About Visuwords™

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Enter words into the search box, "visualize a word," to look them up. Touch a node to see the definition of that word group and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

  • It's a dictionary! It's a thesaurus!
  • Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
  • The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
  • No membership required.

Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.

The Visuwords™ Interface

To use the applet you only need to type a word into the search query at the top of the page and press 'Enter'. A network of nodes or 'synsets' will spring out from the word that you entered. A synset is essentially a single concept that is represented by a number of terms or synonyms. Synonyms are words with different spellings that convey the same idea. For example when you lookup "seem", you see that the word is connected to four synsets each represented by a green circle. Green denotes verbs so all of these synsets represent verbs. Two of these synsets have the lone word "seem"; one has two terms: "appear" and "seem"; and the third has three terms: "look", "appear" and "seem". Each of the four synsets has its own definition. Touching a node will reveal all of the synonyms for a given synset as well as its definition. Some synsets will also show a few examples of usage. These synsets link to each other and to other synsets according to entries in the WordNet database.


Each synset node is shown as a globe. Nouns are blue, verbs are green, adjectives; orange and adverbs; red. The synsets are joined by colored links that represent kind of association those synsets have to one another.

  • "is a kind of" — hyponym/hypernym pair

    With regards to "wheat" and "grain", we see a cyan link from "wheat" pointing towards "grain" we can understand this to mean that wheat "is a kind of" grain. Here, "wheat" is a hyponym and "grain" is a hypernym. In the case of verbs this same cyan link can be understood better by "is one way to". So, for example, to trot "is one way to" walk.

  • "is an instance of" — hyponym/hypernym pair

    In these relationships, the hyponym is specific and unique. For example, "Einstein" is an instance of a "physicist".

  • "is a member of", "is a part of", "is a substance of" — meronym/holonym pair

    In these cases the meronym in some way belongs to the holonym. Examples: "robin" is a member of the "thrushes", a "wheel" is a part of a "wheeled vehicle", "caffeine" is a substance of "coffee".