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Word Type

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

  • black can be used as a adjective in the sense of "absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and colourless." or "without light." or "Relating to persons of African descent or (especially in the US) their culture." or "Bad; evil." or "Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced." or "Overcrowded." or "Lacking cream, milk and creamer." or "The standard denomination of the playing pieces of a board game deemed to belong to the black set, no matter what the actual colour."
  • black can be used as a noun in the sense of "The colour/color perceived in the absence of light." or "A black dye, pigment." or "A pen, pencil, crayon, etc., made of black pigment." or "A person of African descent." or "the black: The black ball." or "The edge of home plate" or "a type of firecracker that is really more dark brown in colour."
  • black can be used as a verb in the sense of "To make black, to blacken." or "To apply blacking to something." or "To boycott something or someone, usually as part of an industrial dispute."

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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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