If you come across a word you need to look up that has many letters, here’s a tip that might help you look it up in Hans Wehr.
If you see a taa, noon, or alif inside of the word, these could be a letter of increase that indicates the verb/word is based upon a verb of a verb form other than the first one (I):
a taa inside may indicate the verb is on scale VIII (if-taa-ein-laa)
a noon inside may indicate the verb is on scale VII (in-faa-ein-laam)
an alif inside may indicate the verb is on scale III (faa-aa-ein-laam)
(where faa stands for the first root, ein stands for the second root and laam stands for the third root
An alif-seen-taa together in the word probably indicates that the verb is on scale X).
This information is handy in two ways:
1. If you know the scale the verb or the derivative is on, it can help you determine the meaning better
2. It can help you pick out the root easier, insha Allah. Take out an interior taa, or noon, or alif and see if you can find the root then. Sometimes the taa, noon, or alif are indeed part of the root and sometimes they are not.
Example: the word mush-ta-‘i-lah which consists of a meem-sheen-taa-ein-lam-taa marbutah.
This is a word on scale VIII and so the taa is a letter of increase. The meem, from an earlier tip, indicates that the word is a derivative and so you are left with sheen, ein, lam, and then the taa marbutah. The taa marbutah is used on the end of words and is not a root. So we guess that the root is sheen, ein, lam. So you look this up and then you look for the whole word, mush-ta-‘i-lah and you see that it means ablaze, burning. You also know that it is on scale VIII and you can see how the meaning of the verb matches the meaning of this derivative, mush-ta-ilah.