Announcing the new Wordnik alpha APIs! (UPDATED)

by Erin McKean on October 24, 2009

Today we’re happy to announce the alpha version of our new Wordnik APIs! UPDATE: See the video of the announcement we made at the Web 2.0 Summit.

Wordnik’s goal is not just to collect at least some information about every word in English — it’s also to make great information about words widely available, and our alpha APIs are a first step towards that goal.

Our new APIs include:

  • a definitions server, with definitions from The Century Dictionary (other dictionaries will be coming soon);
  • a “frequency” API, which returns a frequency number based on our initial API corpus*;
  • an “examples” API, which will return up to five example sentences for any word that appears in our initial API corpus;
  • the Wordnik word-of-the-day API (so you can create your own word-of-the-day wrapper or widget);
  • and it’s not really a standalone API, but we’re also throwing in an autocomplete API that is useful for making stuff with the other APIs.

You can sign up for our APIs here. Depending on demand, we may have to stagger approvals so as not to overwhelm the servers. If you want a better chance of being approved, give us as much detail as possible about how you plan to use our APIs. Coolness counts (but spelling doesn’t — since we haven’t released a spelling API yet).

Rudimentary documentation is here.

This is just a start — we’re hoping to release new APIs at regular intervals, so if there’s a kind of word data you’re longing to have access to, please let us know!

(* Our initial API corpus is about 3 billion words of running text. The API corpus is slightly different from the corpus that drives the Wordnik web site.)

Carl B. October 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Congratulations, guys — big step. Must’ve been a lot of work…

Jrome October 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm

This is fantastic! Data unleashed is data in reach. Time to git busy building fun thingamajigs. Thank you Wordnikkers!

Andrea October 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I’m waiting for a widget for wordpress :D
Thank you very much for this wonderful service

Jonathan Slocum July 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

(I’m a bit late to this game, but in case API plans are proceeding…)

Is there an API to the Century etymologies? (I’m particularly interested in cognates.)

-JS

Erin July 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Hi JS! We should have a new version of the Century data soon … the etymologies are tricky, so they may be unstructured at first as we work our way through them.

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