Using the Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry


From the main page (or by clicking on the Dictionary button at the top of the screen) one can search and browse the dictionary in a number of ways.


Arabic dictionaries are often ordered by the consonantal root (or pattern), rather than directly by lemma. The roots can be browsed using the root list on the right hand side. This list can also be searched, allowing one to jump to the root that has been entered. Clicking on the root will then load all lemmata which use that root. For example, entering KTB into the box at the top of the list will scroll the list, so that KTB is in the middle of the visible part of the list.

Or, lemmata under a root can be loaded by directly entering a root in the search box in the top centre of the window.

​Lemmata and translations

Lemmata can also be displayed by entering a lemma, e.g. waqafa, into the box at the top left of the window. One can also enter English translations of the lemmata into this box, and all lemmata which match will be displayed.

​ Lemma information

For each lemma, depending on how complete the record for it is, various pieces of information will be presented to the user. Initially, just the English translations of the different senses of the lemma will be displayed on the left, and the Arabic form of the lemma on the right. These can be expanded to display more details.

Grammar details

Clicking on the Arabic form of the lemma will display things like the root, the part of speech, and any irregular or interesting forms that the lemma has.


Expanding the English translations of a sense will show an attestation of the sense taken from the corpus. A line from a poem will be shown, along with the title of the poem and the name of the poet. The word containing the sense will be highlighted.

It is possible to click on any of the words in the line, to view the dictionary entry for that word. One can also click on the poet’s name to view details about the poet, or click on the poem title to view that poem.

Bibliographic information is also displayed. One can view the full bibliographic record by clicking on the name of the book being cited.

​Other translations

Many senses have translations in French, German and Russian, as well as English. When available, these can be displayed by clicking on ‘show more translations’.

Corpus of poetry

From the poetry page (clicking on the Poetry button on the top of the screen), one can browse and search the body of poems from which the dictionary is made up. The main ways to do this are by searching for words in the poems (or their English translations) or by filtering the poets using facets, or a combination of the two.

Searching for words in poems

When one searches for a word in the poems, lines containing matching words will be shown, otherwise just the poets’ names will be shown (with the option to display their poem titles).


Clicking on the Show filter button will display the facets available. Initially, all poets are shown, so all facets are available. As one refines one’s search, the facets available get reduced. The numbers by the facet values indicate the number of poems which will be returned by filtering on that facet. Having searched on a particular facet value (e.g. qaṣīda for genre), a button will appear under the search box at the top of the window. One can remove facets from the search by clicking on the X in the button. This will widen the search.

Poet metadata

One can toggle the display of metadata for each poet (Show metadata). Metadata includes their tribal affiliation, religion, period of activity (floruit). One can click on these to start a new search using just this filter.

Poem titles

To see the titles of poems, click the Show Titles button. The titles are links which will take one to a page showing just that poem.

Individual poems

Following a link to an individual poem will display all the details about the poet and then all the lines from the poem. Again, the poets’ metadata are links to run new searches.

Poem translations

Each line should have a translation, either from an already published source (with bibliographic reference) or a translation by the editors. There is a link near the top of the page (Translations) which, when clicked, will display the sources of the translation. It is possible to hide certain translations by unticking the box by the source. By clicking the Show translations button, translations from the selected sources will be displayed.

Viewing poem as PDF

Individual poems can be viewed in PDF format, for printing or offline use. Clicking the View Poem as PDF button brings up a dialogue box. There are various options for customising the output. Poet and poem metadata can be displayed (or not). By default, all lines of the poem are displayed. It is also possible to select particular lines (using the check boxes next to each line) for display.

Custom dictionaries

This is where the dictionary and the corpus are combined. One can select whole poems, or lines from search results or lines from a single poem and generate a dictionary or glossary for just the words in the poems/lines. There are several options for modifying the output, and the dictionary/glossary can be viewed as a web page or a PDF document.

Display options

Poet and poem metadata for the poem/s can be displayed. Similarly, the bibliography for a poem can also be displayed if desired.

Another set of options are choosing whether all the senses of lemmata used in the poems should be displayed, or just the senses which are used in the poems.

One can also choose whether to display details for all poems/lines currently displayed, or to just show records for the selected poems or lines.

The dictionary view displays all the sense/lemma records used in the (selected) lines/poems as a single block, ordered by root. On the other hand, the glossary view displays each line with the lemma/sense records in the order they appear in that line below each line.