English Word w/Most Definitions?

Does any Doper recall ever hearing what word in the English language has the most definitions in the dictionary? It was a short word, like maybe “set”? This WAG just came to me…will have to look into further.

Meanwhile, I am sure some other SDoper has heard this question in the past. Does anyone recall the answer? - Jinx

I can’t answer the question, but I suggest the word “get”

I once met a teacher of English as a foreign language who said its a tough concept. He spends several class sessions on “Get”, which has 17 different translations into the language of his students.

I have a memory that it’s ‘set’.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘set’ as:

  • a verb with 36 meanings and 9 specific uses with other words (several of which have further meanings e.g. SET OFF on a journey; SET OFF a reaction)

  • a noun with 24 meanings and 1 specific use with other words

  • an adjective with 7 meanings

I think we have a winner!

Off the top of my head, how about ‘Jack?’

I got fifteen definitions for ‘jack’ on my desktop Oxford American Dictionary.


“Set” is traditionally the answer to this question.

For a good time, try “set” at http://www.visualthesaurus.com/ and watch the show.

Not surprisingly, this has been discussed before.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned “RUN” yet. That’s always been my favorite.
Anyway, go to that link to see what has already been suggested.

IIRC, ‘up’ has a lot.

I always thought it was ‘field’. Don’t know where i go that idea, though.

Dictionary.com’s take on the matter:



Maybe next time I’ll read the previous threads. Sorry 'bout that.