Scrabble Word Dictionary: How to Check Word Lists

A few times each decade, the number of acceptable Scrabble words grows. Needless to say, it can be challenging to stay up to date with the changes.

So how can you check the most current Scrabble word dictionary to maintain a competitive edge?

This short article will walk through word lists used in competitive Scrabble around the world and how to check the validity of words in North American English and British English Scrabble games. Such a dictionary is often used by each professional essay writer from, college student or even employee at work.

Competitive Scrabble Dictionaries

The two go-to word lists in competitive Scrabble around the world include:

  1. NASPA Word List (NWL)
  2. Collins Scrabble Words (CSW, formerly SOWPODS)

The NWL is the official Scrabble word source in the United States, Canada, Thailand, and Israel. The rest of the English-speaking Scrabble world uses the Collins lexicon as the official word authority.

The NWL was previously known as the Official Tournament and Club Word List (OTCWL or TWL) or the Official Word List (OWL) for short. The NWL is derived from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as well as four other collegiate- and peer-reviewed dictionaries

The most current NWL Scrabble word dictionary is the NWL2018 (or OTCWL2018) lexicon. More than 300 new words were added to the NWL in its most recent release, including facepalm, bizjet, bitcoin and emoji, as well as some valuable two-letter gems including OK and EW.

The Collins Lexicon, on the other hand, incorporates North American words from the NWL and British words from the Collins English Dictionary and the Collins Corpus. As such, CSW is a much, MUCH larger and more inclusive Scrabble word dictionary.

North American Scrabble Word Lists

In official American and Canadian Scrabble matches—as well as English-language tournaments in Thailand and Israel—tournament organizers and/or players typically agree to use either the:

  1. Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD)
  2. NASPA Word List (NWL)

Like the NWL, the OSPD is published by Merriam-Webster in conjunction with the Dictionary Committee of NASPA and Hasbro.

So what’s the difference between the two lexicons? The OSPD is designed for school and recreational use.

In other words, it’s a sanitized version of NWL that’s composed of words appropriate for children, families, schools and sensitive players.

But it’s worth noting that the NWL2018 does indeed contain some words that are not “inappropriate”, yet aren’t included in the latest OSPD. Many of those words are trademark names, such as KLEENEX.

The sixth (and latest) edition of the OSPD was released in September 2018, four years after the last version. The OSPD6 features more than 100,000 two-to eight-letter words that are acceptable to play in Scrabble.

So how can you run a scrabble word check based on the NWL for North American English Scrabble players? How can you check scrabble word legitimacy in the ever-growing OSPD and NWL lexicons?

How to Run a North American Scrabble Dictionary Check

The Scrabble Word Dictionary checker tells you whether or not a word is valid in North American English Scrabble. 

It searches the NWL and OSPD Scrabble word list to show you the validity of a word in real-time as you type it into the search bar.

By giving you instantaneous results, this Scrabble Dictionary tool saves you time AND helps prevent heated debates over whether a word you or your competitor has played is acceptable.

This tool is able to check scrabble dictionary words by scanning Meridian Webster, the most authoritative American English and Canadian English dictionary, from end to end.

A must-know resource for players of all levels, this handy Scrabble word dictionary makes it significantly easier to check a word’s legality compared to searching through an exhaustive list of dictionary words.

How to Run a Collins Scrabble Dictionary Check

What about the Collins Scrabble word list? How can you check word in Scrabble based on the CSW Lexicon?

This Collins Scrabble Word Check is the only online Scrabble dictionary checker that uses the official Collins lexicon.

This Collins Scrabble word dictionary includes more than a quarter of a million words as well as their definitions and scores. It’s endorsed by Mattel and the World English-Language Scrabble Players’ Association (WESPA).

Now that you’ve learned the differences in Scrabble word lists and how to check the appropriate Scrabble word dictionary, what are you waiting for?

Get a leg up on the competition. Head on over to the North American Scrabble Dictionary checker or Collins Scrabble Word Check today to discover which words you can (and cannot) use in the next Scrabble showdown.

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