The Simple Dictionary™ is an online Relational Dictionary-Thesaurus designed for use by readers of all ages.

Inspired by the design of the Periodic Table of Elements, and the need for consistently clear, simple definitions, the dictionary uses a restricted set defining language to define the 100,000 most frequently used word senses in English. Within each definition the most important genus and key words are highlighted and combined to communicate an immediate understanding of the meaning of the word, while implicitly classifying and relating all of the words in the dictionary to one another so they can be understood in context.

The Simple Dictionary™uses highlighted keywords to:

Shorten definitions to their most basic elements, using those words that are the easiest-to-understand to define all other words

Differentiate, classify and contextualize words that have more than one meaning (i.e.ball: a round object vs. ball: a dance) and words that have similar definitions (i.e decidevs. choose (see definitions below).

Eliminate circularity


Unlike other dictionaries where exist is defined by be, and be by exist, in Simple™ be (1) describes someone or something, or (2) tells someone how to behave, while exist tells us we (1) can find someone or something in the world.

• Show keyword relations (other words defined by same keyword) with a single click


In addition, the dictionary:

Reduces the number of word senses (definitions) to those most frequently used, so that users can understand the meaning of each word quickly and easily, without having to read through long lists of similar-sounding definitions.

Uniformly relates each word to the keywords in its definition

• Offers different relational structures, including word trees, so machines can understandboth the semantic relations and the grammatical usage of each word that is processed

• Provides a picture for each concrete noun, action verb and adjective that can be physicallysensed to enable universal picture based, human-machine communication

• Provides a recording of the pronunciations for each word to enable speech to textand text to speech generation, and to enable speech and text to image generation


The Definitions

In The Simple Dictionary™, each definition contains a highlighted genus and/or keyword combination (see angry example below) that enables both humans and machines to immediately understand the meaning of each word based on its class and relation to other words in similar and related classes in the ontology.

example, the adjectives angry, sad, happy and scared are all defined in terms of how someone
feels, and as such belong to the feel group in the Simple Ontology™. These adjectives in turn are used to define the words irritated, depressed, joyful and startled respectively, creating a three-level hierarchy which can be viewed by the user as a word tree.

Word Tree Example


Angry > irritated, frustrated, mad, furious

Sad > unhappy, depressed, miserable, down

Happy > delighted, joyful, pleased, jubilant

Scared > frightened, terrified, startled, worried

Sample Sets

Words meaning angry:

angry adjective how you feel when you want to yell at someone: He is angry at her because she lied to him. | Students are angry about plans to close their school.

annoyed adjective a little angry about something that is not very important: Someone interrupted her, and she looked annoyed.| I sometimes get annoyed with her when she criticizes me.

irritated adjective a little angry, because something keeps happening: I was starting to feel irritated by her constant complaining.

frustrated adjective angry because you cannot do something, even though you have tried to do it many times: Sam got frustrated because he couldn’t hit the baseball.

furious adjective very angry : I was furious with my parents for not letting me go to the concert.

livid adjective extremely angry : She was livid when she found out what had happened.

outraged adjective extremely angry because you strongly disagree with something that has happened: Thousands of outraged people gathered in the square to protest. | Congressman Wylie was outraged by the decision.

disgusted adjective very shocked and angry: She told me she was disgusted at her daughter’s bad behavior.

resentful adjective angry because you think something is not fair : He was always resentful of kids who thought school was easy.

mad adjective an informal way to say angry : I got really mad at my little sister. | You make me so mad sometimes!

Words meaning sad:

sad adjective how you feel when you want to cry: She was very sad after her grandmother died. | He had a sad expression on his face. | I was sad to hear they were moving away. ANTONYM: happy

unhappy adjective sad, often for a long time : Isaac was deeply unhappy for years after his wife left. | She had a very unhappy childhood.

upset adjective sad because something has happened that you did not want to happen: She got upset when she saw how low her grade was.

miserable adjective extremely sad : He’s miserable because Tara broke up with him.

depressed adjective 1. very sad for a long time, especially because of a medical condition: If you think you may be depressed, it is important to seek help from a doctor. 2 . sad because you feel you can’t change a situation: I always get depressed when I look in the mirror .

down adjective sad , especially for a few days or weeks: It was the middle of a long, cold winter, and I was feeling a little down.

