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I would like to find words that look similar in spelling. Is there a tool (document, web site/application, and/or software) that can allow me to do that by using wildcards or regular expressions? For example r*v*ge can return ravage, revenge, and maybe more.

Sources to find similar spelling words? is close:

agrep -3 grotesque /usr/share/dict/words

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  • How about grep and /usr/share/dict/words Why is the question not already an answer?
    – James K
    Commented Apr 18 at 6:28
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    Onelook is by far the most comprehensive site for such things. You can include an asterisk (match any number of characters) and question marks (match any single character), and restrict results to specific "sub-domains" such as sports, food, law,... Commented Apr 18 at 12:03
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    I've voted to migrate this question to meta, because it's a request for resources Commented Apr 18 at 12:04

3 Answers 3

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the crossword solver site will allow you to do this, Screenshot with your sort of example. I used asterisks, but you can use question marks for single letters.

enter image description here


Disclaimer: I am not associated with the site.

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  • Thanks. Can it return both revenge and ravage?
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 18 at 5:23
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    @Tim Rohit has entered rvng*: the n means that ravage was not matched. You can try the site yourself, entering rvg*
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Apr 18 at 5:36
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I sometimes use a regex dictionary when stuck on puzzles. It's here.

Don't forget to specify if you want to match the whole string, so your wildcarded r*v*ge would be ^r.*v.*ge$ *

It does indeed return ravage, revenge, and a word I think I've come across once or twice before at most: rivage.

A full guide to regular expression usage can be found at regular-expressions.info.


* I won't go into detail here, but ^ matches the beginning of a string, and $ the end (in this case, usually newline). . matches any single character and * means zero or more of the preceding token. Character groups ([aeiou] to match any vowel, for example) are useful in many puzzles.

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The website OneLook.com lets you do this as well:

enter image description here

OneLook also lets you use a question mark (?) in place of an asterisk (*) to limit the wildcard field to a single character:

enter image description here

For example, when I entered div???e, it returned:

 1. diverge
 2. diverse
 3. divorce
 4. divulge
 5. divulse

Hint: If you use this website, you will probably want to limit your search to common words and phrases only. When I selected "all" instead of using the "common words and phrases" filter, it also added:

 - divable
 - divoire
 - divoone

Also, the lists can get very long when using the asterisk wildcards. For example, when I entered div*e, OneLook returned words and phrases such as:

 - divahickulate
 - divergent i-beam technique
 - diversity in open source software
 - divertimento for alto saxophone
 - divided power structure
 - division of kalgoorlie
 - divlji vjetre
 - divry van bogaert disease

and more than 320 other hits. However, when I turned on the common words and phrases filter, that list got pruned to a more manageable 37 hits.

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