Homepage: http://www.wordnik.com/

Tool Category/ies: Creativity   Critical Thinking  

License Type: Free


Overall Rating





Wordnik, previously Alphabeticall, is a tool that provides information about all English words. These include definitions, examples of how to use, related words - antonyms, synonyms, images, sounds and statistics.



Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by: Joanna Wojciechowska on 05/16/2013

Wordnik  is an online dictionary with added features of sound, image, related lists and many more other features. These include:

  • definitions that come from multiple sources, but they are not user-contributed definitions
  • examples of how to use a given word in a sentence and where this sentence came from
  • related words: synonyms and antonyms
  • words that are used in a similar context but are not synonyms: for example a hamburger and a milkshake
  • images or sounds for some words to explain the meaning better (ex. a pout  a picture will show you what it looks like)
  • statistics: how often a given word has been used
  • recorded pronunciation so you know how to sound the word out correctly
  • signing up for a Wordnik account gives you access to create and share you own word list
  • this is a great tool for building vocabulary and learning new words

Resources Needed to use Wordnik
Working computer and a microphone if you want to use the audio feature. Basic computer skills will help you in learning how it works and what its capabilities are.

How to use Wordnik in a teaching Environment

Wordnik is a vocabulary building tool. My first thought was that I do not have any use for this tool as a teacher who mostly interacts with advanced learners such as medical students and medical residents. My assumption was that they should know all the medical terms by now. However, later on, I came to the conclusion that Wordnik might be useful after all. I realized that with a growing specialization in medicine we might not be familiar with words coming from other subspecialties when a multidisciplinary approach to a patient is needed. So in a case when a colleague used a word we are not familiar with, then Wordnik might actually be helpful, especially with easy, by now, access to the Internet. For the learners for whom English is not their native language, Wordnik may be even more useful with its audio feature for a correct pronunciation. However, it does not help with spelling. If a user misspells a word when entering it then the program does not provide any other options and says that there is no definition for that word.

Advantages of using Wordnik
  •     Helps with communication among sub-specialists
  •     Provides definitions for medical terms
  •     Helps to build up vocabulary

Disadvantages of using Wordnik
  •    Does not correct spelling


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