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Word Type

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

  • tail can be used as a verb in the sense of "To surreptitiously follow and observe."
  • tail can be used as a noun in the sense of "The caudal appendage of an animal that is attached to its posterior and near the anus." or "The tail-end of a creature (buttocks, even if tailless) or an object, e.g. the rear of an aircraft's fuselage, containing the tailfin." or "An object or part thereof resembling a tail in shape, such as the thongs on a cat-o'-nine-tails or other multi-tail whip." or "Specifically, the visible stream of dust and gases blown from a comet by the solar wind." or "The latter part of a time period or event, or (collectively) persons or objects represented in this part." or "The part of a distribution most distant from the mode; as, a long tail." or "One who surreptitiously follows another." or "The last four or five batsmen in the batting order, usually specialist bowlers." or "The lower loop of the letters in the roman alphabet, as in g, q or y." or "The side of a coin not bearing the head; normally the side on which the monetary value of the coin is indicated; the reverse." or "(of a sequence) All the last terms of a sequence, from some term on." or "The male member of a person or animal." or "Sexual intercourse as a man on top."

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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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