Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

  • How can I sign up for the API?
  • How can I log in?
  • Where can I find information about the different plan options?
  • How much does the API cost?
  • How much will I be charged and when?
  • How can I change my plan?
  • Are there any monthly limits?
  • I am approaching the limits of my allowance. Will I be charged if I go over?
  • How can I start integrating this data into my project?
  • How can I delete my account?

  • How can I sign up for the API?

    The Oxford Dictionaries API has a number of flexible plans to suit all types of application. Registration is free and you can get started using the data straight away with your unique App ID and App Key. If you want to try out the API before registering, the live documentation offers a playground to try real calls and view the data, but you will need to register in order to experience the full features and capability of the API. You can register here.

    How can I log in?

    You can log in to your account by clicking the 'sign in' option from the main menu. If you have not already created an account, please select a plan that suits you and create an account.

    Where can I find information about the different plan options?

    You can view our plans here. We offer a number of flexible free and paid plans to suit all types of application, based on the number of requests you expect to send to the API and whether you need to cache any data. There is no long term commitment required and you can change plans at any time.

    How much does the API cost?

    We offer a number of flexible free and paid plans to suit all types of application, based on the number of requests you expect to send to the API and whether you need to cache any data. There is no long term commitment required and you can change plans at any time.

    How much will I be charged and when?

    Our customers pre-pay for the month ahead. In general, invoices for all paying customers are generated on the first day of the month. They are then issued a few days later, at which point you will be notified of the amount that is due, and then you will be charged another two days later. If you sign up for a paid plan or change to a higher plan towards the middle of the month, you will only be charged for the remaining days of that month. If you have any questions, please contact us.

    How can I change my plan?

    You can change your plan by signing in and navigating to ‘API credentials’, clicking on the name of your application, and then clicking ‘Review/Change’.

    Are there any monthly limits?

  • If you have a free account, you are limited to 60 requests per minute, and 3K requests per month.
  • Basic plan holders are entitled to 200 requests per minute and 10K requests per month.
  • Pro plan users are entitled 500 requests per minute and up to 100K requests per month.
  • Premium users have an allowance of 500 requests per minute and 500K requests per month.
  • If you require more requests per minute or month, please get in touch.

    I am approaching the limits of my allowance. Will I be charged if I go over?

    If it looks as though you are close to hitting your request limit for the month, you will receive a notification in plenty of time to log-in to your account and change it to a higher level account, with a greater request allowance.

    You can change your plan by signing in and navigating to ‘API credentials’, clicking on the name of your application, and then clicking ‘Review/Change’. If you have a Free account, and choose the stay on your existing plan once you have hit your monthly allowance, your access will cease for the remainder of the month but you will not be charged anything extra. Those on our paid plans will still have access to the API once they have hit their monthly request limit, but will be charged £0.002 per additional call.

    How can I start integrating this data into my project?

    You can test out our live documentation. If you need some advice from those in the know, take a look at our forum, where you can get advice from our technical team, and receive input from other developers.

    How can I delete my account?

    Please contact us and we will delete your account for you.

  • What is the Oxford Dictionaries API?
  • What can I do with the Oxford Dictionaries API?
  • Which dictionary does the API data come from?
  • Is this an Oxford English Dictionary API?
  • I would like to access a particular dictionary...

  • What is the Oxford Dictionaries API?

    The Oxford Dictionaries API is part of Oxford University Press. You can find out more about our API here, and more about Oxford Dictionaries here.

    What can I do with the Oxford Dictionaries API?

    The Oxford Dictionaries API offers an easy way to access powerful lexical data (words, definitions, translations, audio pronunciations, synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and more) to use in your apps and websites. Our mission is to extend learning and education worldwide, so there are very few usage restrictions for the API and our data, but please read our Terms and Conditions before signing up. If you are unsure about anything just let us know and we'll be happy to discuss a solution for you.

    Which dictionary does the API data come from?

    The Oxford Dictionaries API provides access to our current English dictionaries which are available on en.oxforddictionaries.com. This is our most comprehensive current English dictionary dataset and includes enhanced, updated versions of the Oxford Dictionary of English and the New Oxford American Dictionary. It includes more than 350,000 entries and is regularly updated with new words, senses, and definitions.

    We also have content in Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, isiZulu, Northern Sotho, Malay, Indonesian...and many more, and we're adding more all the time. Take a look at our supported languages page for the most up-to-date list.

    We are also currently looking at launching data from bab.la and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Bab.la offers bi-directional translations in more than 28 languages, while the OED offers information on the history, pronunciation and usage of more than 600,000 words, past and present. Please see our 'our data' page for further information.

    Is this an Oxford English Dictionary API?

    Oxford Dictionaries and the Oxford English Dictionary both come from the same publisher, Oxford University Press, but are different products. While Oxford Dictionaries reflects current usage of English, the OED records how language has developed over time. You can learn more about the difference between the OED and Oxford Dictionaries here..

    We are currently looking at offering OED data as an API, and you can take a look at the documentation for this here.

    I would like to access a particular dictionary...

