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Word Type

This tool allows you to find the grammatical word type of almost any word.

  • back can be used as a adjective in the sense of "Near the rear." or "Not current." or "Far from the main area." or "Produced in the back of the mouth."
  • back can be used as a noun in the sense of "The rear of body, especially the part between the neck and the end of the spine and opposite the chest and belly." or "The spine and associated tissues." or "The side of any object which is opposite the front or useful side." or "The reverse side; the side that is not normally seen." or "That which is farthest away from the front." or "Area behind, such as the backyard of a house" or "The part of something that goes last." or "The side of a blade opposite the side used for cutting." or "The part of a piece of clothing which covers the back." or "The edge of a book which is bound." or "The backrest, the part of a piece of furniture which receives the human back." or "Upper part of a natural object which is considered to resemble an animal's back." or "That part of the body that bears clothing." or "In some team sports, a position behind most players on the team." or "The keel and keelson of a ship." or "The inside margin of a page." or "The roof of a horizontal underground passage." or "Effort, usually physical." or "Large and attractive buttocks."
  • back can be used as a adverb in the sense of "(Not comparable) To or in a previous condition or place." or "Away from the front or from an edge." or "In a manner that impedes."
  • back can be used as a verb in the sense of "To go in the reverse direction." or "To support." or "the change direction contrary to its normal pattern (anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in the southern)" or "to brace the yards so that the wind presses on the front of the sail, to slow the ship" or "to lay out a second, smaller anchor to provide additional holding power"

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Word Type

For those interested in a little info about this site: it's a side project that I developed while working on Describing Words and Related Words. Both of those projects are based around words, but have much grander goals. I had an idea for a website that simply explains the word types of the words that you search for - just like a dictionary, but focussed on the part of speech of the words. And since I already had a lot of the infrastructure in place from the other two sites, I figured it wouldn't be too much more work to get this up and running.

The dictionary is based on the amazing Wiktionary project by wikimedia. I initially started with WordNet, but then realised that it was missing many types of words/lemma (determiners, pronouns, abbreviations, and many more). This caused me to investigate the 1913 edition of Websters Dictionary - which is now in the public domain. However, after a day's work wrangling it into a database I realised that there were far too many errors (especially with the part-of-speech tagging) for it to be viable for Word Type.

Finally, I went back to Wiktionary - which I already knew about, but had been avoiding because it's not properly structured for parsing. That's when I stumbled across the UBY project - an amazing project which needs more recognition. The researchers have parsed the whole of Wiktionary and other sources, and compiled everything into a single unified resource. I simply extracted the Wiktionary entries and threw them into this interface! So it took a little more work than expected, but I'm happy I kept at it after the first couple of blunders.

Special thanks to the contributors of the open-source code that was used in this project: the UBY project (mentioned above), @mongodb and express.js.

Currently, this is based on a version of wiktionary which is a few years old. I plan to update it to a newer version soon and that update should bring in a bunch of new word senses for many words (or more accurately, lemma).

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