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wiktionary, wiktionary.org
Wiktionary is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary of all words in all languages It is collaboratively edited via a wiki, and its name is a blend of the words wiki and dictionary It is available in 172 languages and in Simple English Like its sister project Wikipedia, Wiktionary is run by the Wikimedia Foundation, and is written collaboratively by volunteers, dubbed "Wiktionarians" Its wiki software, MediaWiki, allows almost anyone with access to the website to create and edit entries

Because Wiktionary is not limited by print space considerations, most of Wiktionary's language editions provide definitions and translations of words from many languages, and some editions offer additional information typically found in thesauri and lexicons The English Wiktionary includes a Wikisaurus thesaurus of synonyms of various words

Wiktionary data are frequently used in various natural language processing tasks


  • 1 History and development
    • 11 Logos
  • 2 Accuracy
  • 3 Critical reception
  • 4 Wiktionary data in natural language processing
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

History and development

Wiktionary was brought online on December 12, 2002, following a proposal by Daniel Alston and an idea by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia On March 28, 2004, the first non-English Wiktionaries were initiated in French and Polish Wiktionaries in numerous other languages have since been started Wiktionary was hosted on a temporary domain name wiktionarywikipediaorg until May 1, 2004, when it switched to the current domain name As of May 2009, Wiktionary features well over 5 million entries across its 272 language editions By August 2015, the total entry count was over 15 million The largest of the language editions is the English Wiktionary, with over 49 million entries, followed by the Malagasy Wiktionary with over 39 million bot-generated entries and the French Wiktionary with over 29 million Forty-one Wiktionary language editions now contain over 100,000 entries each

The use of bots to generate large numbers of articles is visible as "growth spurts" in this graph of article counts at the largest eight Wiktionary editions Data as of December 2009

Most of the entries and many of the definitions at the project's largest language editions were created by bots that found creative ways to generate entries or rarely automatically imported thousands of entries from previously published dictionaries Seven of the 18 bots registered at the English Wiktionary created 163,000 of the entries there

Another of these bots, "ThirdPersBot," was responsible for the addition of a number of third-person conjugations that would not have received their own entries in standard dictionaries; for instance, it defined "smoulders" as the "third-person singular simple present form of smoulder" Of the 648,970 definitions the English Wiktionary provides for 501,171 English words, 217,850 are "form of" definitions of this kind This means its coverage of English is slightly smaller than that of major monolingual print dictionaries The Oxford English Dictionary, for instance, has 615,000 headwords, while Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged has 475,000 entries with many additional embedded headwords Detailed statistics exist to show how many entries of various kinds exist

The English Wiktionary does not rely on bots to the extent that some other editions do The French and Vietnamese Wiktionaries, for example, imported large sections of the Free Vietnamese Dictionary Project FVDP, which provides free content bilingual dictionaries to and from Vietnamese These imported entries make up virtually all of the Vietnamese edition's contents Almost all non-Malagasy-language entries of the Malagasy Wiktionary were copied by bot from other Wiktionaries Like the English edition, the French Wiktionary has imported the approximately 20,000 entries from the Unihan database of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters The French Wiktionary grew rapidly in 2006 thanks in large part to bots copying many entries from old, freely licensed dictionaries, such as the eighth edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française 1935, around 35,000 words, and using bots to add words from other Wiktionary editions with French translations The Russian edition grew by nearly 80,000 entries as "LXbot" added boilerplate entries with headings, but without definitions for words in English and German


Wiktionary has historically lacked a uniform logo across its numerous language editions Some editions use logos that depict a dictionary entry about the term "Wiktionary", based on the previous English Wiktionary logo, which was designed by Brion Vibber, a MediaWiki developer Because a purely textual logo must vary considerably from language to language, a four-phase contest to adopt a uniform logo was held at the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki from September to October 2006 Some communities adopted the winning entry by "Smurrayinchester", a 3×3 grid of wooden tiles, each bearing a character from a different writing system However, the poll did not see as much participation from the Wiktionary community as some community members had hoped, and a number of the larger wikis ultimately kept their textual logos

In April 2009, the issue was resurrected with a new contest This time, a depiction by "AAEngelman" of an open hardbound dictionary won a head-to-head vote against the 2006 logo, but the process to refine and adopt the new logo then stalled In the following years, some wikis replaced their textual logos with one of the two newer logos In 2012, 55 wikis that had been using the English Wiktionary logo received localized versions of the 2006 design by "Smurrayinchester" In July 2016, the English Wiktionary adopted a variant of this logo As of 4 July 2016, 135 wikis, representing 61% of Wiktionary's entries, use a logo based on the 2006 design by "Smurrayinchester", 33 wikis 36% use a textual logo, and three wikis 3% use the 2009 design by "AAEngelman"


