artha man page

Artha — An cross-platform thesaurus based on WordNet


Artha is an open thesaurus based on the WordNet database,  created with simplicity in mind. Once executed, Artha monitors for  a user preset global hotkey combination. When the user selects  some text in any window, and presses this hotkey combo, Artha  looks up WordNet thesaurus for the selected text and pops-up  with the results.

When executed for the first time Artha tries to register a hotkey  automatically, in the order, Ctrl + Alt + [W or A or T or Q]. You  can view/change it via the 'Hotkey' button in the toolbar. It  can also be disabled.


Definitions are categorized based on the PoS (Part of Speech - Noun,  Verb, Adjective and Adverb). Apart from showing the definitions/senses  of a searched string with usage examples, Artha also shows a word's  relatives like Synonyms, Antonyms, Derivatives, Pertainyms  (Related noun/verb), Attributes, Similar Terms, Domain/Domain Terms,  Causes, Entails, Hypernyms (is a kind of), Hyponyms (Kinds),  Holonyms (is a part of), Meronyms (Parts).

Senses and Relatives

A word can have more then one sense i.e. it can convey more than a  single meaning/definition. Relative words are words that are related  to one or more senses of the searched word, by a relationship like  Synonym, Derivative, etc. To know which all sense a relative is  related to, just select the it, the corresponding senses it maps to  are highlighted. As per WordNet, depending on the number of senses a  word has (polysemy count), it's familiarity is determined. It gets  displayed next to the PoS in the definition area. There are 7  types: extremely rare, very rare, rare, uncommon, common, familiar,  very familiar and extremely familiar.


Artha has 2 modes. Simple and Detailed. Artha enters Detailed mode  when the 'Detailed' button in the toolbar is pressed. When toggled  again, it returns back to simple mode. For relatives like Antonyms,  Pertainyms, Hypernyms, Hyponyms, Holonyms and Meronyms, where more  than one level of relatives may be present, is showed in a tree  fashion, in detailed mode. If in simple mode, only one level of  relatives are shown even when more levels are present. E.g. 'rich'  has 'poor' and 'lean' alone as antonyms in simple mode. While in  detailed mode, 'poor' further infers broke, skint, etc. which are  shown as children of 'poor'.


Should the user prefer passive desktop notifications (balloon tips),  rather than the application popping up with the definitions, it can  be done by enabling Notifications. This is done via the Notify  tool button or by right-clicking on Artha's system tray icon, and  tick off the 'Notifications' check box in the menu. When notifications  are enabled, and the user selects text in a window and presses the  hotkey combo, Artha takes the prime definition of that term from  WordNet and shows that definition as a system tray notification.

Note: For the notifications feature to be present, notify library's  binary ( should be available on your system. If not,  Artha will not expose the feature at all. Also the notification-daemon  should installed for the notifications to show up.


Suggestions is a feature that gives out possible near matches when  a misspelled word is searched for. To have this feature, your system  should have libenchant binary ( installed and an  English dict file for the spell engine to refer (locale doesn't matter).


Artha has a World Wide Web site at From this web site users can  know more about the Artha project and also download its source and  binary distributions for various distros.


Sundaram Ramaswamy <>


Apr 27, 2009 Artha - The Open Thesaurus