The 5 Best Dictionary Apps for Linux

If you read or write a lot of text on the computer for work, a dictionary is an indispensable tool for you. It can save you the trouble of looking up a word on the internet and in turn, aid you in your workflow.

With a dictionary app on your computer, you can easily find the meaning of words you encounter every day, check their spelling, and learn more about them, such as: B. their synonyms and antonyms.

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Here is a list of the best Linux dictionaries that can help you read, write, and understand a language better.

1. Dictation

dict is a CLI-based dictionary for Linux. It is essentially a client for DICT (Dictionary Network Protocol) that allows access to a large number of dictionaries via a unified interface.

As a command line tool, dict is pretty easy to use. To look up the definition of a word with dict, simply use the dictation command followed by the word. After that, dict will look it up in the dictionaries hosted on dict.org and give you back its definition. Additionally, if you wish, you can search a word in a specific database for more accurate and relevant meanings/definitions.


In addition to looking up definitions, dict is also useful for finding new words thanks to the matching function. So, for example, if you want to show a list of four-letter words that start with the letter “t” and end with “r”, you can ask the same to dictate and it will return a list of all those words.

dict installation

To install dict on Debian/Ubuntu, open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install dict

For other Linux distributions, open the package manager, search for dict and install it.

2. GoldenDict

GoldenDict is one of the most feature rich and graphical dictionaries for Linux. It offers a beautiful presentation of results, rich in colors, images, formatting and links, while also offering support for some of the most popular dictionary file formats.

What’s more, GoldenDict also comes with support for Wikipedia, Wikitionary, and other similar websites, so you can choose a reference source of your liking. Also, if needed, you have the option to use any website as a reference to look up definitions of words in GoldenDict.


In addition to functionality, GoldenDict also allows you to listen to pronunciations, which can be useful at times. Likewise, another useful feature in GoldenDict Scan popup. Once this feature is enabled, you can translate a word simply by hovering over it and pressing change Key.

How to install GoldenDict

To install GoldenDict on Debian/Ubuntu run:

sudo apt install goldendict

On Arch Linux you can install GoldenDict from the AUR:

yay -S goldendict-git

On Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL:

sudo dnf install goldendict

3. Artha

Artha is a free offline English dictionary for Linux. It is based on WordNet, a lexical database that provides a wide range of information about words in many languages. So you can be sure that you will find a match when you look up a word in Artha.

Speaking of usability, Artha is pretty fluid and easy to use. It includes hotkey support, so you can select a word and press the hotkey to look it up. Then 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.

In addition, Artha also allows you to use regex (regular expression) in your searches to narrow down the results to more accurate and specific ones. A feature of Artha that stands out compared to other dictionaries is its tabbed interface, which allows you to check synonyms, antonyms and other useful information with a simple click.

Artha installation

To install Artha on Debian/Ubuntu, open the terminal and run:

sudo apt install artha

Use on Fedora:

sudo yum install artha

You can use Yay to install Artha on Arch Linux:

yay -S artha

4. WordNet Browser

WordNet Browser is a minimal dictionary app for Linux. It’s basically a window-based interface to the free multilingual dictionary database WordNet developed by Princeton University, displaying relevant results in an easy-to-understand format.

With a minimal user interface, WordNet Browser is pretty easy to use. If you look up a word on it, you’ll be presented with a range of information about that word, sorted into different sections that you can select to expand via a drop-down button at the top.

On occasion, WordNet results may contain multi-meaning meanings, that is, different meanings in different circumstances. In such cases, when you look up a word, the WordNet browser lets you know about it and gives you the option to narrow the search to one or more specific senses.

How to install the 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 minimal but highly functional dictionary app for Linux. While a first look at the interface might indicate that there isn’t much on offer here, delving into the menus suggests otherwise and reveals the true scope of its functionality.


For starters, GNOME Dictionary lets you choose a dictionary source and even add a custom one, based on your preferences. Then there is the possibility to select a dictionary database from a number of databases, including those in different languages, which further expands the scope.

To look up a word in the GNOME dictionary, all you have to do is enter your search term in the search field and it will return the result from the dictionary database you have chosen. The returned result includes the definition, verb, and usage examples with hyperlinks to synonyms that you can click to view. Finally, the software also provides some keyboard shortcuts to enable faster operations.

How to install GNOME dictionary on Linux

On Debian/Ubuntu you can install the GNOME dictionary with:

sudo apt install gnome-dictionary

If you’re using Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL, run:

sudo yum install gnome-dictionary

In case of another Linux distribution, you can install Flathub’s GNOME dictionary using:

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Dictionary

Word lookup made easy on Linux

Good dictionary software will allow you to look up words to learn their definitions, synonyms, antonyms, etc. and in turn will help you improve your vocabulary and understand languages ​​better. Finding the right dictionary software for your Linux machine is easy, eliminating the need to manually look up words on the internet.

Alternatively, if you often have trouble finding a word whose meaning you already know, OneLook Reverse Dictionary can come in handy for such times.

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