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Wordnet Topics

This page provides documentation for the coarse classification originally used by the Princeton Wordnet to divide senses up. We call them topics, they are originally called lexicographic file names and have also been called semantic fields and super-senses.

In Princeton Wordnet, at the top level, nouns are organized into 25 beginner "trees" for nouns and 15 for verbs (called lexicographic files). All are linked to a unique beginner synset, "entity". Noun hierarchies are far deeper than verb hierarchies. Adjectives are not organized into hierarchical trees. Instead, two "central" antonyms such as "hot" and "cold" form binary poles, while 'satellite' synonyms such as "steaming" and "chilly" connect to their respective poles via a "similarity" relations. The adjectives can be visualized in this way as "dumbbells" rather than as "trees".
Topics and their definitions
POS Topic Abr Definition Examples

all all all adjective clusters two508 other483 one422 many347 new310 own259 all247 first232 three221 small213 good190 little163 important146 large139 a few138 much137 possible136 no135 more134 high134 certain131 some130 four130 same129 long118

pert prt relational adjectives (pertainyms) American117 social81 economic65 Jewish52 vocational49 national46 human46 military37 Christian36 English33 medical29 visual27 thermal27 literary27 hypothalamic27 Protestant27 Soviet25 Catholic25 binomial24 suburban22 financial22 Russian22 musical21 industrial20 human19

ppl ppl participial adjectives parked5 transpiring4 streaming2 ranging2 pitched2 operating2 tittering1 thoriated1 surmounted1 strung1 stacked1 squashed1 spray-dried1 sought1 sluicing1 sintered1 shrieked1 regenerating1 re-created1 pursued1 preconceived1 played1 penciled1 oxidised1 mounded over1

all all all adverbs not1837 also411 even394 more374 then333 so322 now283 very260 only258 never255 again249 still233 only226 always196 here187 now182 there181 too180 most180 however180 almost175 just162 often153 perhaps123 of course123

Tops top unique beginner for nouns person6833 group1345 location992 animal67 event62 object51 individual51 feeling49 knowledge45 cell44 state39 plant37 time36 food29 phenomenon25 space24 act24 relation23 amount20 motive18 substance17 someone17 creature16 quantity15 need12

act act nouns denoting acts or actions action94 work90 use90 study90 effort84 war78 job76 battle73 training71 election67 process63 way61 course61 experiment59 thing52 development52 means50 attempt49 research46 murder45 analysis45 trial44 activity43 procedure41 achievement39

animal anm nouns denoting animals or animal parts horse103 dog42 man29 bird29 cattle25 hen22 human being21 head21 snake20 cow20 bee20 egg19 female18 cat18 anaconda18 queen16 sheep14 mouse14 bumblebee13 fish12 chicken10 rabbit9 wing8 monkey8 livestock8

artifact art nouns denoting man-made objects house157 room116 door98 road94 surface90 street86 wall82 work76 rifle75 window72 gun72 cell71 car71 anode66 plant63 office62 church59 shelter56 product52 bed51 ship49 farm49 art49 home48 equipment48

attribute att nouns denoting attributes of people and objects way183 number131 temperature91 voice78 age75 difference73 size70 level69 power62 price56 distance54 value52 importance50 manner49 color48 range45 strength42 quality42 right41 nature41 amount39 length38 shape37 sound36 mass35

body bod nouns denoting human body parts eye263 hand215 head208 face193 body113 arm104 foot89 leg75 shoulder65 blood61 hair59 lip57 finger53 back53 knee51 mouth48 figure48 muscle43 tooth38 tissue37 ear36 throat34 serum34 neck34 chest34

cognition cog nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents idea151 type136 kind126 mind120 program106 method95 fact85 purpose75 thought70 value65 sort65 attitude65 religion63 plan63 interest62 form62 technique58 attention56 life54 evidence54 experience52 point51 theory49 sample48 experience48

communication com nouns denoting communicative processes and contents, this includes languages and computation word117 information102 form96 name94 question81 voice69 stress67 letter65 figure65 list64 literature60 statement58 words55 text53 dictionary52 music51 report50 question50 meaning48 language48 song46 book46 fig45 section43 problem38

event evt nouns denoting natural events time219 case72 change46 death45 noise43 fire43 victory42 onset42 wave40 success36 thing32 factor31 occurrence29 experience28 variation24 result24 end23 tsunami22 incident22 increase21 instance18 flow18 cause18 beginning18 scene17

