Wordnik, a nonprofit organization, is an online English dictionary and language resource that provides dictionary and thesaurus content.[2] Some of the content is based on print dictionaries such as the Century Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary, WordNet, and GCIDE. Wordnik has collected a corpus of billions of words which it uses to display example sentences, allowing it to provide information on a much larger set of words than a typical dictionary. Wordnik uses as many real examples as possible when defining a word.[2][3]

Wiktionary, the free open dictionary project, is one major source of words and citations used by Wordnik.


Wordnik.com was launched as a closed beta in March 2009 and opened to all in June 2009.[4] Co-founders of the site are CEO Erin McKean, editorial director Grant Barrett, and chief computational lexicographer Orion Montoya. McKean, Barrett, and Montoya all formerly worked in the US Dictionaries Department of Oxford University Press.[5][6][7] In September 2009, Wordnik purchased the social language site Wordie.org. All Wordie.org accounts and data were subsequently transferred to Wordnik.[8]

Wordnik's material is sourced from the internet by automatic programs. It then shows readers the information regarding a certain word without any editorial influence.[3] Wordnik does not allow for user-contributed definitions but seems to assert that it may allow for this in the future.[2]

The company began a kickstarter campaign in 2015 with the purpose of finding and adding a million words to Wordnik that had not yet been included in major English dictionaries.[9]


As of 14 January 2012, Wordnik Zeitgeist reports that,[10]


  1. ^ "wordnik.com Site Info". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Wordnik". Wordnik.com. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  3. ^ a b Eisenberg, Anne (2011-12-31). "Wordnik's Online Dictionary: No Arbiters, Please". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Old-School Word Nerds Meet The Digital Age". CBS News. 2009-06-08. 
  5. ^ "Erin McKean launches Wordnik – the revolutionary online dictionary". TED Blog. 2009-06-08. 
  6. ^ "Online dictionary is lexicography's answer to the Swiss Army knife". Calgary Herald. 2009-06-12. 
  7. ^ Ali, Rafat (2009-07-08). "Online Dictionary Site Wordnik Gets $3.7 Million Funding". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ "Wordnik & Wordie: Moving Day!". Official Wordnik Blog. 2009-11-11. 
  9. ^ "Let's Add a Million Missing Words to the Dictionary". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  10. ^ "Wordnik Zeitgeist". Wornik, Inc. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 

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