Online version of Bailey's Dictionary
may be accessed in various ways.
The opening page contains a "thumb-index" of links to the first page of
each range in the alphabet. The front matter page contains links to the
non-lexicographic prefatory material at the beginning of the dictionary,
specifically the title-page, the preface to the current edition, an historical
account of the English language, and a grammar of the English language. The
illustrations page contains thumbnail images linked to the frontispiece and
eleven large plates containing multiple illustrations.
Users may also navigate the dictionary by means
of the look-up form in the left menu frame. This form opens the page in
where the search word or string is likely to be found if
it is contained in the dictionary.
Users may type a word, phrase, or a partial "string," a series of one or
more letters, and go immediately to that range of the alphabet. All
searches are case-insensitive, which means that you may type
either capital or lower-case letters. "Abacus" finds the same page as
"abacus" or "abACus." Spaces and hyphens do not matter, so
that "above board," "above-board," and "aboveboard" all find the same page.
Typing a single letter, such as "a" or "M," takes you to the entry for
that letter, typing two letters, such as "Aa" or "ph," takes to the first
page with headwords beginning with those letters, etc. It was a common practice
in early English spelling to use the letters I/J and U/V interchangeably. Users
will note that Bailey's Dictionary
, unlike modern dictionaries,
does not distinguish these latters in its alphabetizing. Thus "vail" is
alphabetized before "ubiquity" in this dictionary. The look-up program allows
for this historical oddity, and will retrieve the proper pages for search terms
typed with their usual spellings.