DICT(7) Miscellaneous Information Manual DICT(7)
dict - dictionary browser
dict [ -k ] [ -d dictname ] [ -c command ] [ pattern ]
Dict is a dictionary browser. If a pattern is given on the command
line, dict prints all matching entries; otherwise it repeatedly accepts
and executes commands. The options are
Use the given dictionary. The default is oed, the second edi-
tion of the Oxford English Dictionary. A list of available dic-
tionaries is printed by option -d?.
Execute one command and quit. The command syntax is described
-k Print a pronunciation key.
Patterns are regular expressions (see regexp(6)), with an implicit
leading and trailing Patterns are matched against an index of headwords
and variants, to form a `match set'. By default, both patterns and the
index are folded: upper case characters are mapped into their lower
case equivalents, and Latin accented characters are mapped into their
non-accented equivalents. In interactive mode, there is always a `cur-
rent match set' and a `current entry' within the match set. Commands
can change either or both, as well as print the entries or information
Commands have an address followed by a command letter. Addresses have
/re/ Set the match set to all entries matching the regular expression
re, sorted in dictionary order. Set the current entry to the
first of the match set.
!re! Like /re/ but use exact matching, i.e., without case and accent
n An integer n means change the current entry to the nth of the
current match set.
#n The integer n is an absolute byte offset into the raw dictio-
nary. (See the A command, below.)
addr+ After setting the match set and current entry according to addr,
change the match set and current entry to be the next entry in
the dictionary (not necessarily in the match set) after the cur-
addr- Like addr+ but go to previous dictionary entry.
The command letters come in pairs: a lower case and the corresponding
upper case letter. The lower case version prints something about the
current entry only, and advances the current entry to the next in the
match set (wrapping around to the beginning after the last). The upper
case version prints something about all of the match set and resets the
current entry to the beginning of the set.
p,P Print the whole entry.
h,H Print only the headword(s) of the entry.
a,A Print the dictionary byte offset of the entry.
r,R Print the whole entry in raw format (without translating special
If no command letter is given for the first command, H is assumed.
After an H, the default command is p. Otherwise, the default command
is the previous command.
Other files in /lib.
A font with wide coverage of the Unicode Standard should be used for
best results. (Try /lib/font/bit/pelm/unicode.9.font.)
If the pattern doesn't begin with a few literal characters, matching
takes a long time.
The dictionaries are not distributed outside Bell Labs.