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Word Type

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

  • shaft can be used as a verb in the sense of "to equip something with a shaft" or "To have sexual intercourse with someone" or "To engage in a malicious act; to rip off, as in "He got shafted.""
  • shaft can be used as a noun in the sense of "The long narrow body of a spear or arrow" or "A beam or ray of light" or "Any long thin object, such as the handle of a tool, one of the poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle, or the driveshaft of a motorized vehicle with rear-wheel drive." or "The main axis of a feather" or "The long narrow body of a lacrosse stick" or "A long narrow passage sunk into the earth, for mining etc; a mineshaft." or "A vertical or near-vertical cave passage." or "A vertical passage housing a lift or elevator; a liftshaft." or "A ventilation or heating conduit; an air duct." or "A malicious act, as in “to give someone the shaft”" or "The main narrow part of the penis"

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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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