Wiktionary:Welcome, newcomers

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Hello, and welcome! Wiktionary is a multilingual free dictionary, being written collaboratively on this website by people from around the world. Entries may be edited by anyone!

You are reading the English version of this multilingual dictionary of all languages, in which all words of all languages are explained in English, in a descriptivist (not prescriptivist) way. In the left sidebar, you will find links to other language versions of Wiktionary, in which the definitions are presented in other languages; each Wiktionary has a language code in its URL that designates which language it uses for its explanations.

Designed as the lexical companion to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia project, Wiktionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrasebooks, language statistics and extensive appendices. We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand it. Thus, etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms, translations, spelling variants, non-standard spellings, etc., are included.

Wiktionary is a wiki, which means that you can edit it, and all the content is dual-licensed under both the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License and the GNU Free Documentation License. Before you contribute, you may wish to read through some of our Help pages, and bear in mind that we do things quite differently from other wikis. In particular, we have strict layout conventions and inclusion criteria. Learn how to start a page, how to edit entries, experiment in the sandbox and visit our Community Portal to see how you can participate in the development of Wiktionary.

We have created 8,093,195 entries since starting in December 2002, and we’re still growing.

Editing Wiktionary

People like you are very active in building this project. While you are reading this, someone is likely editing one of our entries. Many knowledgeable people are already at work, but everybody is welcome!

Contributing does not require logging in, but we would prefer that you do, as it facilitates the administration of this site. (Note that logging in also prevents the IP address of your computer from being displayed in the page history.)

You can dive in right now and add or alter a definition, add example sentences, or help us to format or categorize entries properly. You can even create a page for a missing term. Please feel free to be bold in editing pages!

How could allowing everyone to edit produce a high-quality product instead of total disorder? Because most people want to help, and keeping it open to everyone creates the potential for making many good and ever-improving entries. Records are kept of all changes, so even unhelpful edits can easily be reverted by other users. To use a now-famous catchphrase, in essence: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

To start, users might want to use the ‘Recent changes’ or ‘Random page’ link (found in the navigation box elsewhere on this page), to get an idea of the kinds of pages you can find here. (It might be surprising how many non-English words are entered here!)

Norms and etiquette

One important thing you should know is that we have borrowed from our sister project Wikipedia some cultural norms you should respect:

  1. We try not to argue pointlessly. This isn’t a debate forum. After civilized and reasonable discussion, we try to reach broad consensus to present an accurate, neutral summary of all relevant facts for future readers.
  2. We try to make the entries as unbiased as we can, meaning that definitions or descriptions — even of controversial topics — are not meant to be platforms for preaching of any kind.
  3. Bear in mind this is a dictionary, which means there are many things it is not.
  4. At any point, if you are uncomfortable changing someone else’s work, and you want to add a thought (or question or comment) about an entry or other page, the place is its talk page (click on the "discussion" tab at the top or the "Discuss this page" link in the sidebar or elsewhere, depending on your preference skin). Note, though, that we try to keep discussions focused on improving this dictionary.

However, there are also some differences between Wikipedia and Wiktionary. If you already have some experience with editing Wikipedia, then you may find our guide to Wikipedia users useful as a quick introduction.

For more information

More introductory information and descriptions of community norms are on the following pages:

For more policy and style guidelines or guidance, see our Help:Contents or Community Portal.