FILE, the Free Online Lexicon and Encyclopedia, is a project designed to fill in the gaps which exist in other large freely available dictionary databases. The material in FILE will be freely distributable and will be usable by others who are working on freely distributable dictionary databases.
From October 1997 to January 1998, our servers answered approximately 3.1 million requests (over 1000/hour). Of those requests, about 2.2 million were requests for 100000 words that were found in the online databases. The other 0.86 million requests were for 380000 words that were not found in any of the databases. Many of these words are obvious misspellings of words that are in the database, but many more are common words that should be added to the databases, and represent a good starting point for anyone who wants to contribute to FILE. If you use these lists, make sure to check the current databases first, since some words may have been added since the lists were made: top 1000 words found (complete list of 100000 words found (400k compressed, 1.8MB uncompressed); top 1000 words not found (complete list of 380000 words not found) (1.6MB compressed; 7MB uncompressed). With spelling errors removed, there are at least 1184 words that should have definitions written soon.
We do not want to take on the task of editing or updating existing databases, so, for example, we will forward computer-related entries to the FOLDOC maintainer. Some people have found entries, particularly those from the 1913 Webster's, to be offensive or politically incorrect. We do not edit and are not responsible for the content of other dictionaries, and we will not put ourselves in the position of determining what content may properly exist in a pre-existing database.
Ultimately, if you don't like the definitions available on this site, then you can refuse to use our servers, or you set up your own site with your own sanitized definitions. More constructively, you can submit your own updated definitions to the maintainers of the existing databases or to the FILE project (but be aware that your submission may not be used, or that it may take some time before it appears on web sites such as this one).
That said, if you'd like to provide a definition for possible inclusion in the FILE database, which is the only database we edit (and which may not be currently available online, since it doesn't exist yet), then please fill out this form and send it to us. Please make sure: