chapter  29
Wordnik
ByErin McKean
Pages 12

Wordnik is an online-only dictionary of English, whose mission is to collect and share all the words of English. Wordnik also makes available an application programming interface (API) to more than 20,000 registered developers. This API provides dictionary definitions, example sentences, related words, and limited corpus information to users to embed in their own software and services. The seed for Wordnik was planted at the 2007 TED conference in Monterey, California, where founder Erin McKean discussed the limitations of print dictionaries. McKean saw a mismatch between the kinds of words typically included in print dictionaries and the kinds of words sought out by educated monolingual English speakers. The Wordnik site is powered by the Wordnik API, which draws data from several large MongoDB databases. The primary way that users can support Wordnik is through adopting a word. Users can also show their support by purchasing Wordnik-branded merchandise through the Threadless website.