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For example, suppose I want to refer to the specific definition of 'nut' as 'a perforated block usually of metal that has an internal screw thread and is used on a bolt or screw'.

This is the 3rd definition on the page http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nut, but Merriam-Webster only allows linking to the page, not a specific meaning.

Wiktionary allows linking to sections in a page, so we can link to Noun or Verb forms for example, but that's still too coarse for this scenario.

This a reboot of a question on english.stackexchange.com which was closed as being off-topic for that site. (And at 7 years old is long in the tooth, maybe there is an answer now that didn't exist then.)

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You would think this is something these online dictionaries would readily build into their front end presentations ... but no! Weird.

Still, there is one option that can work. The Cambridge Dictionary at least uses IDs to mark its section entries.

Unfortunately, you need to use your browser's tools -- either "Show page source" or "Inspect element" -- to get at the correct #anchor-name. I find it a little simpler to reveal source and then use CTRL-F to find a bit of the desired definition. That homes in on the required ID a little quicker, but you might find the other more convenient.

So, not a great solution, but it works!

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The OED has id attributes for all sorts of elements, which you can see with your web browser's debugger. Unfortunately, the OED is paywalled.

An unconventional option is to take advantage of the fact that Wiktionary is a wiki, and edit pages to add {{anchor|your-text-here}} where you want to link to.

  • +1 for the unconventional 'add your own ref link', which I'll take a step further and suggest to the community that this could be a system wide feature. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/… – matt wilkie Mar 7 '18 at 21:24

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