I know that if a question has an answer elsewhere on the internet, it's still on topic.

However, there are multiple highly respected dictionary sites. Now it seems obvious to me that if those sites failed to provide a definition the learner could understand, then they should ask here for clarification. But if they don't produce evidence that they've attempted to look up the definition in the dictionary already, do we welcome the question here?

  • Can you provide an example (even hypothetical) explaining what you're talking about?
    – Golden Cuy
    Jan 25, 2013 at 20:38
  • 6
    If someone asks "What does solution mean?" I would say that's a bad question. If someone says "I was told to find a better solution to my problem. But I looked up solution and found it means chemicals in water. I'm confused as to my boss meant." then it would be on topic and we explain there's multiple definitions of the word.
    – corsiKa
    Jan 25, 2013 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Cooincidentally I just took a stab at this in my proposed FAQ for the site.

What to ask

Help with word meanings, pronunciation, and spelling (beyond what can easily be found in online dictionaries) ("What does 'bogus' mean in this sentence?")

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