guile-words is a Guile port of the Vocabulary Python library that displays meanings, synonyms, antonyms and more for a given word.

guile-words is primarily provided as a library but it includes example programs that function as command-line applications to make use of it. An interesting bonus that comes from using the Guile programming language is that the library becomes immediately available in C (and C++) programs and libraries as well.

The program makes use of several online dictionaries:

  • Wordnik
  • Glosbe (not yet implemented)
  • BighugeLabs
  • Urbandict


Aside from a correct Guile installation, the library also requires guile-json


Download the tar file or clone a git reository

git clone

put the words.scm (or the compiled .go) file in the Guile site package, typically


Usage examples

The Scheme library

(use-modules (words))

(antonym "good")
 => (ant bad evil bad badness evil evilness ill)

(synonym "poor")
 => (syn hapless miserable misfortunate pathetic
 ... piteous pitiable pitiful wretched inadequate short poor people people)

(hyphenation "momentary")
 => [{"seq":0,"text":"mo","type":"stress"},
 ... {"seq":1,"text":"men"},{"seq":2,"text":"ta"},{"seq":3,"text":"ry"}]


Available functions

  • meaning
  • synonym
  • antonym
  • similar
  • related
  • hyphenation
  • pronunciation

Adding new actions

Every high-level look up command added as a function to the Scheme library immediately becomes available to the C application.

Adding actions to already supported backends

  • Add a new action to the action list

  (define actions
   '((#:meaning . "define")
     (#:synonym . "syn")
     (#:antonym . "ant")
     (#:related . "rel")
     (#:similar . "sim")
     (#:usage-examples . "usage-examples")
     (#:hyphenation . "hyphenation")
     (#:pronunciation . "pronunciations")
     (#:define . "definitions"))
     (#:newaction . "newaction" )) ; <== Your new action here

  • Define a high level function that calls the existing backend service and pass the newly defined action to it:

  (define (similar word)
    (parse-bighuge word #:newaction))

The C client program

app synonym good
=> full estimable honorable respectable beneficial just upright
... expert practiced proficient skillful skilful dear near
depend quality vantage well thoroughly soundly


The git repository contains the file. Look at issues page on github as well.


Please, see the LICENSE file.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library 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 Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA

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