Merriam-Webster Developer Center

Terms of Service


Registering and requesting keys for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary API constitutes your acceptance of the following terms:

1. OWNERSHIP. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated ("Merriam-Webster") and its licensors license The Merriam-Webster Dictionary API (the "Licensed Application") and imbedded software ("Software") to you (the "Developer"), only on the condition that you accept all of the terms contained in this License Agreement (this "Agreement"). This is a license, not a sale.

2. LICENSE GRANT. Merriam-Webster grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable right and license to use the Licensed Application, including the Software, for the sole and limited purpose of making the reference service ("Service") available to your website or other non-commercial application that you own or control, on three conditions:

  • Your website or application is non-commercial
  • Reference queries do not exceed 1000/day/reference work
  • You do not use more than two reference works

We will monitor usage to make sure that your free use of the API does not exceed the 1000/day query limit. Monthly usage reports per reference for each registered developer will be available on the API site. If your usage will exceed any of these terms (A-C above), a request and details must be sent to us via a contact form on the API site. Merriam-Webster staff will then respond to arrange terms and payment.

3. LIMITATIONS. You represent and warrant that (i) you are not located in a country that is subject to a U.S. Government embargo, or that has been designated by the U.S. Government as a "terrorist supporting" country; and (ii) you are not listed on any U.S. Government list of prohibited or restricted parties.

4. DATA COLLECTION AND PRIVACY. Merriam-Webster collects certain information about you as part of the registration process, including your name, contact email address, company name, and application description. The following Developer registration data (not end-user-specific) will be stored:

  • Developer system IP addresses and API keys in Web server logs
  • Tally of monthly queries per reference per Developer
  • Registration information, including Developer contact name and email address

5. PROPRIETARY RIGHTS; RESTRICTIONS. You acknowledge that Merriam-Webster, and its licensors retain all right, title and interest in and to the original, and any copies, of Software which is incorporated into the Licensed Application, and the Service. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree not to: (a) submit any automated or recorded queries to the Service unless otherwise approved in writing by Merriam-Webster and its licensors; (b) use the Service for commercial use; (c) access the Service with software or means other than the Software; (d) copy, reproduce, distribute, or in any other manner duplicate the Software, in whole or in part; (e) sell, lease, license, sublicense, distribute, assign, transfer or otherwise grant any rights in the Software, in whole or in part; (f) modify, port, translate, or create derivative works of the Software; (g) decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to derive, reconstruct, identify or discover any source code, underlying ideas, or algorithms, of the Software or Service by any means; (h) remove any proprietary notices, labels or marks from the Software; (i) use the Service for purposes of comparison with or benchmarking against products or services made available by third parties; or (j) knowingly take any action that would cause any part of the Licensed Application to be placed in the public domain. You may be held liable for any copyright infringement that results from such any unauthorized uses of the Software or Licensed Application or Service.

6. CONTACT INFORMATION. You may contact Merriam-Webster with any questions about the Licensed Application at this address: Merriam Webster, Incorporated, P.O. Box 281, Springfield MA 01102, (413) 734-3134.

7. TRADEMARKS. The Merriam-Webster trademarks (the "Trademarks") contained in or used by the Software or Service are the registered trademarks Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, and the use of such Trademarks shall inure to the benefit of Merriam-Webster. You do not have permission to use the Trademarks to indicate: (i) an affiliation by Merriam-Webster and its licensors with you or your website or application, or (ii) an endorsement or approval of such company by Merriam-Webster, Inc.

8. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement, including the Warranty Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability, are governed by the laws of the United States of America and the State of Illinois.

9. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, this License will remain in effect with the provision omitted, unless omission would frustrate the intent of the parties, in which case this License will immediately terminate.

10. TERMINATION. This License will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any of its terms. Merriam-Webster reserves the right to seek compensation for commercial use of the API in violation of this License Agreement.

11. DISLAIMER OF WARRANTIES, LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. THE LICENSED APPLICATION IS PROVIDED ON AN 'AS IS' BASIS. Neither Merriam-Webster nor its licensors warrant that the functions contained in the Licensed Application will meet your requirements or that the operation of the Licensed Application will be uninterrupted or error free; nor do they make any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from use of the Services, or as to the accuracy, reliability or content of any information contained in the Licensed Application.