- NOTE: This page is in its infancy, please edit ruthlessly as you see fit. It is intended to be a succinct, uncontroversial, proscriptive guide to how Wiktionary "should" work - not a mopey description of why it doesn't.
Wiktionary is a Wikimedia project designed as the lexical companion to Wikipedia. As an international dictionary, Wiktionary is intended to include "all meanings of all words in all languages". As well as words, Wiktionary accepts multi-word idioms, proverbs, abbreviations, initialisms, acronyms, affixes, symbols and other characters.
We aim to fill as many dictionary-related gaps as possible, though we should expect that most readers will fill one of several stereotypical roles:
- A casual reader who needs to find the definition for an unusual word or phrase they have encountered while reading.
- A logophile who needs to discover the Etymology and history of words.
- An author who needs to find synonyms, antonyms, rhymes, or other related words from a term they already know.
- A foreign languages student who needs to find translations of words in both directions, and detailed grammar of words in foreign languages.
- An English learner who needs to find basic information on how to use words.
- A secondary producer that uses our content for another product
We should not forget that, because we try to include so much information, it may be more appropriate to let other resources more tailored to specific niches to use our content. To this end, entries should be consistently marked up, in a format that encourages automated re-use and re-distribution.
The purpose of Wiktionary is to provide a free, comprehensive and accurate dictionary of all words in all languages.
- Wiktionary is a dictionary. It is not an encyclopedia, or a social networking site.
- Wiktionary is descriptive. It aims to describe how language is used, rather than to dictate how it should be used. By the same token it is not censored, though some words may be marked as being vulgar or offensive.
- Wiktionary is free content that anyone can copy or redistribute for any purpose. Wiktionary respects copyright law. Also, since all contributions are freely licensed to the public, no editor owns any entry or page; all contributions are subject to merciless editing and free redistribution.
A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means. However it must also meet our entry criteria. A term need not be limited to a single word in the usual sense. The following are also accepted:
- Multiple-word terms such as post office.
- Idioms such as go on and give up the ghost.
- Proverbs, such as the grass is always greener on the other side.
- Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms such as NBA.
- Affixes such as re-, -o- and -ist.
- Characters used in ideographic or phonetic writing such as 字 or ʃ.
Other name spaces
While the main name space (with no prefix) is dedicated to lexical entries, Wiktionary possesses other name spaces
- Categories, to regroup entries or other non-mainspace pages
- Templates, to regularize Wiktionary entries and structure
- Appendices, to provided lexical or topical information about a language or languages
- Wiktionary, policy and discussion pages
- Talk pages, to discuss specific entries and other non-mainspace pages
- Rhymes, lists of rhymes in given languages
- Wikisaurus, a thesaurus project
- User pages, for users to provide information about themselves
- Concordances, lists of terms relating to given topics
- Special, to find specific entries and help with cleanup projects