This library implements a pure Ruby interface to the WordNet lexical/semantic database. Unlike existing ruby bindings, this one doesn't require you to convert the original WordNet database into a new database format; instead it can work directly on the database that comes with WordNet. If you're doing something data-intensive you will achieve much better performance with Michael Granger's Ruby-WordNet, since it converts the WordNet database into a BerkelyDB file for quicker access. rwordnet has a much smaller footprint, with no gem or native dependencies, and requires about a third of the space on disk as Ruby-Wordnet + DB. In writing rwordnet, I've focused more on usability and ease of installation ( gem install rwordnet ) at the expense of some performance. Use at your own risk, etc.