DARE Search Tips
To find a word or phrase in a headword (or any of its variant forms), simply type into the search box on the homepage or in the upper right-hand corner of all dictionary pages, then click the search icon.
Basic searches will find related words as well as the exact search term through stemming. For example, a basic search for “sandwiches” will return entries containing “sandwich.”
“Search within results” to add additional words. This will continue to search only headwords and variants.
Most abbreviations will be automatically expanded in searching (either the abbreviated or expanded version of the word will yield a result), but in some cases with ambiguous abbreviations, the Abbreviations Guide should be consulted.
Basic search results are sorted by relevance by default (the relative number of times your search term appears, with greater weight given to exact matches, and matches in the headword or variants). Many other searches default to dictionary order (A to Z) instead. You may also change the sort order at any time, or skip to a particular part of the alphabet using the “Jump to” box.
Note that not every search will return results, but the search options and advanced search criteria below can modify searches to find more precise results—whether broader or narrower in scope.
Search options—to narrow, widen, or modify the scope of your search—are available in the margin of dictionary search results pages.
Search terms may be found in other parts of a dictionary entry, beyond the headword and variants. “Find in Definitions” to reveal synonyms and words with related meanings. “Full text” searches entire dictionary entries, including headwords, variants, definitions, etymologies, quotations, parts of speech, and social and regional labels.
Your search may be refined to include only entries with audio recordings, map illustrations, and/or DARE survey information.
Check the appropriate box and then hit “Update” to narrow down results.
You may also narrow search results down by major region or state.
Regional filters are based on the same information as the “Browse by Region” on the homepage: entries identified with a regional label (as opposed to individual quotations from specific areas).
More complex options can be accessed from an “Advanced Search” text link near the search box. These advanced options give you more fine-grained control of the parameters and scope of a search.
“Full text” searches entire dictionary entries, while “Headword,” “Variant,” “Definitions,” “Etymologies,” “Quotations,” “Part of Speech,” “Social Label,” and “Region (full text)” pinpoint specific information within dictionary entries. Note that “Region (full text)” searches all regions mentioned in quotations, as opposed to entries specifically labeled with a regional label. Also, advanced searches do not use stemming to find related words; your query must be an exact match (although the use of boolean options and wildcards can help you broaden your search).
You may add and subtract criteria to your advanced search with “add” or “remove row.” After performing an advanced search, you may opt to “Modify Search” to revisit and tweak these search settings.
Additionally, you may wish to use boolean options (AND, OR, and NOT) to combine search criteria for more tailored results. Searching for “sandwich” AND “cuban” finds entries that contains both of two terms, while “sandwich” OR “cuban” finds entries that have either of these terms, and “sandwich” NOT “cuban” excludes the second term from entries that otherwise match the first term.
By default, a search will find words with punctuation, for example “adam” will find “Adam’s off ox.” Add punctuation to your search only if you wish to limit results to the punctuation exactly as it appears. Placing quotation marks around searches will find only literal quotation marks in entries and will not make searches more exact, as with some search engines. >> find sandwich” in full text
Finally, you can insert a wildcard charater “*” (asterisk) at the beginning, middle, or end of a word to find matches that contain part of a word with other, unknown text. Note that the default advanced search is an exact match, so finding related word stems may require a combination of boolean and wildcard searching. >> find sandwich in definitions AND sub* in definitions (to match sub or submarine)
DARE Survey Search
The DARE survey contains questions, with responses given by individual informants with individual locations and demographics (for more information, see About the DARE Survey). While the dictionary search looks for words and phrases in entries, the survey search looks for questions and responses, and then enables visualization of the social and regional distribution of informants based on a given question and response(s).
To browse a question or response from the DARE survey questionnaire by subject matter, visit the list of topics on the DARE Survey page and select a topic of interest.
To find a question from the DARE survey by keyword, type into the search box on the DARE Survey page or in the upper right-hand corner of all survey-related pages, then hit Return or click the search icon.
The survey search returns responses by default, and you can switch to looking for a word in the question text using the tabs.
After searching, you may refine by the topic of the question asked.
This will show only those questions or responses that match your search term as well as the topic(s) chosen.
You may also filter responses by the demographics of the informants who provided the responses.
Note that filtering by demographics indicates that at least one matching informant supplied the responses shown (however, to determine whether a demographic trend in responses is statistically significant, you must continue to the question to consult the full question data).
Questions and responses in search results lead to a page to explore a question in depth. Responses may be selected individually or combined to see the regional distribution illustrated on a map, and the social distribution of informants. By default, the response selected in search results will be selected on the question page; uncheck the response or “Clear all” to select different responses.