This tool allows you to find the grammatical word type of almost any word.
- backlash can be used as a verb in the sense of "To cause or set off a backlash."
- backlash can be used as a noun in the sense of "A sudden backward motion." or "A reaction, objection or outcry, especially of a violent or abrupt nature." or "The distance through which one part of connected machinery, as a wheel, piston, or screw, can be moved without moving the connected parts, resulting from looseness in fitting or from wear." or "The jarring or reflex motion caused in badly fitting machinery by irregularities in velocity or a reverse of motion."
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.
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).