    It is possible to select either the Oxford Dictionary of English (GB) or New Oxford American Dictionary (US) entries using /entries/en/{word_id}/regions=gb

    Please let us know if there is another dictionary you are hoping to use. If there is a great enough demand for a particular dataset, we will certainly consider adding it.

  • Can I use the API in a commercial project?
  • Can I use the Oxford branding in my application?
  • Can I say that I am using data from the Oxford English Dictionary in my project?
  • Can I cache data?
  • Where can I find your terms and conditions?


    Can I use the API in a commercial project?

    You are free to use Oxford Dictionaries content in your commercial (paid-for) application and can use 'Powered by Oxford Dictionaries' wording without prior approval. Other restrictions may apply, so please consult the terms and conditions page first. If you have any questions, please contact us.

    Can I use the Oxford branding in my application?

    You can use 'Powered by Oxford Dictionaries' wording without prior approval. For details on using the Oxford Dictionaries logo, please visit our Branding Resources page. If stating that you use our data, please use please use 'Oxford Dictionaries' rather than 'Oxford English Dictionary'. This page explains the difference in these dictionaries more fully.

    Can I say that I am using data from the Oxford English Dictionary in my project?

    Although the OED is part of Oxford Dictionaries, please use 'Oxford Dictionaries' rather than 'Oxford English Dictionary' if stating that you use data from us. This page explains the difference in these dictionaries more fully.

    Can I cache data?

    Caching is allowed only on our paid plans, and permission is granted on a case by case basis. Please contact us first on api@oxforddictionaries.com if you wish to cache content, with details of your use case. If you could estimate how much data you would initially anticipate caching (i.e. how many calls you would initially make to our API), and how often you would need to refresh your cache by making additional calls to the API, this will enable us to process your request more quickly.

    Where can I find your terms and conditions?

    Our terms and conditions can be found here.

  • Which languages do you support?
  • I can't see the language I need. Will you include it in the API?

  • Which languages do you support?

    In the API, we currently offer content in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, isiZulu, Northern Sotho, Latvian, Malay, Indonesian...and many more, and we're adding more all the time. Take a look at our supported languages page for the most up-to-date list.

    If you’re looking for a dictionary dataset for a language which isn’t currently available via the API, we might still be able to help. We have over 35 language datasets, from Afrikaans to Vietnamese, available to license via Oxford Dictionaries Licensing. We are also building content in 100 of the world's languages, many of which are digitally under-represented, as part of our Oxford Global Languages initiative.

    I can't see the language I need. Will you include it in the API?

    Please take a look at our supported languages page. If your requested language isn't available through our API, it may be available through our licensing programme. If licensing is not the right option for you, please do let us know, as the more a language is requested, the more likely it is that we will be able to prioritize it for inclusion it the future.

  • How can I make a request to the API?
  • How can I retrieve word definitions?
  • Where can I find information on pronunciations?
  • Where can I find audio files?
  • Can I get synonyms and/or antonyms?
  • How can I translate words using the API?
  • How can I generate a wordlist?
  • How can I get parts of speech?
  • How do I look up phrases using the API?
  • How do I retrieve example sentences?

  • How can I make a request to the API?

    Information on request parameters can be found here.

    How do I retrieve word definitions?

    You can access entire entries using the ‘entries’ endpoint either at the generic //entries/{source_lang}/{word_id} for the whole entry or specifically limited to the definition at //entries/{source_lang}/{word_id}/definitions. It is worth exploring the documentation page to see what is available.

    Where can I find information on pronunciations?

    Pronunciation information is returned in standard entries endpoint calls: look for "phoneticNotation" (system: IPA/respell etc.) and "phoneticSpelling" (pronounciation).

    Where can I find audio files?

    Pronunciations are provided as part of the 'entries' response. Each pronunciation attribute contains a URL link to the relevant sound file, which is free to access.

    Can I get synonyms and/or antonyms?

    The Thesaurus endpoint returns synonyms and/or antonyms for a given word. Try the URL entries/{source lang}/{word id}/synonyms to retrieve synonyms for each sense of the given word, or entries/{source lang}/{word id}/antonyms for antonyms . To retrieve both synonyms and antonyms at the same time, end the request with /synonyms;antonyms

    How can I translate words using the API?

    You can use the ‘Translation’ endpoint (//entries/{source_lang}/{word_id}/translations={target_lang}). It would be worth exploring our documentation page for more detail.

    How can I generate a wordlist?

    You can produce a wordlist from the Wordlist endpoint. It is worth exploring the documentation page to see which filters can be applied. Note that while all matching base forms are returned, inflected forms will only be returned if they exactly match the prefix e.g. creating a call to find nouns starting ‘ca’ will return ‘cat’ (amongst many other things) but not ‘cats’ (the plural form); in order to return ‘cats’ you would need to set the prefix to ‘cats’.

    How can I get parts of speech?

    To retrieve only the part of speech information for a word use the 'lexicalCategory' filter functionality. For example /entries/en/ace/lexicalCategory.

    How do I look up phrases using the API?

    You will need to call on /search/{source_lang} and make sure you set the ‘prefix’ to false (which is the default). If you would like to generate a list of phrases, you can also apply a lexicalCategory=idiomatic filter to our Worldist endpoint.

