Definitions in the DuckDuckGo api

<hidden> anonymous
Created: 2 years and 3 months ago
According to, the API will return definitions using the "DefinitionSource", "Definition", and "DefinitionURL" properties. However, I can't find any query that actually returns a definition. Neither words like "duck", or queries like "definition of duck" and "duck definition" actually return anything. Is there a specific query used to get definitions, or could the DDG devs please add this? I'd really like to get definitions from DDG's API for a project I'm working on.

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That's strange. It works just fine for me.
posted by philjamenson 2 years and 2 months ago Link
I also have this experience. I've tried lots of words and never get a definition, even though I get them when I use my browser.

One example is "zonure", which has an instant answer definition in the browser – "n. Any one of several of South African lizards of the genus Zonura, common in rocky environments."

When I query the API I get:

    "Abstract": "The plural of zonure is zonures.",
    "AbstractSource": "wiktionary",
    "AbstractText": "The plural of zonure is zonures.",
    "AbstractURL": "",
    "Answer": "",
    "AnswerType": "",
    "Definition": "",
    "DefinitionSource": "",
    "DefinitionURL": "",
    "Entity": "",
    "Heading": "zonure",
posted by <hidden> • 1 year and 11 months ago Link
I see what you mean but I'm not exactly sure why. I think it may be something to do with the data sources for the definitions, e.g. whether we're allowed to syndicate the data in an API or not. If that's the case then our API page should be updated to clarify. Anyway, I've raised it as an issue with the developers so we can find out more.
posted by tagawa Staff1 year and 11 months ago Link