How to install Gnome-Dictionary on Linux?

How To Install Gnome Dictionary On Linux

GNOME Dictionary, also called gnome-dictionary, is a DICT client written in C programming language by Emmanuele Bassi and others. It is part of the GNOME desktop suite. It allows users to look up words in various dictionary sources.

GNOME Dictionary is a simple dictionary application that looks up definitions of words online. By default, it shows English definitions, but we can easily change to any other language.

Installing Gnome-Dictionary

There are multiple ways through which you can install Gnome-Dictionary on our Linux PC. We will discuss all these steps one by one.

  • Using default package manager
  • Installing from GNOME Software
  • Installing via Snap

So let’s get started!

Method 1: Using default Package Manager

Firstly, launch a Terminal on our Linux system. To download and install Gnome-Dictionary in our Debian based distribution, simply run the following command in the Terminal:

# Ubuntu / Debian / Mint
sudo apt install gnome-dictionary
Installing Gnome Dictionary Using Apt
Installing Gnome-Dictionary using apt

For Red Hat based distribution, we can run the following command:

# Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora / Alma Linux / Rocky Linux
sudo yum install gnome-dictionary
                # OR
sudo dnf install gnome-dictionary

Method 2: Installing from GNOME Software

Launch the GNOME Software application. Type Gnome Dictionary in search bar to find the application.

Searching Gnome Dictionary
Searching for Gnome Dictionary

Click on Install button to download and install Gnome-Dictionary.

Click On Install Button For Installation
Click on Install button for installation

Method 3: Installing via Snap

If you don’t have installed snap on your Linux PC, follow this guide and install using the commands according to your OS. For Debian, follow below given command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install core
Installing Snap 1
Installing snap

Now, Install Gnome-Dictionary using snap:

sudo snap install gnome-dictionary
Installing Gnome Dictionary Using Snap
Installing Gnome-Dictionary using snap

Gnome-Dictionary has installed using snap. We can check all the installed snap application using below command:

snap list
List Of Snap Applications 1
List of snap applications

Now, we have successfully installed Gnome-Dictionary using snap.

Using Gnome-Dictionary

Copy and paste definitions

We can copy and paste definitions from Dictionary to another application.

  • Select the text that we want to copy in Dictionary. Alternatively, we can select the whole definition using Edit ▸ Select All.
  • Select Edit ▸ Copy.
Selecting A Text
Selecting A Text
  • Paste the text into another application. This can usually be done using the Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut or through one of the menus.
Pasting Text
Pasting Text

Look up a word or term

We can use a Dictionary to look up the meaning of a term. A term can be a single word such as apple or a compound word such as chopping board. The search result may also show us the origin, importance, and usage of a word. To look up a term:

  1. Type in the term that we want to search for next to look up.
  2. Press Return or Look up: to search.
Searching A Word 22chopping Board22
Searching A Word in chopping Board

Dictionary will search our selected dictionary source and show us the result from the first dictionary in the source. To view results from the other dictionaries that are in the same source, select View ▸ Similar Words to pop up a sidebar that shows all the results.

Looking For Similar Words
Looking for similar words

Print a definition

We need to have a printer set up to be able to print to paper.

  • Select File ▸ Print ▸ General ▸ Print button
Select Print
Select Print
  • Select the printer that we want to use from the list of printers or select Print to File.
  • Chose our printing settings.
  • Press Print to print the definition.
Proceed To Print
Proceed To Print

Search within a definition

Some dictionary entries can be very long and can contain many results, so we may wish to search them to find the section that is relevant to us.

  • Select Edit ▸ Find.
Click On Find Button
Click On Find Button
  • The Find bar will appear at the bottom of the Dictionary window. Type in our search term to search within the definition that is currently displayed.
Type In Find Box
Type In Find Box
  • Click Previous or Next to scroll through the results. The search will not wrap around: in other words, it will not go to the top of the page when we are on the last result and click Next.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keys that we can use instead of navigating through the menu. There are following some important shortcuts that are built into the application, through which your user experience can be improved:

Print previewShift+Ctrl+P
View sidebarF9
Open a new Dictionary windowCtrl+N
Close current Dictionary windowCtrl+W
Search within a definition/ or Ctrl+F
Find nextCtrl+G
Find previousShift+Ctrl+G
Previous definitionCtrl+Page Up
Next definitionCtrl+Page Down
First definitionCtrl+Home


In this module, we discussed Gnome-Dictionary which is used for searching meaning online, and how to install it on our Linux system? We installed Gnome-Dictionary on our Linux in three different ways, one way by using default package manager, secondly via GNOME Software and finally with snap.

We hope this article helped you to understand how Gnome-Dictionary works, and hope we will be able to strengthen our vocabulary easily.

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