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

Based on GCIDE version 0.51 (March 4, 2012),
converted into XML on June 11, 2015
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. (131,565 headwords and growing!)

From GCIDE's README 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 has been supplemented with some of the definitions from
           WordNet, a semantic network created by
              the Cognitive Science Department
                 of Princeton University
                  under the direction of
                   Prof. George Miller

and is being proof-read and supplemented by volunteers from around the
world.  This is an unfunded project, and future enhancement of this
dictionary will depend on the efforts of volunteers willing to help build
this free resource into a comprehensive body of general information.  New
definitions for missing words or words senses and longer explanatory notes,
as well as images to accompany the articles are needed.  More modern
illustrative quotations giving recent examples of usage of the words in
their various senses will be very helpful, since most quotations in the
original 1913 dictionary are now well over 100 years old.

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

Version 0.51 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.txt 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 Zip file

Here's all of GCIDE_XML in a single zip file (14,014 kb).

The Text Files

The "root file" of the XML document is gcide.xml (33 kb). It declares and references the following files as SYSTEM entities:

             authorities   278 kb
            abbreviations   37 kb
                  A       3886 kb
                  B       3273 kb
                  C       5718 kb
                  D       3485 kb
                  E       2389 kb
                  F       2527 kb
                  G       1859 kb
                  H       2172 kb
                  I       2481 kb
                  J        510 kb
                  K        485 kb
                  L       2068 kb
                  M       3101 kb
                  N       1099 kb
                  O       1463 kb
                  P       4888 kb
                  Q        325 kb
                  R       2773 kb
                  S       6521 kb
                  T       3076 kb
                  U       1131 kb
                  V        986 kb
                  W       1600 kb
                  X         60 kb
                  Y        196 kb
                  Z        147 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.

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:

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