In Other Words

The In Other Words project enables every user to discover their inner wordsmith.

Dive into layer after layer of word meanings, with a visual brainstorming tool that takes you on a journey through clusters of related words. In Other Words enables users to overcome those “tip-of-your-tongue” moments and discover the perfect word every time. Dynamic word clouds simulate the brain’s associative thinking, leading users to precise and meaningful language choices. Starting with two seed words, users create a word cloud to pinpoint exact meaning, like turning “think about” and “immerse” into “marinate.”

Part reference app and part adventure, In Other Words goes beyond what is currently available in any other language reference app by offering more words, real-world usage examples, concrete definitions, word relationships, usage information, and wordplay, such as anagrams.

Beyond definitions

Traditional dictionaries can provide definitions, but many fail to provide context – and language is defined by how it’s actually spoken and written. That’s why In Other Words is filled with over a million real world examples from Pulitzer Prize winning and other notable books throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The fictional and non-fictional literary examples show how authors, journalists, and scholars – not informational texts – use words. When a user looks up a word in our app, they might see it as it is used in Harry PotterTo Kill a Mockingbird, Freakonomics, the New York Times, or peer-reviewed, academic papers.

Building on the excellent definitions written by the crowd-sourced editors at Wiktionary, IDEA’s lexicographic team wrote more than 2,700 short, digestible definitions for all common words, including “who,” “what,” and “the.” For over 100,000 other words that also have Wikipedia entries, we included a snippet of the article as well.

To power the app, our team created the IDEA Linguabase, a database of word relationships built on an analysis of various published and open source dictionaries and thesauri, an artificial intelligence analysis of a large corpus of published content, and original lexicographic work.

Word relationships & more

In Other Words offers relationships for over 500,000 terms and presents over 60 million interrelationships. These include close relationships, such as synonyms, as well as broader associations and thousands of interesting lists, such as types of balls, types of insects, words for nausea, and kinds of needlework. Additionally, the app has extensive information on word families (e.g., “jump,” “jumping”) and common usage (“beautiful woman” vs. “handsome man”), revealing words that commonly appear before or after a word in real use.

The app goes beyond the traditional reference text by allowing users to explore interesting facts about words and wordplay, such as common letter patterns and phonetics/rhymes. These include curiosities like anagrams, as well as words that share elements with other words, such as how “earthworm” and “earthquake” start with the same five letters or “insect” and “intersect” end with the same four. Exploring these relations can be a fascinating and often inaccessible view into pools of words.

In Other Words is presented in a clean, simple user interface that allows for quick lookups, enabling users to easily tap from word to word, learn more, save their favorites, and share their findings across multiple devices. It’s a word-finding companion, suitable for everyone who values precise and meaningful language. Whether the user is a student, writer, or simply loves exploring the world of words, our app empowers them to express themselves with confidence.

Words that open doors

In Other Words is designed with the dual purpose of advancing linguistic education and promoting social good, with the overarching goal of enhancing communication skills across all ages, abilities, and lived experience. At its core, the app aims to democratize access to comprehensive language resources, enabling users from all walks of life to unlock their potential as eloquent communicators. By providing deep insights into word usage, relationships, and context, In Other Words strives to bridge the gap between academic language learning and practical, everyday communication.

In Other Words is committed to inclusivity and safe learning environments. By offering a scrubbed, family-friendly version of the English language, it ensures that users of all ages can explore and learn without exposure to offensive content, making it an ideal tool for educational institutions and young learners. Moreover, the app’s design encourages exploration and curiosity, fostering a love for learning and an appreciation for the intricacies of language.

In Other Words goal is to inspire a community of users who are confident in their ability to express themselves clearly and creatively. By empowering people to find the perfect words for their thoughts and feelings, the app contributes to a more articulate and connected world, where effective communication paves the way for mutual understanding and collaboration.

Coming Fall 2024.