Why is took not a word?

The dictionary takes you to take, and it say's "past tense: took"

But it doesn't take you to the word, took.


Why is took not a word?

  • 2
    You could make a word list that includes took. That’s just not the function of a dictionary. You may be looking for a concordance.
    – Keelan
    Sep 11 '21 at 8:03
  • 3
    Who says it's not a word? Looks like a word to me.
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 11 '21 at 9:44
  • 2
    Imagine a dictionary that lists walks, walking, walked etc. as separate entries for each verb... I think that'll look pretty unwieldy.
    – Nardog
    Sep 11 '21 at 12:41
  • 1
    My dictionary (Chambers 13th ed) includes an entry for took. I suppose that is because take is rather irregular and the usual rules for English verbs don't lead from take to took nor vice-versa. Sep 11 '21 at 16:02
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? What is meant by wordform? Sep 11 '21 at 20:23

The term "word" is not a very good technical term, but still, the issue you seem to be raising is the difference between a "word" and an "entry" in a dictionary.
Lexicographers or editors of dictionaries usually don't overload their works with forms that can be easily derived from main entries. So the main entry is "to take" and "took" is not listed in a separate entry. "took" is of course a "word".
Note that some verbal forms like has-been or wanna-be are listed as separate entries because they have acquired semantics and lexical use that are specific. There's nothing in "took" that separates it from "to take". It does not deserve to be listed separately.

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