NOTE: As of Mon, Aug 23, 2010, edictionary is broken. I'm actively working to fix it. Please check back in a few days.

edictionary was featured in Linux Journal July '03 issue

Latest version of edictionary is 2.6

What is it?

Love the command line? Hate to switch to a browser to search the web for word meanings? Well, "edict" is the word you've been looking for. edictionary is a nifty li'l app which you can use as your dictionary. It will fit quite well into your command line intensive job and it's faster than your browser too! Give it a try.

edictionary can be used to view the meaning of English words. It can also provide related details like etymology, function, pronunciation etc. Adding support for other languages is not included, but is easy. It can grab the meaning of any word from the convenience of the command line. You can ask for meanings of multiple words at once. You can call edictionary from within your scripts. The full source code is also available. Modify it for fun or for something useful!

Caution: May help improve your GRE/GMAT english score ;-)

What platforms are supported?

edictionary is as platform independent as Perl, because, you guessed it, it is written in Perl ;-). Thus, all you need is Perl installed on your machine, and of course, edictionary. FYI, Perl is a platform independent language. Interpreters are available for Linux, UNIX, Windows and many other platforms, easily. If you are running Linux or UNIX, chances are that you already have Perl installed on your machine.

Help on installing and using edict is available in the documentation section.

What's planned for future releases?

Future releases will have support for more customization, pronunciation (yes, your computer will speak the word for you) and other nifty things. Keep in touch with this page to see what's the latest release. You can take a look the current TODO list.

Is edictionary also available as a GUI application?

Hehehe... you're kidding right?? Use your browser! I recommend Google Chrome or Firefox.

How can I contribute?

If you have a cool idea that you want to implement for/in edict, you are always welcome. Write to me at slowpoison at, and I'll respond as soon as I can.


Dedicated to all those, whose mother tongue isn't English.

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Copyright (c) 2002-2004, 2010, Vishal Verma