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What is LexiQamus?

What could that word be?

Individuals who read manuscripts in Ottoman Turkish frequently come across letters that are difficult to decipher. Maybe the handwriting is too messy, or maybe the document is torn, burnt, folded or stained by ink – there are a variety reasons why a letter may be illegible.  

LexiQamus grew out of this necessity to find a solution to this problem.

Extant dictionaries are only helpful if the illegible letters come at the end of a word, as the root is still likely to be intact. However, they are almost useless if there are missing or unclear letters at the beginning or in the middle of a word.

This is where LexiQamus comes into play. Based on the legible letters and the symbols for illegible letters entered into the boxes, LexiQamus’s special algorithm provides a list of possible words matching the given restrictions. With LexiQamus, you can find a word with missing or unclear letters almost immediately, a task that would have been almost impossible with a regular dictionary.

Having clicked a word in the results list, you are taken to where you can quickly look up the meaning of a word in various dictionaries.

This project was a large undertaking. The approximately 150,000 words and phrases found in A Turkish and English Lexicon written by James Redhouse were typed one by one into the database. The entry words of the dictionaries found on Osmanlıca Sözlükler were also added.

In short, when you search for a word using LexiQamus, you are accessing a massive database of approximately 177,000 words and phrases. It’s almost impossible not to find what you’re looking for, assuming that the letters are correctly entered into the boxes.


We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Mr. Yakup Cagdas, the owner and executer of Ihya Ottoman Turkish Studies, for allowing us to use the full database of Osmanlıca Sözlükler. 

Our database comprises the entries of the following dictionaries:

1. Kamus-ı Türki: Şemseddin Sami Efendi, (1901)

2. Lûgat-ı Naci: Muallim Naci Efendi, (1894)

3. Kamus-ı Osmani: Mehmed Salahi Bey, (1905)

4. Lûgat-ı Remzi: Doktor Hüseyin Remzi Bey, (1887)

5. Lehçe-i Osmani: Ahmet Vefik Paşa, (1876)

6. Lûgat-ı Ebuzziya Tevfik: Ebuzziya Tevfik Bey, (1888)

7. Resimli Kamus-ı Osmani: Ali Seydi Bey, (1908)

8. Lûgat-ı Cudi: Trabzonlu Cudi Efendi, (1914)

9. Mükemmel Osmanlı Lûgatı: Faik Reşat & Ali Nazım Beyler, (1902)

10. Kitab-ı Müntehabat-ı Lûgat-ı Osmaniye: Mustafa Şükrü Eyyubi Bey, (1864)

11. Yeni Türkçe Lûgat: Mehmet Bahaeettin Toven, (1924)

12. Yeni Resimli Türkçe Kamus: Raif Necdet Kestelli, Ahmet Kamil Matbaası, (1928)

13. Kamus-ı Fransevi: Şemseddin Sami, Mihran Matbaası, İstanbul, (1883) [Veritabanında 1911 versiyonu esas alınmıştır.]

14. Almanca'dan Türkçe'ye Lûgat Kitabı: Ömer Faik Bey, Ossmanieh Matbaası, İstanbul, (1898)

15. Hazine-i Lûgat-i Rumiyye ve Osmaniyye / Leksikon Elino-Turkikon: Fardi (Phardy), A. Th. - K[ostaki] J. Fo, Anatoli Matbaası, (1860)

16. A Turkish and English Lexicon: James W. Redhouse, A. H. Boyacıyan tarafından Amerikan misyonu için tab’ edildi, İstanbul, (1890) (H 1302)

17. Kamusu’l-A’lam: Şemseddin Sami Efendi, Mihran Matbaası, İstanbul, (1888-89) (H 1306)

18. Memalik-i Osmaniye’nin Tarih ve Coğrafya Lugatı, Ali Cevad Bey, Mahmut Bey Matbaası, İstanbul, (1895-96) (H 1313)

19. Lugat-ı Tarihiyye ve Coğrafiyye: Yağlıkçızade Ahmed Rıfat Efendi, Mahmut Bey Matbaası, İstanbul, [Cilt I, II, 1883-84 (H 1299); Cilt III, IV, V, 1884-85 (H 1300)]