Getting Started with the Wordnik API

Check out these helpful tips for getting started with the Wordnik API. Don't find what you need? Email us at for more help!

Getting your API key

Before you can sign up for a Wordnik API key, you will need a Wordnik username (which you can get here). Once you have validated your email address, log in and sign up for an API key here.

When you sign up for your key, please give us enough information to understand your use case. If you will be using the Wordnik API in an existing app or on a website, please give us an app store link or a web link.

If you donate US$5 when you sign up, you will get your key within 24 hours. Otherwise, it may take up to seven days to receive your key.

Please note: we are not able to send keys to mailinator addresses or addresses at other disposable-email-address domains.

Checking your plan limits

Wordnik API key plan limits are calculated per-minute and per hour. You can see your plan limits and your remaining calls per hour and minute in the response headers from your API call.

The headers are:

Please note: the remaining limits may not be consistent from call to call as we reconcile limits at intervals. You will never receive a lower limit than your plan allows.

Exploring the API

Wordnik uses the OpenAPI Specification to describe our API. You can explore the available calls on our docs page, here.

Making your first API call: Hello Dictionary!

In the browser: You can enter a Wordnik API url directly in your browser to see data. Try:

(Replace YOURKEYHERE with your own api key, without quotes.)

You should see something like this in your browser:

{ id: 121108, word: "kafta" }

In the terminal: Using curl, try:


(Replace YOURKEYHERE with your own api key, without quotes.)

You should see something like this in your terminal window:

{ id: 95472, word: "chawbacon" }

In your language: Check out our libraries page to get help using Wordnik in the programming language of your choice.

Finding and displaying attributions

All API responses that require attribution will include an "attributionText" property in the response, as in this definition response for the word 'fragor':

  "textProns": [],
  "sourceDictionary": "century",
  "exampleUses": [],
  "relatedWords": [],
  "labels": [],
  "citations": [],
  "word": "fragor",
  "sequence": "0",
  "attributionText": "from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia",
  "partOfSpeech": "noun",
  "text": "A strong sweet scent.",
  "score": 0
This attributionText must be displayed alongside any text with this property.

If your application or site uses Wordnik data in any way, you must link to Wordnik and cite Wordnik as your source. Check out our complete attribution requirements here.

Play with Wordnik using Glitch!

We have some Glitch projects available to help you get up to speed quickly with the Wordnik API.

Check out our Github repo. Note: Each project is a separate branch!

Using Wordnik for coding tests and job applications

If you are an employer using the Wordnik API for coding tests or job applications, we'd appreciate a heads-up! This helps us offer appropriate support. You can email us at with details.

If you are a job applicant and need an API key quickly, please ask the company posting the job to send us an email so that we can expedite your request.

Please note: sharing a single API key among several job applicants is a violation of our terms of service.

Wordnik for educators

If you are an educator using the Wordnik API in your classroom, we'd appreciate a heads-up! This helps us offer appropriate support to your students. You can email us at with details.

We are unable to expedite student requests for API keys if we do not have an email from the instructor letting us know about the assignment.

Please note: each student should apply for their own API key. Sharing keys is a violation of our terms of service.