Essential tools: why you need Wordnik

wordnikWhen the word you need’s on the tip of your tongue, or when you just can’t repeat “important” one more time, reach for a new kind of thesaurus – Wordnik.

It’s a dictionary, a usage guide, and a magical new kind of thesaurus all rolled into one. You will love it.

What’s so special about Wordnik?

It pulls definitions from multiple dictionaries and shows examples of usage from the side – so you can check you’re using that fancy new word correctly.
It has a magical “relate” button to bring up all connected words. Whether you’re looking for another word that means the same thing or trying to find the word on the tip of your tongue, hit the green button.
It doesn’t just give synonyms, like most thesauruses; it gives much richer lists: exact synonym, similar words, words that appear in the same context, and words that use it in their definition.
It also has user-created lists – which range from erratic and idiosyncratic to massively helpful.

Also worth checking out…

Thesaurus.com is great if you’re looking for a very exact match, eg another verb for “interest”. (It interests me, fascinates me, intrigues me…) It has large, rich lists of words, all hyperlinked, and a partner site, Dictionary.com. It’s free, but weighted down with ads, so can be slow to download.

The Visual Thesaurus has an enchanting tumbleweed style layout, so you can navigate through related words visually. It’s inspiring to use (especially when you’re ideas-hunting), but has a sadly limited word list (“interest” didn’t bring up “fascinate” or “intrigue”). Non-subscribers are limited to a couple of searches a day.

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