Merriam-Webster Developer Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Audio and Image APIs

Collegiate Audio Pronunciation API

In the XML, audio references look like this:
<wav>heart001.wav</wav>

These need to be converted to a URL like this:
http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/h/heart001.wav

  • Start with the base URL: http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/
  • Add the first letter of the wav file as a subdirectory ("h" in the example above).*
  • Add the name of the wav file.

* Regarding the subdirectory element of the URL there are three exceptions:

  • If the file name begins with "bix", the subdirectory should be "bix".
  • If the file name begins with "gg", the subdirectory should be "gg".
  • If the file name begins with a number, the subdirectory should be "number".

Collegiate Illustrations API

Take the value of the <bmp> tag (parent = <art>), replace the .bmp extension with .htm, and append to the end of this URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/dict/

For example, for "heart":

<art><bmp>heart.bmp</bmp><cap>heart 1: <it>1</it> aorta, <it>2</it> pulmonary artery, <it>3</it> left atrium, <it>4</it> left ventricle, <it>5</it> right ventricle, <it>6</it> right atrium</cap></art>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/dict/heart.htm

This way, the caption data is built into the html wrapper you are linking to. If you prefer to link directly to the image, you can replace .bmp with .gif instead, and use the content of the <cap> tag to pull in the caption content.

Please ignore the first <art><artref>...<artref></art> tag. This is for print use only.


Medical Audio Pronunciation API

In the XML, audio references look like this:
<wav>heart001.wav</wav>

These need to be converted to a URL like this:
http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/h/heart001.wav

  • Start with the base URL: http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/
  • Add the first letter of the wav file as a subdirectory ("h" in the example above).*
  • Add the name of the wav file.

* Regarding the subdirectory element of the URL there are three exceptions:

  • If the file name begins with "bix", the subdirectory should be "bix".
  • If the file name begins with "gg", the subdirectory should be "gg".
  • If the file name begins with a number, the subdirectory should be "number".

Medical Illustrations API

Take the value of the <bmp> tag (parent = <art>), replace the .bmp extension with .htm, and append to the end of this URL:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/med/

For example, for "heart":

<art><bmp>heart.bmp</bmp><cap>heart 1: <it>1</it> aorta, <it>2</it> pulmonary artery, <it>3</it> left atrium, <it>4</it> left ventricle, <it>5</it> right ventricle, <it>6</it> right atrium</cap></art>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/med/heart.htm

This way, the caption data is built into the html wrapper you are linking to. If you prefer to link directly to the image, you can replace .bmp with .gif instead, and use the content of the <cap> tag to pull in the caption content.


Learner's Audio Pronunciation API

In the XML, audio references look like this:
<wav>heart001.wav</wav>

These need to be converted to a URL like this:
http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/h/heart001.wav

  • Start with the base URL: http://media.merriam-webster.com/soundc11/
  • Add the first letter of the wav file as a subdirectory ("h" in the example above).*
  • Add the name of the wav file.

* Regarding the subdirectory element of the URL there are three exceptions:

  • If the file name begins with "bix", the subdirectory should be "bix".
  • If the file name begins with "gg", the subdirectory should be "gg".
  • If the file name begins with a number, the subdirectory should be "number".

Learner's Illustrations API

Take the value of the <artref> tag (parent = <art>), replace the .tif or .eps extension with .gif, and append to the end of this URL:

www.learnersdictionary.com/art/ld/

For example, see "starfish" and "human":

<art><capt>starfish</capt><dim>85.4,72.5</dim></art>

<art></capt><dim>394,603.5</dim></art>

www.learnersdictionary.com/art/ld/starfish.gif

www.learnersdictionary.com/art/ld/human_rev2.gif

Use the content of the <capt> tag to pull in the caption content.

Please ignore the <dim> tag.

Some entries link directly to a piece of full-page color art. For example, see dress[2]: "see color picture on page C15". The display text is book-specific and needs to be replaced with "see color picture". The page number ("C15") should be the basis of the image call:

http://www.learnersdictionary.com/art/ld/c15.html