DEB: How to write a synset

How to write a synset

Main points

click on Edit tabNew → choose Part of speech → type Synonym(s) → click Save

Part of speech

Decide which literals a synset consists of and what part of speech all of them belong to: noun (n), verb (v), adjective (a) or adverb (b).


Type down the respective literal (one or more - click on Add button to add more synonyms), specify word and sense number.

Numbering senses:

number literal literal always has to be numbered, i.e. you have to provide a sense number for it
distinguish different senses e.g. bank:1 - financial institution, bank:2 as in "river bank"
lower numbers = basic senses it is usual, as you can observe in Princeton WordNet (2.0 and higher), to assign lower numbers (1, 2, 3) to the basic senses
number of meanings senses in PWN 2.0 are quite often too fine-grained - see e.g. verb to get (36 senses); we recommend to translate only the senses that can be confirmed in a corpus

Except of Part of speech and Synonyms (which are necessary), you can add other information as well. For example definition, usage, relations (to other synsets; e.g. hypernyms), ...

Linking synsets

You can link synsets via ID/ILI. It is useful for translations, if you link your synset with another synset in a WordNet in different language.

  1. find a synset with the same meaning in another WordNet
  2. right-click in the window of your WordNet
  3. click Take ID from (in context menu, choose WordNet with the found synset)
  4. after saving, you can try Inter-WordNet functions (mentioned in DEBVisDic manual)

Linguistic recommendation

Dictionaries and corporas may help you (if they exist for given language):

synonymical dictionary to extend your synset
explanatory dictionary should be used for establishing hyperonym relations on the first level, e.g. chair is a piece of furniture
parallel corpora to find reliable translation equivalents

Typical errors

  • When entering a relation between two synsets or linking two synsets via ID/ILI, always check whether they both exist.
  • Do not forget to click on the New button when entering a new synset and the Save button when you want to store it. If you do not click the Save button, nothing will be stored.
  • Avoid entering one synset twice or more times (this is possible, since they will receive different IDs on creation).