How to fix NameError: name “nltk” is not defined?

How to fix the nameerror: name nltk is not defined error message in Python?

This error is raised when you are using the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) in your Python code.

In this article, we’ll show you how to troubleshoot this error message. So, in order to get the solutions, continue reading.

What is NLTK?

NLTK stands for Natural Language Toolkit, a leading platform for building Python programs to work with human language data.

What is “nameerror name ‘nltk’ is not defined”?

The “nameerror: name ‘nltk’ is not defined” occurs because you either didn’t install the NLTK package using pip.

Or you installed it on a different version of Python.

And also, when you try to use the Natural Language Toolkit (nltk) without importing it first.

In addition to that, it indicates that the Python interpreter is unable to find a reference to the “nltk module in your code.

Why does the “name ‘nltk’ is not defined” nameerror occur?

This error occur because of several reasons, such as:

❌ When you haven’t installed the “nltk” module on your system or it may be outdated.

❌ When you did not import the “nltk” module or if it is not installed correctly.

❌ Incorrect import statement.

❌When there’s an issues with the environment variables, which can cause Python to fail to recognize the ‘nltk’ library.

Different solutions on how to fix “nameerror: name nltk is not defined”?

To fix this nameerror name ‘nltk’ is not defined, you need to install the “nltk” module.

Here are the different ways you can install the “nltk” module.

Solution 1: Install “nltk” module

All you have to do is open your command prompt or terminal.

Also you can head over to the root directory of your project and execute the following command:

If you are using Python 2:

✅ pip install nltk

If you are using Python 3:

✅ pip3 install nltk


✅ python3 -m pip install nltk

If you are using Jupyter Notebook:

✅ !pip install nltk


✅ !pip3 install nltk

If you are using Anaconda:

✅ conda install -c anaconda nltk 

Use this if you get permissions error:

✅ sudo pip3 install nltk

Use this if you don’t have pip in your PATH environment variable:

✅ python -m pip install nltk

For windows:

✅ py -m pip install nltk

Solution 2: Import “nltk” module

After the “nltk” module is installed successfully, do not forget to import it before using otherwise, you will keep encountering this error message.

You have to import the “nltk” library in your Python script or interactive session using the following command:

import nltk

Solution 3: Check the installed nltk module

If this code displays the version number of the installed “nltk” module.
It means you successfully installed and imported the nltk package.

import nltk



So since we have successfully installed and imported the module, let’s try to use “nltk” in the Python script.

Example code:

import nltk'punkt')

sentence = "Hi welcome to itsourcecode"

tokens = nltk.word_tokenize(sentence)



['Hi', 'welcome', 'to', 'itsourcecode']


In conclusion, the error message nameerror: name ‘nltk’ is not defined occurs when you try to use the Natural Language Toolkit (nltk) without importing it first.

To fix this error you need to install the “nltk” module. The solution is simple and easy, yet it is effective.

By following the provided solution above, we can guarantee that you’ll be able to fix this error right away.

We are hoping that this article helps you to resolve the error. Thank you for reading Itsourcecoders!😊