Updates and release notes

FAQ

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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More words, more features, better security

Release v.1.11.0

English content update
Almost 600 new definitions have been added, covering new senses, phrases, lemmas, and denested derivatives.

LexiStats

  • Tokenization and lemmatization of some content in LexiStats has been fixed, improving the accuracy of the responses.
  • Corpus data has been updated, giving analysis to even more frequency data and ngrams.
  • For multi-page responses, the header now returns a header containing comma-separated URLS for the previous and next pages of results. This makes cycling through large amounts of content much more easy. As a result, instead of returning the ‘total’ as part of the metadata, we now return only the number of results in that page, as ‘num_results’.
  • Timeouts have been implemented for queries that take more than 30 seconds. Where this occurs, the error message will advise of ways to reduce the number of results.

  • New features

  • Search responses are ordered by closeness and include the match score. The results are now in a descending order by score.
  • Where available, shorter definitions are provided within the Entry sense cluster, which may be useful for display on smaller screens. You can find ‘short_definitions’ at the sense level, at the same level as ‘definitions’.
  • Sense level links between our English monolingual and English thesaurus have been added to the English entry response. Within the Entry sense cluster, ‘thesaurusLinks’ includes the thesaurus entry_id and sense_id, allowing you to extract sense-level synonyms by parsing the corresponding Thesaurus endpoint response.
  • Words passed to the Entries endpoint will be cleaned for stray punctuation, which will improve your chances of lookup success. This removes spaces and every appearance of ^ , . : ; from the begging of the string and spaces and every appearance of ^ , : ; from the end of the string, so a string such as ‘…^tidy,;::’ is cleaned as ‘tidy’ and a string like ‘.,:;;;tidy;…:’ is cleaned as ‘tidy…’. It has this behaviour as there are a number of entries which end with ‘…’, and this means that it will still be possible to find these entries in the API

  • Security fixes
    The API will now return 414 HTTP status code for any entry ID in excess of 128 characters. Instead of processing very long strings which don’t exist in our dictionary, we response with an 414 status code which means that the URL requested is longer than what the server is willing to interpret.

    For further information about the updates and for more news on the API, be sure to visit our new blog.

    Thank you for all your feedback so far. Please do continue to get in touch with any questions, feedback, or ideas for future developments to Oxford Dictionaries API.


    Lexistats – lexical data from our renowned monitor corpus

    Release v.1.10.0

    LexiStats
    A new set of endpoints has now been added to the Oxford Dictionaries API, collectively called LexiStats. Up until now the API has allowed you to query the content as it exists in our dictionaries, but before it gets there, we gather and scrutinize vast amounts of data in our New Monitor Corpus to monitor how words behave and decide what should be included. LexiStats gives you direct access to this data in the form of n-grams and frequency information. If you are creating a word game and would like to create different levels depending on ability and difficulty of the words, frequency data can help. Or, if you are working in natural language processing, n-gram frequency can help you disambiguate one word from another. We can’t wait to see what you create.

    Three LexiStats endpoints are included in this release: word, words, and n-grams. Read the documentation here, and feel free to contact us if you want to know more or have ideas for improvements. Please note that requests to the LexiStats API count against your normal monthly allocation of calls.

    New words
    Release v.1.10.0 also includes a big update of new words in both the Oxford Dictionary of English and the New Oxford American Dictionary.

    Both these updates are available for all new and existing developers, on all access plans, for no additional cost.

    Thank you for all your feedback so far. Please do continue to get in touch with any questions, feedback, or ideas for future developments to Oxford Dictionaries API.


    Tamil and Gujarati added to the API

    Release v.1.8.0

    Our Oxford Global Languages (OGL) programme aims to offer digital representation for 100 of the world’s languages. We’re delighted to announce that, as part of the OGL initiative, Tamil and Gujarati datasets are now available through our API.

  • Entries in Tamil can be retrieved with the language code 'ta': /api/v1/entries/en/campaign/translations=ta
  • Entries in Gujarati can be retrieved with the language code ‘gu’: /api/v1/entries/en/exquisite/translations=gu

  • 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.


    New branding resources

    New branding resources including logos and usage guidelines are now available for those using our API.


    These can be viewed here.


    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.


    More calls per minute and more flexible allowances

    Two changes have been made to the API to allow for greater flexibility for those who often come close to hitting their limits:

  • We have made our paid plans more flexible so that, once they reach their limit, account holders will pay per call made over their allowance, meaning there is no longer any danger of access ceasing.
  • Previously, each of our plans entitled users to make 60 calls per minute. While this is still true of our free plan, subscribers to our paid plans can now make up to 200 requests per minute.

    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.

  • German and Portuguese added to the API

    Release v.1.7.0

    Oxford Dictionaries is home to some of the most authoritative bilingual dictionaries available, and we’re continuing to work hard to bring these to you via the API. In this release, we’re excited to announce the inclusion of our bilingual German and Portuguese endpoints:

  • The Oxford German Dictionary can be retrieved with the language code 'de': /api/v1/entries/en/campaign/translations=de
  • The Oxford Portuguese Dictionary can be retrieved with the language code ‘pt’: /api/v1/entries/en/exquisite/translations=pt

  • Bug fixes


    Retrieving headwords with symbols in the ID
    Previously, it was not possible to search for headwords like ‘n/a’ or ‘s/he’ because the forward slash confused the URL request. This has been resolved by adding an additional parameter after the headword:

  • To retrieve an entry
  • /api/v1/entries/en/n/a/regions=gb

    /api/v1/entries/en/s/he/regions=us

  • To retrieve a translation

    /api/v1/entries/en/s/he/translations=es


    Removal of duplicate data in the Lemmatron

    Fixes to certain incorrect inflection responses via the Lemmatron.

    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 the latest additions to Oxford Dictionaries API

    Release v.1.5.0

    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: GET api/v1/grammaticalfeatures/{source_language}

    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

    Release v1.4.0

    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

    Release v1.3.0

    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:

    • Malay–English bilingual

    • Indonesian–English bilingual

    • Setswana–English bilingual

    • 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

    Release v1.2.0

    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

    Release v1.1.0

    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.