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What is the Scrabble dictionary and how it has helped the best Scrabble players in the world?

Scrabble is not an easy and complex game that often takes people years to master. And even despite long and regular practice, there comes a point in every player’s life when they simply cannot think of a word for anything in the world. It is also common for a player, despite their extensive vocabulary and expertise, to be unfamiliar with a word, unsure of it, or not quite convinced whether it is spelt this way or that. Such situations are inevitable in the life of any Scrabble geek. Fortunately, these days players are not left to their fate. They are helped by Scrabble dictionaries and special search engine-based software to make searching easier. Find out what a Scrabble dictionary is and how it helps the best Scrabble players in the world!

What is the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary?

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was first published in 1978 through the efforts of the Dictionary Committee of the National Scrabble Association as well as one of the most prominent publishers of dictionaries and research materials, Merriam-Webster. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary abbreviated as OSPD is a dictionary developed for the use
and monitoring of correct answers in the game of Scrabble. It is addressed to Scrabble players who speak American and Canadian English. At this point, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary has had as many as five updates and additional editions. It thus represents a substantial and, what is extremely important, up-to-date database of data and words acceptable in word players of this type. Dictionaries of this type are available in most languages; for example, the French equivalent of this dictionary is called L’Officiel du jeu Scrabble, abbreviated ODS, and was published in 1991. Official Scrabble Dictionaries were created to legitimise and make Scrabble tournaments more enjoyable, and to enable players to train for games based on their notations. They are, therefore, an invaluable tool for learning and the game itself for both beginners and professionals in the field.

Why were the Official Scrabble Dictionaries created?

The Official Scrabble Dictionaries were created in recognition of the need to create a word authority for clubs and tournaments sanctioned by Scrabble players’ associations around the world. Before their creation, players had a great deal of latitude and room for interpretation, which created a lot of uncertainty during judging at competitions and tournaments, which as the popularity of contests and private play grew, caused a lot of trouble for players.
English language carriers before the development of the official English Scrabble Dictionary at tournaments exploited the Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary as the official word source, which was rather unsatisfactory. In it issues of words borrowed from other languages, or the lack of clear guidelines for creating comparative terms were
particularly problematic. Remarkably, Merriam-Webster was approached for help in normalising this situation by none other than the former owners of Scrabble, Selchow and Righter, and it is to them that current players can be grateful.
Surprisingly, although the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was created at the initiative of the creators for tournament use, no national tournament organisation lists it as their official dictionary. The official Scrabble word guide for tournaments in the United States,
Canada, Thailand and Israel as of 2019 is the NASPA Word List. At the same time, Merriam-Webster’s OSPD is ideal for school, entertainment and training use.

What does the Official Scrabble Dictionary consist of?

The Official Scrabble Dictionary is a six-volume dictionary containing up-to-date information on all the words that can be accepted in the game. The official dictionary now has over 100,000 words, but it is not the only one used by professional players.
In this dictionary, you will find a variety of words relating to different fields. Both officially accepted words and less formal ones are included. The main entries contained in the English version of the Official Scrabble Dictionary for players ranging from two to eight letters – these are considered the most useful given the nature and rules of the game.
Initially, the dictionary lacked two-letter words. Fortunately, the sixth update added as many as 106 other two-letter words in the official dictionary, which is sure to come in handy for long games. It is now a complete dictionary, ideal for beginners and advanced

How does the Official Scrabble Dictionary differ from a regular dictionary?

The main differences between the Official Scrabble Dictionary and regular dictionaries are the range of words included and the target audience.
Official Scrabble Dictionary is a specialised dictionary aimed at players. Therefore, it contains words of two to eight letters in a variety of subjects, whereas traditional dictionaries contain words of varying lengths.
Another difference between regular dictionary and the Official Scrabble Dictionary is that such a publication does not include words that are proper names, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes standing alone, or words requiring a hyphen or an apostrophe.
Some other distinguishing features of both types of a dictionary are that the Official Scrabble Dictionary is updated at a much slower rate than the regular material and the fact, that the ODS includes all words and is not divided by subject matter, as is sometimes the case. Other than that, their content is not too dissimilar.

How do I gain access to the Official Scrabble Dictionary?

You can get the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary published by Merriam-Webster at any major bookshop. While you can purchase it in traditional form, you may opt for a more modern solution. There are many paid and free Official Scrabble Dictionary publications available on the Internet in the form of text documents and PDFs but the most convenient
option at the moment is to use the advantages of specialised software, such as Scrabble word finder. These types of programmes and applications have abundant databases created from the Official Scrabble Dictionary, as well as official tournament lists endorsed by professional players’ associations and are supplemented by nifty search engines that allow you to find the word you are looking for in a matter of seconds.

Official Scrabble Dictionary online – how to use it?

If you are not yet familiar with this marvellous tool, it’s about time you caught up. The online Scrabble dictionary can be easily found online, allows you to quickly check whether an added word will earn you further valuable points or rather be discarded, and produces the best words for you from the letters you have. Just how do you do it? All you have to do is type in the search engine available in the tool for the word to check, or the set of letters

from which you are unable to create a keyword, and voilà! After a few seconds, the application will show you all possible words from the given letters, their usage and correct spelling.

How can Scrabble dictionary support you in your next Scrabble tournament?

We have already discussed the Scrabble dictionary itself, so it’s high time to talk a bit about what interests every professional and semi-professional player, namely tournaments and Scrabble masters! Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What are the most prominent Scrabble tournaments?

Without a doubt, the most prestigious Scrabble tournament is the World Scrabble Championship held periodically since 1991. Since 2014, the World Scrabble Championship has become an open event, with players from more than thirty countries participating annually.

Players from North America can also take part in the continent’s largest competition, The Scrabble Players Championship. And others may try their hand at national Scrabble championships organised by most countries around the world.
Besides the traditional tournaments, there are many online tournaments for professional players, which are no less popular nor challenging.

What are the greatest Scrabble champions in history?

As a professional or aspiring professional Scrabble player, you will certainly be interested in the sport’s most important figures.
The first winner of the World Scrabble Championship was English word genius, baseball fan and acclaimed author Peter Morris.
The person who held the record for the highest score in a North American tournament game in 2011 is Joel Sherman. He defeated his opponent Bradley Robbins with a score of 803 to 285.
However, the game’s towering figure is by far Nigel Richards, who is regarded as the best Scrabble player in the history of the game. This genius won the World Scrabble Championship in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2018 and 2019 respectively. And he did not stop there. He has also won the UK Open Championship eight times, the SPC five times, The Singapore Open Scrabble Championship 11 times and the King’s Cup 15 times. And as if that was not enough he took first place in several French Scrabble tournaments, despite
not speaking French.

Use the Scrabble dictionary and become the next Nigel Richards-like champion

The use of dictionaries is beneficial both in everyday life and during play. That’s why you cannot afford not to make use of this tool in preparation for your next tournament or Scrabble game! The best proof of the effectiveness of the dictionary method is our aforementioned champion – Nigel Richards. This genius undoubtedly exploited his natural abilities, but not only that! He was also making good use of the Official Scrabble Dictionary
in his training, which was particularly evident in his French performances. Although he did not speak French very well, he managed to win several competitions in France. How did he achieve it? What do you think? Obviously, he had to use the L’Officiel du jeu Scrabble dictionary, the French official material for the game. So learn from the best and use the
wonders of technology and Scrabble dictionaries in preparation for your next session of this word game.

Below is the list of other Scrabble and word helping tools that may be useful during your game.

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