The GNU version of The Collaborative International Dictionary of English,
presented in the Extensible Markup Language

Based on GCIDE version 0.46 (April 15, 2002),
converted into XML on June 16, 2002
by Michael Dyck (jmdyck@ibiblio.org).

Contents of this page:

What is GCIDE?

GCIDE is the GNU Project's publication of CIDE, the Collaborative International Dictionary of English. It is a freely-available set of ASCII files containing the marked-up text of a substantial English dictionary. (130,633 headwords and growing!)

From the introduction to each GCIDE file:

           This dictionary was derived from the
         Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
                 Version published 1913
               by the  C. & G. Merriam Co.
                   Springfield, Mass.
                 Under the direction of
                Noah Porter, D.D., LL.D.

                        and from
           WordNet, a semantic network created by
              the Cognitive Science Department
                 of Princeton University
                  under the direction of
                   Prof. George Miller

             and is being updated and supplemented by
         an open coalition of volunteer collaborators from
                       around the world.

     This electronic dictionary is the starting point for an 
ongoing project to develop a modern on-line comprehensive encyclopedic
dictionary, by the efforts of all individuals willing to help build a
large and freely available knowledge base.  Contributions of data,
time, and effort are requested from any person willing to assist creation
of a comprehensive and organized knowledge base for free access on the
internet.  Anyone willing to assist in any way in constructing such a
knowledge base should contact:

     Patrick Cassidy          pc@worldsoul.org
     735 Belvidere Ave.       Office: (908)668-5252
     Plainfield, NJ 07062
     (908) 561-3416

You can find out more about this ongoing project at MICRA, Inc's home page.

Version 0.46 of GCIDE can be obtained from the GNU FTP site. It uses a markup notation that is almost, but not quite, XML. I figured it would be more useful as a well-formed XML document, so I undertook the conversion. The result is GCIDE_XML. It's possible that, at some point in the future, GCIDE itself will be published in XML, at which point this website will become redundant.

If you're wondering what the tags mean, see GCIDE's tagset.web file.

Headword Search

Thanks to Alexei Puzikov for submitting a nice little Perl script to perform a headword search. (I might never have gotten around to writing one on my own.)

Search for:

Perl-style regular expressions are permitted. For example, a query of fool.* will (in a few seconds) return entries for fool, foolery, foolfish, and foolhardihood, among many others.

If the first character of the query is not a letter (i.e., it's a regexp metacharacter), the search will take significantly longer, since it will scan all files. For example, .etch will return entries for fetch, ketch, letch, retch, and vetch, but it will take about a minute.

The Text Files

The "root file" of the XML document is gcide.xml (36 kb). It declares and references the following files as SYSTEM entities:

             authorities   284 kb
            abbreviations   40 kb
                  A       3620 kb
                  B       3092 kb
                  C       5404 kb
                  D       3292 kb
                  E       2244 kb
                  F       2396 kb
                  G       1756 kb
                  H       2048 kb
                  I       2332 kb
                  J        492 kb
                  K        456 kb
                  L       1964 kb
                  M       2908 kb
                  N       1036 kb
                  O       1376 kb
                  P       4548 kb
                  Q        312 kb
                  R       2620 kb
                  S       6188 kb
                  T       2920 kb
                  U        944 kb
                  V        944 kb
                  W       1536 kb
                  X         48 kb
                  Y        184 kb
                  Z        140 kb

Please note that only gcide.xml is a document entity -- each "letter" file is an external general parsed entity. (See section 4.3.2 of the XML specification.) If you give a letter file to an XML processor that expects a document entity, it will rightfully report that the file's content is not well-formed. For instance, Internet Explorer 5 will complain that "only one top level element is allowed in an XML document". Other XML processors might (also) report violation of the Entity Declared constraint.

The file gcide.xml now contains a complete DTD for the document. Formerly, it only declared character and external entities; now it includes element type declarations and attribute-list declarations. Please note that the element type declarations have been generated from the existing document, and thus are somewhat inelegant.

The Zip file

Here's all of GCIDE_XML in a single zip file (13,256 kb).

Copying and Disclaimer

From the introduction to each file in GCIDE:

GCIDE is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

GCIDE is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this copy of GCIDE; see the file COPYING. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

Since GCIDE is made available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, GCIDE_XML is necessarily also published under those terms. See the file gpl.txt or http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.txt.

A Note on the GNU Dictionary Project

For a while in the mid-1990's, the Free Software Foundation had its own project to put a large English dictionary online. You can read about the GNU Dictionary Project here.

Web page by Michael Dyck (jmdyck@ibiblio.org).

History of this page:

Web space generously provided by ibiblio (previously known as Metalab).