What's the largest open-source dictionary that includes brief definitions of each word? Wiktionary is a great resource but:

  • There are over 200K words in the scowl list that aren't in wiktionary. I'd use scowl directly, but it only list words and has no definitions.

  • Wiktionary intentionally includes misspellings (sometimes not marked as such, and sometimes as redirection), and I'm looking for only correctly-spelled words.

  • Wiktionary's definitions are often lengthy, not brief.

  • It's difficult to automatically extract the portion of a wiktionary page that's the definition.

I'm somewhat surprised this question isn't in the FAQ, and that I couldn't find the answer by searching this site.

  • Could you provide a link for this "scowl list"? I've not heard of it before. May 5, 2011 at 0:55
  • wordlist.sourceforge.net
    – user3065
    May 5, 2011 at 0:59
  • I just compared the last wordlist (all "words" files) to enwiktionary-20151102-all-titles and there are 240k words "missing" from Wiktionary, of which 80k are just duplicates of actual words + "'s" ending and so on. Only 176 words are missing from the "medium" list, 3k from the large, 38k from the huge. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/…
    – Nemo
    Nov 13, 2015 at 23:17
  • 1
    What is a "scowl list"? Jun 28, 2017 at 22:55
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a request for resources.
    – Jim
    Jan 24, 2018 at 22:05

3 Answers 3


You may be looking for WordNet, a lexical database for English developed by Princeton's Computer Science department. It has a permissive license allowing free use even in commercial applications. However, WordNet does not have “closed-class” words, including pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, determiners, and particles.


The moreofit web site can be a good start to find sites similar to, here, wiktionary:


The result includes dict.org, which can be of interest considering what you are after.


I agree that WordNet is a pretty good source for definitions. I have started to build a multilingual dictionary (Deect) on top of WordNet's English words and definitions (actually included a few more things), and the users usually like the definitions from WordNet.

  • 2
    I wonder why such awesome site is closed. Jan 27, 2014 at 4:43
  • 2
    I would be great if you would release the project as open source, would you consider creating an organization on github? I would be willing to contribute, clean data, help maintain it etc.
    – OpenCoderX
    Jul 25, 2015 at 12:28
  • seriously, give this to the community....you can store it on open data stack exchange's repository at datahub.io
    – albert
    Nov 14, 2015 at 1:52
  • I have just started a project like this (quite early stage) with MIT license: github.com/poetyi/translator-app
    – pnz1337
    Sep 7, 2021 at 13:11