Wordnik, a Dictionary for the Modern Age

If you like words, their definitions, and the evolution of language, you will enjoy Wordnik. It’s profiled in The New York Times today, and what sets this dictionary apart from others is that it is constantly being updated. The founder of the site Erin McKean explains: “Language changes every day, and the lexicographer should get out of the way…You can type in anything, and we’ll show you what data we have.”

According to The Times,

Wordnik’s automatic programs search the Internet, combing the texts of news feeds, archived broadcasts, the blogosphere, Twitter posts and dozens of other sources for the raw material of Wordnik citations…The site processes a vast reservoir of language, keeping tabs on more than six million words automatically.

My favorite part of this online dictionary is that in addition to a definition of a word, you’ll see an entire column of how the word is being used on the Web. It’s really nifty.

Of course, the site also includes a word of the day (for which you can sign up to receive updates by email). So go ahead and give Wordnik a whirl.

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