On New Year’s Day, the NYT ran an article featuring Wordnik, an online resource for definitions and much more. I’m already enamored! No more annoying ads flashing along the border of the web page (like on Dictionary.com), just intriguing information about the word.
If you visit the site, make sure to check out they RELATE section for the word(s) you look up. For many words, it includes not only synonyms, but also hypernyms (more general words), hyponyms (more specific words), and a reverse dictionary word list (words whose definitions contain the word you looked up).
Founded by Erin McKean, former editor in chief of American dictionaries for Oxford University Press, the site combines traditional definitions from American Heritage Dictionary with social and web-harvested content, including word associations (like hypernyms and hyponyms) from Princeton’s lexical database, WordNet, and Creative Commons images from Flickr.
Are you a word lover? You can sign up for a word of the day email (requires free, simple registration) – for LOTR fans, today’s word is Elvish, or check out the random word when you visit the site. My only complaint about the word of the day is that selections tend toward the unusual (e.g. Elvish, redshirt) rather than the useful. One feature that might appeal to teachers and writers: with an account you can save your favorite words, create word lists, and publicize word lists.