Are you a #wordnerd or a #languagegeek?

A very generous donor has given us an omakase word adoption — we can choose any word! So we thought we’d use this to see whether Wordniks are more likely to consider themselves ‘word nerds’ or ‘language geeks’. (We can never decide — some days we’re one, and and some days the other.)

From now until 9:30 AM PDT on June 1, show whether you’re a #wordnerd or a #languagegeek by tweeting about our adopt-a-word fundraiser with either hashtag. We’ll pick one lucky retweeter to be the official adopter-of-record for their term of choice!

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(Not on Twitter? Just leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!)

May the best quirky linguistic subculture win!

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit!

Today we’re happy to announce that, the world’s biggest online dictionary, has started the process of becoming a not-for-profit corporation, with the mission of collecting and sharing data for every word in the English language.

Since 2008, Wordnik has tried to be the place where every word — no matter how rare, weird, new, or ephemeral — could have a home. More than a hundred thousand Wordniks have made their choice — not just for looking up (several million) words every day, but for creating a community for leaving helpful comments, adding useful tags, and making over forty thousand educational, entertaining, and just plain amazing word lists.

As part of Reverb Technologies, the word graph that we’ve created has shown tremendous commercial value in delivering remarkable insights about content and users.

As part of, we’ll continue to develop and support the Wordnik API, too — expect some exciting announcements on that front in the next few months. (You can always find information on Reverb’s open-source API description framework at

Reverb Technologies is continuing (and how!) with its goal of making meaningful connections for readers and publishers. Check out Reverb at!

We hope you will support us in our mission to share all the words. Please email us at with any suggestions, questions, or advice!

App-propos: The Reverb App

Almost a year ago, we announced that our company name was changing from “Wordnik Inc” to “Reverb Technologies” … and we promised more news.

Today, we’re very happy to announce the Reverb App — a brand-new discovery reader designed to help you read more about what you like, and find new and interesting content, too.

Given our roots as word-lovers, it’s not surprising that the app opens with a gorgeous Word Wall interface:

We believe that words are a fantastic navigation tool. With our Reverb Word Wall view, we give a great overview of the news landscape, and make it easier to dive deeper with a single tap.

We also use our wordy expertise to help connect readers with content. Our new Reverb app sorts and prioritizes articles into three separate content ‘streams’ that help you effortlessly discover more of what you want to read and less of what you don’t: a ‘me’ stream for personalized interests and stories; a ‘friends’ stream that collects articles shared through social network connections, and a ‘news’ stream that keeps you on top of breaking news from respected news sources from around the world.

The more the app is used, the more personalized it gets, replacing information overload with information satisfaction.

We think our new app creates a beautiful and engaging environment for reading and discovering content. Our goal is that with Reverb, you’ll always find something you didn’t know you wanted to know. It’s available now for iPad (iOS 7) only — download it here for free.

March Wordnik of the Month: Madison Andrews

In our monthly Wordnik newsletter (which you, too, can get in your in-box by subscribing to our Word of the Day via email) last month we asked for volunteers for a new feature, our Wordnik of the Month. We got a great response, and are happy to feature Madison Andrews as our very first WotM (pronounced “whottem”)!

Madison Andrews is a journalist, editor, and graphic designer based in Austin, Texas. When she isn’t posting SAT Critical Reading and Writing advice on her blog, Mad Skills Vocabulary, she is a columnist and contributor for A New Domain and Tech Page One. Follow Madison
@madskillsvocab, or send her an email.

Of course, we had some questions for Madison …

1. How do you use Wordnik?

I use Wordnik to enrich the educational content on Mad Skills
. I’m particularly excited about our latest feature, Mad Skills Word Search, which I designed with Paul Bonner of NimbleQuick studios.

Mad Skills Word Search is a web app that uses the Wordnik API to provide definitions and examples of SAT words. So, say you’re a student, and you run across the word perfidious in a blog post or word list on the Mad Skills Vocabulary site. You could click on that link to find several different definitions and context sentences for the word.

Word Search is still in the early stages of development, but we’re excited to see where this project will lead. Currently, the only way to invoke the application is to click on a linked word in an article or word list on Mad Skills Vocabulary, but we’ll be adding a search page to the Mad Skills Word Search site. We also hope to eventually allow our users to take advantage of some of Wordnik’s more exotic offerings – etymologies and related words and audio pronunciations.

We’re also interested in building a community of Mad Skills users, and will be doing some other cool stuff in that direction, as well.

