The README file
To accompany the GNU version of the set of files (CIDE.*) containing
the electronic version of the
Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
(called also GCIDE)
These files contain Version 0.51 (January 2012)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This document describes the GNU version of the Collaborative International
Dictionary of English. It is organized into a series of chapters,
introduced by headings beginning with a single asterisk. A chapter may have
sections, which are marked with two asterisks. For those readers who use
Emacs, this structure corresponds to its "Outline mode", which will be
enabled automatically upon loading this file.
The chapter "INTRODUCTION" describes the structure of this package. The
chapter "STRUCTURE OF THE DICTIONARY" describes the dictionary structure in
general. An overview of the markup tags is provided in the chapter "TAGS".
A detailed information about dictionary markup can be obtained from a set of
ancillary files included in this package, which are described in the chapter
The chapter "DICTIONARY LOOKUP" describes how to use GNU Dico for reading
this dictionary. Finally, other versions of the Webster dictionary are
listed in the chapter "OTHER VERSIONS OF THE DICTIONARY".
The dictionary was derived from the
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Version published 1913
by the C. & G. Merriam Co.
Under the direction of
Noah Porter, D.D., LL.D.
and has been supplemented with some of the definitions from
WordNet, a semantic network created by
the Cognitive Science Department
of Princeton University
under the direction of
Prof. George Miller
and is being proof-read and supplemented by volunteers from around the
world. This is an unfunded project, and future enhancement of this
dictionary will depend on the efforts of volunteers willing to help build
this free resource into a comprehensive body of general information. New
definitions for missing words or words senses and longer explanatory notes,
as well as images to accompany the articles are needed. More modern
illustrative quotations giving recent examples of usage of the words in
their various senses will be very helpful, since most quotations in the
original 1913 dictionary are now well over 100 years old.
GCIDE is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the
terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option) any later version.
GCIDE is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS
FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
this copy of GCIDE; see the file COPYING. If not, see
This dictionary is maintained by Patrick Cassidy and Sergey Poznyakoff.
Please send bug reports and suggestions to <email@example.com>.
* STRUCTURE OF THE DICTIONARY
When the archive is unpacked, the main dictionary text of the GCIDE will be
found in 26 files named "CIDE.*", where the asterisk indicates which letter
of the alphabet begins the words in each file. For example, file "CIDE.B"
contains words beginning with the letter "B". Additional information about
the tagging conventions and special character symbols are contained in
ancillary files in this directory (see below the section entitled "ANCILLARY
FILES"). The main body of the 1913 dictionary was essentially identical to
the edition published in 1890, and was republished in 1913 with an appendix
containing "New Words". The new words of that appendix have been integrated
into the main file in this version. However, it is important to keep in
mind that the definitions in this dictionary are in most cases over 100
years old. Use them with caution!
At the bottom of each paragraph in this dictionary, there is a bracketed and
tagged "source" indicated. This tells from where the definition or other
text in that paragraph came, as follows:
= From the original 1890 dictionary.
[<source>Webster 1913 Suppl.</source>]
= From the 1913 "New Words" supplement to the Webster.
= From the WordNet on-line semantic network.
[<source>Century Dict. 1906.</source>]
= From the Century Dictionary published in 1906, especially from
the "proper Names" supplement (volume IX).
= Added by one of the volunteers.
The original definitions have been tagged and in some cases reformatted or
slightly rearranged. If substantive information is added from a second
source, usually the additional source is also noted, as in:
[<source>Webster 1913 Suppl.</source> + <source>WordNet 1.5</source>]
This version is tagged with SGML-like tags of the form <pos>...</pos> so
that the original typography (italics, bold, block quotes) can be
reproduced. A list of the most important tags for fields in the dictionary
is given below. The tags also serve the more important function of allowing
the information content to be conveniently imported into computer programs
or databases. The set of tags used is described in the accompanying file
"tagset.txt". ***NOTE*** the paragraph tags <p>...</p> do *not* always nest
properly with certain other tags, such as <note> and <cs> ("collocation
section"), which in some cases span multiple paragraphs. If you are using a
tag parser which detects improper nesting, you should first either delete
the paragraph tags or convert them to non-tag symbols, or, if possible, set
the parser to ignore the <p>...</p> tags.
The unusual characters (such as Greek or the European accented characters,
as well as special characters used in the pronunciations) are described in
the accompanying file "webfont.txt". Some information on the pronunciation
system used may be found by viewing the file "pronunc.jpg", and additional
explanations of pronunciation are in the file "pronunc.txt".
Each paragraph of the original text is enclosed within tags of the form <p>
. . . </p>. Within these paragraphs there are no line breaks, and some of
the paragraphs are over 12,000 characters long, which may prove too long to
be handled by some editors. At some points, embedded line breaks within a
"paragraph" are marked by a <br/ "entity". The file can therefore be
converted, if necessary, to a form with shorter lines, and subsequently
reconverted back to the form having one line per paragraph.