To ensure accuracy, the English Wiktionary has a policy requiring that terms be attested Terms in major languages such as English and Chinese must be verified by:

  1. clearly widespread use, or
  2. use in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year

For smaller languages such as Creek and extinct languages such as Latin, one use in a permanently recorded medium or one mention in a reference work is sufficient verification

Critical reception

Critical reception of Wiktionary has been mixed In 2006 Jill Lepore wrote in the article "Noah's Ark" for The New Yorker,

There's no show of hands at Wiktionary There's not even an editorial staff "Be your own lexicographer!", might be Wiktionary's motto Who needs experts Why pay good money for a dictionary written by lexicographers when we could cobble one together ourselves

Wiktionary isn't so much republican or democratic as Maoist And it's only as good as the copyright-expired books from which it pilfers

Keir Graff's review for Booklist was less critical:

Is there a place for Wiktionary Undoubtedly The industry and enthusiasm of its many creators are proof that there's a market And it's wonderful to have another strong source to use when searching the odd terms that pop up in today's fast-changing world and the online environment But as with so many Web sources including this column, it's best used by sophisticated users in conjunction with more reputable sources

References in other publications are fleeting and part of larger discussions of Wikipedia, not progressing beyond a definition, although David Brooks in The Nashua Telegraph described it as "wild and woolly" One of the impediments to independent coverage of Wiktionary is the continuing confusion that it is merely an extension of Wikipedia In 2005, PC Magazine rated Wiktionary as one of the Internet's "Top 101 Web Sites", although little information was given about the site

The measure of correctness of the inflections for a subset of the Polish words in the English Wiktionary showed that this grammatical data is very stable Only 131 out of 4748 Polish words have had their inflection data corrected

Wiktionary data in natural language processing

Wiktionary has semi-structured data Wiktionary lexicographic data should be converted to machine-readable format in order to be used in natural language processing tasks

Wiktionary data mining is a complex task There are the following difficulties: 1 the constant and frequent changes to data and schemata, 2 the heterogeneity in Wiktionary language edition schemata and 3 the human-centric nature of a wiki

There are several parsers for different Wiktionary language editions:

  • DBpedia Wiktionary: a subproject of DBpedia, the data are extracted from English, French, German and Russian wiktionaries; the data includes language, part of speech, definitions, semantic relations and translations The declarative description of the page schema, regular expressions and finite state transducer are used in order to extract information
  • JWKTL Java Wiktionary Library: provides access to English Wiktionary and German Wiktionary dumps via a Java Wiktionary API The data includes language, part of speech, definitions, quotations, semantic relations, etymologies and translations JWKTL is available for non-commercial use
  • wikokit: the parser of English Wiktionary and Russian Wiktionary The parsed data includes language, part of speech, definitions, quotations, semantic relations and translations This is a multi-licensed open-source software
  • Etymological entries have been parsed in the Etymological WordNet project

The various natural language processing tasks were solved with the help of Wiktionary data:

  • Rule-based machine translation between Dutch language and Afrikaans; data of English Wiktionary, Dutch Wiktionary and Wikipedia were used with the Apertium machine translation platform
  • Construction of machine-readable dictionary by the parser NULEX, which integrates open linguistic resources: English Wiktionary, WordNet, and VerbNet The parser NULEX scrapes English Wiktionary for tense information verbs, plural form and part of speech nouns
  • Speech recognition and synthesis, where Wiktionary was used to automatically create pronunciation dictionaries Word-pronunciation pairs were retrieved from 6 Wiktionary language editions Czech, English, French, Spanish, Polish, and German Pronunciations are in terms of the International Phonetic Alphabet The ASR system based on English Wiktionary has the highest word error rate, where each third phoneme has to be changed
  • Ontology engineering and semantic network constructing
  • Ontology matching
  • Text simplification Medero & Ostendorf assessed vocabulary difficulty reading level detection with the help of Wiktionary data Properties of words extracted from Wiktionary entries definition length and POS, sense, and translation counts were investigated Medero & Ostendorf expected that 1 very common words will be more likely to have multiple parts of speech, 2 common words to be more likely to have multiple senses, 3 common words will be more likely to have been translated into multiple languages These features extracted from Wiktionary entries were useful in distinguishing word types that appear in Simple English Wikipedia articles from words that only appear in the Standard English comparable articles
  • Part-of-speech tagging Li et al 2012 built multilingual POS-taggers for eight resource-poor languages on the basis of English Wiktionary and Hidden Markov Models
  • Sentiment analysis


