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Optimal look up in dictionary file

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Hi everyone

i am trying to implement a look up algorithm for searching in a dictionary(flat file).Dictionary contains a list of proverbs such as Life after death,
Life begins at forty etc ordered alphabetically starting .Also the first word of the proverb("life" for the above case) is stored in a hashmap.What i am trying to implement is when an input sentence having the proverb (say Life begins at forty) comes it should directly look up the only the proverb starting with Life instead of parsing all the proverb list alphabetically from the dictionary file.I was thinking of using finite state automata for the same,but as the dictionary list increases the system may become too complex.Kindly share any other ideas.

Thanks in advance
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