Wordnik’s New Word Page: Related Words

by Angela Tung on July 13, 2011

You probably noticed that last month we launched a redesigned word page, and that our new pages include an expanded Related Words section.

What do we mean by “related words”?  Synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms, words used in the same context, a reverse dictionary, and tags. But what does all of that mean?

Here’s the top of the word page for tree:

Click on Relate and you’ll be taken here:

First up are synonyms, or words with the same or similar meaning, for instance, timber and sapling.

You’ll also find hypernyms, otherwise known as superordinates, or words that are more generic or abstract than the given word.  The prefix hyper- means “over, beyond, overmuch, above measure,” so you can think of a hypernym as a sort of umbrella over more specific words.  A hypernym for tree might be flora.

Hyponyms, or subordinates, are words that are more specific than the given word (the prefix hypo- means “under, beneath”).  Simal, coralwood, kingwood, and willow are specific types of trees (hey, that would make a great list!).  Same context refers to words that might be used in a similar context, such as wood, grass, garden, and branch. (One could argue that branch is also a meronym, or “a term that names part of a larger whole,” for tree.) We use the great resource WordNet for much of our hyponym and hypernym data.

The Reverse Dictionary section lists words that contain the given word in their definition. Tags are anything you might want to tag the given word and Tagging lists words that have been tagged with the given word.

We’d love your feedback as you explore our new Related Words section!

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