Dictionary (software)


Dictionary running on OS X Yosemite
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Stable release
2.2.1 (169) / October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16)[1]
Operating system OS X
Type Dictionary
License Proprietary
Website www.apple.com/macosx/

Dictionary is an application developed by Apple Inc. as a part of OS X. The application provides definitions and synonyms from various dictionaries, Wikipedia articles and a glossary of Apple-related terms.

Dictionary was introduced in OS X 10.4 with the New Oxford American Dictionary and Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus (as well as the Wikipedia and Apple sections). 10.5 added Japanese dictionaries, 10.7 added the British Oxford Dictionary of English, and 10.8 added French, German, Spanish and Chinese.


OS X's progenitor, OPENSTEP (and NEXTSTEP) provided similar functionality, called Digital Webster, providing dictionary and thesaurus definitions from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary and Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus (termed the "First Digital Edition"). OPENSTEP Services provide lookup from all applications.

Dictionary was first introduced with Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" and provided definitions from the New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition. With Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion", Dictionary was updated to the Third Edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary and the British Oxford Dictionary of English was added.[2]


Words can be entered in the search bar by just typing the first few letters. The application will perform an incremental search to show any matching headwords or forms, and will try to bypass spelling errors. Clicking on any word in a definition searches for that word in the dictionary again. Almost any word is clickable, except the pronunciations in phonetic characters and numerals.

The Preferences allow a user to select from three different pronunciation schemes, either US English (Diacritical or IPA), or British English (IPA).

The dictionary and thesaurus in Dictionary are in an XML format, but make use of precompiled binary index files to access the XML file directly. Therefore, the lexicon cannot easily be modified. However, the user can add new words to the Mac OS X system-wide spell checker, which uses its own lexicon.

Quick access

Other languages

OS X 10.5 (Leopard) added the Japanese-language dictionary Daijisen, Progressive English to Japanese and Progressive Japanese to English dictionaries, and the 25,000-entry thesaurus "Tsukaikata no Wakaru Ruigo Reikai Jiten" (使い方の分かる類語例解辞典), all of which are provided by the Japanese publisher Shogakukan. The Japanese dictionaries do not show up by default, and must be enabled in Preferences.

In OS 10.8 Mountain Lion, the Japanese dictionaries were replaced by Super Daijirin and the Wisdom English-Japanese Dictionary. In addition, dictionaries were also added for French (Multidictionnaire de la Langue Française for Macs sold in Europe, or Les Éditions Québec Amérique for Macs sold in America), German (Duden), Spanish (Vox), and Chinese (Standard Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese).

Software such as DictUnifier[4] can be used to add more dictionaries to the application.


  1. "OS X 10.10 Yosemite release date". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  2. "Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: New dictionaries, multiple word views, multitouch lookups". Apple Insider. April 12, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  3. "Get Immediate Dictionary Definitions Using Spotlight". OS X Daily. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  4. "mac-dictionary-kit - Mac Dictionary Kit - Google Project Hosting". Code.google.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.