- Wordnet is a software tool from Princeton that allows you to see the different usages of word and connect them to other words. It has a lexical database of synonyms and their relationships. The database contains a large number of connections between words. It also has examples of the different usages of a word in context. For example, it gives 11 noun senses and 4 verb senses of the work “book.” From “book” I can directly get to “tome”, “screenplay”, “foredge”, “covenant”, and “schedule”. http://wordnet.princeton.edu” is the basic site. It includes an installable version of their program for Windows, Linux and Mac.
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn lets you query the Wordnet database online.
http://www.poetryfoundation.org is a large archive of poetry and related work from the editors of Poetry magazine.
http://www.rhymezone.com is a rhyming dictionary. In includes a search for quotations and examples of words used by Shakespeare.
http://hyperdictionary.com is a very versatile dictionary. It was the only example in my search which passed my “waldo” test—give a definition of waldo. It includes a dream dictionary, computer dictionary and thesaurus.
http://poetryx.com “The 500 lb. gorilla of poetry” Poems and articles
http://wikirhymer.com Rhymes and rhyming phrases. Pure rhymes, near rhymes, and mosaic rhymes.
All of these tools help you find the right word and how to use it.
Do you know others that I should add to the list?
[photo credit: Jan locamotion on Flickr]