. अंडज, जारज, स्वेदज, उद्भिज्ज Oviparous, viviparous, sudoriparous, ground-bursting (vegetating).

Boolean ORs can be used for both entry word and fulltext search. To find definitions for two entry words at once, use a Boolean OR. In Molesworth, for example, an entry word search for "alavinem OR manju" yields 4 definitions. A fulltext search for "melodious OR sonorous" yields 26 results.

For fulltext searches only, Boolean NOTs can be used. A search for "melodious NOT sonorous" in Molesworth yields 8 results.

Note that for fulltext searches, Boolean searching does not span across definitions. It only works within individual entries.
Search results come in a numbered list that displays the entry word in South Asian characters, the accented roman transliteration of the entry word, a page link, and the definition. Entry word searches show the whole definition. Fulltext searches display a chunk of the definition. Click the entry word to see the complete definition, if needed. Click the page link to see the whole page where the definition can be found. Page views have links to Previous Page and Next Page for browsing the dictionary.



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This page was last generated on Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 3:45 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: https://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/advanced_help.html