RE: Have you ever felt the need to create a new word?

Subject: RE: Have you ever felt the need to create a new word?
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "Kathy Bowman" <Kathy -dot- Bowman -at- saabsystems -dot- com -dot- au>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 09:11:46 -0400

Kathy Bowman asked...

> Have you ever felt the need to create a new word?
> For example, in a military sense a target can be 'engageable', ie it
> able to be engaged. This leads to the term 'Engageability' on a
> meaning that it is (or is not or will be) able to be engaged. The
> could show "Ability to be engaged' or 'Able to be engaged' but there
> limited room and we are stuck with 'Engageability'.

While I agree that language evolves, I'm in no hurry to rush the process
along. I have to confess that in fits of limited time and limited
resources I've been tempted to -able -ize -ility, or -ation existing
words to fit the situation, but I always feel like I'm cheating if I do

What I wish for (and I imagine it exists and I'll expose my ignorance
for not knowing about it) is a dictionary where you can look up words
"BY DEFINITION" to see if a term already exists. When faced with your
situation, my first thought is, "what single word already exists that
means 'the potential to be engageable?'" A thesaurus is suspect at best,
and can never be relied on to provide a proper term without also having
a dictionary at hand. What I'd love to find is a dictionary where I can
look up "the potential to be engaguable" and find out what existing
words there are that could suit. I'd rather use a word that already
exists and conveys a clear meaning to my user than "cheating" and making
something up.

Can anyone recommend a good online (prefereable) or in-print dictionary
where one looks up definitions to find words instead of the other way

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