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dictd is an online dictionary client and server.


Install the dictd package.


Hosting Offline Dictionaries

dictd can be configured to host offline dictionaries using localhost as the server.

FreeDict provides dictionaries compatible with dictd and are available through the Arch User Repository.

As an example, the dict-freedict-eng-spaAUR package installs an English-Spanish dictionary.

After installation, in order to access the newly installed dictionary, start the dictd.service.

And now the English-Spanish dictionary can be queried by executing:

$ dict 
Note: After new dictionaries are installed, the dictd.services must be restarted in order to refresh the list of available dictionaries. In other words, a
Tip: A list of all the available dictionaries can be queried by executing:
$ dict -I
Tip: To query a specific dictionary database, you can use the -d flag. To query the English-Spanish database, for example, for the word "free" you can use:
$ dict -d eng-spa free

Installing Additional Dictionaries

Additional dictionaries are available in the Arch User Repository through the search term dictd. For example, dict-wnAUR is an English-English dictionary.

After installing the new dictionaries, make sure to restart the dictd.service to refresh the available dictionary databases.

# systemctl restart dictd.service


Parse Error

The following error:

/etc/dict/dictd.conf:25: syntax error, unexpected $end
/etc/dict/dictd.conf:25: #LASTLINE
/etc/dict/dictd.conf:25:          ^
dictd (yyerror): parse error
parse error

Means that dictd cannot find a dictionary database. These can be added manually to /etc/dict/dictd.conf. For example:

database eng-spa {
	data /usr/share/dictd/eng-spa.dict.dz
	index /usr/share/dictd/eng-spa.index

Adds the English-Spanish dicitonary installed by dict-freedict-eng-spaAUR. For other dictionaries, copy and pase the above database declaration but make sure to change the database name, i.e. eng-spa, and also change the data and index paths above to specify the right files.

Graphical front ends

There are various graphical applications that can access dictd through the DICT protocol. One of which is: goldendict.