feeling flg nouns denoting feelings and emotions fear73 emotion50 love42 desire32 anger22 rage21 pleasure21 joy19 hope18 hatred18 hope17 surprise16 pain14 mood14 amazement13 relief12 concern12 terror11 satisfaction10 horror10 shame9 hate9 excitement9 delight9 anxiety9

food fod nouns denoting foods and drinks coffee46 feed32 dinner25 milk20 meal20 drink20 whisky19 beer18 chicken16 avocado15 supper14 lunch12 breakfast12 liquor11 hay11 wine9 honey9 radish8 diet8 ration7 whiskey6 sandwich6 eggs6 champagne6 vegetable5

group grp nouns denoting groupings of people or objects people257 regiment145 school125 government100 society88 data76 country68 community67 family66 enemy66 army61 company60 church60 audience60 industry56 table52 family52 line51 law50 college45 woods43 team43 court42 series40 corporation40

location loc nouns denoting spatial position area146 state108 city103 side91 place77 United States71 town67 region65 center56 home55 site51 field49 New York46 way40 England39 America39 place38 district38 South37 surface36 end35 direction35 source34 position34 county34

motive mtv nouns denoting goals reason76 conscience12 ground11 impulse10 morality5 incentive5 occasion3 compulsion3 urge2 morals2 mania2 small voice1 signal1 score1 passion1 life1 inducement1 hedonism1 ethics1 ethical motive1 compulsion1 account1 why0 wherefore0 wee small voice0

object obj nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made) ground86 river55 earth51 Earth51 world49 sky49 sun42 Sun42 water41 sea37 hill33 section31 moon30 Moon30 need29 Europe28 valley27 world26 pond26 bank25 planet21 agent21 stream20 earth20 coast20

person per nouns denoting people man749 man346 youth323 friend169 soldier166 child148 boy144 woman143 wife120 mother100 God90 man87 officer86 girl80 patient73 doctor73 father72 husband68 student67 member67 child65 girl57 employee57 comrade55 Jew55

phenomenon phn nouns denoting natural phenomena effect101 result83 smoke65 pressure65 light46 death39 arc37 radiation31 energy31 wind28 rain25 cloud24 shear21 weather20 force20 heat19 spectrum18 consequence18 radio emission16 fog15 bond15 field14 exchange14 sun13 snow13

plant pln nouns denoting plants or plant parts tree107 grass41 flower31 leaf20 pansy19 sweet clover17 branch15 seed12 root11 stem10 pollen10 fruit10 willow8 flower8 crop8 vine7 catkin7 stick6 pseudophloem6 foliage6 bough6 blossom6 treetop5 stump5 seed5

possession pos nouns denoting possession and transfer of possession money77 cost75 wage70 income45 tax44 allotment44 amount40 rate39 payment32 property30 share29 fund29 stock28 expense25 land22 expenditure20 loan19 funds19 check18 loss16 benefit16 money15 capital15 pay14 interest14

process prc nouns denoting natural processes development46 reaction38 growth37 oxidation20 growth20 flame15 activity13 loss12 development11 demand9 mechanism8 lookup8 increase7 fire7 action7 synthesis6 ossification6 diffusion6 cooling6 evolution5 chromatography5 aeration5 ultracentrifugation4 supply4 smoke4

quantity qnt nouns denoting quantities and units of measure nothing141 foot81 number63 much54 mile49 increase49 inch49 one44 pound42 half42 mg39 yard34 two33 cm31 gram27 milligram26 volume25 thousand24 dollar23 hundred22 supply21 C21 121 020 three19

relation rln nouns denoting relations between people or things or ideas part113 percent64 change45 rest44 function43 basis38 portion31 operator27 percentage26 relationship25 contrast23 ratio21 politics21 direction17 competition17 item16 control16 gradient15 relations14 connection14 unit13 efficiency12 frequency11 west10 scale10

shape shp nouns denoting two and three dimensional shapes square23 curve20 tangent18 space16 plane16 circle15 line13 dot13 disk12 angle10 drop9 fringe8 figure8 turn7 straight line7 spiral7 margin6 arc6 sector5 picture plane5 line5 ellipsoid5 edge5 column5 branch5

state stt nouns denoting stable states of affairs problem151 thing72 condition72 opportunity67 situation66 life66 need56 existence51 lack42 life41 chance40 circumstance39 case39 spirit37 activity36 pain32 presence30 life29 way28 balance28 war27 marriage26 freedom26 disease26 absence25

substance sub nouns denoting substances water136 material73 air42 oxygen39 dust38 particle33 chlorine32 paper30 saline27 fluid25 protein23 mud23 ice22 glass22 fraction22 detergent22 conjugate22 metal21 steel20 earth20 sewage19 effluent19 carbon tetrachloride19 atom19 TSH19

