Kickstarting 1,000,000 new entries in a nonprofit, online dictionary

Erin McKean, our favorite word-nerd, is kickstarting a project to add one million widely used, but sadly absent, words to Wordnik, the nonprofit online dictionary.

Think of it as a more rigorous version of Urban Dictionary — using real-world lexigraphic techniques to catalog real-world words that lexicographers have neglected.

They're trying to raise $50K, and have pretty cool rewards, including you getting to sponsor your favorite neglected word, and membership in the Semicolon Appreciation Society.

Our mission is to collect all the words of English and share them with everyone. We share words through our website at, and through our API at Last year, we reincorporated as a non-profit, because we believe the English language belongs to everyone.

Every word at Wordnik gets its own full page, with as much data shown as possible: a standard definition (if one already exists), example sentences; synonyms, antonyms, and other related words; space for community-added tags, lists, and comments; images from Flickr and tweets from Twitter; and statistics on usage, including how many times a word has been favorited, listed, tagged, commented-upon, and, of course, whether or not it's valid in Scrabble (and how many points it scores).

Wordnik also has an open API! For web and native app developers, instead of licensing a less-complete dictionary or finding public-domain resources and adapting them, you can use our API to incorporate information from our site in search results or as full definitions.

Let's Add a Million Missing Words to the Dictionary [Erin McKean/Kickstarter]