I'm looking for dictionaries for download. I have found word lists from some Scrabble game sites, etc. but these lists are incomplete and do not cover word definitions and, perhaps, a thesaurus.

I also know about dictionary APIs, unfortunately they either have query limitations or do not allow downloading their database.

I should mention that my interest in this is strictly personal.

** NOTE **

I should also mention that this question is not about a program (or software), but the raw files. I am hoping something like XML, JSON, MySQL dump, text, etc. But not necessarily limited to this.

I know it's a bit to ask, but I'd like to know if such thing even exists? Is there anyone who would know where I can download en entire dictionary database, with word description, etc. (and possibly the synonyms)?

Thank you.


As far as I know, the standard is still Princeton's Wordnet, which has been converted into virtually every type of list, database or system imaginable, from Common Lisp Package to SQL database and everything inbetween.

Even if you are unfamiliar with every available technology, downloading virtually any of them will include downloading the wordnet database files which are recognizable by their db file extension. If you use MS Windows, try a program called WordWeb which is simply a Graphic User Interface for Wordnet; if you use Linux, try GoldenDict, a similar GUI for Wordnet.

From Linux, Unix and OSX, Wordnet can be used from the console via its Command Line Interface, usually simply called "wordnet" or "wn" in your software repositories.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    In case you are wary to research the project, one can immediately make nearly-full use of wordnet via this webpage: wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn – miercoledi Feb 24 '14 at 2:49
  • Thank you for the link. Now, let say that I'm on Linux and that I'm quite familiar with virtually any programming environment; I have peeked inside the "database only" tar.gz file and it seems to be in some proprietary format that I don't recognize. What I'm actually trying to accomplish to to query information using some home-made testing program, thus why I can't use an online API (because of the number of query limitation). However, I'll take a look if I can actually have some command-line tools that I can use... – Yanick Rochon Feb 24 '14 at 2:55
  • 1
    Well, I think you struck the nail right in the middle! There is an implementation of WordNet with all the API already implemented, almost exactly the right thing I was about to brew myself! Take a look here. Thanks! – Yanick Rochon Feb 24 '14 at 3:16
  • 1
    if you install the python or prolog or whatever tarball, you can do this: wn dictionary -over -- that command will give you an overview of the wordnet senses of the word dictionary as follows: Overview of noun dictionary The noun dictionary has 1 sense (first 1 from tagged texts) 1. (52) dictionary, lexicon -- (a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them) ... there are other ways to use it, but that's one of the most straightforward. do man wn to see more option, or browse the .data files by hand! – miercoledi Feb 24 '14 at 3:37
  • 1
    Yes, I've seen the list of words provided by the distro, however my Scrabble dictionary is nearly three times the size of this list, with 267751 words (up to 15 characters only), versus 99171 (in /usr/share/dict/words). :) – Yanick Rochon Feb 24 '14 at 3:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.