If additional line breaks are added, then in order to remove the line breaks
and reconstruct the original paragraphs, so that the page width can be
adjusted, perform the following manipulations:
(1) convert each line break to a space.
(2) convert the string "</p> " (</p> followed by two spaces)
to </p> followed by two line breaks.
(3) convert the string "<br/ " (<br/ followed by one space)
to <br/ followed by one line break.
A more sophisticated formatting of spaces within paragraphs may require the
use of the fully-tagged master files. If you have a need for these files,
contact Patrick Cassidy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The approximate beginning of each page is marked by an SGML comment of the
form <-- p. 345 -->. (The exact beginning was in some cases in the middle
of a paragraph, which we decided was not a good location for these
page-number comments, so the page number was usually moved to the next
paragraph break). Pages which have been proofread by volunteers (e.g., with
initials VOL) will have a note within that page comment: <-- p. 345 pr=VOL
-->. Pages which have not been proofread yet (most of them) will have
varying numbers of typographical errors in them. We still (January 2012)
need proofreaders to get the errors out of these dictionary files.
This version is only a first typing, and has numerous typographic errors,
including errors in the field-marks. In addition, the user must keep in
mind that this text is very old and will contain numerous obsolete,
inaccurate, and perhaps offensive statements, which are included solely
because this work is intended to reproduce accurately this historically
interesting classic reference work. This text should not be relied upon as
an accurate source of information, as in many cases it represents the state
of knowledge around 1890. The text is provided "as is", and the user must
accept responsibility for all consequences of its use. Please refer to the
header of each file and the GNU public license. If these conditions of use
are unacceptable, please do not use these texts.
This electronic dictionary is also made available as a potential starting
point for development of a modern comprehensive encyclopedic dictionary, to
be accessible freely on the internet, and developed by the efforts of all
individuals willing to help build a large and freely available knowledge
base. A large number of collaborators are needed to bring this dictionary
to a more accurate, more modern, and more useful state. Anyone willing to
assist in any way in constructing such a knowledge base should contact
its maintainers at <email@example.com>.
Most important tags used in the GCIDE:
<hw> tags the headword
<pos> part of speech
<ets> "source" word within an <ety> field, usually foreign words
<fld> field of knowledge (e.g. Med. = medicine)
<cs> collocation section (containing word combinations)
<col> collocation entry (word combination)
<cd> collocation definition
<as> illustrations of usage (within a <def>. . . </def> field)
<au> authority for a definition, or author of a quotation
<q> illustrative quotation -- in block quote format
<au> author of an illustrative <q> quotation
<altname> alternative name for the headword -- essentially a synonym
<asp> alternative spelling of the headword
<syn> list of synonyms for the headword
<b> bold type
<it> italic type
For other tags, see the file "tagset.txt"
* ANCILLARY FILES
In addition to the main text of the dictionary, additional explanatory
material about this version of the dictionary is available in the ancillary
The license terms for distributing and modifying this dictionary.
Short information about the dictionary. It is used by GNU Dico dictionary
server. The first line of this file provides a short database description.
The entire file is sent as the response to SHOW INFO command.
List of the abbreviations used in the dictionary.
List of authors whose works are quoted in the dictionary.
Description of the special markup used in this dictionary to represent
A copy of the dictionary page describing the pronunciation symbols used in
the original work.
This file lists original pronunciation symbols with the corresponding markup
entities used in this version.
Description of the markup tags.
A copy of the original title page.
Description of the special escape sequences used in this dictionary. This
file also explains the Greek transliteration syntax used in it.
* DICTIONARY LOOKUP
The dictionary home page <http://gcide.gnu.org.ua> provides an on-line
The GNU Dico project contains a browser for GCIDE, called "gcider". It
provides a windowing interface allowing user to search for matching
headwords using several match strategies and browse their definitions.
The package also provides a loadable module which allows to use GCIDE with
the dictionary server.
See <http://www.gnu.org.ua/software/dico> for more information, including
links to download and documentation.
* OTHER VERSIONS OF THE DICTIONARY
There are several other derivative versions of this dictionary on the
internet, in some cases reformatted or provided with an interface. Those
that I am aware of are:
This version of GCIDE is available online at the GNU Dico web site:
The site provides extensive search facilities.
** Project Gutenberg
In the extext96 directory of Project Gutenberg
(http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext96), there is a version of the original
1913 dictionary, which is in the **public domain**. The main files are
labeled pgw050*.*. The tags for that version are a subset of those used in
this GNU version.
** The DICT development group
This group has created a program to index and search this dictionary. The
program can be downloaded and used locally, but at present is available only
in a Unix-compatible executable version. See their web site at
** The University of Chicago ARTFL project
Mark Olsen and Gavin LaRowe at the University of Chicago have converted the
original 1913 dictionary to HTML and have provided an interface allowing
search of the headwords. When the supplemented version has developed
sufficiently to warrant the effort, a similar searchable version may be
posted there as well. The search page is at:
That page will provide links to other ARTFL projects and contact information
for the ARTFL group, who alone can provide information about the HTML
version or interface.
paragraph-separate: "[ ]*$"