Improving Fluency with Co-Located Words and Grammatical Patterns

In much the same way that students make grammatical mistakes when learning English, machines reliant on corpora as source data have a tendency to repeat and magnify these mistakes. For example, corpora contain the following text:

He was angry on his son for some reason.

I was very furious when I listened to your voicemail last night.

The staff are rude and the front desk receptionist always has an upset face like she hates her job.

In the first example, the student knows angry. What they don’t realize is that you say angry atsomeone, not angry on someone. In the second example, the student is more advanced: he or she knows that you say furious when someone is very angry, but they don’t realize is that native speakers don’t say “very furious,” (or “very wonderful” or “very amazing” for that matter).

In the final example, the ending of the sentence doesn’t ring true. Upset is usually used predicatively – we say that someone is upset, not she has an upset face.

Accordingly, machines need to be taught to process this information correctly.

The Simple Dictionary™ provides example sentences for the meanings of each word and as well as proper grammatical use and collocation information:


angry adjective how you feel when you want to yell at someone: He is angry at her because she lied to him. | Students are angry about plans to close their school.


You are angry atsomeone

You are angry about something

You are angry (that) something has happened

You get angry

Something makes someone angry


furious adjective extremely angry : I was furious with my parents for not letting me go to the concert.




You are furious with someone

You are furious about something

You are furious (that) something has happened

You are absolutely furious [very is not used with furious]

Defining the most basic verbs in English

In order to understand the relationships between semantic classes in English (i.e. between people, actions, places, objects, substance, places, etc), we must first understand the meaning of the simple verbs that relate these classes - verbs such as decide, know, and think. Dictionaries, however, struggle when it comes to defining these words: In the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary alone for example, there are 10 senses of think, and dozens of examples of the verb’s usage. This makes it difficult to determine the meaning of a word. In the Simple Dictionary™ the number of redundant word senses is reduced to those senses that are frequently used, facilitating keyword combination-based word sense disambiguation, regardless of the complexity of the verb, phrasal verb or verbal idiom being processed. For example, let someone know is defined simply as “to tell someone about something” and the genus word “tell” is related to other words such as inform and notify.

The following are examples of entries for these basic verbs in the Simple Dictionary™:

think verb

1.Put pictures and other information together your mind: I’ve been thinking about what you said. | Think carefully before you answerthe question. have the idea that something is true: Some people think that the Earth goes around the sun.|“Is he married?” “I think so.” [= I think it is probably true] |“Is it expensive?” “I don’t think so.” [=I think it is probably not true] say I think… when telling other people what you want to do: “What are you going tohave?” “I think I’ll have the fish.”

PHRASAL VERBS with think:

be thinking of doing something

to be planning to do something: I was thinking of going to San Francisco next week.

think something over

to think about something carefully before you decide to do it: Can you give me some time to think it over?| Go home and think things over. -- SYNONYM


think up something/think something up

to think of an idea or a reason for something: I didn’t want to go the meeting and decided to think up an excuse. – SYNONYM invent


know verb have information about something in your mind: Do you know how to use a microscope? |“What’s the plant’s name?” “I don’t know.” | Everybody knows what the capital of Russia is.| He knows a lot about business.

2.if you know a person, you have met them before, and you have an idea about what kind ofperson they are: Do you two know each other? | I know David well. We were friends in college.

3.if you know a place, you have gone to it before, and you can find your way around it:

She knows the city well.

PHRASES with know:

be known as something

to have a name or title: He was known as “Bullet Bob,” because he could throw the ball like a bullet.

be known for something

to be famous for something: New York is known for its tall buildings.

let someone know

to tell someone about something: If I hear any news, I’ll let you know.


see verb

1.Make a picture with your eyes: I can see the ocean. | It was getting too dark to seeanything.

