A node package exposing an SQLite database of the Princeton University WordNet database
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WordNet SQLite

A node package exposing an SQLite database of the Princeton University WordNet database


Just run

npm install wordnet-sqlite

Note that installing the module will install the SQLite3 module as a dependency, which requires compilation using node-gyp, so a working toolchain is required to install this module.


On requiring the module, an instance of an sqlite3 client is created and connected to the local WordNet database. This client is then returned, and can be used according to the sqlite3 API.The returned object is an instance of Database, so methods like #run and #foreach can be called directly from it.

Currently the database consists of only one table called words, which has the following columns:

  • word. A text field that contains the dictionary word in its most basic form (without a prefix or suffix) i.e. child will appear but not children. Note that spaces are replaced with underscores, e.g. out_of_the_way. For further information, have a look at the WordNet documentation

  • definition. A text field that contains a gloss, a string which which may contain a definition, one or more example sentences, or both. For example the definition field for implicit is the string being without doubt or reserve; "implicit trust", consisting of a definition and one example sentence.

  • type. Also a text field that contains a string indicating the type of word this row is. Either "adj", "adv", "noun", or "verb". Note that types such as conjunctions and interjections are not part of the WordNet project so are not present in the database.

  • rowid. An integer field created automatically by SQLite. Corresponds to the index of the word, so the first entry has a rowid of 1. However the words are in no particular order so this is not likely to be of any use.

Here's a simple example usage of the database. See the Example section for another example.

var db = require("wordnet-sqlite");
db.get("SELECT definition FROM words WHERE word = 'pulpy' LIMIT 1;", function (err, row) {


like a pulp or overripe; not having stiffness


Here's a bot I wrote to email people random compliments (well actually they're more like insults):

var nodemailer = require('nodemailer');
var db = require("wordnet-sqlite");

// create reusable transporter object using SMTP transport
var transporter = nodemailer.createTransport({
    service: 'Gmail',
    auth: {
        user: '<my.email@address.com>',
        pass: 'mypassword'

db.get("SELECT * FROM words WHERE type = 'adj' ORDER BY RANDOM() LIMIT 1;", function (err, row) {
    var mailOptions = {
        from: 'Me <my.email@address.com>',
        to: 'My Victim <victim@victim.com>',
        subject: 'You are ' + row.word,
        text: row.word + ": " + row.definition

    transporter.sendMail(mailOptions, function (error, info) {
        if (error)
            console.log('Message sent: ' + info.response);


Outputs: Mailer Results


The GitHub repository contains the raw_dict directory, which contains the data.adj, data.adv, data.noun and data.verb files from the WordNet website (version 3.1). If WordNet is updated, download the new files and replace those in raw_dict, then run the setup.js script to rebuild the database.

Any other contributions are welcome, especially improvements to the database schema itself.