Introducing Wordnik Search Firefox Add-on

For those Firefox users who often need to look up for a word.

Having lived in Australia for the last decade or so after the first 18 years growing up in Indonesia, I’m now at a point where I’m fluent enough in English but still occasionally need to look up for the definition of rarely used words and phrases, while at the same time I lost track of the more recent Indonesian slang and, again, I have to look for the meaning on the Internet.

I used to rely on multiple web sites like, Wikipedia, and Google, to find out the definition of a word and how it’s supposed to be used. A simpler solution is long overdue, and I finally found out about Wordnik early last week. Wordnik provides the definitions of the word, examples with links to quality articles, Twitter messages containing the word, and also pronunciations, etymologies, and sample phrases, all in one convenient page.

Here’s how Wordnik page looks like for some English words: dissonances, crystallography. The tweets are instant win for Indonesian slang: jayus, jomblo. Pretty handy, eh? It would be even better if Wordnik can expand their dictionary to non-English languages.

Now, Firefox is my primary browser, how do I use Wordnik on FF? There are three options I can think of (1) search the word on, (2) add Wordnik search engine to Firefox, or (3) use a bookmarklet. Each of these options uses too many mouse clicks, too many mouse movements, or too many keystrokes for me.

So I decided to scratch this itch and wrote Wordnik Search Firefox Add-on.

All you need to do is highlight a word or a phrase, right click, and select ‘Search In Wordnik’ option. A new tab with Wordnik page for the highlighted word/phrase will then appear.

If there’s no highlighted text, you can still right click and select ‘Search In Wordnik’, a search dialog window will appear and you can search for any word/phrase you want.

You can install this add-on from, but it’s still currently beta so you have to tick the ‘Let me install this experimental add-on.’ checkbox. Any question? Please leave a comment. If you find any bug, please raise an issue.

Update (12/5/2010):

The add-on has been approved for public access by a editor. Translation: no checkbox ticking is needed, install away!

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