What is Wordle? Definition and examples?

Wordle is a popular game that people play online. In this simple, yet addictive word-guessing game, you must guess a five-letter word. However, you only have a limited number of attempts.

Wordle - official game logo
The official Wordle logo.

According to The New York Times: Wordle is a daily word game where players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word. Feedback for each guess is given in the form of colored tiles to indicate if letters match the correct position.”

Wordle – a simple interface

People play the game on a simple on-screen interface that has a grid of five-letter slots. There is a limit of six attempts to guess the word. After each go, the game provides the player with feedback by highlighting the letters that are present in the correct position in the target word.

It also highlights the letters that exist in the word but are in the wrong position.

By analyzing the feedback, players can refine their guesses, which hopefully bring them closer and closer to the correct answer by the sixth attempt.

Wordle created by Mr. Wardle

Joseph Wardle

Wordle was created and developed by Josh Wardle, a Welsh software engineer. The New York Times Company acquired the game from Wardle in late January 2022.

Wordle is based on Master Mind, a board game which was created in 1970 by Mordecai Meirowitz, an Israeli telecommunications expert.

In Master Mind, players have to break a code consisting of a series of colored pegs. By analyzing feedback in the form of black and white pegs, they can tell whether they have guessed the right color and position.

Why is it so popular?

  • It is a simple and accessible game.
  • Anybody with an Internet connection can play it.
  • It is a great way to improve your vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
  • We can play the game on our own or in groups and share our results on social media platforms.

Wordle’s social aspect has led to a wave of online communities where enthusiasts can share tips, discuss strategies, and compare scores.

The Virality of Wordle

The rise of Wordle can be attributed to its *virality on social media platforms. Its design allows players to share non-spoiler visual representations of their daily results. As these visuals started flooding social media services such as Twitter (known as ‘X’ today), Facebook, and Instagram, more and more people became intrigued and wanted to have a go themselves.

*Virality (noun), from the word viral (adjective), refers to something that spreads quickly and widely through the internet, especially social media. If something became popular very fast, we say “It went viral.”

Additionally, Wordle’s daily format creates a sense of community among players. Since everyone is guessing the same word each day, it adds an element of shared experience. Conversations about daily puzzles become common in both online and offline settings, creating a bond among players and further fueling its popularity.

Wordle – simple yet hard to master

It is a game that is very simple but not so easy to master. Many players say that this feature contributes significantly to its popularity.

If you have never played it before, having to guess a five-letter word may sound easy. However, having to do so within six attempts is quite challenging.

To win, you must use your intuition, language skills, and logic to make the most of each attempt.

Declining popularity

In the first quarter of 2022, Wordle achieved its highest-ever popularity, according to wordsrated.com. This was the period when the New York Times purchased the game.
However, since this period, the game’s popularity has been declining.

Video – What is Wordle?