One for the word lovers

Wordnik is a word-lover’s delight. Its aim is:
.bq to show you as much information as possible, as fast as we can find it, for every word in English, and to give you a place where you can make your own opinions about words known. Traditional dictionaries make you wait until they’ve found what they consider to be “enough” information about a word before they will show it to you. Wordnik knows you don’t want to wait–if you’re interested in a word, we’re interested too!
The Oxford English Dictionary is getting speedier at introducing new words – they have added ‘vuvuzuela’ already along with 2,000 other new words. But there is still some delay, and online access can be costly if you are a small library.
Wordnik has recently added a thesaurus function too.
It has some scientific terms but it would be interesting to hear how well you think it does.

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we move further from print to electronic resources to open research, and become more embedded in research workflows.
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9 Responses to One for the word lovers

  1. Alejandro Correa says:

    Thank you, Frank for your nice blog. For me I believe that it is necessary to have that a good dictionary. Is so difficult to speak in English in a “Spanish speaking country” [Chile or Ají?…..”Highway Chile”, I think it has another meaning (Jimmy Hendrix)], you …understand …. right (Ok!)?

  2. Heather Etchevers says:

    It’s nice to see the Internet catch up with my naive impressions of what it could/should be back in 1992 when I learned what a browser could do. Thanks for the pointer, Frank.

  3. Richard P. Grant says:

    You might like this, too:

  4. Frank Norman says:

    Richard – I’m not 100% convinced that all those terms have genuinely been used by someone!
    I prefer the Uxbridge English Dictionary.

  5. Richard P. Grant says:

    HAHA! That’s awesome.

  6. Cath Ennis says:

    Thanks for the link, Frank – I love it! I’ve bookmarked the site, followed the twitter account, and searched (unsuccessfully) for an iPhone app.
    Etymology of “geek”:
    Perhaps alteration of dialectal geck, fool, from Low German gek, from Middle Low German.

  7. Åsa Karlström says:

    ahh… thanks for the link Frank! 🙂 I had “a new word a day” from for awhile into my mailbox. Excellent way of getting a bigger (larger?) vocabulary as a English-as-a-second-language person.
    I like the other links too… although, when it comes to the ‘slang use’ I’m a bit more hesitant these days [sometimes it just leads to laughs]. Always good to know that I can look stuff up though!

  8. Henry Gee says:


  9. Ken Doyle says:

    Great site! I, too, wish there was an iPhone app…maybe soon…

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