Wordnet with NLTK

WordNet is a lexical database for the English language, which was created by Princeton, and is part of the NLTK corpus.

You can use WordNet alongside the NLTK module to find the meanings of words, synonyms, antonyms, and more. Let's cover some examples.

First, you're going to need to import wordnet:

from nltk.corpus import wordnet

Then, we're going to use the term "program" to find synsets like so:

syns = wordnet.synsets("program")

An example of a synset:


Just the word:


Definition of that first synset:

a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished

Examples of the word in use:

['they drew up a six-step plan', 'they discussed plans for a new bond issue']

Next, how might we discern synonyms and antonyms to a word? The lemmas will be synonyms, and then you can use .antonyms to find the antonyms to the lemmas. As such, we can populate some lists like:

synonyms = []
antonyms = []

for syn in wordnet.synsets("good"):
    for l in syn.lemmas():
        if l.antonyms():

{'beneficial', 'just', 'upright', 'thoroughly', 'in_force', 'well', 'skilful', 'skillful', 'sound', 'unspoiled', 'expert', 'proficient', 'in_effect', 'honorable', 'adept', 'secure', 'commodity', 'estimable', 'soundly', 'right', 'respectable', 'good', 'serious', 'ripe', 'salutary', 'dear', 'practiced', 'goodness', 'safe', 'effective', 'unspoilt', 'dependable', 'undecomposed', 'honest', 'full', 'near', 'trade_good'} {'evil', 'evilness', 'bad', 'badness', 'ill'}

As you can see, we got many more synonyms than antonyms, since we just looked up the antonym for the first lemma, but you could easily balance this buy also doing the exact same process for the term "bad."

Next, we can also easily use WordNet to compare the similarity of two words and their tenses, by incorporating the Wu and Palmer method for semantic related-ness.

Let's compare the noun of "ship" and "boat:"

w1 = wordnet.synset('ship.n.01')
w2 = wordnet.synset('boat.n.01')


w1 = wordnet.synset('ship.n.01')
w2 = wordnet.synset('car.n.01')


w1 = wordnet.synset('ship.n.01')
w2 = wordnet.synset('cat.n.01')


Next, we're going to pick things up a bit and begin to cover the topic of Text Classification.

The next tutorial:

  • Tokenizing Words and Sentences with NLTK
  • Stop words with NLTK
  • Stemming words with NLTK
  • Part of Speech Tagging with NLTK
  • Chunking with NLTK
  • Chinking with NLTK
  • Named Entity Recognition with NLTK
  • Lemmatizing with NLTK
  • The corpora with NLTK
  • Wordnet with NLTK
  • Text Classification with NLTK
  • Converting words to Features with NLTK
  • Naive Bayes Classifier with NLTK
  • Saving Classifiers with NLTK
  • Scikit-Learn Sklearn with NLTK
  • Combining Algorithms with NLTK
  • Investigating bias with NLTK
  • Improving Training Data for sentiment analysis with NLTK
  • Creating a module for Sentiment Analysis with NLTK
  • Twitter Sentiment Analysis with NLTK
  • Graphing Live Twitter Sentiment Analysis with NLTK with NLTK
  • Named Entity Recognition with Stanford NER Tagger
  • Testing NLTK and Stanford NER Taggers for Accuracy
  • Testing NLTK and Stanford NER Taggers for Speed
  • Using BIO Tags to Create Readable Named Entity Lists