Information on the Dictionary and its Operation

Contents of the Page


The data was obtained from published dictionaries and reflects the diversity of the language within these sources. For each entry, we brought together the different semantic relations from all of the dictionaries, and added new relations using a symmetrization operation.

One way of viewing the output of the program is to look at a list of the semantic relations for a given entry, where each line of the list represents a different component. Two terms belong to different components if there is no path or subsequent links between them. For example, typing the word "fast" will result in the following components:

abstinence, diet, dieting, fasting, hunger strike
apace, balanced, blitz, brisk, close, debauched, degenerate, degraded, dissipated, dissolute, expeditious, expeditiously, express, extravagant, faithful, fastened, firm, firmly, fixed, fixedly, fleet, fleetly, flying, hasty, immobile, immovable, impregnable, intervolved, lasting, libertine, licentious, lively, loose, loyal, luxurious, permanent, profligate, promptly, quick, quickly, rakish, rapid, rapidly, reckless, riotous, secure, securely, set, sound, speedily, speedy, stable, steadfast, steady, sure, swift, swiftly, taught, taut, tight, tightly, true, voluptuous, wild
barred, bolted, latched, locked, secured
clem, famish, perish with hunger, starve
colorfast, colourfast
feast, holyday
go without food
jour maigre

Units of Meaning or Cliques

The related components are not always sufficient to separate the different meanings. We suggest an alterative unit: cliques. In our model, cliques are minimal units of meaning. By definition, all words in a clique are synonymous or analogues to the others. From a mathematical point of view, a clique is a maximal complete subgraph. For example, the input word "fast" has the following cliques:

1 : abstain, deny oneself, fast, refrain
2 : abstain, desist, fast, refrain
3 : abstinence, fast, fasting
4 : accelerated, fast
5 : apace, fast, quickly, rapidly, speedily
6 : balanced, fast, firm, fixed, stable, steadfast, steady
7 : barred, bolted, fast, latched, locked, secured
8 : blitz, fast, fleet, lively, quick, speedy, swift
9 : brisk, fast, hasty, quick
10 : brisk, fast, lively, quick
11 : clem, famish, fast, perish with hunger, starve
12 : close, faithful, fast
13 : close, fast, firm, intervolved, secure, set, taught, taut, tight
14 : close, fast, firm, lasting, stable, steady, tight
15 : close, fast, firm, secure, stable, steady, tight
16 : colorfast, colourfast, fast
17 : deacon, deacon off, deny oneself, fast, offer sacrifice, propitiate
18 : debauched, degenerate, degraded, dissipated, dissolute, fast, libertine, profligate, riotous
19 : debauched, dissipated, dissolute, fast, libertine, licentious, loose
20 : debauched, dissipated, dissolute, fast, licentious, rakish
21 : debauched, dissolute, fast, licentious, luxurious, rakish, voluptuous, wild
22 : debauched, dissolute, fast, riotous, wild
23 : deeply, fast
24 : diet, dieting, fast, fasting
25 : dissipated, extravagant, fast, profligate
26 : expeditious, expeditiously, fast, fleet, fleetly, quick, quickly, rapid, rapidly, speedily, speedy, swift, swiftly
27 : expeditiously, fast, fleetly, promptly, quick, quickly, rapidly, speedily, swiftly
28 : express, fast, quick, rapid, swift
29 : express, fast, sound
30 : extravagant, fast, profligate, reckless
31 : extravagant, fast, reckless, wild
32 : faithful, fast, loyal, steadfast, true
33 : faithful, fast, sound, true
34 : fast, fastened, fixed, secure
35 : fast, fasting, hunger strike
36 : fast, feast, holyday
37 : fast, firm, firmly
38 : fast, firm, fixed, immobile, immovable, stable, steady
39 : fast, firm, fixed, immovable, secure, set
40 : fast, firm, fixed, immovable, secure, stable, steady
41 : fast, firm, fixed, immovable, stable, steadfast, steady
42 : fast, firm, loyal, steadfast
43 : fast, firm, secure, stable, steady, sure
44 : fast, firmly, fixedly
45 : fast, firmly, securely
46 : fast, firmly, tightly
47 : fast, fixed, permanent, stable
48 : fast, fleet, hasty, quick, rapid, speedy, swift
49 : fast, flying, quick, swift
50 : fast, go without food
51 : fast, hasty, reckless
52 : fast, impregnable, secure
53 : fast, jour maigre
54 : fast, lasting, permanent, stable
55 : fast, sound, stable
56 : fast, tight, tightly

In this example, we can see that each line represents a relatively specific meaning from the standpoint of context and usage.


Geometry of the Model

A data analysis method (for details, see the references listed on the home page) makes it possible to represent the input word in a geometric space. This multidimensional map displays the different uses of the word, accompanied by their semantic neighborhood.

The cliques are displayed as points on the map and individual words correspond to regions. The origin of the axes is the location of an average or generic meaning if it exists. Moving away from the origin, we find more specific meanings. The projection of the entire space on the first two dimensions is not always sufficient to illustrate the diversity of a search word. The 'axes' check box can be used to generate new projections and display distinctions not captured on the first map.

The projection of a total space on the first two dimensions is not always sufficient to illustrate the diversity of a search word. The 'axes' check box can be used to generate new projections and display distinctions not captured by the first map.


A categorization method is also available. Users can choose a number n of classes. The program then shows n separate regions on the map.