What Does Wordnik Mean?
Do you ever look up a word in the dictionary, only to discover that you really didn’t understand the definition? You can try to look up definitions of the same word in other dictionaries, or you can look up the definitions of the words in your definition, but neither of these is a particularly simple, straightforward, or even productive solution. Alternatively, you can use Wordnik.
An excellent dictionary application, Wordnik is focused on making absolutely certain that students understand the meaning of the looked-up word. Readers don’t just receive a definition for a word, but multiple definitions and supplementary materials (more on that below) that aid the reader in fully grasping how and when to use the word. Taken together, Wordnik can allow your students (and you, let’s be honest) to be able to gain a deeper, contextualized understanding of a word.
What Wordnik Displays
So what does Wordnik do to ensure that the user is able to fully grasp, retain, and recall the meaning of the researched word? When a word is entered in Wordnik’s search field, it provides the user with the following information:
- Definitions - They provide definitions from multiple dictionaries, so you can get a couple of takes on how the word might be understood or used.
- Examples - They display a few examples of the word being used in major news media (such as the Wall Street Journal and USA Today) and books from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive, as well as from other sources across the web, including blogs.
- Related Words - It also shows your word’s synonyms (the same meaning), hypernyms (a more generic or abstract meaning), hyponyms (a more specific meaning), same context (other words that you might see used in the word’s place), reverse dictionary (words that have your word in their definition), and tags (user-assigned labels for the word).
- Lists - Generated by users, you can use these lists to study words by theme or create your own list to save words for later practice.
- Comments - Have a question about how to use a word or when? Ask the other users.
- Images – These visuals, culled from the Flickr’s library, and which contain your word as a tag, can help you to see what others see in their mind’s eye when they see your word.
- Audio - Sample pronunciations of the words themselves (especially helpful for accent reduction purposes). They even include sound effects, where suitable (for the word “splash”, for example).
As a logged in user, you are also able to access another function: recording. If you feel like you have a pronunciation worth adding to their catalog (for example, if you want to say the word as it is said in your particular accent), you can record yourself and add a short text description. For those of you who just want to practice pronouncing the word, you can simply opt not to save the recording.