AbstractFormulaic expressions (FEs) used in scholarly papers, such as ‘there has been little discussion about’, are helpful for non-native English speakers. However, it is time-consuming for users to manually search for an appropriate expression every time they want to consult FE dictionaries. For this reason, we tackle the task of semantic searches of FE dictionaries. At the start of our research, we identified two salient difficulties in this task. First, the paucity of example sentences in existing FE dictionaries results in a shortage of context information, which is necessary for acquiring semantic representation of FEs. Second, while a semantic category label is assigned to each FE in many FE dictionaries, it is difficult to predict the labels from user input, forcing users to manually designate the semantic category when searching. To address these difficulties, we propose a new framework for semantic searches of FEs and propose a new method to leverage both existing dictionaries and domain sentence corpora. Further, we expand an existing FE dictionary to consider building a more comprehensive and domain-specific FE dictionary and to verify the effectiveness of our method.