  1. ^ Wikipedia mailing list archive discussion announcing the opening of the Wiktionary project – Retrieved May 3, 2011
  2. ^ Wikipedia mailing list archive discussion from Larry Sanger giving the idea on Wiktionary – Retrieved May 3, 2011
  3. ^ Wiktionary's current URL is wwwwiktionaryorg
  4. ^ Wiktionary total article counts are here Detailed statistics by word type are available here
  5. ^ The user list at the English Wiktionary identifies accounts that have been given "bot status"
  6. ^ Hồ Ngọc Đức, Free Vietnamese Dictionary Project Details at the Vietnamese Wiktionary
  7. ^ "Wiktionary talk:Wiktionary Logo", English Wiktionary, Wikimedia Foundation
  8. ^ a b "Wiktionary/logo", Meta-Wiki, Wikimedia Foundation
  9. ^ "Wiktionary/logo/refresh/voting", Meta-Wiki, Wikimedia Foundation
  10. ^ 56 Wiktionaries got a localised logo
  11. ^ m:Wiktionary/logo#Logo use statistics
  12. ^ The full article is not available on-line
  13. ^ David Brooks, "Online, interactive encyclopedia not just for geeks anymore, because everyone seems to need it now, more than ever!" The Nashua Telegraph August 4, 2004
  14. ^ In this citation, the author refers to Wiktionary as part of the Wikipedia site: Adapted from an article by Naomi DeTullio 2006 1st Quarter "Wikis for Librarians" PDF NETLS News #142 Northeast Texas Library System p 15 Archived from the original PDF newsletter on 2007-06-05 Retrieved April 21, 2007  Check date values in: |date= help
  15. ^ Eg compare the entry structure and formatting rules in English Wiktionary and Russian Wiktionary
  16. ^ Quotations are extracted only from Russian Wiktionary
  17. ^ If there are several IPA notations on a Wiktionary page – either for different languages or for pronunciation variants, then the first pronunciation was extracted
  18. ^ http://conceptnet5mediamitedu
  19. ^ The source code and the results of POS-tagging are available at https://codegooglecom/p/wikily-supervised-pos-tagger


