To quickly start using Good Dictionary EXamples, see the GDEX guide.

To write your own GDEX configuation files, see Syntax of GDEX configuration files

To install GDEX, see  GDEX installation


GDEX is an abbreviation for “Good Dictionary EXamples”. It is a system for evaluating sentences with respect to their suitability to serve as dictionary examples. It identifies such sentences automatically so that so that good examples do not have identified manually in the sentences found by a concordance search. This is especially useful in modern multi-billion-word corpora where concordances typically return hundreds and thousands of hits. It can effectively rule out poor candidates and offers the lexicographer a pre-sellected set of sentences with a much higher chance of containing good sentences for the purpose of dictionary examples.

The GDEX configuration is customizable to take into account a specific language and/or specific purpose.  Custom configurations can be developed in a specialized development interface.

To request the development of a bespoke GDEX configuration, please contact

GDEX in Sketch Engine

Sketch Engine uses GDEX to sort sentences in Concordances and in TickBox Lexicography (TBL). Sorting concordances using GDEX has to be activated in View Options otherwise the concordance is shown in corpus order. Sorting in TickBox Lexicography is always activated and the number of sorted sentences is 300 (if available) for each collocation.

Currently, only the default GDEX configuration is available for all users. It is, however, possible to create custom GDEX configurations.

Adding user GDEX configurations

User configurations can be uploaded to Sketch Engine via the interface. Local installations need to register gdex configurations manually. Once the GDEX configuration is uploaded, it becomes available in View Options. User configurations can also be shared with other users or user groups.

Selecting from a list of GDEX configurations

If more than one GDEX configuration is available a drop-down list appears in View Options. The selected configuration is used for sorting in both Concordance View and TickBox Lexicography.

Comparing two different GDEX configurations

Similarly, if more than one GDEX configuration is available another drop-down list appears at the TBL result page, where the user can select an alternative configuration that will be used for sorting the same set of sentences side-by-side with the first GDEX configuration.

GDEX Configuration Files

Technically, GDEX assigns the sentences with a score and sorts them from the best to the worst. The assigned value is composed of results of a variety of classifiers that measure various features. The exact set of measured features and the way they are combined together is specified by the GDEX configuration files. Each configuration file is a description of the sentence evaluation function.

See Syntax of GDEX configuration files for full reference on how to write GDEX configuration.


Adam Kilgarriff, Miloš Husák, Katy McAdam, Michael Rundell and Pavel Rychlý (2008). GDEX: Automatically finding good dictionary examples in a corpus. In Proceedings of the 13th EURALEX International Congress. Spain, July 2008, pp. 425–432.