Editing Dictionaries

Do you want to help improve a dictionary on this site? Then you may be interested in becoming an editor. Ask for the necessary access to enable you to edit the dictionaries.

Edit Process Overview:

  • The process starts with a Search for the word you are interested in
  • You then access a screen that allows you to edit the word (create, modify or delete the word and it's associations) and submit the edits
  • Your edits are approved by a dictionary administrator
  • The administrator then commits the edits into the main dictionary, after which an overnight batch run adds the changes to the word search engine

Editing starts in the Dictionaries screen

When an Editor searches for a word, the result provides a link that takes them to an editing screen. An alternative way to find words to edit is by using the drop-down selection directly below the word search. Select the target "from" and "to" languages where appropriate. This allows editors to find words that may need attention:

  • Words with too few connecting words
  • Words with too many connecting words. Perform "delete Links" to all bad associations. If there are still too many links, just select "delete Link" where the associations are weak. A two-way "delete Links" also removes the link from the other word to this one.
  • Words with conflicting Lexical information (for example, a noun should not be linked to a verb)
  • Words that have no lexical word type or possibly too many lexical word types

This search takes a few seconds and a limited number of words are displayed.

Word editing

The dictionaries contain a thesaurus in each language, and each word is linked to a number of related words in that language. In addition, each word is also connected to more closely equivalent words in the other languages.

Words are case-sensitive, so “March” and “march” are different words. Use lowercase where a word can either start with a capital letter or lowercase letter with the same meaning.

Words can have more than one Lexical word type associated with them (one word can function as either a noun or a verb). Use Ctrl-click to select more than one.

Plant or animal names should be assigned to the Taxonomies domain.

Thesaurus in a single language: Each word will ideally be related to between 3 and 12 other words in the same language

A description (or phrase) is desirable where no suitable word/s can be found. Descriptions can be linked to more than one word and each word can have more than one description. Small improvements can be made to existing descriptions. If the description is changing fundamentally, delete the existing description and add a new one. The system ignores descriptions that contain HTML like descriptions with <>& characters

Thesaurus between languages: Each word will ideally link to between 1 and 3 words in the other language. The words in the other language with the closest identical meaning should be identified with the relationship “synonym”

Editing links between words

Links can only be created between words if both words exist in the dictionary when the link is committed. Where the editor links words in the same language, the dictionary can automatically create the words being linked, if they do not already exist in the dictionary. Editors can edit words in any of the language dictionaries. It is possible to link to words in other languages where the word does not exist in the other language dictionary.

There are two options for linking words

  • the first word is linked to the second word (one-way link), or
  • the first word is linked to the second word and the second word is also linked to the first word (two-way link)

Most links are two-way links.


Each term in a PuzzleFoundry thesaurus can belong to one or more domains (general, technical, taxonomy). For a detailed discussion of taxonomies go to Taxonomies.

Sometimes it is better to use a one-way link:

For example, “Hungary” can be linked to “country”, but “country” will normally not be linked to “Hungary” because "country" would have too many links. Editors may also decide not to link back from alternative spellings of words (eg “color” linked to “colour”, but “colour” not linked to “color”). This method should not be applied to taxonomies (see previous section).

System suggestions for related words:

The system can suggest more related words, by using links across the various language dictionaries. Specify your target language and click on the “related” button.

Amendment approval page

Editors with an administration role can approve changes. You can scroll back through previous approved words and revise decisions using the 'Previous' button.

Commit dictionary changes page

Editors with an administration role can commit changes. When language changes are committed, there may be links to words in other languages where the word does not exist in the other language dictionary. In such cases the system will route a new word approval to the appropriate editor. Committed changes are part of the main dictionary.

Administrators can correct spelling or rename words (in the commit edits screen). When a word is renamed, and is spelled the same as an existing word, the software will automatically merge the two words.

Daily batch run rebuilds the search engine

Changes committed by administrators are immediately included in the dictionary. However they are only visible in the Word Search after the overnight batch run is complete. This batch run is scheduled daily.

greeny 2020-12-08 02h39