2.Know what is being said about something: Do you see what I mean? meet someone: We see each other every day.| You need to see a doctor. think that someone or something is a particular kind of person or thing: She sees him as afriend. -- SYNONYM consider experience something: The city has seen a lot of changes in recent years.

PHRASES with see:

let me see

you say this when you are thinking about something: “How much did the ticket cost?” “Let me see. I think it was about $200.”

see you later

you say this when you are saying goodbye to someone: Bye, Alex. See you later!

decide verb

1.Do one thing when you think you may want to do another or think that something definitely happened (this leads to a key word definition of: say+will+do+not+do+other+thought, a definition as easily understood by a computer as person.

I decided to become an engineer. | The jury decided that the man was innocent.| She decided against taking part in the competition. (=decided not to take part) make something end in a particular result:

His goal decided the game. | Money was the deciding factor.

PHRASAL VERBS with decide:

decide on something

to decide what something will be, or what you will do, after thinking carefully about it:

Have you decided on a name for the baby?| They decided on a bold course of action.

choose verb

1.Say you want one thing more than other things: I chose the cheapest thing on the menu. | There arehundreds of cars to choose from. | We think we have chosen the best person for the job. do one thing when you can do another: Many families are choosing to move out of thecity.

A-Z Text Sample

A short sample of A-Z text follows below.

option noun 1. something you can choose to do or have: You have two options: you can either pay now or pay later. | They gave me the option of a free plane ticket if I agreed to take a later flight. 2. in business, the legal right to buy something: a stock option

PHRASES with option:

keep/leave your options open

to wait until a later time to decide what to do about something: They don’t need an answer yet, so I’m keeping my options open until I have more information.

(option verb to buy or sell the legal right to something)

optional adjective if something is optional, you can choose to have it or not: The nuts are optional in this recipe.| optional extra = something you can choose to buy when you buy a product: Optional extras include leather seats and a sun roof.

optometrist noun a doctor who checks your eyes and decide whether you need glasses

optometry noun the job of a doctor who checks your eyes to decide whether you need glasses

opt-out noun the right to choose not to do something that is part of an agreement: The states were given an opt-out when the national law came into effect.

opulent adjective if something is opulent, it looks expensive and has a lot of decoration: the palace’s opulent ballroom

opulence noun the way something looks when it is expensive and has a lot of decoration: the opulence of the architecture

opus noun an important piece of music, literature, or art:

[in classical music] Beethoven' s Sonata in E Major , Opus 109 | The book was his magnum opus. (= his great work)

or conjunction you use or between two possibilities, and before the last in a series of possibilities: Yes or no? | Which flavor would you like? Banana, strawberry, or vanilla? | I think I’ll paint the room either red or blue. | Hurry, or we’ll be late.

PHRASES with or:

or else

you use or else to warn someone that something bad could happen if he or she does not do something: He has to work for 100 hours in the community, or else he goes to jail.

or so

you use or so to say that a number or amount is not exact: I will be back in an hour or so.


oracle 1. a person in ancient Greece who people believed could see what would happen in the future: the oracle of Apollo at Delphi 2. someonewho people listen to and respect because of their great knowledge or skill in a particular area: In the Democratic party, he is considered the oracle.

Bilingual versions of the Simple Dictionary™

The Simple Dictionary will be developed in English with a Chinese bilingual translation dictionary and Japanese, Korean, German and French translations to follow. These versions retain the English definitions, so that developers can program in English and their native language. Once these initial modules are complete, additional languages will be added. In order to produce this text, translators are provided with a detailed description of the way in which each headword behaves, with information about grammar, collocation, and register/formality, so that exact translations can be produced.

Commercial Applications

The dictionary-thesaurus, ontology and foreign language translation dictionaries will be made available free of charge to all consumers, and license to to the search, advertising, media and natural language processing industries.