Best Dictionary Apps for Linux
If your work involves reading or writing a lot of text on your computer, then a dictionary is an indispensable option for you. It can save you the trouble of searching for the meaning of a word on the Internet, and in turn help you improve your workflow.
Having a dictionary app on your computer makes it easy to find the meanings of words you come across every day, check their spelling, and learn more about them, such as synonyms and antonyms. Check out the best offline dictionary apps for Windows PC.
Here is a list of the best Linux dictionaries that can help you to read, write and understand the language better.
dict is a CLI-based Linux dictionary. It is basically a client of DICT (Dictionary Network Protocol), which provides access to a variety of dictionaries via a unified interface.
Being a command line tool, dt is easy to use. To find the definition of a word using dict, you simply need to use the command
dict followed by the specified word. Then, DICT looks for it in the dictionaries hosted on the ict.org website and redefines it for you. Moreover, if you want, you can also search for a word in a particular database to get more accurate and relevant meanings/definitions.
In addition to searching for definitions, dict is useful for finding new words as well, thanks to the match feature. So, for example, if you wanted to display a list of four-letter words beginning with t and ending with r, you could ask the same, and it would return a list of all those words.
To install dict on Debian/Ubuntu, open Terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt install dict
On other Linux distributions, open the package manager, find dict there, and install it.
GoldenDict is one of the most feature-rich and graphical dictionaries for the Linux operating system. It offers a great representation of results with rich colors, images, formats, and links while also including support for some of the most popular dictionary file formats.
In addition, with GoldenDict you also get support for Wikipedia and Wikitionary and other similar websites, so that you can choose a reference source based on your preference. Additionally, if necessary, you have the option to use a website as your reference to look up definitions of words in GoldenDict.
In addition to the extras, GoldenDict also lets you listen to the pronunciation, which can come in handy at times. Similarly, another useful feature of GoldenDict is Scan Popup. Once enabled, this feature allows you to translate a word simply by hovering over it and pressing a key
How to install GoldenDict
To install GoldenDict on Debian/Ubuntu, run:
sudo apt install goldendict
On Arch Linux you can install GoldenDict from AUR:
yay -S goldendict-git
On Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL:
sudo dnf install goldendict
Artha is a free offline English dictionary for Linux. Depends on WordNet , a lexical database that provides a wide range of information about words across many languages. So you can rest assured of finding a match when you search for a word in Artha.
Speaking of ease of use, Artha is very smooth and easy to use. It includes support for hotkeys, so you can select a word and press a hotkey to search for it. Next, there’s the autocomplete feature, which automatically suggests the word you’re spelling to save you time and effort and comes in handy when you want to look up a word you don’t know how to spell.
Additionally, Artha also allows you to use regex (a regular expression) in your searches to narrow down results to more precise and specific ones. One feature of Artha that stands out compared to other dictionaries is the tabbed user interface, which allows you to check synonyms, antonyms and other useful information with a simple click.
To install Artha on Debian/Ubuntu, open Terminal and run:
sudo apt install artha
On Fedora, use:
sudo yum install artha
You can use Yay to install Artha on Arch Linux:
yay -S artha
Check out the best dictionary apps for iPhone.
4. WordNet Browser
WordNet Browser is a simplified dictionary app for Linux. It’s essentially a window-based interface to WordNet’s free multilingual dictionary database, developed by Princeton University, that displays relevant results in an easy-to-understand format.
WordNet Browser has a simple interface, and it is very easy to use. When you search for a word in it, it presents you with a set of information about that word categorized into different sections, which you can select from the dropdown button at the top to expand.
Occasionally, WordNet results may include polymorphic meanings, that is, different meanings under different circumstances. In such cases, WordNet Browser notifies you the same thing when you search for a word and gives you the option to limit the search to one or more of the given bookmarks.
How to install WordNet Browser
Use this command to install WordNet Browser on Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt install wordnet-gui
On Arch Linux, run:
yay -S wordnet
Here’s how to install Yay on your Arch-based system if you don’t already have it installed.
To install WordNet browser on Fedora, CentOS and RHEL use:
sudo yum install wordnet
5. GNOME Dictionary
GNOME Dictionary is another simple yet highly effective dictionary app for Linux. While a first look at its user interface might suggest there isn’t much to show here, going into the menus suggests otherwise and reveals the true extent of its functionality.
For starters, GNOME Dictionary allows you to select a dictionary source and add a custom source as per your preference. After that, there is an option to choose a dictionary database from a set of databases, including those in different languages, which further expands its use.
In terms of usability, all you have to do to search for a word in GNOME Dictionary is enter the search term in the search box, and the result will appear from your chosen dictionary database. The returned result includes the definition, verb, and usage examples, with hyperlinks to synonyms, which you can click to view. Finally, the app also offers some keyboard shortcuts to facilitate faster operations.
How to install GNOME Dictionary on Linux
On Debian/Ubuntu you can install GNOME Dictionary using:
sudo apt install gnome-dictionary
If you are using Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL, run the following command:
sudo yum install gnome-dictionary
In case of any other Linux distro, you can install GNOME Dictionary from Flathub using:
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Dictionary
Linux word search made easy
A good dictionary app allows you to look up words to know their definitions, synonyms, antonyms, etc., and in turn helps you improve your vocabulary and understand languages better. It’s easy to find the right dictionary app for your Linux device, so you don’t have to manually look up words on the Internet anymore.
Alternatively, if you often find yourself struggling to find a word — the meaning you already know — the OneLook reverse dictionary can come in handy at times like these. You can now see where Linux is easier than Windows.
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