time tim nouns denoting time and temporal relations year426 day169 night163 time160 time114 week103 century103 period94 hour92 morning86 moment86 minute83 moment73 month70 day70 today69 rate68 summer58 day54 afternoon51 history49 future46 time43 past42 season40

body bod verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care wear83 smile79 laugh64 sleep58 feel39 look25 sigh24 help23 wear22 breathe22 act22 weep20 develop19 put on18 grin18 behave18 treat17 suffer17 relax17 bear17 dress15 shake14 injure12 frown12 cure12

change chn verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc make459 begin375 become327 start159 get157 happen149 come147 die141 remain128 add116 reduce102 appear102 remove86 increase86 get82 occur81 grow70 improve66 have64 get64 grow62 increase61 fill61 change57 take place54

cognition cog verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting know585 think274 expect204 think188 see159 feel150 know142 know123 decide123 believe118 read115 think111 understand110 consider107 remember106 learn90 choose80 know76 base75 study73 believe72 assume68 show63 leave63 forget61

communication com verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing say1861 say254 ask244 tell196 tell189 ask165 explain109 talk108 determine107 write94 mean93 call91 teach86 speak86 make85 describe77 tell75 announce74 state73 indicate68 add68 indicate65 report64 admit64 answer63

competition cmp verbs of fighting, athletic activities fight112 win71 play70 protect43 serve36 fight34 face33 fire30 shoot28 shoot26 enter24 confront24 compete24 attack22 score18 beat18 lose17 fire16 direct16 charge16 overcome14 get14 defend14 defeat14 resist11

consumption con verbs of eating and drinking use603 need98 eat61 feed47 apply45 have42 employ42 drink30 provide25 afford24 meet23 serve21 serve20 want15 utilize15 take15 feed15 enjoy15 exercise14 maintain13 eat13 use12 swallow12 smoke12 exert12

contact cnt verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging stand169 put138 place135 sit134 kill103 put98 carry72 open66 hold65 lie58 cut58 bring55 throw53 take50 look for50 get45 pull44 seek41 hang35 cover35 touch33 press32 close32 set30 reach29

creation crt verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing make243 do173 build123 write112 cause110 create94 make78 produce69 imagine66 hold62 see58 make52 sing46 develop44 develop44 destroy42 publish39 produce38 create38 sing35 do35 find34 write33 show32 design31

emotion emo verbs of feeling want389 feel181 like76 like73 care64 hope60 enjoy52 hate50 wish48 love43 hope37 worry32 wish31 love26 desire25 fear23 prefer22 fear20 like19 hold17 strike16 bother16 please15 resent14 arouse14

motion mot verbs of walking, flying, swimming go343 come276 come235 turn187 walk184 leave146 bring122 return111 move110 run106 reach103 enter85 send79 follow74 take73 get58 stop57 move57 push56 drive56 ride53 move52 arrive52 meet49 go49

perception pcp verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling see613 seem607 hear275 look274 have220 find141 see140 show136 look126 appear121 seem84 stare82 watch77 feel66 listen60 consider51 find45 show43 reflect41 present40 observe39 notice39 sound38 note36 get36

possession pos verbs of buying, selling, owning have1202 provide270 get235 give179 give160 find159 have143 pay138 lose123 receive122 obtain116 buy102 give96 offer95 find86 give78 take74 sell73 own47 supply44 seek44 win42 find41 maintain38 spend36

social soc verbs of political and social activities and events do526 make508 try342 let219 help183 do134 achieve100 go95 take92 be86 join75 work74 fail66 allow65 watch64 work62 prevent62 encourage53 establish50 attempt50 force48 open45 marry44 conduct44 save41

stative stv verbs of being, having, spatial relations be10742 be3019 be901 be701 be698 have377 be270 include234 become220 keep206 be189 continue146 require144 live129 contain111 need110 wait100 exist100 spend98 mean89 lie88 attend84 hold79 tend59 look like59

weather wet verbs of raining, snowing, thawing, thundering rain13 snow10 burn10 shine9 shine6 plague6 reflect5 blow5 blaze5 mirror4 fall4 shade2 set on fire2 radiate2 light2 ignite2 glow2 flame up2 clear2 burn2 take in1 swamp1 suck in1 steam1 sparkle1

The original documentation for the lexicographer file names is here. We have expanded the definitions of some of the files.

Maintainer: Francis Bond
Contributors: Francis Bond, Luís Morgado da Costa, Michael Goodman and all the wordnet projects.

Source code hosted at