WantWords: An Open-source Online Reverse Dictionary System

A reverse dictionary takes descriptions of words as input and outputs words semantically matching the input descriptions. Reverse dictionaries have great practical value such as solving the tip-of-the-tongue problem and helping new language learners. There have been some online reverse dictionary systems, but they support English reverse dictionary queries only and their performance is far from perfect. In this paper, we present a new open-source online reverse dictionary system named WantWords (https://wantwords.thunlp.org/). It not only significantly outperforms other reverse dictionary systems on English reverse dictionary performance, but also supports Chinese and English-Chinese as well as Chinese-English cross-lingual reverse dictionary queries for the first time. Moreover, it has user-friendly front-end design which can help users find the words they need quickly and easily. All the code and data are available at https://github.com/thunlp/WantWords.

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