I'm trying to find a list of synonyms between various food types for a programming project I am working on with searching English language phrases. I was originally going to ask this on Stack Overflow, but this question wasn't necessarily related to programming.

In the list I'm looking for, I'd like to be able to know the synonyms and hyponyms for food types. For example:

  • Synonym: sandwich — sub
  • Hyponyms: Mexican — taco, burrito; fruit — orange, apple, banana

Are there any lists that exist that might help bootstrap my efforts?


1 Answer 1


Good luck with this one.

When you look up a word on the website Wordnik, the bottom of the page lists various synonyms for the word. I just did this for sandwich, with interesting results.

First, they (correctly) don't list submarine as a synonym for sandwich, but as a hyponym. In a similar vain, orange and apple aren't listed as synonyms or hyponyms for fruit, but as words that are found in a reverse dictionary lookup.

Although it would take a lot of work, this Wordnik feature could prove helpful for your efforts. As to how you could restrict your culling to words related to food, you could always start with the Wordnik entry for food – that might make a good "root node". Both fruit and sandwich are listed there, under Words that are found in the same context; so is taco. And check out what delectable words you find when you look up mexican, and see what words are tagged!

  • However, there is almost no semantic area with more regional and sociolinguistic lexical variation than that of food, particularly popular food, most especially snacks and local specialties. When one travels to a place where a foreign language is spoken, dictionaries are famously useless for decoding menus, since everything goes by a local name. As J.R. say, good luck. Commented May 23, 2012 at 13:53

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