Top 10 Dictionary APIs

There are many reasons developers may want to add dictionary functions to software applications. Word technology can help increase vocabulary, improve reading, writing and speaking skills, supply translation services, process language for sentiment or other analysis, and aid accessibility for the hearing impaired. Developers looking to add dictionary functions to applications can turn to Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, listed in the ProgrammableWeb Dictionary category for help.

Here are the ten top APIs for dictionaries based on website traffic on ProgrammableWeb.

1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary API

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary API gives developers access to dictionary and thesaurus content as well as specialized medical, Spanish, ESL, and student-friendly vocabulary. Add authoritative definitions, etymologies, audio pronunciations, synonyms and antonyms, and more to applications with this API. Free access is provided to non-commercial websites and applications (limited to two reference works with a maximum of 1000 queries a day).

2. Oxford Dictionaries API

The Oxford Dictionaries API enables developers to access dictionary data in several languages. This API offers flexible endpoints including headwords, parts of speech, synonyms, audio, and example sentences. It also provides continually updated content, Lexical frequency and n-gram information from the integrated LexiStats API, plus datasets in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Hindi, isiZulu, Latvian, and more.

3. WordReference API

The WordReference API provides access for word lookup and English-language definitions. It also provides word pairs to match equivalents in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, other European languages and some Asian languages. A thesaurus Function is also available for synonyms. The API returns an English language definition or an equivalent word in the non-English language specified by the request. For some terms, it will provide alternative translations in addition to the primary translation.

4. Words API

The WordsAPI is a RESTful API that allows a user to query a database of definitions for over 150,000 words in the English language. The API can also respond with specific details for a word, including part of speech, derivative form, antonyms, synonyms, and other morphological word-specific information.

5. ABBYY Lingvo API

The ABBYY Lingvo API provides users with access to the largest collection of Russian dictionaries including 140 dictionaries across 15 languages. Categories include general, professional, thematic dictionaries and thesauruses. The API can be used to develop vocabulary games and quizzes, mobile apps and websites for language learning and eBooks. Additional use cases include collocations and pronunciation.

6. Voicecup Pronunciation Dictionary API

The Voicecup Pronunciation Dictionary API allows developers to programmatically search for pronunciations of words and word combinations in English, Spanish, Russian, and German. The Voicecup Pronunciation Dictionary provides access to thousands of videos and audio streams that allow users to hear how words are pronounced in real speech and within different contexts.

7. Wordnik API

Wordnik is a non-profit online dictionary that provides definitions, synonyms, and antonyms for words and phrases covering 10,000,000 words. The Wordnik API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Wordnik with other applications through Open API standards. Some example API methods include retrieving definitions, retrieving words, and managing dictionaries through JavaScript.

8. Rabbitique Glossarium API

Rabbitique is a multilingual knowledge graph dictionary. It contains a vast knowledge about words from any written language and can interpret them with inter-language translations and context in mind. The Glossarium API is especially useful for Artificial Intelligence application development.

9. OwlBot Dictionary API

OwlBot searches the internet for English vocabulary definitions and saves them to its database. The OwlBot Dictionary API allows developers to get definitions and, in some cases, example sentences for English words. The API is provided free for public use.

10. UrbanScraper API

The UrbanScraper API provides access to Urban Dictionary definitions by passing the desired term in a GET call. The API relies on Screen Scraping with caching done on Heroku. This API was created by an independent developer and is not officially associated with Urban Dictionary.

The APIs listed above are just a small sampling of what can be found in the Dictionary category in ProgrammableWeb's API directory. Check out more than 50 APIs30 SDKs, and 25 Source Code Samples for dictionary application development.

Be sure to read the next Words article: 10 Popular APIs for Words