Longman Defining Vocabulary

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What is the Defining vocabulary anyway?

The Longman Defining Vocabulary, from Longman Dictionary (1988)[1]. 2197 words, 10 prefixes, 39 suffixes.

This is the set of words which the Longman English Dictionary uses to express all its definitions. As such, it may be a useful source of basic vocabulary for the designer of a conlang.

This version of the list is based on the one that used to be found on Jeffrey Kennaway's conlang page. Since that page has now disappeared (I can't even find it on the Internet Archive!) I thought it may be a good idea to make it available to conlangers again.[2]

Note that the American spellings of the original have been replaced with British spellings by Jeffrey.

If you (as I expect! ) want to copy the list in order to use it in your own vocabulary building you may want to look at the page sources, which contain less extraneous text, especially Longman Defining Vocabulary/alphabetically

If you want a more 'primitive' vocabulary you may want to have a look at Roger Mills' Basic Vocabulary.

  1. ^  The current incarnation of the Longman English dictionary is the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. I don't know whether it still contains the Defining Vocabulary. There are several v ersions: ISBN 978-1405811262, ISBN 978-1405811279, ISBN 978-0582506640.
  2. ^  Jeffrey's conlang page (which he himself regards as obsolete) was apparently only temporary unavailable. The Defining vocabulary is here but I hope this page may be a useful resource nevertheless.

Word Class Labels

If a word has a specific word class label it is used in definitions only in the word class shown. Otherwise the word may be used in any of its usual word classes.

A = Adjective
Av = Adverb
C = Conjunction
D = Determiner
P = Preposition
Pd = Predeterminer
Pn = Pronoun
N = Noun
V = Verb

The actual vocabulary is linked on the category page.