  1. ^ "Wiktionaryorg Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved 2016-10-10 
  2. ^ https://wwwwiktionaryorg/
  3. ^ TheDaveBot, TheCheatBot, Websterbot, PastBot, NanshuBot
  4. ^ Detailed statistics as of 1 July 2013
  5. ^ LXbot Archived May 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ phab:T139255
  7. ^ "Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion" Wiktionary Retrieved 13 March 2015 
  8. ^ Lepore 2006
  9. ^ PC Mag 2005
  10. ^ Kurmas 2010
  11. ^ Meyer & Gurevych 2012, p 140
  12. ^ Zesch, Müller & Gurevych 2008, p 4, Figure 1
  13. ^ Meyer & Gurevych 2010, p 40
  14. ^ Krizhanovsky, Transformation 2010, p 1
  15. ^ Hellmann & Auer 2013, p 302, p 16 in PDF
  16. ^ Hellmann, Brekle & Auer 2012, p 3, Table 1
  17. ^ DBpedia Wiktionary
  18. ^ Hellmann, Brekle & Auer 2012, pp 8–9
  19. ^ Hellmann, Brekle & Auer 2012, p 10
  20. ^ Hellmann, Brekle & Auer 2012, p 11
  21. ^ JWKTL
  22. ^ Zesch, Müller & Gurevych 2008
  23. ^ wikokit
  24. ^ Krizhanovsky, Transformation 2010
  25. ^ a b Smirnov 2012
  26. ^ Krizhanovsky, Comparison 2010
  27. ^ Etymological WordNet
  28. ^ Krizhanovsky 2012, p 14
  29. ^ Otte & Tyers 2011
  30. ^ McFate & Forbus 2011
  31. ^ Schlippe, Ochs & Schultz 2012
  32. ^ Schlippe, Ochs & Schultz 2012, p 4802
  33. ^ Schlippe, Ochs & Schultz 2012, p 4804
  34. ^ Meyer & Gurevych 2012
  35. ^ Lin & Krizhanovsky 2011
  36. ^ Medero & Ostendorf 2009
  37. ^ Li, Graça & Taskar 2012
  38. ^ Chesley et al 2006
  • Chesley, Paula; Vincent, Bruce; Xu, Li; Srihari, Rohini K 2006 "Using verbs and adjectives to automatically classify blog sentiment" PDF Training 580: 233–235 Retrieved May 9, 2013 
  • Hellmann, Sebastian; Brekle, Jonas; Auer, Sören 2012 "Leveraging the Crowdsourcing of Lexical Resources for Bootstrapping a Linguistic Data Cloud" PDF Proc Joint Int Semantic Technology Conference JIST Nara, Japan 
  • Hellmann, S; Auer, S 2013 "Towards Web-Scale Collaborative Knowledge Extraction" PDF In Gurevych, Iryna; Kim, Jungi The People's Web Meets NLP Theory and Applications of Natural Language Processing Springer-Verlag pp 287–313 ISBN 978-3-642-35084-9 
  • Krizhanovsky, Andrew 2010 "Transformation of Wiktionary entry structure into tables and relations in a relational database schema" arXiv:10111368  
  • Krizhanovsky, Andrew 2010 "The comparison of Wiktionary thesauri transformed into the machine-readable format" arXiv:10065040  
  • Krizhanovsky, Andrew 2012 "A quantitative analysis of the English lexicon in Wiktionaries and WordNet" PDF International Journal of Intelligent Information Technologies IJIIT 8 4: 13–22 doi:104018/jiit2012100102 Retrieved May 9, 2013 
  • Kurmas, Zachary July 2010 Zawilinski: a library for studying grammar in Wiktionary Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration Gdansk, Poland Retrieved 2011-07-29 
  • Li, Shen; Graça, Joao V; Taskar, Ben 2012 "Wiki-ly supervised part-of-speech tagging" PDF Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning Jeju Island, Korea: Association for Computational Linguistics pp 1389–1398 
  • Lepore, Jill November 6, 2006 "Noah's Ark" Abstract The New Yorker Retrieved April 21, 2007 
  • Lin, Feiyu; Krizhanovsky, Andrew 2011 "Multilingual ontology matching based on Wiktionary data accessible via SPARQL endpoint" Proc of the 13th Russian Conference on Digital Libraries RCDL'2011 Voronezh, Russia pp 19–26 arXiv:11090732 
  • McFate, Clifton J; Forbus, Kenneth D 2011 "NULEX: an open-license broad coverage lexicon" PDF The 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Proceedings of the Conference Portland, Oregon, USA: The Association for Computer Linguistics pp 363–367 ISBN 978-1-932432-88-6 
  • Medero, Julie; Ostendorf, Mari 2009 "Analysis of vocabulary difficulty using wiktionary" PDF Proc SLaTE Workshop 
  • Meyer, C M; Gurevych, I 2010 "Worth its Weight in Gold or Yet Another Resource - A Comparative Study of Wiktionary, OpenThesaurus and GermaNet" PDF Proc 11th International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics, Iasi, Romania pp 38–49 
  • Meyer, C M; Gurevych, I 2012 "OntoWiktionary – Constructing an Ontology from the Collaborative Online Dictionary Wiktionary" PDF In Pazienza, M T; Stellato, A Semi-Automatic Ontology Development: Processes and Resources IGI Global pp 131–161 ISBN 978-1-4666-0188-8 
  • Otte, Pim; Tyers, F M 2011 "Rapid rule-based machine translation between Dutch and Afrikaans" PDF In Forcada, Mikel L; Depraetere, Heidi; Vandeghinste, Vincent 16th Annual Conference of the European Association of Machine Translation, EAMT11 Leuven, Belgium pp 153–160 
  • Schlippe, Tim; Ochs, Sebastian; Schultz, Tanja 2012 "Grapheme-to-phoneme model generation for Indo-European languages" PDF Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing ICASSP Kyoto, Japan pp 4801–4804 
  • Smirnov A, Levashova T, Karpov A, Kipyatkova I, Ronzhin A, Krizhanovsky A, Krizhanovsky N Analysis of the quotation corpus of the Russian Wiktionary Research in Computing Science 2012 ;56:101–112
  • Zesch, Torsten; Müller, Christof; Gurevych, Iryna 2008 "Extracting Lexical Semantic Knowledge from Wikipedia and Wiktionary" PDF Proceedings of the Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation LREC Marrakech, Morocco 
  • "Wiktionary" Top 101 Web Sites PC Magazine April 6, 2005 Retrieved December 16, 2005 

External links

  • List of all Wiktionary editions
  • Wiktionary front page
    • English Wiktionary
  • Wiktionary Android package at the F-Droid repository
  • Wiktionary on Google Play
  • Wiktionary's multilingual statistics
  • Wikimedia's page on Wiktionary including list of all existing Wiktionaries
  • Pages about Wiktionary in Meta
  • Meta:Main Page – OmegaWiki

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