Dictionary.com Defines Its API

Alex Stone, October 5th, 2010

Dictionary.comOne of the most valuable resources of the english language is the dictionary. I won’t get into the history of the dictionary or what it’s done for literal society. I will note that incorporating inline definitions into reading apps is not the easiest thing to do. Sure, we now have eReaders like Apple’s iBooks and the Amazon Kindle that have dictionary integration built in, but what about the rest of of the text-based universe?

Well, Dictionary.com has finally launched an API so you can have similar features in your apps, directly from Dictionary.com. While dictionary APIs are certainly nothing new, it’s nice to have one from the most commonly used source for definitions.

Currently, the API is in beta and lacks quite a bit as far as documentation goes. Upon signing up, you are sent to the developer forum and that’s pretty light and a little buggy, right now. The API is RESTful, yet (currently) only has an XML response and is limited to 1,000 calls per day. Hopefully that changes as they take on more API requests, as this would be a huge boost to any text-centric or reading app.

While the Dictionary.com API is still in it’s beta/growing stages, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on for future integration into your app. Hopefully, things will grow as more developers sign up and begin swarming the forums with ideas and questions.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Dictionary.com Defines Its API”

October 6th, 2010
at 2:42 am
Comment by: Doug

meh. Wordnik offers more data, better terms (including higher call limits), and already has an active developer community. Much more useful for the “literal society.”

October 10th, 2010
at 12:01 pm
Comment by: 22 New APIs: Dictionary, Data and Domains

[...] Dictionary.com API: Use the Web’s most popular dictionary to look up words within your application. Provides access to the Dictionary.com dictionary, thesaurus, slang, word of the day and more. Only non-commercial applications are allowed and API keys are reviewed. We flipped through Dictionary.com API on the blog [...]

Follow the PW team on Twitter

APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.