    How do I retrieve example sentences?

    The sentence dictionary endpoint gives you access to corpus collected examples of how a word is used. You need to make a call to “/entries/{source_language}/{word_id}/sentences” for this content. You can double-check that you have the correct match for the definition call by using the sense-level IDs: “senseIds” in the sentence dictionary which should match “id” in the definition call and will take the format “m_en_...” or similar.

  • How can I filter results?
  • How do I exclude certain words from my results?
  • How can I retrieve the past tense, plural, inflections or derivatives of a word?
  • How do I get the API to recognize a word if the user misspells it?
  • How do I call up the most popular/common definition of a word first?
  • How do I make sure I get the definition for the right sense of the word when there is more than one meaning?
  • Can I make the API recognize American spellings?
  • How can I specify US English pronunciation?
  • Can I specify that I'd like words only from a particular dictionary?
  • How can I get a random word?

  • How can I filter results?

    The best thing to do would be to explore our documentation page, which lays out all of the available options. The ‘utility’ section at the bottom of the page lists all of the available labels applicable to each filter.

    You can use the documentation page to generate a URL for any call you make. Please note that this URL cannot be used directly in your application as it uses a different hostname but the rest of the URL can be copied and pasted into your code.

    How do I exclude certain words from my results?

    This is only possible for wordlist searches but the best thing to do would be to explore our documentation page.

    How can I retrieve the past tense, plural, inflections or derivatives of a word?

    Our entries are listed as a base form (the ‘headword’) and that is what needs to be searched to trigger a response. We would recommend that you explore how to use the Lemmatron endpoint, which will tell you that a word is a derivative, and which word is a derivative of. You should then be able to use the Lemmatron output to create a second call to retrieve the definition for the base word.

    How do I get the API to recognize a word if the user misspells it?

    You can use the ‘Search’ endpoint to return fuzzy matches for a particular string.

    How do I call up the most popular/common definition of a word first?

    Look out for the ‘homographNumber’ attribute. The structure of our data means that the numbering cannot be sequential but, in general, the lower the homographNumber, the more common the associated sense of the word is.

    How do I make sure I get the definition for the right sense of the word when there is more than one meaning?

    At present, this is not something that is possible through our API. However, if you are trying to retrieve the most common definition of a particular word, look out for the ‘homographNumber’ attribute. The structure of our data means that the numbering cannot be sequential but, in general, the lower the homographNumber, the more common the associated sense of the word is.

    Can I make the API recognize American spellings?

    Our API supports US English, but its default setting is British English. You will just need to set a region filter: “…entries/en/{word}/regions=us”

    How can I retrieve only US English pronunciation?

    If you make an entry search with a regional filter (//entries/{source_lang}/{word_id}/regions=us), it will contain all of the pronunciation information relevant to the specified region. Each pronunciation attribute also contains a URL link to the relevant sound file, which is free to access.

    Can I specify that I'd like words only from a particular dictionary?

    It is possible to select either the Oxford Dictionary of English (GB) or New Oxford American Dictionary (US) entries using /entries/en/{word_id}/regions=gb

    Please let us know if there is another dictionary you are hoping to use. If there's a great enough demand for a particular dataset, we will certainly consider adding it.

    How can I get a random word?

    Although this isn't currently a feature of our API, there is a way to retrieve a random word. You could randomly select an offset value for the wordlist and limit the output to one result, which would effectively be the same as a random word selection. Please note that you would need to specify a filter before you do so, and that each call to the wordlist endpoint equates to 500 requests. If a random word feature would be useful to you, please contact us to let us know. It may be something that we can consider for future development.

  • How many requests to the API does a word list count as?

  • How do I find out which categories are available in each filter on the Wordlist endpoint?

  • How many requests to the API does a word list count as?

    One wordlist request counts as 500 calls. It can contain up to 5000 words. But if you made a request that yielded 100 words, that would be worth the same (i.e. 1 wordlist call=500 calls) as a response that yielded 5000 words. Therefore, if you were using our free plan, with an allowance of 3000 requests, if you made a wordlist request for, for example, 50 words, you would then have 2500 requests left.

    How do I find out which categories are available in each filter on the Wordlist endpoint?

    To find full lists of the categories available in each filter, use the Utility section of the API. Select the category you are interested in and then choose the relevant dictionary. For example, to get a list of lexical categories in our English dictionaries, you would use “get /lexicalcategories/{language}” and select the language “En”. The endpoint will then reveal that the full list of English lexical categories: Adjective, Adverb, Noun, and so on. The full list of registers can be viewed using GET /registers/{source_language} in the Utility section of the documentation. You can then limit the API call to find specific registers using, e.g. /registers%3DDerogatory

  • What does this error code mean?
  • Other

  • What does this error code mean?

    If you explore our documentation page, you will find information on what each error code might mean under the 'response messages' for each endpoint. If you need any further help on resolving your problem, please contact us.

    Other

    If you require technical help, please contact us for advice from our technical team, or visit our forum for input from other developers using the API.



    There are lots of handy how-tos on our forum. If the answer to your question isn't there, please feel free to start your own thread or contact us for assistance.