The semantic knowledge of Wikipedia has proved to be useful for many tasks, for example, named entity disambiguation. Among these applications, the task of identifying the word sense based on Wikipedia is a crucial component because the output of this component is often used in subsequent tasks. In this article, we present a two-stage framework (called TSDW) for word sense disambiguation using knowledge latent in Wikipedia. The disambiguation of a given phrase is applied through a two-stage disambiguation process: (a) The first-stage disambiguation explores the contextual semantic information, where the noisy information is pruned for better effectiveness and efficiency; and (b) the second-stage disambiguation explores the disambiguated phrases of high confidence from the first stage to achieve better redisambiguation decisions for the phrases that are difficult to disambiguate in the first stage. Moreover, existing studies have addressed the disambiguation problem for English text only. Considering the popular usage of Wikipedia in different languages, we study the performance of TSDW and the existing state-of-the-art approaches over both English and Traditional Chinese articles. The experimental results show that TSDW generalizes well to different semantic relatedness measures and text in different languages. More important, TSDW significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches with both better effectiveness and efficiency.