Updates and release notes
Updates and release notes
Welcome to the Oxford Dictionaries API updates page. Here you’ll find API service information plus news of developments to the API, including new datasets, new endpoints, user tutorials, and more. We’re going to be adding much more functionality and content soon – so keep an eye on this page to stay up to date.
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Latest updates to the Oxford Dictionaries API
The latest release to the Oxford Dictionaries API brings major improvements to our English language data.
Derivatives have been added to the database, meaning that words like ‘veganism’, ‘valorous’, and ‘unchristianly’ now return ‘derivativeOf’ links in the JSON response that can help users cross reference to their root words.
Homographs are now ordered within the JSON response by part of speech (noun, verb, etc.), with the most common sense of the word appearing first.
Notes have been added to the /entries response to give users access to the rich instruction and information available via our website. These include editorial notes (which give further context to a particular usage), encyclopaedic notes (which add encyclopaedic information mainly to proper nouns), and technical notes (which add scientific or technical information for relevant entries), as well as many others.
As a result, the data in the API is richer and more informative than ever.
Announcing the Oxford Dictionaries API competition
At Oxford Dictionaries, we love language, and we want the world to communicate more easily. So, to celebrate language, communication, and the launch of our API, we’re holding the Oxford Dictionaries API competition. To enter, simply create an app that uses one or more of the languages in the Oxford Dictionaries API. It doesn’t matter if your app is an existing application that has recently integrated Oxford Dictionaries data or a brand new app; already published in an app store or never-before publicised. You can enter as an individual or as a team. We want to see what you can create!
The winner and four runners-up will be showcased on our site and receive PRO subscriptions to our API and a collector’s mug, and we will send all entrants a collector's T-shirt. You can find out more about the completion and how to enter here.
Explore the latest additions to Oxford Dictionaries API
The team at Oxford Dictionaries API has learnt a lot from the developer community since our first release, and this update includes a number of refinements to make the API even more relevant to your needs.
Firstly, we’ve added the ability to filter by grammatical features to a number of our endpoints. Grammatical features include attributes like gender, number, and person. To make it easy to find out which grammatical features exist in each language dataset, we’ve added a convenient Utility endpoint:
The Wordlist endpoint has also been improved to allow for more granular filtering. You can now choose between exclude, exclude_senses, and exclude_prime_senses in the exclude parameter.
Thank you for all your feedback so far. Please do continue to contact us with any questions, feedback, or ideas for future developments to Oxford Dictionaries API.
Explore new language datasets and the Sentence Dictionary endpoint
Two exciting monolingual datasets, Swahili and Hindi, have been added to the Oxford Dictionaries API in our latest update.
This release also sees the addition of our new Sentences endpoint for English and Spanish. The Oxford Sentence Dictionary is a vast, sense-linked databank of more than 1.9 million real-life examples of English in use, taken from the corpus. You can find out more about the Oxford corpora here.
Introducing Search and Thesaurus endpoints
v.1.3.0 is one of the most comprehensive and powerful updates yet! In response to ongoing feedback from our Early Adopters we’re delighted to have released a powerful Search endpoint in v1.3.0, allowing developers to integrate the great search capabilities that you see on our dictionary sites. This incorporates powerful headword, morphological, and ‘fuzzy’ matching to make sure that each query receives an accurate set of possible headword matches to then combine with other functionality. We’ve also launched a Thesaurus endpoint, which for the first time makes our synonym and antonym data for English accessible via API.
That’s not all, we’ve also included new dictionary datasets from our growing range of Oxford Global Languages sites. These are:
Urdu–English bilingual (one way)
Thank you so much to everyone that has provided feedback. We’re looking forward to the live launch at the ends of September! You can also combine filters to create more specific lists.
We would love to hear your feedback
Are you part of the Early Adopter Programme? If so, would love to hear your feedback about the Oxford Dictionaries API. Would you be able to spare 5 minutes to fill out this brief survey?
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New datasets and endpoints added
Our latest release includes the addition of two new datasets to the Oxford Dictionaries API: English-Romanian (a unidirectional bilingual dataset) and Latvian monolingual. This release also sees the launch of our exciting new Wordlists endpoint, which can be used to extract lists of words matching specified filters:
Lexical category: returns a list that only includes words from the specified category (e.g. nouns from a dataset).
Registers: returns lists of words tagged with the specified register (e.g. only words tagged as ‘rare’).
Domains: returns words that are tagged with a specific subject domain, such as ‘sport’.
Regions: lists only words from a specific region (e.g. words tagged as ‘US English’).
Use the Utility endpoints to explore the available categories within a particular dataset and create wordlists that suit your application. You can also combine filters to create more specific lists.
Coming soon: in September, we will be adding more datasets and a powerful Search endpoint, as well as a Thesaurus endpoint with the ability to extract synonyms and antonyms.
Updating your API gateway url
As part of our ongoing performance improvements we have migrated to a new API gateway. Please update your applications to the new URL asap. The old URL ceased to work after Wednesday 30th August 2016.
Previous URL: https://od-api-2445581300291.apicast.io:443
New URL: https://od-api.oxforddictionaries.com
Explore our data with 5 new ‘Utility’ endpoints
In order to allow quick and easy exploration of our data, we’ve launched a number of ‘Utility’ endpoints in this release. Below is a summary of all 5:
Domains: returns a list of the available domain tags within a dataset (e.g., nautical, photography).
LexicalCategories: returns the lexical categories, or parts of speech, identified in a particular dataset (e.g., particle, noun, determiner).
Filters: lists the different attributes you can filter different endpoints by.
Languages: lists the datasets available with a specified source or target language
Registers: returns the register labels present in a specified dataset (e.g., informal, technical, or even ‘theatrical slang’).
Oxford Dictionaries data is incredibly rich in depth and detail, and the above Utility endpoints aim to make navigating it that bit easier. If you would like to know any more about our data, please do get in touch and we’ll help guide you through it.
We’re listening to all the feedback we’re receiving from our Early Adopters and will be releasing even more functionality and languages in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Welcome to the Oxford Dictionaries API
We’re very pleased to introduce our new API which gives you easy access to our world-renowned dictionary content. The Oxford Dictionaries API is currently only available to our Early Adopters. You can learn more about what content and functionality will be available on our About and FAQ pages. If you’d like to find out more about our Early Adopter Programme, or if you’d be interested in receiving our API newsletter, please contact us.