2. What’s your favorite thing about Wordnik?

My favorite thing about Wordnik is that it makes language fun, engaging, and interactive. Most students can’t learn new words and truly expand their vocabularies just by memorizing lists of SAT or AP exam words. They need to interact with a word, see several definitions, read lots of examples, hear the word, learn how it relates to other words that they know. Really get to the point where they can almost taste it. That’s what Wordnik provides, and that’s what I hope to provide in a more targeted way for the students who visit Mad Skills Vocabulary. For Mad Skills, the Wordnik API makes that possible.

3. What’s your all-time favorite Wordnik list?

Gravity’s Rainbow by dfw2008.

4. What one thing do you wish Wordnik would do (that it doesn’t now)?

Well, one thing we’re thinking about for Mad Skills is adding an interactive flash card application, and maybe even practice exams for high school and college students, and I agree with many of the users on your community forums that some kind of flash card capability would be a great addition to Wordnik, as well. But really, at this point we’re more focused on the API and figuring out how to take advantage of everything it provides, and we’re very happy with what we’ve seen so far.

5. What are some of your other favorite sites online?

… and whatever site I end up choosing as a replacement for Google Reader,
currently Feedly.

Would you like to be a Wordnik of the Month? Email us at with your answers to these questions, and enjoy your fifteen minutes of wordy fame …

Introducing Reverb: Connecting People with Meaningful Content

We’re excited to announce today the forming of a new company, Reverb Technologies, Inc., which will incorporate

Over the past five or so years, as we’ve been working on, we’ve realized that the technology we’ve been developing — not just Wordnik, but things like Swagger and a bunch of other tools and systems — was making Wordnik bigger on the inside than on the outside.


tardis, by feitoamao

With, we’ve focused on one word at a time, and late last year we showed a little of what we could do at a slightly bigger scale with the beta launch of Related Content by Wordnik (now called Reverb for Publishers) but with the launch of Reverb today, we’re working to bring our technology to more developers, more publishers, and more consumers.

What does this mean for Well, Wordnik is now free to do what it does best — be a fantastic dictionary offering “360-degree views” of words, the biggest in the world, with the best users. We won’t have to drown it in ads, and we can continue to work on making it the best “single-word” view on Reverb’s word graph technology. The data we get from how users interact with Wordnik — listing, commenting, favoriting, and tagging words — will continue to be an important part of Reverb’s mission of connecting people with meaningful content.

As part of our continuing work on, we’re happy to announce a new beta feature today — Wordmaps. Here’s one for apt (which is what we hope you think our new name is):

In the maps, squares get their size from the amount of “Wordnik love” a word has received (including listing and loves, among other things) and the color of the squares is driven by our calculation of how much the related word “matches” the mapped word. This feature is still in beta while we tweak our algorithms, so feedback is greatly appreciated!

(Also, check out the new floaty menus, a much-requested feature to help make it easier to jump right to whatever part of the word page you need.)

There’s much more coming, both from Reverb and for We’re looking forward to sharing it all with you!

[Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by feitoamao]

Welcome Adam!

We’re happy to welcome Adam to the Wordnik team!

Welcome Adam!

Adam Van Fossen is a market trend and business development professional. Prior to joining Wordnik, Adam was working in the mobile gaming industry at GREE, where he was building strategic partnerships with top tier content providers.

Adam’s career path took many twists and turns before landing in business development. He has worked as a photographer, on a dude ranch in Japan, and in a gold mine in Nevada.

In his free time, Adam enjoys snapping photos on his antique cameras, playing guitar, and hanging out with his wife and adorable basset hound.

We’re very glad to have Adam with us!

Welcome Hannah and Tom!

We’re happy to welcome two new folks to the Wordnik team!

First off — Hannah!

Welcome Hannah!

Hannah Russin is a marketer with broad experience in both B2B and B2C customer acquisition. Prior to joining Wordnik, Hannah worked at start-ups, including GREE, Clean Power Finance, AdRoll, and Sungevity, where she focused on communications and acquisition channels, including mobile UA, SEO, SEM, email marketing, website optimization, and social media outreach. Hannah began her start-up career as the eighth employee at Sungevity, where she built everything from her desk to a marketing strategy that helped grow Sungevity into a top solar installer in California. When she’s not working, she’s organizing events, people, and un-alphabatizing her bookshelf, or attempting to improve her cooking skills. Hannah holds a BA degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

And Tom!

Welcome Tom!

Tom Naughton comes to Wordnik from Apple where he spent 15 years working on localization, internationalization, WebObjects, and Xcode. Prior to that, he worked on edutainment titles at MECC including The Oregon Trail. He studied French, Japanese, and Computer Science at Michigan State University, and Computational Linguistics at San José State University.

In his spare time, Tom likes to read non-fiction, work on iOS applications, ride his Harley, and stare at spectrograms.

We’re very glad to have Hannah and Tom with us!