Wordnik API Could Usher in a Stream of Word Games

Romin Irani
Nov. 16 2010, 02:04PM EST

If you are into developing word games and have been scouting around for both a word database and an API to go with to make things easier, Wordnik may just have delivered the solution for you. The online dictionary's latest version of its Wordnik API is squarely targeting word game developers by giving them additional methods that will help them find words with a great degree of control.

Two new methods were announced in version 3.3: Word Search and Random Search. With Word Search, you can get words that match a criteria that you specify. And it supports different kinds of criteria that would make word games easy to author. For example, give me words that start with a certain letter, containing vowels, of a certain length, are a noun and so on. The Random Search method is similar in capability to the Word Search, except that you can simply eliminate the criteria that you provide in Word Search and simply get some random words from the Wordnik dictionary.

The Wordnik API is a REST based API and also has a write feature, where you can manage your own word lists. To access the Wordnik API, you can sign up for an API key that you will need to use to invoke the API methods. There are various language libraries available if you do not want to use the REST API directly.

There are interesting use cases of applications that have used the Wordnik API. One of them is Shorty, a URL shortener with a difference. It used the the Wordnik API to retrieve random words. Then creates short URLs for users with those words. Instead of generated gibberish, it uses English words to make the URLs memorable and repeatable. A nice way to expand on your vocabulary, isn’t it? (Also, Shorty has an API of its own).

If you have not started with Wordnik, take a look at our Wordnik API profile and let us know about any word games that you make with it.

Romin Irani Google Developer Expert Cloud 2014. Romin loves learning about new technologies and teaching it to others. Follow me on Google+

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